Domestic water purification devices (point-of-use) are important choices for people to deal with sudden drinking water contamination. Especially for sudden heavy metal and arsenic contamination, home water purification units can play a key role as a secondary line of defense. Most of the arsenic removal studies are limited to meeting the requirements of local water quality standards and few studies have been conducted on arsenic removal from household water purifiers. In this paper, the distribution characteristics of arsenic in water at the end of the pipeline network in the Shanghai water supply area have been investigated. Three types of household water purifiers, mainly with membrane separation technology, were selected to treat the simulated arsenic contamination in tap water sources. The effects of pH and inorganic salts on arsenic removal were studied in comparison to the results of coexisting ion concentrations in tap water. The results showed that the total arsenic concentrations in different tap water samples range from 0.479–1.195 µg L−1
, which is lower than the limit value for arsenic concentration set by China’s drinking water standard GB 5749–2006 (10 µg L−1
) and by the World Health Organization (10 µg L−1
). It is found that reverse osmosis and nanofiltration water purifiers were more effective in removing As(V), with removal rate above 97.7%, and less effective in removing As(III), the rate ranging from 40.1 to 56.3%. Preliminary validation was provided for the safety of household water purifiers in securing universal and sudden drinking water contamination. Domestic water purifiers are effective in reducing the risk of arsenic exposure in drinking water.
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