After a long day at the park in the heat, Orak poured himself a glass of water. Felix heard the water filter whir as the glass filled up. Verum and Scorch leaned on the kitchen counter, waiting for Orak to pour them a glass too.
“This glass of water reminds me to share with you an interesting and important update,” said Felix, as he joined Verum and Orak at the kitchen counter.”
“News? Related to water filtering?” said a surprised Orak.
“Yes,” exclaimed Felix, “Recently, the chemists (those who study the substances that make up matter) at Northwestern University in Illinois, United States (US), found a way to destroy harmful chemicals that are always found in water and are not safe.
The PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have become a major concern in the past couple of decades. PFAS are commonly found in things like non-stick cookware. There are different classes of PFAS. They can seep into drinking water, causing harm to human bodies. The US Environmental Protection Agency has marked several PFAS as unsafe.”
“PFAS,” interrupted Scorch, as she looked into her glass, “But we just filtered the water.”
“We can filter PFAS from water but PFAS don’t really leave water even after filtering. Do you guys know that even fire, water, and bacteria cannot kill these chemicals? Even burying is not an option,” Felix scared Scorch, Verum, and Orak.
“I don’t want to drink this water,” Scorch put her glass away from herself, scrunching her nose and shoulders.
“But that’s the news, Scorch,” Felix patted her shoulders and in a relaxing manner, added, “The chemists found a way to remove PFAS. They heated the PFAS in common and regular chemicals found in products such as soap and painkillers. After heating, the strong bond of the PFAS broke and the remains were found to be harmless. This is a major breakthrough”
“That is a simple and inexpensive way!” Scorch exclaimed in awe.
“Indeed. The US has identified more than 12,000 different PFAS compounds and this new study also gives researchers hope for finding ways to destroy the PFAS and their negative effects,” Felix remarked.
“That is amazing! Looks like we are getting closer to freeing our surroundings of harmful chemicals” Scorch said, beaming.