by Geri Walton ~ September 14th, 2008
If you’ve read any of the previous articles on water, you know there are pros and cons to both tap and bottled water. You also know certain toxins such as fluoride are being added to our tap water supplies. You may also realize fluoride is in many store-bought items, and you may understand that over time these toxins build up in your system and create toxic overloads. For all of these reasons, I’ve decided to try and eliminate the toxins I considered the most plentiful and most likely to cause me harm. I also decided to drink bottled water that doesn’t contain fluoride (which fortunately I’ve been doing for some time), and I decided to purchase an appropriate filter to filter out fluoride from my tap water.
If you want to do the same, here’s some information to getting you started.
Fluoride-free Bottled Water Brands
Many bottled water products are lower in fluoride than tap water because they come from springs or undergo processes to remove fluoride, such as reverse-osmosis-based processes. If you can tell from the bottle’s label or if you’re unsure whether your brand has fluoride or not, visit the bottler’s web site and check. Also, just because a brand is listed here, it doesn’t mean every water product they sell is fluoride free, and, in some cases certain bottled water manufacturers are adding fluoride back in, although they should list it somewhere on the bottle or in their literature. Here’s a brief list of some companies or brands that produce bottled water without fluoride.
- Kirkland Premium Drinking Water (Costco)
Tap Water Filters
If you’ve decided you want to purchase a filtration system for your home, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are different types of water filters, and this is how they work. They can be either be
- Attached directly to a tap
- Centrally attached to treat all water (called point-of-entry devices) in a home or building
- Connected to your fridge
- Plumbed in to a dedicated faucet (called point-of-use devices) and only treating water in that faucet
Apparently, a point-of-entry device is better because while point-of-use devices treat most contaminants, they can also turn certain chemicals into gases, which can then pose health risks. If you want more information visit Health Series: Filtration Facts. This link will also provide more detailed information about the items I am discussing below.
There are also three point-of-use devices available. They are
- Distiller devices. These devices basically heat water to the boiling point and kill disease contaminants, but they leave most chemical contaminants behind.
- Filter pitcher devices. This uses granulated carbon and and resins to trap contaminants.
- Reverse osmosis devices. These devices force water through a semi-permeable membrane, which leaves the contaminants behind. In addition, these devices use three times as much water as they treat.
Point-of-entry devices are
- Absorptive media. These devices use carbon filter technology.
- Aerators. An aerator forces the water to travel over jets and while it removes some things, such as radon, other contaminants are not removed.
- Water Softeners. These reduce the amount of hardness in water and remove radium and barium.
From what I understand the best way to rid fluoride from your water is to purchase a reverse osmosis unit because the other devices aren’t effective in removing fluoride. Moreover, a reverse osmosis device will also remove lead, bacteria and viruses, radium, disinfectant byproducts, nitrates, giardia, and cryptosporidium. To compare water filtration systems, read Water Filtration Comparison.
Before you rush out to buy one, in order to make sure the reverse osmosis unit works properly, the EPA suggests you buy a device that meets certain approvals and criteria. The unit should have three different certifications. They are
- NSF International who test to assure consumer product meets design, material, and performance standards.
- Underwriter’s Laboratories who certifies home treatment units ensuring they met standards of contaminant reduction, aesthetic concerns, structural integrity, and materials safety.
- Water Quality Association who test water treatment devices and award a gold seal if the manufacturer meets or exceeds contaminant reduction standards, structural integrity, and materials safety.
When you visit the above three certifying sites, they can provide lists of reverse osmosis devices that meet their standards. For instance, when I went to the Water Quality Association site, I selected “Consumer/Residential” and then “Gold Seal Certified Product Listing.” A list of all gold seal products appeared. Another thing, if you decide to go shopping for a reverse osmosis device at your local store, if it doesn’t have the three certifications listed above, then don’t buy it. If you’re unsure about its certification, write the product information down, and then go home and check with each of the above certifying institutions to see if they have it listed as an approved device.
The reverse osmosis process removes minerals from the water.