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Fluoride refers to any organic or inorganic compound containing fluorine. Fluorine is widely found in natural water and in human tissues. In our bodies, fluorine mainly accumulates in teeth and bone tendons. Therefore, fluoride is often added to toothpastes to prevent dental caries. In general, the fluoride content in drinking water should be less than 1.0mg/L. Excess fluoride can cause irreversible damage. Excess levels of fluoride in drinking water have been reported in several states, including Michigan, Texas and New Jersey. How to remove excess fluoride from water has become a health concern.

“I have grave concerns about the health effects of fluoride exposure,” said Ashley Malin, author of the Canada thyroid study and a researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His research points out that drinking water as the major source of exposure. And higher levels of fluoride in their system have a greater risk of an underactive thyroid. Fluoride is toxic to thyroid cells; it inhibits function and causes cell death. In addition, survey released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 41% of teens suffer from fluorosis. In October 2017, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) added fluoride to its list of three carcinogens.

In order to avoid the harm of fluoride in water to human body, there are several tips to remove fluoride in domestic water:

1. Distillation

Water distillation is the most economical and effective method of water purification for the removal of Inorganic fluoride. The main process of distillation is heated water to form steam, then the steam is cooled by cooling device to form distilled water and stored. We can do this at home using simple tools which include stainless steel pan, glass bowl, pot lid and ice cube. Firstly, fill stainless steel pan half full of water, then place a glass bowl in the pan, making sure it floats and does not touch the bottom of the pan. Subsequently, heat water to 90 ℃ to form steam, and put the lid upside down on the stainless steel pan. Finally, put ice cube on the lid. When the hot water vapor touches the cold lid, it condenses into water droplets, which are collected by the glass bowl in the pot. The process can be done at no cost, if you have these utensils at home.

2. Household water filter

Household water filter is very convenient that you can turn it on and get clean water. The water filter have four main setups – the inlet and outlet pipe, filter, reservoir, and pitcher. First, Water enters the reservoir from the inlet pipe and then passes through the filter. Afterward, Filters remove contaminants from the water and allow clean water to enter the pitcher. Filter adsorption materials often use activated carbon and activated alumina. The filter element is easy to be polluted, so it is necessary to replace the filter element in time after a period of time to achieve the best filtering

effect. A household water filter needs cost $400 to $500.

3. Activated alumina

Activated alumina has a strong affinity for fluorine and is the most commonly used fluoride removal medium today. Activated alumina is produced by dehydration of aluminium hydroxide at high temperature. Activated alumina has a strong adsorption capacity because of its large surface area. Fluoride removal by activated alumina is achieved by ion exchange. Therefore, when using activated alumina to remove fluoride, we should remain water in contact with the medium for an extended period of time. Activated alumina is available on Amazon, which price is about a few dollars a kilogram

4. Reverse Osmosis Filtration

Reverse osmosis (RO), relies on pressure and semi-permeable membrane to remove contaminants from water. The semi-permeable membrane allows only water molecules to pass through, blocking other molecules on the other side of the membrane. According to the report, RO can remove between 90 and 95% of fluoride. But I don’t recommend using reverse osmosis casually unless your drinking water is very contaminated, because semi-permeable membranes are very expensive. A semi-permeable membrane can cost hundreds of dollars.

Water is the source of life. People need water for a variety of physiological activities, such as dissolving nutrients, participating in cell metabolism, and transporting red blood cells and oxygen through blood vessels. We should pay attention to the safety of drinking water, only in this way can we have healthy body and bright future.

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