Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Hormones From Drinking Water

Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Hormones From Drinking Water

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In this article we’re going to be talking about whether RO is effective at removing hormones from water.

However, for those who are unfamiliar with reverse osmosis, it’s simply a water filtration process that uses a semipermeable membrane to remove contaminants, viruses, and bacteria from water.
While it is very effective at removing harmful contaminants from water, let us see if it also removes or reduces hormone levels.

What Exactly Are Hormones

Hormones are basically chemical messengers that help to regulate various bodily processes. They are produced by the endocrine glands and released into the bloodstream, where they travel to different parts of the body and bind to specific receptors on target cells. This binding triggers a response within the target cell, which then helps to regulate the particular process that the hormone is responsible for.

There are 8 main types of hormones that can affect the human body, these include:
  1. Estrogen
  2. Progesterone
  3. Testosterone
  4. Insulin
  5. Cortisol
  6. Growth Hormone
  7. Adrenaline
  8. Thyroid Hormones

How Can Hormones Get Into Our Water Supplies?

Hormones are endocrine disruptors that can potentially get into our water supplies through various sources, such as agricultural and industrial runoff, sewage effluent, and wastewater treatment plant discharge. Once in the environment, hormones can persist for long periods of time and accumulate in aquatic organisms. Furthermore, hormones can be transported long distances through rivers and streams and eventually contaminate drinking water sources. As a result, it is important to monitor hormone levels in our water supplies and take steps to reduce potential sources of contamination.

Does RO Remove Hormones from Drinking Water?

There is no clear answer as to whether or not RO (reverse osmosis) removes hormones from drinking water. Some studies seem to suggest that it does, while others are inconclusive.

In general, RO is effective at removing a variety of contaminants from water, so it is possible that it could remove hormones as well.

If you are concerned about hormones in your drinking water, you may want to consult with a water treatment specialist to see if RO is right for you.

With that being said, the more filter stages that a RO system has, the more likely it is to filter out a wider range of contaminants in the water supply.

But be aware that not all RO systems are made equally, which is why we’ve featured a list of recommended systems at the bottom of this article.

How to test your water supply for hormones

If you’re concerned about hormone levels in your water supply, you can contact your local water supplier to request a water quality test.

This test will look for the presence of different hormones and other contaminants in your water. If any are found, you will be advised to take appropriate precautions to protect yourself and your family from long-term exposure. Especially since long-term hormone over-consumption of estrogen/testosterone by males & females respectively is not good for the body.

Once you have the results of your water test, you can compare them to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards to see if there is cause for concern.

Alternatively, you can hire a professional, who will take care of the entire process, as well as advise you about whether water treatment is necessary.

What else does reverse osmosis remove from water?

RO also removes a range of contaminants from water, including chloride, fluoridechloraminearsenicheavy metalsvirusesbacteriapesticides, and pharmaceuticals.
Unfortunately, RO removes beneficial minerals from water such as magnesiumsodiumpotassium, and calcium.
While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires that most municipal water supplies in the United States meet strict safety standards, trace amounts of these and other contaminants can still end up in tap water. As a result, many people use reverse osmosis systems to purify their drinking water even further.

Alternative Methods Of Removing Hormones From Water

According to a study completed in the NLOM, Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) filters are extremely effective at removing hormones such as estrogen, and other steroid hormones from water.

“Estrogens (estron: E1; estradiol: E2; estriol: E3) are major water pollutants. For the removal of estrogens, activated carbon (AC) and ozone treatments were employed, and the chemical oxygen demand (COD) and pH of a single solution and multiple solution systems were investigated. The removal of estrogens increased with the amount of AC. The percentage of removed estrogens by AC in the single solution system was greater than that in the ternary solution system. The estrogens were completely removed using ozone, which also reduced COD and pH. The removal of estrogens increased the water quality and decreased the amount of organic carbon.”


In summary, it’s not yet clear if RO water technology removes hormones from drinking water. However, it is generally believed that RO systems are effective in removing a wide range of contaminants, including hormones, from water.
With that being said, we can see that GAC filters (granular activated carbon filters) are effective, and so combined with RO, we expect that it will be superior at reducing hormone levels.
With that being said, before going about purchasing a RO system, it’s important to test your water supply in order to be sure about whether you need such a system.
It’s better to use a point-of-entry (POE) RO filtration system, such as a whole house RO system, as this will take care of your entire home’s water supply. This differs from a point-of-use (POU) system which would only treat water at the faucet, I.E. an under-sink RO system.
For those who know they want to use RO, take a look at either a whole house RO system or an under sink RO system.

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