This study was conducted to determine whether common water filtration and purification systems bought by consumers and used in the home would remove cyanotoxins from water. Commonly used universal filter housings and filter sizes were utilized to identify filter media that may be effective in the removal of microcystin-LR in deionized water. Results suggest that the efficacy of home filtration devices in removing microcystin-LR varies considerably with the type of device being used. Carbon filters successfully removed microcystin-LR allowing only 0.05–0.3% of the toxin load to pass through the filter. On the other hand, pleated paper and string wound filters allowed >90% of microcystin-LR present in the sample to pass through the filters. Theoretically, the use of carbon home filtration devices tested in this study may provide protection against human exposure to cyanotoxin in addition to protection provided by water treatment methodologies utilized in water treatment facilities. Further studies need to be done to assess the efficacy of home filtration devices for various cyanotoxins and for other filtering conditions such as increased toxin load, the presence of other contaminants in drinking water, and the repetitive use of the same filter over longer time intervals.
- © IWA Publishing 2006