One of the advantages many of us take for granted in our homes is access to good filtered water. The refrigerator filter is used by many people to get their drinking water.
As a result of their ability to remove many types of contaminants from water, such as those that generate bad tastes and aromas, refrigerator water filters have become standard in many American households.
Many households rely only on these filters to remove poisons like arsenic, fluoride, nitrate, or radium from their water, frequently without renewing them enough or at all, or the filters aren’t able to eliminate toxic elements that are still present in the water.
It’s true that having a refrigerator water filter is preferable to not having one, however drinking water filtered by a refrigerator may also pose some risks.
Let us deep dive into the topic and find out!
How Does a Water Filter in a Refrigerator Work?
Chlorine and chloramine, two chemicals used to fight bacteria, parasites, viruses, and other germs that make humans sick, are commonly found in tap water from municipal treatment plants. However, studies demonstrate that even when the microbes are removed, trace levels of pollutants might linger in the “treated” water.
Refrigerator water filters filter these remaining pollutants out of the water by forcing it through activated carbon within the filters. The carbon acts as a contaminant magnet, attracting pollutants and particles and trapping them in the process, resulting in clean, healthy drinking water for you and your family.
That is all there is to it. That’s right, it’s that easy!
But Do They Actually Work?
Refrigerator water filters perform admirably when properly maintained and updated on a regular basis. Refrigerator water filters were shown to be one of the most effective ways to remove contaminants in a study done by the University of Arizona and Good Housekeeping.
But water filters, just like a bag in an old vacuum, can only remove a certain amount of impurities before they need to be replaced. An overworked refrigerator water filter will not be able to remove all of the dangerous elements that are still present in the water.
The Hidden Dangers that Refrigerator Water Filters Bring
When the carbon in the fridge filter becomes completely covered in impurities, the water goes through the filter untreated, leaving you with contaminated water. Water that flows through outdated, overworked filters can even dislodge some of the impurities that have been captured and return them to your drinking water.
This is where the contaminants can be seriously detrimental to your health. Due to a combination of pollution and aging equipment, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), issued a report in 2015 that showed lead violations and other EPA-restricted toxins in the water supplies of 18 million Americans.
Arsenic, feces, rocket fuel, and chemical byproducts created during water treatment procedures are among the numerous contaminants detected in these water supplies. Other risks associated with refrigerator water filters are also listed.
Potential Mold, Fungus, and Bacteria Exposure
The increased danger of exposure to mold, yeast, fungus, bacteria, and other nasty things is perhaps the most significant risk connected with refrigerator water filters – not usually due to the filter but often because of the water dispenser.
One possible explanation is that while catching ice from the ice dispenser, people’s unclean fingers may come into contact with the water dispenser, transferring bacteria to it. Airborne germs from rotten food in the kitchen can also be picked up by the dispenser.
Mold also can thrive in a filthy water dispenser because it provides the ideal environment for it to grow and accumulate. Mold has an unpleasant odor and can spread diseases and pathogens. It can grow in the ice maker, contaminating the ice with salmonella, E. coli, and other bacteria.
Filtration That Is Not Up To Par
Carbon filtration is used in most refrigerator water filters to remove compounds that cause bad tastes and odors. To improve filtering performance, the filter’s effectiveness depends on the water having enough contact time with the carbon.
The number of filtering media in tiny filtration systems, such as a refrigerator water filter, is restricted by necessity. In comparison to much bigger filtration systems, such as whole-house filters or countertop filters, the filter’s tiny size ensures the water spends a limited amount of time with the carbon.
As a result, lower-quality refrigerator filters may not be able to trap all of the contaminants in a high-traffic setting, such as a family home, allowing them to flow through into your drinking water.
Issues of Convenience
Another drawback of refrigerator water filters is that they only purify water that enters the fridge from a single source. You risk cooking with untreated water or using it to make beverages and baby bottles unless you have a system in place to filter water at your kitchen tap or other areas in your home.
Untreated water, as you surely know, contains a variety of contaminants such as heavy metals, bacteria, chemicals, and silt, all of which can harm human, animal, and plant health.
Filter Lifespan is Limited
One final danger to consider with refrigerator water filters is the frequency and cost of filter replacement. Because carbon is used for adsorption, activated charcoal filters ultimately clog up with pollutants and need to be replaced.
This is true for whole-house filters as well, but there is one major distinction with fridge filters: their compact size. Because whole-house filters are substantially larger, they require fewer filter changes, resulting in less effort, greater convenience, and less financial strain.
Refrigerator filters, on the other hand, are frequently the absolute opposite. Because the refrigerator filter is out of sight, homeowners may put off filter replacements owing to the costly cost or neglect to clean or change the filters on a regular basis.
If the filter is ignored for any reason, it will quickly become clogged with dirt and bacteria, posing potentially dangerous health hazards.
Refrigerator filters are beneficial since they eliminate some of the contaminants that are present in our drinking water. They do, however, come with some hidden concerns that make them inappropriate for many households, including the inability to remove different toxins and, in some circumstances, subpar filtration.
The danger only exists if these filtration systems are overlooked and neglected. By making a habit of checking and cleaning frequently, adverse health effects can be avoided.
Did the topic enlighten you to the dangers that refrigerator water filters might bring? Let us know!