Arsenic is a dangerous toxin that can be found in drinking water, particularly in well water. If you are concerned about arsenic in your water, you may be wondering if a PUR filter is effective at removing it.
None of the PUR filter models remove arsenic. Neither the PUR and PUR PLUS faucet filters, PUR PLUS pitcher filter, nor PUR basic pitcher filter can remove arsenic from drinking water.
This article will explore the effectiveness of PUR filters in treating arsenic and offer alternative methods for arsenic removal.
Learn more about what impurities PUR filters can remove from drinking water.
PUR Filters and Arsenic Removal
PUR offers various filter options:
- PUR Pitcher Filter
- PUR PLUS Pitcher Filter
- PUR PLUS Mineral Core Faucet Filter
While PUR filters are certified to reduce more contaminants than Brita’s leading pitcher filter, arsenic removal is not explicitly listed as one of the treated impurities. However, it is important to note that some PUR filters have shown promising results in arsenic removal in independent studies.
The Performance of PUR Filters
According to a study conducted by the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University, the PUR pitcher filter (model# PPT700W) was tested for its ability to remove arsenic from drinking water. The results indicated that the PUR pitcher filter removed between 26.2% and 34.8% of arsenic in drinking water.
While this removal rate is higher than Brita filters, it is still insufficient to treat arsenic-contaminated drinking water effectively. Therefore, you should NOT use a PUR pitcher to remove arsenic contamination from your drinking water.
What’s the Danger of Arsenic in Drinking Water?
Inorganic arsenic, the type commonly found in water, is a proven carcinogenic. It can cause skin, lung, and bladder cancer. Arsenic is also linked with:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Developmental problems in children
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Skin discoloration
How Does Arsenic Get in Drinking Water?
Arsenic can come from natural deposits in the earth, industrial pollution, or certain types of fertilizers. If you rely on well water, it is crucial to have your water tested for arsenic. If you use city water, your utility must comply with EPA standards, but it’s still a good idea to have your water tested for any traces of the element.
Arsenic Drinking Water Standard
The EPA has set the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) at zero for arsenic, which means that there is no allowed level of contamination considered safe. However, this standard is not enforceable. The EPA has also set the Maximum Contaminant Level at 10 parts per billion (ppb), an enforceable value considered the national drinking water standard for arsenic.
How Do PUR Filters Work
PUR filters, like other pitcher filters, use one or more water treatment methods to purify your water. These include:
- Carbon filter: activated carbon, also known as charcoal, is used to remove a wide range of contaminants, including chlorine, benzene, pesticides, and more.
- Particulate filter: these filters remove turbidity, rust, and other suspended solids from your water.
Alternatives for Arsenic Removal
Since PUR filters may not be the most effective option for arsenic removal, it is essential to consider other methods. Some of the effective methods for removing arsenic from water include:
- Reverse osmosis
- Ion exchange
- Activated alumina
FAQs About PUR Filters and Arsenic
Do Brita filters remove arsenic?
No, Brita filters do not remove arsenic. Brita filters are designed to reduce common contaminants such as chlorine, lead, and mercury, but they are not effective in removing arsenic from water.
Do ZeroWater filters remove arsenic?
Yes, ZeroWater filters are effective in removing arsenic from water. ZeroWater’s patented ion exchange technology is designed to remove virtually all dissolved solids, including arsenic, from water, making it safe and clean to drink.
Can PUR filters remove other contaminants?
Yes, PUR filters are effective at removing various contaminants, including lead, mercury, cadmium, benzene, asbestos, chlorine, particulates, copper, zinc, and certain pharmaceuticals, pesticides, and herbicides. However, it is crucial to note that arsenic removal is not explicitly mentioned.
How Often Do PUR Filters Need to Be Replaced?
PUR filters need to be replaced every two months in order to effectively reduce the arsenic levels in water. The filter should also be changed more often if you notice a decrease in flow rate, smell odd odors coming out of your tap, or if there is an increase in taste or color.
Filters can last up to six months depending on the frequency and quality of use. It’s important to regularly inspect your PUR filter cartridge so that it always performs at its best.
What is the NSF certification for arsenic?
The NSF certifies drinking water filters to standards applicable for each type of treatment option. You may notice the seal with an impressed letter/number combo, such as “NSF / ANSI 53”. These certifications indicate that your purchase will be able reduce certain chemicals or bacteria from your drinking water. None of the Brita filters have NSF certifications for treating arsenic, and it’s not clear if any PUR filters have this certification either.
What is the best way to remove arsenic from drinking water?
Reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and distillation are all effective methods for removing arsenic from drinking water. It’s important to choose a treatment method that’s right for you and your family based on your specific needs and budget. Refrigerator filters do not remove arsenic from drinking water.
PUR filters are not certified to remove arsenic. While they are effective at removing other contaminants such as lead, chlorine, and copper, they are not a reliable option for treating water contaminated with arsenic. If you are concerned about arsenic in your water, consider other methods such as reverse osmosis, ion exchange, or activated alumina.