News Releases

Study outlines health and safety concerns of counterfeit water filters
Research aimed at counterfeit or deceptively labeled refrigerator filters

LISLE, Ill. (May 18, 2018) – The Water Quality Association (WQA) today said a new study conducted on behalf of the Association for Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) underscores the need to combat counterfeit water treatment products. The Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) helped with the study by performing extraction testing and funded a portion of the research production at a total cost of $35,000.

“This study is the first comprehensive look at the health and safety effects of the counterfeit filters,” said WQA Executive Director Pauli Undesser. “Counterfeit filters are a risk to consumers because of the unpredictability of how they may perform.”

Counterfeit and deceptively labeled water filters are a growing problem. Consumers may purchase filters online thinking they are buying genuine, certified filters, when, in fact, the bogus filters may contain only scraps of paper and do not filter the water at all.

Among the findings, according to AHAM, “Of the 32 filters tested for removal of lead, 100% failed to meet NSF/ANSI standards to two times the life cycle (200% of the rated or specified capacity), which is notable since most consumers do not replace their filters at the required six-month mark.”

 WQA has worked with AHAM on the counterfeit issue and continues to work with federal authorities to eliminate counterfeits from the marketplace. Consumers can now access a “Report IP Theft” button on the WQA website to report suspected counterfeit products to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) in Washington.


The Water Quality Research Foundation, formerly the Water Quality Research Council (WQRC), was formed in 1949 to serve on behalf of the Water Quality Association (WQA) as a universally recognized, independent research organization. The long-term goal of WQRF is to achieve sustained growth to conduct and fund scientific research on subjects relating to the water quality improvement industry.

WQA is a not-for-profit trade association representing the residential, commercial, and industrial water treatment industry. Since 1959, the WQA Gold Seal certification program has been certifying products that contribute to the safe consumption of water. The WQA Gold Seal program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).

# # #