Why is Fluoride in Drinking Water?

Access to clean drinking water from the tap is a commodity many of us benefit from. Along with the necessary treatment this water undergoes before it arrives in our homes, there are also certain added substances present. Chlorine is one of the most encountered substances, but it’s more a residual component, whereas fluoride is purposefully integrated. Specific quantities of fluoride are included with drinking water by municipalities for the benefit of consumers. 

Fluoride – what is it?

Fluoride is a naturally occurring inorganic substance that has either no color or predominantly white color. Fluoride is widely known to prevent and even reverse tooth decay. This is why it’s a basic component of toothpaste and the main reason why it is included in tap water. 

Children are the ones that benefit the most from fluoride in water, more easily than from toothpaste in some instances. Children are most affected by this common health issue of tooth decay. Fluoride gets absorbed in the stomach and a percentage of it reaches bones and teeth.

Opposition to fluoride in drinking water

Tooth decay aside, the many years of fluoride in drinking water have sparked many controversies around it. For one, fluoride in drinking water is produced synthetically, specifically for tap water consumption. The amount of fluoride included in tap water is also under contention, as it may be higher than expected. Consumers do not have control over how much fluoride is added to their drinking water and so want to opt-out of it. 

Many households have voiced their concern about the potential health risks that excessive fluorination may pose. Ingesting a large amount of fluoride can have negative effects on the body. Since fluoride is mostly concentrated on bone or teeth, these are what will have the most side effects. Dental and skeletal fluorosis are among the health risks that can occur, wherein spots can be distinguished on the enamel surface of the teeth, and mobility can be affected with bones. 

The thyroid gland can show signs of damage due to excess fluoride in drinking water. Hyperparathyroidism is the most likely condition that can develop, which triggers the uncontrolled secretion of a hormone called parathyroid. This hormone will then cause a reduction in calcium from the bones but produce a higher level of calcium in the blood. Low levels of calcium in bone pose a risk of fracture. 

The push against fluorination in drinking water is one that has made itself known throughout the years. The fact that fluoride can still be used to prevent and reduce tooth decay by using toothpaste is the main argument why many wish it was not in their drinking water. 

Removing fluoride from drinking water

It is not possible to eliminate fluoride in drinking water from the source, but home water filtration can deal with a great bulk of it. More in-depth information about fluoride removal is revealed at watermasterz.com. Depending on the budget, certain water filters can be more or less effective at removing unwanted fluoride. Fortunately, even the small pitcher with activated carbon can remove some traces of fluoride and provide a far less concentration for drinking. 

Somewhere around 70% of fluoride can be reduced with activated carbon. Similar to activated carbon, there is also bone char carbon that boasts a 90% fluoride removal from water. This method is a very old one and it comes available in cartridge form, as it contains animal bones heated at very high temperatures. Of course, this is an option that may not be suitable for everyone, especially for people living on vegan diets.

The option of using distillation devices also are very useful in removing fluoride. This option may, however, come with a need for high energy use. On the other hand, a distillation device may not be as expensive as some of the more high-end filtration systems. Using this method will leave the fluoride mineral behind through evaporation. 

One of the most popular water cleaning devices is a reverse osmosis filter or purifying appliance. This kind of device is not affordable, but in the long run, it will offer high levels of purified water and provide cost-effective access to clean water. The need for bottled water is reduced while assuring high reduction levels of fluoride. An RO system is installed under the sink and so does not take up space on the counter. Usually, it comes with a separate faucet that is installed on the counter, but also so that it does not go through the hot water boiler. 

Conclusions

Fluoride is not something everyone wants in their drinking water. Since people need water every day just to survive, it’s clear why the need for it to be safe is there. There are already so many components that can seep into our drinking water that it seems highly unnecessary to have to deal with even more. 

The desire to decide if something like fluoride is included in tap water comes with the need for home water filtration. Many other people still prefer their water with fluoride so it falls on each household to implement water treatment appliances.

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