What are PFAs or Forever Chemicals?

Often we have been hearing that rain water is the purest. But according to research from the University of Stockholm, published recently in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, rainwater is no longer potable. The synthetic element PFAS was found in rain water in most parts of the earth.

What is PFAS or Forever Chemical ?

PFAs are polyfluoroalkyl substances, were first developed in the 1940. They are large, complex group of manufactured chemicals that are ingredients in various everyday products. For example
nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics, cosmetics, firefighting forms and many other products that resist grease, water and oil. They are also called forever chemicals because they remain in the environment for years.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) PFAS is found in the blood of 97% of Americans.

What harm do PFAs cause ?

PFAS can lead to many health related problems like cancer, infertility and slow growth of children. In this sense, it is better to avoid drinking rain water. By the way, most people now drink only filter and RO water. But in sports, children often get wet in water and drink rain water. It is necessary to make them aware of this.

How can these chemicals be removed from rainwater?

Presently, there is no known method from which we can extract and remove PFAs from the atmosphere. But there are certain effective methods to remove them from rainwater. One way is to absorb it from the atmosphere using a filtration system with activated carbon but in this process the activated carbon needs to be replaced regularly as well as the old contaminated material must be destroyed from time to time.

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