PFAS in humans
Does my brita remove PFAS?
Brita water filter pitchers use Granular Activated Carbon filters to reduce impurities from water, such as chlorine, taste and odor. These filters are inexpensive to manufacture and not specifically designed to remove PFAS (Forever Chemicals) or water contaminants like heavy metals and pesticides. We could not find any available testing on the Brita filter to remove PFAS. With PFAS, you cannot see or taste them, but there are more than 12,000 chemicals including GenX, PFBS, PFHxS, PFBA, PFOS, PFPA, PFHxA, PFHpA, PFOA, & PFDA, that could be lurking in your drinking water, causing everything from birth defects to cancer.
Broadly known as PFAS, short for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, these are dangerous man-made toxins that never break down, build up in our blood and organs, and could damage the health of millions. They come from persistent manufactured chemicals used in industrial applications and consumer products (ex: Teflon Non Stick Pans, Gor-Tex, Flame Resistance Children's Pajamas, etc.). By some estimates, 200 million Americans nationwide are likely drinking water polluted with these chemicals, and PFAS has been detected in the blood of 98% of our population.
There are several types of water filters that can effectively remove PFAS from tap water, including: Reverse Osmosis Filters: These filters use a membrane to remove chemicals, including PFAS, from water. These filters can be expensive to change the filters are require a plumber to put under your sink and will take up most of your under counter space below your sink. The other down side of a Reverse Osmosis system is for every 1 gallon of water they produce, they waste 5 gallons of discharged water so they are not environmentally friendly.
Carbon Block Filters: These filters use thousands and thousands of layers of compressed activated carbon to adsorb chemicals, including pfas, from drinking water. These filters are generally more expensive to manufacture and filter water slower than a Granular Activated Carbon filter like Brita but with this added time, you get a lot more contaminant removal like removing PFOA/PFAS from your tap water.
Carbon Block Filters are generally less expensive than Reverse Osmosis Filters, easier to install and do not waste water. It's important to note that not all water filters are created equal. It's best to check with the manufacturer to see if a filter is specifically designed to remove PFAS. At Epic Water Filters, we love working with American made solid carbon block and carbon fiber block filters for high levels of contaminant removal and have tested all of our filters for the removal of the two most common PFAS forever chemicals, PFOS & PFOA. See our full line of PFAS testing here.
DOES BRITA FILTER PFAS
In a comprehensive evaluation conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to assess the effectiveness of water filters in removing PFAS, two variants from Brita underwent rigorous testing: the standard Brita filter and the Brita Elite. These filters are renowned for their popularity and widespread use, with the standard Brita filter being a top choice for budget-conscious consumers due to its affordability and economical filter replacements.
Despite its cost-effectiveness, EWG's testing revealed that the standard Brita filter only achieved a modest 66% reduction rate for PFAS in water. While still beneficial, this pales in comparison to the impressive 98% PFAS removal achieved by the Epic Pure water filter, which sets a high standard for contaminant removal. On the other hand, the Brita Elite, utilizing a different filter media, showed a significant drop in overall PFAS reduction, reaching only 22%.
This notable decrease in efficiency raises concerns about the Brita Elite's ability to effectively address PFAS contamination in water. Furthermore, EWG's independent testers discovered a critical issue with the Brita Elite's sealing capabilities, leading to potential leaks and compromising the overall performance of the filtration system. This flaw might explain the Brita Elite's subpar results, ultimately ranking it as the water filter with the lowest overall PFAS reduction among all those tested. As consumers seek reliable solutions for clean drinking water, being aware of the efficacy of different filters becomes paramount in making informed choices for their health and well-being.
It is important to filter tap water in the United States for several reasons: Contamination: Tap water can become contaminated with various pollutants and chemicals, such as pesticides, microplastics, PFAS, heavy metals and bacteria. Filtering the water can remove these contaminants and make it safe to drink. Taste and odor: Tap water can have an unpleasant taste or odor due to the presence of chlorine and other chemicals used in the treatment process. Filtering the water can remove these chemicals and improve the taste and odor of the water.
Health concerns: Drinking contaminated water can lead to various health issues, such as gastrointestinal illnesses, developmental issues in children, and cancer. Filtering the water can reduce the risk of these health concerns. Microplastics: Microplastics are small particles of plastic that are less than 5 millimeters in size and can be as small as 0.02–0.2 µm. These particles can come from a variety of sources, including plastic bottles and personal care products. Tap water in the US may contain microplastics, filtering tap water using carbon block or reverse osmosis filters can help remove these particles. While the water provided by US municipalities is highly regulated and "considered" safe to drink, it is always good to take extra precautions to ensure the water we drink is clean and safe.
PFAS: PFAS has been manufactured since the 1940s in industrial quantities. It is also formed by the degradation of precursors such as some fluorotelomers. The primary manufacturer of PFAS – 3M (known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company from 1902 to 2002) – began a production phase-out in 2002 in response to concerns by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 3M and eight other companies agreed to gradually phase them out by 2015. It’s important to note that only a handful of contaminants are required to be included in annual Water Quality Reports and that there are hundreds of potentially harmful unregulated contaminants that aren’t accounted for by the EPA.
PFAS in cooking water
It is important to filter your cooking water as chemicals like PFAS, microplastics, heavy metals and pesticides can be infused into your food that you are preparing for you and your family. The cooking water you use from your tap may contain PFAS and boiling water will do nothing to remove this chemical. Filtering can help remove these chemicals. Additionally, using filtered water for cooking can also help prevent scaling and mineral buildup in appliances such as coffee makers and kettles, which can prolong their lifespan.
Are you ready to change the water you drink? Epic Water Filters has a wide range of American made water filtration products to fit your needs. Select the product that fits best for you and start reaping the health benefits of filtered water.