Q&A: Tackling PFAS-contaminated water with technology

Amid growing evidence of the health risks associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a wave of technology companies are developing strategies to remove toxic PFAS chemicals from drinking water and wastewater.

The moves come as the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to crack down on PFAS pollution, particularly on two of the most widely used PFAS, which have been linked to an array of health problems.

Cleaning up the contamination is a significant challenge, however; one recent study warned that PFAS contamination is so ubiquitous globally that advanced technological intervention is needed.

One tech company seeking to tackle the problem, 374Water, has created waste processors called AirSCWOs that use an oxidation method to convert toxic sludge – including PFAS-contaminated waste streams – into clean water.