In recent years, there has been an increased focus on the topic of water filtration and microplastics. This is because it is estimated that up to 12 million metric tons of plastic enter the world’s oceans each year, and a large portion of that plastic is in the form of microplastics. Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are 5 mm or smaller in diameter. They can come from a variety of sources, such as cosmetics, detergents, and car tires.
Microplastics are so small that it is difficult to use a water filter to remove them. Nano-particles are notoriously difficult to filter out because they have a tendency to clog the filter.
While the jury is still out on whether or not water filters can remove microplastics from water, there is some evidence to suggest that they can be effective. A study published in 2018 (Kosuth, PLoS One 2018) found that a standard home water filter was able to remove 80% of microplastics from water. However, it is important to note that not all water filters are created equal.
What type of filter removes microplastics?
The type of filter you use will play a significant role in its ability to remove microplastics from water.
If you’re looking for a water filter that can effectively remove microplastics from water, you’ll want to choose a filter that has a sub-micron pore size. The smaller the pore size, the more effective the filter will be at removing contaminants like microplastics from water.
It is also important to choose a filter that has been independently tested and certified by organizations like NSF International or the Water Quality Association.
There are a few different types of water filters that meet these criteria.
Reverse osmosis (RO) system
One option is a reverse osmosis (RO) system. RO systems use a semipermeable membrane to remove contaminants from water. The pores in the membrane are small enough to remove contaminants like microplastics from water.
Activated carbon filters
Another option is an activated carbon filter. Activated carbon filters are made of charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up its pores. This increases the surface area of the charcoal, which makes it more effective at adsorbing contaminants like microplastics.
Another option is an ultrafiltration system. Ultrafiltration systems use a membrane to remove contaminants from water. The pores in the membrane are small enough to remove contaminants like microplastics from water.
Pitcher filters and faucet-mounted filters can also be effective at removing microplastics from water. These filters typically use activated carbon to remove contaminants.
What percent of tap water has microplastics?
Studies have found that microplastics are present in tap water all over the world.
A study published in 2019 found that 83% of samples taken from tap water in the United States contained microplastics. (Cox, Environ Sci Technol 2019)
It is important to be aware that microplastics are not solely found in tap water. The average person ingests between 39,000 to 52,000 particles of microplastics each year from all food and water sources combined. It is generally more common to find microplastics in bottled water; if an individual were to only drink bottled water, they could ingest up to an additional 90,000 particles per year.
So drinking only bottled water might not be the best solution either. The best way to reduce your exposure to microplastics is to avoid using single-use plastics as much as possible.
Do Charcoal filters remove microplastics?
Activated charcoal filters are effective at removing microplastics from water. The pores in the charcoal trap contaminants like microplastics, preventing them from flowing through the filter with the water.
It is important to note that not all activated carbon filters are created equal. Some activated carbon filters are more effective at removing microplastics than others.
To ensure that your activated carbon filter is effective at removing microplastics, look for a filter that has a pore size of 0.45 microns or smaller. This will ensure that the pores in the filter are small enough to trap microplastics.
You should also look for a filter that has been independently tested and certified by organizations like NSF International or the Water Quality Association.
By following these guidelines, you can be sure that your activated carbon filter will remove microplastics from your water, making it safe to drink.
As awareness of the problem of plastic pollution grows, more and more people are wondering if they can do their part to reduce plastic waste by filtering their tap water at home.
While there is some evidence to suggest that certain types of home water filters can remove microplastics from water, it’s important to choose a filter with a small pore size and to look for independent certification when making your purchase.
By taking these precautions, you can help ensure that your home water filter is up to the task of reducing microplastic pollution.