TODAY | February 15, 2012
>>> this morning, how safe is your tap water ? it's possible pesticides or contaminants could be flowing from your faucet. good housekeeping has information on how to protect your family. rosemary, good to see you.
>> good morning. good to be here.
>> public water systems, tap water , it is tested. it's regulated by the government.
>> yes. by law, municipalities have to test the water and report to consumers once a year. they can test once a year, four times a year, sometimes less. they test for 90 contaminants like copper, arsenic, lead. there is a report that tells you what's in the water and if it's dangerous. but they average the results. so if you live in an agricultural area, pesticides in the water spike in the spring because those results don't show up in your water report.
>> there are many contaminants.
>> and many the government doesn't test on. we think they should test for more than they are.
>> good housekeeping tested some of the filtration devices out there that people are using. how did you do the study?
>> water tests. we paired up with the lab for emerging contaminants at the university of arizona . with the good housekeeping research institute we tested refrigerator filters and tabletop filters to see how they filter out the most prevalent of untested contaminants.
>> starting with the refrigerator. the first is the ge refrigerator filter. ge is a part owner of this company, nbc. how did it measure up?
>> the refrigerator filters did a fantastic job. this one took out 92% of contaminants we tested for, the dirty 15 except for bpa. it took out 90% of that in all but the first two readings.
>> and they are easy to install?
>> this one is all the way in the back here. the big problem is remembering to change them.
>> yeah. we all get the filters and forget to change them. not good. next is whirlpool.
>> it did well. 92% of all contaminants. this is in a lot of whirlpool refrigerators as well as amana and maytag.
>> are they higher in cost?
>> they are $40 and table top pitchers are similar.
>> i know you looked at quite a few. first is zero water.
>> this one did well for a table top. it took out 95% of estrin, ibuprofen and bpa and 80% of a number of pesticides. it did well.
>> i understand it's changed some of the devices.
>> they have changed the flow rate so it could affect the filtering. it did a great job.
>> you tested the pur.
>> it took out 100% of estrin and 81% of a lot of other chemicals and drugs. did a really good job for a tabletop filter.
>> how often should you change the filter?
>> generally they give you a gallon or a time amount between two and four months. much easier with the time. nobody is measuring how many gallons of water they are pouring.
>> you measured a drop-off in the effectiveness of the filter.
>> we took measurements at four times to see how it performed throughout the test.
>> how did brita do?
>> it took out 60% of all the drugs. we found halfway into its life it began to perform less well. so on the back end it didn't do as well.
>> brita said this isn't an easy study to understand because of the complexity of water filtration . without further details from the lab tests we are unable to address the effectiveness of the test procedures in this particular instance. a fair point. are you confident in the procedures used to test it?
>> we are. we spent more than a year on the tests. we tested all the filters the way a consumer would. we didn't force water through faster or slower. we didn't alter the devices. we're confident. but the bottom line is filtering is better than not filtering.
>> and bottled water . this is their solution.
>> bottled water is amazingly not covered under the safe drinking water act . the fda oversees it. it doesn't require that companies disclose testing. three years ago the virlt tall environmental working group found a number of contaminants. bottled water , no guarantee of anything.
>> interesting information. good to have