The harmful qualities of PFAS are coming to the forefront of many people's minds recently.
PFAS, short for per- and polyfluorinated substances, are chemicals often found in fire-suppressing foam, stainless fabric and other materials. Though they are no longer sourced for manufacturing, their previous use has caused concern among many individuals and lawmakers.
High levels of PFAS were found in several Michigan bodies of water, according to MLive. About 1.5 million people were potentially exposed to these chemicals through their drinking water.
"Michiganders across the state have been unknowingly and involuntarily exposed to harmful PFAS chemicals, and they deserve a clear picture of both the full extent and long-term effects of the contamination," U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan), a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management, told MLive.
Peters announced that there will be a Congressional hearing in September regarding health concerns and options to reduce PFAS' effects on others.
Meanwhile, several senators, including Michigan's Debbie Stabenow, Florida's Marco Rubio and New Hampshire's Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, are sponsoring the PFAS Accountability Act. This bipartisan bill will set requirements and deadlines for several government agencies including the Department of Defense to create cleanup plans for contaminated areas, according to New Hampshire Public Radio.
Military bases are among the most concerning areas of potential contamination. Military sites have historically used fire-suppressing foam, which have led to groundwater contamination near those areas. Some examples include Pease International Tradeport in New Hampshire.
In addition to this bill, the recently signed federal defense spending authorization bill will increase funding for a national health study on PFAS, a different article from New Hampshire Public Radio reported.
The increased attention to PFAS and their harmful effects should bring positive changes to health and groundwater care. However, consumers need to be able to avoid exposure to these harmful chemicals as soon as possible.
Certain filtration systems are certified as being able to lower the levels of PFAS in drinking water, but none can completely remove them, and some may have little effect at all.
Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality said that some point-of-use granular activated carbon filters as well as reverse osmosis filters may reduce exposure to the chemicals. To be certified, filters need to meet the American National Standard Institute's requirements.
To help your customers stay healthy, stay in the know regarding which nearby areas may be affected by PFAS as well as which filters are certified for preventing exposure. Additionally, offering financing programs can help your customers make a smart, affordable investment in their drinking water. Contact Aqua Finance to learn more about our water treatment financing programs.