What Are PFAS?
What it is, where it comes from, and what are the impacts on drinking water.
Frequently asked questions about PFAS
Nearly everyone has low levels of PFOS and PFOA in their blood, likely from their widespread use in consumer products and food packaging.
PFAS can remain in the human body for a long time, and can build up over time. Because of this, even low levels in drinking water can be a health risk if exposure is long term, but having PFAS exposure or PFAS in your body does not mean you will necessarily have health problems now or in the future.
The advisory guidelines by the EPA and DPH are set based on daily exposure to the most vulnerable consumers. If you are a sensitive consumer, including pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants, you may choose to minimize your exposure by not drinking water that has found PFAS in water quality testing. Please be advised, however, that PFAS have been found in some bottled water. Ensure that your bottled water supply is PFAS-free or that you’re utilizing additional at home water treatment measures, as outlined below.
If you are concerned about your exposure, you may want to use tap water with non-detect PFAS levels for drinking, cooking, and making infant formula. Even though the risk is very low, you may also want to use water with non-detect PFAS levels for brushing your teeth, washing produce, and cleaning items like dentures or pacifiers. Bottled water has also been found to contain PFAS; please check with the bottled water brand and/or your physician.
It is okay to bathe and shower in water that contains PFAS, as these compounds are not well absorbed through the skin. Boiling water does not lower PFAS levels and is not recommended as it may slightly increase the concentration of PFAS in the water.
You can also use an at home water treatment system that is certified to remove PFAS by an independent testing group such as National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Water Quality Association or the CSA group.
If you have specific health concerns related to PFAS exposure, consult your doctor or health professional.
As EPA, DEP, and the Maine legislature develop further testing protocols, assessment guidelines, and standards, Maine Water will continue to meet any requirements for monitoring and testing of our systems.
Beginning in late 2019, we voluntarily and proactively began testing for PFAS in our drinking water sources using a tiered approach risk assessment. Results associated with this testing can be found at: https://www.mainewater.com/water-quality