List of household filters approved for certain PFAS removal
Independent product testing provides household solution for PFAS removal
Per- and poly- fluorinated alkyl substances (collectively known as PFASs) are a suite of highly persistent chemicals that have been used in manufacturing, firefighting activities, and countless household products for the past seven decades. Due to PFAS’s wide use and improper disposal, large amounts were released into the environment and have subsequently contaminated drinking water supplies across the country. According to Hu et al. 2016, two well-studied forms of PFAS, PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoate), are estimated to be over the health advisory limits in approximately 6 million U.S. resident’s drinking water. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Health Advisory of 70 parts per trillion for PFOS and PFOA in drinking water because of their many potential health impacts. Michigan has adopted this standard.
Both rural wells and municipal water supplies are at risk of contamination in polluted areas. A map of known contaminated areas in Michigan is posted on the Michigan.gov PFAS website. If you know or suspect PFAS to be in your drinking water, the state of Michigan recommends using NSF International certified filters to reduce PFOA and PFOS in drinking water. NSF is an independent, accredited organization that tests and certifies products and systems to protect and improve human health. Certification requires products to meet various standards that NSF develops. The standards certify that the water leaving the filtration system is below the EPA health advisory level of 70 parts per trillion.
To know if a filter is NSF certified for the removal of PFOA and PFOS look for NSF P473 or NSF Certified to Standard P473 on the product, packaging, or specifications. Two types of filters recommended are granular activated carbon (GAC) and reverse osmosis (RO) filters. Advantages and disadvantages of each type, as well as general information on PFOA and PFOS in drinking water are summarized in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s factsheet on PFAS filters. Whole house filtration systems are not currently certified.
Filters can either be purchased directly by a resident from various locations or be acquired at no cost if you have a private drinking well and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or your local health department has contacted you in regards to PFAS filtration. Click here for your local health department information.
A list of companies that manufacture or sell NSF certified NSF P473 filters for the home are available on the NSF International website. Names of certified filters are provided with links to the companies’ websites.
To learn more or if you have a PFAS related question, please visit https://www.canr.msu.edu/pfas/.
Hu X. C., D. Q. Andrews, A. B. Lindstrom, T. A. Bruton, L. A. Schaider, P. Grandjean, R. Lohmann, C. C. Carignan, A. Blum, S. A. Balan, C. P. Higgins, and E. M. Sunderland. 2016. "Detection of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in U.S. drinking water linked to industrial sites, military fire training areas, and wastewater treatment plants." Environmental Science & Technology Letters. 3(10):344-50.