Does your water have contaminants in it that you’re worried about. If so, you may be wondering, “What does Brita not filter out?”
Brita filters are unable to remove fluoride, bacteria, fungus, viruses, nitrates, hardness, arsenic, 1,4-dioxane, radium, and salt. They can partially address PFAS, glyphosate, pesticides, VOCs, and gasoline, while only certain Brita filters have the capability to remove lead and estrogen.
This article thoroughly examines the contaminants that Brita filters fail to remove. Additionally, it delves into substances that only a select few Brita filters can eliminate, as well as chemicals that are only partially removed by these filters.
You may be interested in my article – What Does a Brita Filter Remove – Is Your Drinking Water Safe?
Table of Contents
Are Brita Filters Safe?
Brita filters have gained popularity as an affordable and convenient method of improving the taste and quality of tap water. They are designed to remove several common contaminants, such as chlorine, lead, and copper, which can affect the water’s taste, odor, and overall safety. While Brita filters can effectively remove many impurities, they are not designed to remove all possible contaminants. In this article, we will explore what Brita filters do not filter out and discuss the implications of these limitations on the safety of your drinking water.
How Well Do Brita Filters Work
The following table summarizes the contaminants that Brita does not remove, those it partially removes, and those that only a few filters can treat.
|Category||Contaminants Not Filtered||Contaminants Partially Filtered||Contaminants Removed by Some Filters|
|Inorganic Chemicals & Pesticides||Arsenic, 1,4-dioxane||Glyphosate, Pesticides||Estrogen|
|Biological Pathogens||Bacteria, Fungus, Viruses||N/A||N/A|
|Minerals & Elements||Fluoride, Hardness, Salt, Mercury||N/A||Lead, Asbestos, Microplastics, Rust, Sediment, Dirt|
|Organic Compounds||Benzene||PFAS, VOCs, Gasoline||N/A|
What Does a Brita Not Filter Out?
Brita filters are commonly used to purify drinking water, and they are designed to remove a range of impurities. However, there are certain toxins that Brita filters may not remove effectively, such as asbestos and microplastics.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction materials in the past. When these materials deteriorate, they can release asbestos fibers into the air and water. While Brita filters can remove some larger particles, such as sand and sediment, they are not effective at removing microscopic asbestos fibers. Therefore, if your water supply is known to contain asbestos, a Brita filter may not be sufficient to remove it.
Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that can be found in water sources due to the breakdown of plastic waste. While Brita filters are designed to remove chlorine, which can be harmful to ingest, they may not effectively remove microplastics. In fact, a study by Orb Media found that some popular water filter brands, including Brita, did not remove microplastics from tap water.
Brita filters do not remove fluoride from tap water. While fluoride is added to municipal water supplies to promote dental health, some people may prefer to remove it from their drinking water due to concerns about its potential health effects.
Bacteria, Fungus, Or Viruses
Brita filters are not designed to remove bacteria, fungus, or viruses from your water. These biological contaminants can cause illness, especially in people with compromised immune systems. If your water source is contaminated with these organisms, a more advanced filtration method, such as reverse osmosis or UV treatment, may be necessary.
Brita filters do not effectively remove nitrates, which can contaminate water supplies due to agricultural runoff and other sources. High levels of nitrates in drinking water can pose risks, particularly to infants and pregnant women.
Water hardness, caused by minerals like calcium and magnesium, is not removed by Brita filters. Hard water can cause scaling on appliances and may affect the taste of your water. However, water hardness is generally not considered a health risk.
Brita filters do not remove arsenic, a toxic element that can contaminate groundwater in some regions. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking water can lead to serious health problems.
Brita filters do not remove 1,4-dioxane, a synthetic industrial chemical that can contaminate water supplies. Long-term exposure to this chemical has been linked to several health issues, including cancer.
Radium, a naturally occurring radioactive element, is not removed by Brita filters. Ingesting radium in drinking water can increase the risk of cancer and other health problems.
Brita filters do not remove salt or sodium from your water, which can be an issue for people on sodium-restricted diets or in areas with high levels of naturally occurring salt in the water supply.
Contaminants Removed by Select Brita Filters
While some Brita filters are designed to reduce lead levels in water, the effectiveness of this removal can vary. Be sure to check the specific model you are considering for information on lead reduction capabilities.
Some Brita filters can partially remove estrogen, a hormone that can enter water supplies from human and animal waste or pharmaceuticals. However, the removal rate may not be sufficient to eliminate all estrogen-related concerns.
The difference between removing and reducing
Water filter companies typically provide a list of contaminants their filters can effectively remove. This indicates that the company’s filters either completely eliminate these particles or remove a specified percentage of them.
When a company states that its filters reduce contaminants, it means they do not entirely remove 100% of the contaminants. Instead, they significantly decrease the remaining amounts in an individual’s drinking water.
Brita asserts that its Longlast+ filter eliminates 99% of lead and effectively reduces the majority of other contaminants.
Contaminants That Brita Partially Removes
Brita filters can partially remove PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), which are synthetic chemicals found in various products and can contaminate water supplies. However, the removal rate may not be sufficient to eliminate all concerns related to PFAS exposure.
VOCs and Gasoline
Brita filters can partially remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be found in gasoline and other products. These chemicals can enter water supplies through leaks or spills, and long-term exposure may have adverse health effects. However, the removal of VOCs by Brita filters may not be complete, so other filtration methods may be necessary for full protection.
Glyphosate and Pesticides
Brita filters can partially remove glyphosate and other pesticides, which can contaminate water supplies due to agricultural runoff. While reducing the levels of these contaminants can help improve water quality, Brita filters may not provide complete protection against all pesticide-related concerns.
Maintenance Is Critical to Brita Performance
To ensure your Brita filter continues to function effectively, proper maintenance is essential. Regularly replacing the filter cartridge according to the manufacturer’s guidelines is crucial to maintain optimal performance. Additionally, cleaning the filter housing and pitcher will help prevent the buildup of bacteria and other contaminants, further ensuring the safety and quality of your filtered water.
How often should I replace my Brita filter?
Most Brita filters need to be replaced every two months or after filtering approximately 40 gallons (150 liters) of water. However, this can vary depending on your specific filter model, so be sure to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Can I use a Brita filter to purify water from natural sources like rivers and lakes?
No, Brita filters are designed to improve the quality of tap water, not to purify water from natural sources. For water purification in outdoor or emergency situations, consider using a specialized portable water filter or purification tablets. Read my article about using Brita filters to treat river water.
Can I use a Brita filter if I have a well?
Brita filters can be used to improve the taste and quality of well water. However, well water can contain contaminants not addressed by Brita filters. It’s essential to have your well water tested to determine if additional filtration or treatment is necessary.
While Brita filters can significantly improve the taste and quality of tap water by removing various contaminants, it’s important to understand that they are not designed to remove all potential impurities. To ensure the safety of your drinking water, be aware of the limitations of Brita filters and consider additional filtration methods if necessary. Regular maintenance of your Brita filter is also critical to maintaining optimal performance and water quality.
|– Brita filters do not remove all contaminants.|
|– Some contaminants are only partially removed, while others are not addressed at all.|
|– Proper maintenance is crucial to ensure optimal filter performance.|
|– It’s essential to understand the limitations of Brita filters and consider additional filtration if needed.|
What Does Brita Not Filter Out? 11 Contaminants That Could Be in Your Drinking Water! | Water Treatment? ›
Brita filters are unable to remove fluoride, bacteria, fungus, viruses, nitrates, hardness, arsenic, 1,4-dioxane, radium, and salt. They can partially address PFAS, glyphosate, pesticides, VOCs, and gasoline, while only certain Brita filters have the capability to remove lead and estrogen.What does a Brita filter not filter out? ›
For example, the Brita water filter pitcher uses a coconut-based activated carbon filter that removes chlorine, zinc, copper, cadmium and mercury. However, activated carbon filters don't remove all nitrates, dissolved minerals, or bacteria and viruses in water through the absorption process.What do Brita filters miss? ›
Brita claims that its filters can reduce toxins such as chlorine, copper, and lead but cannot remove them. The taste of tap water varies slightly among water treatment systems and depends on the water's source.How many contaminants does a Brita filter remove? ›
You can see from the Performance Data Sheet image below for the Brita filter, Brita is achieving very low levels of contaminant reduction, including between 92% & 95% of chlorine which is fairly easy to remove at high levels from water with a carbon block filter.What is the truth about Brita filters? ›
Common household toxins (like lead and asbestos)
Although the Longlast Brita filters do a better job at filtering out heavy metals and toxins, the standard Brita filters do not remove these contaminants at all. When all is said and done, Brita filters only remove about 30 contaminants.
Filter water vs. bottled water. Although both filtered water and bottled water can provide healthier, better-tasting water, the cost-effectiveness and smaller environmental impact of filtered water beats out bottled water at every turn.Does Brita filter out E coli? ›
Cartridge filters, carbon filters, pitcher style filters (Eg. Brita) do not remove e. coli. e.Does Brita filter out minerals? ›
BRITA filters do not filter out all calcium or magnesium. Instead, they work by reducing the carbonate hardness of the water, so that calcium carbonate is less likely to develop. So you can still enjoy healthy minerals.Is Pur or Brita better? ›
Brita surpasses Pur in overall water taste, filter lifespan, filter replacement cost, and pitcher options. However, the whole point of a water filter pitcher is to actually remove contaminants, and the Pur filters reduce and remove more chemicals from the water than the Brita pitchers do.Will Brita filter out lead? ›
The Brita faucet filter is the only other model besides the Longlast+ that is capable of removing lead. It utilizes a non-woven material to catch particles and sediment. There is also a tightly bound carbon block to reduce chlorine odor and taste, benzene, asbestos and lead.
Do Water Filters Remove Giardia? An alternative to boiling water is using a point-of-use filter. Not all home water filters remove Giardia. Brita, Pur, and Invigorated Living water pitchers do not even touch Giardia.Does Brita filter out heavy metals? ›
The Standard and Brita Elite filters are both certified under NSF/ANSI 53 for reducing some heavy metals, including mercury and cadmium, in drinking water. The Standard filter is also certified under NSF/ANSI 42 for reducing zinc (to address taste, color, and odor issues), and under NSF/ANSI 53 for reducing copper.Is Brita worth buying? ›
Brita is probably the best-known of the water filter pitcher brands and it performed well in our testing, second only to the ZeroWater in the overall removal of dissolved materials. The Brita removed about 40% of the TDS. Not a bad showing but still significantly less than the winner.
Overall, both tap and bottled water are considered good ways to hydrate. However, tap water is generally a better option, as it's just as safe as bottled water but costs considerably less and has a much lower environmental impact. Plus, with a reusable water bottle, tap water can be just as convenient as bottled.Is it healthy to drink Brita filtered water? ›
Are Brita Filters Safe? Brita filters are effective at removing contaminants from drinking water. Brita products are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), which means they meet the requirements for providing safe drinking water.Which filter is best for drinking water? ›
Reverse osmosis filters are top of the line for removing a large percentage of contaminants out of the water, potentially including dangerous waterborne bacteria. The filters work by pushing water through the reverse osmosis membrane using pressure.What are the disadvantages of filtered water? ›
- Speaking of cost, initial installation is more expensive than other filtration methods. ...
- You can't pick and choose what gets filtered. ...
- Fluoride and your teeth: If you choose a whole house water filtration system that removes ALL chemicals, you will also be removing fluoride.
In all seriousness, SmartWater is deemed as one of the best water bottle brands out there, enabling you to achieve ultimate hydration through a special vapor-distillation process that eradicates impurities. Essentially, this sort of system emulates the hydrologic cycle that makes water as pure as a drop of rain.What happens if you use a Brita filter too long? ›
What happens if you use a Brita filter for too long? If you use a Brita filter for too long, there's a risk that bacteria could accumulate in the filter. An expired filter may also fail to trap contaminants or develop holes, allowing contaminants to seep out of the filter and affecting the filtration technology.How long can you keep Brita filtered water? ›
The BRITA MAXTRA+ water filter provides up to four weeks and 100 litres of freshly filtered water. Its ion exchange resin reduces both carbonate hardness (limescale) and metals such as copper and lead. The activated carbon reduces substances that can impair taste, such as chlorine and chlorine compounds.
The Hidden Build-Up In Brita Filters
Tap Water, Brita water filters do not actually kill the microorganisms that may be found in your in-home water supply. In fact, because the filter is not designed to kill bacteria, it becomes a breeding ground for microorganisms, especially if you fail to conduct proper maintenance.
Brita Marella XL: The best jug for families
It's a well-designed 2.4l jug with a flip-up flap in the lid for easy filling, using Brita's tried-and-tested Maxtra cartridges. The Marella XL takes the basic design and ups the size, with a 3.5l total capacity that delivers 2l of filtered water.
Reverse Osmosis Remove Minerals. Reverse Osmosis (RO) removed more than 90-99.99% of all the contaminants including minerals from the drinking water supply (see Figure 1). RO removes minerals because they have larger molecules than water.Should you filter tap water? ›
The levels of chlorine in the drinking water are non-toxic, so you may not need a filter. However, consumption over time may have health consequences.Which is the No 1 water filter brand? ›
|Sure From Aquaguard Delight NXT RO+UV+UF+ Water Purifier||3.9 / 5|
|HUL Pureit Eco Mineral RO+UV+MF Water Purifier||4.3 / 5|
|Aquaguard Aura RO+UV+UF+Taste Adjuster(MTDS) Water Purifier||4 / 5|
|KENT Supreme Alkaline RO+UV Water Purifier||4.3 / 5|
Yes! Filtered water is generally cleaner, purer, and better for the environment than water in plastic bottles. Depending on the filtration process, filtered water can taste better than bottled water, too.What is the best way to filter water? ›
What's the best way to filter water? Most agree that the best way to filter water is through reverse osmosis, which sends the water through a semipermeable membrane to separate ions and unwanted particles from drinking water.Does Brita filter microplastics? ›
Does my brita remove microplastics? Brita water filter pitchers use Granular Activated Carbon filters to reduce impurities from water, such as chlorine, taste and odor. These filters are inexpensive to manufacture and not specifically designed to remove microplastics or water contaminants like lead.What are the symptoms of lead in drinking water? ›
- High blood pressure.
- Joint and muscle pain.
- Difficulties with memory or concentration.
- Abdominal pain.
- Mood disorders.
- Reduced sperm count and abnormal sperm.
- Miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth in pregnant women.
Boiling is the surest method to kill disease-causing germs, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. adding a pinch of salt for each quart or liter of boiled water.
Boiling: Boiling is the best way to kill disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. The high temperature and time spent boiling are very important to effectively kill the organisms in the water. Boiling will also effectively treat water if it is still cloudy or murky.Which water purifier does not waste water? ›
Reverse Osmosis or RO water purification is one of the most popular and promising methods for purifying water. RO purification is known to remove even the minutest of the impurities from water, while turning high TDS (salty tasting) water into sweet tasting potable water.Can I put tap water in my Brita? ›
For instance, Brita filters won't work for you if your tap water contains fluoride, because Brita doesn't remove fluoride. However, if you're just dealing with lead or chlorine in your tap water, the Longlast+ filtered water pitcher will remove these impurities and give you the solution you're looking for.Does Brita remove bacteria and viruses? ›
Brita Filters Don't Eliminate Bacteria, Fungus, Or Viruses. When we think our water has been “purified,” it really, most likely, has just been stripped of Chlorine, like we just learned. But most people also assume that they're going to get pure, flavorless water.How do you disinfect a Brita pitcher? ›
Brita® pitchers and dispensers are NOT dishwasher safe. Hand wash the pitcher/dispenser, lid and reservoir periodically with a mild detergent—never with abrasive cleaners—and rinse well. Plastic Brita® Premium Filtering Water Bottles are dishwasher safe (top rack only).What does Brita remove from water? ›
* Brita® faucet filters reduce lead, chlorine, asbestos, benzene, particulates and other contaminants.What water filter will remove arsenic? ›
The best water filtration system to remove arsenic from your drinking water is none other than a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water filtration system. Reverse Osmosis, also known as RO, is a process that uses pressure to force water through a special semi-permeable membrane to remove dissolved pollutants.What is the best filter to remove metals from water? ›
Our top recommendation is the Big Berkey Gravity Fed Water Filter, which can hold 2.25 gallons of water at a time and removes bacteria, parasites, and heavy metals.Why does Brita filter water taste so good? ›
The standard (and most common) Brita filter has a mesh screen that removes visible flecks from the water, and a carbon block that reduces the chlorine taste and odor.Is it cheaper to buy water or filter? ›
No matter how you slice it, high-quality, filtered tap water will always cost less than expensive bottled water. Switching from bottled water to a water filtration system could save you hundreds of dollars a year or more.
It's very inexpensive to filter it with a Brita filter. In fact, for about $70/year (cost of the pitcher, 8 filters, and tap water for two people), you can filter a year's worth of 1-gallon jugs, which would cost you just over $500 in plastic water bottles. Too much trouble?What's the healthiest water to drink? ›
What Is The Healthiest Water To Drink? When sourced and stored safely, spring water is typically the healthiest option. When spring water is tested, and minimally processed, it offers the rich mineral profile that our bodies desperately crave.Why am I still thirsty after drinking bottled water? ›
You might have an electrolyte imbalance: Electrolyte imbalances are one of the most common reasons you might feel dehydrated even after drinking tons of water: “Sometimes if we drink a lot of water but we don't take in enough fruits and vegetables, our electrolytes—sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, etc.How long is bottled water good for? ›
Frequently Asked Questions. How long can you keep bottled water? According to the US Food and Drug Administration, bottled drinking water doesn't require an expiration date. We recommend to use the standard best practices and to consume the bottled water within 2 years from the date of manufactured.What does Brita not filter out? ›
For example, the Brita water filter pitcher uses a coconut-based activated carbon filter that removes chlorine, zinc, copper, cadmium and mercury. However, activated carbon filters don't remove all nitrates, dissolved minerals, or bacteria and viruses in water through the absorption process.What water filter removes viruses? ›
Ultrafiltration removes bacteria and viruses.
It purifies and disinfects water to produce great-tasting water that is safe to use and drink. Ultrafiltration removes over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and giardia & cryptosporidium.
BRITA filters do not filter out all calcium or magnesium. Instead, they work by reducing the carbonate hardness of the water, so that calcium carbonate is less likely to develop. So you can still enjoy healthy minerals.Do Brita filters remove heavy metals? ›
The Standard and Brita Elite filters are both certified under NSF/ANSI 53 for reducing some heavy metals, including mercury and cadmium, in drinking water. The Standard filter is also certified under NSF/ANSI 42 for reducing zinc (to address taste, color, and odor issues), and under NSF/ANSI 53 for reducing copper.Is Brita better than other filters? ›
Brita is probably the best-known of the water filter pitcher brands and it performed well in our testing, second only to the ZeroWater in the overall removal of dissolved materials. The Brita removed about 40% of the TDS.
This is a specific type of water filter that has a semi-permeable membrane. The membrane itself has a handful of tiny pores that will trap contaminants that would otherwise damage your water supply. This system is strong enough to trap calcium, magnesium, other minerals, and numerous other particles.
Brita helps protect your health by filtering out contaminants, while preserving certain healthy minerals and electrolytes.What heavy metals does Brita filter? ›
For most Brita pitchers, there are two types of filters you can buy: Standard and Elite. The Standard filter primarily removes chlorine and heavy metals like cadmium, mercury, and copper. The Elite filter is rated to reduce chlorine, lead and other heavy metals.
There actually might even be a bit of a risk if people over-purify their water, says Neil Ward, an analytical chemistry professor at the University of Surrey in the U.K. If you constantly drink sterilized water, your gut flora could become used to that.Is it worth drinking filtered water? ›
Water Filtration Boosts Your Health:
Water filtration systems are good for your health. The benefits are ten-fold, with skin hydration, nutrient absorption, weight loss, detoxification, digestion and a reduction in the risk of cancer. Drinking pure water helps to support the immune system and mental health function.
Filtered water reduces corrosion and improves pH levels also extending the life of household fixtures. It not only aids in preventing rust stains in sinks, tubs, dishwashers, and toilets, but offers softer, brighter and longer lasting clothing.Which water filter removes the most contaminants? ›
Reverse Osmosis Systems
A reverse osmosis system combined with a carbon filter is most effective at removing water contaminants.
Brita water filters are designed to reduce certain contaminants in water, such as chlorine, lead, and copper. However, they are not capable of removing all contaminants, and in some cases, they may even be ineffective at reducing some harmful substances.Does Brita remove Microplastics? ›
Does my brita remove microplastics? Brita water filter pitchers use Granular Activated Carbon filters to reduce impurities from water, such as chlorine, taste and odor. These filters are inexpensive to manufacture and not specifically designed to remove microplastics or water contaminants like lead.What is the best way to filter drinking water? ›
It is best to use a point-of-entry filter system (where your water pipe enters your house), or whole-house filter system, for VOCs because they provide safe water for bathing and cleaning, as well as for cooking and drinking. Activated carbon filters can remove some VOCs.Why should you replace Brita filter? ›
* Changing your filter regularly helps ensure you have cleaner, great-tasting water. For all Brita® pitchers, dispensers and Water Filter Faucet Systems, timing estimates are based on 11 glasses per day for the average household.