WATER FILTERS: One way to avoid fluoride from the tap is to purchase a water filter. However, most water filters will not effectively remove fluoride. For instance, Brita filters will NOT remove fluoride. The two types of filters which will reliably remove more than 90% of the fluoride are reverse-osmosis filters and activated alumina filters. Thus, if you are looking for a filter to remove fluoride, make sure it uses “reverse-osmosis” or “activated alumina” technology.
SPRING WATER: Another way to avoid fluoride from the tap is to drink spring water. Most spring water has less than 0.1 ppm fluoride, which is 10 times less than added for fluoridation. If you regularly consume a particular brand of spring water, call the telephone number on the label and ask the company how much fluoride is in their water. (This information will be readily available to them.) We recommend water with less than 0.1 ppm fluoride.
If you decide to use spring water as your main source of water, you might consider (for convenience purposes) buying or renting a water cooler/dispenser that holds 5 gallon jugs of water. In addition, you might want to contact a bottled water company in your area and have them deliver water (in 5 gallon jugs) to your door on a recurring basis. This cuts down on the need to continually buy smaller plastic bottles from the store.
WATER DISTILLATION: A third way to avoid fluoride from the tap, is to distill the water. Water distillation will remove most, if not all, of the fluoride. The price for distillation units varies widely depending on the size. While small (counter-top) units cost as little as $200, large units cost as much as $1600+.
What else can I do to minimize fluoride exposure for myself and my family?
1. Switch toothpaste: If you’re using a fluoridated toothpaste, consider switching to a non-fluoridated alternative (which you can find at most health food stores). Young children, who don’t have well developed swallowing-reflexes, often swallow a lot of toothpaste when brushing, which can cause disfiguring dental fluorosis and contribute greatly to total systemic intake. Also, even when the toothpaste is not swallowed, the fluoride may cross the gum membrane and enter the bloodstream.
2. Avoid making baby formula with fluoridated tap water: If your child is using infant formula, it is imperative to avoid making the formula with fluoridated tap water. Infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water delivers a very high dose of fluoride to a young baby. For instance, infant formula produced with fluoridated water contains 100 to 200 times more fluoride (1,000 ppb) than is found naturally in breast milk (5-10 ppb). In fact, while breast-fed infants receive the LOWEST body burden (mg/kg/day) in the population, they receive the HIGHEST body burden if they receive fluoridated formula.
3. Avoid processed beverages: Minimize consumption of processed beverages (e.g. soda and reconstituted juice). Soda and juice made from concentrate are often manufactured with fluoridated tap water, and hence, have fluoride levels similar to fluoridated water.
4.Buy organic wine or grape juice: If you regularly drink non-organic wine or grape juice consider buying only organic varieties. Many commercially-grown grapes in the US are sprayed with a fluoride pesticide called Cryolite. The residues of this pesticide can result in high levels of fluoride in wine or grape juice. In the case of wine, if you don’t want to spend the extra money buying organic, consider purchasing a European brand instead of a Californian brand, as Europe uses much less cryolite on its vineyards.
5. Avoid drinking too much tea: Be careful of drinking too much green or black tea. Tea almost always has elevated levels of fluoride and can contribute a substantial amount to one’s total fluoride intake.
6. Minimize consumption of mechanically-deboned chicken: Mechanically deboned chicken (e.g. “Chicken McNuggets”) has been found to contain elevated levels of fluoride due to the incorporation of ground bone particles (which are high in fluoride) into the meat.
7. Buy salt that is unfluoridated: If you live in a country which allows fluoridated salt to be sold, make sure that the salt you buy is unfluoridated. Consumption of fluoridated salt can greatly increase a person’s fluoride exposure.
8. Check to see if any prescription medicines you are taking contain fluorine: If so, ask your doctor if there are any appropriate alternatives – as some fluorine-containing pharmaceuticals (e.g. Cipro) can metabolize into fluoride ion within the body, thereby increasing the body’s exposure to fluoride.
9. If you are going to have surgery, ask your doctors if they can use a non-fluorinated anesthetic: Fluorinated anesthetics such as Enflurane, Isoflurane and Sevoflurane will produce high peak levels of fluoride in blood for up to 24 hours.
10. Avoid the use of teflon-coated pans: Teflon-coated pans may increase the fluoride content of food.