SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Every day, our bodies are introduced to some level of contamination from chemicals.
PFAS like lead are colorless, odorless and tasteless, but this compound resists breaking down and is infinitely soluble.
In June 2022, 2,858 locations across the U.S. were confirmed to be contaminated with PFAS.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that 97% of Americans contain substances made up of complex groups of synthetic chemicals in their blood.
Those have been found in products used since the 1950s in the production of non-stick pans, paper products, textiles, electronics, Fire Fighter Foam and more.
Environment America found that DSM Chemicals North America Inc. is the largest polluter in Georgia, dumping around 4,085,115 Ibs into the Savannah River.
These compounds can build up in the body and cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat as well as kidney cancer, thyroid distribution, reduced vaccination effectiveness, increased childhood obesity and risks in pregnancy.
Our bodies naturally eliminate these chemicals through blood loss, urine, breastfeeding and feces, which could take years, but PFAS are reintroduced through:
- Drinking water
- Wild fish and game
- Home grown veggies
Still, blood PFAS levels have been on the decline since 2000, following 3M companies beginning to phase out the chemical.
What you can do to limit toxic chemicals is to invest in either a reverse osmosis or dual-stage filter which have been found to be 90% effective.
Also, use bottled water that is certified by an independent testing organization.
The Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of proposing a drinking water regulation for PFAS which is estimated to be finalized later this year and decided upon in 2024.
The water regulation will look to further reduce the use of PFAS and require public water systems to notify their customers if levels exceed regulation.
If you want to test for these chemicals in your blood, consult your primary care doctor.
For testing in your home, collect a water sample from the tap and send that sample to a PFAS laboratory.