Counterfeit Filters Introduce Contaminants into Your Water and Pose Serious Health Risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 16, 2018) — The Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) conducted a study of counterfeit refrigerator water filters that revealed an overwhelming failure to remove harmful contaminants from water. Consumer safety is a top priority for AHAM, so it’s raising awareness of the problem with counterfeit water filters through a consumer education campaign called, “Filter It Out.”

Counterfeit refrigerator water filters pose a serious risk to consumer health and safety. In recent years, counterfeits have flooded online marketplaces. The goal of AHAM’s campaign is to educate consumers about the importance of using filters that meet industry standards, and provide information and resources to find the right filter for your refrigerator.  

It is incredibly difficult for consumers and even experts at U.S. Customs and Border Protection to spot counterfeit filters – and they are widespread online. The use of fraudulently copied trademarks, branding and misleading claims make the filters look legitimate; and while the water may look, smell or taste fine, human senses cannot always detect microbial and organic contaminants lurking in the water that can seriously harm a consumer’s health and wellbeing. 

The study sought to determine if counterfeit filters met industry standards for health and safety related claims. Tests were conducted at three independent labs to assess counterfeit filters’ efficacy at removing lead, cysts and other contaminants.  

Of the randomly selected and tested counterfeit filters:
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. 
No counterfeit filter removed live cysts to the standards of NSF/ANSI 53, despite lowering the testing threshold from 99.95 percent removal to 90 percent. 
During the extraction test, ten separate compounds over the total allowable concentration were introduced into clean sample water by counterfeit filters. 

The report highlights the inferior quality and dangers of counterfeit water filters sold online, and the importance of purchasing filters sold by a refrigerator manufacturer that requires its products to meet NSF/ANSI Drinking Water Treatment standards.

To read the full report summary, or for more information, visit www.FilterItOut.org/see-the-proof.
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The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is the trade association representing manufacturers of major, portable and floor care home appliances and suppliers to the industry. AHAM is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and maintains an office in Ottawa. AHAM is the single voice providing the home appliance industry and its customers leadership, advocacy and a forum for action — developing and implementing credible solutions for public policy, standards and business decisions. You can visit AHAM’s web sites at http://www.aham.org