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For the yet-uncounted thousands of chemicals that can pollute water, there is an unchallenged “best choice” for treatment.
The best technology available for removing them is activated carbon. For the vast majority of the water contaminants listed by the EPA, filter carbon, often called charcoal, is the preferred treatment.
Because of carbon's effectiveness at chemical removal, most water filtration systems remove chemicals to some degree, since most systems contain some filter carbon. Often the effectiveness of the filtration system has a direct relationship to the amount of carbon and to the way the carbon is pretreated or arranged.
With drinking water units, countertop filters, undersink filters, and reverse osmosis units (which normally have at least two high quality carbon filters) for the most part rely upon filter carbon for their effectiveness at chemical removal. For the whole house, cartridge style carbon filters and backwashing carbon filters with granular activated carbon and Centaur catalytic carbon are excellent chemical removers.
(whole house & well units)