News of a long-standing chemical spill into North Carolina's Cape Fear River first surfaced in June 2017. Citizens were unaware that a very dangerous commercial chemical had gotten into their drinking water supply until that point. Without being informed of the chemical's presence, let alone the potential health concerns and how to get rid of it, they had been drinking the polluted water, giving it to their pets, and utilizing it for preparing food and making beverages, among other things.
GenX is one of the latest produced substances that are called fluoro chemicals, were found to be present in the water at harmful levels only after Chemours, a chemical firm, and analyzed the homeowners' water wells. Further research revealed levels of GenX that were as much as thirty times greater than North Carolina's current wellness objective in several individual drinking water wells along the Cape Fear River.
Studies eventually showed that the Chemours site has been discharging sewage carrying GenX and other fluoro chemicals into the neighboring Cape Fear River, which supplies drinking water to approximately 250,000 individuals downriver, for over thirty years. There is more dangerous chemical that may be present in drinking water and the natural world.
GenX Chemical: what is it?
GenX is brand’s name for a substance that DuPont first used in 2009 to substitute the fluorochemical perfluorooctanoic acid. Teflon, a non-stick chemical covering for kitchenware that was produced for decades using PFOA, has been phased out because of health concerns. Due to the discontinuation of C8, DuPont created GenX as a replacement detergent. GenX is a member of a wider class of synthetic chemicals called per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds. PFAS are difficult to degrade because they have carbon and fluorine chains that are firmly connected.
Their special quality has given them the moniker forever chemicals. They are now a vital component of many common consumer goods, such as non-stick cooking utensils, stain-resistant flooring, water-resistant apparel, and containers for food. However, this durability has a drawback when it is released into the atmosphere, the chemicals don't break down rapidly; instead, they persist. Additionally, they accumulate in our systems after ingestion.
When Do GenX Chemicals Enter Water Supply?
At the locations where they are produced, used, discarded, or spilt, GenX compounds enter into the natural world. Runoff from thunderstorms can carry these contaminants and bring them into surrounding surface waters. They may also move into groundwater by penetrating the soil.
Waste from industry disposal is a different path. Allowing sewage with PFAS compounds to enter a water body immediately through a sewer pipe, directly via an effluent discharge, or indirectly through an opening or spill is a typical practise for industries and chemical producers. They may stay in the water for a long time since PFAS are durable and difficult for sunshine or other natural processes to break down.
When these polluted water sources are used as the main source of drinking water, this creates a concern. GenX compounds may show up in the water you drink if a public water supply or a personal well receives its water from an above-ground or underground water origin that has been polluted with them and the water has not been properly treated for removing them. When you consume water that has been tainted, the chemicals may enter your body.
What Impacts Do GenX Chemicals Have on Good Health?
The impact of GenX on human wellness is still mostly unknown. The first human medical research has been launched by scientists in North Carolina, but if previous studies on humans are any indication, it might take months or years to finish. Nevertheless, previous studies on GenX in mammals may be able to provide some insight into the potential health implications of GenX consumption in people.
GenX consumption resulted in genetic defects in animal models, including faster male sexual maturation, reduced glandular creation, and postponed development of bones. Other impacts of GenX consumption included alterations to the liver, a weakened immune system, lowered thyroid gland hormone objectives, and a rise in the kidneys. Leydig cell tumors have been observed to occur more frequently in the testicles of male rats, however, it is unknown if human beings are susceptible to these tumors. Male rats have also been found to have a rise in pancreas tumors. Research on animal toxicology is a useful place to start when figuring out what GenX might do to your health. To fully grasp the significance to human health, scientists will need to conduct further research on humans.
How to eliminate GenX from Water for Drinking
GenX cannot yet be removed from water by many wastewater treatment plants' basic water treatment technologies. GenX filtering techniques are the subject of continuing research, and additional data will be made available as it becomes available. However, preliminary studies indicate the most effective way to remove GenX from water is with a reverse osmosis (RO) filtration system. GenX cannot be eliminated by water filtration using activated carbon or charcoal that is activated.
As a result, we strongly advise that you get a reverse osmosis water filter system and implement it. Even if your water is PFAS-free, a system like this will assist guard against potential exposure to PFAS in the future. One of the best RO devices for removing GenX and other PFAS from tap water is a reverse osmosis filter. In their 4-stage procedure, they blend reverse osmosis with carbon filtering to get rid of lead, arsenic, chlorine, fluoride, and many other impurities that are frequently found in drinking water, as well as harmful chemicals like GenX, PFOA, and PFOS. The filter systems are point-of-use devices, which mean they clean the water at particular locations around your house. They can also create up to 75 gallons of cleaned up, PFAS-free water each day and fit neatly beneath practically every kitchen sink.