If you are looking for a water purifier from research laboratories, you are probably looking for the best. You can get the best purification system in your home if you know what steps to look for.

Because there are many possible contaminants, there are several necessary steps. If you are served by a public treatment facility, you do not need an expensive reverse osmosis step, but you do need several others.

You need granular activated carbon to reduce chemicals like chlorine, lindane and benzene. You need a solid carbon block to further reduce chemical contaminants. With the two steps, it is possible for a filter to reduce chemical contaminants by as much as 99.99%.

The block should contain a sub-micron sized channel. The channel ensures that cysts and other tiny particles are removed. Cysts are the most dangerous to your health. They are parasites in an early stage of development and can not be killed by chemical disinfectants.

The risk of infection is greatest to infants, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. They are referred to as at-risk individuals. The EPA warns that at-risk individuals should look for a water purifier from research labs certified to filter down to one micron. Otherwise, those who are at-risk should boil everything they drink, use for brushing their teeth or use to wash fresh fruits and vegetables.

Another necessary step is ion exchange. Ion exchange removals metallic particles. The metal of primary concern is lead.

Lead was used to line and solder pipes until recently. Lead particles did not get into the liquids that flowed through them until we began using chlorine to disinfect germ-laden freshwater. Chlorine is a corrosive substance. It eats away at the pipes.

Older cities, older housing and older pipes in general are things to look for if you are concerned about lead. But if you have a water purifier from research labs that includes an ion exchange step, you will not have to worry.

That's what purifiers should provide. They should provide the homeowner with a sense of confidence. Worry-free nights and days, being able to give your kids a glass of tap-water and know it is safe … those are the things that purifiers should provide.

They should also be affordable enough for every homeowner to buy and install one. You can find a water purifier from research laboratories that fits those specifications. You just have to be careful, because not all of them do.