Water is one of the most crucial elements of life. Our bodies require a lot of water every day, and we can’t live without it. It’s essential for the proper day to day functioning of the body.
It is also of paramount importance to ensure that the water you and your family consume is clean and safe from infections. Unfortunately, some people have no idea that their health is being compromised by drinking water.
A lot of people across the world are succumbing to Fluoride toxicity. It is important to know about Fluoride and to know whether the water in your area has Fluoride.
In this article, we shall look at some of the effective ways that we can use to reduce the amount of Fluoride you take. This will help improve your general health.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is the Ionic form of the element Fluorine. Fluorine is a Halogen in the same family as Chlorine. It is however far much difficult to remove Fluoride from water than removing Chlorine or any heavy metal!
Some municipals add fluorine at low levels of 1 part per million (ppm) to their water. At this concentration, Fluoride is only helpful to the body, e.g., in preventing tooth decay.
However, some groundwater sources can contain higher levels of Fluoride. Fluoride at 4 ppm or higher has been known to cause problems such as teeth discoloration.
There is a growing need to minimize the amount of Fluoride we consume, especially through drinking water. The biggest problem, however, is finding the best methods to take care of this fluoridation problem.
The most recognized methods of Fluoride removal are Reverse Osmosis and specialized filter media. The latter mostly employ an ion exchange system which can frequently suffer from an accumulation of Fluoride.
Reverse osmosis is one of the best filtration systems present today. It filters almost every type of contaminant that is found in drinking water. These include sediment, calcium, magnesium, chlorine, herbicides, and pesticides, etc.
These systems operate with a number filters. The 5 stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filtration System has five filters. They include; The Polypropylene Sediment filter, Carbon Water Filter, Micron Polypropylene Water Filter, Osmotic Membrane and the Carbon Water Post-filter.
The osmotic membrane is the stage where most contaminants including fluorine are filtered out. The membrane has tiny pores that can only allow water molecules to pass through.
All other particles are filtered at this stage. The pressure of around 35 psi is applied to push the water molecules through the semi-permeable membrane.
Reverse Osmosis Systems is effective in the removal of Fluoride from the water. Fluoride molecules are filtered at the osmotic membrane. This system removes up to around 95% of the Fluoride ions present in water.
Activated Alumina is made from Aluminum Hydroxide by dehydroxylation it in a way that it becomes porous and highly absorptive.
The material produced usually has a high surface area and allows enough time for interaction of water with the activated alumina. This is mostly due to the tunnel- like pores that it has.
The longer the water stays in contact with the activated carbon filter, the more Fluoride is absorbed and removed from the water. This method of Fluoride removal has been recommended for large-scale removal of Fluoride from the water. This is in areas where the groundwater contains high levels of Fluoride.
The method removes 90% of Fluoride from the water.
Low temperatures are effective in ensuring that Fluoride filtration is efficient. A low PH also ensures the effective functioning of the activated alumina filters hence better filtration.
A PH of around 5.5 has been said to increase Fluoride removal up to around 95%. The pressure of water also needs to be low to ensure enough time of fluoride absorption.
However, frequent cartridge replacement is also required. This is to ensure continued effectiveness in fluorine removal. This will add to the initial costs.
Water that contains very high levels of Fluoride ions reduces the life expectancy of the activated alumina filters.
Activated Alumina can also be used as a desiccant to keep things dry by absorbing water from the atmosphere. It can also be used as a filter of Arsenic and Selenium in drinking water.
Another method of Fluoride reduction is the use of Ion Exchange Resins. They are electrically charged to attract both positive and negative minerals. However, it does not only remove Fluoride ions but all minerals.
If not changed regularly, the filters will become saturated, and minerals will be dumped back into the water and give it a bad taste. It is important to note that these filters do not remove any chemicals.
If your water contains chemical contaminants, you may need to add under chemical sink filters.
This is a physical method of water purification. Just like boiling, it involves heating water. However, boiling cannot be used for Fluoride removal. Since some water evaporates during boiling, it will only lead to higher concentrations of fluorine.
In distillation, water is usually heated till it starts vaporizing. The vapor produced is then directed to a different container where it cools and condenses to form pure distilled water. This way, most of the impurities that were contained in the water are removed.
The contaminants removed include sediment, salts, chemicals, and minerals. Fluoride ions are also removed during this process.
Since it removes even the minerals that are required by the body, it is not a recommended method of water purification for drinking purposes.
The water has a flat taste and can be aggressive and leach minerals from teeth. It is also a waste of energy and therefore not a suitable method for Fluoride removal from water, though it can be used in some cases.
Excessive fluoride removal from water is crucial. It will help you and your family avoid health complications. Some are endocrine disruption, thyroid disease, low fertility, gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, and cancer.
The methods listed in this article will help you reduce the amount of Fluorine in your water. However, the pick of the four is reverse osmosis which is effective to the removal of 95% of Fluorine in water.
It is also important to note that some activated carbon pitchers and tap additions sold to people under the brand names Brita and PUR do not remove fluoride.
Selecting an effective method of excess Fluoride removal will help keep you and your family healthy.