I bought the PUR Voyageur and used it in a Colorado high mountain lake. Later I noticed an old mine of
some type above the lake. Using this or other similar products isn't there a high risk of ingesting
toxins from this type of water that could be detrimental to your health? This kind of stuff is not
mentioned in reviews or the instructions that come with the purifier. Am I right or wrong?
Here's an answer from PUR:
The question of mine tailings is outlined in the best article ever on "What's in the Water" December
1996 Backpacker. The main issue in backcountry water sources that can make you sick is microorganisms.
Carbon is the only filtering media that reduces toxic substances (like inorganic chemicals and metals).
These substances generally take high levels of exposure over time to become a health risk. It is much
more important to guard against these in your tap water. When purifying water that is next to a mine,
mine tailings, or mining industry source, look for a purifier that contains activated carbon or consider
another water source. In backcountry water, these substances pose "considerably less risk than
microorganisms" according to Dr. Charles Gerba (leading microbiologist from the University of Arizona
who helped develop the current EPA standards for portable water purifiers).