Some people use home water-treatment devices to improve the quality or taste of their water. Products certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), among others, meet the quality standards for which they were designed, when used according to instructions.
However, it is best not to give water treated with these devices to babies younger than 6 months since there are no official standards for these devices. Little is known about the safety and efficiency of home water-treatment systems. There are, however, a number of known risks related to some of these devices:
- Water softeners connected to the tap or water intake increase the amount of sodium (salt).
- Charcoal filters (with or without silver) can increase the silver content and the amount of some bacteria.
- Distillation units (stills) and reverse osmosis devices reduce mineral content.
In addition, these devices are difficult to clean. You must also remember to change the filter or membrane regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.