How Your Activated Carbon Water Filter Works
Granular activated carbon is a well-established technology for the
reduction of a wide range of aesthetic contaminants, and is quite effective in the reduction of some health
contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (benzene, trichloroethylene, and other "petroleum"-based
Because of its molecular makeup, activated carbon can adsorb well,
meaning that it can take in or collect many organic molecules on its surface. Granular activated carbon filters are
typically inexpensive, and maintenance involves replacing six to twelve cartridges a year, depending on the quality
of the raw water and the filter media.
Specially designed solid block and precoat activated carbon
filters are also available, which are effective at reducing heavy metals such as lead and mercury. Solid block
filters with a pore size smaller than 0.2 microns are often effective against biological contaminants as
Carbon block media usually has to be disposed of after each use.
This media, however, provides additional treatment for a variety of other health and aesthetic contaminants.
Microfiltration is effective for treating the full range of biological contaminants, including hard-shelled
infection cysts like Cryptosporidium.
How it works: Positively charged and highly absorbent carbon in the water filter attracts
and traps many impurities.
Used in: Countertop, inline filters, faucet filters, shower filters and
Gets rid of: Bad tastes and odors, including chlorine. Standard 53-certified filters also
can substantially reduce many hazardous contaminants, including heavy metals such as copper, lead and mercury;
disinfection byproducts; parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium ; pesticides; radon;
and volatile organic chemicals such as methyl-tert-butyl ether (MTBE), dichlorobenzene and trichloroethylene
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