Perfluorinated Chemicals

 Harmful PFCs in drinking water and what it means for you.

Perfluorinated Chemicals In Drinking Water

Perfluorinated Chemicals (PFCs) including Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) and Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) are used to make common household non-stick, water repellent, and stain resistant products like carpet, clothing, furniture fabric, food packaging, and cookware. They are also used in industrial processes and in fire fighting foam for use on airfields.

Contamination of drinking water usually occurs locally, near a facility where PFCs or products using them are manufactured, as well as around airfields where these chemicals were used to extinguish fires.

The Washington State Department of Ecology has determined that PFCs are widespread at low levels in freshwater areas of Washington and water tests have detected PFCs in King and Pierce County water.

The EPA established the combined PFOA and PFOS Health Advisory level at 70 parts per trillion. The total amount of any Perfluorinated chemical in drinking water (the total of PFOA, PFOS and all other PFCs) cannot exceed 70 parts per trillion. The Health Advisory for PFOA/PFOS refers to the amount of PFOA/PFOS contained in water that you could consume daily for 70 years without any adverse effects.

Adverse Effects related to Cumulative Exposure to PFOA and PFOS in Drinking Water

  • Birth defects and developmental issues during pregnancy or for breastfed infants including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal formation issues
  • Cancer (testicular and kidney)
  • Liver tissue damage
  • Weakened immune system (antibody production and compromised immunity)
  • Thyroid hormone imbalances
  • Hypertension and High Cholesterol

Next Steps

Public water systems are required to notify consumers if water is contaminated. Consumers can also contact their local water supplier and ask for information on PFOA & PFOS in their drinking water and request a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report.

The Culligan® Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with a Total Defense Cartridge was tested in laboratory and field applications by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Water Quality Association and found to reduce Perfluorochemicals (PFC’s) in water at levels typically found in drinking water. The Culligan® Whole Home System with dual carbon filters has been installed in over 300 homes and is proven to reduce Perfluorochemicals (PFC’s) in water at levels typically found in well water. Contact your local Culligan Man™ with questions or for more information.