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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I'm worried about a specific drinking water contaminant (lead, nitrate, radon, Cryptosporidium, etc). What should I know?
A: Drinking water, including bottled water, may reasonably be expected to contain at least small amounts of some contaminants. As long as they occur below EPA's standards, they don't pose a significant threat to health, although people with severely compromised immune systems and children may have special needs. For more information about a specific contaminant, see EPA's fact sheets on drinking water contaminants, which have more detailed information on every contaminant EPA currently sets standards for and those EPA is considering setting standards for.
Q: Does a Carahealth gravity fed water filter remove the natural, healthy trace minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium?
A: No a good drinking water system retains healthy, naturally occurring minerals in water.
Q: How can Carahealth gravity fed water filters take out unhealthy contaminants but not the natural minerals?
A: Minerals are totally dissolved in solution and do not have an actual physical size; thus, the minerals pass through the filter unchanged. The materials used in a good drinking water are specially selected for their ability to react with the chemicals in the water but not with natural minerals. The ability to leave the natural, healthy minerals in while reducing harmful contaminants was a vital factor in the development of solid carbon block filters available in the market. The medical community has always maintained that certain minerals were essential for a healthy body, and a recent study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that drinking water with high levels of beneficial, healthful minerals may reduce the risk of heart disease.
Q: If the Carahealth gravity fed water filter does not remove minerals, how does it take out lead?
A: Solid carbon block filters are specially devised in such a way whereby certain dissolved impurities, such as lead and chemicals, are adsorbed to the carbon surface by chemical reaction and adsorption. Adsorption (as opposed to absorption) is defined as "the adhesion in a thin layer of molecules to the surface of solid bodies with which they are in contact" (Webster's Collegiate Dictionary). Thus the solid carbon block can be analogized to a magnet that metal shavings (Lead, in the analogy) adhere to.
Q: If a Carahealth gravity fed water filter can take out Chlorine, can it also take out Trihalomethanes (disinfection by-products)?
A: Usually drinking water systems have been tested and certified to reduce Chlorine and Trihalomethanes. However, not all filters certified to reduce Chlorine can reduce Trihalomethanes. Chlorine is a substance that is relatively easy to remove. But, chlorine that has interacted with organic material to form Trihalomethanes (thus having a completely different molecular structure) is extremely difficult to remove. The Carahealth gravity fed water filters are tested to remove over 90% of trihalomethanes.