Are Activated Carbon Filters Safe? [Facts You Need to Know]

Last Updated on March 29, 2024

Activated carbons work for several purposes. It is used in some water filters that help to remove almost all the chemicals away from the tap water and make it healthy for your body. So, are activated carbon filters safe?

Well, yes. Activated carbon filters are completely safe to use. Activated carbons are a gem for a lot of stuff. Here, we talk about activated carbon, how it works, and all the information about its safety, concerns, and more.

So, want to know how does a carbon filter work and how are they safe? If yes, then continue reading till the very end!

What Are the Features of Activated Carbon Filters?

Through this section, our tech experts will give you an in-depth understanding of the different features activated carbon filters provide and how these can aid you.

Absorbent Feature

An air filter includes an absorbent feature and a filtering ability. Carbon is considered a natural filtration that is safe for health.

Moreover, carbon filters the water and ensures no impurities are left behind. That’s not all; it also absorbs chlorine, herbicides, volatile organic chemicals, pesticides, and a lot more that are hazardous to your health.

Blocks Particles

Carbon filters can block small particles and pollutants. It has some exceptional features that can remove up to 99% of volatile organic compounds, suspended solids, and sediment from drinking water.

Astounding Skin Care Option

It maintains the quality and taste of the material. Activated carbon is also used to make masks that can provide outstanding skin care. Not just that, it is also used to make high-quality cosmetics.

Reasons Carbon Filters Are Safe to Use

Carbon filters are safe to use for sure. So, here in this section, we’ll let you know the ins and outs of the reasons why carbon filters are so safe and risk-free.

Mechanism of Carbon Filter

Carbon filters are made from activated carbon. According to the agent’s strength in the carbon, the power, and the performance also become different.

As there is activated carbon, the activation process can enhance the carbon’s surface and make it rough with many pores. This is why it becomes helpful to absorb faster. It is mainly the tiny pieces of carbon that are highly absorbent. In this way, the water becomes purified and safe to drink.


It’s one of the most effective filter media and it’s also a natural pick. So it doesn’t harm our health. The only work it does is filter out all the chemicals, impurities, bacteria, and viruses from tap water and provide fresh water to drink.

Shelf Life

One of the biggest concerns with carbon filters is when it gets old. Call it a drawback or a concern; these carbons must be changed after a certain point.

Activated carbons turn dark grey or black after installing the new carbons. That’s why people doubt the authenticity of its effectiveness.

However, there’s nothing to worry about if you see this. The filter just needs a regular replacement. Moreover, within the limit, it’s entirely safe for use.

Note: HEPA, ionic, and Ozone are the different kinds of air purifiers compared to activated carbons. These are great sources for various purposes and knowing more about them will surely come in handy.

What Are the Drawbacks of Carbon Filters?

Below are some of the matters about carbon filters that need to be considered.

Replacing the Filter Often

Carbon filters are temporary. You need to replace the filter with new activated carbons quite often. The reason is it gets saturated quickly; as a result, frequent filter change is a must.

Unable to Remove Particles

Carbon filters are designed for different organic components, but they cannot eliminate particulates. The reason is a limitation! Carbon filters can do their job within that limit, but when the limitation is over, it needs a change.

Following Recommendations

Last but not least, you have to maintain the recommended requirements. The reason is there can be bacteria buildup. They probably find their way to drink water and pollute it. If you don’t follow the instructions, it may bring worse than good.

How Long Do Activated Carbon Filters Last in Air Filters? 

Carbon filters are suitable for sure as they have absorption and blocking facilities. There isn’t any allowance for bacteria or pollutants to get into the water. However, it gradually becomes saturated. Once the time is over, there is a chance to pollute the water by returning the collected pollutants to the water.

So, before encountering such a mishap, changing the filter is suggested. Moreover, the longevity depends on various factors like the indoor environment, the size of carbons, and the number of carbons being used.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do activated carbon filters remove?

Activated carbon filters help eliminate many chemicals like chlorine, and then the active catalytic carbon converts them into salt.

2. Do activated carbon water filters work?

Yes, activated carbon water filters are an effective option that aids in minimizing many chemicals and substances in water. According to the EPA and NSF, they have an adequate removal amount of 60-80 chemicals.

3. How long does activated carbon last in a filter?

Carbon filters can be used for up to 18-24 months, even when it’s continuously being used. Despite having a lot of chemicals in the water, it can last up to four years.

4. Can carbon filters be harmful?

No, carbon filters are super safe. Carbon filters are rated for removal by CTO (chlorine, taste, and odor). A third party rates it for material safety. Also, it can block other harmful components like cysts and lead.

5. Is activated carbon safe to breathe?

No, it’s not safe to inhale activated carbon. The reason is it can cause a lot of trouble, like vomiting and choking. If you breathe it in by accident, it can also damage your lungs.

6. Do carbon filters grow bacteria?

Although bacteria in carbon filters grow, it is not harmful. As long as the water supply is potable, there is no reason to worry. Bacteria that grow in the filter are harmless in this case.

Wrap Up

So, are activated carbon filters safe? Well, it’s a yes! But as long as you stay within the usage limits. Moreover, to benefit from these filters, you also need to ensure that these filters are regularly changed. So, that it’s completely safe and secure to use.

Therefore, as long as you follow these instructions, there shouldn’t be a crest and trough with the safety measures.

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Paul M Walker

I, Paul M Walker, am the founder and the author of this little site you are currently on. I work to provide readers with no-fuss and easy-to-follow solutions regarding common air purifier and humidifier problems.

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