PUR filter removes 99% of cysts – so what?

cryptosporidium - a cyst found in surface waters

cryptosporidium – a cyst found in surface waters

Last night I was watching TV and a PUR water filter ad came on. They showed one of those shiny little faucet mount filters and made the claim: “99% of lead and cysts removed”.

Well, I don’t know about you but I’m not concerned with either cysts, like cryptosporidium, being in my water. It’s possible, but very unlikely. Some years ago Milwaukee had a cryptosporidium outbreak and a number of people throughout the city got very sick. Someone may even have died. I don’t recall. But this is generally not a problem with city water. Cities poison the water with chlorine specifically to kill any living organisms in the water. It is a problem when you’re out hiking in the woods. And PUR is my filter of choice when I’m camping and drinking river water.

The other claim, of lead removal, is more relevant. Lead has been regulated by EPA for some time now. Older homes may have lead pipes or, more recently, homes may have iron or copper pipes but have lead solder. Lead is a serious issue and I wouldn’t drink it myself. However I’m far more concerned with chlorine and its carcinogenic byproducts. I suggest you buy a drinking water filter that removes lead and the other contaminants in your water, which the PUR filter does not do.

So I wonder, are we consumers just suckers for the 99% claim? Does that sound so effective that it just doesn’t matter to us that we don’t have cysts or lead in our water? We just buy it because it sounds good? Or because it looks cool?

This is a problem with the water industry: numerous misleading claims are made by many of the major manufacturers. This issue baffles and exhausts me. Before you buy a water filter of any kind I urge you to review your local water report and find out what is in your water – then buy the filter that removes the bad stuff.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to PUR filter removes 99% of cysts – so what?

  1. Bob Anderson says:

    I completely agree, I always think to myself, how are we supposed to raise a proper awareness of safe water habits when companies will push any slogan or claim at consumers just to make a buck. I feel that there needs to be proper regulations to these claims, but also people should do the research before they purchase a product. It’s a downward spiral that seems impossible to break. Thank you for your awareness and sharing it with others around you, I’m 99% sure it would open every eye that reads this article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *