The Truth About 'Forever Chemicals' in Your Water

Written by Abigail Jolly
June 17, 2024 | Reading time 5 minutes


To answer plainly, yes. Numerous brands contain PFAS, aka forever chemical, concentrations exceeding 1 part per trillion, surpassing the recommendations set by the Environmental Working Group.

But that doesn't end the conversation, let's learn more about the important facts surrounding the ingredients found in commercial sparkling water brands.

At Soda Sense, we believe that informed choices lead to healthier living. As advocates for transparency and control over what we consume, we encourage everyone to become familiar with the ingredients found on commercial labels so they feel empowered to consume with a clear mind.

What are PFAS?

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a group of man-made chemicals that have been in use since the 1940s. These chemicals are very persistent in the environment and in the human body, meaning they don’t break down and they can accumulate over time.

PFAS are used in a wide range of consumer products, such as non-stick pans, water-repellent clothing, pizza boxes, and even some canned seltzers due to their resistance to grease, oil, water, and heat.

There is evidence that exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes.

Seltzer water brands that contain PFAS

pfas in sparkling water

In a report ran in 2020 by Consumer Reports, numerous sparkling water brands were tested for PFAS in their waters. The numbers below alongside each brand represent parts per trillion:

  • Perrier Natural Sparkling Mineral Water (1.1)
  • La Croix Natural Sparkling Water (1.16)
  • Canada Dry Lemon Lime Sparkling Seltzer Water (1.24)
  • Poland Spring Zesty Lime Sparkling Water (1.66)
  • Bubly Blackberry Sparkling Water (2.24)
  • Polar Natural Seltzer Water (6.41)
  • Topo Chico Natural Mineral Water (9.76)

Note: it is recommended for products to have less than 1 part per trillion.

PFAS in soda

The presence of PFAS in sodas has become an escalating concern as investigations into these harmful chemicals persist. They are utilized in the lining of soda cans to mitigate corrosion and leaks, but minute amounts of these chemicals can permeate into the beverage itself.

Elevated levels of these compounds can give rise to a range of health issues, including liver damage, elevated cholesterol, and even certain forms of cancer.

The situation becomes even more concerning due to the lack of awareness among consumers. Many soda companies do not provide transparency regarding their use of these chemicals, and the FDA does not enforce mandatory testing or reporting.

Related read: What Are the Best Alternatives to Soda?

pfas in sparkling water

What are the lasting health effects of PFAS?

Some studies have shown that PFAS have the potential to affect the growth, learning, and behavior of infants and older children. It can also lower a woman's chance of getting pregnant, interfere with the body's natural hormones, elevate cholesterol levels, and affect the immune system.

Long-term effects in extreme circumstances include an increase in the risk of cancer, particularly kidney and testicular cancers.

It's important to note that the amount and duration of exposure can significantly influence the severity of these effects.

Let's break some of these effects down further so we can fully understand PFAS impact:

Liver Damage

High PFAS exposure can elevate liver enzymes, indicating potential liver damage. This may result in diminished liver functionality, affecting digestion and detoxification processes.

Harmful to Infants and Children

PFAS pose a significant risk to infants and children, disrupting the body's ability to produce antibodies. This interference compromises the immune system, increasing children's vulnerability to infections.

Furthermore, there is compelling evidence suggesting a correlation between PFAS exposure and the development of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in children.

Cardiovascular Diseases

Increasing evidence shows that extended exposure to PFAS may elevate the risk of developing high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

Research suggests a link between elevated PFAS levels and higher cholesterol levels, which is a significant risk factor for heart conditions.

Why make the switch to at-home soda makers?

There are numerous compelling reasons to switch to an at-home soda maker:

1. Soda makers allow you to control the ingredients

Creating sparkling water at home empowers you to manage the ingredients, sidestep unnecessary additives, and select both your water source and the desired level of carbonation.

This autonomy also opens up the opportunity to explore natural flavors, guaranteeing a refreshing beverage that aligns with your taste and health preferences.

2. Soda makers are more environmentally friendly

Opting for a home soda maker and Soda Sense's CO2 canister refill service cuts down on waste and carbon emissions through bottle reuse and reduced packaging.

This eco-conscious decision promotes a healthier lifestyle and contributes to global sustainability.

3. Soda makers are more cost-effective

Investing in a soda maker can seem expensive initially but proves to be more economical in the long run, with homemade sparkling water costing about half as much per liter as store-bought brands.

The additional savings from Soda Sense's CO2 canister refill service further enhance its cost-effectiveness, making it a smart investment for health, wallet, and the environment.

Related read: Soda Machine vs. Canned Seltzer Water: Which Is More Affordable?

4. Soda makers are convenient and easy to use

Soda makers offer a user-friendly way to create freshly carbonated water in seconds, eliminating the need to buy heavy bottles, with the bonus of adding your favorite flavors.

They are easy to maintain with reusable bottles and simple CO2 canister replacement, especially with services like Soda Sense that provide hassle-free CO2 deliveries and exchanges.

Further read: How to make sparkling water at home

pfas in sparkling water

In conclusion

Understanding how to read and interpret sparkling water labels is essential for making informed choices about what you consume. By recognizing potentially harmful ingredients and opting for products with transparent labeling, you can better manage your health.

At-home soda makers offer a controlled, eco-friendly, and cost-effective alternative to commercial sparkling waters. By making your own sparkling water, you ensure the quality of your drink and contribute to a healthier lifestyle and a more sustainable planet.

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