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There's nothing quite like a cold glass of ice water to quench your thirst. Not only does it taste refreshing, but it's important for hydration too. In fact, men should consume 13 cups of liquid every day, and women should get 9.
So, yes, downing multiple cups of H2O should be part of your daily routine. However, what you don't need--or want--are all of the contaminants and pollutants that can come with a cup of water.
Bottled drinks might seem like an appealing alternative, but there's no guarantee that what comes in those individual plastic bottles will actually be any less toxic than the stuff that comes from your kitchen faucet. Plus, plastic bottles are an environmental disaster.
Instead, seek out the best water filter pitcher. With a reusable pitcher, you can economically and effectively filter contaminants out of your family's drinking supply. Ahead, learn more with these water filter pitcher reviews and discover the best one for your needs.
Top 6 Best Water Filter Pitchers
What Is the Problem with Water?
Drinking plenty of H2O straight from the tap sounds like an economical way to get your daily hydration. Unfortunately, your municipal supply may not be as pure as you think it is.
Water can contain harmful chemicals and contaminants. Many of these are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, but the legal limits are often higher than what you'd really like to find in your water. Plus, there are plenty of contaminants that aren't regulated at all, but that doesn't mean that it's okay to put them into your system.
Furthermore, some contaminants may come directly from the plumbing in your home, which is too far along in the supply chain to be subject to EPA scrutiny.
What Chemicals and Materials Are Found in Water?
Your tap water is full of chemicals and contaminants. Every city's supply has a different spectrum of chemicals. Just a few of the many potential contaminants that you might find in your glass are listed below.
Chemical or Material
Safe to Use?
More research needed - We lean towards NO
Possibly OK for topical application in tooth products, but we don't recommend ingestion
More research needed - We lean towards NO
No! Possibly OK for topical application, but we don't recommend ingestion
This chemical is often added to municipal supplies as a way to strengthen teeth. However, there's questionable evidence as to whether fluoride ingestion actually prevents tooth decay.
On the flip side, fluoride is a known carcinogen. Not only may drinking fluoride not help your teeth at all, but daily consumption might also lead to cancer down the road. Fluoride may even be associated with thyroid and reproductive concerns.
Unfortunately, most water filter pitchers are not really designed to reduce or remove fluoride. If this is among your top concerns, you might want to consider a more robust water filtration system with reverse osmosis filtering.
Pipes made of lead are an obvious source of this contaminant, but even homes without lead pipes might have trouble with it. That's because lead can also be lingering in solder and in faucets.
Lead is especially dangerous for young children. It can cause behavioral issues, delayed growth, hyperactivity, hearing problems and other medical complications. Adults who have been exposed to lead may develop symptoms related to their kidneys, blood pressure or reproductive systems.
No??? More research needed - we lean towards no
This chemical is added to municipal supplies to kill pathogens. However, there is a link between chlorine and various cancers, including bladder and rectal cancer.
Chlorine actually reacts with other naturally occurring organic matter to create byproducts known as trihalomethanes. Chloroform, bromodichloromethane, bromoform, and dibromochloromethane are all examples of trihalomethanes.
Chloroform is classified as a "probable" human carcinogen by the US government and a "known" carcinogen by the state of California. It is suspected that trihalomethanes may also cause bladder cancer, colon and rectal cancer, birth defects, low birth weight, and miscarriage.
Less deadly, but still unpleasant: chlorine may also taint your drink with a strong taste or smell. Depending on the level of chlorine in your municipal supply, you might even feel like you're drinking straight from a swimming pool.
Like lead, copper often comes straight from the pipes. Your body needs only a small amount of this element each day. Too much can be toxic, especially for infants under age one.
No?? More research needed, we lean toward no
Mercury comes in several different forms. Inorganic mercury is the type most often found in municipal supplies. Thankfully, of all the types of mercury, this is the least hazardous to health. However, you still don't want it in your drinking supply as it can lead to kidney problems.
Nontoxic Filter Pitchers
A pitcher system allows you to fill up the container and keep it in the fridge so that a cold, clean drink is only a pour away. There is no installation work required to use this sort of filter, and the small size of a pitcher takes up little-to-no counter or floor space.
What Chemicals and Materials Usually Make Up Nontoxic Filter Pitchers?
One of the most common types of filters in a pitcher system is an activated carbon filter. This is a relatively low-cost approach to removing some contaminants, particularly chlorine. Some can also remove other compounds, including mercury and lead. However, carbon alone will not remove all contaminants; for example, this filtration system is ineffective against fluoride.
In general, carbon-block filters produce better results than granulated-carbon filters.
Some filtration systems use an ion-exchange system to help remove contaminants from the drinking supply. These systems are typically used in conjunction with a carbon filter because each type removes different contaminants.
An ion-exchange system swaps out the ions that are present in your drink. It filters out the ions that you don't want to consume and exchanges them for less unhealthy ones. Such a system is often used to remove fluoride, for example.
It is common these days for pitchers and other drink containers to be made of BPA-free plastic. Many food and drink receptacles used to be made of polycarbonate plastic, but because this material contains BPA, manufacturers now rely on other plastics.
However, it's worth noting that just because a plastic is BPA-free doesn't mean that it doesn't contain other chemicals that affect hormones. Yes, you should certainly avoid BPA, but you should also bear in mind that all plastics come with a degree of concern.
When shopping for a filter pitcher, be sure to look for one that has NSF certification. This ensures that products claims made by the manufacturer are true and that the unit's structural integrity is reliable.
A "Tested to NSF Standards" mark is not the same as NSF certification. This indicates that the manufacturer may have done independent testing, but it has not necessarily been certified by an accredited agency.
- NSF-42: Certifies that a filter improves the odor and taste of the water, and reduces particulates and chlorine.
- NSF-53: Certifies an actual reduction of metals and/or chemicals that can affect health. Each compound is actually certified separately (For example: A water filter might be NSF certified to reduce mercury and copper).
- NSF-401: Certifies that a filter can filter microbiological and pharmaceutical contaminants like bacteria, ibuprofen, and herbicides. This is the most demanding certification and most filters do not have it.
Water Quality Association Certification
WQA is an accredited organization that tests filter products to ensure that they meet industry requirements. Products that have received this certification may be marked with a gold seal logo. WQA grades filter pitchers against NSF standards.
Considering Your Municipal Supply
The contaminants in your drinking supply are influenced by where you live. The main chemicals of concern in the municipal supply vary from place to place. In order to find the best water filter pitcher for your family, it is important to have an understanding of what contaminants you specifically need to filter from your water. You can request a copy of the annual report from your supplier to get a feel for what chemicals and pollutants are most problematic in your city.
Top 6 Non Toxic Filter Pitchers...Reviewed
Before we dive into the best water filter pitcher reviews, it's worth noting that there's no perfect solution here. All pitcher models use at least some plastic, and none removes every contaminant out there.
However, drinking from a filter pitcher is almost always an improvement over drinking straight tap water. Plus, these systems are convenient, take up minimal space and don't cost much. If a filter pitcher is what works for your family, pick the one that best meets your needs and rest assured that you are improving the quality of your drinking supply.
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Written by Ashley
Chief editor here at Nontoxic Reboot. I'm passionate about providing you with the best and easiest ways to make your world healthier and a little less toxic.
Downing multiple cups of H2O should be part of your daily routine. However, what you don’t need–or want–are all of the contaminants and pollutants that can come with a cup of water.