Activated Charcoal Filters – In this type of water filter, carbon is processed to make it very absorbable— activated charcoal. As water is passed through the activated charcoal filter, it absorbs large amounts of poisonous gases and other impurities, while the clean water flows through unaffected. Activated charcoal filters are good to remove organic pollutants, chlorine and pesticides and are often paired with another type of water filter to increase their efficiency. The drawback is that charcoal filters are unable to remove dissolved metals like lead and iron, minerals or bacteria.
Reverse Osmosis (RO) – This is a very effective type of water filtration. The water is forcibly pushed through an ultra–fine, semi-permeable membrane. This method removes nitrates, sodium, microbial cysts, sediment, dissolved inorganic and organic compounds. The RO process may also reduce some of the pesticides, pharmaceuticals and chlorine. This type of water filtration is often paired with an activated charcoal filter. The activated charcoal filters absorb most of the other substances that are able to get through the membrane.
Distillation Method – This method boils water to collect the cooled steam. Distilled water is pure, mineral free. Many times the distilling unit is paired with an activated charcoal filtration system to further filter the water. Distilling water efficiently removes bacteria, minerals, metals, dissolved solids, many organic contaminants and kills bacteria. It cannot remove certain pesticides or volatile solvents. Distilled water is extremely pure, but it may not be the best water to drink.
Although I personally found the chart to be very helpful, I was looking specifically for a water filter system that would remove fluoride in our drinking water. Synthetic fluoride is a toxic waste product far more hazardous then the naturally occurring fluoride in our water. I contacted the creators of the above chart to ask specifically what types of filters remove fluoride. Their answer verbatim was this:
“Most filters are not designed to remove or reduce fluoride. We are not aware of a water filter that is certified for fluoride removal. Of all the ones we rated, the Aquasana AQ-4000 was the only that is designed to “reduce” fluoride…, which is what we recommend. The Aquasana system is designed to reduce fluoride by 50% to 60%, but not remove it completely. It has some beneficial effects at lower levels.
The only systems specifically for fluoride uses activated alumina and we won’t recommend an alumna file until we see some clinical studies that say consuming water with alumina isn’t just as bad as consuming water with fluoride.Fluoride, like all minerals, has beneficial effects at trace levels and can be toxic at high levels…Same with copper, zinc, cadmium, barium etc… All studies showing adverse effects show the occurrence at higher than 1 ppm.”
I thought that was an honest and very helpful answer. So I contacted Aquasana directly and asked them if their water filters filtered out fluoride.This was their reply:
“Our systems do remove 2 of the 4 fluorine isotopes giving you a 40-60% overall reduction. The portion of the fluoride our system filters out is the synthetic portion, while leaving in the naturally occurring fluoride. However, you will not find this on our performance data sheet because of the percent of reduction. Our testing documents only list those contaminants that have been certified to be removed at a rate of 97% or greater, so we cannot include fluoride on the list. If you are looking to completely remove fluoride from your water, the only thing developed at this point is an aluminum-based filter that adds aluminum into the water during the filtration process. We did not think that was a very desirable result, so we remove as much as possible without adding anything harmful back into the water.”
What I really liked is that Aquasana filters out the synthetic portion of the fluoride. Although I am a bit wary about any type of fluoride, the synthetic stuff has me far more concerned than any naturally occurring substance! Based on the home water filters reviews and the answers to my probing questions on water filter systems, it is appears that Aquasana offers the ultimate water filter. Perhaps the best water filter is an under-the-sink reverse osmosis water filter system paired with activated charcoal, designed not only to remove sediment and chemicals, but also synthetic fluoride.
According to this data, the Aquasana company offers the right kind of filters so that you can truly have the best water to drink.
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