Some substances are added to drinking water by municipal authorities to disinfect it or gain some advantage from the added substance. One such substance is fluoride. Fluoride comes from fluorine, which is a common, natural and abundant element. While fluoride in little amounts is good for preventing tooth decay, its excess in drinking water can lead to some severe health concerns.
In this article, we will discuss why fluoride is dangerous, what the implications for our health are and what we can do to avoid excessive fluoridation in water.
Why is Fluoride dangerous?
If there is excessive fluoride in your drinking water or your diet, it can lead to the following health problems.
Teeth Problems in Early Age – Children in early age, if exposed to excessive fluoride in drinking water, can suffer from teeth discolouration. The teeth health may not be impacted, but discolouration can happen severely. The teeth may get yellow, and it will be a cause of embarrassment for little children as they grow up and start their life.
Bone Problems – Excessive fluoridation of water can also impact your bone health. The bones get hardened and less elastic; it can lead to an increase in the risk of fractures. Thick and hard bones can lead to impaired joint mobility.
Thyroid Risk – Intake of fluoride in large quantity can increase the risk of thyroid problems. It can damage the parathyroid glands, and it leads to the excessive release of parathyroid hormones. Excessive parathyroid hormones cause a decrease in calcium levels in bones and high calcium levels in the blood; it can lead to increased risk of bone fracture.
Neurological Problems in Infants – High percentage of fluoride in drinking water of mothers before giving birth can cause neurological problems for the problems. Though research in this field is not supportive or substantive, a lot of health experts agree on this point that excess fluoridation of water can cause this problem.
Benefits of Fluoride in Water
The most common benefit of fluoride in water is prevention from tooth decay. Tooth decay can be very problematic as it can result in many dental problems, including teeth loss and oral infections. People who consume excessive snacks, high sugars and carbohydrates can get a lot of benefits from fluoride in water. People who have a dental history like cavities, bridges, crowns, and tooth decay must make sure that their drinking water contains the legal amount of fluoride in it. Fluoride has the power to strengthen the structure of developing enamel in children; it makes it more resistant to acid attack and reduces the ability of bacteria in plaque to produce acid.
Legal Limit of Fluoride in Water
EPA Regulates the limit of fluoride in drinking water at 4.0 mg/L. It is the maximum amount that is allowed, and it protects against the crippling skeletal problems. The non-enforceable secondary standard for fluoride is 2.0 mg/L, and it is needed for protection against tooth discolouration and pitting during the formative period prior to the eruption of teeth.
WHO has given the limit of 1.5 parts per million, PPM of fluoride in water; they recommend that the amount of fluoride in water must be less than 1.5 PPM.
What to do For Protection against fluoride
If you are worried about the presence of fluoride in your drinking water, the first and the foremost thing to do is to get your water tested. Since there is no smell or color associated with the presence of fluoride in water, the only way to know about the presence of fluoride in water is a water test. You can do the testing at home or get your water tested from a laboratory. Once you know that the fluoride is present in the water above the legal limits as mentioned above, you need to act fast and find a solution. The following are the best solutions for dealing with excessive fluoride in drinking water
Water Filters – You can use a water filter to remove excessive fluoride from water. Reverse Osmosis filter is best when it comes to fluoride removal, you can also use activated carbon filters for this purposes, but they won’t be able to deal with a high amount of fluoride in water. You can use deionizers and alumina filters to get rid of fluoride in water.
Bottled Water – You may purchase bottled water to get rid of high fluoride in tap water. For short term use, bottled water is an excellent alternative, but it is very expensive in the long-range and handling the large water bottles is also a big hassle.