Is there lead in your kid’s water bottle? You can’t see, taste, or smell lead in drinking water, so you’ll be hard-pressed to know. The government — through the Environmental Protection Agency — should be on top of monitoring lead levels in water, but too often they fail to do so. Just go ask a citizen of Flint, Michigan, or Newark, New Jersey. Where government oversight fails, water lead test kits and lead water filters can step in. They aren’t a long-term, end-all solution — that’s what political action is for — but they are a solid safety net, if you purchase the right filter.
When plumbing materials containing lead begin to corrode, lead gets into your water via pipes, faucets, and other fixtures. Homes built before 1986 are at the highest risk, and there are some pretty solid maps of risk levels in communities based on government data. It’s something parents need to know about: Even low-level lead exposure has been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system in kids, leading to learning disabilities, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells. Check your risk, test your water, and then, no matter the results, get a filtration system that can extract lead.
The EPA recommends using point of use (POU) filters that are attached directly to water faucets, inserted into refrigerators for water dispensers and ice makers, or added into water pitchers and bottles. Make sure products are Water Quality Association-certified to reduce or eliminate lead because not all of them are certified to do that. The ones below fit the bill.
PUR's water filter lasts an average of one to two months, to provide you with 30 gallons of clean drinking water. This filter removes 99 percent of lead, 96 percent of mercury, and 92 percent of certain pesticides. It's WQA-certified and features a CleanSensor monitor that lets you know when to change the filer.
This Brita water filter attaches to your faucet and is certified by the Water Quality Association as being effective in reducing lead. It attaches right on to your faucet, and per the brand, filters out 60 contaminants. On average, you get four months' of use out of a single filter, and there's an indicator light when you need to replace it.
- Coway Aquamega 100 is an easy installation countertop water purifier that filters up to 300 gallons of water per filter set
- Direct-flow water purifier that requires no electricity and minimal installation to get clean, crisp-tasting water.
- Three-stage water purification includes sediment, carbon and post-carbon filters to remove up to 99. 9% of contaminants like lead, mercury, microbial cysts, VOCs, chlorine and chloramine.
- Coway aqua Mega filtration is wqa-certified according to NSF 42 and 53.
- Included components: Aquamega 100, 1 Faucet Mounted Diverter, 3 Faucet Adapter, 1 T-Valve (9/16"), 1 Drain Hose, 1 6.5 feet Tubling, 2 L-Fitting
The only water bottle certified by the WQA, the Astrea One is designed and certified to reduce common tap water contaminants such as lead, and mercury. Filters out garbage like lead and copper. You can also sign up online and pay $60 for six filters, so you always have one on hand.
Brita's blue filter has been certified by the WQA as being effective at reducing 99.5 percent of lead exposure. Not only does this filter reduce lead to almost nil, but you can use it for six months without having to replace it, on average. It fits Brita pitchers except for Stream and Infinity pitchers.
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