Drinking water filters - when to change element?

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She who must be obeyed decreed that we had to have a drinking water filter tap by the main one - that was 8 months ago.
When I bought it I also bought a spare cartridge ("Spun wound polypropylene over activated carbon core"). Advice plastered all over the bumph that came with it demands it be changed at 6 monthly intervals and this is backed up by several letters and phone calls from the supplier pestering to sell another cartridge.
Now the flow through the filter appears to me to be just as it was when first installed - and there are no complaints about the taste / smell / colour of the water - and presumeably given that the capacity of the element is finite it's life will greatly depend on volume of water and concentration of contaminates which must widely vary from any 'norm'.
Surely end of life of these elements will be indicated by a reduced flow rate through the filter or a lack of ability to remove smells etc- or am I missing something here ?
If the chlorine smell came back or everyone was complaining of the taste I'd pop the spare element in straight away but at the moment I'm feeling that perhaps the endpoint is more determined by the suppliers cash flow issues than the actual element !
Anyone got any experience of the longevity of these filters?
Andrew Mawson
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Andrew Mawson wrote:

That is true - or more to the point that would probably indicate that the filter is past the end of its life. You really need to change it just before then! ;-)

Some of the filters include a metering capability that alerts you after a preset amount of water has been passed through it - that makes it pretty easy. If yours does not then I suppose you could try and monitor the water useage through it for a few days to work out an average usage per day. Then (if the manufacturer gives a quantity of water that each filter can handle) calculate a number of months it will take you to use that much....
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Cheers,

John.

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The problem is the carbon, it has a habit of "load dumping" what it has absorbed when it can't take no more.
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Martin wrote:

I don't think that can happen. In order to desorb stuff off the carbon, you'd have to change the conditions which initially led to the stuff being a_d_sorbed in the first place.
All that will happen is that the carbon will no longer have the capacity to adsorb your chlorine/other crap, and will be ineffective.
--
Grunff


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I'd remove the filter if it did.
Can you get fluoride dosing devices, like the phosphate ones? Presumably they could be dangerous if faulty and no-one wants the liability risk...
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote:

Too much flouride can cause unsightly marks on growing teeth.
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I'd prefer to be the judge of that, and I think I'm now old enough to know what's good for me.
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M Stewart
Milton Keynes, UK
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Malcolm Stewart wrote:

Mmm. I don't see the connection, frankly. Unles you have spent a few years drinking both sorts of water, and one made you ill, and one did not, how can you tell?
Or its it the opposite of IMM 'its scientific sounding, so it must be right' but in youir case 'its scienctific fact, so it must be wrong'
Bear in mind that chlorine was intrioduced to water, without consulting anyone, to eliminate cholera from the poor, because mainly, it didn't stop there.
Let's say that drinking fluoride is a requirement of NHS dental treatment then.
You want choice, we can give you choice...
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wrote:

No. Fluoride is highly toxic. I don't want it in my water and I NEVER use toothpaste containing fluoride. My dentist doesn't use it either. It causes inumerable problems. See fluoride.org.uk and many other references on the net.
I believe that there may be some chance of appealling to the European Court if the government force fluoride upon us forced "medication" is seen as a breech of human rights.
A.
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Adrian Sims wrote:

Nonsense.
Everything is toxic at the right dose. Oxygen is pretty toxic at high concentrations. Water will kill you if you drink enough of it.
As with anything, there are risks and benefits. If the benefits outweigh the risks, we do it. If not, we don't.
I'm not going to go into the detail here, because I can't be bothered - google will tell you all you need to know. The site you name above is the biggest pile of crap I've read this week (I read a lot of crap).

Yes. Make sure that foil hat is on tight.
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Grunff wrote:

And next time you write breach, make iot look more like a gap, and less like an arse.
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Nonsense. Fluorine compounds are cumulative poisons and build up in the teeth and bones over the years weakening both. That is totally different to the poisoning effects of oxygen.
If you research the so-called benefits you will find they are very much disputed. Fluoridation, where it is done, is done out of ignorance or for political reasons.

The site may be crap in terms of it's organisation - but it references many other sources - google will turn up plenty of information about the harmful effects of fluoride and you can find details of studies which show zero benefit from fluoridation of water supplies.
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Adrian Sims wrote:

Like most paranoid conspiracy theorists, you are mixing up two totally different questions:
[a] Does fluoridation have any benefits? [b] Is the presence of low concentrations of fluoride in drinking water harmful.
As far as [a] is concerned, it appears the answer is 'probably yes, at least for young people'.
As for [b], there is no credible evidence which suggests that this is true.
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Nonsense. I did not mix these up in any way. I addressed both these points separately.

Both statements false.
For [b], low concentration is irrelevant as F is a cumulative poison. There is much evidence that it is a carcinogen. It also promotes osteoporosis.
A.
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Adrian Sims wrote:

How the hell is it cumulative? That is just plain wrong. Cite one paper which states that fluoride ions are cumulative, then we can continue this conversation. Otherwise there's really little point.
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The fact that there are conditions known as dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis should suggest that fluorine compounds do accumulate in the body.
Although the following paper is found on an anti-fluoridation website, it was first published in the journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research. I don't claim the research or the paper to be brilliant...it was simply the first thing I could find. It makes interesting reading however.
You could also read this article about fluoride buildup in bones. It's written by a journalist but quotes a Canadian doctor (who is pro-fluoride in toothpaste) as saying "What we're finding indicates a trend: Torontonians have double the fluoride levels in their hip bones compared to Montreal, where water is not fluoridated."
Adrian
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On Thu, 20 Nov 2003 18:35:46 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@a.com (Adrian Sims) wrote:

brain or my computer)
1. http://www.fluoridealert.org/arthritis-fluorosis.htm
2. http://www.bioprobe.com/ReadNews.asp?article 
A.
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Grunff, I really think you are out of date on this. "Everbody" knows that fluoride is good for your teeth and an all round good thing. Politicians like to tap into this widespread feel-good factor. Unfortunately, as with many other things, what everybody "knows" often turns out to be uncertain. I'm not saying that fluoride is _definitely_ ineffective or damaging but the scientific jury is still out. In any case, why waste money adding it to water, especially as only about 1% will be drunk, the rest getting dumped in the environment? In the form of toothpaste it is carefully targetted to the teeth, and comes with the added advantages of regular brushing!
Specifically for a ref for a cumulative effect of F-, reference 1 below (including abstract, with emphasis of relevent text) is a review, but its in a respected journal.
In any case, although acute toxicity _should_ be of little concern, at least seven incidents of acute fluoride poisoning related to fluoridation of the water supply were officially reported in the USA between 1974 and 1992, resulting in 655 cases and 2 deaths so it is not totally without risk. The minimum toxic doses were estimated to be as low as 0.2-0.8 mg per kg of body weight in children which is not fantastically far off the 1mg/day target intake via fluoridated water. The incidents were caused by accidents, such as pump faults, which can be expected to recur (Ref 2 below).
Young and unborn children are a particularly vulnerable group to whom any benefit of fluoride may be outweighed by harmful effects, for example on brain development (Ref 3), and for whom minimum toxic doses are likely to be even lower. We simply don't know.
Refs 4-7 address the damage (physical and psychological) done by dental and bone fluorosis.
I agree that the originally posted site is pretty gruesome, but you might want to use www.fluoridealert.org/york.htm as a starting point. Better still, read the University of York's highly respected review of fluoridation at <http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/fluorid.htm . The 'executive summary' is that there simply haven't _been_ any good-quality studies of the effects of fluoridation. i.e. Scientifically, we _do not know_. To quote them:

Sorry for such a long post,
David
Refs:
1: Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 2002;13(2):155-70.
Dental fluorosis: chemistry and biology.
Aoba T, Fejerskov O.
The Nippon Dental University, Department of Pathology, 1-9-20 Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102, Japan. snipped-for-privacy@tokyo.ndu.ac.jp
This review aims at discussing the pathogenesis of enamel fluorosis in relation to a putative linkage among ameloblastic activities, secreted enamel matrix proteins and multiple proteases, growing enamel crystals, and fluid composition, including calcium and fluoride ions. Fluoride is the most important caries-preventive agent in dentistry. In the last two decades, increasing fluoride exposure in various forms and vehicles is most likely the explanation for an increase in the prevalence of mild-to-moderate forms of dental fluorosis in many communities, not the least in those in which controlled water fluoridation has been established.
**START MY EMPHASIS** The effects of fluoride on enamel formation causing dental fluorosis in man are cumulative, rather than requiring a specific threshold dose, depending on the total fluoride intake from all sources and the duration of fluoride exposure. ***END MY EMPHASIS
Enamel mineralization is highly sensitive to free fluoride ions, which uniquely promote the hydrolysis of acidic precursors such as octacalcium phosphate and precipitation of fluoridated apatite crystals. Once fluoride is incorporated into enamel crystals, the ion likely affects the subsequent mineralization process by reducing the solubility of the mineral and thereby modulating the ionic composition in the fluid surrounding the mineral. In the light of evidence obtained in human and animal studies, it is now most likely that enamel hypomineralization in fluorotic teeth is due predominantly to the aberrant effects of excess fluoride on the rates at which matrix proteins break down and/or the rates at which the by-products from this degradation are withdrawn from the maturing enamel. Any interference with enamel matrix removal could yield retarding effects on the accompanying crystal growth through the maturation stages, resulting in different magnitudes of enamel porosity at the time of tooth eruption. Currently, there is no direct proof that fluoride at micromolar levels affects proliferation and differentiation of enamel organ cells. Fluoride does not seem to affect the production and secretion of enamel matrix proteins and proteases within the dose range causing dental fluorosis in man. Most likely, the fluoride uptake interferes, indirectly, with the protease activities by decreasing free Ca(2+) concentration in the mineralizing milieu. The Ca(2+)-mediated regulation of protease activities is consistent with the in situ observations that (a) enzymatic cleavages of the amelogenins take place only at slow rates through the secretory phase with the limited calcium transport and that, (b) under normal amelogenesis, the amelogenin degradation appears to be accelerated during the transitional and early maturation stages with the increased calcium transport. Since the predominant cariostatic effect of fluoride is not due to its uptake by the enamel during tooth development, it is possible to obtain extensive caries reduction without a concomitant risk of dental fluorosis. Further efforts and research are needed to settle the currently uncertain issues, e.g., the incidence, prevalence, and causes of dental or skeletal fluorosis in relation to all sources of fluoride and the appropriate dose levels and timing of fluoride exposure for prevention and control of dental fluorosis and caries.
2. Akiniwa, K. Fluoride 30(2) 89-104, 1997 3. Lu, Y. et al. Fluoride 33(2) 74-78, 2000 4. Tabari ED et al Brit Dental J 189, 216-20, 2000 5. McDonagh MS et al Brit Med J 321, 855-9, 2000 6. Collins MA & Zebrowitz LA J Appl Social Psychol 25, 129-163, 1995 7. Lee, JR Fluoride 26(4) 274-277, 1993
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fields. Very little actual research or work is done so that the few original bits of real research that do get done are processed to death and pushed in all directions by people with exes to grind.
For example (not research as such, but similar) weather forecasting here in the UK relies on *fewer* live inputs from weather observation points and tries to compensate by using more computing power.
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Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

Or even 'axes'.....
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Chris Green ( snipped-for-privacy@x-1.net)

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