Most bottled water commercials show images of pristine springs and natural waterfalls. Unfortunately, due to years of pollution, the reality is that there are many microscopic chemical compounds floating in every water supply. Though this may sound alarming, it’s important to understand which compounds are especially harmful and how to limit exposure as much as possible.
In this post, we’ll discuss one such widespread chemical compound, known as Bisphenol A, or BPA.
What is BPA and how is it used?
BPA, otherwise known as Bisphenol A, is one of a group of about 18 common Bisphenol chemicals. Manufacturers produce BPA by using the condensation of phenol and acetone. It is used to make everything from thermal receipt paper to epoxy resins. Companies also frequently use the compound in industrial equipment, sealants, and polycarbonate plastics.
According to the EPA, businesses release more than 1 million pounds of BPA per year. As a result, this compound seeps into the water table from industrial runoff and pollution. In its unpolymerized form, BPA can also rub off on the skin when people handle objects like receipts and food containers.
What Are the Health Effects of BPA?
Scientists have conducted a lot of research on BPA since its first widespread commercial use in the 1950s. The compound has been linked to several adverse health outcomes, including diabetes, learning and memory impairment, endocrine disruption, and breast and prostate cancer.
Fortunately, unlike other industrial compounds, BPA degrades quickly. But some scientists refer to this compound as a “pseudo-persistent” chemical because companies still continually use it for industrial purposes.
Do water filters remove BPA?
Many popular water filters that are on the market today remove BPA from tap water using activated carbon filtration. This is a relatively inexpensive method to limit exposure to a handful of chemicals. But keep in mind this filtration method is not used in the production of bottled waters or for the public water supply.
If you’re comparing products while shopping for a new water filter pitcher for your home, you should find out what specifically it filters. While some home use water filters do not remove BPA, but they remove chlorine, which reacts with BPA and contributes to some adverse health impacts. Aquagear water filters undergo rigorous independent testing by a third party lab. We continually test our products to ensure that they remove new and emerging contaminants.
How do carbon water filters remove BPA?
The key to activated carbon water filtration is carbon’s massive surface area and high porosity. A single gram of carbon has a surface area that is bigger than 5400 square feet, making it incredibly porous on a microscopic level.
To put it in simple terms, when water passes through a filter loaded with grains of carbon or carbon in block form, contaminants will get trapped inside the pore structure of the carbon, boosting the purity of the water. This process, known as adsorption, is also at play when companies use carbon filtering for air purification, gold purification, or even in some common household products like toothpaste.
Many active carbon filters also employ a sustainable source of carbon made from coconut shells. Coconut shells are proven to improve the filtration process due to their molecular structure. Coconut shells are incredibly porous, which allows them to capture more contaminants in the filter.
As a result of this natural solution, water filters containing activated carbon can remove nearly all traces of BPA (99%) from drinking water. If you’re using a home filter, just remember to change the filter regularly. Aquagear filters should be changed after 6 months of regular use. You can join our filter subscription plan to receive filters periodically at a savings of 20%.
Why is it so hard to filter BPA from the water supply?
Of course, you wouldn’t need to buy a home filter pitcher if it were easier to filter BPA from the public water supply.
One of the reasons it is so hard for governments to filter BPA from drinking water is the fact that it is nearly everywhere in our environment. BPA is even found in plastic water bottles, which is one more reason to get filtered water in a glass from your home tap.
Another reason why it is hard to remove BPA from water has to do with legislation. In 1974, EPA officials proposed adopting carbon filtration for public drinking water systems, but the process proved too costly
Since 2011, many states have passed legislation limiting the use of BPA in reusable food containers or single-use food receptacles. In some cases, this includes water bottles. Unfortunately, there is no reliable enforcement mechanism in place to make sure that companies replace BPAs with chemicals that are in fact safer. As a result, manufacturers could potentially replace BPAs with compounds that are equally as harmful.
Since there is no large-scale way to prevent BPA in drinking water, your best bet is to opt for a home use water filter to get the job done.
Aquagear: Independently tested, proven to get results
At Aquagear, we have worked a long time on developing an affordable home use water filter that protects you from contaminants like BPA. The result of this hard work is the Aquagear filter, which uses a carbon block filter made from high-quality carbon derived from coconut shells to remove BPA through adsorption.
Designed by a team of Southern California engineers, Aquagear’s proprietary blend of carbon and ion exchange media protects users from a wider spectrum of tap water contaminants than the leading competitor.
Our filters themselves are BPA-free and remove 2000% more contaminants than the leading competitor, so only healthy minerals remain. Some other chemicals that are effectively absorbed with this process include:
- PFOA/PFOS (99.99%)
- Chlorine (96.50%)
- Asbestos (99.99%)
- Lead (99.41%)
- Copper (99.97%)
Check out our filter performance test results for more information and visit our product page today to see how we can help deliver great tasting water to you and your family.
Balbi, T., Franzellitti, S., Fabbri, R., Montagna, M., Fabbri, E., & Canesi, L. (2016). Impact of bisphenol A (BPA) on early embryo development in the marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis: Effects on gene transcription. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 218, 996–1004. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2016.08.050
Dillon, Edward C; Wilton, John H; Barlow, Jared C; Watson, William A (May 1989). "Large surface area activated charcoal and the inhibition of aspirin absorption". Annals of Emergency Medicine. 18 (5): 547–552.
Mo , C. (2021, October 26). Bisphenol A (BPA) regulations in the United States: An overview. Compliance Gate. Retrieved December 15, 2021, from https://www.compliancegate.com/bisphenol-a-regulations-united-states/
René Viñas, Randall M. Goldblum, Cheryl S. Watson. Rapid estrogenic signaling activities of the modified (chlorinated, sulfonated, and glucuronidated) endocrine disruptor bisphenol A. Endocrine Disruptors, 2013
United States Environmental Protection Agency. Assessing and Managing Chemicals under TSCA – Risk Management for Bisphenol A (BPA) https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/risk-management-bisphenol-bpa