The truth behind RO water filters and microplastics
- Water filters are frequently used to remove dangerous impurities from drinking water, such as chlorine and other chemicals.
- In recent investigations, however, it has been shown that RO water filters may also catch microplastics, which would otherwise be consumed by humans if they were to enter our food systems.
- This is a concerning problem since there are currently no laws governing the amount of these particles that may be present in bottled water or tap water before it is deemed unfit for human consumption, which is a dangerous situation.
- What should customers do in this situation?
- Let’s have a look and see!
- Before we get started, let’s address the following question: Do reverse osmosis water filters eliminate microplastics from the water supply?
- Yes, most RO filtration systems are capable of removing micro-plastics, but not all of them are.
- The reverse osmosis filtration system combined with a carbon pre-filter is the most effective filtering technology for eliminating micro-plastics.
- While the carbon pre-filters remove chlorine, silt, rust, and other impurities from the water, the reverse osmosis membranes, with their small holes, successfully eliminate micro-plastics!
- The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of microplastics, including where they may be found, how reverse osmosis filters remove microplastics, the best reverse osmosis systems for removing microplastics, and what you can do to lessen your plastic footprint.
- We will also look at microplastics, which may be discovered in bottled water and tap water, as well as the possible health problems linked with microplastics in general.
What are microplastics?
- Microplastics are minute plastic fragments that are either made or formed as a result of the breakdown of bigger plastic components.
- Microplastics are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- In spite of this, the majority of microplastics identified in drinking water sources are less than 5 millimeters in size.
- That means, it is less than the breadth of a single human hair in diameter.
- Over 8 trillion micro-plastic particles are expected to be in the world’s seas, according to current estimates.
- Because these polluted waterways provide the majority of our drinking water, it is critical to understand how reverse osmosis systems remove micro-plastics.
How do microplastics originate?
- Despite the fact that microplastics can originate from a range of different sources, the ocean is the most common source of microplastics.
- It is possible for plastic particles to block our streams and seas, affecting both the animals that dwell in them and ourselves.
- Microplastics are also produced as a result of the decomposition of larger pieces of plastic waste.
- In landfills and seas, for example, when a water bottle or other disposable plastic gets broken down into tiny bits as a result of exposure to wind, rains, sunshine, and other environmental factors These microscopic particles degrade over time to form microplastics, which can pollute our drinking water supplies.
- Microplastics are produced as a result of the natural breakdown of plastic in the environment.
- For example, when marine animals swallow vast quantities of plastics that have been broken down into tiny pieces or shredded fishing nets, they become entangled and die as a result of being strangled by the synthetic materials that they consume.
- According to one research, plastic particles were identified in the stomachs of 90 percent of the fish in the Mediterranean Sea, indicating that plastics had penetrated the food chain.
How do micro-plastics enter our water system?
- Micro-plastics can enter our water system through a variety of routes, including the following: In the ocean and on beaches, disposable plastic items such as water bottles, cups and cutlery damage the environment. Smaller plastic objects that wind up in streams or seas can degrade into micro-plastics when exposed to UV radiation and/or physical abrasion, resulting in micro-plastic pollution. Because they penetrate our food chain, these plastics end up contaminating our drinking water supplies
- Micro-plastic particles reach groundwater sources in a variety of ways, including being blown through the air, being washed off soil surfaces, and being transported by streams and rivers.
- Combined sewage overflows, for example, can introduce contaminated water into our rivers (CSOs). During major rain events, when sewers are unable to manage the volume of water that is being discharged into them. Micro-plastics will be washed into waterways during these periods of severe rainfall
- synthetic clothing fibers from washing synthetic garments in the laundry will also be discharged into waterways. Our wastewater treatment filters catch these microfibers, which are then flushed into our rivers, lakes, and eventually drinking water sources. These microfibers are also washed down our drains. Due to the fact that these microfibers can absorb harmful chemicals and transfer them to human consumers, this is a significant problem. Micro-beads are another source of microplastics that enter our water sources through wastewater treatment filters or directly from facewash, body wash, and toothpaste products. There is an issue with these micro-beads in that they do not decompose in the same way that other plastic objects do. They are able to survive endlessly in the environment. As a result of eating plankton and fish polluted with these plastics, marine life becomes a magnet for chemicals and poisons. Micro-plastics are also frequently discovered in domestic items such as cleaning agents, shampoos, face scrubs, body washes, and other personal care products.
- Nonbiodegradable plastic products are improperly managed, and as a result, they contribute significantly to microplastic contamination.
- It is because of their synthetic nature that they end up in the environment.
- The materials are difficult to degrade in landfills or wastewater treatment plants.
- The protection of our water sources and the reduction of the number of micro-plastics that enter them are our responsibilities as individuals and as a society.
- All of us may contribute to this effort by limiting our own plastic use, recycling what we can, and, most critically, avoiding single-use throwaway plastic items such as straws, coffee cups, and other such items.
What are the potential health risks of consuming micro-plastics?
- Plastic particles contain a wide range of compounds that are detrimental to human health in large quantities.
- There are several possible health dangers that micro-plastics might bring to human consumers as a result of this.
- When people ingest seafood (such as fish), their bodies are more susceptible to absorbing microplastics and the poisons they carry, which have accumulated throughout the marine food chain as a result of bioaccumulation.
- These micro-plastics and chemicals have the ability to infiltrate human fat cells, tissues, and organs, where they will collect over time and cause damage.
- Once consumed via your drinking water system, microplastics can transport hazardous substances to your body, causing irritation of the stomach lining as well as changes in your hormonal balance.
- Microplastics can also function as carriers for disease-causing pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which are often present in marine environments and can be transmitted from one host to another.
- When these microplastics are consumed by people through seafood or drinking water sources, they can result in food poisoning-like symptoms.
- At this time, there is no indication that humans are ingesting plastic particles from their drinking water sources.
- Despite this, studies have revealed ″substantial quantities of microplastic contamination in bottled water,″ making it recommended for consumers to avoid purchasing this form of bottled water.
How to remove microplastics from drinking water?
- If you want to eliminate micro-plastics from your drinking water, there are numerous options available to you.
- Reverse osmosis filtration systems, activated carbon filters, and sediment filter cartridges are examples of water filtration systems.
- The reverse osmosis filtration system, on the other hand, is the most effective since it employs a membrane to extract micro-plastic particles from drinking water after it has been filtered using carbon, ultraviolet light, and other purification procedures.
- In addition, reverse osmosis produces the greatest results since it has a smaller pore size than activated carbon filters, which allows it to collect finer plastic particles, resulting in cleaner drinking water.
Microplastics in tap water
- Microplastics in drinking water are becoming an increasing source of worry.
- According to a research conducted by Orb Media, tap water samples from over a dozen nations across the world were found to be polluted with microplastics in 83 percent of cases.
- Every four liters of water analyzed contained an average of 325 plastic bits per liter, Canada had 259 plastic pieces per liter, Lebanon had 51, and India contained just one piece of micro-plastic per four liters!
- The study also discovered that 94 percent of samples from the United Kingdom, which has some of the strictest tap water regulations in Europe, were polluted with micro-plastic.
- In the United States, the majority of tap water comes from groundwater sources, which are likely to include microplastics.
- The municipal filtration procedure does not rely on a reverse osmosis filtering device to remove contaminants.
- Instead, the vast majority of them employ chlorination, which only has the effect of killing hazardous germs.
- As a result, installing a reverse osmosis filter system is the most efficient method of removing microplastics from your drinking water supply.
Microplastics in bottled water
- In terms of micro-plastic pollution, bottled waters are not subject to regulation, and there is no method to establish whether a specific bottled water brand is polluted with micro-plastics.
- A further finding by Orb Media was that microplastics were identified in all eleven brands of bottled water that they tested.
- Orb Media revealed that a single liter of bottled water may retain up to ten thousand micro-plastic particles, which is a significant amount of plastic.
- In addition, many more investigations done on 250 bottles in nine different nations revealed that microplastics were detected in the majority of bottled water samples.
- According to the findings of the study, there were as much as ten plastic particles per liter of bottled water.
- In fact, even those that advertise themselves as ″pure″ or ″filtered″ include micro-plastic particles that are a by-product of the filtration process.
- Consequently, it is preferable to avoid purchasing plastic water bottles whenever possible because they not only contain microplastics but also chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates, which can leach into your drinking water if they are not properly recycled.
- It may be difficult to remove micro-plastics from bottled drinking water due to the nature of the material.
- It is recommended that you install a RO water system in your home or place of work if you wish to consume water that is free of micro-plastics.
- Because of the elimination of micro-plastics, you will have clean and healthful drinking water as a result of this procedure.
How do reverse osmosis filters remove micro-plastics?
- In addition to the above-mentioned filtering techniques, microfiltration and nanofiltration are effective at capturing pollutants bigger than 0.05 microns in size.
- Reverse osmosis membranes, on the other hand, may filter out particles as small as 0.0001 microns in size.
- Pressure is applied to the surface of raw water containing suspended particles during the reverse osmosis (RO) process, which results in the removal of suspended particles.
- This technique causes the particles to flow through pores or semi-permeable membranes, resulting in cleaner, purified drinking water that is ready for human consumption once they have passed through.
- As a result, reverse osmosis systems are sometimes referred to as ″pressure-driven membrane systems″ in some circles.
- Aquatech provides reverse osmosis drinking water services for a modest, all-inclusive monthly membership fee that includes everything.
- Take a look at the pricing and specials!
The process of reverse osmosis water filtration is as follows:
- Water is piped directly from the raw source, which is stored in an underground tank outside the faucet, to the reverse osmosis filter housing unit, which can be powered or manually operated.
- When the water has been passed through the sedimentary and carbon filters, as well as the ultraviolet light filter, it is passed through a reverse osmosis membrane, which is comprised of thin sheets of polyamide materials.
- Using pressure and gravity, it creates a semipermeable barrier between clean drinking water and the remainder of the source water, pushing the water through extremely small pores in the thin film that forms the barrier.
- This procedure leaves impurities such as salts, heavy metals, minerals, and micro-plastics behind that are too big to flow through the membrane, resulting in clean and delicious RO drinking water that does not contain toxins.
- Reduces the amount of microplastic in your drinking water, while also improving the overall flavor and quality of your drinking water.
- It also eliminates heavy metals including as lead and arsenic, volatile organic compounds (VOC), radioactive particles, chlorine, and fluoride.
Other ways to reduce your exposure to plastic pollution in our environment
- Although reverse osmosis systems are the most efficient method of removing microplastics from drinking water, there are a number of additional methods you may use to decrease your exposure to plastics.
- For example, instead of purchasing single-use plastic water bottles, consider purchasing a reusable water bottle made of glass or stainless steel; using paper towels instead of dryer sheets that contain plastic; and carrying a refillable metal or glass water bottle instead of purchasing single-use plastic water bottles when you are on the go.
- Disposable cutlery, packing, and water bottles, among other single-use plastics, should be avoided as much as possible.
- Raising awareness about plastic pollution and its devastating impacts in your neighborhood will help to reduce it.
- If you want to protect the environment and your health, we all need to modify our habits and reduce the amount of plastic we use on a daily basis, starting with ourselves.
- Conclusion Microplastic contamination is becoming a rising source of worry for environmentalists throughout the world.
- In order to safeguard human consumers from possible negative consequences linked with plastic consumption, several health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), are advocating for more major action to be taken to minimize microplastics in our waterways.
- The ingestion of these microplastics by humans might occur through polluted water or seafood.
- Using reverse osmosis technology, pollutants such as micro-plastics as small as 0.0001 microns in size are removed from your drinking water, making it safe to drink.
- As a result, reverse osmosis is a highly effective method of eliminating these toxins and generally improving the quality of your drinking water.
Can Water Filters Remove Microplastics From Water?
- So far, we’ve covered a wide range of water pollutants and how they may be removed from water, including chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), lead, fluoride, pesticides, herbicides, and a host of other contaminants.
- However, there is one contaminant that is becoming increasingly problematic – microplastics.
- Where do microplastics come from, and what is their purpose?
- Several types of microplastics have been discovered in nature; some are derived from cosmetic items, while others are the direct result of plastic pollution; specifically, it is plastic that degrades into tiny bits when exposed to the environment.
- Do microplastics end up in the environment?
- Because microplastics are present in water, it is necessary to investigate if they can be removed from water using water filters, which is sadly true.
- In this article, we look at the quantity of plastic pollution, the possible health consequences of microplastics, and whether or not microplastics can be removed from drinking water sources.
Plastic Pollution By the Numbers
- Plastic is lightweight, inexpensive, durable, sanitary, and can be molded into any shape, but it comes at a high cost: it is environmentally harmful.
- Plastic takes an inordinate amount of time to decompose.
- That is not an exaggeration, believe me.
- Plastic might take between 500 and 1000 years to decompose completely.
- This means that the plastic that we consume throughout our lives will continue to be used for many more generations when we are no longer alive.
- Plastic has been around since its development in 1907, and it is believed that we have manufactured 8.3 billion metric tons of it since then, with just 21 percent of it being recycled or burned and the remaining 79 percent still in use.
- Approximately 8 million tons per year wind up in our seas, with the remaining portion ending up in landfills.
- Plastic is being consumed by seabirds and other marine creatures on a daily basis.
- Many animals starve to death because their guts are stuffed with indigestible plastic.
- This is the plastic that is visible.
- What about microplastics, on the other hand?
- What effect do they have on our health and the environment?
What are Microplastics?
- Microplastics are defined as pieces of plastic that are less than 5 millimeters in size.
- Plastic that floats in our seas is exposed to ultraviolet light, which causes it to degrade into smaller and smaller particles.
- The amount of microscopic plastic particles floating around in our seas is estimated to be 51 trillion trillion trillion, and these particles are easily swallowed by fish and other aquatic species.
- As an example, plastic has been discovered in the digestive systems of animals that live in the ocean’s deepest depths, just to put things in perspective.
- Are marine animals the only ones who consume plastics?
- Is this true?
- Microplastics are predicted to be consumed by humans in quantities of 250 g per year.
- Unfortunately, microplastics make their way up the food chain and end up on our plates at dinner time.
- Microplastics have even been discovered in products such as honey, beer, drinking water (bottled or tap), salt, and other foods.
- Although little research has been done to far on the consequences of microplastics ending up in our digestive systems, it is reasonable to presume that microplastics are just as harmful as other contaminants that find their way into our water supplies.
- Consequently, until science can provide clear proof about the impacts of microplastics on human health, it is important to decrease our consumption of plastics in any way that we can.
- Our options include banning single-use plastics, switching from plastic to glass bottles, and researching methods of removing microplastics from our drinking water.
- As a result, we arrive to our next point:
Can We Remove Microplastics From Water?
- Despite the fact that we do not yet understand the health repercussions of swallowing microplastics, it is always better to be cautious than sorry.
- The good news is that certain water filters are capable of removing microplastics from drinking water.
- Which filters are being used?
- Technically, any filter with a micron rating of less than 100 is acceptable.
- As previously stated, microplastics are plastic particles that are smaller than 5 millimeters in size.
- A 25-micron filter, on the other hand, will be able to filter out microplastics that are bigger than 0.025 millimeters in size.
- In the case of a 5 micron filter, it will filter down to 0.005 mm and so forth.
- As a result, the smaller the micron rating, the smaller the size of the plastic particles that may be removed from water using this method.
- Some household filters are capable of nano-filtration, which means they can filter out particles as tiny as 0.001 micrometers in size, which implies they will almost likely target microplastics as well as larger particles.
Which Filters Are Best For Removing Microplastics?
For those seeking for a filter that can deal with microplastics in their drinking water, the following are some possibilities to consider:
Reverse Osmosis Filters
- There are certain reverse osmosis systems that are capable of filtering particles down to 0.001 microns, which will put an end to any concerns you may have about microplastics in your tap water.
- Because RO filters are multi-stage filters that combine several filter media to provide a more complete water filtering system, they can remove a wide range of contaminants in addition to microplastics and other contaminants.
Any Filters With Sub-Micron Filtration Capabilities
Regardless of whether you prefer ceramic filters or carbon block filters, you should consider the micron rating of the filters you choose. The lower the micron rating, the more effective the filter is at removing small particles such as microplastics from the environment.
- When we set out on a quest to find inexpensive and long-lasting materials that we can utilize in our everyday lives, we ended up creating something that has spiraled out of control.
- Whether we can still alleviate some of the unexpected impacts of plastic is debatable at this point.
- But one thing is certain: we cannot continue to produce and discard plastic at the rate at which we have been doing so for the foreseeable future.
- Plastics should be avoided as much as possible until we learn more about their impacts on human health.
- This includes moving to non-polluting and biodegradable materials that are not harmful to either ourselves or the environment until we learn more about their effects on health.
- If you’re concerned about the presence of microplastics in your drinking water, here are some filters you might want to consider:
How to filter and remove microplastics from tap water
- Microplastics can be detected in bottled and tap water in a variety of places.
- When it comes to eating microplastics, what are the potential health risks?
- What is the most effective filter for removing microplastics from drinking water?
- Most likely, you are aware of the studies that have shown microplastics in 93 percent of bottled water throughout the world and 92 percent of tap water*.
- According to a recent estimate, the average human might be eating 100,000 particles of microplastics or 250 g of microplastics every year on average.
- The purpose of this page is to attempt to provide answers to these problems, including information on how to filter and remove microplastics from drinking water.
How much microplastics does bottled water contain?
- The two studies conducted by Orb Media on bottled water and tap water are the largest of their kind to date.
- Orb Media conducted an investigation of 250 bottles from nine different countries across the world.
- Bottled water was discovered to contain an average of 40 plastic particles per gallon, each of which was bigger than the breadth of a human hair.
- See the original infographic from Statista by clicking here.
- More information about Orb’s bottled water research may be found here.
What about microplastics in tap water?
- It is not only bottled water that is being marketed.
- Another research conducted by Orb Media discovered that microplastics were present in 94 percent of tap water in the United States and 72 percent of tap water in Europe.
- As a result, there are valid reasons to be worried about how to effectively filter microplastics from drinking water.
- More information about Orb’s tap water study may be found here and here.
How much microplastics do we consume?
- In a new study that combined the findings of more than 50 studies from around the world, it was discovered that on average, people could be ingesting about 5g of plastic per week, which is equivalent to the weight of a credit card, through the air they breathe, the food they eat, and most importantly, the water they drink.
- According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the University of Newcastle on Wednesday, this equates to around 100,000 small bits of plastic – or 250g – per year, a total of approximately 100,000 tiny pieces of plastic (June 12).
- The WWF commissioned the research, which was carried out by an Australian university.
- More information may be found in the WWF report.
What is the health impact of drinking and eating microplastics?
- We are all concerned about the long-term effects it may have on humans and animals.
- The reality is that we don’t know for certain yet.
- Although no one knows what the long-term health repercussions of microplastics and plasticizers in plastic packaging will be, there is substantial evidence that they interfere with our hormones.
- Shanna Swan, professor of environmental science and public health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, recently presented her most current work and study with the community.
- Exposure to plastics and chemicals has a significant impact on sperm counts and the developmental cycles of children, and these levels have been continuously declining since the 1950s, when petrochemical goods first became widely available to the general population.
- Phthalates, for example, are ″a collection of compounds used to make plastics more durable,″ according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- They are frequently referred to as plasticizers.″ Studies on animals and in vitro have revealed that it has deleterious effects on inflammation and immunity.
- The ability of microplastic particles to adhere to other dangerous chemicals and pollutants, which may have significant impacts on human health, is another factor to take into account.
- Microplastic particles can collect polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as well as other chemicals that have been associated to a variety of adverse health impacts, including cancer, a weaker immune system, reproductive issues, and other conditions.
- Source: Once these substances have been absorbed into our bodies, even modest dosages may have an impact.
- Microplastic particles ingested can cause physical harm to organs as well as the release of toxic substances, such as the hormone-disrupting bisphenol A (BPA) and pesticides, which can impair immunological function as well as development and reproduction in humans and other animals.
- When microplastics are present in our drinking water and the air we breathe, they can have a direct impact on humans.
- Infants and young children are particularly vulnerable to a wide range of drugs, even in very little levels, according to the source.
- There have been tens of thousands of studies that have demonstrated that nitrates, lead, polyfluorinated biphenyls (PFAS), and other compounds can have a negative influence on the development of the brain.
- In conclusion, we do not have adequate information regarding the health effects of microplastics.
- As a result, it is preferable to be safe than sorry.
- Instead of drinking bottled water, filter your tap water.
How can you remove microplastics from tap water at home?
- First and foremost, the smallest microplastics detected by Orb in tap water were around 2.5 micrometres in size, with the majority of them being significantly larger. It is critical to determine the size of the file since this will have an influence on the type of filtering necessary. There are three types of filters that may be used to assist remove microplastics of this size from the environment: Activated carbon faucet filters, such as TAPP 2, are the most effective in removing 100 percent of all known microplastics.
- Microplastics can be removed via reverse osmosis filters that can filter down to 0.001 micron in size, but they are more costly and require more maintenance than other filters.
- Those who use distillation filters know that, in principle, they offer pure H2O while simultaneously filtering out 100 percent of known microplastics.
It is important to ensure that the filter is specially designed to filter out microplastics and that the filter has been subjected to independent testing to prove it.
What microplastics filter should you choose?
There is no definitive answer at this time since we do not know enough about microplastics in drinking water. In the majority of cases, a carbon block filter is a cheap and ecologically responsible approach to keep the family safe from microplastics while also being cost effective.
Conclusion about microplastics and how to remove them
- Microplastics have been discovered in the majority of bottled and tap water
- Every week, you might be ingesting as much as 5 g (the equivalent of a credit card worth of microplastics) on average
- Despite the fact that we do not yet understand the health consequences of microplastics, it is best to be safe than sorry and avoid drinking bottled water and filtering your tap water.
- TAPP 2 is the most cheap water filter for removing microplastics from your tap water
- it is also the most effective.
If you have any questions, you may reach out to us by email or social media.
Exclusive offer to remove microplastics
- TAPP 2 (also known as Flo Faucet filter in the United States) is the world’s first filter to use recyclable refill cartridges, and it is available now.
- TAPP 2 is the simplest, most intelligent, most economical, and most environmentally friendly method of obtaining fresh, clean water at home.
- It is intended to be installed on any faucet in less than 1 minute.
- When you use the MYTAPP app or go to the MYTAPP website, you can track your filter usage, cartridge replacements, money saved over bottled water, and decrease in plastic waste and CO2.
- It makes use of the most up-to-date coconut-based micro-filtration technology to filter out more than 100 pollutants, including microplastics, lead, chlorine, THMs, and other toxins.
- Learn more about TAPP 2 by visiting their website.
- Microplastics are described as plastic particles with a diameter of less than 5mm (microns).
Water Filters for Microplastics
- Plastic contamination in drinking water, as highlighted in ConsumerLab’s Water Filter Pitchers Review, is becoming an increasing source of worry.
- Recent investigations have discovered that much of the world’s tap and bottled water is polluted with minute pieces of plastic known as microplastics, which are tiny pieces of plastic.
- For example, a study of tap water samples from 14 nations, including the United States, discovered that man-made particles were present in 81 percent of the samples analyzed, and the yearly intake of microplastics from tap water was estimated to be 4,400 to 5,800 particles per person on an average.
- Across all countries, water samples had an average concentration of 5.45 particles (fibers and fragments, but predominantly fibers) per liter; however, samples from the United States had the highest average concentration of any nation – 9.24 particles per liter.
- Fourteen and a half percent of the water samples were remained polluted after being passed through a filter that could remove particles as fine as 2.5 microns (Kosuth, PLoS One 2018).
- After testing many popular countertop water filter pitchers, the ConsumerLab discovered that their capacity to remove microplastics from tap water varied widely.
- According to the results of the testing, one water filter completely eliminated all detected microplastic particles, while two others decreased particles by 80 percent and 36 percent, respectively.
- Surprisingly, one pitcher raised the quantity of microplastic particles per liter of water to 437.4 particles, representing a 1,206 percent increase in the number of particles per liter of water.
- Read on to learn about the results, including how successfully the pitchers filtered additional contaminants such as harmful heavy metals, chlorine, and dissolved particles (which can impact taste), as well as CL’s Top Pick in the Water Filter Pitchers Review.
- Also, keep in mind that tap water is not the only source of microplastics that you may come into contact with.
- The overall yearly consumption of microplastics per person, derived from all food and water, is estimated to be between 39,000 and 52,000 particles, depending on the source.
- Bottled water often includes more microplastic than tap water; if everyone drank just bottled water, this might result in an extra 90,000 particles per year being released into the environment (Cox, Environ Sci Technol 2019).
- (See our linked answer for additional information on bottled water and the microplastics found in different brands.)
How to Filter & Remove Microplastics from Tap Water?
- As a result of the fact that they do not biodegrade and tend to collect in marine environments, microplastics inflict significant damage to our environment.
- Furthermore, because of their small diameter, it is difficult to filter plastic out of water using conventional methods.
- Recently conducted research have revealed that microplastics in tap water originate from a variety of sources, ranging from raw water treatment procedures to packaging materials and distribution networks.
- That we may consume microplastics through our drinking water should come as no surprise.
- Microplastics have the potential to absorb hazardous compounds from the environment’s marine waters, which is why we don’t want them in our digestive systems.
- We’ll be talking about the most effective techniques to filter and remove microplastics from tap water in this section.
Ways on How to Filter And Remove Microplastics from Tap Water
- Are you concerned that microplastics may be accidentally mixed into your drinking water?
- That might be one of the most terrifying thoughts that most homeowners have.
- Microplastics degrade slowly and need a lot of energy.
- There is a plethora of scientific material available in the internet community on removing microplastics from tap water, but don’t get overwhelmed by the amount of information available.
- Any water-related issues at home would almost certainly necessitate the use of a water filter, but not just any water filter, but a microplastic water filter.
- As previously said, it is critical to be exact about the pore size because it will decide the type of filter used.
- Orb Media measured the tiniest microplastics to be around 2.5 micrometers in size.
- The microplastic filter options listed below will assist you in removing microplastics of this type from your system.
1. Carbon Block Water Filters
- These filters have the potential to minimize the high concentration of microplastics in the environment since these particles will be trapped and absorbed by the carbon surfaces of the filters.
- I would recommend using this sort of filter for extremely small particles, such as those less than 0.5 microns in size.
- While carbon block filters require more time to filter microplastics than granular activated carbon, they are more effective than granular activated carbon because they can filter a greater number of plastic particles.
2. Reverse Osmosis
- Because they can filter down to 0.001 microns, reverse osmosis devices are among the most effective techniques for removing microplastics from diverse sources.
- Water treatment systems in municipal and industrial settings frequently make use of them.
- Another advantage is that RO systems are now accessible for point-of-use filtering applications.
- The process of installing them is quite straightforward; click here for an 8-step explanation.
- Reverse osmosis is a wonderful choice if you want to remove a variety of impurities from your water, including microplastics.
- It will be as though you were killing two birds with a single stone.
- It will, however, remove water-rich minerals from the water and may need periodic maintenance.
3. Distillation Filters
- Distillation filters are well-known for their ability to decrease the majority of microplastics in the environment.
- Researchers claim that they are able to offer uncontaminated water to their customers.
- In order for the filter to function, water must first be heated until it evaporates, then the steam must be condensed back into the water in a separate container.
- This boiling method purifies water of any pollutants, solid particles such as salts, metals, minerals, and other synthetic chemicals, and removes them from the water.
- It also has the added benefit of killing germs and viruses.
- Distillation filters, on the other hand, are unable to handle volatile chemicals since their boiling points are lower than water.
What are Microplastics and How Do they Reach our Tap Water at Home
- In recent decades, plastic pollution has emerged as a significant environmental concern, and microplastics are a byproduct of this larger issue.
- During the last few decades, they have emerged as a new source of ecological concern.
- What are Microplastics and How Do They Work?
- They are microscopic plastic particles with a size of less than five millimeters.
- They are completely undetectable to the naked eye and are frequently found in landfills and the seas.
- In general, microplastics are believed to be hazardous in aquatic habitats, according to experts.
- Recent investigations have discovered that they have been consumed by 300 different kinds of marine creatures.
- When animals ingest little amounts of this substance, it has a negative effect on their fertility and development.
- Who or what is responsible for the production of microplastics?
- Microplastics are derived from a variety of sources, including plastic products such as water bottles that have been broken down into little bits.
- Known as microbeads, which are a type of microplastic, they are little bits of produced polyethylene plastic that are found in cosmetic, personal care, and cleaning products.
- According to the research ″Invisibles: The Plastic Inside Us″ conducted by Orb Media, more than 80% of tap water samples from around the world are polluted with microplastic particles.
- Plastic fibers were also discovered in tap water that was collected from subterranean sources, according to the researchers.
- In a report published by the World Health Organization, microplastics in water are attributed to two principal sources: surface runoff (for example, after a rainstorm) and wastewater effluent.
- When microplastics escape from wastewater treatment facilities, they end up in our drinking water.
- Because they are minuscule, they may easily pass through water filtering systems and settle on ocean surfaces.
- Depending on where you live, the presence of microplastics in your drinking water will differ.
- Their persistent presence in your tap water, on the other hand, is owing to the ongoing production processes of food and drinks that employ water as an ingredient in everything from cleaning raw materials to incorporating recipe ingredients.
- Furthermore, according to other scientific investigations, microplastics enter water sources via the air we breathe.
Researchers, on the other hand, maintain that the widespread misuse and mass production of plastics are the core causes of all issues associated with microplastic contamination in our food and water supplies.
How Do Microplastics Affect our Health
- The question of whether microplastics might generate significant health concerns in people is one of the most contentious issues in scientific literature today.
- When it comes to determining if microplastics have long-term health consequences for people, there isn’t much clear proof.
- Because the majority of research have concentrated on the threats that microplastics provide to animals, the degree of the health consequences of microplastics on humans continues to be a mystery in the scientific community.
- According to the most current research, we consume around 5 grams of microplastics (equivalent to the mass of a credit card) in our diet every week.
- Moreover, microplastics are indigestible and irreversibly destructible.
- Due to the fact that they obstruct the digestive tract of aquatic creatures, they are dangerous.
- Some animals suffer and die as a result of plastic being ingested into their bodies.
- Researchers have been searching for answers to the potentially hazardous consequences of microplastics for over two decades, yet they have yet to find any.
- The only thing that can be assured is that the hazardous compounds linked with microplastics are harmful to food production in large quantities.
- According to the findings of the study, microplastic ingestion in humans may cause oxidative stress, DNA damage, and inflammation.
- Furthermore, exposure to plastic particles is not the only factor that contributes to the dangers of microplastics.
- It is simply due to the fact that microplastics are in close proximity to human diseases.
- Furthermore, according to a 2016 German study, some species of Vibrio bacteria (also known as pathogens) are capable of attaching themselves to microplastics and causing them to degrade.
- Consequently, we urge that you consider using water filters that are particularly designed to eliminate microorganisms from the water.
- We know that viruses may cause a wide range of infectious illnesses, such as cholera, since they are easily spread from one person to another through direct contact.
- Microplastics-related health ideas are continuously being researched and tested, and new findings are being made all the time.
- Since the beginning of time, microplastics have been a part of our lives, and their environmental influence is irrevocable.
- As a result, we must examine the general state of our drinking water at home on a frequent basis to ensure that we are not drinking plastic from the tap.
- Every year, the amount of microplastic contamination increases exponentially.
- Because of this, it is critical to develop dependable methods of filtering and removing microplastics from tap water.
- Furthermore, the size of microplastic filtering technology varies from one another.
- Always bear in mind that each filter has a unique set of capabilities.
- A water filter’s micron rating should be checked thoroughly before purchase.
- Choosing the appropriate filter can help to reduce the possible health concerns posed by microbiological infections, which are most commonly found in plastic pieces.
How to Remove Microplastics From Water
- Microplastics are tiny particles the size of a sesame seed that are found in large quantities in our seas, food supplies, and drinking water.
- Their presence in the world’s water supply has drawn the ire of environmental groups and political leaders alike.
- They are also associated with negative health impacts in people, including respiratory diseases and DNA damage, according to scientific evidence.
- Despite the fact that governments in the United States and worldwide have made steps to limit microplastics’ presence in water, there is still no regulatory consensus on the best way to effectively remove them from water.
- This is disturbing, considering that the typical person consumes 5 grams of plastic each week on a weekly basis.
- There is a good chance that you are wondering: Is there a method that I can regulate my microplastic exposure in order to reduce the risk of adverse health effects?
- Fortunately, the answer is an unequivocal yes.
- Microplastics can be removed from water more effectively because to advancements in technology.
- Individual freedom in eating water that fulfills criteria in terms of both health and flavor occurs as a result of these enhancements to the water supply.
- Furthermore, research activities will continue to contribute to the expansion of the current body of knowledge on microplastics.
- Reverse osmosis, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, and carbon filters are all effective ways for eliminating microplastics from water.
- A more in-depth look at the four methods for removing microplastics from water is provided below.
- If you went to high school and took science, you may have heard of this procedure.
- In recent years, it has gained popularity in the field of water treatment, as well as other fields.
- The process of reverse osmosis filtering makes use of osmotic pressure.
- As water passes across a semipermeable membrane, pollutants that have remained in the water are separated from the purity of the water itself, allowing it to be reused.
- It has the significant advantage of making safe drinking water available to a broader segment of the population, which is a significant advantage.
- In contrast, reverse osmosis eliminates important minerals such as calcium and magnesium.
- The effects of this can be severe to persons who suffer from vitamin shortages or who reside in hotter regions.
- Ultrafiltration is another effective approach for eliminating microplastics from the environment.
- To separate harmful compounds such as plastics, this technique makes use of very small hole diameters (about 0.01 micrometers).
- This results in the extraction of particles bigger than this from the water, which may include illness-causing germs among them.
- Ultrafiltration is highly recognized for its capacity to remove contaminants from water, and it has even been employed as a substitute for chlorination in some waste water treatment plants.
- Furthermore, because of its minimal energy requirements, it is an ecologically responsible alternative to consider.
- Ultrafiltration, on the other hand, is not as widely available as other filtration technologies and might be prohibitively costly.
- Furthermore, while it is excellent in eliminating viruses and germs, it is not as successful in removing pollutants from the environment.
- The pores of nanofiltration are much smaller, with diameters as tiny as 0.001 micrometers, which implies that this approach can remove even more minute particles of plastic than conventional filtration.
- Nanofiltration is a technique that is widely used to soften hard water, and it also has a low energy consumption.
- This type of filtering is preferred because it preserves a significant amount of the minerals that are required for the human body to function at its best.
- Unfortunately, it is still largely unknown outside of the scientific world, and it is also not the most cost-effective treatment choice for the general public at this time.
- And, like ultrafiltration, its ability to filter out toxins is not as effective as it might be.
- At long last, carbon filters have evolved as a very effective and ecologically friendly technique of removing microplastics from water sources.
- The use of these filters is required by several ultrafiltration and nanofiltration systems.
- They are available in both analytic and catalytic versions, and they both rely on the adsorption process.
- The adsorption process separates microplastic particles from water by allowing them to be taken up onto the surface of the activated carbon in the filter throughout the process.
- Coal and coconut shells are common sources of activated carbon filters, which are manufactured from organic materials like coal and coconut shells.
- One advantage is that they are becoming increasingly accessible to a broader range of people.
- Carbon filters, on the other hand, will wear out more quickly if your water source includes a high concentration of pollutants.
- As a result, they must be closely monitored.
- Microplastics are present in large quantities in our modern-day drinking water supply.
- We need more stringent regulatory measures from our government to counteract their negative impacts on the environment and our bodies, which are already in place.
- However, the truth remains that microplastics will continue to exist for as long as humans continue to use plastic products.
- Because these compounds do not dissolve quickly, it is possible that they will remain in the environment for an even longer period of time.
- Fortunately, there are steps we can take on our own as individuals to help.
- This includes the use of equipment that can remove microplastics from water, among other things.
- In this way, we can reduce the likelihood of health problems in the future.
- Choosing the most appropriate filter may need a significant amount of time and thought.
- There should be no urgency in the course of this procedure, either.
- Take into consideration your budget, your water usage, and the sorts of particles that the filter is designed to remove when determining which filter is best for you and your family.
- Furthermore, microplastic research is still in its early stages, and many filters now on the market have not been evaluated for their ability to remove microplastics.
You’ll want to be sure that the filter you purchase eliminates at least 95% of the material from your water supply before installing it.In order to remove microplastics from tap water, our filters at Aquagear have been meticulously constructed.They have been independently tested by an ISO 17025 facility to ensure that they remove more than 99 percent of microplastics and that they comply with SM and EPA procedures.It is activated coconut carbon that is used in these filters, which is a very effective filter media for eliminating microplastics.
- What causes microplastics to come up in our drinking water? Microplastic contamination is caused by a variety of sources, including synthetic fibers from garments, microbeads in cosmetics, paints, and kitchenware, among others (forks, takeout containers, etc.). 11
- What, if any, efforts have been made by governments to remove microplastics from water supplies? The Microbead Free Waters Act, which went into effect in 2017, mandated that microbeads be removed from products such as toothpaste and soap in the United States. 12 In addition, the European Union has recommended a ban on microplastics in commodities such as detergents and cosmetics, among other things. 13
- Is it possible that microplastics are found in bottled water as well? Yes. Bisphenol A, popularly known as BPA, is a particle that is commonly found in water bottles. This particle has been related to a variety of health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. 14
- Are there any additional particles that Aquagear’s filters are capable of removing? In addition, our filters at Aquagear are capable of removing over 99 percent of additional pollutants such as asbestos and lead. In addition, this detailed study contains extra information.
- What are microplastics, and how do they work? Microplastics and human health: Florida State University researchers discover that exposure to microplastics may change cellular function. Retrieved from oceanservice.noaa.gov (February 26, 2021). News from Florida State University (April 19, 2021)
- A. Dick Vethaak and Juliette Legler
- A. Dick Vethaak and Juliette Legler. Microplastics and human health are two topics that have come up recently. Science, vol. 371 (no. 6530), pp. 672-674, February 2021.
- Reverse Osmosis is a method of purifying water. Ultrafiltration, Nanofiltration, and Reverse Osmosis are three types of filtration that have been identified by the FDA (August 26, 2014). Teresa Poeiro, Emma Piacentini, and Rosalinda Mazzei retrieved information from safewater.org. Membrane Processes for the Removal of Microplastics L.D. Naidu, S. Saravanan, M. Chidambaram, Mukesh Goel, Ashutosh Das, and J. Sarat Chandra Babu published a paper in Molecules on November 24th, 2019 in volume 24 number 22 (page 4148). The effectiveness of nanofiltration in converting surface water into potable water: a comparison with reverse osmosis The Journal of Chemistry published an article in October 2015 titled
- Adsorption Fundamentals: Part 1. The information was obtained from aiche.org (July 2017) The GAC Filter is a water treatment system that uses carbon filters to treat water. The information was obtained from health.state.mn.us.
- Home water filters and other water treatment systems should be selected carefully. This information was obtained from cdc.org. ‘The Plastic Inside of Us’ will be released on August 4, 2020. Obtainable via orbmedia.org
- The United States will prohibit soaps and other items that include microbeads. The following information was obtained from theguardian.com on December 8, 2015: Scientific Committees The most effective method of reducing microplastic contamination is through EU-wide restrictions. Obtainable via echa.europa.edu (September 2020)
- What what is BPA, and what exactly are the problems around BPA? 14th of May, 2021, was retrieved from mayoclinic.org
5 Best Water Filter For Eliminating Microplastics
- We can’t have a discussion about water filters without bringing up the subject of the environment.
- Due to the massive amount of plastic that ends up in seas and rivers, it’s difficult not to feel like an environmentalist at times!
- However, how can we ensure that our family have access to clean drinking water?
- Plastic pollution may be reduced in your everyday life by filtering out small bits that might harm aquatic species and ecosystems.
- Filtering out small fragments is one of the most effective strategies to minimize plastic pollution in your everyday life.
- However, a short check will reveal that this isn’t just any water bottle; it’s a lifesaver.
- The tiny size makes it convenient to bring along on trekking excursions or even to use as an indoor faucet filter at home.
- Investing in a decent quality filter that filters all hazardous bacteria, microplastics, chemicals, heavy metals (including fluoride), viruses, and other toxins from your tap or well water before you ever need to use it is one approach to begin protecting yourself.
- Take a look at our list of the top 5 best water filters for removing microplastics from drinking water.
Top 5 Best Water Filters that remove Microplastics
1. Epic Pure Water Filter Pitchers for Drinking Water
- The Epic Pure Water Filter Pitchers are the finest water filter for microplastics on the market.
- These pitchers have been evaluated for the removal of a wide range of toxins, including PFOA and 1,4-Dioxane, and have passed the tests.
- With the Epic Pure Water Filter Pitchers, pollutants such as total trihalomethanes and chromium 6 are removed by 2000 percent more than with other water filters.
- The filter pitcher also serves as a reminder when it is time to replace the filter cartridges.
- Additionally, it prevents lead and other toxins from entering your drinking water!
- Using gravity, the Epic Pure Water Filter gravity water filtering system can create 150 gallons of clean, contaminant-free drinking water every day.
- The filter has been certified by the Food and Drug Administration and complies with all USP criteria for food-safe materials.
- It is recyclable, vegan, and BPA-free!
- It is also 100% recyclable!
- Using Epic Water Filter Pitchers, you can eliminate up to 99 percent of microplastics from your drinking water.
- Epic Water makes two 10-cup filtration pitcher types, the Epic Pure and the Epic Nano, both of which are available for purchase online.
- A timer with an LED indicator will notify you when it is necessary to replace the filter – which should be done every 3-4 months according to NSF standards – and it is included with the filter (150 gallons).
- In addition to microplastics, the Epic Nano Water filter pitcher removes 99.9999 percent of over 200 additional tap water contaminants, such as viruses, bacteria and cysts, with a 99.25 percent reduction in cost.
- Individuals that use well water or tank water will find it to be very beneficial.
- The filter has a capacity of around 150 gallons (565 L) of water and has a lifespan of approximately 3-4 months.
- The Epic Nano Water filter passed all of the NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 401, P473, and P23 tests performed on it.
- It also has a 99.4 percent decrease rate in terms of lead reduction.
2. Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher
- The Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher eliminates 2,000 percent more pollutants from drinking water than conventional faucet filters.
- In addition to being created in the United States of America and free of BPA, it includes a triple-capacity filter that retains trace minerals like as calcium and magnesium, which are good to health.
- The Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher is designed to filter water that contains minerals.
- The filter has a three-fold longer life span than other pitchers and is guaranteed to endure for a lifetime of use.
- They contain selective filtration, which improves the flavor of your water without eliminating all of the beneficial minerals from your pitcher’s source.
- As a result, you won’t have to replace your pitcher as frequently as you would with a standard pitcher.
- The Aquagear filter has been tested for the removal of PFOA and PFOS from tap water by an independent laboratory.
- This is due to the fact that such toxins are difficult to remove and, if not eliminated quickly enough, might result in major health consequences.
3. LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitchers and Dispenser
- Both the pitcher and dispenser for the LifeStraw Home water filter are BPA-free and easy to clean, and they can be used in any regular sink.
- It eliminates germs, parasites, and microplastics from your drinking water while also protecting you from heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and chromium III, which may be harmful.
- Designed to be used over and over again, LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitchers and Dispensers are reusable water filters that remove impurities from the source before making it safe to consume.
- You may use one filter to produce up to 264 gallons of clean, refreshing water, which is the equivalent of little more than a year’s worth of water.
- Additionally, every purchase of Life Straw contributes to the provision of safe drinking water for a school child in need throughout the world once a month!
- The LifeStraw Home Water Filter Pitcher has a two-stage filtering system to provide speedy, efficient, and effective filtration.
- According to the manufacturer, the LifeStraw membrane microfilter removes 99.999 percent of microplastics, bacteria, and other parasites with a particle size of 0.2 microns.
- The LifeStraw activated carbon + ion exchange filter effectively removes lead, chlorine, pesticides, and other chemical contaminants from drinking water.
- The membrane microfilter has a one-year lifespan; however, the activated carbon filter must be replaced every two months because it has a shorter lifespan.
- The ergonomic shape of the pitcher makes it easy to handle and pour from it.
4. FloWater Faucet Water Filter System
- An ideal beginner package that includes 1 kitchen faucet mount, 1 water filter, and 2 installation adaptors makes up the FloWater Faucet Water Filter System, a faucet mount water filter system with a faucet mount water filter system.
- With this device, you can turn your tap water into the World’s Best-Tasting Water while also helping to conserve the environment.
- This filter utilizes a coconut-based microfiltration mechanism to remove microplastics from water, which is environmentally friendly.
- However, as with other filters, the manufacturer claims that the five-stage carbon block eliminates more than 95 percent of all microscopic plastics larger than 2.0 micrometers (2,000 nanometers).
- However, as with other filters, not all microscopic plastics smaller than this size are removed.
- It also eliminates more than 80 contaminants from water throughout the process.
- Every three months, the filter has to be swapped out for another.
- Floor water filters are an excellent alternative for anyone who wants to enhance the qualit