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Before Buying a Water Filter, Read This

By Robert Coleman

The findings of the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) just-released Tap Water Database may be shocking to many Americans, as they show that the drinking water supplies of nearly everyone in the nation are tainted with chemicals at levels exceeding at least one health-protective guideline.


If you're concerned about what's in your water, buying a water filter is a smart next step. In conjunction with the database, we've released an updated Water Filter Buying Guide.

But before you dive into the filter guide, here's what you need to know:

  • Bottled water is hundreds of times more expensive than tap water and may, in fact, just be filtered tap water. Bottled water may also be contaminated with chemicals that can leach from the plastic bottles.
  • We understand that cost and other considerations dictate decisions on what filter system you should buy. Check out our filter technology explainer to get the lowdown on all of the products on the market.

When you're ready to find the right filter for your needs, check out our user-friendly search engine that allows you to search for filters by physical type (a pitcher, faucet mount, installed in plumbing, etc.), the filtration technology used, and contaminants the filter is certified to remove.

When you search, you'll reach a result page that lists every filter that fits your criteria alphabetically. Click on a filter's name to find out more about it.

For every filter in our guide, we provide an option to buy it online, from Amazon or directly from the manufacturer. We also provide information on what contaminants each filter is certified to remove and additional claims made by the manufacturer.

Once you begin filtering your water, be sure to come back to our filter guide to see our tips on maintaining your filter.

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Climate activist Greta Thunberg addresses the European Commission on Feb. 21 in Brussels, Belgium. Sylvain Lefevre / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Sixteen-year-old climate action leader Greta Thunberg stood alongside European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday in Brussels as he indicated—after weeks of climate strikes around the world inspired by the Swedish teenager—that the European Union has heard the demands of young people and pledged more than $1 trillion over the next seven years to address the crisis of a rapidly heating planet.

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With eight million metric tons of plastic entering the world's oceans every year, there is growing concern about the proliferation of plastics in the environment. Despite this, surprisingly little is known about the full impact of plastic pollution on human health.

But a first-of-its-kind study released Tuesday sets out to change that. The study, Plastic & Health: The Hidden Costs of a Plastic Planet, is especially groundbreaking because it looks at the health impacts of every stage in the life cycle of plastics, from the extraction of the fossil fuels that make them to their permanence in the environment. While previous studies have focused on particular products, manufacturing processes or moments in the creation and use of plastics, this study shows that plastics pose serious health risks at every stage in their production, use and disposal.

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Air pollution within the home causes 3.8 million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization. A recent University of Colorado in Boulder study reported by The Guardian found that cooking a full Thanksgiving meal could raise levels of particulate matter 2.5 in the house higher than the levels averaged in New Delhi, the world's sixth most polluted city.

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