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Our water filters aren’t removing as many toxins as they should

The water coming into our homes is supposed to be filtered by our local governments prior to reaching us. Unfortunately, toxins like Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) often make it through the filtering process. This leaves the onus on Americans to purchase their own home water filters. According to a new study though, many of the aftermarket home water filters just aren’t getting the job done when it comes to keeping toxins out of our drinking water.

PFAS toxins, also known as forever chemicals, have been known to lower pregnancy rates, affect infant growth, immune systems, and interfere with our natural hormones. A recent study published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology Letters sought to see just how effective the water filters we buy for our homes are. That includes whole house systems, refrigerator and faucet-mounted styles, as well as pitcher and countertop water filters. Researchers studied 76 point-of-use filters and 13 point-of-entry filters. Saying the results were less than desirable would be an understatement. According to Professor Heather Stapleton, professor of environmental health at Duke University, the effectiveness of these in home water water filters varied widely, “and in some cases actually increased PFAS levels in the water.”

The news was not all bad though, because researchers were able to point to one type of filter that actually does a good job of filtering out PFAS, reverse osmosis aka two stage filters. While under-sink reverse osmosis filters are more costly, the job they do filtering harmful toxins is second to none. Their study found that reverse osmosis filters eliminated 94% of PFAS toxins. Compare that to standard activated-carbon filters that only removed 74% of PFAS toxins, and you can see there’s some significant gains to be made in protecting the health of our families.

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