How many times have you seen an episode of the NCIS or The Mentalist where some bigwig company is dumping soil in the water, which makes its way into the town’s drinking water and poisons people?
Let’s talk about mercury in general. What are some of the things in which mercury can be found? Thermometers, dry-cell batteries, barometers, fluorescent light bulbs, switches and various other electronics. Mercury from such devices can’t exactly get into the water, but there are plenty of ways through which it can happen. It’s possible that certain devices are discarded improperly, which results in them breaking and releasing the mercury.
Perhaps, the most dangerous place where mercury can be found in abundance is where the level of natural deposits in the earth crust’s are pretty high. When toxic waste is dumped by factories or landfills, mercury mixes water and makes it undrinkable. The maximum containment mercury level currently regulated by EPA is two parts per billion.
Light-weight, portable, and easily moved around the counter top
Removes 99.9999% of viruses, protozoa, TMHs, drugs and other chemicals
Safe to use, durable and long lasting
The system has been tested countless times to produce brilliant results
The filters are a bit tough to work with
Needs to be broken in properly to ensure filtering correctly
10 times stronger filtration than other leading filters in the market
Fits easily in all fridges
Offers Bluetooth connection to monitor the device and order replacement filters
Quick filtration process means you have ready to consume water in minutes
The pitcher and lids are not dishwasher safe
The capacity is limited to 16 glasses of water
The system can filter up to 600 gallons of water easily!
The faucet is durable, hygienic and meets modern interior requirement
Also removes rust, sediment, silt and other forms of debris
Constructed using an eco friendly and minimal-plastic wastage design
Maintenance is required to check for leaks
The under sink area must be kept clean at all times
Removes solids smaller than 1 micron to purify drinking water
Introduces calcium, potassium and magnesium into purified water to remineralise it
Reduces over 74 contaminants, metals, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals
Targets chlorine and ammonia via carbon filtration
Bulky system requires space
Tank needs to be maintained and kept clean
Filters an astounding one million gallon of water and is expected to last a decade
The UV filter protects against viruses and bacteria from festering and growing
Multiple filtration systems provide your whole house with clean water for all needs
Easy to install and easy to function
More expensive than smaller systems but lasts much longer
May need professional assistance depending on current plumbing
Long lasting and durable, this system can pump around 3,000 gallons of water
No cumbersome maintenance required
Filters out heavy chemicals, metals and chlorine compounds with its 4-filtration systems
One of the cheapest water filtration systems for homes and offices
May run into minor leaking issues
Easy installation nuless your fridge is over 20 years old
What is Mercury in Drinking Water?
Mercury is a metal that occurs naturally, and when it combines with external elements, it forms inorganic compounds. As mentioned earlier, a major source of mercury is the natural degassing of the earth’s crust. When people drink water that contains a high level of mercury, they expose themselves to various health problems — the most severe being kidney damage.
When this toxic pollutant is exposed to the environment, it takes on a different form— methyl mercury— and affects everything that comes in contact with it. Mercury affects not just the water but also the food chain (aquatic life). This form of methyl is more poisonous because you are ingesting it. The chemical enters your bloodstream and then spreads to every part of the body. This causes numerous mercury health effects and the longer the exposure, the more severe they become. When fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas or oil are burned, mercury disperses in the air and pollutes everything in its path. Not only that, but it can also enter the water through the burning of forests, medical waste that is not disposed of properly, according to the NCBI rule book, and municipal solid waste.
What’s amazing is that even though this chemical poisons your body, it also helps with medical problems. Even the smallest exposure to mercury, such as from a broken thermometer, can cause problems with brain development. This poses a huge problem for babies as it affects their mental health growth.
Once mercury is released in the air, it travels for miles with the flow of the wind and gets deposited on the surface of the earth. It may take five days to a year for the area to get polluted and cause side effects. Don’t forget about running water or melting snow, which cycles back and forth between the earth and air. Organic methyl mercury stays for decades in the soil, which can cause long term side effects. Let’s have a look at these side effects in detail.
When it comes to tap water and well water, there are plenty of ways through which mercury pollutes the supply. As mentioned earlier, when factories throw their toxic waste into a stream, the chemical leaks into underground water supplies. As a result, your water line gets polluted and causes health problems. According to the Environmental Working Group, around 2.4 million people were served in 2015, who were exposed to mercury through drinking water. Today, numerous filtration systems have been developed that can help provide mercury-free water. One thing that people need to understand is that boiling water doesn’t remove mercury. In fact, it changes the chemical composition of mercury and releases it into the air. This causes mercury to travel with the wind and increases the levels of inorganic mercury in the water.
How Do You Remove Mercury From Water?
We have already established why boiling water is not a good idea. True mercury removal treatment can only be done by NSF certified mercury water filter systems. Before we discuss the different types of filtrations systems, let’s discuss why its removal is important:
The side effects of mercury poisoning depend on a number of factors that include:
- The form in which mercury is present in your water
- The level of contamination
- The age of the person who is exposed to the contaminated water (kids are more vulnerable)
- How the person came into contact with mercury and how long they were exposed to it
- Does the person have any health problems
The composition of mercury changes the extent of the side effects. When talking about inorganic mercury— which is the form this chemical takes in water— the number one health problem it causes is kidney damage. As mentioned above, children bear the brunt of mercury in drinking water. Other side effects include:
- Hearing dysfunction
- Brain damage
- Memory loss
- Impaired vision
Let’s have a brief look at what side effects other forms of mercury can cause:
Methyl mercury poisoning is a result of eating fish that was captured from mercury water. The chemical seeps into the shellfish and enters your blood stream upon ingestion. The side effects include:
- A pins and needles feeling around the mouth and in the hands and feet
- Lack of coordination
- Peripheral vision loss
- Impairment of hearing, speech and walking
- Muscle weakness
When it comes to children, a baby is affected in the womb by mercury, which can impact the following skills:
- Cognitive thinking
- Visual spatial skills
- Fine motor skills
Last, we have elemental mercury, which you come in contact with when an electronic device breaks and spills this chemical. The side effects include:
- Nerve response changes
- Emotional changes (mood swings, excessive shyness, irritability, nervousness)
- Neuromuscular changes (weakness, twitching, muscle atrophy)
- Disturbances in sensations
- Poor mental function
Now that we know the side effects of mercury, let’s see how water filters can remove mercury from water.
From reverse osmosis to distillation and simple filtration, water can be easily treated to remove mercury and other chemicals. Thanks to technology, there are plenty of other system designs that help remove this chemical, but one filter that has emerged as quite the winner is a granulated activated carbon (GAC) filter.
A reverse osmosis mercury water filtration system works by cleaning the water through a thick membrane that blocks the larger ions like mercury and lead. The semi-permeable membrane used is made of a polyamide film. Only water molecules pass through this membrane. There was a time when this process could only deliver a limited amount of water. However, thanks to technology — today, we can produce several gallons of water every day. This system is now also available in portable designs, which are known as point-of-use systems. They can be installed near the sinks and external water taps too.
A distillation system works by removing solid contaminants that are dissolved in water. The process involves boiling the water so that condensation separates mercury from the water. The distillation design is great for small systems such as a countertop mercury water filter and a refrigerator mercury water filter. One drawback of this system is that since it uses electricity to work, the cost of maintaining it is pretty high.
Granulated Activation Carbon (GAC)
A granulated activated carbon mercury filter has a carbon medium, which is quite porous. The water runs through this medium and the contaminants get trapped on the surface. This system not only removes toxic metals from the water but also maintains its pH sensitivity. The only problem is that the charcoal filter needs to be replaced frequently. This can become quite expensive in the long run.
Lime softening is primarily for lowering the hardness of water, but it is also used for removing mercury. This is one of the most reliable and cost-effective systems for purifying water.
Filtration systems use AISO4 (a form of aluminum) that reacts with mercury and separates it from the water through precipitation and coagulation. The sludge then has to be disposed of afterward. There are plenty of other water purifiers that work in the same manner. A few include under sink mercury water filter, well mercury water filter andwhole house mercury water filter.
Now that you have a clear idea about the types of water purifier systems, let’s talk about a few that are currently making the rounds in the market.
Recommended Mercury Water Filters
Now that you’re aware of the dangers mercury water poses to your health, it’s time to be proactive and invest in a water filter that will remove contaminants and compounds alike.
Water filters for mercury don’t only remove just mercury. They remove its derivatives and other compounds that are similar to it and bind with it too. An added advantage of using water filters is that besides eradicating sources of mercury, they also cleanse water from other impurities like bacteria, pathogens, viruses, metals and other harmful compounds.
In other words, water filters are lifesavers!
Best Counter Top Mercury Water Filter
If you have a medium sized family or are into outdoor activities, then this Gravity-Fed Water Filter by Royal Berkey will be right up your alley. The system is constructed of highly polished AISI 304 stainless steel (AISI 304). It can store up to 3.25 gallons of water. It stands 15.25″ in height. It’s a pretty simple filter that you can place on your kitchen counter. It is NSF certified and the best countertop filter for mercury. This water filter is the best for removing mercury, arsenic and fluoride.
- The lower and upper stainless steel chambers help remove fluoride and other chemicals that pollute water
- The filtration system comes with a small kit, which makes installation easy
- It is great for formal use and serves up to 4 people
- It reduces 99% of the contaminants
- The PF-2 reduction elements can be used with other purification elements. This will absorb more of the unwanted elements and give you clean and odor-free drinking water
- The advanced technology of the filter allows it to remove chlorine resistant cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidium
- The filter is not durable. Once the original setting of the filter is changed, it needs to be cleaned regularly or it will clog
- After a few weeks of use, the water gets a rubbery taste
- Easy installation is the biggest feature of this product, but the attachments are of poor quality. However, it does not work well with industrial rubber washers
Best Pitcher Mercury Water Filter
This is perhaps the sleekest looking water filtration system that you will ever come across! The reason why we call it the best pitcher filter for mercury is that it claims to remove 99% of the contaminants. The filter also reduces acidic compounds and improves the alkalinity of water. The Claryum’s® filtration technology is made of activated carbon, which reduces pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, MTBE and VOC. The catalytic carbon targets chloramines, Ion-Exchange helps filter heavy metals such as lead and mercury, and the Absolute Sub-Micron Mechanical Filtration removes chlorine resistant cysts and asbestos, like giardia and cryptosporidium, from the water.
- Retains all the minerals that give water its taste
- Is ten times more powerful in reducing contaminants than other leading pitcher filters
- Has a slim profile, which maximizes counter space
- Has a modern design, which makes it look like an ordinary water pitcher
- Holds up to 16 cups (1 gallon) of water
- Is NSF certified and operates on power filtration to give you clean and better tasting water
- The filtration process is quite slow, which takes time to fill a cup of water
- Is prone to leaks from the bottom part of the appliance
Best Under Counter Mercury Water Filter
Aquasana 3-Stage Under Counter water filter is the best under sink filter for mercury that can be placed right under your sink counter. It uses smart technology to filter out heavy metals from the water before it reaches your taps. It has Bluetooth filter tracking that allows you to keep track of the water coming into your home. It also alerts you with the amount and type of metal that was filtered out of the water.
- It can handle heavy water flow in the taps, gives 44% faster water flow
- It offers an additional capacity of 200 gallons
- It can eliminate up to 77 contaminants from the water within minutes
- It is a highly eco-friendly filtration system as it eliminates plastic waste
- The filters are made of claryum technology, which purifies water 10X more than a regular water filter
- The water after filtration is delicious in taste
- The filters are easy to replace and can be done at home without professional help
- It is highly convenient and worth the price as it is a smart technology system that needs fewer replacements
- It also comes in different sizes and shapes so you can match it with your trendy kitchen faucet
- Certified to NSF standards 42 and 53
- It may be difficult to reach as it is placed under the sink
- If there is a leakage in the water, there is a chance of seepage and mold growth
- Requires maintenance
Best Reverse Osmosis Mercury Water Filter
The Aquasana OptimH2O Reverse Osmosis + Claryum filter is the best Reverse Osmosis filter for mercury you need in your home. Reverse Osmosis is the best proven water filtration system to get rid of lead and make your drinking water safe for your kids. It combines premium filtration technology and the reverse osmosis method to purify water. This filter is tested and removes 5X more contaminants than other reverse osmosis systems.
- It filters the water while maintaining the healthy minerals that other reverse osmosis systems remove
- It removes 95% of lead from the water without demineralizing it
- It improves the water flow and makes it ultra fast
- It is easy to change and replace
- It is NSF certified for all health standards
- Installation may be costly as it needs to be connected to several tubes and pipes
- Maintenance may be difficult as it is placed below the sink counter
Best Whole House Mercury Water Filter System
This filtration system covers all your needs from the kitchen to the bathroom and laundry room. Breathe easy because with the Rhino filter installed in your house, you don’t have to worry about bathing in hard water or drinking water laced with traces of mercury. This filtration system is so powerful that it removes 97% of all contaminants from your main water line. This is the best whole house filter for mercury because it has a powerful UV filtration feature that sterilizes 99.99% of different viruses such as cryptosporidium, giardia and E. coli! The product is NFW certified, so you can expect great results from it.
- The filtration system’s dual tank design, with its unique up-flow, increases contact time with the filter and contaminants. This encourages finer cleaning and prevents clogs
- The product claims that it will filter 1,000,000 gallons of water over a course of 10 years
- SCM salt-free technology safely reduces any scale buildup on the pipes
- You can also buy the pro-grade installation kit at a small price that will make the installation easier
- The water pressure keeps changing, which causes problems in some areas. It also results in water wastage
- Some of the brackets that come with the standard installation kit do not fit
Best Inline Refrigerator Lead Water Filter
This EZ-Change Filtration System provides clean, clear and great tasting water. Isn’t it annoying to keep changing trays for ice water again and again? With this filtration system, you can easily get ice cold water in just a matter of minutes. It has a simple filter that can be easily changed. This is the best refrigerator filter for mercury because it reduces contaminants like chloroform, cyst, mercury, lead and MTBE. In fact, it also removes any kind of bad odor and gives you clean and great tasting water in every sip.
- The product comes with a replacement filter cartridge that can be easily connected with just a twist on and off action
- The RC-EZ-4 filter cartridge has been certified by NSF and is the best in the industry to reduce chlorine odor and taste from water
- The filter cartridge can be upgraded for faster flowing water
- Comes with a small kit that makes installation easier
- The system is prone to leaks if the filter is not replaced accurately
Conclusion on Lead Water Filters
These are some of the best NSF certified mercury water filters. Depending on your filtration needs, you can now choose one for your safety and health.
Happy and clean drinking!