Water fluoridation is still a common process in many countries, even though there is a constant debate about whether fluoride is good for your health or not. Fluoride is often found in drinking water as it helps to prevent tooth decay. However, fluoride has various side effects and may not be the best option to consume on a daily basis. Read this article to learn more about adding fluoride to drinking water and how it can affect your health.
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What is Fluoride?
Fluoride comes from fluorine, an element that is found on the periodic table. Fluoride is a strong mineral that is present in your teeth and bones, but is also found in the air, plants, soil and even rocks. One of the most common reasons fluoride is used is to make teeth stronger. Not only does fluoride protect your teeth from decay but it also helps strengthen the enamel. Fluoride can also prevent cavities.
Since fluoride is essential for your teeth, it is added to public water. However, it is important to keep in mind that extreme exposure to fluoride can result in serious health issues.
Health Risks of Fluoride
Very low fluoride content is good for your teeth, but if the concentration surpasses 4.0ppm, it can be seriously dangerous for your health. If growing teeth are exposed to high concentrations of fluoride, dental fluorosis can result from a very early age.
In dental fluorosis, specks or white streaks appear on your teeth. These spots don’t affect the health of your teeth, but they play a huge role in discoloration. This is why it is a good idea not to have water that contains fluoride.
Even though fluoride in water is known to make bones strong, too much fluoride can be bad for your bones and can lead to skeletal fluorosis. Over the years, this disease can damage your joints and bones severely. Your bones may thicken, which can increase the possibility of fractures. Over time, skeletal fluorosis can also affect the mobility of your joints.
Too much fluoride consumption can result in thyroid issues since fluoride can directly affect the parathyroid gland. When the parathyroid gland is affected, your bones will lack calcium and the calcium in your bloodstream will increase.
Other Health Problems
Besides bones and teeth, fluoride can also affect various other parts of your body. Too much fluoride can cause adult acne and several other skin problems. It can also cause heart problems like arterial calcification, cardiac insufficiency, high blood pressure and even heart failure.
Extreme exposure to fluoride can also result in reproductive issues like early puberty and even fertility issues later in life. Since fluoride has a direct impact on your bones, it can cause different joint disorders and bone cancer. Too much fluoride can also result in neurological issues like ADHD.
Besides impaired brain development and the risk of cancer, too much fluoride in your water can also result in fluoride poisoning. Fluoride poisoning can result in excessive saliva, seizures, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and muscle spasms. It is important to keep in mind that this will only occur if you consume too much fluoride since fluoride in small amounts can actually be good for your bones and teeth.
How to Remove Fluoride from Water
There are a few ways to remove fluoride from drinking water. Here are some of them:
If you were wondering how to remove fluoride from water at home, one of the most popular ways is to use a reverse osmosis system. This method is extremely common since it is cheap and effective. Here’s how it works: reverse osmosis uses excessive pressure, which forces the water through a membrane. This membrane only allows water molecules to pass through, which means that fluoride concentration is absent from the water.
This permeable membrane blocks not only fluoride but also other minerals and harmful contaminants. However, it is important to remember that water obtained through this process may have a low pH since it has no chemicals.
Another effective way to remove fluoride from your water is by using activated alumina. Activated alumina is also known as aluminum oxide, which can be found in rubies and sapphires. Activated alumina can easily absorb fluoride and other elements like thallium and arsenic. Make sure the water you are purifying has a pH value of 6.5 or lower; otherwise, the aluminum oxide will not be able to absorb any minerals that are present in the water.
Bone Char Carbon / Brimac Char
One of the oldest and effective methods to remove fluoride from water is Bone Char carbon, which is also known as Brimac Char. Bone Char has a very high absorption rate, so it absorbs fluoride and all kinds of elements and chemicals that are present in the water. It has a very rich ionic surface, which makes it a great option for organic and inorganic materials.
A good idea is to use this method for water that is slightly acidic since this will increase the chances of absorption. Bone Char is easily available. It comes in filter cartridges and can easily remove up to 90% of fluoride from your drinking water. Bone Char is a great option to opt for if you want fluoride free water.
Another old but effective method is distillation. By the process of distillation, you can remove all kinds of chemicals and contaminants from your water – including fluoride. Distillation works through condensation and evaporation. When the water is heated, the boiling water is condensed on the surface. This condensation is then transferred to a new container where it is free from all elements like fluoride. This water is completely pure and only has H2O. In short, even though fluoride is used to make your bones and teeth strong, too much fluoride can result in serious health complications. Use the methods mentioned above to remove fluoride from your drinking water.