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Major appliance makers warn against counterfeit refrigerator water filters

Don’t take chances with counterfeit water filters for your refrigerator. That is the message the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) is getting out with a new campaign.

Called Filter It Out, the association and 17 major appliance manufacturers state the filters may have brand names and logos that look authentic, but they are not the real deal. The danger is that your family may drink water that is not up to industry standards.

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AHAM President and CEO Joseph M. McGuire said in a statement, “Counterfeit and deceptively labeled filters are sold every day through various online channels. In many cases, the filters appear identical to brand-name products, but do not meet the safety and structural standards that consumers, manufacturers and regulators expect.”

Jill Notini, AHAM’s VP of communications and marketing, said, “All agree that the risks to consumers posed by counterfeit and deceptive water filters must be better understood so consumers can avoid bringing potential harm to their appliances, homes, and most importantly, their families.”

According to the campaign, drinking water in the United States can contain lead, mercury, asbestos, pesticides, insecticides, and pharmaceuticals. When you buy genuine replacement filters, they are tested and certified to NSF International (NSF) standards — counterfeit filters may not be tested. “NSF International is a global independent organization that develops standards, and tests and certifies products to these standards for the water, food, health sciences, and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment,” according to an email NSF sent to Digital Trends.

“With so much uncertainty about the safety of our drinking water and the quality of replacement filters bought online, consumers should choose filters that are trusted and certified by the manufacturer who produced the appliance and stands behind their products. That’s what this campaign is all about,” McGuire said.

In addition to understanding that counterfeit refrigerator water filters are a thing, the best practice is to be wary when buying. If the price seems too good from an online filter source, be suspicious. There is no reason to take chances with drinking water purity in order to save a buck — that is not why you bought a refrigerator with a water filter in the first place.

This article was originally published 10-28-2016. Updated by Bruce Brown 10-31-2016 to correctly identify NSF International and include a mission quote from the organization.