PUR pitcher filters are popular for their affordability and their reliability in removing a selection of common drinking water contaminants. But do PUR pitchers remove PFAS?
If you’re interested in buying a PUR water filter pitcher but you want to confirm its PFAS removal abilities first, this guide will provide the answers you need.
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🚱 How Do PFAS Get Into Drinking Water?
PFAS chemicals get into drinking water supplies because of their widespread presence in the environment.
There are a few different ways that PFAS end up in the environment, including:
- Runoff from firefighting foams
- Pollution from wastewater treatment plants
- Air emissions from factories
- Waste from industrial sites
Once in the environment, PFAS can linger for decades (hence their “forever chemicals” status), and they eventually end up contaminating our surface water and groundwater supplies as a result of surface runoff and soil seepage.
The good news is that PFAS chemicals are no longer used by many of the biggest manufacturers in the US, although sadly, this doesn’t prevent PFAS from being imported into the country.
Why aren’t PFAS removed by our water suppliers? Most don’t have the facilities or infrastructure to remove these chemicals, which is why they’re still present in trace levels in the water that reaches our faucets.
🩺 What Are the Potential Health Risks of PFAS?
There are a few known health risks of PFAS in water, according to research into several of the most common PFAS.
When you consume PFAS in your tap water, you’re at an increased risk of:
- Thyroid effects
- Liver and kidney disease
- Immune system effects
- Lipid and insulin dysregulation
- Developmental and reproductive effects
This data is reflective of research into the most common types of PFAS, but the reality is that there are hundreds of PFAS chemicals with possible human health effects that lack toxicity data. So there’s a lot that we still don’t know about how this group of chemicals might affect our health in the long term.
🧪 How Can I Test for PFAS in My Water?
You’ll get the most accurate and comprehensive insight into the PFAS concentration in your drinking water by using a certified laboratory testing package.
Lab testing provides detailed data that tells you the percentage of PFAS your water contains, as well as the different types of PFAS chemicals present.
The cost of a lab test for PFAS is around $300. If you don’t want to spend so much on a test and you get your water from a municipal supplier, you can at least find out which PFAS chemicals have been detected in your water supply by checking your most recent annual Water Quality Report.
🤔 So, Does PUR Filter Out PFAS?
PUR sells two filters for its filtered water pitcher models: the PUR Pitcher Filter and the PUR Plus Pitcher Filter. You can download test datasheets on the PUR website to learn exactly what both of these water filter cartridges remove.
According to these datasheets, neither the PUR Pitcher Filter nor the PUR Plus Pitcher Filter removes PFAS from drinking water.
But does this actually mean that the PUR filters can’t filter out PFAS? Not necessarily. PUR’s datasheets only show the contaminants that the filters have been tested and certified to remove. So, while the filters aren’t certified to remove PFAS, they might still be capable of PFAS removal.
PUR standard filters are made with a granular activated carbon (GAC) media and ion exchange resin, and the PUR Plus filter contains a blend of granular activated carbon and ion exchange resin enclosed in a pleated microfilter. Both activated carbon filters and ion exchange filters are effective in removing PFAS and are even recommended by the EPA, so both of PUR’s filters should remove PFAS, even if they’re not tested or advertised to remove these chemicals.
🔎 Why Don’t PUR Filters Remove PFAS?
We don’t know that PUR filters definitely don’t remove PFAS – it’s just that PUR hasn’t claimed that its filters do remove these chemicals, and it hasn’t had its filters tested and certified by the NSF for this purpose.
There could be a few reasons for this. PUR might have plans to obtain testing in the future, but NSF certifications are quite expensive and can take a long time to deliver results. Or, despite being ion exchange and activated carbon filters, which usually do allow for effective PFAS removal, PUR filters might simply be incapable of reducing PFAS contaminants reliably enough to obtain testing or certifications for their performance.
There’s also the possibility that the PUR filters simply don’t contain enough activated carbon filter media to remove all PFAS, so while they might remove some forever chemicals, they don’t offer removal rates that are worth boasting about.
🚰 Other PFAS Water Filters
We don’t blame you if you want to sidestep PUR pitchers and look for a water filtration system that’s tested and/or certified to address PFAS contamination in drinking water.
Some of the other water filtration systems that can often remove or reduce PFAS in water include:
- Other pitcher filter models – Remove 80-98% PFAS
- Reverse osmosis filters – Remove around 90-95% of PFAS
- Water distiller units – Remove up to 99% of PFAS
A reverse osmosis system is great if you have a big budget, but if you want to buy a water filter pitcher because of its affordability and portability, we recommend looking at the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher Filter.
This pitcher proves that you don’t have to spend a fortune on a reverse osmosis filter to effectively remove contaminants from your water. It reduces more than 360 tap water impurities, including 99.4% of a variety of forever chemicals, like EPFB, NFBS, PFOA, GenX, PFBS, PFBA, and PFOS.
Does the PUR faucet filter remove PFAS?
No, neither of the PUR faucet filters can remove PFAS. They can remove contaminants like chlorine, lead, mercury, and BPA, but no PFAS. View the faucet filter datasheet here.
What chemicals do PUR filters remove?
Some of the chemicals removed by PUR water filters include chlorine and BPA. These filters haven’t been tested to remove many contaminants, so it’s possible that they may at least reduce certain other chemicals, including PFAS, pesticides, and herbicides.
Are PUR filters tested to remove PFAS?
No, PUR filters haven’t been tested or certified to remove PFAS. The pitcher filters are certified to NSF Standards 42, 53, and 401, for the removal of chlorine, contaminants with health effects, and emerging contaminants – but they’re not certified to remove PFOA and PFOS (NSF P473).