How to Remove Fluoride From Water

How to remove fluoride from water when it’s in most tap water supply?

Fluoride is added to local water supply by local governments in places like the United States, Australia and the UK. In fact, 10% of water throughout the UK is added with fluoride to help improve oral health.

However, due to some health problems, there are some people who indicate that we need to completely remove the chemical from our water.

In this article, I explore the reasons why some water companies add fluoride to our water supplies. And I also explain how fluoride in certain concentrations can harm our health.

Most people are aware that there is a continuing controversy and “fluoride in water conspiracy” over the public fluoridation of drinking water. Fortunately, there are easy ways for the public to get drinking water without fluoride.

Read on to find out how to easily remove fluoride from your water, as well as water treatment methods that remove fluoride from your water.

Fluoride in Water Conspiracy

Why is There Fluoride In Water?

Artificial fluorinated water is supplied as oral health aid to about 10% of the UK population and a significant part of the US. The recommended national fluoride concentrate is 1 ppm.

While fluoride is generally considered good for oral health, it helps prevent tooth decay, and there is still controversy over whether direct ingestion of the substance is harmful to our overall health.

Is Fluoride a Poison?

Fluoride in its natural form is not harmful to your health.

However, artificial fluoride added to water sometimes contains by-products such as fluorosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride and sodium fluoride. These are the ones that can be detrimental to your overall well-being. They are also the ones that cause the most common side effect of excessive fluoride intake. For instance, tooth fluorosis and the stings (stains) of your teeth.

 

Simple Steps to Reduce Fluoride Exposure

  • Do not take fluoride based medications. 
  • Try not to use non-stick cookware. Teflon and some other coatings contain fluoride, which can be released during cooking.
  • Read the labels for bottled drinks. If they are not made with distilled water or reverse osmosis, they are likely to be made with fluorinated water.
  • Consider using non-fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Avoid drinking black or red tea: There are many health benefits associated with the chemical compounds contained in the tea, but this can be a beverage that should be avoided if you need to reduce your fluoride intake. Black and red tea comes from two different plant species, but both naturally contain high levels of fluoride.
  • Beware of canned fish and preserves as fluoride can be used as a preservative.
  • Avoid black or red rock salt or objects containing black or red rock salt.
  • Don’t chew tobacco.
  • Avoid long-term intake of fluoride-containing medications. Certain antidepressants and medicines for osteoporosis contain fluoride.

 

How To Reduce Fluoride Exposure

While some chemicals can be removed by filtration systems and bottles, fluoride is proving to be a chemical product that is more difficult to remove and can only be achieved with special filters and reverse osmosis systems.

If you have questions about the amount of fluoride in your tap water, you should contact your local water company or a local installer. 

1. Stop Drinking Fluoridated Tap Water.

Tap water consumption is, on average, the largest daily source of fluoride contamination for people living in areas that have fluoride in water. Avoiding the consumption of fluorinated water is especially critical for babies. If you live in an area that fluorinates your water, you can avoid fluoride in one of three ways:

2. Use An Appropriate Water Filter.

One way to avoid fluoride from tap water is to buy a water filter. Not all water filters, however, eliminate fluoride. The three types of filters that can remove fluoride are reverse osmosis, deionizers (using ion exchange resins, and activated alumina. Each of these filters should be able to eliminate about 90% of the fluoride.

In contrast, “charcoal” filters (eg, Brita and Pur) DO NOT remove fluoride.

3. Drink Spring Water.

Another way to avoid fluoride from tap water is to buy spring water. Most spring water brands contain very low levels of fluoride. However, some brands contain high values ​​(e.g. Trinity Springs). Therefore, before you consume bottled water continuously, make sure that the fluoride content is less than 0.2 ppm and ideally less than 0.1 ppm. You can find out the degree of fluoride content in some of the popular brands by checking the label. You can also find the fluoride content by looking for the number on the water label. (Most companies have this information available on their website.).

4. Use a Water Distiller.

Another way to avoid fluoride in the tap is to buy a distillation unit. The distillation of water will eliminate most if not all of the fluoride. The price for distillation units varies greatly depending on the size. Small countertop units cost $100 – $200, while large units may exceed $1000.

If you do not know if your region is fluoridated, you can contact your local water authority. Live in the US? You can also find out by going to the FAN State Fluoride Database.

5. Do Not Allow Your Child To Swallow Fluoride with Toothpaste.

Fluoride toothpaste is usually the main source of fluoride intake for young children. And is a major risk factor for the disfigurement of dental fluorosis. This is because children swallow a large amount of the paste they put in their mouth. In fact, research has shown that it is not uncommon for children to ingest more fluoride toothpaste alone, as it is recommended from all sources as a daily dose.

Therefore, if you have a small child, we recommend using a toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. However, if you use toothpaste containing fluoride, it is very important to supervise your children while brushing to make sure to use no more than a “quantity of dough the size of a pea” and rinse thoroughly and spit out after finishing. And finally, do not buy toothpaste flavored candy (P. Eg., Gum and watermelon) because these toothpastes (which still contain fluoride concentrations to the level of adult concentration) increases the risk that children will swallow (and really swallow).

6. Do Not Get Fluoride Gel Treatments From The Dentist.

Although tooth researchers have said on numerous occasions that using fluoride gel treatment is only used in patients at increased risk of tooth decay, many dentists still apply fluoride gels regardless of patient risk.

The fluoride gel procedure requires the patient to hold a dish for 4 minutes and use an extremely concentrated acid fluoride gel (12,300 ppm). Due to the high acidity of the fluoride gel, the salivary glands produce a large amount of saliva during treatment, making it extremely difficult (for both children and adults) to avoid ingesting the gel.

Even though dentists use precautions like suction devices, children and adults still consume significant amounts of the gel, which can lead to unbelievable levels of fluoride in the blood (up to 15 hours).

These levels of fluoride in patients, especially children, at risk of stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, and places a person at risk of kidney damage, which in the short term compromises reproductive system damage and glucose metabolism. Next time your dentist asks you if you want a fluoride gel treatment, say NO.

7. Eat More Fresh Foods and Less Processed Foods.

When the water is fluoridated, not only is the water fluoridated, but all the beverages and foods made with the water. 

As a general rule, the more food that is processed, the more fluoride it has.

The good news is that natural levels of fluoride in most fresh water (e.g. spring water) and most fresh foods (e.g. fruits, vegetables, grains, eggs, milk) are very low in fluoride. Use this fact to your advantage by trying to change as much as possible from processed to fresh foods.

In addition, since processed drinks (e.g. soft drinks, reconstituted juices, sports drinks) contribute more to the intake of fluoride processed foods, the most important thing is to focus on reducing the consumption of processed drinks.

8. Buy Grape Juice and Organically Grown Wine.

In the United States, many vineyards use a pesticide containing fluoride called cryolite. As a result, fluoride levels in grape juice and wine from the US (especially white grape juice and white wine) are consistently high.

In 2005, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) reported that the average fluoride content of white grapes exceeded 2 ppm. The fluoride content in red wine is also high (1 ppm) as well as in raisins (2.3 ppm). If you buy grape and wine juice or if you are a big consumer of raisins, buy organic products. In the case of wine, if you do not want to spend the extra money on organic, you should buy a European brandbecause Europe uses much less cryolite than the US.

9. Reduce Your Consumption of Black and Green Tea (and / or Drink Tea with Younger Leaves).

Certain tea plant accumulate high levels of fluoride, and it is known that excessive tea intake causes a painful bone disorder called skeletal fluorosis. However, some teas contain high levels of antioxidants that improve health. This not only promotes good health but also provides protection against fluoride toxicity.

Ideally, you should drink tea with high levels of antioxidants but low levels of fluoride. Recent research indicates that this could be a goal that can be achieved.

It has recently been shown that antioxidants in tea are much higher in young leaves than in old leaves. This is important because young leaves also have lower fluoride levels. In fact, it has been suggested that the fluoride content of tea is an indicator of its quality: the higher the fluoride, the lower the quality and vice versa.

So, if you like tea, try buying varieties that are young leaves (for example, “white tea“). This allows you to maximize the known benefits of tea while reducing known damage. To avoid this, avoid instant and cheap teas as these are low quality leaves that contain very little antioxidants. 

10, Avoid Cooking with Non-Stick Pans (Teflon).

Some studies have shown that cooking with Teflon-coated molds (i.e. non-stick pans) can significantly increase the fluoride content of foods. If you have Teflon pans, you should switch to stainless steel.

11. Do not take Cipro and Consider Other Fluorinated Pharmaceutical Products.

Many pharmaceutical products are fluorinated, which means that they contain a so-called “carbon-fluorine bond”. Although the carbon-fluorine bond is strong enough to withstand degradation in the body, this is not always the case.

It has been found that some fluorinated drugs in the body are metabolized to fluoride, which greatly increases a person’s exposure to fluoride. The most notable example is Cipro.

Other fluorinated chemicals, which are known to break down into fluoride are fluorinated anesthetics (isoflurane and sevoflurane), niflumic acid, flecainide and voriconazole. If you are taking any of these medications, find out if there are alternatives available.

12. Minimize the Consumption of Mechanically Deboned Chicken.

Most types of meat that are pulverized in the form of pulp (e.g., chicken fingers, chicken nuggets) are processed by a mechanical deboning process.

This mechanical deboning process increases the amount of bone particles in the meat. Since bone is the main cause of the accumulation of fluoride in the body, the higher content of bone particles in mechanically deboned meat leads to a significant increase in fluoride levels.

Of all the meats that are mechanically deboned, it has been discovered that chicken meat has the highest levels. Therefore, minimize buying mechanically deboned chickens.

13. Avoid Fluoridated Salt.

If you live in a country where fluoridated salt can be sold, make sure the salt you buy is not fluoridated. The consuming fluorinated salt can greatly increase a person’s exposure to fluoride.

 

Water Filters That Remove Fluoride

There are a few methods that actually remove fluoride from water. The list below are some of the most effective ways to ensure that fluoride is not present in the water that you and your family drink. 

  • Reverse Osmosis Filtration: This type of water filter is the main filtration method used to purify several types of bottled water(not all). This means that some bottled waters are non-fluoridated (see the complete list of fluoride free bottles here). However, the disadvantage is that reverse osmosis systems a little bit expensive. Especially when compared to water filter jugs (most of which DO NOT remove fluoride)
  • Activated Alumina Defluoridation Filter: These are special types of filters that are used in places where fluorosis is rampant. They are a little bit expensive and may need frequent replacement. But on the plus side, they are some of the best water filters that remove fluoride.
  • Water Distillation: A water distiller removes everything from water. Everything. This includes fluoride. There are lots of commercially available distillation filters that you can buy to remove fluoride from water. On a related note, when looking at bottled water, keep in mind that ‘distilled water’ does not always imply a product is just for drinking. Some distilled water is so pure that it is used by hospitals, factories and industrial processes.

Water Filter Options That Do Not Remove Fluoride

  • Brita, Pur, and similar water jug filters that are not too expensive. In fact, the truth is that most commercially sold water filters do not remove fluoride. This means you must always check before you buy and not assume. Also be careful of some websites that talk about fluoride removal, which tell you otherwise. Always do a simple check of the product descriptions (directly) on the companies’ website. Do this to make sure you know for sure and can confirm that fluoride is indeed filtered from the water.
  • Boiling water: It sad but true, boiling water does not remove fluoride from water. Think about it, if it does, why is there so much limescale in your kettle? In actuality, when you heat fluoride contaminated water to boiling it will actually concentrate the fluoride rather than reduce it.
  • Freezing Water: Just like boiling water, changing the temperature to freezing does not remove fluoride either. Simply sticking fluoride water into the freezer will not have any effect on the level or concentration of fluoride.

The Complete Guide On Removing Fluoride From Water (Infographic)

How to Remove Fluoride From Water Infographic Credit: Positive Health Wellness

 

Filters That Remove Fluoride

If you want to remove all the fluoride from your drinking water, here are some of the best water filtration systems you should consider for your home:

Big Berkey (With Special Fluoride Filters)

Royal Berkey Water Filter 3 Gallon System Bundle: 2 Black BB9 Filters, 2 Fluoride PF2 Filters, 1 Stainless Steel Water Bottlemrwatergeek winner badge This is a water dispenser unit and this means that it takes a little more time and can only purify certain amounts of water at a time.

In specific terms, the biggest Big Berkey can contain up to 6 gallons of water at any one time. However, on average they are capable of filtering up to 3.5 gallons per hour.

The Berkey is a good solution for people that need to remove most of the impurities, particles as well as all fluoride from drinking water.

Home Master TMJRF2 Countertop Water Filter System.

The Home Master TMJRF2 is a compact, effective water filter unit that you can place in your sink or counter top.

Depending on the specs of the product, you can remove up to 93% of fluoride as well as other impurities.

Getting the Home Master also means you have a very easy-to-use device that you can configure in minutes.

The best part is that it is super portable, easy to transport and set up. Finally this option is perhaps the cheapest water filtration system on this list.

6-Stage iSpring RCC7 Reverse Osmosis Water Filters.

This reverse osmosis filtration system is designed for use in all homes. It can give you around 75 gallons per day.

And 6 stages of filtration means that can remove about 99% fluoride as well as other impurities. Contaminants that include things like heavy metals, pesticides and toxins.

The product is manufactured in the USA and made with FDA approved materials. Finally the 6-stage iSpring RCC7 is very easy to install under the sink and filters your tap water before it comes out of the faucet.

 

Mr Water Geek Thinking

Scientific References

Koblar A, Tavčar G, Ponikvar-Svet M. Fluoride in teas of different types and forms and the exposure of humans to fluoride with tea and diet. Food Chemistry2012;130(2):286–290.

Almodaresi, A. et al. Investigation of Fluoride Concentration in Rural Drinking Water Resources of Bardaskan County Using Geographic Information System (GIS) in 2014. Journal of Tanin Salamat (Health Chimes) 3(4), 32–41 (2015).

Ismail AI, Hasson H. Fluoride supplements, dental caries and fluorosis: a systematic review. Journal of the American Dental Association. 2008;139(11):1457–1468.

Zeng, Q. et al. Studies of fluoride on thyroid cell apoptosis and mechanism. Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine 46(3), 233–236 (2012).

Peckham, S., Lowery, D. & Spencer, S. Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water. J Epidemiol Community Health 0, 1–6, https://doi.org/10.1136/jech-2014-204971 (2015).

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