Fluoride is often added to the public water supply. However, many people do not enjoy the taste of having fluoride in their water.
They would prefer to filter it out so that they can enjoy fresh-tasting water. In this article, find out all about fluoride and how you can remove it from the water you drink.
What Is Fluoride?
Fluoride is a mineral that is naturally discovered in the earth’s crust. Soil and rocks often contain this compound. As water flows through the ground to get to your taps, it will stream over rocks and dirt. This is how the water in your home can naturally pick up traces of fluoride.
How much fluoride that water naturally contains varies greatly. Affecting factors include water depth and the accumulation of fluoride-containing rocks in the local area. Rainwater and oceans also contain fluoride, not just the groundwater.
Why Is Fluoride Added to Water?
The process of adding fluoride to water is often referred to as water fluoridation. Fluoride is added to water to ensure the dental health of the community.
Guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services decreed in 2015 how much fluoride should be in our water. The recommended concentration level was 0.7mg/L. At this, level it was found that it is enough to reduce tooth decay.
Why People Remove Fluoride from Water
There is a condition that comes from consuming too much fluoride. This is known as dental fluorosis. Tooth enamel has been exposed to too many minerals and it can discolor and damage your teeth. This condition is most often found in children.
Many people view water fluoridation as a form of governmental control. Fluoride is added to water to prevent diseases such as tooth decay. That is why some people see water fluoridation as mass medication for communities.
Ingested fluoride can build up in our bones and stay there. That is why many people are concerned that fluoridation may increase the risk of some diseases. These include cancer, especially osteosarcoma which is a form of bone cancer.
Ways to Remove Fluoride from Water
If you are interested in removing fluoride from your water, there are a few ways that you can achieve this. You can read about some of the options below and you are sure to find one that suits your family’s lifestyle.
Be aware that some filters are not known to remove fluoride. If you already have one of these, you may need to purchase an additional filter or filtration system.
Filters that do not remove fluoride include kinetic degradation fluxion (KDF), manganese dioxide, and UV filters. These remove a range of other compounds but not fluoride.
Instead, try using one of the below methods:
1. Activated Aluminium
You can generally find activated aluminum in ion exchange units. Activated aluminum is made from aluminum oxide and it is a ceramic compound.
It is found naturally in gems such as sapphires and rubies. Because it has a high surface to weight ratio, this allows it to absorb a lot of fluorides.
When in contact with water for a long duration of time, it can remove up to 99% of the fluoride found in your water. It can also remove arsenic in the same way.
It is usually thought of as a water softener because it removes calcium and magnesium from water. These two minerals can make water hard, causing it to stain your fixtures such as sinks, toilets, or bathtubs.
Activated aluminum is recommended for use by the Environmental Protection Agency. That is because it is able to remove fluoride as well as other harmful compounds.
For this method to be truly effective, it must be filtering water with a pH of 6.5 or less. If your water has a higher pH, you will be better off trying an alternative method.
2. Reverse Osmosis Systems
Reverse osmosis systems are a good way of filtering the fluoride out of your water. They filter out 85-92% of fluoride from household water supplies.
Rather than using a water filter media, reverse osmosis systems use a special membrane that the water gets pushed through. This membrane filters the water by holding back compounds on one side, letting fresh clean water flow through the other.
You can usually add additional filters to these systems. Popular options are sediment or carbon filters. Different types of filters take different contaminants out of the water. Do your research on which filter is best for whatever you would like to filter out.
These systems are quite cost-effective, especially if you have a large family. A brand new system would usually cost you less than $300 and is not expensive to use either.
3. Ion Exchange Water Filters
Ion exchange is a cutting edge technology that has recently been developed. This brand new way of removing fluoride from water is still being researched.
Ion exchange resin is placed into a special water filter system. These bind to the fluoride in water. Because the fluoride becomes attached to these beads, it cannot flow past with the water and must stay behind. This is how it gets removed from the water.
This is a common filter purchased for softening water. You can buy multiple kinds of ion exchange resins, which all perform different functions.
Find out more about water softeners here:
Distillation is another method that can be effective in removing fluoride from water. It is the process of heating water and capturing the steam off the boiling water. By doing this, you leave behind the fluoride as well as other contaminants found in the water.
Essentially, distillers replicate the natural process of water evaporation when heated by the sun.
This is a process that you can try yourself at home if you wish to, or you can purchase a store-bought water distiller. By drinking distilled water, it will also taste fresher and cleaner which is an added bonus.
5. Bone Char Carbon
Another popular option is using bone char carbon. You can buy this in your water filter cartridges so it can be used with many types of water filters. These could include water pitchers, under sink water filters and whole house systems.
Bone char carbon filters are created from animal bones, usually crushed cattle. This makes them unsuitable to be used by vegans. However, they can filter out up to 90% of the minerals in your water.
This percentage depends on replacing your filter in a timely fashion as well as the quality of the bone char.
It works well because of its porous surface that can absorb many kinds of materials, both organic and inorganic.
6. Water Pitcher Filter
Water pitcher filters are one of the most common water filters you can find in almost any home. They are simple to use and do not require any installation.
They are a fantastic option if you are only looking to filter the fluoride out of your drinking water. Be aware that it will then remain in your bathing, cooking, and laundry water.
Water pitcher filters work because of a simple process. Water sits in the reservoir and must go through the filter before making it to your glass.
The filter will catch many types of minerals and other contaminants. Which compounds it will eliminate depends on the type of filter you buy for your water pitcher.
7. Gravity Filter
Gravity filters do exactly as their name suggests – use gravity to filter water. The system will always contain two sections – an upper section and a lower section.
Water gets poured through the top part and encounters a filter before it can go into the lower half. Many people use these to filter fluoride out of water.
This filter does not use electricity or plumbing, making it an extremely easy option to start using in your home. You can buy these in many sizes, so all you need to do is find one that suits your family’s water requirements.
8. Countertop Water Filter
By installing a countertop water filter in your kitchen, you can ensure that all of the water coming out of this tap has had the fluoride removed.
Countertop water filters are a handy way of filtering water for drinking and cooking. They can serve up to around 6 people efficiently.
9. Fluoride Shower Filters
Maybe you already have a water pitcher filter for removing fluoride. But, you wish you could remove it from your shower. That’s what fluoride shower filters were designed for.
Having chemicals and minerals in our shower water can affect our skin a great deal. It can make it dry and itchy, and cause our hair to feel greasy. That is why many people like to use a shower filter.
No matter which style of filter suits you and your family, you can rest assured knowing that you are drinking clean and fresh water.
As many people think that fluoride comes with potential health risks such as the increased risk of cancer, filtering it out will put your mind at ease. Any of the above methods will remove fluoride for you.