ConsumerLab.com Answers  

Water Filters and Microplastics

Question:
Do water filters remove microplastics from tap water?
Water Filters for Microplastics -- water filter pitcher pouring water into glass
Answer:
Plastic pollution in drinking water is a growing concern, with recent studies finding much of the world's tap and bottled water to be contaminated with small bits of plastic known as microplastics. Traditional water filters can remove heavy metals like lead and mercury, microbial contaminants, particulates such as sand, and some filters may help to remove certain industrial chemicals, herbicides or pharmaceuticals.

We have not yet tested common, above-the-counter filters such as Brita, Pur, Propur, and Lifestraw to determine their abilities to remove microplastics from tap water. However, based on a review of their claims and filtering abilities, they should be able to clear substantial amounts of microplastics. More sophisticated filtration systems are necessary to more completely remove microplastics from tap water. See the full answer for details.

ConsumerLab will be testing home water filters for their ability to filter microplastics and other water contaminants, with results expected in early 2020.

Learn More About Microplastics:



Is it true that there are bits of plastic in drinking water and specialty salts? How concerned should I be? >>

I'm interested in using Himalayan salt. What are the health benefits with it and other specialty salts? Are there contaminants in these salts? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

Neil18531   October 15, 2019
Please test Clear2O filter pitchers. They are similar to Brita, but carbon-filtered, so they rated higher on Consumer Reports. However, as I recollect, CR did not test for microplastics.

Sandra18517   October 14, 2019
Ditto on testing berkey water filters please..

Keith18512   October 13, 2019
Here's another vote for a test of the Berkey filter system. Thanks for your service ConsumerLab!

ConsumerLab.com   October 14, 2019
Thank you Keith! We will keep your suggestion in mind.

David18477   October 2, 2019
Many get water from an in store R.O. water machine which should get everything out. We also reuse the plastic jugs over and over. Please test this process as it is used by many.

Kenneth18510   October 13, 2019
Also re-use my own plastic jugs via a Reverse Osmosis in-store water filtration system. Interested in Consumer Lab's comments & insights on this !

ConsumerLab.com   October 15, 2019
Hi Kenneth - We aren't aware of studies on microplastic exposure from plastic jugs, but, based on this study with plastic water bottles, it might be best wipe jug tops clean if repeatedly opening-closing with screw-on plastic caps.

Steve18475   October 2, 2019
Are Multipure systems on your test list? They make a range of above counter and below counter filter systems and claim filtration down to 0.5 microns.
https://www.multipure.com
I have used their filters for ~30 years but have no stake or financial interest in the company.

ConsumerLab.com   October 9, 2019
Thank you for your suggestion Steve, we will keep it in mind.

Tim and Joe18303   September 5, 2019
and oddly, both of these company's filters then filter the water into a... wait for it... plastic pitcher.

I own a countertop model water distiller. Bought it in 1995 while training for marathons (one drinks a LOT of water during such training), has worked flawlessly for me ever since - thousands of gallons have been purified in that machine.

But now I wonder... do microplastic particles evaporate with the steam? and if so, will they be caught in the carbon after-filter?

Ronnie18301   September 5, 2019
The Aquasana Clean Water Machine website says that it filters out particles above .5 microns.

Nancy18483   October 6, 2019
.5 microns is 500 nanometers. The real problem is not micro plastics, which there are many filters that will take care of much of that, it is the nanometer sized particles that are the real problem. They are absorbed through your skin, the seriousness of which has been difficult to assess. This is only a recent discovery, so while filtering down to ,05 microns (50nanometers) is awesome, don't get too comfortable thinking you are safe.

Thomas18286   September 2, 2019
Please consider testing the BERKEY systems.

ConsumerLab.com   September 4, 2019
Hi Thomas - thank you for your suggestion.

Tom18306   September 8, 2019
Please also test ceramic filter such as "Doulton Ceramic Water Filter Candle" as ceramic water filter is also a good solution when filtering water I believe. I used to use that ceramic filter till' a few years ago and it produces a good ph balanced water on top of filtering benefits. I used alkaline water testing drops to measure the ph of the ceramic filtered water and the filtered water color changes to purple blue color after 1 or 2 drops. The ph level drops over the months as the filter gets old and dirty and the water color changes slightly toward greenish blue when testing again after a few months of using the filter but still the ph level is in the safe range. Ever since I found out that most bottled water is acidic, I only drink filtered water.
I don't use them for now only because of my current living situation but I will go back to using it when I'm able to.
I have more faith in ceramic filters than those counter-top plastic water jug filers like Brita or Pur etc.

I never heard of microplastic before and have no idea that the ceramic filter will also remove microplastic particles.

So please test the Doulton ceramic filters.

Carol18513   October 13, 2019
Yes!

Ronnie18284   September 2, 2019
Aquasana Clean Water Machine, which I bought because water filtered by PUR filter had funny taste to me, is a powered countertop filter, meaning you plug it in and it forces water through a filter which is supposed to get better filtration than "passive" filters.. It is certified to meet both ANSI Standards that PUR meets plus the new standard (401 I think) for removing drugs thrown away into water sytsems that get into drinking water. I a going to look up the micron level for particulates.It does seem to me to be the best countertop filter I have had..

Stan18277   September 1, 2019
I hope you will also test Culligan filters of various types.

Jurene18500   October 13, 2019
yes, please test Culligan filters!

Maia18050   June 15, 2019
FYI: Berkey responded
" The microplastics have not been tested for so we are not able to say if they are removed or reduced or not, however the pore structure size of the microplastics are around 10 and the Berkey filters pore structure will trap anything larger than a 2 so they are more than likely being removed but we can't say for sure. Below is a list of all of the contaminants that have been tested for and what is removed and reduced and to what level. If you have any more questions please let us know."
Kindest Regards,
Jennie

Charles18035   June 12, 2019
How well would a more expensive above-counter filter, such as the Berkey, filter out these particles?

Sharon18049   June 15, 2019
Berkey states they remove viruses down to 24-26 nanometers which would be smaller than the microplastics, so logic would lean toward yes, Berkey does filter out microplastics. The other side of that is that I have not seen any studies showing the black Berkey filter and it's effect on microplastics. Until that study is done, I don't think there is a black and white answer. I have seen Berkey filter water from a muddy creek and produce a clean drinkable product; however I sure didn't have a way to test for microplastics.

James R18024   June 12, 2019
I recommend a reverse osmosis unit for many health reasons yet the neatest is that over time a gallon of R/O filtered tap water costs about $0.10/gal. I use a glass 3L jug to store the water avoiding plastic bottles.

Catherine18034   June 12, 2019
James R18204, is there any certain brand of RO filter that you recommend? I've been thinking about getting one installed.

Laura18036   June 12, 2019
Consider AquaTru. It uses three different kinds of filtration including RO, doesn't require installation, and has great customer service.

David18292   September 4, 2019
How could this good, that unit is made of plastic?

Don18041   June 13, 2019
We have been very happy with this RO + filters system, but it ain't cheap ($252 on Amazon) and it does require undersink installation.

We have no financial interest in the product or the company.

Home Master TM Undersink Reverse Osmosis System .

Stanley 18506   October 13, 2019
We use I clear, water tastes great.

Carol18515   October 13, 2019
I currently have an Ecosoft 5-stage system, because it was cheaper than replacing all 5 of the iSpring filters when it became time to do so. I liked the idea of having a new storage tank too. Got both from Amazon.

The most expensive part of getting one was the handyman's time. Mine knows his way around such things but both systems were buggers to get installed. You'll also need a lot of space for the tank and the filters under the sink.

As much as I consider an RO filter a necessity, if my filtered water has been sitting out for a day, it will have an off taste. Nothing as bad as tap water, but previously opened bottled water always tastes clean even weeks later. I guess microplastics don't have a taste to them fresh or stale.

Wendy18203   August 15, 2019
We had our well water tested before and after RO filtered and arsenic was removed. Was storing in plastic, will switch to glass.


Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted, nor will comments that exceed 2,500 characters.
For your privacy, only your first name (from your account) followed by a random number will appear with your comment. Your last name and email address will not be displayed.
Comment:

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted, nor will comments that exceed 2,500 characters.
For your privacy, only your first name (from your account) followed by a random number will appear with your comment. Your last name and email address will not be displayed.
Comment:

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment:

Your edit has been submitted and is being reviewed by ConsumerLab.com prior to publication.
This CL Answer initially posted on 6/12/2019. Last updated 8/30/2019.
ConsumerLab.com members may submit questions to CLAnswers@ConsumerLab.com. We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.

 

   BECOME A MEMBER
JOIN NOW


Product Reviews

ENCYCLOPEDIA
In addition to our product reviews our encyclopedia covers the following:

Herbs & Supplements

Conditions

Drug Interactions

Alternative Therapies

MEMBER TESTIMONIALS


Follow us on...
facebook twitter
 
 
Join |  Sign In
   
Join Us on Facebook! Join Us on Instagram! Join Us on Twitter! Join Us on YouTube! Join Us on YouTube!
Product Tests
Brands Tested
Health Conditions
Encyclopedia
CL Answers
Clinical Updates
News
Recalls & Warnings
RDAs
Where to Buy Products
Raw Materials Tests
Testing Program
How Products Were Tested
Join CL Today
Testimonials
Join Free Newsletter
Group Subscriptions
Gift Membership
About Us
The CL Seal
CL Survey
Privacy Policy
Sitemap
Contact Us/Help

©2019 ConsumerLab.com, LLC. All rights reserved. A single copy of a report may be printed for personal use by the subscriber. It is otherwise unlawful to print, download, store or distribute content from this site without permission.
ConsumerLab.com name and flask logo are both registered trademarks of ConsumerLab.com, LLC. This site is intended for informational purposes only and not to provide medical advice.