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Monday, July 18, 2011

It is not difficult to find literature on fluoride in water. What can be difficult, however, is finding material that explains why fluoride in water is even an issue. Here is some unbiased information on fluoride, why it is put into drinking water, and why some people are concerned about it.

To begin, in many parts of the country, fluoride in water happens naturally. The water source itself has trace amounts of the chemical in it as it enters the water treatment plant. The amount of naturally occurring fluoride will vary depending on the region, with some areas having virtually none and other areas having a significant amount.

The addition of fluoride in water is performed at the treatment plant and is carefully monitored by the plant technicians. It is added to help prevent tooth decay. A 1994 World Health Organization expert committee suggested a level of fluoride from 0.5 to 1.0 mg/L (milligrams per litre), depending on the region's climate.

Consumers may be interested in knowing that dental caries still remain a major public health issue in most industrialized countries. It has been estimated to affect 60–90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults. Fluoride in water can help prevent dental caries, with some studies estimating an 18–40% reduction in dental cavities when water fluoridation is performed and ingested by children who already have access to quality toothpaste and other commercial sources of fluoride.

The concern that some consumers have about fluoride in water is that an over-dosage of the chemical can cause dental fluorosis. This condition can cause teeth to appear discolored. The issue with many consumers is that they use toothpaste or other commercial sources of fluoride and therefore are concerned that the total amount of fluoride may be exceeded if the chemical is also added to their drinking water.

The addition of fluoride in water does not affect the appearance, taste, or smell of drinking water, and it usually performed by adding one of three compounds: sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid, or sodium fluorosilicate.

Even though fluoride in water can be useful in preventing dental caries, many consumers prefer to remove it from their drinking water. This can be accomplished by using a good-quality fluoride filter that is designed for removing fluoride. These water filters can be found in a variety of styles from small point of use filters to whole-house water filters. When shopping for a water filter to remove fluoride, make sure it is effective at doing this task as not all water filters are.

by: Chris Tracey


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