In January 2011, the Des Moines Water Works chose to reduce the amount of fluoride in our tap water by 0.3 parts per million (from 1 ppm to 0.7 ppm) following recommendations by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency, American Dental Association, American Water Works Association and Iowa Department of Public Health.
Fluoride is not an essential nutrient; it is a chemical which is specifically added to the water for medicinal purposes, to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride comes from erosion of natural deposits; discharge from fertilizers & aluminum factories. The same chemicals’ used to fluoridate water are essentially a hazardous by-product of the fertilizer industry.
Fluoride was once recommended as an additive to water to help prevent tooth decay. Those water fluoridation benefits have been greatly exaggerated. Studies show that there is no difference in the number of tooth decay cases from a fluoridated country to a non-fluoridated country. These studies show that cavities do not increase when fluoridation stops and that fluoridation does not prevent oral health crisis in low-income areas.
Some fluoride facts from fluoridealert.org are the following: Flouride has minimal benefit if ingested, with higher risks of damage to the body. Fluoride is no longer recommended for babies. “In November of 2006 the American Dental Association instituted an interim policy and advised that parents and caregivers using an infant formula that needs to be reconstituted should consider using water that has no or low levels of fluoride (<0.3ppm).” Breast milk has a fluoride level of .007 ppm.
Risks associated in infants (and even adults if in high enough doses) are a high risk of dental fluorosis or permanent tooth defects; damage to body cells, which include brain damage and learning deficits, are a few concerns to mention.
There is mounting evidence from studies done through NRC (National Research Council) that says fluoride can cause brain damage; fluoride can reduce thyroid functions, which, in turn can lead to loss of mental acuity, depression & weight gain. Fluoride can reduce bone strength & increase bone fracturing.
Harvard scientists have discovered a connection between fluoride ingestion and osteosarcoma (serious form of bone cancer). These scientists have also discovered people with kidney disease have a susceptibility to fluoride toxicity.
Now, how do you avoid fluoride in your drinking water? Filtration alone will not remove fluoride, however, reverse osmosis is an effective treatment process to reduce fluoride. Distilled water or a de-ionized water will ensure there is NO flouride present and that you have 100% good, pure, clean, healthy water!!
When I return, I will tell you about trihalomethanes in your water. See you next time at ‘The Water Blog’!!!