Over the years, it’s been a common practice to add fluoride to water as a way to reduce tooth decay, but is there a side effect of fluoridated water? What Is Fluoride? Does the potential risk of using fluoridated water outweigh the benefits? Is it possible to reduce the fluoride level of my water? This article will address these questions and more. Read on to find out how to treat fluoridated water and what happens when you do.
Fluoride, which goes by the symbol F+, is a naturally occurring mineral found in water bodies, soil, rocks, plants, and air. It is also a constituent of certain minerals that are usually added to drinking water supply in a process called fluoridation.
There are a lot of benefits of fluoride in water like reversing the formation of tooth cavities, promoting tooth remineralization, enamel strengthening, and protection against bacteria. Water containing fluoride is believed to be safe and healthy. However, they are growing concerns from the dental care industry, that one of the side effects of fluoridated water may include increasing the risk of other diseases.
So far, the potential side effects of water containing fluoride are tied to the amount of fluoride that is added to the water. Although the EPA has approved a fluorine concentration of 4mg/L for drinking water supply. Most countries, especially the states of America, maintain an average between 2.0 to 3.0mg/L, as a concentration above 5.0mg/L could turn out to be dangerous for the teeth, especially in infants. In America, for example, the amount of fluoride approved to be added to water is usually not more than 0.7 Parts per Million (ppm).
This means that fluoride in water dangers are side effects caused by the consumption of fluoridated water in large doses. Some of them include:
According to some researches, high fluoride concentration has also been linked to increased risks of kidney problems, cognitive impairment, depression, osteoporosis, hyperthyroidism, and even cancer have also been linked. So the answer to the question; “is fluoride in water dangerous” is clear. It is unsafe in high amount.
While there may not be any concrete proof that the local water supply containing fluoride is the reason for certain health issues in the United States, except occasional cases of mild dental fluorosis, many people are quite concerned about their fluoride intake.
Not all cities of the United States fluoridate drinking water. Besides, you need to know if your drinking water is fluorinated. And if you think fluoride is bad for you, or you want to remove fluoride from your drinking water, then reducing the amount of fluoride might just be an option. For instance, you could choose to regulate the daily fluoride intake of your children by using water filters to remove fluoride from your household drinking water.
Compared to other minerals and water contaminants, fluoride is more difficult to remove. And practically, fluoride can be removed from drinking water in three ways: distillation, reverse osmosis, and filtration using a specialized fluoride reduction system like activated alumina and bone char carbon.
It still being argued that even with a low amount of fluoride content in tap water, it is still almost impossible to determine how much fluoride in the water that a person can take in a day. Several types of research have also been conducted to weigh the pros and cons of adding fluoride to water. And these studies seem to point in one direction; that in addition to the protective benefits of adding fluoride to water, the dangers of fluoridating water are minimal.
So while fluoride offers some health benefits; if you desire to remove fluorine from your household water, perhaps due to health concerns, you can try out the options below.
One common way to remove fluoride from your water is by using the reverse osmosis filtration system. The RO system can remove as much as 85% of fluoride in your water, as well as other contaminants in water like lead, cadmium, sulfates, chlorine, etc.
The RO system is designed to house a semipermeable membrane, plus an additional layer of filter like sediments or carbon filters. The water pressure of the home water supply system pushes water through the filtration process, which usually a multi-stage filter layer for optimal water quality. The reverse osmosis system is considered safe and easy to maintain. And though it’s a bit expensive, it consumes less space.
Other ways to remove fluoride from water include:
In summary, fluoride in water can only be removed by special filters and reverse osmosis medium. The AAL, however, has a slow flow rate and is not practical for household filtration. While the activated carbon filters are often recommended for removal of fluoride in homes. Also, note that boiling the water, freezing the water, or using charcoal filters like Pur, Brita does not remove fluoride.
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