The Real Cost of Being Clean

By Lewis Braham - 2013-07-16T19:53:16Z

Photograph by Catapult

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Water Purifiers

Some $375 million in purifiers were sold in the U.S. in the last year, according to IRI. The EPA’s cleanliness standards for public water systems are stricter than the FDA’s for bottled water. Nevertheless, says Mintel analyst Gabriela Mendieta, “We’re seeing a lot of growth in water purifiers, especially Brita’s.” A 2012 test by the GH Research Institute and the Arizona Laboratory for Emerging Contaminants at the University of Arizona found that Brita filters removed from 49 percent to 60 percent of contaminants and that "throughout the filter's life, its removal rate for all contaminants decreased more sharply than those of the others tested." The highest-scoring pitcher filter was the ZeroWater 8-Cup Pitcher, which removed from 73 percent to 95 percent of many of the pharmaceuticals and chemicals in the tested water.