While Brita filters were not designed—and do not claim to—remove PFAS (per- and polyfluoralkyl substances), they use the same processes that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says is effective in reducing PFAS. These include using activated carbon and an ion exchange treatment.
Industries manufacture and use these man-made chemicals for a wide variety of purposes, and PFAS have now infiltrated water and food sources, making it easy for humans to consume these potentially harmful chemicals.
An Overview of PFAS
The category of PFAS includes many chemicals, including PFOA, PFOS, and GenX.
Because of health concerns, companies in the United States stopped manufacturing these chemicals. In other countries, however, some manufacturers use these chemicals in consumer goods that get imported into the United States. Some examples of these goods include:
- Food packaging
- Water- and stain-resistant fabrics
- Non-stick coatings
How People Get Exposed to PFAS
These chemicals have been in use for 80 years in a range of products, so the substances are spread throughout the environment.
Standard water treatment plants do not always remove PFAS, so your tap water could contain these chemicals. Also, some types of industries expose the water supply to PFAS, such as landfills, training facilities for firefighters (because of the use of fire-fighting foams), factories, wastewater treatment facilities, and military bases.
Our Food Supply
PFAS can infiltrate our food supply in several ways. Crops like fruits, vegetables, and grains, get irrigated with water that contains PFAS or grown in soil contaminated with these substances. Some food packaging contains these chemicals, and some food processing facilities use equipment that utilizes PFAS. Fish, poultry, beef, pork, and other meats can contain PFAS.
It would be a miracle if your home does not contain at least several products that contain PFAS. Some of the everyday items in which you can find PFAS include cleaning products, paints, waxes, polishes, nonstick coating on pots and pans, and fabrics treated with stain-repellants or water-repellants.
How PFAS Can Affect Your Health
Your body cannot break down some types of PFAS. These chemicals build up in your body over time. The harm to a person’s body, based on laboratory testing on animals, according to the EPA, can include:
- Low birth weight of newborn babies
- Child developmental disorders
- Impaired or compromised immune system
- Disruption of thyroid hormones
- Reproductive disorders
- Liver and kidney disease
- Elevated cholesterol levels
Research in this area continues, so additional adverse health effects might get discovered in the coming months and years.
What You Can Do About PFAS in Your Water
Because Brita filters do not remove PFAS, you should look to other methods to reduce your consumption. According to the U.S. Navy, you should use a different source of water for drinking, brushing your teeth, or any other activity that could cause you to ingest any of the water. This caution includes cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, making baby formulas, or any other type of food preparation.
Boiling does not neutralize or remove PFAS, but it could increase their concentration in the water. You should not even water your garden if your local water supply exceeds the safety standards for PFAS.
When your tap water contains excessive levels of PFAS, you should only use bottled water or water from another source, but only if the water contains low levels of or no detectable PFAS.
Filtering PFAs from Drinking Water
Although they reduce or remove many different chemicals from tap water, Brita filters do not remove PFAs. On its website, Brita says that their filters remove the taste and smell of chlorine, reduce zinc, copper, mercury, and some particulates. Some of the Brita filters reduce some industrial chemicals, but Brita’s website makes no claims about reducing PFAs in drinking water.
Getting Legal Help for PFA Exposure
If you or a loved one had an unsafe exposure to PFAS, whether at work, in contaminated drinking water, or from some other source, you might have suffered adverse health consequences. You might be entitled to compensation for some expenses related to illnesses caused by PFAS, including:
- Past and future medical bills
- Medical transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Past and future lost wages
- Lost earning potential
This is not an exhaustive list of the compensation you might be able to recover from a lawsuit. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm helps people all over America when they get hurt because of the negligence of others. You can call us today at (800) 788-4155 for a free consultation. There is no obligation.