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WQA supports further study of PFAS health risk
Letter to Congressional committee also urges in-building treatment as most effective, economical

LISLE, Ill. (Sept. 6, 2018)A letter from the Water Quality Association supporting further study of human health risks of water contaminants known as PFAS and urging support for point-of-use/point-of-entry treatment technologies to combat them will be introduced into testimony today (Sept. 6) before a U.S. House Energy and Commerce subcommittee.

Research shows POU/POE treatment “can be used to successfully treat for these contaminants at the home or in a building,” says the letter from WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “They cost only a fraction of the price our society would need to bear to upgrade our drinking water treatment plants for PFAS removal.”

 Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals found in such things as firefighting foams and stain-resistant, waterproof and nonstick coatings. 

More than 3,000 PFAS are used in the global marketplace; they are released into the environment through manufacturing, use, and PFAS-containing wastes. They have been detected in water supplies in many parts of the U.S., which is why 20 states already have established their own health advisory levels, action levels, drinking water criteria, or state standards for PFAS in ground water, surface water, or drinking water.

Undesser said WQA is encouraged that the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act includes a national study of PFAS in drinking water, ground water and other sources, the first nationwide study on their human health impacts.

She points out, however, that trying to remove PFAS from drinking water through centralized treatment would be extremely expensive because it would require upgrading municipal water treatment plants, many of them in communities already struggling to maintain and upgrade infrastructure, including lead water lines.  

POU/POE technologies such as reverse osmosis, carbon filtration and anion exchange, however, have been independently tested and proven they “can be used as a successful final barrier in the home to protect people from the harmful effects caused by the presence of these chemicals in our drinking water,” Undesser said.

(Undesser's letter to the committee)


WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).
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