Our Statement and Guidance on PFAS Chemicals
CUD provides safe, high-quality drinking water that meets all state and federal drinking water standards. We understand the emergence of PFAS as a potential contaminant in our water, and we constantly monitor our drinking water throughout the treatment process and distribution system. Providing customers with safe, reliable drinking water is our top priority. To ensure the quality of our drinking water, we go above and beyond regulatory requirements to deliver the best possible water.
What are PFAS?
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, are a group of more than 3,000 man-made chemicals that have been manufactured for a variety of consumer and industrial uses in the United States since the 1940s. PFAS provide grease and water-resistance properties to carpets, cookware, clothing, food packaging, cosmetics, and other common consumer products. PFAS also have many industrial applications and are used to make certain types of firefighting foams.
For more information on what it is and where it comes from, visit the Tennessee Department of Environment Conservation (TDEC). You can also visit the EPA for more information.
How might I be exposed to PFAS?
PFAS can be in air, soil, or water. You or your family could be exposed to PFAS in air, indoor dust, food, water or by using some products. The main source of exposure to PFAS would in food or water containing these chemicals. For more information on potential exposure or possible health effects, visit:
What is CUD doing to reduce or remove PFAS?
• We are determining the levels of PFAS in our water with additional monitoring and identifying any patterns.
• We are working to research and understand established and emerging treatment options.
• We are also developing practical and feasible strategies to reduce levels of PFAS as EPA develops and finalizes its future drinking water standards.
What you can do
Health experts advise the following steps:
• Do not switch to plastic bottled water (Consumer Reports tested popular brands and found PFAS)
• Avoid using waterproof /stain-resistant textiles and clothing that contain PFAS
• Stop using PFAS-containing food-contact materials such as take-out containers
TIP: transfer food out of packaging as soon as you get it. Avoid reheating food in takeout containers, because both heat and time increase the likelihood of PFAS transferring from wrappers to food.
• Avoid microwave popcorn which relies on PFAS to create the nonstick surface inside the bag
• Avoid most nonstick cookware, as they may be made with PTFE, a PFAS.
• Replace water filters to reduce and prevent contamination build up.
• Research and verify if home water filters remove PFAS.
• Avoid water-resistant products, and any product with PTFE or “fluoro-” in the ingredients, to help limit exposure; the Environmental Working Group database identifies various shampoos, dental floss, makeup, and other personal-care products that do and do not contain PFAS.