The UK government is not testing the country’s tap water for the presence of a collection of man-made chemicals, collectively known as PFAs, despite the fact that these chemicals have been linked to a range of diseases, including cancer.
According to the Guardian, people all over the world are falling ill and discovering a high presence of PFAs in their water supply, leading to lawsuits over the issue, particularly in the US.
PFAs, which are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are often called “forever chemicals” because they are designed to never break down. They are found in clothing, furniture, packaging and even cookware due to their water and grease-repellent properties.
While the newspaper does not make any suggestion about what level of PFAs might be in the UK’s tap water, it points out that, unlike the US which has a nationwide testing scheme for these chemicals, there is no such testing scheme in the country.
As a result, Dr Paul Johnston, from Greenpeace’s research laboratory at the University of Exeter, accused the UK government of “flying blind” on the issue, because it does not have data to understand the potential scale of the issue.
While it’s estimated that almost everyone in the world now has PFAs in their blood, the kinds of incidents that are resulting in legal action typically come from industrial pollution in specific areas.
If you want to improve the quality of your tap water, you could install a water ionizer in the UK, with these systems using electrolysis to eliminate contaminants and premium antioxidant levels in your water.
Although the issue with PFAs is one to be aware of, it’s important not to overly worry, with Water UK pointing out that the country has some of the highest quality tap water in the world.