PFAS chemicals occur in almost half the American drinking water.

A recent government study has raised alarming concerns about drinking water quality in the United States. The study reveals that nearly half of the tap water in the country contains potentially harmful compounds known as “forever chemicals.”

These “forever chemicals,” scientifically referred to as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), are a group of human-made chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s. They earn the name “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down and can accumulate over time in the environment and the human body.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Geological Survey found these chemicals in about half the public water systems and private wells in the United States. This finding is particularly concerning as PFAS links to various health problems, including kidney cancer.

The presence of these chemicals in such a large portion of U.S. drinking water supplies poses a significant public health risk. It underscores the urgent need for more comprehensive water quality testing and regulation and improved water treatment methods to remove these chemicals effectively.

As consumers, it’s crucial to stay informed about our drinking water’s quality and take necessary precautions, such as using certified water filters to remove PFAS. It’s also essential to support policies and initiatives to reduce the use of these harmful chemicals and ensure the safety of our water supplies.

What Are the Potential Consequences of Chemical-Laced Drinking Water?


The potential health effects of PFAS (perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a subject of intense and ongoing scientific research. These synthetic chemicals, known for their persistence in the environment and the human body, have been linked to various health concerns. 

It’s important to note that while these potential health effects are concerning, the relationship between PFAS exposure and these health outcomes is complex and not fully understood. Factors such as the specific type of PFAS, the level and duration of exposure, and individual health and genetic factors can all influence the potential health effects. More research is needed to fully understand the long-term health impacts of these “forever chemicals.”

Here’s a more detailed look at some of the potential health risks associated with PFAS exposure:


Certain types of PFAS may cause an increased risk of specific cancers. For instance, PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), a type of PFAS, has been linked to kidney and testicular cancers in some studies. These findings come from both human epidemiological studies and laboratory animal research. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies PFOA as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Immune System Effects:

PFAS exposure can also have significant effects on the immune system. Some studies have shown that these chemicals can interfere with the body’s immune response, leading to a decreased response to vaccines. It means that people with high levels of certain PFAS in their bodies may not respond as effectively to vaccinations, potentially leaving them more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Additionally, some research suggests that PFAS exposure may increase the risk of autoimmune diseases.

Hormonal Disruption:

PFAS can act as endocrine disruptors. That means they can interfere with the body’s hormonal systems. It includes the thyroid hormones crucial in regulating metabolism, growth, and development. Disruption of these hormones can lead to myriad health problems, including weight gain, fatigue, depression, and cognitive issues.

Reproductive and Developmental Issues:

Some PFAS can cause reproductive issues, particularly in women. Studies have found associations between PFAS exposure, reduced fertility, and complications during pregnancy, such as preeclampsia. In addition, PFAS can cross the placenta, leading to exposure in utero. This prenatal exposure connects to potential developmental effects in infants and children, including reduced birth weight and potential impacts on learning, behavior, and growth.

Liver Damage:

High levels of certain PFAS can cause liver damage. The liver is a critical organ involved in detoxifying harmful substances in the body. When exposed to high levels of PFAS, the liver can become overloaded and damaged, leading to conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and elevated liver enzymes.

Increased Cholesterol Levels:

Some PFAS have been associated with changes in lipid metabolism, leading to increased cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol is a known risk factor for heart disease, including coronary artery disease and stroke. Some studies have found that people with high levels of certain PFAS in their blood also have higher total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels.


Protecting Ourselves and Our Families from PFAS Exposure in the Water

While the scientific community continues to unravel the complexities of PFAS and its impact on human health, Americans must not remain passive. We can take several proactive measures to protect ourselves and our loved ones from potential PFAS exposure.

Utilizing Certified Water Filters:

One of the most direct ways to reduce PFAS exposure is by ensuring the water we consume is as free from these chemicals as possible. Not all water filters can remove PFAS, so it’s crucial to choose a filter that has been certified for this purpose. Look for products certified by organizations such as NSF International, which tests and certifies filters specifically for PFAS removal. Remember to maintain your filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure its effectiveness.

Avoiding PFAS-Containing Products (Besides Water):

PFAS are present in various consumer products due to their water- and grease-resistant properties. That includes certain types of cookware, food packaging, stain-resistant carpets and fabrics, and water-repellent clothing. Whenever possible, opt for products that are labeled PFAS-free. For instance, choose stainless steel or cast iron cookware over non-stick varieties, and look for clothing and home goods that haven’t been treated with water- or stain-repellent coatings.

Eating a Balanced and Varied Diet: 

PFAS can accumulate in the food chain. So eating a varied diet can help minimize potential exposure from any one source. Additionally, some studies suggest that consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help protect against some of the potential health effects of PFAS exposure.

Staying Informed and Advocating for Stronger Regulations:

Knowledge is power. Stay informed about the latest research on PFAS and the efforts to regulate these chemicals. Use this knowledge to advocate for stronger regulations to limit the use of PFAS and ensure our drinking water’s safety. These actions involve participating in community meetings and contacting your local water supplier to inquire about PFAS testing and treatment.

By taking these steps, we can protect our health, ensure the health of our family members, and contribute to broader efforts to reduce PFAS use and safeguard our water supplies. It will take a coordinated effort, and every action counts.


Final Thoughts on the Potential Harm of Forever Chemicals in the Drinking Water

As we delve deeper into the potential harm of “forever chemicals” or PFAS in our drinking water, it becomes increasingly clear that this public health issue warrants our attention and action. The potential health effects, ranging from cancer to hormonal disruption and immune system effects to developmental issues, are deeply concerning. The fact that these chemicals persist in the environment and accumulate in the human body over time only adds to the urgency of addressing this issue.

However, it’s important to remember that our understanding of the health effects of PFAS is still evolving. While the research to date provides compelling evidence of potential harm, many questions remain. For instance, we still don’t fully understand how these chemicals affect human health or why some people seem more affected than others. We also need more research to determine the safest levels of PFAS in drinking water and to develop more effective methods for removing these chemicals from our water supplies.

Ultimately, the issue of PFAS in drinking water reminds us of the broader challenges we face in ensuring the safety of our environment and public health. It underscores the importance of ongoing research, robust regulatory systems, and informed public awareness in addressing these challenges. As we continue to learn more about PFAS and other environmental contaminants, let’s use this knowledge to make healthier choices and advocate for policies that protect our water, health, and planet.