We've been asked a lot over the years about the safety of Brita water filter pitchers because they're a top choice for folks interested in decreasing their disposable bottled water use. Of course it always makes sense to scrutinize food and beverage containers when you're working to protect your family from toxic chemicals like BPA.
We contacted Brita to find out exactly what materials are used in their pitchers and here's what the company said:
The pitcher lids and filter housings are made of Polypropylene plastic. The reservoirs and pitchers are made either from NAS (a Styrene based plastic) or SAN (Styrene Acrylonitrile). The soft-touch handles are made from an elastomer called Santoprene (not to be confused with Latex or Neoprene). Our products do not contain any bisphenol A and are all tested by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) for safety and wetted contact.
And while you may not be able to find information on Brita's website regarding BPA, you can call them at (800) 24 BRITA for the scoop. The first thing you'll hear is a statement confirming that each of their products is 100% BPA-free.
A few years ago, The National Geographic's The Green Guide responded to an inquiry from a reader on the subject too:
It is true that Brita filter systems use containers made from styrene methylmethacrylate copolymer, which is a polymer (a combination of molecules) primarily used in the production of acrylic sheeting, molding powders and resin and surface coatings. According to Brita, the company manufactures containers made from styrene methylmethacrylate copolymer to avoid leaching.Brita's information on leaching came from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), which performs extensive material safety tests. The NSF states that Brita pitchers have been tested for material safety while in contact with “very aggressive water” (i.e. exposure to water with low total of dissolved solids and .5 ppm of available chlorine for three successive 24-hour periods) and have found no evidence of leaching.
Rick Andrews, the technical manager of the Drinking Water Treatment Unit Certification Program at the NSF, explains that when a company is seeking NSF certification for new container/filter system, NSF requires information about the constituents of the plastic and then tests for leachates they know are associated with those ingredients. Using acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) as an example, they would look for styrene and acrylonitrile leaching into the water. We asked about styrene leaching from the methylmethacrylate copolymer, and he assured us that any polymer that includes a styrene component would be tested for styrene leaching.
The bottom line is that The Green Guide saw no reason not to use Brita pitchers so long as they are the correct filter for the contaminants in your tap water. We agree based on the current research and feel comfortable recommending Brita pitchers, so long as it's used correctly (i.e. no dishwasher or microwave).
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