New Studies Highlight Dangers of PFC Contamination in Drinking Water

Multipure touts the effectiveness of Carbon Block Filters in treating PFC contamination

mp headquartersRecent studies published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters (ESTL) and Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP) examine the presence and effects of drinking water contamination by poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals, part of a broader category of substances known as perfluorochemicals (PFC), have been linked to negative effects including high cholesterol, hormone suppression, cancer, and decreased child immune system health.

In the ESTL study published on August 9, 2016, Xindi Hu, of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, states that the myriad uses of PFCs are major contributors to their widespread danger. Used in both food packaging as well as a large assortment of products designed to be resistant to heat, oil, grease, and water, these chemicals have been found in higher-than-recommended concentrations in 33 of the 50 states in the country. And because it can take years for the human body to dispose of PFCs once ingested, people are prone to PFC accumulation and increased chances of negative health effects. Furthermore, the EHP study finds that young children exposed to these contaminants are more likely to suffer from decreased levels of immunity against diphtheria, tetanus, measles, and influenza, even with prior vaccination.

Despite the findings of these new investigations, a 2008 study by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) found that the use of carbon block filters were effective in treating the presence of PFCs (which include the aforementioned perfluoroalkyl substances as well as perfluorooctanoic acids, perfluorooctane sulfanate, perfluorobutanoic acids, and other perfluoro- chemicals) in drinking water. And because carbon block filters treat the presence of PFCs through the action of physiochemical adsorption, increasing the surface area and density of the filter medium dramatically increases its effectiveness while also compensating for some of the drawbacks of granular activated carbon (GAC) and RO filtration methods.

All of this factors into Multipure’s confidence in its ability to treat PFCs through its array of carbon block point-of-use (POU) drinking water systems. Multipure’s Vice President of Technical Services, Dr. Andrew Fenwick, Ph.D., states, “PFCs are dissolved in water and thus are not mechanically filtered from the medium. But these contaminants physiochemically adsorb to the surface of activated carbon. And while GAC serves this purpose on a basic level, the much higher surface area of a carbon block filter – derived from a powdered form of activated carbon – provides the same adsorptive mechanism but on a tremendously larger scale. Simply put, Multipure’s carbon block filters offer a vastly greater carbon surface area to filter PFCs, without the propensity for channeling that affects GAC. This makes them an ideal POU filtration method to treat PFCs.”

Founded in 1970, Multipure is an industry leader in the manufacture and distribution of drinking water systems and compressed solid carbon block filters. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, Multipure employs over 200 people, and is committed to being a company that provides the people of the world with the best quality drinking water at an affordable price. Multipure is a member of the Water Quality Association, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau.