News & Views

New GE Refrigerator Filters Trace Pharmaceuticals From Water

GE has begun marketing new refrigerators with filtration systems that removes 98 percent of five trace pharmaceuticals  ibuprofen, atenolol, fluoxetine, progesterone and trimethoprim  from water and ice

According to a 2010 study conducted by The Stevenson Co. on behalf of GE, consumers rated the protection of their water supply as their number-one environmental concern. In fiscal year 2010, 10 percent of all community water systems — serving more than 23 million people — sold water to consumers that violated at least one health-based EPA standard, GE says. And, an Associated Press investigation of tests conducted by water suppliers all over the country found low concentrations of dozens of pharmaceuticals in drinking water — including antibiotics, aspirin, blood pressure medications and antidepressants.

Among the reasons pharmaceuticals end up in our water supply is consumers flushing them down the toilet without realizing where they might end up. Or, if products are tossed in the trash, they often wind up in landfills, where they can seep into groundwater — and ultimately can come through water taps.

“Water treatment plants do a great job of cleaning our water, but they can’t always filter out all contaminants, and trace pharmaceuticals are left in the drinking water that comes into our homes,” said John Boyd, refrigeration marketing manager for GE Appliances.

GE also created an automatic ordering system that will send refrigerator owners a replacement filter every six months to improve convenience. The company is also planning to send replacement notifications to smartphone users in the future.

The new water filtration systems are available on all GE, GE Café and GE Profile-branded French door refrigerators. Estimated retail price ranges from $1,699 to $2,999.

Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.      


Bart King is the principal of New Growth Communications, a network of affiliated content producers and strategists serving clients in the emerging green economy. He is also an associate editor for Sustainable Brands. Follow him @bart_kingGoogle+

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