What Are PFAS And How To Remove Them From Water?

PFAS, also known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are hazardous compounds present in water. They can really risk your health and life especially if you’re drinking PFAS-infested waters. Here is what you need to know about PFAS, how they get into water, health problems they cause, and which water filtration systems can remove them.

PFAS – What Are They?

Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances are also known as “forever compounds” and they are usually used in making things that are resistant to moisture, heat, and humidity. They are industry-grade chemicals used in making cosmetics, plastic ware, cooktops, packaging, and even clothing. These compounds can easily dissolve in water and can travel by air as well. From there, it can be pretty easy to inhale and consume PFAS.

The most horrific thing is that PFAS were not regulated at all, until the point when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) started to take things seriously and tested supply water for traces of forever compounds. Research are being done more frequently since 2016, when this concern was first raised.

There is a lot of apprehension among people who are drinking untreated water, that’s seemingly “fine”, even though there could be a huge risk of PFAS being dissolved in it. PFAS are made of long-chained bonds of carbon and fluorine atoms and this bond is considered to be one of the strongest bonds in the theory of chemistry. They can’t be broken down by heat, water, oil, or grease and this characteristic is what gives them the infamous name of “forever” compounds/chemicals.

How Do PFAS Get Into Water?

The main culprit for PFAS getting dissolved in water and air, in the first place, is industrial and chemical waste. As the world is getting modernized and industries are on a kick of producing value-added items to aid the general public, chemical waste is also causing a lot of health issues among people. Some ways by which PFAS can get dissolved in water are as follows:

Chemical Industries Near Water Reservoirs

If there are water reservoirs near any chemical industry that makes fabrics, plastics, cosmetics, and other chemicals that have PFAS in them, then the discharge of waste into the water can cause the long chain carbon and fluorine bonds to get latched with water molecules.

You can’t even tell that you’re drinking toxic water because there’s no taste, smell or change in the composition of water.

Nearby lakes and rivers can also get poisoned and contaminated by PFAS, through industrial waste. There are a lot of harmful and life-threatening toxins in industrial waste along with chemicals that aren’t biodegradable, so that makes it hard for water and air to not get incorporated with the lethal mix of chemicals and it can cause a plethora of health issues.

Surfactants In Water

Surfactants, dissolved in water, can also have PFAS in them. Surfactants are usually used to make detergents and washing powders, and the chemicals in them can be extremely dangerous. This is why it’s recommended to keep these easily soluble chemicals away from freshwater reservoirs.

However, a lot of the time, there can be dissolution of these substances, either in the form of industrial waste or there can be water contamination through underground seeping.

The subsoil water can also be contaminated by these substances, so it’s important to have all sorts of water wells and reservoirs cased and well-protected against the invasion of these chemicals.

Semiconductor And Plastic Factories That Dispose Of Chemical Waste Into The Open

Semiconductor and plastic factories produce the most toxic waste of them all and the easiest way to dispose of these toxins is by ejecting them out into the open.

That’s not the brightest idea because polluting the air and water with such harmful toxins is going to take a toll on the health of many people. And if, somehow, people drink the contaminated water, they can be exposed to a lot of health constraints and problems that are going to be lethal and have life-altering changes on the bodies of the general public.

Potential Risks Of PFAS

Here are some health issues that are associated with PFAS.

Severe Stomach Problems

Drinking water that’s contaminated with forever chemicals can have detrimental effects on the stomach. Ulcers, cancers in the stomach, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea are just some of the many issues that can be caused by consuming these substances.

Liver Failure

The liver can also be severely affected by PFAS. Liver damage and failure are the norm and you can also get jaundice and insanely high cholesterol levels if you’re constantly exposed to these chemicals and that’s not good for your body at all.


A lot of people can suffer from cancers of many kinds as a result of consuming too much PFAS-infested water. Cancers in the intestines, rectum, colon, and reproductive organs are very common to occur when people are exposed to forever chemicals.

Ovarian cancers and cysts and tumors in the uterus are common to occur in women and these things can lead to major fertility issues.


Obesity and fat deposition in various parts of the body are also very common issues that are caused by PFAS. Different carbon and fluorine derivatives can lead to bodily changes and it can really mess with your metabolism.

Ways To Remove PFAS From Drinking Water?

Here are some of the most effective ways of removing PFAS from water.

Carbon Filters

Activated carbon is known as nature’s magnet for impurities. It draws out almost all kinds of impurities and unwanted stuff from the water including carbon and fluorine compounds of PFAS.

Carbon tablets or filters can be easily used to remove all sorts of impurities from water and you can rest assured that there are no hazardous compounds present in your water and you can drink and use this treated water as many times as you need.

This is the easiest and fastest way to remove PFAS from water without having to buy any major equipment.

Ion Exchange Process

The ion exchange process works on the mechanism of replacing the harmful ions with neutral or sodium ions making the water potable and harmless. You can either use a water softener or a full-on ion exchange tank that has resin in it to treat the water and get rid of the forever compounds in it.

Keep in mind that the water treated through an ion exchange process can be a bit on the salty side so you will feel a difference in taste after the treatment because the most easily exchangeable ion is sodium.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse osmosis is a process used in a lot of industries to treat water and make it pure for use. You can also have an RO plant installed at home if you’re worried about PFAS.

Reverse osmosis works on the mechanism of passing water through a semi-permeable membrane. This membrane is very thin but it allows water to pass through and leaves behind all of the impurities no matter how big or small, and in the end, you get clean, safe, and potable water that’s not going to pose a threat to your health.


PFAS cannot be removed by conventional water treatment processes, so there are special procedures used to remove these chemical compounds from potable water for good. Install reverse osmosis whole house filtration water Warren system to remove almost every contamination from your drinking water.