The Effectiveness of Home Water Purification Systems on the Amount of Fluoride in Drinking Water

Problem statement
In recent years, water purification systems for domestic use have attracted considerable attention. This may be related to improved public health and concerns about water contamination.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether household water purification systems remove essential materials such as fluorine from the water, as well as filter out heavy ions and other unwanted particles.

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Materials and method
In this experimental study, the six most commonly used commercial brands of water purifiers were evaluated and compared. Samples were collected just before and after device installation and 6 months later. Then, spectrophotometry (the Harrison device) was performed to compare the fluoride removal of each household water cleaner.

Based on the data collected from all water purification devices in different locations, the amount of fluoride was significantly different before and after using the home water purifier and six months later (p = 0.001 and p = 0.00 , respectively).

Filtering the water significantly reduced its fluorine concentration. In some cases the fluoride content of the purified water was approximately zero.

Keywords: water purification, fluoride, spectrophotometry
Fluorine is a natural element derived from fluorine. This element can be found in all types of water and soil. Of every kilogram of the outer layer of earth, 0.3 grams is fluoride. Mineral waters have more of this element than other sources. (1)

About 60 years ago, Grand Rapids in the state of Michigan was the first city where a fluoride supplement was synthetically added to tap water. In the United States, the addition of fluoride to the community water supply in many cities has improved the oral health of millions of US citizens. (2)

Fluoridation of community water resources consists of adding a specific amount of fluoride (0.7-1.2 ppm) to the water to reduce the risk of tooth decay. In 2002, nearly 170 million Americans received this privilege. (3)

Since most of the systemic fluoride is supplied to the population through tap water, many policies have been put in place to add fluoride to community water with regards to its benefits for teeth and bones. (4)

In regions and countries that do not have water fluoridation technology, there are natural supplements as mentioned above. For example, Iran has many supplies of mineral water which contain considerable amounts of fluoride. The amount of fluoride in natural mineral waters depends on the climatic conditions; the warmer the climate, the greater the amount of detectable fluoride. The mineral waters in the southern regions that have a warmer climate contain more fluoride. In Iran, the highest amount of fluoride was found in the southeast and northeast areas.

Domestic water purification systems have attracted a lot of attention in recent years. This may be related to improved public health and concerns about water contamination. There are different types of household water purification systems which can be classified into 3 different groups (5) such as filtered systems, systems that use UV irradiation and ion exchange systems.

The aim of this study was to find out whether domestic water purification systems could remove essential materials such as fluorine from water and filter heavy ions and other unwanted particles.

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