Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water

I am often asked what I think about fluoride in drinking water.  Water fluoridation remains extremely controversial.  I notice that my customers are either strongly supportive of the practice or strongly opposed. I generally don’t take a position but rather, in service to my clients, I can provide a water purification system that will remove fluoride or a water filter that will reduce fluoride or leave it in your water.   This is only one of the many reasons that I must speak with a client before recommending a water purifier for any particular individual.

In January 2001 the EPA revised its fluoride standard, lowering the recommended level. Here is an excerpt from EPA’s press release:

‘One reason behind the change: About 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of too much fluoride, a government study found recently. In extreme cases, teeth can be pitted by the mineral — though many cases are so mild only dentists notice it. The problem is generally considered cosmetic and not a reason for serious concern.

The splotchy tooth condition, fluorosis, is unexpectedly common in youngsters ages 12 through 15 and appears to have grown more common since the 1980s, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But there are also growing worries about more serious dangers from fluoride.

The Environmental Protection Agency released two new reviews of research on fluoride Friday. One of the studies found that prolonged, high intake of fluoride can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures and crippling bone abnormalities.’

This excerpt from summary of the actual EPA study tells us why they think this is true:

‘The main sources of fluoride intake for a child are from swallowing toothpaste and from water. Fluoride toothpaste is effective for preventing tooth decay and does not contribute to fluorosis unless it is swallowed. Because children under 6 have poor control of their swallow reflex, they tend to swallow much of the toothpaste on their brush. Parents or caregivers should supervise their child’s tooth brushing, ensuring that that the child uses only a small pea-sized amount of paste, spits out the excess paste, and rinses well after brushing. For parents of children under two years of age, check with your dentist before using fluoride toothpaste.’

So, EPA has recognized that children are getting too much fluoride in their bodies.  How about the rest of us?  There may be other problems with fluoride as well.  Fluoride has been linked to malfunction of the thyroid.  Specifically, the fluoride ion is thought to replace the iodine that should be there.  According to a post on the Fluoride Action Network website:

‘Today, many people living in fluoridated communities are ingesting doses of fluoride (1.6-6.6 mg/day) that fall within the range of doses (2 to 10 mg/day) once used by doctors to reduce thyroid activity in hyperthyroid patients.

While it may be that the thyroid in a patient with hyperthyroidism is particularly susceptible to the anti-thyroid actions of fluoride, there is concern that current fluoride exposures may be playing a role in the widespread incidence of HYPO-thyroidism (under-active thyroid) in the U.S.’ (source: )

So what are you to do as a parent?  Frankly, it is my view that the government doesn’t need to add anything to my water.  Public water providers add chlorine in order to deliver water to your home that is free of disease.  At that point I recommend you remove the chlorine and its carcinogenic byproducts.  A review of your water report will also identify other contaminants that may be present which can also affect your health.  Fluoride is only one of these.

Carbon filters do not remove fluoride. In fact it is a rather persistent metal that can be difficult to remove.  I can reduce or remove fluoride using my 3 stage Kitchen Defender (removal or reduction will depend on local water chemistry) or we can remove fluoride using my 5 stage custom reverse osmosis system.  And an add on filter to my Urban Defender whole house water filter can reduce fluoride.

To learn more be sure to visit my Water Purification Systems to view the Kitchen Defender, custom reverse osmosis system, and Urban Defender whole house water filter.

Be sure to sign up for my Five Steps to Healthy Water

yours in health,



Here is the link to EPA’s assessment of the affects of fluoride that led to lowering of the fluoride standard for drinking water:

A copy of the EPA announcement reduding the fluoride standard:

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About James McMahon

Studied ecology at the University of Illinois, mountain survival at Eastern Washing University, Deep Ecology at Naropa, River Ecology with The Nature Conservancy and Luna Leopold
This entry was posted in Healthy Drinking Water, Water Purification, Whole House Water Filtration and Purification. Bookmark the permalink.

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