What We Filter
Wondering What's In Your Tap Water?
Brita helps protect your health by filtering out contaminants, while preserving certain healthy minerals and electrolytes.*
Municipalities are required by law and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversight to give you safe drinking water. Most municipalities will provide an annual water quality report or consumer confidence report (CCRs) that provides detailed information about the quality of your drinking water during the past year. Water quality reports help you identify if there are contaminants present in your city’s tap water and how these may affect your health. If you don’t have this report on hand, you can find this information through the EPA Drinking Water site or by contacting your local municipality.
Because of aging infrastructure in certain areas, you may still get some contaminants in your water as the water travels from the municipal treatment plant to your home. Aging pipes and external contaminant infiltration may lead to contaminants in your water. If your water has a taste, odor or color issue, or you are concerned about the presence of a particular contaminant, consider the use of a water filter.
Here’s a quick rundown of notable impurities you might find in your water.†1
As you may know, unhealthy levels of this dangerous metal have been detected in some U.S. water supplies. Lead in tap water can come from corrosion of household plumbing systems, or erosion of natural deposits. Symptoms of lead poisoning range from delays in physical and mental development in children, to kidney problems and high blood pressure in adults. Both Brita® Faucet Systems and Brita® Longlast™ Filters are certified to remove 99% of lead that may be found in tap water. Read more about How Brita Filters Work to reduce lead in water.
All Brita® filters are designed to reduce chlorine taste and odor from your tap. Low levels of chlorine are added to public water supplies to kill bacteria and viruses, but once you turn on your tap it is no longer necessary. It can cause a bad smell and taste in water. In addition to Brita® Stream® Pitcher Filters and Brita® Bottles, Brita® Standard Filters, and Longlast™ Filters for Pitchers and Dispensers, and Brita® Faucet Systems help to reduce the taste and odor of chlorine that may be found in water.
While zinc is an essential trace element, it can add an undesirable taste and odor to your water. Brita® Standard Pitcher Filters help to reduce zinc that may be found in tap water.
Similar to lead, unhealthy levels of this metal have been detected in some U.S. water supplies. While copper is most dangerous to young children, excessive exposure can cause gastrointestinal distress, liver issues and kidney damage with adults. Brita® Standard Filters for Pitchers and Dispensers help to reduce copper that may be found in tap water.
High amounts of cadmium exposure can cause kidney, liver, bone and blood damage. According to Water Quality Association (WQA), cadmium can potentially cause a variety of effects from acute exposures, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, salivation, sensory disturbances, liver injury, convulsions, shock and renal failure. Brita® Standard Filters and Brita® Longlast™ Filters for Pitchers and Dispensers help to reduce cadmium that may be found in tap water.
According to the EPA, inorganic mercury from landfills can leach into the ground and contaminate water supplies. Excessive exposure can lead to kidney damage over time. According to WQA, high levels may also damage brain functioning, including changes in vision, hearing and memory problems. Brita® Standard Filters and Brita® Longlast™ Filters for Pitchers and Dispensers help to reduce mercury that may be found in tap water.
Some municipal tap water contains fluoride. Brita® filters keep a healthy level of fluoride, a water additive that promotes strong teeth.
Particulates are tiny sediments that can be found in your water. The particulates category includes debris such as rust, dirt, sand, sediment that can make your water appear cloudy and cause a bad smell and taste. The size of the sediment determines the classification. Brita® Longlast™ Filters and Brita® Faucet Mount Filters remove Class 1 particulates which are greater than or equal to 0.5 micron in size, and Brita® Bottle filters and Brita® Stream Filters remove Class 6 particulates which are greater than 50 microns in size.
While the health hazards for inhalation of asbestos have long been established, the known health risks in drinking water are lesser. The U.S. EPA notes an increased risk of developing benign intestinal polyps. Brita® Longlast™ Filters and Brita® Faucet Mount Filters help to reduce asbestos that may be found in tap water.
Herbicides, Pesticides & Organic Chemicals
There are a variety of herbicides, pesticides and other organic chemicals that may be found in tap water:
- Benzene: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the major effect of benzene from long-term exposure of a year or more is on the blood. Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. Brita® Longlast™ Filters and Brita® Faucet Mount Filters help to reduce benzene that may be found in tap water.
- 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene is moderately toxic when ingested as it can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract, according to the World Heath Organization (WHO). 1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene is reduced with Brita® Stream Filters and Brita® Faucet Mount Filters.
- TTHMs: According to the EPA, Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) are the result of discharge from textile finishing factories. At elevated levels, TTHMs have been associated with negative health effects such as adverse reproductive outcomes. Trihalomethanes (TTHMs) are reduced by Brita® Faucet Mount Filters.
- Atrazine is an herbicide widely used throughout the U.S., particularly Midwest, and may be tied to hormonal irregularities in women. Atrazine is reduced by Brita® Faucet Mount Filters.
- Lindane is used as an insecticide on fruit and vegetable crops, and has been detected in groundwater and surface water samples collected near hazardous waste sites, however, the chemical has only very rarely been detected in drinking water supplies. Lindane has been listed as a pollutant of concern to the EPA due to its toxicity to humans and the environment. Lindane is reduced by Brita® Faucet Mount Filters.
- Tricholoethylene (TCE) is used primarily in metal degreasing operations. Poor handling as well as improper disposal of TCE in landfills have been the main causes of groundwater contamination. Long-term excessive exposure can lead to kidney and liver damage over time. TCE is reduced by Brita® Faucet Mount Filters.
Pharmaceuticals & Industrial Chemicals
According to WHO, trace levels of pharmaceuticals have been reported in the water cycle, including surface waters, wastewater, groundwater and, to a lesser extent, drinking water. Adverse health impact to humans is very unlikely because of the low concentration. Nevertheless Brita® Longlast™ Filters help reduce these industrial chemicals including Estrone, Ibuprofen and Naproxen, that may be found in tap water.‡
Brita is committed to healthier hydration, which is why our filters and containers are all BPA-free. Whether you’re looking for a pitcher, faucet system or bottle, it’s easy to find a Brita® filtration system to fit your lifestyle.
- * See certifications. Minerals naturally occurring in tap water. May not be present in all users’ water.
- † Substances reduced may not be in all users’ water.
- ‡ The Longlast™ Filter is compatible with all Brita® Pitchers but is currently only certified for pharmaceutical reduction in 9 models: Space Saver (OB21), Amalfi (OB32), Grand Color Series (OB36), Pacifica (OB41), Capri (OB43), Mini Plus (OB44), Marina (OB47), Monterey (OB50) and Wave (OB53).
- 1. Source: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/national-primary-drinking-water-regulations