Many people erroneously assume all filters are created equal in regards to what is removed from the water. The sad fact is that price point doesn't necessarily determine quality and what you don't know can hurt you! Unfortunately, most companies spend more on marketing than quality materials - in other words, they are buying your trust with flashy promises and not providing you with the healthiest product. It is especially revealing when you follow the money and find that the companies producing many filters are also the same companies who are dumping pollutants into the waterways they are now offering to filter.
One of the most toxic substances to the human body found in drinking water is fluoride. While this element is found naturally in some regions in the form of calcium fluoride, an industrial by-product additive (sodium fluoride) is added to water throughout most of the United States. Sodium fluoride has been shown to be up to 85x more toxic than the naturally occurring calcium fluoride.
Do you know what your fluoridated toothpaste and rat poison have in common? Check the active ingredient. It is important to end the myth that has led to higher profit margins with severe health consequences: fluoride is NOT beneficial to your body. In fact, in 1960 under oath, the original researcher who claimed fluoride's health benefits admitted that his original data was invalid. However, as with many truths that have the ability to destroy profits, it was swept under the rug as the myth lived on through national association endorsements and the continued pollution of our water supplies and bodies. Sadly, many well-meaning professionals have been perpetuating the fluoride myth and it has left most consumers confused as to who and what to believe. As always, we encourage you to study the science behind it; in other words, go straight to chemistry on this one and check out international independent studies that have nothing to gain from telling you the truth.
Let's get some science out of the way first. Fluoride functions in the body by attaching to calcium within the body. It is not picky as to which calcium it attaches to, this means it affects all bodily systems. If it attaches to blood calcium, the heart suffers and heart attacks have been reported. If it attaches within the bones, they become brittle and increase chances of fractures and breaks. If it attaches to the teeth, they will be superficially rigid on the outer layer whilst the internal structure suffers. There is a great deal of evidence supporting the gastrointestinal irritations caused by fluoridated water, including the chemistry fact that fluoride transforms into highly toxic hydrofluoric acid (the most corrosive known substance) within the stomach. It has also been shown to cause cancer in lab animals with low exposure over time (i.e. at the levels currently used for fluoridation of water supplies).
Now that you know that your body doesn't benefit from fluoride, how do you remove it from your drinking water? There are four known options for fluoride removal: activated alumina, bone char, distillation, or reverse osmosis. Alumina causes concern because it leaves aluminum in treated water, which has shown it's own negative health effects. Reverse osmosis removes up to 90% of fluoride, but causes concern over acidifying the water and removing beneficial minerals. Distillation (not to be confused with boiling water which increases fluoride concentration), also leaves the water without minerals. Bone char offers removal of up to 90% of fluoride and is an organic medium, however there are vegan concerns for some and it takes the longest period of time for filtration. Many of these filtration methods require a large investment or whole house water filtration system.
We were thrilled to find a new alternative in affordable fluoride filtration for your home and on the go at the Natural Products Expo West this year! Clearly Filtered, based in southern CA, is a company specializing in high quality filtration for those who cannot install a whole house filtration system (i.e. renters) or do not have thousands of dollars to dish out for distillation or reverse osmosis systems. Clean water is ready for you to drink or cook with in less than 5 minutes! As a bonus, their products are portable so you can pack them up and take wherever you go. Did we mention they also remove more toxins and in higher quantities than other brands as well?
For our review, we extensively tested the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher for 90 days. This pitcher sells for $69.95 and lasts for up to 200 gallons of water. With the average person drinking 4 gallons of water per week, this filter will last up to 50 weeks (approx. 1 year) for a single user. This is a great value for 1 year of clean water for less than what most people spend on television for a month! Let's take a look at how it compares to other brands you may be familiar with:
In our 3 months of usage experience, we found the pitcher to be easy to clean, easy to use, and consistently effective in removal of both chlorine and fluoride. We used independent water testing for both chlorine and fluoride to monitor levels and effectiveness of the filter. While we were impressed with the scientific results (and great tasting water), we did note some suggested improvements to design and we're happy to hear the company is already in the process of updating the pitcher design.
If you are looking to better your health and offer your family truly CLEAN water at a great value, this is definitely a product and company you want to check out to see if it meets your needs!