Brio Water tankless reverse osmosis systems

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead And PFAS?

We’ve all heard of lead poisoning. Leached from lead pipes, plumbing fixtures, or solder used in plumbing systems, prolonged exposure to lead in drinking water can have serious health consequences.


woman drinking a glass of water

And what about PFAS? If you haven’t heard about per and polyfluoroalkyl substances yet, consider them firmly placed on your radar. Also known as “forever chemicals”, because they do not naturally break down, PFAS steadily accumulate in the environment and are now thought to be contaminating drinking water supplies for over 200 million Americans.

More bad news. Even though drinking water might meet the regulatory standards of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), there may still be lead present, along with PFAS. The good news, however, is there is an effective way to remove this alarmingly potent cocktail of contaminants from your water supply: reverse osmosis

Read on to discover why PFAS and lead are bad for your health and how a Brio reverse osmosis water filtration system can transform your water supply.


What is PFAS?

PFAS or “forever chemicals” are found in numerous consumer products spanning various industries due to their remarkable abilities to repel water, resist stains and withstand high temperatures – non-stick pans are a common usage. Their widespread use is primarily driven by their effectiveness. 

However, because they don’t degrade, they’ve been detected in the Arctic, found in rain throughout the globe and are estimated to be in 98% of Americans’ blood. At least 2,337 communities in 49 states have drinking water known to be contaminated with PFAS


Is PFAS dangerous for our health?

Research on certain PFAS compounds has established concerning links to severe health issues, such as cancer, birth defects, liver disease, kidney problems, compromised immunity, and elevated cholesterol levels.


young girl drinking a glass of water

Infants are particularly vulnerable to the effects of PFAS exposure. Multiple studies have established associations between PFAS exposure and immune system suppression, as well as reduced vaccine effectiveness, making babies especially at risk.


Is lead really that bad?

It depends on where you live and your home’s plumbing system. Approximately 20% of lead exposure is attributed to drinking water, according to the EPA. The heavy metal infiltrates drinking water when it leaches from pipes that contain lead. The exact number of lead pipes still present in US water systems remains uncertain, but a 2016 EPA report approximated that 6.5 to 10 million households were serviced by lead lines.

Even small amounts of lead in your water supply aren’t ideal. The potent neurotoxin has long been recognized for its capacity to lower IQ, influence behavior and learning, and impede growth, even at low levels.


What is a safe level of PFAS in my tap water?

Obviously, you don’t want any PFAS in your drinking water. The EPA recommends that water supplies should not have more than 70 parts per trillion of PFAS. This level represents a single drop in 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Unfortunately, there is no federal drinking water standard, and the contaminant has been found at varying levels throughout the country. 


Can I test my water for PFAS?

You can test your drinking water for PFAS and other contaminants by ordering a sample kit from several laboratories that will analyze your water. These tests range in price from $70 to over $500. 

That’s a big outlay. Why not cut out the middleman and start saving right now? According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), filtering water at home is the best and most cost-effective solution. 

Installing a water filtration system for home might seem a big one-off cost, but the long-term investment will pay dividends. Here are four reasons why:

  1. An endless supply of safe, healthy and purified water is always available, because a Brio reverse osmosis water filtration system for home works with your own water system and typically comes with a dedicated faucet.
  2. No more spending your hard-earned cash on bulk buying plastic water bottles.
  3. There’s no worrying about water bottles running low.  
  4. Without bulky gallon jugs, our tankless reverse osmosis systems also provide the ultimate stylish, space-saving solution without sacrificing the quality of purified water. 


What is reverse osmosis?

4 stages of filtration for Brio Water reverse osmosis systems

In a nutshell, reverse osmosis filtration forces water through a membrane that traps contaminants, allowing fresh, pure water through.

Chemical or carbon filtration systems use certain materials to attract or directly target the contaminants, but they cannot remove bacteria, viruses or dissolved solids from water.  

Brio reverse osmosis water filters remove heavy metals and other impurities that commonly affect water quality. RO filtration is incredibly thorough – it removes everything, including alkaline minerals. 

Learn more about the science behind reverse osmosis filtration.


Does reverse osmosis remove PFAS?

Yes. Reverse osmosis is a proven technology for treating PFAS-contaminated drinking water. It removes more than 99% of PFAS from water. 

As water containing PFAS is pumped through the membrane, the large fluorinated molecules are filtered out. Water simply passes through the membrane and exits as pure water.

It’s better at removing the smaller molecules in this class of contaminants than activated carbon or ion exchange resins. 

It also removes a whole host of other contaminants:

  • arsenic
  • heavy metals
  • mercury
  • pathogens (bacteria and viruses)
  • nitrates
  • pesticides
  • sulfates
  • fluoride
  • pharmaceuticals.

Read our guide to the Top Contaminants & Chemicals Found In US Tap Water.


Does reverse osmosis remove lead?

Yes, reverse osmosis systems effectively remove lead from drinking water. By pushing water through a microscopically small filter material, it removes total dissolved solids (TDS) from water. Examples of TDS include heavy metals such as lead. 

Neither ultrafiltration (0.1 to 0.01 micron pores) nor nanofiltration (0.001 micron pores) can achieve that level of contaminant reduction.

Reverse osmosis is an effective method for removing lead and PFAS from drinking water, which is crucial for safeguarding you and your family’s health and ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water. 

At Brio you’ll discover a wide selection of high-quality reverse osmosis systems and dispensers that provide solutions to your drinking water concerns. We use only premium materials and components, and our reverse osmosis membranes are certified NSF/ANSI 58, which is the industry gold standard for the removal of TDS.
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