Fluoride content in drinking water has remained a concern for many households. Fluoridated water is mostly found in municipal water supplies because local utility companies add this mineral to reduce tooth decay.
While fluoride can have seemingly positive benefits for the household, the side effects of too much fluoride have adverse health effects. As a result, you will need to remove excess fluoride from your tap water. A reverse osmosis filter is capable of removing fluoride from your drinking water.
Fluoride in Drinking Water
Fluoride is one of the dissolved minerals commonly found among other contaminants in untreated tap water. It is a naturally occurring chemical element in groundwater. Fluoride ions easily dissolve in water, and it’s immune to detection through sight, smell or taste.
Fluoride is also artificially manufactured for use as agricultural fumigants, and for the production of fluoridated water such as mouth wash, pharmaceuticals, and toothpaste.
In certain countries, residents have been drinking fluoridated water because it is believed to slow down tooth decay. Common fluoride supplements that were added to municipal drinking water include:
- Fluorosilicic Acid
- Sodium Fluoride
- Sodium Fluorosilicate
Effects of Flouride
According to the Center for Disease Control, fluoride consumption prevents tooth discoloration, and dental cavities and hardens the tooth enamel. It improves general tooth health and prevents oral decay in kids and adults alike.
There is even data to back up these findings, as a certain survey discovered a reduction in poor tooth health among respondents aged 12 to 15 years.
Fluoride protects the tooth by inhibiting bacterial acid from melting the enamel and reaching the dentine – its eventual destination.
How Much Fluoride Is Safe for Consumption?
The American Department of Health and Human Services recommends that water fluoridation shouldn’t exceed 0.05 mg/L. This also applies to added fluoride for those considering adding fluoride to their pure water after it has passed through the water filter.
Consuming more fluoride will only result in negative health effects in the long run.
Low Fluoride Levels vs. High Fluoride Levels
As we’ve mentioned earlier, there are some benefits and risks associated with fluoride in your water. Consuming fluoride in trace quantities is the better option because it will prevent tooth decay and oral cavities. On the other hand, fluoride in large quantities can trigger joint and bone pain, thyroid problems, and a lower IQ.
Fluoride Removal Through Reverse Osmosis Systems
According to this report, excess fluoride intake can trigger significant health risks such as dental fluorosis. This is an irreversible change in dental coloration and bone fractures. This is where reverse osmosis water purification (RO water filters) step in. You can use the RO system to remove fluoride, making your filtered water safe for human consumption.
Reverse osmosis systems can effectively filter out fluoride from your water supply because its molecules are bigger than that of the reverse osmosis membrane. The RO system only lets water molecules through to the other side. This makes the reverse osmosis system able to not only remove excess fluoride but common contaminants as well.
The RO system applies extreme pressure, which forces water through the tiny pores of the semi-permeable membrane while trapping contaminants and then flushing them out. The Reverse osmosis system produces a virtually fluoride-free water supply in your household. Reverse osmosis works in a continual cycle till your storage tank is full.
How Much Fluoride Does Reverse Osmosis Remove From Your Water?
RO systems also incorporate other filters, such as activated carbon filters, which effectively filter out contaminants. Usually, the RO system retains a safe amount of fluoride in your reverse osmosis water after it has passed through the semi-permeable membrane in the filtration process. The RO membrane removes 85% to 90% of fluoride molecules from your water.
Alternative Ways to Remove Fluoride from Water
While we still recommend the RO water filter as the best because it also removes other contaminants such as heavy metals, there are alternative ways you can adopt to remove contaminants. Boiling water is an easy and convenient method.
Another method is carbon filtration; it removes fluoride to a considerable degree. However, they are not nearly as effective as the reverse osmosis water filter in removing contaminants.
The only downside to the RO filter is its water efficiency. For every one gallon of water it produces, it wastes 4 gallons. This puts the water system in the bad books of eco-friendly practices.
However, thanks to advancements in reverse osmosis technology, some models have a slightly lesser wastewater output than certain models of RO systems.