PFAS are human-made chemicals that have been used in a variety of industrial and consumer products. The presence of these chemicals in the water can be linked to various health concerns. Due to this reason, it is essential to remove them.
And we all know that, one of the best ways to treat contaminated water is reverse osmosis. Due to this reason, people often ask whether reverse osmosis can remove PFAS or not?
In this blog post, I am going to address this question in proper detail; it will be quite worth reading this article for you.
What are PFAS?
As I have already mentioned in the introduction, these are man-made chemicals that have been used in a variety of industrial and consumer products. These chemicals are persistent in the environment and have been commonly found in soil, water, and air.
According to medical experts, PFAS are a serious concern as they can be linked to a number of dangerous diseases, including:
- Liver damage
- Development issues
Now, that you have understood what actually PFAS is…it’s time to head towards the main topic.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove PFAS?
The answer is Yes. Reverse osmosis filters are at effective removing PFAS from water, as they uses a semi-permeable membrane to filter out various contaminants, including PFAS, ensuring clean and safe drinking water.
How Much of PFAS Is Removed by Reverse Osmosis?
Reverse osmosis often gets rid of 90–99% of PFAS in water. Depending on the type, model, and number of filtering stages employed, a reverse osmosis system’s ability to get rid of a specific proportion of PFAS will vary.
Purchasing and testing a reverse osmosis system is one of the best techniques to ensure that it is effective against Polyfluoroalkyl Substances. However, the reverse osmosis method typically gets rid of 90–99% of PFAS.
How Do Reverse Osmosis Work to Remove PFAS?
Even while pushing the water across the membrane speeds up the filtration process, it still prevents tiny particles such as PFAS from getting through.
Reverse osmosis is a component of a system that removes PFAS from the water supply and produces a filtrate. A reject stream known as the concentrate is created when each of the rejected ions and PFAS are absorbed into it. The EPA claims that reverse osmosis filtration can get rid of a number of PFAS with up to 99% efficiency.
Imagine it as a window screen preventing insects out of your home. Larger insects are kept out of the screen, and your air is filtered by it; tiny insects can pass through the screen’s threads. RO membranes have tiny holes in them.
There are no accumulating issues as time passes, and sometimes Polyfluoroalkyl Substances are big enough to get through because you cannot see them. The membrane remains effective even after an entire year because it’s continuously washed off to the concentration.
2 Types of Reverse Osmosis System for Removal of PFAS:
Numerous solutions are available to you, such as whole-house systems and point-of-use systems. POU RO systems are small and installed directly beneath your kitchen sink. In comparison, whole-house water filters ensure clean drinking water across your home by treating all the water as it comes.
1. Point of Use RO Systems:
A point-of-use reverse osmosis system is usually fitted as a filter beneath the kitchen faucet to purify drinking water. The system releases highly brine Polyfluoroalkyl Substances straight into the sewer, providing you with clean water that you can obtain straight from the system.
Moreover, various cartridges are used in a point-of-use reverse osmosis system, including particle filters, carbon filters, and membrane cartridges. In addition, tankless reverse osmosis systems are a good choice for smaller residences with constrained storage spaces because they do not require a tank.
2. Whole House RO systems:
Whole house RO systems are set up where the water source enters the structure, purifying most of the water entering your residence. These systems include an RO membrane cartridge, a sediment filter, a prefilter, and sometimes a single carbon postfilter.
Furthermore, whole-house RO systems offer further defense against PFAS and other pollutants by guaranteeing pure water at each tap and sink in your home. These systems are typically superfluous, and they are more costly compared to bigger point-of-use systems.
Now, let’s get familiar with some of the most often-asked questions about this topic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a reverse osmosis process?
Basically, reverse osmosis is a water treatment process that involves forcing the water to pass through the semipermeable membrane to remove a variety of contaminants from the water. The membrane only allows good water molecules to pass through, and capture all the toxic contaminants in it.
Why there is a concern about PFAS in drinking water?
According to the research I have done, PFAS can accumulate in the environment and also in the human body with time. And continuous exposure to PFAS has been linked to various health issues like cancer, development issues, and many more.
The widespread use of PFAS has led to their presence in tap or regular water sources, which has raised concerns about its potential health effects.
Is it completely safe to drink water treated with reverse osmosis for PFAS removal?
Yes…it is completely safe to drink water treated with reverse osmosis for PFAS removal. However, to avoid any issues, it is essential to properly maintain the RO filter that is treating the PFAS-affected water.
Is reverse osmosis the only way to treat PFAS in water?
No, there are multiple other ways as well through which you can remove PFAS from water. The ways include ion exchange, activated carbon filtration, etc.
PFAS are human-made chemicals that can pose health risks to human health, if consumed regularly through water. Due to their serious health consequences, people often ask whether reverse osmosis can remove them or not. The answer is reverse osmosis can efficiently remove PFAS from the water; I have explained the detailed procedure in this article.