New Study Shows Reverse Osmosis Is Tops For Home Water Filtration

Feb 12, 2020

A recently released study by scientists at Duke and N.C. State Universities evaluated in-home water filtration systems.  It was no surprise as to what technology worked best.

Duke University’s Heather Stapleton and her team studied 76 point-of-use filters and 13 point-of-entry or whole-house systems and found their effectiveness varied widely. Simple point-of-use filters include refrigerator and pitcher filters, as well as under-sink filters feeding a single tap.

Point of entry units filter all the water as it enters the house.  

Here’s Heather Stapleton:

“We did observe a lot of variability in removal efficiency for refrigerator filters and pitcher filters.”

Those types of filters are almost all activated carbon based. Reverse Osmosis, as expected, did much better.

Again, Stapleton:

“If you're talking about PFAS removal. Yes. It does seemed to be quite effective at removing PFAS. And we know it removes other contaminants as well. It's just unfortunately, those are more expensive units, and so not everyone's going to be able to afford a reverse osmosis filter in their home. So it brings up a lot of questions about environmental justice in these communities that are impacted by PFAS exposure."

The reverse osmosis filters tested reduced PFAS levels, including GenX, by 94% or more. Activated-carbon filters removed 73% of PFAS contaminants, on average, but results varied greatly. Vince Winkel, WHQR News.

Read the full study here

For addional testing information

Learn more about research by the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory through the NC PFAS Testing Network 

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