How to minimize lead exposure
- If your water has been sitting for more than 6 hours, before you drink it or use it for cooking, let the water run 1-2 minutes to flush out any water that might have accumulated lead. Lead accumulates slowly in standing water.
- Water filters in the US should be certified by NSF or the Water Quality Association.
Placement of water filters
- Water filters can be attached to a faucet, sit on top of a sink, be attached below a sink to the water supply line, or be in a tabletop pitcher, which can come in all shapes and sizes.
- Berkey's are some of the best, larger, tabletop filters on the market. They have a low cost per gallon of filtered water.
Types of water filters
- Reverse osmosis filters out almost everything in your water, but that includes minerals. Drinking RO water for too long will leach minerals out of your body and could cause problems.
- Activated carbon/charcoal filters filter out most substances by "catching" it in millions of tiny pores. These pores eventually fill up so the filter must be replaced once in a while. But they come in a variety of placement options. While carbon from a firepit can be used in a survival situation to filter water (and it has been shown to work to remove dye), activated charcoal can only be made in a factory under high pressure and high temperature steam. It cannot be made at home.
- Multi-stage water filters. An example is the ZeroWater filter, where each filter unit has 5 stages. However these got very bad reviews on Amazon.
There is some disagreement as to how well AC filters filter out lead. Some just reduce lead a bit, some remove 99% of lead.
How to filter lead out of water
- Use one of the activated carbon or RO filters above. Boiling the water does not remove chemical toxins, it only kills living pathogens.
- Lead removal by AC (activated carbon) filters varies a lot. Look for test results for your specific model.
Good Housekeeping tests water filters to filter out pharmaceuticals, PFOA, BPA, estrone, fluoxetine, ibuprofen, atrazine (pesticide), tonalide, TCEP, DEET and other contaminants. Feb 2012.
- Charcoal filter video.
- Consumer Reports overview of filter types.
- Consumer Research water filter testing. Mar 2016.
- Good Housekeeping tests water filters to filter out pharmaceuticals, PFOA, BPA, estrone, fluoxetine, ibuprofen, atrazine (pesticide), tonalide, TCEP, DEET, sucralose and other contaminants. Feb 2012.
- What you need to know about water filters to remove lead. USA Today. Mar 20, 2016.
- Google Search for water filter testing.
- "Rough Science" series video where they make a charcoal (not activated carbon) filter.
- Natural News tests water filter removal of many heavy and radioactive metals such as: Aluminum, Copper, Arsenic, Strontium, Cadmium, Cesium, Mercury, Lead, Uranium. Enter your email to see the actual results. Another page for results. Zero Water brand filters removed the most heavy metals in this test but got bad reviews on Amazon.
- NSF certified water filter models are here. "Water filters are tested and certified to NSF/ANSI 53 and 58 to ensure they reduce contaminants, including lead, per the requirements of the standards."
- Youtube search for charcoal filters.
- Big Berkey lab results for filtration.
- Independent water filter results from Water Filter Labs. by Mike Adams. Also tested filtering out radioactive items.