How can I reduce my exposure?

Because PFAS are found at low levels in some foods and in the environment (air, water, soil, etc.) completely eliminating exposure is unlikely. However, certain actions can be taken to reduce your overall exposure to PFAS, including the following.

  • If your public water supply or private well water has PFAS levels at or above the DHS health advisory levels, use an alternative water source for drinking and preparing foods which absorb (rice, oatmeal) or have water as a main ingredient (soups, coffee, tea), and preparing infant formula. 
    1. Use purified or filtered bottled water,
    2. Filtered water from a pitcher, sink, or whole-house filter system with a certified filter technology. A granular activated carbon (GAC) filter that meets ANSI/NSF Standard 53 or a reverse osmosis (RO) filter with an included GAC component can filter out PFAS. These numbers will be printed on the filter and/or packaging. More information about filtering out PFAS from drinking water is available here: Reducing PFAS in Your Drinking Water.  
    3. Other sources of water that have been tested for PFAS and do not have levels above health advisories. 
  • Follow fish consumption advisories. By following the consumption advisories currently in place where you fish, you will reduce potential health risks not only from common fish contaminants such as PCBs and mercury, but also from PFAS. More information can be found on DNR's fish advisory page and by using the DNR's online query tool to check advisories in places where you fish. The DNR's current fish consumption advisories are also available in Choose Wisely: A Health Guide for Eating Fish in Wisconsin [PDF]
  • Vacuum your home routinely, preferably using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Soil containing traces of PFAS can be tracked into the home from outside. In addition, dust can contain PFAS from common household products, like stain resistant carpeting or water repellent clothing. Vacuuming reduces the overall amount of dirt and dust in a home.
  • Limit contact with consumer products containing PFAS*. These may include:
    1. some grease-resistant paper, fast food containers/wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes and candy wrappers;
    2. nonstick cookware;
    3. stain resistant coatings used on carpets, upholstery and other fabrics;
    4. water resistant clothing;
    5. cleaning products;
    6. personal care products (shampoo, dental floss) and cosmetics (nail polish, eye makeup); and
    7. paints, varnishes and sealants.

*Recent federal efforts to remove PFAS from consumer products have reduced the likelihood of exposure in consumer products; however, some products may still contain them. If you have questions or concerns about products you use in your home, contact the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-638-2772.

Show All Answers

1. What are PFAS?
2. Are PFAS regulated by the federal or state government?
3. I keep hearing different numbers referenced for Wisconsin’s PFOA and PFOS drinking water advisories. What does this mean for me, and how do I keep my family safe?
4. What are the health effects of PFAS?
5. How are we exposed to PFAS?
6. How can I reduce my exposure?
7. Should I be worried about dermal (skin) exposure to PFAS?
8. Can I use my tap water for typical household activities?
9. How can I safely feed an infant?
10. Can a medical test show whether I’ve been exposed to PFAS?
11. What is the average amount of PFAS in a person's blood?
12. Who can I contact about health questions related to PFAS?
13. Other Resources for PFAS Information