Water filters China: Why You Should Invest in a Filter if You Live in Shanghai
Authorities acknowledge that China tap water is not suitable for drinking directly, so advise residents that it must be boiled first.
Just boiling the water, however, can not remove all pollutants. Boiling water will kill bacteria, but not eliminate many other metals and chemicals. It is highly recommended, therefore, for expats to install water filters in their homes and offices in China.
For more information about the best drinking water filter technology for China, please see our new article.
We have a list of water and shower filter suppliers and bottled water delivery in Shanghai
One potentially harmful chemical is the chlorine added to the water by
water companies in order to kill bacteria, as is common in most
The amount of chlorine used in China tap water, however, is suspected to be higher than in other countries, to ensure that it is disinfected thoroughly.
Chlorine is dangerous to humans at certain amounts over long periods of time. When it enters the bloodstream more directly, through inhalation and skin absorption, it is much more harmful than when it is digested during drinking.
It has been shown that during a hot shower, large amounts of chlorine can be inhaled and absorbed. So foreign doctors in China highly recommend shower filters be installed in your home to remove chlorine. Fortunately, these are easy to install and not very expensive to buy in Shanghai.
Water Filters in the kitchen and bathroom are also recommended, to purify water being used for washing vegetables and brushing teeth.
As mentioned in our Shanghai food safety article, it is recommended to peel all fruit and vegetables, rather than just wash them due to the high amounts of pesticides used in China.
As many Shanghai expats are wary of drinking even boiled tap water, they often rely on bottled water.
Many experts, however, claim that a high-quality water filter system is much superior to bottled water, for both health and environmental reasons. Certainly small plastic bottles are not an option that should be used, as they are very bad for the environment.
For those who buy the larger recyclable bottles for water coolers, it is recommended you spend the extra few RMB and buy from a reputable large company to avoid poor quality water.
There have been many accusations that bottled water standards in China are even lower than tap water standards, but this has been refuted by the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, a state agency in charge of monitoring and assessing food safety risks. The Center does say, however, that they are studying the issue and intend to issue a new unified national standard by the end of 2015.