Reverse osmosis is the most effective way to remove fluoride from water. So now we know that it can, let’s ask, how does reverse osmosis remove fluoride?
Not only is RO the most effective way to remove fluoride from water, but it’s the most cost effective way too.
Why Remove Fluoride From Our Drinking Water?
There is no known nutritional benefit to our bodies from the ingestion of fluoride or from the toxic chemicals used for fluoridating water.
Fluoride charged ions occur naturally in minerals, rock and soil and often finds it’s way into local ground water. In very low concentrations, it can pose little harm to us, but in some regions that are rich in fluoride-containing minerals, concentrations of 10 mg of fluoride per liter in the ground water can become dangerous to drink unless filtered. In some areas much higher concentrations can be found.
Excessive amounts of fluoride will produce skeletal fluorosis, the mottling of bones and teeth. Elevated fluorosis can occur with as little as 3-6 mg of fluoride consumed per day. This leads to tooth enamel loss and pitting, which increases the risk of tooth decay and infection. Crippling skeletal fluorosis can occur when consuming large amounts of fluoridated water, in as little as 10 mg of fluoride per liter. There is clear evidence that increased risk of bone fractures occur when the total daily intake of fluoride is around 14 mg and above.
Chronic exposure to fluoride in large amounts interferes with bone formation. According to Wikipedia, the lethal dose of elemental fluoride is about 5-10 grams for most adults, however, ingestion of fluoride can produce gastrointestinal problems even at doses as low as 10-15 mg for a 110 lb. (50 kg) person.
The World Health Organization (WHO) guideline says, “Where the intakes are likely to approach, or be greater than, 6 mg/day, it would be appropriate to consider setting a standard or local guideline at a concentration lower than 1.5 mg/l.” Artificial fluoridation of water supplies, is usually 0.5–1.0 mg per liter of water.
There is no difference in absorption between natural or added fluoride in drinking-water.
We must protect ourselves from all sources of fluoride, not only from unintentional sources, such as ground water, but intentional fluoridation from toothpastes and by municipal water sources. The amounts added to drinking-water are such that final concentrations are usually between 0.5 and 1 mg/l.
Different Forms of Fluoride
Despite the false claims by dental associations and governmental sources that water fluoridation is somehow beneficial for dental health, no valid proof exists that this is true. The facts are that the chemicals that are dripped into our water supplies as “water fluoridation” are highly toxic to us, but especially so to our children.
The compounds most used in “fluoridating” municipal water are Sodium Silicofluoride, (H3O) 2SiF6, and Hexafluorosilicic acid, Na2[SiF6], or sodium fluoride, (NaF). These are highly toxic compounds. Major scientific studies from around the world, have statistical evidence that fluoride exposure lowers IQ (intelligence quotient) in children.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride From Water?
There are three predominant ways to remove fluoride water, Reverse Osmosis, or Activated Alumina filters, or Deionizers. Studies have shown that reverse osmosis maximizes the reduction of fluoride levels, although it is affected by the concentration of the fluoride contaminant.
Experiments demonstrate that fresh RO filters will reject fluoride ions typically higher than 98%, but gradually lose their effectiveness as the RO filter becomes fouled (clogged) through usage.
Reverse osmosis (RO) membranes have the smallest pores of all filtration media. Using pressure to drive the process, this pressure reverses the natural osmotic pressure and drives water through the membrane and away from dissolved molecules of contaminants. RO membranes can remove compounds in the 0.0001 to 0.1 micron size range, which is thousands of times smaller than a human hair.
The effectiveness of RO to filter contaminants from water mostly based on the size exclusion of the contaminant molecules through extremely small pore size; it much less depends on ionic diffusion ability of the contaminant. That is, to diffuse through an RO membrane, the negatively-charged fluoride ion must become associated with, or dissolved into, at least one component of that membrane. The materials used in modern RO membrane manufacture does not lend itself to this phenomena.
Because RO is far more cost efficient than evaporation and heating methods, it is used commercially in seawater desalination and large-scale maple syrup production.
RO is also used to concentrate fruit juices, cheese whey, ice making, car wash water reclamation, and many more industrial processes. Commercially, RO membranes operate at pressures as high as 400-1200 psi (27.6-82.7 bars).
Most Residential Home Reverse Osmosis systems are point-of-use (POU) units placed beneath the kitchen sink to treat water used for cooking and drinking. These RO filters operate at normal household water pressures of 40-80 psi (2.8-5.5 bars), but are just as effective in removing many different contaminants, including fluoride.
If you’ve decided that you want to reduce or remove fluoride from your household’s drinking water, a residential, point of use, reverse osmosis system is your most effective and least costly way to do it. A residential Reverse Osmosis system can remove 85-98% of fluoride in water.
- Factors affecting fluoride and natural organic matter (NOM) removal from natural waters in Tanzania by nanofiltration/reverse osmosis
- WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality
- Cornell Cooperative Extension, College of Human Ecology Reverse Osmosis treatment of Drinking Water
- Fundamentals of Membranes for Water Treatment
- About Reverse Osmosis, Fast and continuous filtration
- Journal of Environmental Management Review of fluoride removal from drinking water
- Water Purification (Nanotechnology in the Agri-Food Industry) by Alexandru Grumezescu
Reverse Osmosis systems are highly-effective at removing a wide range of contaminants from your drinking water. Click Here to see our reviewed the popular systems.
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