Fluoride is a harmful compound that is found in numerous substances. One of the places you may find fluoride is in plants. It gets into plants through absorption, a task performed by the roots. Most of the time, you will hear people talking about fluoride in water.
This is because municipalities add controlled amounts of fluoride in water. The process of adding fluorides in water is called fluoridation. It is usually done to prevent tooth decay, which it does.
Even though fluoridation prevents tooth decay, it also comes at a price. The price, in this case, is the harsh effects caused by fluoridation. To help you understand better, let us look at this chemical, we call fluoride and everything around it.
What is Fluoride?
For you to understand fluoride, you need some background information on ions. An ion is a molecule or atom that has an electrical charge. Ions exist in two forms. One of these forms is positively charged, and the other one is negatively charged. The positively charged ion is called a cation.
A negatively charged ion, on the other hand, is an anion. In this particular case, fluoride is a negatively charged ion, anion. It needs to combine with a cation to form a compound. It is the fluoride compounds that we find in the water.
So, where does this anion come from? The source of the fluoride ion is an element knows as fluorine. Fluorine is a light toxic chemical element found in various parts of the globe. In its natural state, fluorine is usually pale yellow in color.
It is a highly reactive element, and this allows it to combine with almost all other elements. The only elements that do not combine with fluorine are neon and helium.
When fluorine forms a fluoride compound in water, it is difficult to detect it. This is because fluoride in water is colorless and odorless. Taste could be the best way to check for the presence of fluorides. This is because fluoride has a distinctively bitter taste.
The difficulty it detecting is what makes fluoride even more hazardous. This is because many people may be taking it in without even knowing. That is why mechanisms should be put in place to prevent its entry into the water. In the unfortunate event it does, you should do everything possible to remove it.
Getting Rid of Fluoride in Water
There are many ways of removing fluoride in water. One of the ways of doing so is through distillation. Investing in a good water distiller is probably one of the best decisions you can make. Distillation is a process that uses selective boiling and condensation to separate mixtures. One thing you need to know is that the items being separated have different boiling points.
The process starts by placing the water with fluoride in the boiling chamber. The mixture is heated up continuously. Once the boiling point of water is reached (100 degrees), it evaporates. As it evaporates, the steam is directed to the machine’s cooling system.
There the vapor is condensed. Condensed vapor is what forms the water, which is collected through another vessel. The water collected at this end contains no fluorides. This is because all the fluorine (fluoride) was left in the boiling chamber. Here all you have is fluoride-free water.
Distillation is not only useful in the removal of fluorides from water. It is common to have microorganisms like bacteria and viruses in your tap water. Bacteria and viruses are the causative agents of many diseases we have today.
With distillation, you will not have to worry about them as it is known to kill all microorganisms. Distillation also kills pesticides and herbicides that may be present in your water.
Effects of Consuming Water That has Fluoride
There are several reasons why people are against the use of fluoride in water. Well, here is one reason. Fluoride causes a lot of devastating effects on the human body once taken through water. Here are some of the effects of consuming water that contains fluoride.
– Thyroid Problems
Consuming water rich in fluorides can cause a lot of thyroid issues. The thyroid is the part in front of your neck that is shaped like a butterfly. When you consume contaminated water, the thyroid gland is damaged immensely. As a result, you get a condition known as hyperparathyroidism.
Hyperparathyroidism is a condition characterized by the excessive production of thyroid hormones. What happens after this is highly destructive. The excess hormones deplete the calcium in your bones and direct them to the blood. When your bones lack calcium, they become weak. In this case, you may be highly susceptible to fractures.
– Dental Fluorosis
This is a condition characterized by the hypomineralization of the tooth enamel. This condition is common among children as it occurs during the formation of the enamel. One of the visible signs of dental fluorosis is the discoloration of the teeth.
One may also feel significant damage to the teeth. The condition is mainly caused by the intake of excessive amounts of fluoride into the body. You can prevent this by using fluoride-free water for breastfeeding. In cases where your child takes formula milk, make sure that the water does not contain fluorides.
– Cardiovascular Problems
Intake of excess amounts of fluoride can also cause cardiovascular issues. One of these issues is high blood pressure. This is where the force of the blood against the walls of the artery is too high.
High blood pressure is not a condition to play with, as it causes severe effects on the human body. You may also get arteriosclerosis, which is a disease that causes the artery walls to thicken.
Fluoride is a toxic substance that should be kept away from water by any means necessary. This will protect a lot of people from its harsh effects. In case someone consumes this water, he/she may get thyroid problems.
When thyroid problems became severe, they made use up the bone’s calcium and make them brittle. Cardiovascular issues may also arise from the consumption of water with fluorides.
That is why treating water using fluoride is banned in so many countries. If you are faced with the task of removing fluoride from water, go for the distillation process. By using the difference in boiling points, you can easily get fluoride-free water.