Are Pitcher Filters Any Good at Filtering for Microplastics?

Answer: It depends on the pitcher.


This week in our video series we looked at water pitcher filters and evaluated them on how effective they were at removing microplastics. Currently there are not any standards for water filters for microplastics so we thought it would be interesting to see how effective any of them were for microplastic removal. Check the video out below:




We wanted to use this space to add a little additional content that we didn't have time to cover in the video. So first off lets look at our sample particle counts. All of these samples were 200 mL samples.



Looking at these number a few things pop out to me:

  1. Our tap water microplastic content is actually pretty low. This is entirely based on our experience but it turns out the tap we use in our lab space has a pretty low microplastic exposure. In our experience these numbers are closer to 180-200 particles per 200 mL sample.

  2. Pitchers A and B both did pretty well, they essentially halved the particle count which is significant. However this is still significantly higher than our control meaning you would still see some exposure at this level of filtration

  3. Pitchers C and D did the opposite both of them adding a significant amount of additional particles (40 and 64 particles respectively).

Discussion


So, we have two pitchers that did well and to pitchers that did not. What were the differences? Well the primary differences we saw was in cost and setup procedure. The better performing pitchers were actually lower in cost and had more extensive cleaning procedures.


We followed the instructions exactly as indicated for each pitcher but it is possible these more expensive high end filters will perform better after a greater total volume of water is moved through them. I think it will be very interesting in a future video to look into the lifespan effectiveness of these pitchers. It’s very possible the less expensive pitchers will fall off in effectiveness and the higher end ones will outperform them over time.



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