Reverse Osmosis or Bone Char? The Best Filtration Method for Removing Fluoride.
Fluoride in Water.
Our municipal water supply is highly treated. Heavy metals and sediments are removed, processes like dechlorination exist to sterilise and remove harmful bacteria, and minerals such as magnesium and calcium and added due to their health benefits. One of the more divisive elements of water treatment is the process of fluoridisation. On one side of the argument, fluoride exists to aid with dental hygiene and health, aimed at reducing tooth decay rates amongst children. On the other side, the chemical is dangerous and potentially harmful, not to mention the associated conspiracies. No matter where you stand, fluoride is unavoidable in your water supply without a filter.
What Does Fluoride Do.
Fluoride is a chemical that is found in water. It is naturally occurring, with different levels depending on location. Health agencies and supporters will point to the inclusion of fluoride in toothpaste as an effective agent of fighting tooth decay and justify the fluoridisation of municipal water supplies for that exact reason.
Fluoridisation has been employed by local water authorities for some time now. Its first use was in the USA in 1945, and by 1964, it had arrived in the UK at Birmingham. The use of the chemical has been widespread since.
Although there is only one confirmed health condition associated with fluoride (fluorosis; a condition children develop with over-exposure, resulting in lines or a pearly white appearance on the teeth), many distrust fluoride.
No matter the perspective on the issue, it is an individual's right to control what's in their water. If there is concern over fluoride, there are measures that can be taken to remove or reduce the levels of the chemical.
How to Remove Fluoride from Water.
Buying bottled water is one way to cut out the fluoride from drinking water, however, not all bottled water has been treated to remove the chemical. If it doesn't expressly state on the label that it is free of fluoride, it's safe to assume that the chemical is present in bottled water. The other option is to filter the fluoride from the water supply yourself. Most domestic fridge/ jug filters won't remove the fluoride from water and boiling the fluoride out won't work (it will make it worse, in fact, by concentrating the fluoride in the water).
Two highly effective means of removing the fluoride from water are reverse osmosis filtration or the use of bone char media in a filtration system. This article will explore both.
Reverse Osmosis is a very effective means of water filtration, that works by pushing feed water through a semi-permeable membrane to remove most impurities. Fluoride particles are too large to pass through the membrane and would end up in the hard run-off water.Between 80-99% of fluoride particles can be removed with reverse osmosis, making it an effective filter for fluoride.
The drawback of reverse osmosis is the fact it is not the best option for drinking water filtration. For fish keepers, aquarium curators, and aquatic enthusiasts, reverse osmosis is an absolute must when it comes to filtration, as fluoride can be dangerous for fish. With drinking water, reverse osmosis can remove a lot of healthy salts and minerals/ You can add in the salts after the reverse osmosis process. By and large, a hugely effective technique and its drawbacks can be easily overcome with minimal costs.
Bone char is believed to be one of the oldest fluoride removal methods. It's made by cleaning and thoroughly drying out and carbonising animal bones. Also known as brimac, It is said by some in the scientific community to be the most effective means of removing fluoride from water.
Bone char can remove up to 90% of fluoride in water. It requires more maintenance than running RO, with regular filter replacements necessary for its consistent performance.
Similar to RO, bone char targets a lot of other contaminants in the water supply. It is effective at removing chlorine and chloramine.
In conclusion, both techniques are highly effective at removing fluoride. Reverse Osmosis will remove higher levels of fluoride, as well as generally cleaning the water more, but needs additional salts and minerals after to make it suitable for drinking. Bone char might not remove as much, but it is super effective still and has the additional benefit of avoiding the run-off wastewater that comes with reverse osmosis.
For aquatics, manufacturing, and other business applications, reverse osmosis is as good as it gets. You can see here our range of reverse osmosis filtration units. If bone char is an attractive option for you, see here for our range of bone char filtration products.
If you are concerned with what is in your water supply, you can get in touch with our team and they can run an audit on your water, and recommend solutions based on the findings.