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Unsafe and On Tap – Frightening New Study Finds PFAs in Sydney’s Water Supply

  • Written by The Bulletin

A newly published study on Australian drinking water shows alarming levels of PFAs in the water supply in Sydney and other cities and towns across Australia.  Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (including Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS)) , known as PFAs do not break down in the natural environment, causing ongoing concerns about their long term impact.  PFAs are showing up in cookware, seafood, manufactured goods and most concerning, our water supply.

Health Risks of PFAs in Sydney’s Water Supply

These man-made chemicals used in the production of everything from fire fighting foam to nail polish are linked to a host of issues including hormone function, immune suppression, testicular, prostate, liver and kidney cancer.  

Ingesting PSAs can lead to infertility.  Pregnant women are at a higher risk from pregnancy related blood pressure issues and are linked to low birth weight and the child can experience ongoing issues, including developmental issues, compromised immune system, bone variations and accelerated puberty.

“No Safe Level”

Australian water safety regulations consider 0.56  µg/L (micrograms per litre) an acceptable “safe level” of PFAs in drinking water although, as a synthetic substance widely linked to a host of serious illness, there is no safe level.  In Europe, that number is 0.5 micrograms.  The US Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have both expressed concerns around the USGS findings indicating unacceptable levels of PFAs in 45% of the country’s tap water.

“The biggest problem is that standard water filters don’t catch these.  The ones you buy from the local hardware store and install yourself don’t catch PFAs, THMs and heavy metals.  You need a minimum NSF53 rated water filter installation although osmosis filtration is really the only way to remove all of these toxins.  Unfortunately, people install these and think they’re safe, but all they’re really doing is improving the taste” said Sydney Plumber Joe Rantino.

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