Science-Backed Facts About Fluoride In Drinking Water
People regularly come to our water nerds with questions about fluoride in drinking water because they "heard something" or "read something." Unfortunately, most of what's on the internet on this topic is not based on credible science, with a good chunk of it being a flat out lie. To make matters worse, some of the people peddling conspiracy theories used to have legitimate medical practices, but have decided to cash in on their titles and peddle "health products." Instead of cashing in on this hysteria (like a lot of other water filtration companies), we have made the decision to be a credible source of information.
Why Do Cities Add Fluoride To Drinking Water?
Cities add fluoride to drinking water to prevent tooth decay. When fluoride comes in contact with your tooth's enamel, it hardens the surface and makes it resistant to decay. Fluoridated tap water is often the only source of fluoride for lower income populations that do not have access to proper dental care or products. We wrote a more comprehensive article on this topic a little over a year ago.
Is Fluoride Bad For You?
Not in the way that inflammatory/conspiracy theory websites claim.
Most of the well-known side effects of excessive fluoride exposure are cosmetic, for example spots or discoloration of teeth. This typically happens when people expose their teeth to multiple fluoride sources (e.g. tap water, toothpaste, mouth wash). If a dentist notices early symptoms of this, they will often recommend that the patient switch to a fluoride-free toothpaste.
In areas with naturally excessive fluoride concentrations (several times more than what municipalities add to tap water), they can be at higher risk of bone fracture. This is extremely rare in the US.
One recent study that has received a lot of attention recently is looked at an apparent association between tap water fluoridation and hypothyroidism, but the work admittedly did not demonstrate cause & effect. Moreover, since the article was published, other public health scientists have been extremely critical of the work because of the way that groups of people were categorized (suggesting that the original study's researchers manipulated the data to get a desired result).
Is Fluoride Added To Tap Water Because The Government Needed To Find A Way To Dispose Nuclear Waste and Chemical Weapons?
How Do I Filter Fluoride From Drinking Water?
If you decide that you want to filter fluoride from your water for the right reasons (not out of hysteria), there are a couple of credible options available.
A quality water distiller can remove fluoride from water. The units that we have tested reduced fluoride concentrations between 40-70% of fluoride from the water.
Cartridges With Fluoride Removal Media
Certain types of filtration media (including some that we can use in our cartridges) effectively filter fluoride from water. Obviously, we are partial to our under sink water filtration system, which can be configured to remove fluoride, but other people build cartridges using fluoride removal media that work well too.
For people who are willing to accept the downsides, many systems that use reverse osmosis can effectively reduce fluoride levels in drinking water.
Do Hydroviv's Scientists Filter Fluoride In Their Homes?
No. In Washington, D.C., we prefer to emphasize lead, chromium 6, and chloramine removal.
As always, we encourage people to take advantage of our "Help No Matter What" approach to technical support. Our water quality experts will help you solve your problem, even if you have no intention of buying a Hydroviv Water Filter for your home.
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- Analies Dyjak