How To Remove Fluoride

Let me begin by saying that I’m 100% against public fluoridation of water. Fluoride is a horrible poison and nobody should be forced to drink it. The biggest study that I have read showed involved 5,000 children who were monitored between the ages of 6 and 18. The study found that those who drank fluoridated water experienced 1/2 less cavity than those that drank non-fluoridated water. Being forced to drink poisoned water for an entire lifetime seems like an awful high price to pay for half a cavity.

Approximately 2/3 of Americans drink fluoridated water…..whether they like it or not. The decision to add or remove fluoride in a municipal water supply is subjec to municipal politics, which can be very unpredictable. The trend is moving towards removing fluoride from public water supplies, but if you are currently drinking from a water supply that contains fluoride, you may be stuck fluoride for a long time….unless you decide to remove it yourself.

How To Remove Fluoride From Drinking Water

The simple answer is a Reverse Osmosis “RO” system. Whether you are for or against RO systems, they are the only reliable method (other than distillation which is not a viable alternative for most of us) of removing fluoride. The tiny pores in a RO membrane will separate fluoride particles from the water that flows through the membrane. The fluoride is then sent down the waste line to the drain while the water moves along to a holding tank.

What About Activated Alumina?

I see a lot of advertisements on the internet from companies which claim that their filters can remove fluoride from your drinking water. The products being offered are filters filled with a media called Activated Alumina. Under the “right” conditions, Activated Alumina will remove up to 75% of the fluoride in your source water. The problem is that the condtions are rarely “right”.

Activated Alumina is most effective when the pH of the source water is 5.0 or less which is very acidic. The media remains fairly effective as long as the pH of the water is less than 6.0. As the pH of the water moves upwards, the media becomes less and less effective. By the time the pH of the source water reaches 8.0, Activated Allumina becomes completely ineffective.

The problem with using Activated Alumina as a means of removing fluoride is that almost all municipally supplied water is alkaline, which means it has a pH level above 7.0. In fact, most municipalities provide water within a pH range of 7.4 to 8.0. The municipalities intentionally raise the pH of their water supply by adding lye to the water supply before the water leaves the treatment plant. The pH level of water leaving the treatment plants is usually above 8.0, but by the time the water gets to your home, it will drop into the 7.4 to 8.0 level. The reason that municipalities add lye to the water to make the water alkaline is due to the fact that the those who contol the water supply don’t want acidic water running through their underground infrastructure. Acidic water will eat away at pipes and replacing those pipes is very expensive.

Another factor that the advertisers that sell Activated Alumina filters don’t bother to talk to you about it “contact time”. Contact time refers to the amount of time that your water is in contact with the media. The longer the contact time, the greater the removal capacity of the media in the filter. The ideal contact time for Activated Alumina with water to remove fluoride is 5 minutes. The water that is in your filter has contact with the Activated Alumina for much less than one second unless the water is sitting in the filter between uses.

As you can see, Activated Alumina is not the answer for removing fluoride from municipally supplied water. If you get your water from a well, stream, or lake, your water won’t contain man made fluoride, so you don’t have to worry about it.

If you are receiving water from a municipality that adds fluoride to the water, I stongly recommend installing a Reverse Osmosis system under your kitchen sink to supply your drinking water. Just make sure that you add a high quality remineralization filter (check out which will add back calcium and magnesium to your water that the RO system removes. I don’t recommend adding low cost remin filters based upon Calcite or Corosex because the acidic water produced by the RO system will chew through the Calcite or Corosex rapidly thereby introducing more Calcium or Magnesium into the water than the your kidneys may be able to handle, resulting in the formation of kidney stones.

6 Responses to How To Remove Fluoride

  1. Considering RO systems don’t remove 100% of the fluoride from water what’s your thoughts on using a distiller followed by remin and/or alkalising cartridges?

    • Hi Paul:

      More and more municipalities are moving away from adding fluoride. The EPA lowered the “acceptable” amount of fluoride a couple of years ago so that the municipalities that do add fluoride add less than 0.7ppm. If a RO system is working properly, the amount of fluoride that would get through the membrane is so minute that it might not even be detectable.

      I distiller is 100%, but not worth the cost imo.

  2. Rob,
    Many thanks for your quick response.
    I was using a countertop water distiller for many years which is quite affordable. Rising power costs and the hassle of refilling led me to a countertop filter (non RO) with rock media along with a remin cartridge but recently I’ve been considering going all out instead of piecemeal solutions. One thing that does concern me with both distillation and RO is the removal of all trace elements.
    I don’t think the fluoride level has been lowered in my area but will check this week. If trace minerals aren’t of great concern a countertop distiller along with the VYV unit could be the most efficient and affordable solution for most people.

    • Hi Paul:

      The VYVwater pitcher is an excellent low cost solution for either distilled or RO water. Vitev ( offers a Remin filter ($149) that can be added to an RO system that is best solution imo for those that have an existing RO system. The reason that I like the Remin is that it provides Mg (magnesium) and Ca (calcium) and TDS (total dissolved solids) at the optimal levels recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) along with excellent pH and ORP levels.

  3. Okay….first of all after reading your article I am confused. Not only did you exclaim that fluoride was poisonous and then went on about how bad a water filter is, you never even once backed up your claims. I am less inclined to believe this article over the studies I have been researching because it seems more to me like an excuse to hate on whatever water filter you have some bad blood against. I am totally up for respecting other people’s opinions, but this came up on the googles first search page, and many people and students use it for information in class. I doesn’t seem fair to give the wrong information, or at least information without any basis and half-expecting them to blindly follow some rant.

    • Hi Era:

      No hate here from me towards anyone. However, I’m definitely interested in the truth based upon scientific verification. I’m also open to anecdotal evidence as long as it is presented in a reasonable and fair manner.

      Fluoride is poisonous to the human body. Want evidence? Check out the following link that delves into 49 independent studies:
      . There are many more studies available online as well that remove any doubt that fluoride is a poison to the human body. One has to wonder about the motivation of municipalities duped into buying the toxic byproduct from the aluminum manufacturing process

      Here is an anecdotal story that really hit home for me. The first call that I made when I moved a few years ago was to the manager of the water treatment plant in my new city. The gentleman informed me that he was grateful that our city doesn’t use fluoride. I said “You obviously disagree with the argument of adding fluoride to the water supply based upon the belief that it helps prevent cavities”. He responded: “Cavity prevention has nothing to do with it. The men and women that work in this facility are my friends and I don’t want my friends dying from handling fluoride”.

      It drives me crazy when I read false statements on the internet from companies that claim to removed fluoride with activated alumina. Many people believe what they read and anyone that claims to be able to remove fluoride effectively with a filter than contains a small amount of activated alumina is either lying or hasn’t done their homework.

      Activated alumina has the capability of removing fluoride under the following conditions (as per the manufacturer):

      * the source water needs to be acidic (below a level of 6.0 for best results)
      * 5 minutes of contact time are required
      * large amounts of media are required to insure contact

      Let’s take a look at the typical household water filter in light of the above criteria:

      * The EPA mandates through the Safe Drinking Water Act that municipalities supply drinking water within a range of 6.5 pH to 8.0 pH. Almost all municipalities generate a water supply that is alkaline (over 7.0 pH) to prolong the life expectancy of the underground systems. An alkaline pH level (over 7.0) renders activated alumina virtually useless. Hmmm

      * Inline household water filters provide approximately 1 second of contact time between water and the media inside the filter. One second versus 5 minutes. Hmmm

      * Commercial systems using activated alumina designed to remove fluoride use bags of activated alumina. Retail household filters use a few ounces at most. Hmmmm

      I appreciate every opinion from readers because at the very least, they are trying to learn. It is often illuminating to look at the financial sponsors of studies that support claims. Corporations are very clever in disguising their efforts to generate positive results from studies, so sometimes it takes a bit of digging to find out who really paid for the studies. I hope my response helps clear up your confustion.

      I will leave you with one parting thought. Does it make sense to you to drink poison for a lifetime in order to have water pass over your teeth for the briefest of moments? The water containing fluoride doesn’t sit on your teeth and get a chance to soak into your teeth.

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