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How to Remove Fluoride From Water?

Fluoride in water is perhaps one of the most controversial topics. That is because there are people who believe fluoride is good, and some other schools of thought indicate that fluoride is not good for health. So, how about checking out how to remove fluoride from water? Let us find the best ways to do that. 

Flouride is one of the most challenging elements or chemicals that can be removed from water. A few great ways that can help you in removing fluoride from water can include reverse osmosis, distillation, activated alumina, and bone car carbon. A few other options that can also help you remove fluoride from water can consist of Bleaching, Boiling, and Sitting. 

How to Remove Fluoride From Water

What is Flouride?

Flouride is an ionic compound of Fluorine. It is a substance generally found in the rocks and the Earth’s crust. Flouride is used for multiple purposes. The minerals of fluorine are used to create several industrial chemicals. Flouride is a component of hydrogen fluoride for fluorocarbons. 

Flouride is used for protecting your teeth. It handles this task by altering tooth enamel’s structure to make it less susceptible to degradation. Most of the food products we eat today are acidic in nature. A limited amount of fluoride in your toothpaste can help you in reducing the effect of acids on your teeth and its enamel. This is one of the reasons why most of the toothpaste consists of fluoride. 

History of Flouride in Water

The use of fluoride in water started in the 20th century. It was the result of the studies that showed high levels of fluoride in some community water supplies were found to be linked to lower levels of tooth decay. The first time that fluoride was added to the public water supply was in 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That was the first recorded history of the practice of adding fluoride to water treatment. 

The use of fluoride in water was endorsed by several groups, including the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Medical Association, and the CDC. However, as things stand today, most of the groups in the USA have been demanding to stop the use of fluoridated water as it is known to cause more harm than benefits. In 1990, a study by the National Toxicology Program showed an increased number of osteosarcomas (bone tumors) in male rats. 

What are safe levels of fluoride in drinking water?

As per the recommendations of WHO, fluoride levels in water should not be more than 0.5–1.5 milligrams per liter (mg/L). However, the exact required levels would be based on several other factors. A few of these factors include climate, local environment, and other sources of fluoride.

As per BIS or  Bureau of Indian Standards, the fluoride limit should be 1 part per million (ppm) or 1 mg/L of fluoride in water. It may be noted that fluoride does not have any impact on the appearance, taste, or smell of drinking water. However, there can be a few health effects of the overuse of fluoride. More on that later. 

How to remove fluoride from water? 

While fluoride is one of the best elements that you need to have in your water, there are times when there is too much fluoride that forms part of your water intake. That is where you would want to reduce or remove fluoride from water. The best options to remove fluoride water can include reverse osmosis, distillation, activated alumina, and bone char carbon. 

Reverse Osmosis

Reverse Osmosis water filters have been regarded as the best option to help you remove the fluoride from water. The best part of the Reverse Osmosis water filtration systems is that in addition to fluoride, it can also remove elements such as lead, mercury, particles, and other contaminants. 

Reverse Osmosis can remove contaminants in addition to excessive fluoride, such as:

  • Sulfates
  • Asbestos
  • Chlorine
  • Detergents
  • Cadmium and more
  • Lead


Bleaching powder has also been considered to be the best option for fluoride removal. However, bleach may have other issues, such as unpleasant odors and smells. 

Activated alumina

Activated Alumina is a porous, solid form of aluminum oxide. It absorbs the fluorides and other contaminants. The activated alumina granules absorb the contaminants. This results in pure water. However, the activated alumina filtration process is quite complicated. 

Bone char carbon

Bone char carbon is one of the oldest methods used for removing fluoride from water. It is also available in the form of water filter cartridges. It can remove up to 90% of the mineral content in water. 


Distillation is one of the excellent options for removing fluorides from water. The method may not remove all the fluoride, but it can remove most of it. 

Potential Health Hazards of Fluoride

Can excess fluoride have a serious health impact? Too much fluoride in water or in other modes can result in dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, arthritis, bone damage, osteoporosis, muscular damage, fatigue, joint-related problems, and chronicle issues. 

Studies have indicated that a huge amount of fluoride exposure can cause issues such as:

  • Thyroid Problems
  • Neurological Issues
  • Tooth and Bone Damage
  • Skin Problems
  • Cardiovascular Issues
  • Reproductive Problems

Thyroid issues: Higher amounts of fluoride are likely to result in damaging parathyroid glands. This will cause the bones to lose calcium. 

Neurological problems: A study has indicated that pregnant women exposed to high levels of fluoride are likely to give birth to kids with cognitive issues.

Tooth and bone damage: Overdose of fluorides in drinking water is most likely to cause issues such as fluorosis of teeth. Fluorosis is a disease that makes the teeth and bone to become brittle. 

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Fluoride in Drinking Water?

Fluoride is effective and safer when used in the right quantity. It can help prevent cavities. However, it can be dangerous when consumed in large amounts and can cause severe health concerns. 

The primary reason that fluoride is added to water is because of its ability to fight tooth decay. Flouride has been known to strengthen the tooth enamel, making it resistant to acidic attacks from elements such as bacteria and sugars. However, there have been contradicting theories on the optimal levels of fluoride in drinking water. Excessive use of fluoride can lead to a condition called fluorosis, which can adversely affect the appearance of tooth enamel. 

The best way to strike the right balance is to use other sources of fluoride other than in drinking water. Let us check it out in the next section. 

Other alternative sources of fluoride instead of water 

If you want to adjust your use or fluoride intake, the best option that you can do it is to use other alternative sources for fluoride instead of fluoridated water. Some of these sources  would include 


Fluoride has the most beneficial impact on the teeth and teeth enamel. Almost all toothpastes carry a small permitted amount of fluoride. Brushing regularly with toothpaste with fluoride can help you get enough amount of fluoride. However, take care of the kids when they brush. Take enough care to prevent them from swallowing the paste. 


It is always wise to choose a mouthwash that has the requisite amount of fluoride. Mouthwash with fluoride can be an excellent option to take good care of your teeth. Make sure that you do not eat or drink anything for at least 30 minutes after using mouthwash to make the chemical perform its task. 

Visit to Dentist 

A regular checkup can help the dentist check your teeth for any fluoride deficiency. They may also apply special fluoride types. 

The Concluding Thoughts

Flouride is perhaps the necessary evil. It does have a few plus points, but it also comes with a few issues. Striking the right balance of fluorides is the key to ensuring optimum health. If you have been obtaining enough fluoride from other sources, it may be worth enough to reduce the fluoride levels in your drinking water. 

When it comes to reducing the fluoride levels in water, it has been observed that Reverse Osmosis is the best choice. Depending on what amount of fluoride your water supply has, you can choose the right option for removing fluoride from your water supply. 


Can I remove fluoride from drinking water?

Due to the health risks involved in a high dose of fluoride ingestion, it is a good option to remove fluoride from your drinking water. You can remove fluoride from tap water using several good options. Reverse Osmosis has been the best choice in this context, while you may also use other ways to reduce fluoride exposure, including distillation, bone char carbon, and activated alumina. 

Can boiling water reduce fluoride?

No, boiling water does not remove fluoride. In fact, it will increase the amount of fluoride. When the water boils, it will increase the concentration of the dissolved minerals, including fluoride. 

How much fluoride in water is OK?

Fluoride content levels of 0.5 to 1.5 milligrams per liter of water are permitted and allowed. The optimum level of fluoride is 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. 

What chemical removes fluoride from water?

The powerful chemical that can remove the fluorides is activated alumina. Some other chemicals that can effectively remove the fluoride include Carbon, Bone charcoal, and Synthetic ion exchange resins.

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is the founder of WaterBrower. The water-related problems faced by him in his childhood led him to take this kind initiative to help many others who might be facing similar problems. He has been into research and water testing wherein he has found great water treatment solutions in different regions of the world. This blog is about everything that he has learnt during this study. Hope it helps many:)

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