Back in the 40s, there was a growing concern about the quality of water in the United States. Because of that, municipalities have started adding fluoride to their drinking water, to augment whatever amount is available naturally in groundwater and kill microorganisms that could be harmful to consume.
For some areas however, their groundwater sources already have an abundance of the mineral, and adding more can be excessive.
This became a legitimate health concern, which is why many have tried different ways of purifying water to remove its fluoride content. One of the purification methods introduced was reverse osmosis.
But does reverse osmosis remove fluoride in water, and if so, is it effective? Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
- Is Fluoride Safe? A Quick Look at the Element
- How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
- What You Need to Remember
Is Fluoride Safe? A Quick Look at the Element
Fluoride, is a form of Fluorine, denoted by the “F” symbol in the table of elements, and is an ion, a charged particle, thus the “ide” suffix. Fluoride occurs when the fluorine atom gains an electron, and now has an overall negative charge.
This is also naturally occurring, often found in rocks or minerals, and has no taste or odor. Once it’s in a solution, the appearance changes, making it practically indistinguishable.
Is it safe to consume, though?
In low doses, like in fluorinated tap, fluoride is safe to consume. However, drinking and consuming too much of this can be toxic, especially if taken in large doses. Simply put, fluoride doesn’t really pose any danger if taken at small quantities.
How Does Reverse Osmosis Work?
Before we can answer “does reverse osmosis remove fluoride and chlorine,” we need to get acquainted with the process first. Simply put, reverse osmosis is one of the most common forms of purifying water.
This process uses a semi permeable or porous membrane, whose pores are big enough for water molecules to pass, but not for other types of molecules, including fluoride.
When water is made to pass through the membrane, the water molecules are forced through the other side, leaving behind the contaminants.
It is similar to a process of filtration that removes impurities, however, a reverse osmosis system can only handle a certain amount of water at a time for it to be truly effective.
The pure water can be safe for use, especially for various household applications, and even for consumption for some.
The Problem with Too Much Fluoride in Your Water
Depending on the locale, fluoride is added to municipal drinking water at a tolerable condition of 1 part per million. At this amount, it can be helpful to consumers because it prevents tooth decay.
This, however, is very minute, and is only done to augment natural fluoride content of your water source.
However, if you’re getting your water from groundwater sources, it is possible that the fluoride levels are already higher, thanks to the minerals on the ground that was dissolved and mixed with the water. It is not advisable to consume water with a fluoride level of 4 parts per million or higher.
The direct effect on consumers is the discoloration of the teeth. Thus, the need for a way to treat the water and manage the high levels of fluoride, and this is where reverse osmosis comes in.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride in Water? The Real Deal
A 2008 University of Nebraska study proved that reverse osmosis can effectively remove impurities from water, including magnesium, calcium, and more.
Solid particles, pesticide contaminants, and other elements that could pose a potential risk to consumers, or other materials that you simply don’t want to put in your body, are also removed from the water. Of course, the study showed the reverse osmosis systems are capable of removing fluoride ions as well.
It is strongly recommended that reverse osmosis units be installed in households so that families have access to fluoride-and-other-contaminant-free water that’s safe for consumption.
If you rely on groundwater for some of your basic needs like laundry, cleaning, and cooking, it’s best to protect yourself and your family by investing in a proper reverse osmosis unit.
How Much Does Reverse Osmosis Cost?
Having a reverse osmosis unit installed can cost you around $350-$400, depending on the type of unit you want. American Home Water and Air, for example, offers a 4-stage and 5-stage reverse osmosis systems which cost $350 and $399 to install, respectively. Visit this website to learn more about their products.
These units also have a yearly maintenance costs of around $100, but that means you’ll have access to clean, clear water all year round.
Does Reverse Osmosis Remove Fluoride and Chlorine? Solid Advantages
Going back to the question, “does reverse osmosis remove fluoride in water,” the answer is a resounding YES. It removes fluoride, chlorine, and other impurities like pesticides, sulfates, detergents, lead, asbestos, and many more.
You can rest assured that the water you’re drinking is clean, clear, and safe. This is especially important if you have babies and young children, who are sensitive to any impurities that they might consume. Again, this is a great investment that essentially pays for itself the more you use it.
What You Need to Remember
Now that you’re probably convinced in getting a reverse osmosis system installed for your property, you shouldn’t dive headfirst in the first deal that you see. Research and check if the service provider is reputable and will provide excellent after sales services in the succeeding years.
Again, reverse osmosis systems need to be maintained yearly, and it shouldn’t be DIY-ed. Check if they have several units to choose from, depending on your needs or your budget.
Consider the size of your family and your water consumption when choosing one. Don’t worry too much about the cost, it’s safer to get one that offers a great balance between price and quality.
Once you have it installed, it will eventually pay for itself, and you’ll have the luxury of drinking clean, clear water every day.