Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead? (What is not removed)

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead?

Yes, it removes lead. In fact, reverse osmosis filters are the best used for lead removal in the market. It also filters other types of impurities from your drinking water. Lead enters your drinking water through the pipes that carry it to your home, schools, offices, and care centers.

As we know, lead was extensively used in building materials of pipes, and these pipeline systems are not changed over the years.

After so many years, the degeneration of pipe releases a large amount of lead in your water.  Hence ts abundantly found in your water and becomes a severe health threat.

However, for your convenience, there are many filtrations that remove lead; one of them is reverse osmosis.

In this blog, you will learn why lead poisoning is dangerous and how reverse osmosis removes lead and other impurities from water to make it healthy and drinkable. 

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead? (What is not removed)

The Hazards Of Lead Poisoning

Lead is a metal that is abundantly found on the earth’s crust. This heavy metal contaminates the water and causes lead poisoning in the body. Long-term exposure to lead is the main reason for lead poisoning. Typically, most people get lead exposure through their drinking water. So, lead exposure can be challenging to avoid.

However, by drinking healthy water, you can avoid this poisoning. A low-level lead is also dangerous as it accumulates in your body that causes serious health problems.

It enters your bloodstream and is then stored in different body organs like bones, teeth, or tissues. This can also damage your entire system.

There is no safe level of lead. In children, it causes lowered IQ, learning issues, and hyperactivity and slows their growth.

It also affects adults differently by causing hypertension and cardiovascular and reproductive problems. With all these serious effects, you do not need to risk your life by drinking lead-contaminated water.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead

How Does This System Remove Lead?

The process is simple; the water is forced through multiple-stage filters at high pressure. The semi-permeable membrane rejects hundred of impurities as the water passes through it.

The reverse osmosis membrane pore size is about 0.0001 microns, enough to remove lead and many other harmful impurities.

Typically, in multi-stage filters, there is one activated carbon filter that can remove lead remove lead by ionic bonding, adsorption, and pore size.

The pores attract impurities like lead and chlorine, which stick on the media surface, making them not travel onward with water.

This filter can remove up to 95 % of lead. However, the reverse osmosis membrane filters much more. It removes high levels of lead and other impurities like heavy metals, VOCs, and chemicals.  

The lead molecules are larger than water, so they can not pass through the membrane. They bounced back from a semi-permeable membrane and flushed down a drain. The lead-free water remains while the bounce-back water is wasted.  

Keep in mind that the reverse osmosis membrane performance also depends on many factors like water pressure, quality of water, and solute concentration.

How Much Lead Can It Remove?

Reverse osmosis can remove up to 99% of lead from your water. It’s the best result you could not get from any other filter; even a single carbon filter can only remove about 95% of lead on average. 

The removal of lead depends on the quality of the RO system. Some RO systems remove lead up to 99%, but some more effective RO systems can remove up to 99% or more.

Some high-quality RO systems are Aqua Tru, Aquasana OptimH2O, and Home Master TMHP. The aqua Tru can remove 99.1% lead from water. While the other two, Aquasana OptimH2O and Home Master TMHP, can remove up to 99.3 % of lead.

But remember that your goal is zero lead in your drinking water. That’s because continuous lead exposure to your body can cause serious health issues. 

Therefore, you need to get a filtration system to remove the maxim quantity of lead from water. Please keep in mind that a few percentage points difference in removal is significant because that means you are taking a high concentration of impurities.

In short, lead removal is very important, so it should be as precise as possible. Logically you need to select an RO filter system that can remove lead maximally because this will also remove the other impurities at maxim percentages. 

Does RO Remove Other Impurities?

Yes, it removes other impurities too. It’s much more competent than removing lead from your water. Reverse osmosis can remove 99.9% of inorganic materials, heavy metals, fluoride, bacteria, and many more. It can remove many suspended compounds, dissolved compounds, and microorganisms from your drinking water.

Typically, you can say it removes 95 to 99 % of organic and inorganic materials. Here are some other contaminants that it removes.

oes RO Remove Other Impurities (1)

Benefits Of RO System

  • It’s best for residential home water systems.
  • It filters out most concerning impurities like lead, hard minerals, arsenic, and several other heavy metals.
  • Suitable for general municipal supplies.
  • It removes lead up to 99%.

Drawbacks Of Ro Water Filter

  • RO is so effective that it would not just stop at removing lead. It removes the other impurities too. But it’s also not good because it cannot determine the good impurity among the bad. This removes the minerals that give the water a pleasant taste.

However, many reverse osmosis filters remineralize the water at the end. They add calcium and magnesium to make your water healthy and tasty.

  •  During reverse osmosis, some of the water is wasted when the water is filtered. The reason is that the impurities that can not be filtered through the membrane accumulate in the reverse osmosis chamber. This chamber water is wasted because there is no solution for this water. 

It’s wasted water at a constant rate, i.e., from when you turn on the filter to when you turn it off. The average reverse osmosis filter wasted about four gallons of water for every one gallon of purified water. But if you use good technology, reverse osmosis wastes one gallon of water for every four to five gallons of purified water.

  • As it provides the highest level of water purification, it tends to be more expensive than other water filters. The price usually offers more quality, so it’s worth paying more for the best RO system.

Final Thoughts | Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead?

Reverse osmosis can remove lead from the water. This also filters many other impurities from the water. It’s an excellent way to remove lead because it causes sickness. The lead in water is unsuitable for pregnant women, children, and infants.    

It causes severe other health issues, so removing the lead from the water is necessary. RO filter is a good source for lead removal, but it’s expensive. However, your health is essential, so always drink healthy water free of lead and other contaminants.

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead? (What is not removed)

FAQs | Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Lead?

Is lead in water make you sick?

Yes, it’s a severe threat to pregnant women, children, and infants. For example, lead in water causes the following issues in children. 

  • It delays the physical development of children.
  • It also causes behavioral problems.
  • It damages the growing brains of children.

However, the contamination of lead in water also affects adults’ health. Exposure to lead causes kidney and high blood pressure problems. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular death.

How to check lead in my water?

We all know we cannot see, taste, or smell the water. So, you can check if your water has lead by testing it. These tests are available at local stores. The other way is to check the municipal water report to determine your water quality.

What is not removed by the RO system?

The RO system does not remove molecularly smaller size contaminants. The molecular impurities sizes are smaller than water, so they slip through the RO filter. Some of them are pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, hydrogen sulfide, and many organic compounds.

RO removes many quantities of chlorine, but still, there is a chance that it may not remove all the chlorine present in the water. However, this removal mainly depends on the chemical concentrations and contaminations in the water.


This is my blog about the ways and solutions that can help you improve your health by taking more value from drinking water. As improving health means a lot to me, I decided to create the Water On Top project with the purpose to reveal the benefits of water, the finest products to take our daily water to another level, and much more great stuff about water that I believe is on top of our nutrition.

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