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I never really thought about the quality of my water much until a couple of years ago. Growing up in the Midwest, we always drank tap water. When I moved to Portland in 2012, I was vaguely aware of the fact that the city doesn't fluoridate its water. When I moved to Camas, WA in 2016 I was way more into health and wellness than ever before and it occurred to me that the city most likely fluoridates its water.
What's up with fluoride?
When I thought of fluoride, I thought of those weird styrofoam trays stuffed with slightly fruity sour foam that you clenched down on for a couple minutes at your dentist appointment. That kind of fluoride - topically applied - can benefit your dental health by making your teeth more resistant to acid from bacteria in the mouth.
This was the reasoning behind adding it to the public supply of drinking water. Except there's one problem - ingesting fluoride doesn't provide the same protective benefits as applying fluoride to your teeth topically. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges that there's no dental benefit to adding fluoride to the water. Please note, fluoride is a naturally occurring compound and humans do fine with small amounts of it. In excess is where we start to have trouble.
A few other things you should know:
1. The United States is one of the only countries in the world that fluoridates its public water supply. And according to the World Health Organization (WHO), there's no difference in incidence of tooth decay between countries that fluoridate vs. those who do not.
2. The fluoride that's used in drinking water is NOT the same kind that's found in natural sources. It's actually a by-product of industry (gross).
3. There's a considerable body of evidence that shows the fluoride in our water is an endocrine disruptor that can affect our bones, thyroid, pineal gland, brain and more. There are over 100 animal studies and 34 human studies that link excess fluoride to brain damage.
So why is fluoride added to the water supply?
Good question. A lot of people don't know about fluoride, and if people don't know they aren't out there voting to take it out of our water supply.
The more conspiracy-theory side of me (and many others) believe that since fluoride causes all sorts of health issues, there's incentive for the US to keep it in the water supply. When people are sick, they're going to the doctor. They're taking medications for their symptoms. There is potentially huge profit for the pharmaceutical industry by keeping us a little sick.
Another, perhaps more out-there, point is that fluoride builds up and calcifies in your pineal gland. Your pineal gland is your major control center - it regulates your circadian rhythm and affects your hormone levels which impact stress levels and physical performance. It's also known as the "principal seat of the soul" or your "third eye" point. Aside from the fact that this can cause health problems, I've heard some people theorize that it makes populations easier to control and that's why it's continually added to our drinking water. Hey - I'm just putting it out there.
What can you do?
The only way to be sure your water is as clean as possible is to filter it. But you want to know what's really annoying? Fluoride isn't easy to get rid of. It doesn't boil off and standard water filters typically don't filter it out - it requires a higher-tech filter. When I was looking at water filters that got rid of fluoride a couple years ago, the only options were those large countertop filters which run around $250 on the low end. Or under-sink filters that were even more expensive and required installation. Considering I'm a renter, I'm not interested in investing that kinda money into a place I don't own.
I ended up going with a popular pitcher that filtered other things like chlorine and lead, but not fluoride. It felt like better than nothing.
Enter - Aquagear. When I found Aquagear - I was THRILLED! It's literally exactly what I was looking for two years ago and I was so excited when I saw it on my friend's Instagram. I immediately contacted the company and applied to be an affiliate. I was going to buy the pitcher regardless of whether or not I got accepted, but this way I could represent a company whose product I was stoked about.
I've been using the Aquagear pitcher for about two weeks now and I LOVE IT. I was actually shocked at how different this water tastes. It's noticeable. Like I said, I've been using a top brand filter pitcher but it definitely doesn't compare to how clean this water tastes.
The best part? My water is free of fluoride. Aquagear also filters out all the other usual suspects that show up in our drinking water: lead, chlorine, mercury, chloramine and chromium 6.
The other best part? It's affordable. The pitcher + your first filter only runs you about $70. The other brand I was using costs about $40 for the pitcher + 1 filter, which needs to be replaced every 2 months. The Aquagear filter is a little more expensive, but only needs to be replaced once every 6 months. All in all, you end up paying $20 more you first year of using Aquagear. (Can you tell I'm a budget shopper?). But am I willing to pay $20 more a year for NO FLUORIDE in my water? Heck yes. Based on everything I just told you about fluoride and all the potential effects in can have on your health, it feels like a small price to pay.
I urge you to think about the quality of the water you're drinking and using in your home. It's something that's often overlooked - I overlooked it for a long time myself. But every little thing we put in our body adds up. Aquagear is one of the most simple and affordable ways for you to have access to fluoride-free water. They even have a 30-day trial period and they offer discounts for students and military personnel. They're also a mission-driven company - for every filter purchased, they provide 6 months of clean drinking water by installing water filters in developing communities. Like, come on?! That's pretty amazing.
Interesting in having one of your own? Get yours here.
Still have questions about fluoride or water filtration? Please leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you.