Study Identifies Safety Concerns of Counterfeit Water Filters

May 25, 2018
WQA finds counterfeit refrigerator water filters pose health risks

The Water Quality Assn. (WQA) found that a new study conducted on behalf of the Assn. for Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) underscores the need to combat counterfeit water treatment products. The Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) helped with the study by performing extraction testing and funded a portion of the research production at a total cost of $35,000.

“This study is the first comprehensive look at the health and safety effects of the counterfeit filters,” WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser said. “Counterfeit filters are a risk to consumers because of the unpredictability of how they may perform.”

Counterfeit and deceptively labeled water filters are a growing problem. Consumers may purchase filters online thinking they are buying genuine, certified filters, when, in fact, the bogus filters may contain only scraps of paper and do not filter the water at all.

“Of the 32 filters tested for removal of lead, 100% failed to meet NSF/ANSI standards to two times the life cycle (200% of the rated or specified capacity), which is notable since most consumers do not replace their filters at the required six-month mark,” according to AHAM.

WQA has worked with AHAM on the counterfeit issue and continues to work with federal authorities to eliminate counterfeits from the marketplace. Consumers now can access a “Report IP Theft” button on the WQA website to report suspected counterfeit products to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center in Washington, D.C.