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#207138 - 08/21/23 10:41 AM PFAS ("forever" chemicals)
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2214
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I recently caught the end of a CBS Evening News story that stated that PFAS ("Forever chemicals") are present in all water supplies. (I didn't hear what "all" meant - only municipal water supplies, or all sources including backcountry sources.) That raises 3 questions in my mind:

1. Are PFAS in backcountry sources, and if so, what are the health consequences?

2. Will filters remove PFAS?

3. If not, will purifiers remove PFAS?

Has anyone seen any research or reporting (CNN and Fox do not count as "research" or "reporting") on PFAS in the backcountry?

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#207144 - 08/22/23 12:32 PM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: Glenn Roberts]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 1193
Loc: Madison, AL
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Per-_and_polyfluoroalkyl_substances

Some highlights that touch on your questions:

Four PFAAs have been found in rainwater, which means they are ubiquitous in all water supplies. Whether or not they are above the safe level threshold is another question pertinent to particular source.

They are nanoparticles so typical backcountry filters will not remove them. Since they are present in rainwater, I'm not sure how effective distilling would be shocked The article mentions nanofiltration and reverse osmosis. The only thing mentioned that you might find in the backcountry is granular activated carbon (GAC). GAC is good stuff and underutilized in the backcountry IMO. The problem is effectiveness of GAC is hard to guarantee, because it is a function of how much it has been used and how contaminated the source is.

We are probably too early in the process to fully know the health implications. It is concerning to me that as people are studying PFAs the recommended safe levels are being reduced.

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#207145 - 08/22/23 05:44 PM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: BZH]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 301
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
That’s some good info BZH. Those things are everywhere. We use a Berkey filter/purifier at home for all our drinking and cooking water and it is supposed to remove of most chemicals.

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#207146 - 08/23/23 12:18 AM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: BZH]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2214
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Thanks, BZH. I just ordered the activated carbon add-on filter for my HydroBlu VersaFlow on the theory that it can't hurt, and emailed them to ask if they had any information regarding their product and PFAS.

I suspect that we're just now scratching the surface and whatever we learn from here will not be good news. (Remember the heady days in the early 1950s when nuclear power was going to solve all our problems?) Really sorry to hear about Gore-Tex - get your rain gear now before it's gone.

Thanks again; that was an interesting article. (The decline in fertility may be part of what Colin Fletcher hypothesized as the "VEAIDS" corrective for overpopulation.)


Edited by Glenn Roberts (08/23/23 12:29 AM)

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#207147 - 08/23/23 05:53 PM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: Glenn Roberts]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 190
Loc: Lakewood, CO
Let us know here what the HydroBlu folks say about PFAS, and how much the carbon filter add-on affects the flow and taste.
I got their filter last year and like the flow rate.

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#207152 - 08/24/23 01:13 PM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: DustinV]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2214
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I will let you know. I've been using their filter for a couple years now, and really like it (I use CNOC containers: a 1- or 2-liter Vecto for collecting unfiltered water, and 1 or 2 1-liter Vesica bottles for clean water.)

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#207158 - 08/25/23 03:20 PM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: Glenn Roberts]
DustinV Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 190
Loc: Lakewood, CO
Me, too Glenn. I really like the Cnoc system with the Vecto > HydroBu > Vessica bottle. Each of these pieces make things a little easier for me.

The Vecto makes scooping water easy, the filter works fast, and the Vessica is nice to keep on my shoulder strap since I can just pop it open and squeeze to drink.


Edited by DustinV (08/25/23 03:23 PM)

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#207159 - 08/26/23 09:48 AM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: DustinV]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 2214
Loc: Southwest Ohio
That's the same reason I chose that system: each piece makes life just a little bit easier.

Dustin: it's now August 31, and I haven't heard anything back from HydroBlu. I'll let you know when (if) I do.


Edited by Glenn Roberts (08/30/23 05:35 PM)
Edit Reason: Update info on vendor response

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#207166 - 08/31/23 01:43 AM Re: PFAS ("forever" chemicals) [Re: Glenn Roberts]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 293
Loc: PNW
This won't answer all of your questions, but I think you'll find this article interesting:

How do you destroy a forever chemical

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