What Is the Best Microplastics Filter?

What Is the Best Microplastics Filter?

From takeout to tablecloths and containers to candy wrappers, plastic is a pervasive part of our everyday lives—and for a good reason, too. The convenience and accessibility that plastic offers are virtually unmatched by any other material. Since its invention in 1907, plastic has been utilized in thousands of ways and millions of products. But as consumption grew, so did concerns about what plastic would do to the environment and our bodies. 

As recently as 2022, microplastics were discovered in human blood, heightening concern about microplastic emissions and their potential effects on human health. Similar studies have now found microplastic particles in heart tissue and testicular tissue as well. With this unsettling news, the importance of filtering microplastics from our water sources has become more critical than ever before. But what is the best way to filter microplastics from water? 

Before diving in, let's learn more about microplastics, how they get in our water, and how they affect human health. 

What Are Microplastics?

Microplastics, as their name suggests, are tiny plastic particles that find their way into our environment, drinking water sources, and food sources. These inorganic particles are often the result of plastic being broken down over time, whether in landfills or in our oceans. 

Microplastics often break down further into particles called nanoplastics. Invisible to the naked eye, these microscopic particles can easily contaminate food and water sources. Microplastic contamination can also occur during everyday use of plastic products (e.g. storing food in plastic containers).

How Do Microplastics Get into Water?

Despite ocean conservation efforts, an estimated 11 million tons of plastic enter oceans annually. This contaminated water threatens our own health as well as the health of our marine life. When fish ingest the broken-down plastic pieces, the plastic is absorbed into their bodies—and consequently into ours when we ingest those fish. But the microplastic contamination doesn't stop there.

Bottled water was recently discovered to contain over 240,000 plastic particles per liter. In the tested samples, researchers detected seven nano- and microplastic types, including polyethylene terephthalate and polyvinyl chloride, many of which are tied to the creation of plastic bottles. Ironically, nylon and plastic microfibers from filters that cleansed water were also found to be contaminants in water bottles. 

Surprisingly, even municipal drinking water sources like tap water have been found to contain microplastics. Conventional drinking water treatment methods include filtration and purification. Still, because of the microscopic size of these plastic particles, they can slip through the cracks of most filtration processes in drinking water treatment plants.

The microplastics found in tap water generally result from contamination of the source water (e.g., groundwater, surface run-off, or wastewater effluent). Plastics that have broken down in landfills may seep into groundwater sources that supply our drinking water. Similarly, microplastics found in surface run-off or discarded wastewater may not be completely filtered out of drinking water. 

How Many Microplastics Does Water Contain?

Recent research shows bottled water can contain over 240,000 plastic particles per liter. Many of those particles were discovered to be nanoplastics and thus invisible to the naked eye. Unlike bottled water, tap water doesn't come in direct contact with a plastic container, thus containing lower levels of microplastics. 

What Are the Health Impacts of Microplastic Exposure?

While not much research about the effects of microplastics on human health has been conducted, microplastics have been discovered in human bloodstreams and tissue matter—a cause for alarm in and of itself. Some studies, however, have found a correlation between microplastics and certain health issues.

For instance, one study suggests that the presence of microplastics in the bloodstream is directly correlated with a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and even death. These unsettling findings raise an important question: with plastic particles contaminating our food and water sources, can we minimize the health risks they might cause? 

What We Can Do

Though the odds might not be in our favor to remove microplastics from our lives completely, there are some things we can do to minimize the amount we ingest. 

  • Avoid plastic-wrapped foods: Unfortunately, microplastics have been found in many foods. Even fruits and vegetables have been found to contain these tiny plastic particles. And while you might not be able to avoid plastics in all food, you can avoid plastic-wrapped foods. Instead, try to buy foods wrapped in paper or other sustainable materials.
  • Use glassware: Similar to plastic packaging, plastic containers and dinnerware can contaminate food with plastic particles. Consider switching to glass dishes and containers. 
  • Avoid bottled water: Bottled water is a big microplastic contributor. Opt for a ceramic or stainless steel reusable bottle instead. 
  • Use a water filter: Because tap water isn't free from microplastics, investing in an under-sink water filter like the Aquavis Pulse can help remove microplastics from your drinking water. 

How to Filter Microplastics from Tap Water

Not every water filter can remove microplastics from your water, so let's cover a couple of the types that can:

  • Reverse osmosis filters (RO): This filtration method uses a semipermeable membrane to block particles larger than water molecules, which includes microplastics. The process forces water through this fine membrane, leaving contaminants, including microplastics, behind.
  • Activated carbon filters: These filters use a process called adsorption, where contaminants adhere to the surface of the activated carbon particles. Not only are activated carbon filters excellent at removing organic compounds, chlorine, and some heavy metals, but they can also trap larger microplastics. 

Choosing the Right Water Filter

To choose the right water filter for your home, you'll need to consider several key factors, such as filtration needs, cost, and level. By considering these factors, you can select a water filter that provides safe, clean water for your family at a price that won't break the bank.

  • Need: Assess the quality of your water and identify the contaminants you want to remove, such as microplastics, chlorine, or heavy metals. Depending on the contaminants in your water, you may need a more versatile filter.
  • Cost: Consider the cost of the filter, not just the initial purchase price but also ongoing maintenance and replacement filters. Find a price point that fits your financial circumstances.
  • Filtration level: Determine the level and capacity of filtration your house needs. Are you looking to filter the entire home or just your main drinking water source? And do you want the filter to remove everything, including minerals, or only the harmful contaminants? 

Choose Aquavis for Plastic-Free Water

Activated carbon filters like the Aquavis Pulse can rid your water of many harmful contaminants, including microplastics, cysts, PFAS ("forever chemicals"), VOCs, and heavy metals. 

Installed in a matter of minutes, the Aquavis Pulse fits right under your sink—no professional help is needed. With Aquavis, you can filter your main drinking water source without wasting extra funds on a pricy whole-house filter or multi-filter RO system. 

Not only does Aquavis help remove contaminants like microplastics from your water, but it also helps reduce waste from plastic water bottles. The Luma bottle from Aquavis offers an on-the-go hydration option that you can refill with your freshly filtered tap water, reducing plastic waste. Plus, the Luma bottle utilizes UV light technology to ensure your water is free from bacteria and harmful pathogens. 

Keep your family safe from harmful contaminants like microplastics—check out Aquavis today!
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