Home / Why Worry about PFAS?

PFAS have been around since the 1940’s and has become an integral part of many products. So why are so many regulators and stakeholders worried? The concern is that they are nearly indestructible man-made chemical that doesn’t break down or dissipate and it tends to bioaccumulate. It’s why they are known as Forever Chemicals.
Chances are, you’re wearing PFAS right now. They’re used to make non-stick cookware, fireproof
clothing, stain and water-resistant fabrics, carpet, paper treatment, chrome plating, cleaning prod-
ucts, paint, ski wax, firefighting foam, potato chip and popcorn bags just to name a few.                              They are inside 97% of animals and humans worldwide and since they bioaccumulate we just have more and more of this chemical in our bodies over time which can have some very serious adverse health effects.

 

Molecule                        

 

The C-F bond of the PFAS molecules is the strongest known bond know to
organic chemistry and since it doesn’t dissipate it builds up over time.
 

 

Research, Restrict, Remediate                                 The EPA (who identified the problem in the 1990’s) recently published a report on their three-prong plan to Research, Restrict, and Remediate the use of PFAS. In essence the report promises they’ll study the problem, try to restrict use of a few specific variations of PFAS and try to remove contami-nated environments. They are still unwilling to ban it completely but did officially acknowledge PFAS as a Contaminant of Emerging Concern (CEC) leaving it up to individual states to decide what to do.
Several states have banned the use of Polyfluoroalkyl substances in their states, but global supply chains make a PFAS free state impossible.

Health Impact
The CDC announced that several studies link PFAS exposure and health issues including high cholesterol, low vaccine response in children, issues with liver enzymes, high blood pressure, pre-ec-lampsia in pregnant women, decreased infant birth weight and increased risk of cancers in the kidney, liver, pancreas, testicular, and thyroid.

How Much is OK?
Like lead “None” is the answer as what the safe level of exposure to PFAS is. The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) has not yet established a national limit on PFAS exposure, but it has set Health Advisory Levels (HAL). Recently, the EPA lowered its interim lifetime HAL for perfluorooctano-ic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) from 70 parts per trillion (ppt) combined to 0.004 ppt for PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOS. These new HAL’s are set so low that detection at these
levels is still not possible.

Testing
If you have a business that uses water in any way it’s probable that you’ll be responsible for the identification and removal of PFAS. Current testing requires expert sample collection, complex lab-level equipment, and highly trained experts to analyze the samples to ensure the accuracy and precision expected from a lab. Accuracy and precision are indeed very important when it comes to chemistry. But what about adding “Fast” to the list?                                                                      

One company recently announced their new testing method that only requires 7 days to run. In the PFAS testing arena 7 days was considered fast. RETEGO Labs set out to create a fast test that still retains the accuracy and precision expected. Our new PFAS doesn’t need 7 days or even 7 hours. The new test only takes 7 minutes!

No Need for Experts or Complex Equipment   RETEGO Labs developed a revolutionary new testing method that, for the first time, allows PFAS to be detected visually, on site. That’s right. No specialized or complex lab equipment. You can see the
levels by the color change of the sample. You don’t need specialized training either. Simply follow
the (very straightforward) guidelines provided.