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Perfluorinated Chemicals

Harmful PFAS in drinking water and what it means for you.

PFAS In Drinking Water

PFAS, also known as perfluorochemicals (PFCs), are used to make common household non-stick, water repellent, and stain resistant products like carpet, clothing, furniture fabric, food packaging, and cookware. They are also used in industrial processes and in fire fighting foam for use on airfields.
Contamination of drinking water usually occurs locally, near a facility where PFAS or products using them are manufactured, as well as around airfields where these chemicals were used to extinguish fires.
The Madison Water Utility determined that PFAS were present in two wells in the City of Madison. Mayor Paul Soglin has asked the Truax Air National Guard Base to begin monthly testing of the wells to find the source of the PFA contamination.
The EPA established the combined PFAS Health Advisory level at 70 parts per trillion. The total amount of any Perfluorinated chemical in drinking water (the total of PFOA, PFOS and all other PFCs) cannot exceed 70 parts per trillion. The Health Advisory for PFAS refers to the amount of PFAS contained in water that you could consume daily for 70 years without any adverse effects.
Adverse Effects related to Cumulative Exposure to PFAS in Drinking Water
  • Birth defects and developmental issues during pregnancy or for breastfed infants including low birth weight, accelerated puberty, skeletal formation issues
  • Cancer (testicular and kidney)
  • Liver tissue damage
  • Weakened immune system (antibody production and compromised immunity)
  • Thyroid hormone imbalances
  • Hypertension and High Cholesterol
Next Steps
Public water systems are required to notify consumers if water is contaminated. Consumers can also contact their local water supplier and ask for information on PFAS in their drinking water and request a copy of the Consumer Confidence Report.
The Culligan® Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water System with a Total Defense Cartridge was tested in laboratory and field applications by the Minnesota Department of Health and the Water Quality Association and found to reduce PFAS in water at levels typically found in drinking water. The Culligan® Whole Home System with dual carbon filters has been installed in over 300 homes and is proven to reduce PFAS in water at levels typically found in well water. Contact your local Culligan Man™ with questions or for more information.