Do Berkey Filters Remove Lead?

Yes, view test results!
What is Lead?

Lead is a chemical element found naturally in the environment and in man-made products. Even at low levels of exposure, it is harmful, particularly to children and pregnant women.

In recent years, lead has been a hot button topic centered around the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. When the city switched water systems, they did not take proper precautions by adding corrosion inhibitors to the water, which resulted in lead contamination in the water system from the old, corroded lead pipes.

Through the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to set regulations on contaminants in drinking water and the maximum contaminant level goal for lead is zero because of the harm it can cause.

Health Risks Associated with Lead

Lead is a dangerous chemical, even at low exposure levels, but if you have long term exposure to lead, it can cause lead poisoning. Side effects of lead poisoning for children include abdominal pain, developmental delay, having trouble learning, fatigue, weight loss, irritability, hearing loss and more. For adults, side effects include high blood pressure, joint pain, abdominal pain, having memory issues, reduced sperm count, miscarriage and more. And for fetuses, it can result in slow growth, premature birth and low birth weight. At high doses, lead poisoning can result in death.

Humans that are most at risk for lead exposure are children and pregnant women. Children’s bodies are continually growing and since their bodies can absorb more of the chemical, it can negatively impact their organs. For pregnant women, it puts their developing fetus(es) at risk. While lead is absorbed in the body through drinking water, it isn’t absorbed through the skin, so it is generally safe to shower and bathe in at home. However, if your water is overly corrosive, you may want to check your local water quality using the Berkey Tap Water Database.

Lead in Water

Is Lead in Your Drinking Water?

Lead can find its way into your drinking water through corrosion, which is when plumbing materials wear down. Lead pipes are the most common source of lead contamination through corrosion. Older homes can have these and you can check your local listings online to see which areas in your neighborhood still have lead pipes.

Galvanized steel pipes and copper pipes are what most homes use today to prevent lead entering the water, but researchers found that the zinc coating can release lead in the pipes and copper can spread lead as well. That’s why it’s important to have a water filter at home like Berkey water filters to protect you from lead exposure and exposure to other contaminants that are harmful to the body.

Again, it’s important to see if you have lead in your drinking water, so visit the tap water database to check the quality of your local water system.

Berkey Filters woman with children

How to Remove Lead from Water

Lead can be removed from water in several ways. Outside of water filtration, you can flush out the water system in your home, but it’s not convenient or as efficient as filtering your water. Plus, filtering water reduces other contaminants as well.

If you want to filter lead from your water, there are three options.

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis filters water by using a high-powered pump to push the water through the system’s semipermeable membrane. While this works well and removes many contaminants, it is costly and also removes the good nutrients you need in your water.

Distillation

Distillation filters differently than other filters by boiling water and collecting the steam, meaning the steam water is completely pure. Like reverse osmosis, this method removes the impurities, is costly and also the good nutrients your body needs (ie beneficial minerals).

Carbon Filters

Carbon filters are the most economical option and the best solution to filtering lead out of your drinking water. But, not all carbon filters or filtration systems are alike.

The Berkey filter removes lead using a process unique to Berkey water filters. It starts with water going through the Black Berkey filter, which is made up of six different media types with pores so small that harmful contaminants can’t get through them. Then the filter uses adsorption to keep contaminants out that are smaller than the pores. After that, ion exchange attracts contaminants to the media like magnets, keeping them from staying in the water. Lastly, the gravity-flow nature of the systems slows this process, giving the filter more time to filter out harmful contaminants.

This multi-step Berkey filtration process, leaves you with clean drinking water that has beneficial minerals and exceeds the ANSI standard, keeping more contaminants out than standard filters. In independent lab testing of the Berkey, the Berkey removes more than 99.9% of lead, thanks to our Black Berkey filters, and unique purification process.

But what else can you do to reduce the lead in your drinking water? Check with your city to see if any water lines in your area have lead. And if you have lead pipes at home, have them switched out with safer alternatives.

Find out what else the Black Berkey filters remove under our test results.

Does Berkey Remove
Chromium 6?

While most water filters don’t remove chromium-6, the good news is Berkey filters remove >99.8% of Chromium-6.

Does Berkey Remove Minerals?

Learn more about beneficial minerals in your water.

Do Berkey Filters Change Your pH Level

Depending on your water, Berkey may change the pH level