You can take the following actions to limit your exposure:
- Rinse all produce with PFAS-free water and remove any residual soil and co-compost prior to eating
- Wash your hands after working in the garden
- Limit growing and eating root vegetables, like carrots, in PFAS-impacted soils or co-compost
- Peel potatoes and other root vegetables if grown and eaten
- Add high organic carbon sources to soil, like fertilizer and manure, that do not contain PFAS
- Limit using PFAS-impacted water, if practical
Want to learn more about PFAS in irrigation water?
A recent study modelled how much PFAS was found in vegetables following watering with PFAS-impacted water. The study found that using water with the USEPA lifetime health advisory for PFOS and PFOA of 70 nanograms per Liter (ng/L) [or parts per trillion, ppt] would result in daily exposure below what state and federal agencies deemed high risk, for all age groups.3 In other words, water that the USEPA says is safe to drink is also safe to water ones plants with.
- Ghisi, R., Vamerali, T. and Manzetti, S., 2019. Accumulation of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in agricultural plants: a review. Environmental Research, 169, pp.326-341.
- Brown, J.B., Conder, J.M., Arblaster, J.A. and Higgins, C.P., 2020. Assessing human health risks from per-and polyfluoroalkyl substance (PFAS)-impacted vegetable consumption: a tiered modeling approach. Environmental Science & Technology, 54(23), pp.15202-15214.