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HIV & AIDS Health Center

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You Can Prevent Cryptosporidiosis

If you choose to buy a filter, look for this information on the label:

Filters designed to remove crypto (any of the four messages below on a package label indicate that the filter should be able to remove crypto)

  • Reverse osmosis (with or without NSF testing)
  • Absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller (with or without NSF testing)
  • Tested and certified by NSF Standard 53 for cyst removal
  • Tested and certified by NSF Standard 53 for cyst reduction

Filters labeled only with these words may not be designed to remove crypto

  • Nominal pore size of 1 micron or smaller
  • One micron filter
  • Effective against giardia
  • Effective against parasites
  • Carbon filter
  • Water purifier
  • EPA approved -- Caution: EPA does not approve or test filters.
  • EPA registered -- Caution: EPA does not register filters for crypto removal.
  • Activated carbon
  • Removes chlorine
  • Ultraviolet light
  • Pentiodide resins
  • Water softener

Filters collect germs from your water, so someone who is not HIV infected should change the filter cartridges for you; if you do it yourself, wear gloves and wash your hands afterwards. Filters may not remove crypto as well as boiling does because even good brands of filters may sometimes have manufacturing flaws that allow small numbers of crypto to get past the filter. Also, poor filter maintenance or failure to replace filter cartridges as recommended by the manufacturer can cause your filter to fail.

Water labeled as follows has been processed by method effective against crypto:

  • Reverse osmosis treated
  • Distilled
  • Filtered through an absolute 1 micron or smaller filter
  • "One micron absolute"

Water labeled as follows may not have been processed by method effective against crypto

  • Filtered
  • Micro-filtered
  • Carbon-filtered
  • Particle-filtered
  • Multimedia-filtered
  • Ozonated
  • Ozone-treated
  • Ultraviolet light-treated
  • Activated carbon-treated
  • Carbon dioxide-treated
  • Ion exchange-treated
  • Deionized
  • Purified
  • Chlorinated

C. Bottled water: If you drink bottled water, read the label and look for this information: Bottled water labels reading "well water," "artesian well water," "spring water," or "mineral water" do not guarantee

that the water does not contain crypto. However, water that comes from protected well or protected spring water sources is less likely to contain crypto than bottled water or tap water from less protected sources, such as rivers and lakes. Any bottled water (no matter what the source) that has been treated by one or more of the methods listed in the top part of the water filters table (p. 8) is considered safe.

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