How to Remove Fluoride From Drinking Water

Man holding a glass of water
 Getty Images/Thanasis Zovoilis

Most people are aware that there is an ongoing controversy surrounding public fluoridation of drinking water. Fortunately, there are simple ways for the public to obtain drinking water without fluoride. Read on to learn how to easily remove fluoride from your water, as well as water purification methods (which do not remove fluoride from water).

Ways to Remove Fluoride from Water

  • Reverse Osmosis FiltrationThis is used to purify several types of bottled water (not all), so some bottled waters are non-fluoridated. However, the downside is that reverse osmosis systems are generally not affordable for personal use.
  • Activated Alumina Defluoridation FilterThese filters are used in locales where fluorosis is prevalent. They are relatively expensive and require frequent replacement, but do offer an option for home water filtration.
  • Distillation Filtration: There are commercially available distillation filters that can be purchased to remove fluoride from water. On a related note: When looking at bottled water, keep in mind that 'distilled water' does not imply that a product is suitable for drinking water and other undesirable impurities may still be present.

Purification Options That Do Not Remove Fluoride

  • Brita, Pur, and most other filters: Most commercial water filters do not remove fluoride. Some websites about fluoride removal state otherwise, but a simple check of the product descriptions on the companies' websites confirm that fluoride is indeed left in the water.
  • Boiling water: In actuality, heating water to boiling will concentrate the fluoride rather than reduce it.
  • Freezing Water: Sticking your water into the freezer will not affect the concentration of fluoride.

Simple Steps to Reduce Fluoride Exposure

  • Don't take fluoride supplements.
  • Avoid using non-stick cookware. Teflon and certain other coatings contain fluorine, which may be released during cooking.
  • Read labels on bottled beverages. Unless they are made using distilled or reverse-osmosis water, they are probably made with fluoridated public water.
  • Consider using non-fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Avoid drinking black or red tea -- there are many health benefits associated with chemical compounds found in tea, but this may be a beverage to avoid if you need to reduce your fluoride intake. Black and red tea come from two different types of plants, but both leaves naturally contain high amounts of fluorine.
  • Be wary of tinned fish and canned food items, as fluoride may be used as a preservative.
  • Avoid black or red rock salt or items containing black or red rock salt.
  • Avoid using chewing tobacco.
  • Avoid long-term use of medication that contains fluorine. Certain antidepressants and medications for osteoporosis contain fluorine.