Home Filters Remove Flouride from Water

From  the Journal Sentinel
January 25, 2002

Charcoal, reverse osmosis and distillation filters may take out way too much

Bottled water is not the only problem concerning fluoride content. Water that goes through filter systems also has reduced fluoride levels.

The most popular filters produce "clinically significant reductions," so that even properly fluoridated water such as in Milwaukee can have inadequate levels of fluoride after filtration, according to the state Division of Health.

There are four main types of filters: activated charcoal, in either faucet units or under-the-sink units; cellulose fiber sediment filters in under-the-sink filters; reverse osmosis under-the-sink systems; and distillation, which uses heat to distill water.

Although each type reduces fluoride to some extent, activated charcoal, reverse osmosis and distillation reduce the most: 81%, 84% and 99% respectively.

"Children drinking water filtered through these systems may not be receiving adequate dietary fluoride and may require dietary fluoride supplements," cautions the state Division of Health.

David Krupinski, marketing director for Kinetico, a major producer of water filtration systems in Newbury, Ohio, said salespeople tell prospective purchasers that their reverse osmosis filtration systems will remove fluoride. "We recommend they talk to their physician or dentist about" whether they need supplements.

Water softeners, however, do not appreciably change the fluoride levels in water, according to state officials.

-- Neil D. Rosenberg