We’ve just compiled a comparison table of international drinking water standards.

And here it is

This compares the maximum levels that different regulators give for various contaminants

The chart compares the USA with the World Health Organisation, the UK, Europe and Scandinavian countries. (We included Scandinavia because they tend to have high public health standards).

For the USA we compare 2 standards – the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Californian State Standards.

We compare the contaminants as expressed by their concentration eg “0.5 mg/l of Zinc”.

While most contaminants have identical maximum safe levels, it’s interesting to see how some vary, particularly within the USA where the EPA sets the basic limit but individual states can aim for higher standards.

The important thing to note with all these standards is that they do not mean that drinking contaminants in lower doses than the Maximum Contaminant Level is safe. While it would be fair to assume so, that is simply not the case.

Many of these limits were set decades ago.

A standout example is how all the regulators give a Maximum Contaminant Level for Lead of at least 0.01 mg/l. In fact it is now widely recognised that there is no safe limit for lead at all. The human body cannot get rid of it. It is highly toxic – even in tiny doses, particularly for children

You can see the full chart here https://www.uk-water-filters.co.uk/test-water/water-safety-standards.html

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