The process of water fluoridation in water plants started to be widely used in the last century. However, after a detailed study of the effect of this element on the human body, it was concluded that it has a negative impact. Many countries nowadays are promoting a need to remove fluoride from the water supply. So how to remove fluoride from water cheaply afterall? Here is a short summary:
The cheapest way to remove fluoride from water is sedimentation. As many other impurities, fluoride settles on the bottom of the container with water, so the top layer is relatively safe to use. Although, this is the easiest you can do, investing into water filter will provide much more reliable and long term solution. Note that boiling will not remove fluoride from water.
I don’t want you to wait until your local authority takes care of this. I want you to take responsibility for your health in your own hands. For this reason, in this article, I will explain why it might be dangerous and how to remove fluoride from tap water cheaply and in-home conditions.
What Is Fluoride?
The scientists’ interest in fluoride reached its peak in the 1930s. This micro-element is biologically active when it interacts in the human and animal body. It is a known fact that fluoride has a positive effect on teeth and bones skeleton. For its qualities, fluoride is also an added element in toothpaste to strengthen teeth.
The small amount of fluoride has a positive effect on the health of the teeth. Low doses of fluoride help to reduce the development of caries in the deciduous and permanent teeth. For this reason, it was decided to add fluoride to water at the local treatment plan. However, why it went wrong?
In the USA, the fluoridation of water began in 1945 at the local plant in Michigan. This was justified by the fight again teeth decay and caries. However, an excessive amount of fluoride in the water supply led to the fact that people started to have health problems. This was because an excessive amount of fluoride in the body leads to skeletal fluorosis, which is essentially damage to the bone structure.
Health Impact Of Fluoride
The increase of fluoride to 3 mg/l, increases the risk of dental fluorosis, and its concentration to 6 mg/l leads to irritation of bone marrow and dysfunction of a central nervous system. The white spots on teeth characterize fluorosis, and severe fluorosis can lead to brown or even black spots. Fluorosis affects people who live in places with a high concentration of fluoride in their water.
Nowadays, city water supply is strictly monitored on the concentration of fluoride. The high amount can usually be found in wells and natural water sources.
Ways to Remove Fluoride From Water
WHO recommends that the concentration of fluoride in the water shouldn’t exceed 1 mg/l. However, the organization also claims that 2% of Americans are exposed to a level higher than 2 mg/l.
You might argue that 2% is nothing but considering the US population that was 325 million in 2017, 2% means that 6.5 million are exposed to a higher dose of fluoride.
The fluoride in water has a characteristic chemical smell. Usually, the element gets into the water when insufficient purification or it is present in natural water wells.
Now, let’s have a look on tips on how you can remove fluoride from your water supply. I have mentioned some of these methods in the previous article on how to remove iron from water.
Ion Exchange Method
This method is applicable when it comes to removing the fluoride as well as iron. The way it works is that the fluoride ions are exchanged and replaced by hydrogen or sodium irons. This is done in the environment that contains these elements: aluminum oxide, activated carbon, and ion exchange resin.
The principle is straightforward; you just let the water run through a mixture of powdery materials. The mixture of substances reacts to fluoride ions. These are the following: aluminum and magnesium hydroxides, and tricalcium phosphate.
I think there is no need to deeply explain this method, because if you are a regular reader of this website you have probably read about reverse osmosis so many times. There is a membrane with such small pores that only water molecules can pass through. This membrane filters out everything apart from water, even healthy minerals.
How To Remove Fluoride Cheaply At Home
This is surely an excellent method to remove contaminants from water in general, and this is not relevant only for fluoride. Fill the non-metallic container with water you would like to purify. Make sure to leave the lid open – this is necessary for chlorine to evaporate.
Close the lid and leave water for around 8 hours to settle. Now, your water is ready and all impurities settled on the bottom. You shouldn’t use all of the water as all the settled impurities would dissolve in the water again.
Boiling Doesn’t Remove Fluoride
This method is also excellent for purification. However, boiling doesn’t remove fluoride. Although, it is a good way to kill germs in water.
Let the water boil for at least 15 minutes. Salts and chemicals compounds settle, and bacteria die in boiling water.
How To Remove Fluoride With Filter
Probably the most efficient way on how to remove fluoride from water is the purification system. There are many various types of a filter, but since we are looking for the cheap ways to treat your water from fluoride, I will have a look on two kinds of filters, pitchers, and faucet mount. I have written an article specifically about this topic where I have various picks so, make sure to check it out.
The obvious, most common and inexpensive way to remove fluoride and other contaminants are pitcher filters.
The jug is divided into two halves with the filter cartridge in the middle. You pour the water in the upper half and let it through the filter to the bottom section. The disadvantage of this type of filtration is the slow water treatment rate and the capacity of filtered water which is between 1-3 liters. I have written the article where I have selected best budget pitcher filters.
Faucet Mount Filters
The faucet filters are slightly more expensive than pitcher filters, but they are solving the problem with the water flow and filter lifetime. The installation is easy and tool-free. These filters fit on most of the standard faucets and have a valve to swap between filtered and unfiltered water. You can have a look on my best picks in this article.
In most cases, fluoride won’t cause any damage if its amount is not more than 1.5 mg/l. Usually, the excessive amount of fluoride can be found in water that is supplied by a well and natural sources as this element is naturally present in the ground.
The higher amount of this microelement in a body can cause fluorosis of bones and teeth. White spots on teeth can identify this disease. However, please note that white spots on teeth might not necessarily mean that you have fluorosis, and you should always see a doctor that will help you to identify the cause.
There are several ways on how to remove fluoride from water such as sedimentation and boiling. However, there are better alternatives that are not expensive as well such as pitcher and faucet mount filters.
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