What PUR Filters Can And Cannot Remove From Water?


PUR offers a wide variety of different filters, each of which coming with a different level of water filtration. Deciding which PUR filter is best for you and your family comes down to what contaminants they can remove.

The basic PUR faucet filter and pitcher filter removes Mercury, Chlorine, Benzene, Ethylbenzene and Toluene. The faucet filter also removes lead and asbestos, along with a larger number of other chemicals and pesticides than the basic filter. No PUR filter of any kind can remove cysts, bacteria, viruses, or any other microbe.

This in depth article will explain the differences between each type of PUR water filter, as well as covering ALL the contaminants each variant is capable of removing from your water. Read on to also find out each filter’s NSF certification, and how PUR filters compare to other major water filtration brands.

Types of PUR Water Filters

There are several types of PUR water filters and are all available from Amazon. These include:

PUR Basic Faucet Filter

PUR Plus Mineral Core Faucet Filter

PUR Basic Pitcher Filter

PUR Plus Pitcher Filter

PUR basic faucet water filters and PUR basic pitcher filters both remove different amounts of contaminants, and of course the PUR plus and Mineral Core ranges are both designed to remove more contaminants than their basic counterparts.

For PUR pitchers, there is no difference in the quality of the filtered water between the different pitchers or dispensers that PUR offers. The difference in filtration levels comes only with the different filters, of which all PUR pitchers and dispensers can hold either the PUR Basic Pitcher Filter or the PUR PLUS Pitcher Filter.

There are two types of PUR faucet filters – the PUR faucet filtration system and the PUR PLUS faucet filtration system are available on Amazon and each requires their specific matching filter.

PUR Faucet Filtration System

The PUR faucet filtration system is NSF (National Sanitation Foundation – USA) and WQA (Water Quality Association – USA based) certified to reduce 70 different contaminants in your water, including Lead.

The basic filter inside the PUR faucet filtration system is designed to filter roughly 100 gallons, or last up to three months before needing to be replaced. It also comes with a filter change light to alert you when the filter needs replacing, and requires no tools to install.

PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System

The PUR PLUS faucet filtration system is essentially identical to its basic component in terms of what contaminants it can filter. Just like the normal PUR faucet filtration system, the PUR PLUS filter faucet is NSF and WQA certified to reduce 70 different contaminants in your water, also including Lead.

Just as with the basic PUR faucet filter, the PUR PLUS faucet filter is designed to filter roughly 100 gallons and last up to three months before replacement, along with the same filter change light and easy installation.

The core difference elevating the PUR PLUS faucet filter from its basic counterpart is its Mineral Core filter. The Mineral Core filter essentially adds a layer of natural minerals that the water passes through at the end of the filtering. Much of the taste of your water depends entirely on the different minerals in it, and the right ones can carry health benefits and a great taste – hence the popularity of bottled mineral water.

Many water filters will remove these beneficial minerals as a side-effect of removing harmful contaminants. The aim of PUR’s Mineral Clear technology is to add back in some of these natural minerals, making the filtered water crisp, fresh and tastier.

PUR Pitcher Filter

The PUR pitcher filter can fit into any PUR pitcher or dispenser, and is NSF and WQA certified to reduce Chlorine, Mercury and several other pesticides and chemicals in your water.

The basic PUR pitcher filter does not reduce Lead.

Basic PUR pitcher/dispenser filters are designed to filter up to 40 gallons of water, or last up to two months before needing to be replaced.

PUR PLUS Pitcher Filter

Along with the basic PUR pitcher filter, the PUR PLUS pitcher filter is designed to fit into any PUR pitcher or dispenser. It is also NSF and WQA certified to reduce Chlorine, Mercury, and Lead, as unlike the PUR faucet filters the PLUS version of PUR’s pitcher filters does significantly increase the number of contaminants the filter reduces.

These include a larger number of pesticides, industrial chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The same as with the Basic PUR pitcher filter, the PUR PLUS pitcher filter is designed to filter up to 40 gallons of water, or last up to two months before being replaced.

Contaminants: Which PUR Filters Remove What?

The following are all the contaminants that the PUR products are WQA or NSF certified to remove or reduce, followed with a brief description of the contaminant and which products filter them.

Heavy Metals:

Lead

Lead poisoning in water causes mostly cardiovascular effects such as increased blood pressure and hypertension. It can also cause decreased kidney function and reproductive issues for both men and women and is often considered one of the more important contaminants to filter out of your water supply.

Lead is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and the PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Mercury

Mercury is dangerously toxic to humans and can cause severe kidney damage over long-term exposure. It also considered to be a severe neurological poison and is an extremely important contaminant to filter out of your drinking water.

Mercury is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System, along with the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Cadmium

One of the more dangerous metals, Cadmium when inhaled or ingested through water or food can cause cancer. It is extremely toxic, and also targets and damages the body’s cardiovascular, neurological, and respiratory systems, along with other bodily functions.

Cadmium is filtered out by the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Copper

When ingested through water, long-term exposure to copper can be fatal, though very small amounts are not particularly harmful to humans. Generally, drinking water with small amounts of dissolved copper will cause irritation around the nose, mouth, and eyes. Larger quantities, however, can cause dizziness and vomiting as well as liver and kidney damage.

Copper is filtered out by the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Zinc

Though Zinc is mostly safe for humans at low or even moderate concentrations in water, Zinc can become toxic at extremely high intakes. Zinc toxicity will lead to symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.

Zinc is filtered out by the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Other:

Chlorine

Chlorine is used in most water supplies to help kill bacteria, however very high levels of chlorine in tap water is toxic to humans, damaging cells. Too much chlorine in your water supply can cause vomiting, stomach aches, and diarrhea. A high enough concentration of chlorinated water can also be fatal, though finding this level of Chlorinated water in your tap water is highly unlikely.

Chlorine in tap water is also dangerous when it forms trihalomethanes, which are explained in their own section.

Chlorine is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System, along with the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Disinfection By-Products:

Total Trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Total Trihalomethanes are considered disinfection by-products and are created when chlorine in the water supply (usually added to kill bacteria) reacts with other naturally occurring chemicals in the water.

Although there are no conclusive reports of a clear danger of TTHMs to the health of humans, several respected epidemiologic studies have found links between low levels of TTHMs in a water supply and an increased risk of bladder, colon, and rectum cancers. TTHMS are also linked to increased rates of Jaundice, neurobehavioral effects, subjective central nervous system effect, and enlarged livers.

Total Trihalomethanes are filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Particulates:

Particulates are divided into classes based on size, with class one being the smallest (roughly 0.5 to 1 micron in diameter) and class six being the largest (anything bigger than 50 microns in diameter).

Both the PUR & PUR PLUS faucet filters and the PUR PLUS pitcher filters are certified to remove class I particulates, meaning everything larger than 1 micron, and all other classes.

The basic PUR pitcher filter is only certified to remove class VI of particulates, meaning things larger than 50 microns.

Industrial Pollutants:

Benzene

The short term of effects of drinking water with high levels of Benzene include dizziness, vomiting, and general irritation of the stomach. Long term effects high levels of Benzene in your water supply can be extremely severe, as Benzene will damage your bone marrow, reducing your body’s production of red blood cells, which can cause anemia.

Benzene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System, along with the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Xylene

Short-term exposure to Xylene in your water is likely to cause irritation around the eyes, nose, skin, and throat, while long-term exposure can harm the CNS, causing headache, dizziness, tremors, comas, and in extremely high doses it can also be fatal.

Xylene is filtered out by the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Carbon Tetrachloride

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency – USA) has found that exposure to high levels of Carbon Tetrachloride in your water supply can lead to headaches, nausea and vomiting over a short period of time. Extended exposure is even more harmful, and will lead to serious liver, lungs, and kidney damage.

Carbon Tetrachloride is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and the PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Chlorobenzene

According to the EPA, high levels of Chlorobenzene exposure over short periods of time can lead to anesthetic effects on the human body, along with reduced liver and kidney functions.

If you suffer from long-term exposure to above MCL (Maximum Contaminant Levels) of Chlorobenzene, you will likely experience numbness and muscle spasms along with other symptoms of neurotoxicity. This is because Chlorobenzene affects the Central Nervous System of humans, making it an important contaminant that the PUR faucet filters remove.

Chlorobenzene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

DEET

Also known as diethyltoluamide, DEET is an industrial insect repellent that can sometimes be found in a water supply. Along with being a mild skin irritant, consuming DEET through your water supply can lead to vomiting and nausea. There has also been some rare links between high levels of exposure to DEET and seizures, though the evidence on this link is not conclusive.  

DEET (diethyltoluamide) is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

O-Dichlorobenzene

When ingested, O-Dichlorobenzene can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and respiratory system damage over short-term exposure. Long term or repeated exposure to O-Dichlorobenzene in your drinking water can also cause kidney and liver damage.

O-Dichlorobenzene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Ethylbenzene

Ethylbenzene has low acute toxicity when ingested through your drinking water but can still be harmful in high concentrations. Short term exposure to acute levels of Ethylbenzene can lead to throat and eye irritation and chest constriction, as well as some low-level neurological effects, including dizziness.

Ethylbenzene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System, along with the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Styrene

Lower levels of Styrene in your water supply can lead to coughing, and an irritated throat and nose. More severe Styrene poisoning can lead to CNS (Central Nervous System) depression, causing headaches, fatigue, drowsiness, confusion, dizziness, and other neurological systems.

Styrene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Tetrachloroethylene

Short term ingestion of Tetrachloroethylene can lead to kidney dysfunction and mild neurological effects such as dizziness and headaches, while long-term exposure can lead to further kidney damage, along with negative effects on the immune system, liver, and reproductive system.

Tetrachloroethylene has also been classified by the EPA as a “likely carcinogenic to humans”, meaning there have been substantial links between Tetrachloroethylene exposure and cancers such as bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.

Tetrachloroethylene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and the PUR basic pitcher filter.

Toluene

Toluene is a known irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, and when ingested can lead to liver and kidney damage over long-term exposure at toxic levels.

Toluene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System, along with the PUR basic and PUR PLUS pitcher filters.

Trichloroethylene

Sometimes also referred to as TCE, Trichlorethylene is a dangerous neurotoxin at high-enough concentration and exposure levels. Smaller levels of exposure to TCE can lead to drowsiness and headaches, while extended or chronic exposure leads to a decreased appetite, short-term memory loss, ataxia, sleep disturbances, vertigo, and a weakened grasp of language.

Trichloroethylene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

TCEP

TCEP, or tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine, is a harmful chemical, and can cause severe skin burns and eye damage upon contact. If there is TCEP in your water supply, ingesting it could cause respiratory system irritation, leading to coughs or difficulty breathing. The main concern with TCEP is its likelihood to increase the risk of cancer upon prolonged exposure.

TCEP (tris (2-carboxyethyl) phosphine) is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

TCPP

TCPP, or tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate, is a toxic flame retardant, and when ingested can impact the development of the nervous system in children, as well as thyroid hormone levels. Though no conclusive links have been made, it’s similarity to TCEP in structure means that it may also increase the risk of cancer.

TCPP (tris (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate) is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Asbestos

Asbestos is most dangerous when inhaled, rather than ingested. If high levels of Asbestos are in your water, they could be inhaled through boiling the water or being left behind on surfaces. Inhaled Asbestos is known to cause lung damage and cancer.

Asbestos is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Volatile Organic chemicals (VOCs 32 total)

PUR does not specify what VOCs it filters out, but some of the symptoms that could be caused by various VOCs if they weren’t filtered out of your water are headaches, nausea, and irritation around the eyes, nose, and throat. VOCs can also cause damage to the liver, kidney, and nervous system, and some are known to cause cancer in humans.

32 different VOCs (volatile organic chemicals) are filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Pesticides and Herbicides:

2,4-D

Generally, a high concentration of 2 and 4-D herbicide is needed to be harmful to humans. If there is a high level of 2,4-D herbicide in your water supply, you could experience hives, nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, and even difficulty breathing.

2, 4-D is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Atrazine

Atrazine can be so harmful, it has been banned in the EU, and has clear links to reduced reproductive capability, prostate cancer, and breast cancer when ingested. It can be extremely dangerous for pregnant women, as Atrazine slows down the development of fetuses.

Atrazine is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Carbofuran

Carbofuran poisoning can occur at relatively low concentrations in the water supply, and symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, and increased blood pressure.

Carbofuran is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Chlordane

Short-term effects of ingesting Chlordane through your water include gastrointestinal distress as well as the severe neurological systems of tremors and convulsions.

Chlordane is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Endrin

The presence of Endrin in your drinking water can lead to Endrin poisoning, causing headaches, dizziness, nervousness, nausea, and convulsions. Acute Endrin poisoning mostly affects the central nervous system and can be fatal at high enough doses if not treated.

Endrin is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Lindane

Short term exposure to Lindane in your water supply can lead to mild irritation of the nose, however chronic ingestion of Lindane can in some cases cause damage to the liver and blood, along with cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems, as Lindane is a neurotoxin.

Lindane is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Linuron

Linuron is only slightly toxic to humans when consumed through a water supply, having tenuous links to causing cancer – classified as a Group C carcinogen by EPA, meaning there is limited animal evidence suggesting it causes cancer. High concentrations or chronic exposure may also increase the risk of anemia, along with Linuron being a mild skin irritant.

Linuron is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and the PUR basic pitcher filter.

Methoxychlor

Methoxychlor is essentially nontoxic when ingested but can be mildly harmful if inhaled.

Methoxychlor is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and the PUR basic pitcher filter.

Metolachlor

Metolachlor can cause eye and skin irritation, stomach cramps, shortness of breath and general weakness at short periods of exposure at a high concentration. Longer exposure to a high level of Metolachlor can also cause anemia, along with convulsions.

Metolachlor is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Simazine

Though inhalation can cause harm to humans such as paralysis, tremors, and other issues, Simazine is considered as practically nontoxic as there have been no reported human cases of poisoning from ingesting Simazine.

Simazine is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Toxaphene.

Toxaphene is rated to be a likely carcinogen to humans, and ingestion of high levels of Toxaphene could increase the risk of cancer.

Toxaphene is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System

Pharmaceuticals:

Atenolol

Atenolol in your water supply can lead to an overdose of Atenolol if the concentration is high enough, leading to a very slow heart rate, extreme fatigue, and fainting.

Atenolol is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Carbamazepine

Too much Carbamazepine in your system can cause vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and breathing problems.

Carbamazepine is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Estrone

A form of estrogen, Estrone even when prescribed can have a multitude of side effects such as fatigue, hair loss, and vomiting. Ingesting too much Estrone also causes nausea and severe vomiting.

Estrone is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Meprobamate

Ingestion of too much meprobamate is extremely dangerous, and so it is important to remove from your water supply. Too much can be fatal, and extended exposure can cause slurred speech, dizziness, fainting, or even a coma.

Meprobamate is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System.

Trimethoprim

If Trimethoprim is found in your water supply at high concentrations, there is a possibility you could unintentionally overdose on it. If this happened, you would likely experience nausea, vomiting, fever, headaches, and other flu-like symptoms.

Trimethoprim is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and the PUR basic pitcher filter.

Ibuprofen

A common pain relief medicine, too much Ibuprofen in your water supply could lead to an overdose, especially if you are also taking it as a normal medicine. Overdose symptoms include blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, convulsions, seizures, and severe drowsiness that can become a coma.

Ibuprofen is filtered out by the PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Phenytoin

Typically used to treat seizures, a high concentration of Phenytoin in your drinking water could lead to an unintentional overdose, which can cause dizziness, vertigo, general weakness, and even lead to a coma.

Phenytoin is filtered out by the PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Naproxen

Ingesting too much Naproxen through your water could cause fatigue and drowsiness, though overdoses are rare.

Naproxen is filtered out by the PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Industrial Chemicals:

Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is a known carcinogenic, and prolonged exposure via ingestion can greatly increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer in humans.

BPA (Bisphenol A) is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

Nonylphenol

Minor exposure to Nonylphenol in your water may only cause skin and eye irritation, however prolonged exposure to high concentrations can cause serious reproductive harm. If this is experienced by a pregnant woman, there is a significantly increased risk of birth defects.

Nonylphenol is filtered out by the PUR & PUR PLUS Faucet Filtration System and PUR PLUS pitcher filter.

PUR vs Other Brands

Pur vs Brita

PUR claims to remove more than twice the number of contaminants than their main competitor, Brita, and this is true in direct comparisons between the two company’s basic filter filtration options. If you need a wider variety of contaminants removed, PUR is your better option.

With that being said, Brita basic pitcher filters are a few dollars cheaper, which can add up over time. As well as this, Brita’s equivalent of PUR’s PLUS pitcher filter, the Longlast filter, lasts for roughly triple the amount of time as the PUR PLUS pitcher filter, as well as filtering a similar number of important contaminants such as lead.

PUR vs ZeroWater

When compared to another large competitor, ZeroWater, PUR also does well. ZeroWater filters remove a much larger number of metallic contaminants, however PUR takes the edge by filtering a substantial number of pesticides, industrial chemicals, and other pollutants that ZeroWater does not.

Check out our article on ZeroWater filters to see their full list of filtered contaminants.

PUR vs Epic Water Nano

If you want a far superior brand of water filter, the Epic Water Nano is by far one of the best. Unlike PUR filters, the Epic Nano is the only pitcher filter that is capable of removing bacteria, parasites and viruses, as well as more than 200 other contaminants.

The Epic Water Nano filter purifies around 150 gallons (565 L) of water and lasts around 3-4 months. Analysis of the Epic Nano Water filter showed it exceeded the NSF/ANSI Standards 42, 53, 401, P473, & P23. It also offers a 99.4% lead reduction rate.

Just like PUR pitcher filters, the Epic Water Nano filter can be used in either the Epic Water pitcher or dispenser.

If you need something a little bigger, we can now offer you 15% OFF this family friendly 36-cup Epic Water Nano dispenser:

Latest Deal: 15% OFF

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