What is the risk of drinking rainwater?

The rainwater that some people collect for their everyday usage is not safe to drink, and we will discuss why that is the case in today's post.

What is the risk of drinking rainwater?
The potential hazards of consuming rainwater. Photo by jony Y / Unsplash

There is something about seeing rain that causes human beings to rejoice and even raise their heads and drink the drops that fall from the sky. There are people who, with the best intentions, collect rainwater for their daily use, however, it is not a good idea to use it for drinking; today we will explain why.

According to Cristóbal Chaidez Quiroz, an academic at the Center for Research in Food and Development (CIAD), the consumption of rainwater could be a health risk, because the so-called "forever chemicals" or PFAS have been detected in it.

Perfluoroalkylated and polyfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS), according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "are a group of chemical agents that includes PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many others that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the world since the 1940s. Of these chemicals, PFOA, PFOS, GenX, and many others have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries around the world since 1940. Of these chemical agents, PFOA and PFOS have been the most widely produced and studied."

Chaidez Quiroz, who is the general director of the National Laboratory for Food Safety Research (Laniia), explained that there is scientific evidence that PFASs do not degrade and can accumulate over time, and have been associated as a cause of infertility, cancer, and developmental delays in children.

PFASs are found in water, soil, air, and food. They are also in paper/cardboard food containers, fast food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, cardboard take-out containers, and pet food bags, as they are intended to prevent oil and grease from food from leaching through the packaging.

The food safety expert explained that PFASs continue to be produced and are present in most commercial and industrial products. He added that to take care of our health, the installation of water treatment at home (for example, activated carbon-based filters) that are certified to reduce PFAS levels should be considered.

Finally, the academic of the Regional Coordination of CIAD in Culiacán added that a good recommendation is to use metal and glass containers for food transportation, and if we want to know if we have an excess of PFAS in our organism, we can go to a laboratory and request a chromatographic analysis to know the levels present in the blood (serum). However, there is no treatment to expel these substances from the body, so the best we can do is to avoid exposure to these compounds.