Fluoride- The Good and the Bad

What is fluoride?

Fluoride comes from fluorine, which is an abundant, naturally found element. When fluorine (Fl) gains an electron (by bonding with other elements) it becomes negatively charged (Fl-). Fluoride in water exists in a dissociated form (fluoride ion). Fluoride is colorless, odorless and tasteless. In Australia, many cities have introduced fluoride into the municipal water supply.

So... is fluoride bad or your health?

This question has caused a lot of controversy and conspiracies over the years. However, we believe that is due to confusion with fluoride and chlorine. Chlorine is the often responsible for the unpleasant taste and odor that is experienced from our mains water supply. Fluoride on the other hand, is undetectable by scent or taste. Therefore, it is recommended that chlorine is removed from your water supply for aesthetic and quality reasons. However, fluoride removal is up to individual preference.

At extreme levels, fluoride, like anything would be detrimental to your health. However, the minimal amount that is added to your water should not be an area of concern. Research has shown that fluoride reduces the risk of dental decay and cavities. Although, there are others that believe fluoride is detrimental to your health. Whilst this water is not harmful to your health, it is also not a necessity. Therefore, it is completely up to personal preference and beliefs on whether or not fluoride should be removed.

The Solution/removal

Fluoride is best removed via a reverse osmosis system. Some companies may sell filter cartridges that claim to remove fluoride, however, this is often inaccurate. The most effective and reliable method (supported by science) is a complete reverse osmosis system.

Reverse osmosis (RO) is a water filtration process that works by using an external pressure, to increase the pressure on the contaminated water side. This pressure forces the contaminated water to flow across a semi-permeable membrane. This process removes up to 99% of contaminants from the water.

When water initially enters the RO system, it enters prefiltration. This stage typically includes a sediment filter and carbon cartridge. This is to prevent damage to the RO membrane (the membrane really doesn’t enjoy chlorine). The water then passes through the RO membrane and this is where smaller dissolved particles are removed. After filtration, the filtered water is generally held in a storage tank until it is needed.

Reverse osmosis not only removes fluorine; it also removes the other contaminants from your water supply. For example:

  • Copper

  • Arsenic

  • Barium

  • Selenium

  • Cadmium

  • Lead

  • Reduction in total dissolved solids (TDS)