The fluoridation of drinking water across the United States is still generating hot debates. While the authorities consider this act (implemented back in the 1960s) as one of the smartest public health decisions ever made, doctors and health groups warn about the adverse effects of fluoride in the drinking water.
Dental fluorosis, weak bones and ligaments, and nervous system problems are among the worst side effects of excess fluoridation. With today’s water filtration technologies, fluoride should not be a problem. Today, we will discuss the main methods homeowners can consider to lower the fluoride levels in the water they drink.
1. Reverse Osmosis Filtration Systems
Reverse osmosis is a process in which tap water passes through a semi-permeable membrane under significant pressure. This layer filters out the smallest sediment, impurities, and pollutants, leaving them behind to produce clean, safe water.
Usually, reverse osmosis filters can clean your water of contaminants such as:
- Heavy metals, including lead, mercury, iron, etc.;
- Water hardness minerals;
- Microorganisms (bacteria and viruses), etc.
One issue with such systems is that they need regular and thorough maintenance, filter replacements, and care for the semi-permeable membrane. Professional R.O. systems feature three and more stages of filtration. Since the water they produce contains nothing (not even the beneficial minerals), many R.O. systems come with an alkalization stage, putting back into the water the healthy minerals we need in our diets.
Reverse Osmosis Filter Types for Your Home
The American public shows more and more concerns regarding the contaminants in their water. For this reason, reverse osmosis systems are becoming increasingly popular to remove not only fluoride but many other pollutants as well.
Whole House Reverse Osmosis Filters
As their name implies, these filtration systems treat the water in the entire house. Able to filter hundreds of thousands of gallons a year, these systems connect to the main water line; they require space for installation, and most of the time, a specialized plumber.
Under-Sink Reverse Osmosis Filters
A more straightforward and more comfortable solution, R.O. units that go under the sink purify the water you drink and use from the kitchen tap. They require space – but only inside the sink cabinet – and moderate plumbing skills. You can install them in the kitchen and bathroom as well.
Countertop Reverse Osmosis Filters
When it comes to these easy-to-install countertop water filters, you should know they are among the most popular water filtration methods. Efficient, affordable, and convenient, such filters make the difference between clean tap water and tap water with fluoride, heavy metals, and other contaminants. If you have enough room to wiggle, these filters work very well for both kitchens and bathrooms. Countertop water filters come in many makes and models, featuring different filtration technologies (R.O., active carbon, etc.). Pick one that best suits your needs.
2. Activated Alumina Filters
These filters are a bit niche, as they filter fluoride and arsenic from your water, together with other toxins, but the public knows very few things about them. The technology relies on a ceramic compound made of aluminum oxide. It features a very high surface-area-to-weight ratio allowing for a high fluoride absorption capacity. Professional A.A. filters can reduce the fluoride levels in your water below 0.1 ppm (and below the E.P.A standards for fluoride).
In the United States, Activated Alumina filtration is more common to municipal water treatment systems. Nowadays, water filter manufacturers offer A.A. cartridges and filters for residential use as well.
Contrary to popular belief, A.A. filters do not leak aluminum in your drinking water. On the contrary, the E.P.A. recommends the A.A. filters wholeheartedly for fluoride and thallium removal. While the fluoride reduction technology still has room to grow and upgrade, so far, A.A. systems do an excellent job.
3. Water Distillers
Much like reverse osmosis, distillation removes not the only fluoride from your water, but other contaminants as well, leaving the water “flat-tasting,” slightly acidic, and lacking healthy minerals. The re-mineralization of distilled water is a good idea when it comes to drinking it.
Countertop water distillers are the most popular products on the market. They take little space in a kitchen, and anyone can operate them. Some come in elegant designs and sport hi-tech specs and features. Distillation, like the other two processes mentioned above, is a surefire way to reduce fluoridation in your water for good.
Do you filter your water in general or against fluoride in particular? What home solutions do you employ to remove fluoride and other contaminants from your tap water?