The Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) has launched a new campaign to warn against the significant problem of counterfeit and deceptively labeled refrigerator water filters.
Called Filter It Out, the association and 17 major appliance manufacturers state the filters may have brand names and logos that look authentic, but they are not the real deal.
Counterfeit filters are bought daily over the internet and even though they appear legit, they are anything but. They are illegal and they do not meet the safety and structural standards that consumers, manufacturers and regulators expect.
Even scarier is the fact that you, the consumer, may not have any indication that these and other contaminants are not being removed from the water your family drinks. The water doesn’t look any different, so it’s easy to assume it is being filtered.
Drinking water in the United States contains numerous contaminants – including lead, asbestos, and pesticides – and not all water filters are created equal. Consumers understand the need for periodic replacement of filters, but may regard the choice as inconsequential.
“With new awareness comes a search for information, almost exclusively online – where trustworthiness of products presents real challenges.”– Jill Notini, AHAM Vice President of Communications & Marketing
And unlike the water filters made by legitimate brands, counterfeit water filters are not designed, tested and certified to fit your refrigerator. Most are not tested to specific industry standards – NSF/ANSI 42 and NSF/ANSI 53- and may not properly fit the appliance as claimed.
A poor fit could damage the refrigerator and cause leaks that could lead to costly property damage.
How to avoid buying a counterfeit water filter
The AHAM recommends buying your replacement filters from the appliance manufacturers and has provided a site to help you navigate different models.
Since the association represents the manufacturers there’s no comment on the use of third-party or ‘generic’ filters. These filters are attractive because they are usually cheaper than branded cartridges. If this is the route you’d rather take, I’d suggest universal cartridges found at your local home improvement store instead of those offered over the internet. Be sure to compare differences in gallon capacity, PSI range and NSF certification.
You bought a refrigerator with a water filter for a reason in the first place – do you really want to risk the purity of your water just to save a few bucks?
About The Campaign
Filter it Out is a public education campaign to inform consumers about the significant problem of counterfeit and deceptively labeled water filters for refrigerators. The campaign is led by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), a not-for-profit trade association representing manufacturers of major, portable and floor care home appliances and suppliers to the industry. As a leading voice for consumer product safety in the United States and Canada, AHAM provides information, advocacy and a forum for action in public policy and business. For more information, visit www.filteritout.org.