Lakes, rivers, and ponds often contain Naegleria fowleri, the brain-eating amoeba. This thermophilic amoeba thrives in thermal pools and can be spread by swimming, bathing, or nasal irrigation with contaminated water.
Can water filters eliminate amoebae? Buy a filter with an absolute 1-micron filtration rating and NSF certification.
The brain-eating amoeba in polluted urban water may be familiar to city dwellers. It can kill you, make you sick, or cause permanent damage!
It’s easy to find amoeba-free water filters. National Sanitation Foundation certification is a good indicator of filter efficacy.
Water filter systems must be certified by NSF 53 or NSF 58. Reverse osmosis filters and point-of-use systems have them.
Another important specification is pore size. The ideal pore size is 1 micron.
Some water filters claim to remove amoeba, but many have yet to be tested above 150 ppb. A reverse osmosis filter system, which costs more and requires special plumbing, may be worth considering. For best results, they require periodic professional cleaning and testing.
Arsenic has been linked to many serious health issues, including skin damage and child development delays. Additionally, arsenic can cause bladder, lung, and kidney cancers.
The only way to avoid these issues is to use a water filter that removes arsenic. Ion exchange, absorption media, reverse osmosis, and oxidation/filtration can do this.
Adsorption media filters are the industry standard for arsenic removal. Granular iron (hydro)oxide media in these filters absorbs arsenic from your liquid into its microscopic surface pores.
These filters eliminate arsenic, chlorine, sediment, and other pollutants. The whole house filters filter water before it reaches your taps and fits at the entry point.
Amoebas, microscopic organisms, can be found in water, plants, animals, and deep within the earth’s crust.
They aid digestion and are essential. Some can cause serious illness and death in humans.
Different bacteria have unique characteristics. Some cells are simple, while others are more complex.
Bacterial cells usually have a control center with one DNA loop storing genetic information. Plasmids, an extra circle of genetic material, give some bacteria special traits and antibiotic resistance.
Water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri can infect people. An open nostril or skin crack allows the amoeba to enter the nasal cavity and cause infection.
Parasites cause water-related diseases like Guinea worm, schistosomiasis, amebiasis, Crypto, and giardiasis. People can get parasites when they drink contaminated water or touch parasitic feces.
Filters can remove many water contaminants. Reverse osmosis purifies water through a semipermeable membrane that only allows pure liquid.
RO filters can remove amoebas and other microscopic contaminants because their pore sizes are as small as 0.0001 microns. UV disinfection should be included in a RO filter for optimal performance.
The CDC recommends drinking water filters with an “absolute 1-micron pore size” or smaller to protect against amoebae and other contaminants. Lower micron numbers indicate smaller particulate sizes that the filter will remove.