Just today, I read a blog post about PAFS on the PIRG website. It states: "PFAS are a type of 'permanent chemical' that do not break down in our bodies or the environment and accumulate over time. Exposure to PFAS can lead to kidney cancer, thyroid dysfunction, weakened vaccination response, and other health problems." Of course, if it's only harmful to humans, we can completely reduce exposure to avoid problems.
But after I dug deeper into this article, I found that things are not so simple: Unfortunately, this report mainly introduces the solutions that various state governments have adopted in the face of PFAS pollution entering the drinking water system, which means that our drinking water has already experienced problems. So I searched for relevant information and finally found a report written on July 6, 2023 on CNN, with the headline: "Nearly half of the tap water in the US is contaminated with 'forever chemicals,' government study finds". The article introduces a new study conducted by the US Geological Survey.
This study investigated water samples collected by scientists from nearly 700 locations in the United States between 2016 and 2021, including private wells and public water sources. The scientists found that approximately 45% of the drinking water had at least one type of PFAS detected, which means that most of the water sources in the United States may be contaminated with PAFS. The pollution often comes from water sources near urban areas and manufacturing industries using PFAS (including non stick cookware, drainage textiles, fire foam, lubricants, medical products, cosmetics, etc.). The sewage generated in the production process of these articles often contains PFAS, which passes through sewage treatment plants, water plants, and municipal tap water, To our homes or into our private wells.
Before this report, hundreds of companies or institutions have sued related manufacturers, and many manufacturers have agreed to settle. Among them, chemical manufacturer 3M agreed to pay a minimum of 10.5billion and a maximum of 12.5 billion in settlement to resolve hundreds of water pollution claims related to "permanent chemical substances" (PFAS). In addition, 3M plans to stop using PFAS in its product portfolio by the end of 2025.
Although PFAS does not cause immediate damage to our body, due to its non-degradable characteristics, the harm will gradually emerge over time. Of course, we do not have to worry too much. At present, many water purification devices have entered the home. CNN reported that "carbon filters can help, but they must be replaced regularly. If they are used for too long, the filters may be saturated with chemicals and cannot work properly. Families can also use reverse osmosis filtration systems, but these systems may be expensive." (Here we can see that our ITEHIL designers have conducted sufficient research when designing products. We clearly know the function of each filter element, so we have retained the activated carbon filter element and RO filter element, which fully guarantees the user's drinking water safety while considering portability.) In addition, there is good news that many countries have realized the harm of PFAS and are calling for the reduction of PFAS use and emissions worldwide. However, due to the wide range of applications of PFAS, it is basically impossible to completely ban its use immediately, which means that we may still be troubled by PFAS pollutants for a long time to come.
From the chloroethylene in the Ohio leak in February to the arsenic in the Hawaii wildfire in August to the PAFS mentioned in today's report, we can see that RO water purifiers can effectively filter them all. This is the purpose of our design of this water purifier, which is to protect the safety of users' drinking water. Especially in outdoor water, the quality of different water sources is more difficult to guarantee. Therefore, ITEHIL insisted on using RO filters even at the expense of some portability when designing the water purifier.