I briefly considered Berkey water filters. They're beautiful and pretty much all of us need some kind of water filtration. But I never settled on a Berkey myself because I wasn't convinced of their effectiveness for filtering water and didn't have time to research it further.
The most important thing to filter for those who have municipal water is fluoride. The National Research Council (NRC 2006) concluded that adverse effects of high fluoride concentrations in drinking water may be of concern and that additional research is warranted. Fluoride may cause neurotoxicity in laboratory animals, including effects on learning and memory. Fluoride crosses the placenta and may lead to permanent brain damage.
An HFFG friend recently shared their test results of their Berkey water and had some disheartening results. With both a 9-month old Berkey fluoride filter and a brand new one (both primed properly), there was not a significant reduction of fluoride.
As you can see, there really was not a significant reduction in fluoride even with a brand new Berkey fluoride filter.
Most people are just assuming the fluoride filter is properly reducing the amount of this neurotoxin in tap water.
After posting this on HFFG's Facebook page, Berkey responded with the following:
As you can see, there are some variables that most people aren't considering (and shouldn't have to in my opinion) for the fluoride filters that they spend extra money on to work effectively.
Fluoride is incredibly toxic and important to avoid, so please don't rely on a Berkey with the fluoride filter to effectively remove it from your tap water without having your water properly tested to find out for sure.
What Others Are Saying
I also wanted to add in some more comments we received from those who tested their Berkey water:
(Clarification for the above quote--the samples were sent into a lab so these were not results from a home test.)
Of course, this does not mean to say that no one is getting properly-filtered water from a Berkey system. The take-home message is simply meant to be that water should be tested with whatever system you use to ensure you are not drinking neurotoxins and other contaminants. Have your water tested by a state certified laboratory. You can find one in your area by calling the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visiting www.epa.gov/safewater/labs.
As it stands, Reverse Osmosis is still the option I would use if I still had city water. Contrary to popular thought, the loss of minerals in the water is not a big deal as our drinking water is not and should not be a dependable source of our minerals anyway. My family takes Mineral Essence for the best bioavailable multi-mineral supplement.
Chlorine and prescription drug residue are a couple of other things found in municipal tap water that are very important to filter out as well. Make sure whatever system you use is able to eliminate those as well as fluoride.
Stay tuned for HFFG (be sure to subscribe via email) as I continue my investigation into additional effective ways to filter water.
Blessings of good health,
Sara Jo Poff
Natural Health Practitioner