Good news and bad news on pitcher filters

May 10, 2012

Oh pitcher filter. Why did you have to disappoint us, so? Yes, in this week’s Ecoholic column I talk about the short comings of Canada’s favourite water filter, Brita, as well as other pitcher filters. Seems they do reduce heavy metals like mercury and used to meet lead reduction standards, and then the standards improved and the pitchers couldn’t keep up. So yes, they do reduce lead somewhat, but not enough to meet NSF standards. On the bright side, activated carbon filters do seem to seriously reduce the presence of trace pharmaceuticals in water. More good news (not mentioned in the column), last year, Toronto voted to bring in ultra violet filtration to the city’s water, which will also slash the presence of pharmaceuticals in our water supply. A very good thing, especially in light of a new federal water study out of the U.S. that found 112 toxic materials (from flame retardants and pesticides to personal care and cleaning chemicals, as well as drugs like the diphenhydramine, Benedryl) downstream from wastewater treatment plants. For all the deets on filters, check out this week’s column. 

Oh and as for my point about carbon filters not removing fluoride and pestering your local councillor about removing fluoride from your local water supply, thought I’d share a link to a full news article I did a while back for NOW Mag on the problems with fluoridated water as well as a link to Canadians Opposed to Fluoride.

You may have spotted in Ecoholic Body I leave the choice on fluoridated toothpaste in your hands. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic for another day.