North Carolinians: What's in Your Water?

North Carolinians: What’s in Your Water?

October 12, 2021

Have you ever wondered what’s in your tap or well water? Most of us assume that if water runs through a municipal tap line, it’s safe to use for cooking, drinking and bathing. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. One North Carolina resident started testing her water supply—and what she found will remind you why you need a water filter today.

What are PFAS?

PFAS stands for “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.” According to the EPA, this is “a group of man-made chemicals that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many other chemicals.” The problem with PFAS is that they are “very persistent in the environment and in the human body—meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time. There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse human health effects.”

PFAS can be found in a number of different areas, including drinking water, food, commercial products and living organisms. This chemical group is no longer manufactured in the U.S., but it is often present in foreign-made products. They can be present in anything from pizza boxes to cookware, which means you could be ingesting harmful chemicals without even realizing it.

According to the EPA, “Studies indicate that PFOA and PFOS can cause reproductive and developmental, liver and kidney, and immunological effects in laboratory animals. Both chemicals have caused tumors in animals. The most consistent findings are increased cholesterol levels among exposed populations, with more limited findings related to low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer (for PFOA), and thyroid hormone disruption (for PFOS).”

PFAS in drinking water

According to the Duke University article linked above, Heather Stapleton, a scientist and North Carolina resident, started investigating the presence of a chemical called PFAS in her drinking water.

Stapleton, who started the research in her own kitchen, joined several of her fellow Duke scientists to discuss her discoveries. She asked two questions: “Where was it coming from? And how well did the water filter in my home remove these compounds?”

The article goes on to state that “North Carolina’s drinking water is at a higher risk for PFAS contamination because of the variety of industrial, military and other sites in the state… While normal levels have been found in most communities, the tests have revealed high levels in some locations.”

How can you remove PFAS from your drinking water?

Obviously, you don’t want to drink harmful chemicals in your regular tap or well water. That’s why you need the right water filter today. However, “while using a filter does help, not all filters perform equally well in removing PFAS. Reverse osmosis filters and dual-stage filters did the best job. Other filters, including whole-house and tabletop filters, ranged widely in how effective they were in removing the compounds.”

If you’re interested in finding the right water filter for your needs, Royal Water Works, Inc. can help. Call us today to learn more about our water filter and water testing options, so you can rest assured you’re only drinking the best.

Categorised in: