Guest post by Best Osmosis Systems
Fluoride is naturally found in mineral rocks and doesn’t add taste, color, or odor to water when dissolved in it. Conventional medicine states that small amounts of it will help you maintain healthy teeth. However, fluoride-opponents are convinced that many groundwater sources contain too much fluoride already and that excessive long-term exposure can have negative side effects on human bone structure, kidneys, and many other parts of our body.
The amount of fluoride dissolved in fluoridated tap water doesn’t exceed 1 ppm (parts per million or mg/L) says the American Dental Association. In comparison, non-fluoridated water usually contains less than 0.3 ppm, although concentrations in groundwater may be higher.
It’s a fair question to ask if filter systems are able to remove/reduce this insanely small amount of fluoride, or if it simply slips through the grid of even the most rigorous filtration process to later end up in our water glass anyway.
To answer the question, the Water Quality Association lists four treatment methods as suited for the removal of fluoride from water:
Reverse osmosis – It’s the most commonly used method of water filtration that utilizes a semipermeable membrane to filter out up to 99% of all contaminants.
Strong base anion exchange – Filter systems based on this technology are rare to find and as far as we can tell, they are only available for industry use but not for your home.
Activated alumina adsorption media – The most popular water filters that apply activated alumina are Berkey filters, which we are going to review a little further down the page. A Berkey filter is a great solution in case you rent a home and can’t make any irreversible changes to the plumbing system without getting into trouble with your landlord.
Distillation – Your last option are water distillers that, strictly speaking, don’t belong to the group of water filters. However, they offer an effective way of removing fluoride from water, which is why we don’t want you to miss out on them.
<h3?Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride?
As you have seen, reverse osmosis (RO) made it on the list. And although the process wastes a good amount of water (up to 5 gallons for every gallon of clean water), it is the most economical way of water filtration.
A study conducted by the University of Nebraska in 2008 has shown that even small residential RO units do indeed remove fluoride from water; some systems are certified to take out as much as 96%. One aspect the publishers of the study pointed out is that membrane selection plays an important role that significantly affects a system’s fluoride-removal performance.
Therefore, you should double check with the manufacturer that a specific membrane or system is able to remove fluoride effectively. Polyamide thin-film composites (TFC) and cellulose-type membranes are most commonly found in conventional RO systems. As a general rule, TFC membranes are more costly, but have higher Total Dissolved Solids rejection rates and therefore do a better job at filtering out contaminants including fluoride.
It is also crucial that you maintain your RO system regularly to avoid membrane scaling, which can also lower system performance.
PUR, Brita, ZeroWater – Do Carbon Filters Remove Fluoride?
It’s surprising, but the most popular water filters, PUR and Brita filter pitchers among them, will not filter fluoride out of your water. Yes, they improve water taste and can remove chlorine for example, but when we are talking about fluoride removal, that’s a whole different story.
The reason being that these products use activated carbon/charcoal to adsorb impurities, which doesn’t have any effect on fluoride. By the way, the same goes for ZeroWater filters.
Do Water Softeners Remove Fluoride?
The sole purpose of a water softener is to soften water. It does not remove fluoride in the softening process. That’s just not what they were designed to do. Instead, a softener removes calcium and magnesium ions from water and exchanges them with sodium or potassium salt ions.
Reverse Osmosis Systems that Remove Fluoride
Home Master TMAFC – The Home Master TMAFC system has proven to reject fluoride at an average rate of 90%. The system costs about $100 more than the other two, however, it’s our absolute favorite as it doesn’t come with any drawbacks. Instead, everything is backed by the manufacturer with a 5-year limited warranty.
APEC ESSENCE ROES-50 – This is a 5-stage RO filtration system that performs really well (up to 99% contaminant removal) and is an absolute best seller on Amazon with lots of happy customers. The system is guaranteed to work trouble-free and comes with a full delivery scope including a lead-free designer faucet and a 1-year warranty.
iSpring RCC7 – The iSpring RCC7 reverse osmosis system is available for less than $200. It’s WQA certified to remove 94-96% of fluoride from water, which is a very high rejection rate. The only drawback this system, like most other RO systems, has is that it requires water pressure in your home to be at least 35 psi to work efficiently. On top of that, with this system the filters wear out quicker which adds to the replacement costs.
Water Filter Pitchers that Remove Fluoride
As we’ve learned, PUR and Brita filter pitchers are not capable of removing fluoride from water. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other filter pitchers that can do it. Here are two of them:
Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher – The Aquagear Water Filter Pitcher has been tested by independent and accredited labs and has proven to remove 90.06% of fluoride from water. It also removes chlorine and chloramines (99.9%), lead (99.9%), arsenic (99.8%) and many other harmful substances.
The pitcher can hold up to 2.7 gallons and filters last between 3-6 months depending on feed water quality and how high your demand is. If you would like to learn what other customers say about the pitcher, check out some customer reviews here.
Reshape Water Filter Pitcher – This Reshape Water filter pitcher is available for less than $50 on Amazon and has also been tested by an independent laboratory for filtration efficiency. The test results clearly state that fluoride levels were reduced from 0.21 ppm to 0.00 ppm – a 100% rejection rate.
Apart from that the pitcher also adds healthy minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium) into the water.
For less than $300, you can get yourself a Berkey water filter for your countertop that includes two PF-2™ fluoride filter elements filled with high-grade activated alumina media. Tests have shown that these elements are capable of removing 95% to 99.75% (under optimum conditions) of dissolved fluoride from water.
Berkey filters are gravity-based systems that come in different sizes. For example, there is the highly popular Big Berkey filter that can hold up to 2.25 gallons of purified water sufficient for a whole family,, and there is the Travel Berkey filter with a 1.5-gallon tank if you are on your own.
While you can also choose to buy the additional fluoride filter elements separately, it’s cheaper if you buy everything in a bundle.
How to Avoid Fluoride
Reducing the amount of fluoride you ingest on a daily basis by choosing fluoride-free drinking water is one part of the equation. But there also are other simple steps you can take to reduce your overall exposure in everyday life by a significant extent.
Where to Buy Non-Fluoridated Beverages
You can find non-fluoridated drinking water and many other beverages in every well sorted grocery store. You just have to know what to look out for and read labels: Choosing drinks made of ‘distilled water’ or water that was ‘purified by reverse osmosis‘ is ideal.
Can You Boil Fluoride out of Water?
No, you cannot boil fluoride out of water, as it does not evaporate easily. But what you can do instead is use steam distillation to separate the water from all other contaminants dissolved in it.
Tips: Fluoride in Food and Other Products
• Don’t use fluoridated salt for cooking.
• Avoid cooking ware with Teflon coatings (Teflon contains fluorine).
• Avoid canned food as fluoride is often used to preserve it.
• Don’t buy fluoridated toothpaste especially when you have small kids. Our little ones don’t have a well-developed swallowing reflex yet. They tend to swallow a lot of toothpaste while brushing.
Whatever your reasons might be to try to remove fluoride from your tap water, you probably have spend a good amount of time reading up on the topic already. Therefore, we don’t want to talk about fluoridation and whether it’s a good or a bad thing in this article. Instead, we would like to focus on how you can remove it.
If you’d still like to get some additional information, check out the video below:
Why The Government Puts Fluoride In Our Water
Published on Feb 19, 2015
How To Remove Fluoride From Tap Water (+ Best Fluoride Filter System Reviews)
(Abridged by organicsulfur4health.com)