A recent study carried out by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that some of the chemicals used to manufacture Teflon have been found in drinking water. At least 27 states are affected, Nebraska is not amongst them, but that situation may change in the future if further testing is carried out. Let’s take a closer look at this situation and examine some ways to make your water supply safer to use. 

The Scale of the Problem 

Although many of us take the quality of our drinking water for granted, reports of this nature should make us sit up and take notice. There has been multiple health scares regarding domestic water supplies in recent years. Teflon is a synthetic resin that is well regarded because of its toughness, and this makes it useful for a variety of applications, such as bearings, seals and of course nonstick cooking pots and utensils. The homes that are especially at risk are those that are not fitted with a drinking water system as a last line of defense. 

The Teflon Related Chemical Risks 

The main culprit that we need to be aware of is a chemical known as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA). This PFOA chemical is toxic, and it has been found in 94 public water system to date. The PFOA chemical is a polyfluorinated chemical (PFC) that has waterproof, greaseproof and nonstick properties. These PFCs are used for a variety of different products, such as cookware, clothes, furniture, carpets, wrapping material and other industrial and commercial products. These chemicals are known to have a number of negative effects on human health, including birth defects, developmental problems, various types of cancer and heart disease. 

How do These Chemicals Get into Our Drinking Water? 

As we’ve already discussed these useful chemicals are used in a wide variety of products. As such they are consistently used in many manufacturing and industrial processes to create these products. Some experts argue that Teflon is not made with PFOA anymore and the risks are minimal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that consumer Teflon products are not made with PFOA, but they also state on their website that some are. This seems like a mixed message, and it illustrates some of the confusion surrounding this water quality issue.  

What is the Solution? 

Given the confusion of EPA regulators and the lack of solid information, it would be wise to take your water safety into your own hands. The obvious solution would be to install a final barrier that you control between your home and the water coming in from outside. A whole house filtration system will remove contaminants down to a size of 0.0001 microns. This will remove a wide array of harmful contaminants including unwanted chemical particles. We cannot control the polluting practices of industrial and manufacturing companies, but we can take control of the water quality that comes from our taps. By doing this, we can be sure that our water is clean to drink and safe to use in our homes.

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.