There is a wise Hebrew saying which says, "A righteous mouth will bear fruit of wisdom, but the tongue of those who twist will be cut off." (Proverbs 10:31). I first began to hear about The Grayl water purification cups on YouTube from those using it saying it was able to kill even viruses. I was indeed skeptical about its abilities, as their are many such companies today who will indeed exaggerate their product's abilities just to make a buck and ultimately taking advantage of people and their hard-earned money. So, I decided to put Grayl into a corner since they stipulated their product can kill viruses. Since nothing was given as proof for this on their website to establish this reality, I first of all contacted them directly via email and asked them point blank. And here was their actual letter of response they wrote to me:
Thank you for your inquiry!
First of all, to answer your question in a round about way, our purification filter is not a mechanical filter media. The technology removes sub-micron contaminants through electroadhesion and ion exchange. Therefore, you can think of the filter as a matrix with a positively charged mesh made from pseudoboehmite, activated carbon, and alumina fibers that act like tiny magnets to attract virus, bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants. Rather than through size exclusion as many common camping filters.
The pore size of the purification filter is about 1.25 microns. I know that this seems large, but the purification process relies mainly on electroadsorptive technology as explained above.
The pore size of the media is engineered such that the charge field covers the void volume of every pore. There are approximately 400 layers of these pores in the thickness of the media that the contamination passes through during filtration, creating a tortuous path. The charge field removes the negatively charged sub-micron particles while the larger particles are captured within the fiber structure of the media.
Our purification media has much larger physical pore size (1.25 micron median) which allows for higher flow rate and lower pressure drop, and can still remove sub-micron particles due to the inherent charge field extending across the void volume of the pores.
I hope this information answers your question! If not, please reach back out.
Me being more inclined to know how authentic their words were I went and proceeded to contact the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and gave them all the information they had given me to see if their words matched the reality of their claim. After waiting for some weeks I then received their reply back from the CDC in which they wrote me saying:
Thank you for your inquiry to CDC-INFO.
We are sorry for the delay in responding to your e-mail. A recent high volume of inquiries has delayed our response. Your request for information was forwarded to the CDC Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases (DFWED). We hope you find their reply helpful.
While electrostatically charged filtration removal technology is possible, available documentation on the product you mentioned does not provide enough information about the technology or its performance to assess whether a 1.25 µm pore size activated carbon filter can achieve pathogenic virus removal.
The documentation does state that the filter is NSF 42/53 tested for meeting USEPA drinking water treatment standards but does not provide this data or how and who conducted the testing. Standard certification 42 is in reference to reduction of aesthetic impurities (e.g., chlorine, taste, odor), and Standard certification 53 certifies reduction of contaminants with a health effect – most carbon filters achieve this certification.
However, it does not state that the filter has achieved NSP P231 certification, which means the filter was tested using an NSF standard protocol and shown to reduce microbial contaminants from water.
For further information about certification, we recommend you contact the manufacturer and request additional information.
Well you might wonder why I even got so involved with all this? Well let understand some vital things here, according to the CDC .03 µm pore size is how much a virus needs to pass through where are the Grayl pore size is listed at 1.25 µm pore size, which made me ask how then is this thing able to filter out a virus seeing only .03 µm pore size is smaller? So the question I had to seek out was if their pore size is larger how does electrostatically charged filtration work? And can it stop a virus which has a .03 µm pore size? Indeed it can, which is what the CDC investigated for me and were able to prove when I had asked them in my email request to them to respond to their claim as seen below.
"There's a company named GRAYL they are saying that they're water purification filters a total of 1.25 microns that is able to filter out viruses from water because they have a technology that removes sub microns contaminants to electroadhesion and ion exchange and they claim that the filter is not a mechanical filter media unlike the information on CDC website that speaks about general filtration. I am trying to understand how is it that CDC states that filters have to be at least at a 0.03 - 0.01 to be able to filter viruses from water. Is this technology actually existent to filter out the viruses?"
After getting a later email from Jessica who gave me the actual test documents which indeed show it passed the NSP P231 certification I was able to finally smile and say now I have all I needed to back these guys up. My complete belief in life is how can you stand by others if you really don't know who they are? I am not here to sell someone monetary drive to make a fortune off of people by in their mass producing a deceptive false product and for this reason I feel its my duty to both do my homework as well as represent to you the public with the real down and dirty facts. Cause when I go to sleep I want to sleep knowing I am doing my job the right way and your getting the real truth no matter what. So thanks guys at the CDC for your help and I tip my hat off to you Jessica for doing above and beyond by keeping a true honest transparency in all things. So if you want the full results check out the page below and the certification.
Avi Ben Shalom: