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How To Remove PFAs From Water At Home?

How To Remove PFAs From Water At Home


PFAS (per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances) are often called “forever chemicals.“They combine with their chemical properties and dissolve in water to make them highly toxic.

A recent study says 200 million Americans could have PFAS in their drinking water. If you are a US citizen, you likely have drunk PFAS-contaminated water at some point. Isn’t it too hazardous if you drink such kind of water? If yes! then you must think about how to remove PFAS from the drinking water. 

Once they enter the human body, they don’t leave until they destroy the internal system. Researchers have discovered various effective methods to remove these harmful substances.

In this blog, you will learn what PFAS are, their sources, and how to remove PFAS from the water. 

For healthy drinking, stay reading the entire article!

What Are PFAs?

PFAs are a human-made 9000 group of chemicals that have been popularly used since the 1940s. Instead of degrading easily, they accumulate in the environment over time.
The two most common PFAs are Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS). Forever chemicals have carbon-fluorine bonds, making them persistent. PFOS is more toxic among these two.

What Is The Source of PFAs?

PFAS are used in manufacturing factories of cosmetics products, photography products, non-stick cookware, and waterproof clothing. They are also found near military bases and airports that use firefighting foams.
PFAS reaches your drinking water if you live near such factories. Break down of these stubborn chemicals is another way of PFAS contamination.

Products With Traces Of PFAs

According to a study, PFAS exists in almost all industrial sectors and a wide range of consumer products. For a total of more than 1400 different PFAS, more than 200 use categories and subcategories have been identified. 

Some of the following products:

  • Climbing Ropes.
  • Guitar Strings.
  • Artificial Turf.
  • Soil Remediation.
  • Cleaning Products.
  • Paint, Polish, and Wax.
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What Level Of PFAs Is Safe In Drinking Water?

The ideal situation is zero percent PFAS in your drinking water, but unfortunately, it is impossible because of highly contaminated water. That’s why EPA educates the public to drink safe levels of such dangerous chemicals. The EPA recommended 0.004 parts per trillion PFOA and 0.02 ppt for PFOS. 

How Do We Test PFAs In Water?

If you are concerned, can pfas be removed from the water? You should first test the level of PFAS. Then, decide which option is best for you.

You can test your water by state laboratory, which is costly, but nothing is more precious than your health. Home kits are also available for testing, but I will not recommend them.

How Do You Remove PFAs From Drinking Water?

According to Carel Vandermeyden, director of engineering at Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, “no technology can remove 100% of the PFAS. However, some technologies are very effective in removing PFAS from drinking water mentioned below.

Reverse Osmosis

The reverse osmosis (RO) system uses energy and high pressure to push water through a semi-permeable membrane with tiny pores of 0.0005 microns. Using a reverse osmosis filter, PFOA and PFOS can typically be reduced by up to 90%.

You must know that it wastes only 20% of the water in the filtering process. These reverse osmosis filters can be installed under the sink or countertop. 

Granular Activated Carbon

According to research by EPA, granular activated carbon can remove 100% PFAS if appropriately used. Activated carbon is adsorbent and highly porous, which adsorbs PFAS and other organic contamination. It is one of the best methods to remove PFAS from drinking water.

Activated carbon filters come in many types; countertops, pitchers, whole house filtration, and under the sink.

Ion Exchange System

The ion exchange system has one anion resin and one cation resin. Anion exchange treatment using ion exchange resins is a practical method of removing PFAS from water. These resins, made of porous, polymeric material that attracts and holds contaminated materials, are cationic and anionic. 

Anionic exchange resins are particularly effective in removing negatively charged contaminants such as PFAS. This technology removes all PFAS for a specific period based on factors such as the choice of resin, bed depth, and flow rate. Although more expensive than GAC, AER eliminates the need for resin regeneration and does not create a contaminant waste stream.


It can remove almost all the contaminants in water. Luckily, it can also reduce PFAS in drinking water. This process works by heating water until it vaporizes, leaving behind contaminants such as PFAS. 

The vapor is then condensed into liquid form, resulting in purified water. While effective, distillation is an energy-intensive process and may not be practical for large-scale treatment.

What are the Best Water Filters to Remove PFAS?

As mentioned above, four main methods exist to remove PFAS from water. My first and foremost suggestion is to consider reverse osmosis technology. Their tiny pores help remove PFAS and filter all the other impurities found in water.

You should use activated carbon filters if you cannot buy them due to their high rates. Their efficacy in removing PFAS is close to the RO system, but they are not costly. I will not recommend using an ion exchange system because it will increase the amount of sodium in your water.

Here are some of the best filters you can buy to remove PFAS from drinking water. All the products are highly researched and tested at various times. 

Reverse osmosis Water Filters

Filter NameCertificationTechnology UsedInstallation
Waterdrop G3 Reverse Osmosis SystemNSF 58 and 372Reverse OsmosisUndersink
Aquasana Reverse Osmosis Under Sink Water Filter System42, 53, 58, 401 +P473Reverse osmosis + Activated Carbon FilterUndersink

Activated Carbon Filters

Filter NameCertificationTechnologyInstallation
Springwell whole house water filterFiltering Media Certified to remove PFASCatalytic Activated Carbon Whole house/Point of entry

Water Filter Pitcher 

Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher NSF standards 42, 53, 401 & 473Affinity Filtration TechnologyWater Pitcher

Health Hazards Related To Forever Chemicals

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a review that lists numerous health consequences of PFAS exposure.

Some of them are the following:

  • Cancer
  • Thyroid
  • Asthma
  • Infertility
  • Liver damage


How To Remove PFAs From the Body?

There is no medical treatment available to remove PFAS from the body. The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) estimates that it can take up to four years for PFAS levels in a person’s body to fall by half.

Does Boiling Water Remove PFAs?

Boiling water cannot removes these “forever chemicals.”

Do Refrigerator Water Filters Remove PFAs?

An activated carbon filter in the refrigerator can remove PFAS from drinking water.

Do Water Softeners Remove PFAs?

Many people prefer whole-house water filters; water softener is among those methods. But do water softeners remove PFAS? The answer is “yes.” But it is not efficient as compared to other technologies.

How To Remove PFAs From Soil?

Granulated activated carbon and powdered activated carbon can remove PFAS from the soil. However, these potent warriors are not invincible, as their efficacy diminishes in the presence of organic co-contaminants. Nevertheless, they are still effective and can even be applied to soil to fight against PFAS contamination.

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