Harmful PFAS chemicals pose a worldwide issue for manufacturers and consumers. While they are difficult to remove, certain technology can be used to effectively prevent them from spreading through water. 

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a family of highly toxic human-made compounds, which are applied to a range of different products and applications. The prevalence of these chemicals is significant: they are met in the environment and the large majority of humans. At the same time, their highly persistent structure and long lifespan – giving them the ominous name “forever chemicals” – make them extremely difficult to dispose of. 

 While the risks of PFAS are still to be fully understood, there is evidence to suggest their adverse health effects on people, such as changes in the immune system. According to a study commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers, health costs from PFAS are estimated at 52–84 million euros annually in Europe. There is currently no binding regulation to prevent their use globally, but companies are already seeking alternative methods to provide lasting products safely. 


PFAS contamination affects people and industries globally 

 PFAS are widely used in the manufacturing of everyday products, including plastics, waterproof textiles, cookware and accessories. Aerospace, construction and the electronics industries, among others, have relied on them heavily. Due to the common use of PFAS in industries and humans inadvertently consuming them has led to large levels of these toxins ending up in water.

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 There are several methods being used to minimize PFAS levels in water. One of these is reverse osmosis, which entails pumping water contaminated with PFAS through semipermeable membranes and discharging contaminants with the reject flow. Another method involves ion exchange as a chemical reaction used to capture contaminants from the water stream.  

Preventing PFAS with innovative technology

In addition to reverse osmosis that filters and ion exchange resins that bind PFAS, Haarla, together with its partner Chemviron, also offers innovative activated carbon solutions to combat PFAS. Utilizing activated carbon, which is an effective adsorbent, these solutions capture and purify liquids from harmful compounds, such as PFAS. Water is poured into granular activated carbon adsorbers and released from the bottom of the vessel, removing contaminants from the stream. Simple and effective. 

 The purifying adsorbers can be applied, for example, to drinking water, wastewater and process streams. They are easy to install and quick to commission onsite, and they come in many different sizes, depending on varying needs for treatment volume. Our rental adsorbers are a cost-efficient solution for those wanting to pilot activated carbon filtration or looking for a more temporary solution. We also provide services that enable the activated carbon to be recycled and reused so that the factory personnel do not need to get their hands black with the carbon themselves. The filter is replaced with a new one, carbon already installed, and the used filter with the consumed carbon is taken back and handled by us after replacement. Due to this, our customers often stick with the service even for long-term permanent purposes. 

 Want to find out more about our water purifying solutions and full spectrum of technical services around PFAS removal? Get in touch with our experts.