A take on fluoride
Fluoride is a common mineral found in both ground and freshwater, it can also be found in tea or in a variety of foods including fish and rice.
If it’s present inside drinking water at recommended levels it can be benefic for dental health by preventing tooth decay and damage.
However, on the other side, the ingestion of too much fluoride mainly in drinking water can cause fluorosis which affects the bones and teeth. Long term ingestion can possibly cause serious skeletal problems and moderate amounts can lead to dental problems.
Dental fluorosis is manifested by pitting and staining of the teeth, and in severe cases, all the enamel may be damaged.
In the case of skeletal fluorosis, fluoride accumulates in the bones over time. The beginning stage of skeletal fluorosis includes pain and stiffness in the joints. And in serious cases, it can change the bone structure and ligaments may calcify leading to pain and impairment of muscles.
This makes the control of drinking water quality essential if you want to avoid fluorosis and the problems caused by it. The negative effects are only caused by excessive amounts.
The recommended levels of fluoride in drinking water by governmental associations is a maximum of 1.5 milligrams per liter. This level is set in order to prevent children from the risk of dental fluorosis. This number is based on research and over 60 years of experience by the National Health and Medical Research Council in working with drinking water.
How To Remove Fluoride From Water Cheaply
1. Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Plants have been used for centuries to purify the water. A study shows that leaves, seeds, fruit, bark, and root are known to be used for defluorination.
The holy basil is a long time known plant for its medicinal proprieties, it contains lots of beneficial compounds like phytochemicals. They possess antiviral, antibacterial and anti-oxidative properties.
The tulsi can remove 95% fluoride from groundwater in just 20 minutes, shows a study conducted in India.
Another study conducted in order to solve Indian village people’s problems with high levels of fluoride. The researcher results show that all you need to do is either boil or shake a handful of holy tulsi leaves with water for a while. It is enough for around 20 liters of water.
And to test the efficiency of this method the researchers experimented with different water samples having different levels of fluoride. When they added 75 mg of leaves to 100 ml of water with 5 ppm, almost 95% fluoride was eliminated in just 20 minutes. Dried leaves and stems had less performance in removing fluoride of 74 to 78 % for the identical water sample.
After many more studies done on its effects, the holy basil leaves have gain popularity and people started using it for defluorination.
The distillation process is one of the oldest and most effective ways of removing fluoride and other types of impurities.
Distillation can be used to removes almost all contaminants from drinking water. The Impurities that it can remove are:
- Dissolved solids including iron and manganese
And if operated correctly, it can be very efficient at getting rid of microorganisms like viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts.
3. Water Filter Pitchers
These devices have gone very popular over the years, this is due to their convenience to use. They are quite small of a device not very expensive and they can remove various impurities from your drinking water.
The pitchers are a good choice for most people since bottled water can cost you more and your tap water may contain impurities. However, the downsides are that they can’t filter large quantities of water.
The filtering capacity varies for every device but doesn’t expect it to be high. Also, the filtering process may slow up in time. So keep this information in mind before purchasing this type of device.
This makes the water filter pitchers a convenient way to remove fluoride at home.
4. Faucet Mount Filters
How to remove fluoride from tap water?
Faucet mount filters are a really convenient way to remove fluoride and other types of unwanted minerals. It is really easy to install a faucet mount filter since it doesn’t require any tools.
You should look for the ones which filter last longer and are easy to replace.
How To Remove Fluoride From Water At Home
Decrease the green and black tea consumption
If you like tea don’t overdo it, sure it can be very benefic for the body and mind but it large quantities may be harmful. This is because tea plant accumulates high levels of fluoride.
But on the other side, some teas have high amounts of health benefic antioxidants, which are good against fluoride toxicity and for health in general.
The optimal case is if you drink tea with low amounts of fluoride but lots of antioxidants. And you may as well do it, research shows that antioxidants levels are higher in young leaves than the older ones.
This is a pretty important factor to consider since young leaves also have low levels of fluoride. You may classify tea as high-quality when it has low amounts of fluoride and lower quality when it has increased levels of fluoride.
So next time you go shopping for tea try to look at the products made from young leaves like white tea. By doing this you only get the benefits from the tea and reduce the negative effects.
In general, you should avoid buying bottled tea and the instant one since it’s made from low-quality leaves and it has small amounts of anti-oxidants.
Say no to Fluoride gel at the Dentist
Studies show that fluoride gel should be used only when patients are at high risk of cavities. However many dentists still use it no matter the cavity risk. The procedure requires you to clamp down for around 4 minutes on a tray and the usage of a heavily concentrated acidic fluoride gel.
Due to the high acidity of fluoride gel, your saliva glands will produce a large amount of saliva which makes it harder even for adults to stop swallowing it.
Dentists have special suction devices that help you prevent swallowing, but you’ll still ingest a significant amount. This can lead to high spikes of fluoride in the blood for 15 hours.
Those high levels of fluoride can have a negative impact on you, causing nausea and vomiting, harm the reproductive system, places you at risk of stomach pain especially children and impairment to glucose metabolism.
So the next time you visit the dentist unless you are at a high cavity risk just say no to fluoride gel.
Don’t overheat Teflon pans
The Teflon pan is a great addition to every chicken, they basically prevent food from sticking to the pan and cause burning.
However, scientists say that you should be careful when cooking with them because they can have a negative effect on your health. Since when not used correctly they can increase the exposure to fluoride.
A petition which shows the potential negative effects caused by PFASs was signed by over 226 scientists. PFASs are chemicals that are made by humans and can be found in various items including Teflon pans.
Teflon contains low amounts of PFOA during the nonsticking pans manufacturing but they’re quite significant. The exposure to the chemicals can occur when you overheat the pan or scratch it.
You shouldn’t hurry and throw out your nonsticking pan right away after reading this, you may cause way much damage doing so. It can end up in a landfill and release PFASs in the environment or worse it can be burned and release way more toxins in the air.
So if you own a Teflon pan just don’t overheat it make sure it stays under 260C/500F, and make sure not to scratch it. This applies to other products like a rice cooker or any other nonstick kitchen items.
If you really want to help prevent exposure to PFASs stop buying non-sticking pans, there are many alternatives out there. And advise your friends to do so too.
Get organic grape juice and wine
The levels of fluoride in the U.S wine and grape juice have increased over the years, especially in the white grape juice and wine. This happens because vineyards use a fluoride pesticide called cryolite.
In 2005 it was reported by the USDA that the average levels of fluoride exceeded 2ppm for white grape juice and wine.
This doesn’t exclude red wine the fluoride levels are elevated too 1ppm, and the same do raisins 2,3 ppm.
So if you’re a regular consumer of U.S grape juice and wine or a consumer of raisins just buy organic. Also, you can opt for a European product, since it is known for its quality wines from around the continent. In the EU the usage of cryolite is small.
Try to consume less processed food items
You may think that if you live in a zone with no fluoride in drinking water you are completely safe from it.
That may not be the case, because when fluoride is added to a public water supply it doesn’t stop on the water. It goes into the products made with water too, since not all factories may be taking action against fluoride.
Fluoride is present in almost any food the highest amounts are found in seafood, tea, bone meal, spinach, and gelatin. And the least amount in vegetables, milk, eggs and citrus fruits.
This only means that people who live in fluoride-free communities are going to get affected too if they buy processed foods and drinks.
A recent study shows that processed fruit juices and ready to drink chocolate milk consumed by kids contribute to the daily intake of fluoride. Some products may even present potential harm to the development of dental fluorosis.
The quantity of fluoride ions taken into your body is uncertain, it is based on various factors. Like the preparation and processing of the food and your own food routine.
But as a rule of thumb if you want to lessen your fluoride intake try to avoid consuming processed foods and beverages.
These are some practical ways to remove fluoride from your water, adding a filter will not only help you get rid of fluoride but it will improve the taste and quality of the water. When you go shopping buy wine made in Europe since it contains fewer pesticides, also try to reduce the amount of processed food, and get tea made from young leaves.