What Are Forever Chemicals Doing in My Tap Water?

September 16, 2022

Can you imagine drinking microscopic man-made chemicals in every cup of water and knowing they can never be destroyed? Unfortunately, this is a reality. These microscopic chemicals are what we call forever chemicals. Forever chemicals are a group of manufactured, man-made chemicals that can’t be destroyed by bacteria, fire, or water.

They float around in our water, food, and personal products while producing toxic effects everywhere they go. PFAs are so indestructible that, if we tried to bury them, they would leach into the ground soil. Yikes!

ZeroWater’s 5-Stage filtration system which removes virtually all dissolved solids and is the only water filter NSF certified to reduce PFAs, lead, and other heavy metals in drinking water, could be a great solution in the future.

But for now, let’s dive deeper into what forever chemicals are, how they found their way into our water, and what we can do to reduce them.

What are the types of forever chemicals?

Forever chemicals consist of three man-made chemicals: PFAS; PFOA; PFOS–but we can refer to them all as PFAs. PFAs, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid and C8, is a group of chemicals found in items ranging from clothing and cookware to construction and aerospace materials.

They were first manufactured in 1902 by the 3M Company, a mining company based out of Minnesota. They manufactured the chemicals for 100 years, from 1902-2002. From there, PFAs spread to households in the 1940s when DuPont, a manufacturer of Teflon non-stick cookware, began incorporating more water-resistant chemicals into their products. As harmless as they may have seemed at the time, no one could have guessed their longevity in our water.

One report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that PFAs were present in the blood of 97% of Americans as of 2015. That’s because they're found in our everyday products. This includes drinking water, in the coating of the non-stick pans we cook with, on packaged food containers from the grocery store, and even in our personal care products!

Although PFAs are small, they’re not harmless. The health risks of PFAs have been extensively studied and have been linked to:

  1. Different types of cancer
  2. Weakened immunity in children
  3. Low birth weight
  4. Reproductive issues
  5. Increased cholesterol levels
  6. Weight gain

On top of that, PFAs are considered “likely carcinogenic” based on several studies reported by the EPA. Needless to say, reducing the presence of PFAs in our water, food, and personal products is a healthful choice for everyone.

How do I know if my tap water has PFAs?

There are a few simple ways to check if your tap water has PFAs. You can check using an at-home water test kit or by asking your local utility. The EPA has released recommendations for testing the presence of PFAs in drinking water in several states.

In addition, the Environmental Working Group has an interactive map of where PFAs can be found all over the United States.

No matter how you do it, being aware of how many PFAs are in your drinking water can help you make conscious steps to reduce them.

Can these forever chemicals be removed from water?

Forever chemicals can’t be removed from drinking water but they can be reduced in a fairly affordable way. Water filters are one way you can reduce your exposure to PFAs and make your tap water taste better, too.

However, not all filtration systems are the same. Research from Duke University found that most at-home two-stage water filters reduce PFAs in drinking water to some degree. But why settle for the minimum when you can maximize your filtration power?

ZeroWater’s 5-Stage filtration system removes 99.6% of TDS and is the only water filter NSF certified to reduce PFAs, lead, and other heavy metals in drinking water. You can learn more about ZeroWater’s technology here or on our Shop page.


Remember, forever chemicals never go away. They’re man-made chemicals that live on forever in our water, food, and personal products. They’ve been linked to several astonishing health issues that would make any person shudder. Even though we can’t permanently remove them, we can certainly reduce their presence in our lives.

By using a powerful filtration system like ZeroWater’s 5-Stage Filtration Pitchers and Dispensers, you will dramatically reduce the presence of forever chemicals in your water. This one simple step can make a huge difference in reducing your exposure to forever chemicals and protect your family’s health.