The effects of water filtration systems on fluoride: Washington, D.C. metropolitan area

ASDC J Dent Child. Sep-Oct 2000;67(5):350-4, 302, 304.


According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately one in eight Americans is exposed to potentially harmful microbes, pesticides, lead, or radioactive radon whenever they drink a glass of tap water or take a shower. One reason for this exposure is that the water plants are aging or ill equipped to process the huge amounts of raw sewage and agricultural pollutants that are still being discharged into our drinking-water sources. Other compounds such as fluoride and chloride have been added to the community water supplies for health benefits. Water filtration systems are becoming more popular as people become concerned with pollutants in the public water supply and questions are being raised as to whether fluoride is affected by these filters. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the efficacy of three types of water filtration systems and to determine their impact on fluoride content of the water in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. One sample of water was collected daily for fourteen days, from one location. The sample was divided to use as a control and the test samples which were processed through various filter systems. With the use of a fluoride ion specific electrode, the fluoride concentration level was tested in all samples in order to determine the percentage of fluoride removed. This study was intended to prove that the water filtration systems did not affect the advantage offered by optimum water fluoride levels. The experimental samples were ascertained and compared to the control group, resulting in three of the four carbon filters showing statistically significant amounts of fluoride removed from the water. Both Reverse Osmosis and Distillation, as expected, removed the fluoride at a high rate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • District of Columbia
  • Filtration / methods
  • Fluoridation / methods*
  • Fluoridation / statistics & numerical data
  • Fluorides / analysis*
  • Water Supply / analysis*
  • Water Supply / statistics & numerical data


  • Fluorides