How Much Can a Water Filter Really Do?

Over the past few years, water safety crises have cropped up in several cities, including Baltimore, Flint, Mich., Jackson, Miss., and Newark, N.J., where lead or bacteria have leached into tap water, forcing people to rely on bottled water or on boiling their tap water to rid it of pathogens.

In Wilmington, N.C., high levels of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chemicals commonly known as PFAS, were detected in the local watershed. PFAS have been linked to a host of health issues, including cancer, liver damage and problems with fertility. The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new regulations in March that would crack down on drinking water levels of six types of PFAS, substantially lowering the allowable detectable amounts. (Drinking water is not the only source of exposure to PFAS, which show up in food wrappers, cooking pans and waterproof clothing, among other places, but reducing contact wherever possible is advisable.)

These events raise questions about just how safe municipal water supplies in the United States are, and whether additional filtration steps are required even outside of areas experiencing an acute crisis. And if that’s the case, are there home water filters that will help?


To read the full article, visit The New York Times.