The Fontus Guide to PFAS, PFOA + PFOS
PFAS? PFOA? PFOS? If you’re like most people, you probably have no idea what those acronyms stand for—or why they’re a cause for concern if they get into your drinking water. We’ll break it down for you so you’ll have a good grasp of what they are and what you should do about them if they appear at your faucet.
The umbrella term: PFAS
PFAS stands for the over 6,000 per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemical substances found in more than 5,000 products—things like nonstick pans, carpets, waterproof clothing, makeup, sunscreen, shampoo, and shaving cream. They’re also used in firefighting foam.
The problem with PFAS is that they don’t break down easily and remain in our bodies and environment for years. Studies have linked PFAS to certain cancers and endocrine disruption in humans.
The problem with PFOA + PFOS
The most widely known of the PFAS chemicals are PFOA and PFOS. They’re non-stick, waterproof, and grease-proof chemicals used in a variety of home products. They’re also stable and persistent in the environment, bioaccumulative, toxic at low concentrations, and easily get into groundwater.
In May 2016, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a drinking water Health Advisory for PFOA and PFOS. It recommends taking action to reduce exposure to the chemicals if they can be measured in drinking water at a level above 0.07 micrograms per liter (µg/L) (or 70 parts per trillion (ppt)).
The EPA also recommends taking action to reduce exposure to the chemicals and estimates that drinking water accounts for about 20% of a person’s exposure.
PFAS in Maine
PFAS are found throughout the country and Maine is not exempt. A 2019 report released by the Maine CDC shows that about half of the public water supplies that it tested (7 of 12) contained PFAS. As a result of the concern over PFAS, Maine formed a task force in 2019 to:
- identify the extent of PFAS exposure in Maine
- examine the risks of PFAS to Maine residents and the environment
- recommend State approaches to most effectively address this risk
What you can do about PFAS
PFAS have been linked to cancer and endocrine disruption in humans. Your first step in protecting your family is to test your drinking water. The good news is that, if PFAS are found, they can be filtered out of your water supply.
Schedule a water test for PFAS with Fontus
If you’d like to find out if you have PFAS in your drinking water, contact Fontus for a water test. After a state lab test of your water supply, we will walk you through the results.
If we find the presence of PFAS in your water supply, we’ll talk you through your options. If you decide you’d like Fontus to install a system that removes PFAS, we’ll discuss next steps together.
At Fontus, our passion is clean, pure water.
The Fontus Triple Test Promise
We want all our customers to feel 100% satisfied with our systems, so we’ve created the Fontus Triple Test Promise.
We’ll test your home or business water supply for aesthetic issues, including hardness, iron, pH, etc. using an immediate-response test and make sure you understand all findings.
If needed, we’ll also send a water sample to the Maine State Certified Laboratory to confirm any findings and test for bacteria, viruses, and hazardous chemicals.
After your new system is in place, we’ll test your water supply again to make sure your problem is solved. It’s our way of helping you feel confident that your drinking water is safe and clean.