Water fluoridation is considered one of the most controversial topics in the water industry, and if your city does add fluoride to water supplies, you may feel concerned. Fluoride is a toxin, and it is highly questionable that it is necessary to add to water supplies. Fluoride is found naturally in minerals, and it is also produced as a byproduct of modern industry. It is deposited in the body and retained in teeth and bones, but at higher concentrations, it can cause poisoning.  

Why Fluoride is Added to Water: 

Many cities in America add fluoride to water supplies automatically. This practice is used as a measure of promoting dental health and reducing tooth decay within the general population. Research has shown that a low level of fluoride in saliva can protect tooth enamel from demineralization, preventing cavities. This is the reasoning behind fluoride added to oral hygiene products and toothpaste.  

Water fluoridation opponents argue that while using fluoridated toothpaste may offer helpful benefits, it is completely unnecessary to ingest fluoridated water. This is supported by the low incidence of dental cavities documented in almost all European countries where the water supplies are not fluoridated. As of 2012, approximately 72% of all cities in America still add fluoride to drinking water supplies.  

The Health Effects of Fluoride: 

Fluoride can collect in bones, and long term exposure can lead to increased risk of fractures, bone pain and even likelihood of developing cancer. In young children, excessive fluoride consumption may cause mottling of the tooth enamel or greater risk of developing dental fluorosis. High concentrations of fluoride can also cause vomiting, organ damage and may fatality. For example, a small toddler can be killed by ingesting half a tube of fluoride toothpaste. This is the reason why there are warnings printed on each tube.

Exposure to fluoride has also been linked to harmful effects on infant and children’s developing brains. Harvard scientists used 27 studies to document a correlation between elevated fluoride levels in water and reduced IQ.  

Can Fluoride be Removed From Water? 

Fortunately, even if your water supply is fluoridated, you can protect yourself from exposure. There are several methods of water treatment that are effective at removing fluoride. Distillation can be an effective method of removing fluoride and any heavy metals. The water is boiled in one chamber of the water distiller, and purified water vapor is captured in a separate chamber. Unfortunately, this process does take a long time and requires large amounts of energy. A more efficient option is an RO system. Reverse osmosis systems use semi permeable membrane to filter out any contaminants in the water. RO can be used to remove up to 97.7% of any fluoride in your drinking water. The water is forced through a membrane that can trap particles up larger than 0.001 microns. This means that it is not only effective eliminating fluoride, but also viruses, bacteria, heavy metals and many other contaminants.  

If you have concerns about fluoride in your water supply, you should speak to a water treatment expert. A fully WQA certified professional can check the contaminant levels in your water supply and guide you through the range of systems that are not only suited to your requirements, but also meet the current industry standards.

With more than 25 years experience in the residential and commercial water treatment space, Terry is a WQA (Water Quality Association) certified water specialist, LEVEL 3, as well as a WQA certified sales representative. Terry currently sits on EcoWater Systems (a Berkshire Hathaway Company) national Peers committee, as a water treatment expert advising other water professionals with less experience on best trade and technology practices. EcoWater Systems of Nebraska is one of the biggest water treatment and water delivery businesses in the state.