MDH Dashboard Link Showing Drinking Water Test Results: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/pfasmap.html
MDH Links to Reducing Exposure to PFAS: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/hazardous/docs/pfas/pfasreducingexp.pdf
MDH Link to More Information on PFAS: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/hazardous/topics/pfcs.html
MDH Link to PFAS and Home Treatment of Water: https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/hazardous/topics/pfashometreat.html
Here's what you need to know:
- Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of man-made chemicals that have been widely used in many consumer products.
- They first appeared as nonstick coatings in the 1940s. Since then, these chemicals have been used in stain- and water-resistant products, protective coatings, firefighting foam, waterproof fabrics, and many other products you may use, or come in contact with, on a daily basis.
- PFAS are labeled as “forever” chemicals because they don’t decompose naturally.
- PFAS can make its way into water and soil from past industrial disposal or spills.
- PFAS have been found in rainwater samples taken around the world.
- You cannot see, taste, or smell PFAS in drinking water.
The City’s water sources come from an aquifer that contains nine wells. These contaminants are not caused by the City or its water treatment system. PFAS contaminants enter the water system through ground water. There are many products consumers and businesses use that contain PFAS. It is the use of these products that impacts the level of PFAS found in our water. ALP Utilities and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are currently investigating the source(s) of PFAS contamination.
- There are many different PFAS, and each may have varying roles for different health effects.
- Determining whether PFAS chemicals cause health effects in humans, and at what levels, is an active area of research and we hope to know more in the future.
- Several PFAS have been associated with a variety of human health effects, most of the evidence comes from two PFAS chemicals (PFOA and PFOS). The most consistently observed effects are immune suppression (e.g., decreased antibodies to vaccinations), changes in liver function (e.g., higher cholesterol, elevated liver enzymes) and lower birth weight. One PFAS, PFOA, has also been associated with kidney cancer. Other factors, such as diet and genetics, can also cause many of these effects.
- Drinking water at or below a Health Risk Index (HRI) of 1.0 presents little or no risk of health effects. Currently, the HRI for Alexandria water in two wells is slightly above 1.0.
- All information on the level of PFAS found when sampling the drinking water will be shared on the link below.https://www.health.state.mn.us/communities/environment/water/pfasmap.html
- Using source water with the lowest levels of PFAS
- Investigate and implement additional water treatment processes that will remove PFAS from our water system. This will take some time to complete.
- It is important to note: to reduce or eliminate PFAS from our water, will require the cooperation from community businesses and residents to find sources of the contaminants.
- Filters containing activated carbon, or reverse osmosis membranes, have been shown to be effective at removing PFAS from water supplies.
- Filtered water from a pitcher, faucet, or whole-house filter system with a certified filter technology. A granular activated carbon (GAC) filter that meets ANSI/NSF Standard 53 or a reverse osmosis (RO) filter, with an included GAC component, can filter out PFAS.
- Point-of-use (POU) systems come in a range of sizes, and some require a licensed plumber or water treatment specialist, to be installed properly.
- There are also small POU systems that homeowners can install themselves on a faucet for drinking and cooking water.
- Purified or filtered bottled water
- All home water treatment units require regular maintenance to work properly.
- Home water treatment units that are not properly maintained will lose their effectiveness over time.
- Other types of common home water treatment systems, such as water softeners, are not likely to remove PFAS.
- Boiling water will not remove PFAS.
•PFAS chemicals can be found in many products. You can reduce your exposure by avoiding the following:
- Some grease-resistant paper, fast food containers/wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes, and candy wrappers
- Nonstick cookwareStain resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery, and other fabrics
- Water resistant clothing
- Some cleaning products
- Personal care products (shampoo, dental floss) and cosmetics (nail polish, eye makeup)
- Paints, varnishes, and sealants
- Household dust can be a significant source of PFAS exposure, especially for infants and young children.
- Indoor sources (e.g., consumer products, floor waxes, stain resistant treated upholstery and carpets) contribute most to PFAS in house dust.
- It is unlikely that PFAS will penetrate plastic pipes.
- PFAS will not cause physical damage to your plumbing.