What Does a Brita Water Filter Remove?

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Water filters are designed to remove a number of contaminants from tap water.
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Brita, a well-known name in water filtration, offers a large number of home products designed to remove chemicals, minerals and impurities from your drinking water. Brita filters use a combination of activated carbon and an ion exchange resin in its water jugs, tap extensions and other filtration products. These objects work together to remove multiple materials from your water.

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Tip

All Brita filters reduce chlorine taste and odor. Brita filters may remove other contaminants, depending on the type of filtration system you have.

Different Brita Filters

While all Brita filters remove chlorine taste and odor, there are different Brita filtration systems for different needs. The standard filtration system removes chlorine, mercury, cadmium, copper and zinc.

Longlast Filter removes most of those except copper and zinc. It also removes most other water contaminants, including lead, benzene, asbestos and Class 1 particulates. Faucet filters remove chlorine, lead, benzene, asbestos, certain pharmaceuticals and pesticides and Class 1 particulates.

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Calcium in Water

Calcium is found in water naturally, due to exposure that occurs between the water supply and the earth's crust. The concentration of calcium varies greatly, depending on where the water supply originates. Well water generally has much higher concentrations of calcium, which can negatively affect taste.

Calcium can also cause scales to form on water jugs over time. Brita filters safely remove calcium from the water as it runs through the filter, improving the water's taste and texture.

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Magnesium in Water

Magnesium, another mineral commonly found in water supplies, contributes greatly to water hardness, which is the amount of alkali earth ions in the water. Magnesium is frequently washed off rocks, then absorbed into water supplies.

Magnesium is present in many other minerals as well as fertilizers. Excess fertilizer often runs off into local water supplies, distributing magnesium into the water. While magnesium is not toxic unless doses are extremely high, Brita filters remove magnesium from drinking water, improving taste.

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Chlorine in Water

Brita uses activated charcoal to reduce the chlorine taste and odor. Chlorine is purposely placed into water supplies because of its disinfectant properties. Because chlorine is toxic to germs and bacteria, it is used to kill microorganisms before drinking water can be ingested. Chlorine is also toxic to humans in high doses.

Breathing in chlorine can cause respiratory problems, coughing and difficulty breathing. Although it is rare for a chlorine concentration to be that high in drinking water, Brita filters do eliminate chlorine from the water after the water has already been disinfected, giving you the best of both worlds.

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Lead in Water

Lead is lethal when people are exposed to it over time. Long-term lead exposure leads to problems with the kidneys, nervous system and the brain, children and pregnant women being the most vulnerable.

Lead is frequently a problem in older homes, which often have lead pipes. The lead comes off the pipes and is absorbed into the drinking water. Faucets can also be a source of lead contamination since chrome-plated faucets can contain up to 8 percent lead. Brita filters pull the lead out through the filtration process.

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Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson started writing screenplays in 2003 and has had a screenplay professionally produced. He has also studied martial arts since 1990 and has worked as a licensed security specialist. Davidson has written articles for various websites. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising.