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Fluoride is one of the chemicals added to tap water during its treatment because of the implied health benefits.
However, not everyone likes the idea of increased fluoride levels in their home water so they decide to opt out. That said, fluoride is pretty hard to filter out of water.
If you’re aware of all this, you’re probably concerned about fluoride being in your water supply even after filtering it.
This article will address your concerns and discuss how you can protect yourself from exposure.
So, does filtered water have fluoride?
In this context, filtered water refers to water treated by any filtration method.
Now, does filtered water have fluoride? The brief answer is that filtered water can have fluoride. In other words, it depends.
There’s only one way to determine if your water has fluoride: Testing.
Luckily there are easy ways to test your water for fluoride. These are:
If you want to be 100% sure of the results, test your water at a professional lab. A lab test reveals the exact concentration of fluoride in your water and detects other contaminants, too (if you want).
You can then use all that information to decide how best to filter your water. Of course, before choosing a lab, you’d have to ensure it is EPA-certified. EPA-certified labs follow approved protocols and have high testing standards.
Fluoride test strips are easy to use. You just dip them in a water sample and then compare the results to a color chart. The test strip pack includes instructions on how to use the strips and a color chart to guide you in interpreting the results.
Test trips are a good option if you’re looking for a less expensive, instantaneous testing method.
You could also use a reactive test kit. It requires a simple procedure of mixing a specified reagent with a sample of your water. Results are obtained by sliding the sample (after it is mixed uniformly) into a photometer. Some kits come with a colored disc chart instead, but they produce accurate results either way.
As mentioned before, not many water filtration technologies can remove fluoride from tap water. We’ve listed the few that can effectively do so below:
Bone char and activated alumina are pretty much the only effective media for removing fluoride from water. Bone char is made of crushed, dried, and heated cattle bones with high calcium content. It has high adsorption capacity and a porous surface that allows it to trap inorganic contaminants like cadmium, fluoride, and arsenic.
On the other hand, activated alumina is made of aluminum oxide, the same material found in sapphires and rubies, except without the impurities that give them their unique colors. In addition, its high surface-area-to-weight ratio and porous surface allow it to readily adsorb chemicals like fluorides, thallium, and arsenic.
If all the suitable conditions are met, both bone char and activated alumina can remove over 90% fluoride in water.
Reverse osmosis systems and water distillers are also very thorough in eliminating fluoride.
Reverse osmosis operates using a semi-permeable membrane. When pressurized water is pushed through this membrane, contaminants like minerals, ions, or substances with molecules larger than water are trapped on the membrane’s surface. As a result, only pure water molecules pass freely to the other side. Fluoride happens to be one of those chemicals that get rejected by the RO membrane.
Water distillers heat water until it becomes steam and capture it in another container. This process ensures that any contaminants with higher boiling points than water, like fluoride, are left behind. The steam collected eventually condenses to pure liquid (water) free of fluoride and other impurities.
Many people believe that if they drink filtered water from their fridge, they’ll be protected from fluoride exposure from tap water. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. As we said before, only specific filter media can remove fluoride from water. Unfortunately, fridge filters don’t have these types of filter media, so they cannot remove fluoride from water.
Water fluoridation is when water utilities add fluoride to treated water before distribution. They do this because fluoride can prevent tooth decay and other dental issues when applied to the teeth.
However, while fluoride can be helpful to the teeth, many people are worried about overconsumption.
Water is fluoridated to prevent tooth decay. But the current situation is that people already consume fluoride in the processed food they eat, coffee, tea, toothpaste, and more. Since there is a maximum required intake, drinking fluoridated water may become unnecessary.
Of course, the choice to remove our keep fluoride in your drinking water ultimately depends on you.
Water Fluoridation is considered one of the best public health interventions of the 20th century – and rightly so.
But, without a doubt, we also know it has disadvantages. Let’s see a few of them:
Asides from filtering your water, there are many things you can do to reduce your daily fluoride intake:
If you have any thoughts about the question, is there fluoride in filtered water, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!
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