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AHAM Study Finds Counterfeit Water Filter Failure

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, the association said.

According to AHAM, 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.

According to AHAM, the results showed that of the 32 filters tested for removal of lead, all of them failed to meet NSF/ANSI standards to two times the life cycle, 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% removal to 90%; and 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, AHAM said.

In an effort to raise awareness of the problem, AHAM launched its counterfeit water filter consumer education campaign called, “Filter It Out” in 2016. The goal of the 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 their refrigerator, the association said.