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What are PFAS or PFOS and Should I Be Worried About PFAS in Drinking Water?

Published by Passaic Bergen Water Softening on

A hand holding a glass under a running water faucet at a kitchen sink

The fact that we get clean potable water every time we turn on the faucet is not something we think about until something goes wrong. That is what happened to Northern New Jersey residents. They recently received letters notifying them that there are higher levels of PFOS in their water. Undoubtedly, many residents started to question what PFAS or PFOS are. They want to know if they need to worry about PFOS in drinking water. Once you know more about PFAS and PFOS, you will feel better about deciding to remove them from your water should the need arise.

What is PFAS?

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are artificial chemicals that include PFOS, PFOA, and many others. These chemicals are used in many industries. As a result, they can be found anywhere from workplaces to the food we eat and in our drinking water. Many have stopped being used worldwide. However, they don’t break down, so they can be found in abundance in our environment.

Where are PFAS Found?

These chemicals are everywhere, which is why it is important to limit our exposure to them as much as possible. These are just a few places where PFAS are found:


  • Household Products

There is a wide range of household products where these chemicals can be found, including non-stick pans, cleaning products, stain-resistant fabrics, and fire retardants.

  • Food

The food we consume can have PFAS in them for a handful of reasons. The most common reason is that they are packaged in packaging made from these chemicals. Even natural food is not completely free from possible exposure. Fish and other animals may have a build-up of PFAS from pollution.

  • Drinking Water

Unfortunately, even the water we drink is not safe from these chemicals, but the good news is that PFAS in drinking water is the easiest to detect and treat.


Workplaces are another area where people can come in contact with high concentrations of PFAS, especially if it is a facility that manufactures products that use the chemicals in their daily operations.

Are PFAS in Drinking Water Dangerous?

The truth is, the extent of the danger of PFOS and PFAS in drinking water is not fully known. But, what we do know is not good. These chemicals have been linked to low birth weights, thyroid hormone disruption, cancer, increased cholesterol, and more. Since they don’t break down, they accumulate in the body, causing more harm as they build up. The worst part is that it is not like poison where you know something is wrong immediately. It takes years of exposure before the effects of the build-up begin to show. 

Is the Government Doing Anything?

There are currently no federal standards for PFAS in drinking water. There are no “safe levels” nor repercussions if these levels are ever passed. Furthermore, only a handful of states have developed clean water guidelines for these potentially harmful chemicals. At this time, it is up to homeowners to take their health into their hands by protecting themselves from PFAS in drinking water.

What Can I Do?

If unsafe levels of PFAS is something that concerns you, the best thing you can do is get a water treatment system that is certified to remove 98.6 percent of PFOAS and lead. Not every treatment system is the same, so it is important to know that the one you install will meet your needs. The Watercare One contaminant reduction system is proven to work and will give homeowners peace of mind that the water they are drinking is safe for their families. Contact us today for a free estimate on the Watercare One System and any questions you may have regarding the system and installation. 



Wyckoff NJ

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Newfoundland NJ

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