PFAS Reference Guide
Frequently Asked Questions
What is PFAS?
PFAS are a group of widely used, long lasting chemicals which break down very slowly over time. Scientific name: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
Where do PFAS come from?
They are found in many different consumer, commercial, and industrial products. Through disposal of these products PFAS enter the environment.
How are people exposed to PFAS?
Due to their widespread production and use, as well as their ability to move and persist in the environment, surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that most people in the United States have been exposed to some PFAS. Most known exposures are relatively low, but some can be high, particularly when people are exposed to a concentrated source over long periods of time. Some PFAS chemicals can accumulate in the body over time.
Current research has shown that people can be exposed to PFAS by:
• Working in occupations such as firefighting or chemicals manufacturing and processing
• Eating certain foods that may contain PFAS, including fish
• Swallowing contaminated soil or dust
• Breathing air containing PFAS
• Using products made with PFAS or that are packaged in materials containing PFAS
• Drinking water contaminated with PFAS
Is PFAS in drinking water regulated?
In March 2023, EPA took a key step towards protection of public health by proposing to establish legally enforceable levels for six PFAS compounds in drinking water, PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFHXS, PFBS and GenX. The regulation is expected to be finalized by the end of 2023.
Is there PFAS in my drinking water?
The Town of Jupiter utilizes advanced reverse osmosis (RO) and nanofiltration (NF) membrane technologies to treat and produce drinking water. RO and NF membranes have been found to be effective in removing PFAS compounds from the drinking water supply. Although not required by regulations yet, the Town has sampled and tested for PFAS in the drinking water supply and all analytes tested under the test method minimum reporting limit.
How often does the Town sample for PFAS?
The Town proactively samples for PFAS once every 6 months. This sampling is not required by regulations yet, but has been a research initiative practiced by the Town since 2017.
I am on well water. Is there PFAS in my water and what should I do if there is?
The only way to know if there is PFAS in your water is to test for it, like we do at the Town of Jupiter. In order to test your water, you will need to contact a certified lab and pay for the analysis. A list of all certified labs can be found at this website: https://qlik.dep.state.fl.us/anon/sense/app/17c7c199-2c02-4f1e-9288-ad20a293694a/sheet/2c856f40-bcad-4024-ba35-88276ab274c3/state/analysis.
You’ll want to make sure you are searching for labs certified to test for PFAS. They will send you sampling bottles to collect water and send back to them for analysis. It is important to follow specific sampling procedures if you are collecting your own sample, as to not contaminate the sample.
If PFAS is detected in your water and you wish to install a filtration system to remove the PFAS you will want to ensure the filter you buy is suited for PFAS removal. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recently released an article on best filters to remove PFAS. It can be found here: https://www.ewg.org/research/getting-forever-chemicals-out-drinking-water-ewgs-guide-pfas-water-filters
How do I get more information on PFAS?
Environmental Protection Agency’s website: https://www.epa.gov/pfas
Center for Disease Control’s website: https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/pfas/
Allyson Felsburg: AllysonF@jupiter.fl.us or 561-741-2735