The Effects of Fluoride in Drinking Water
Fluoride: a hidden danger in our drinking water
Did you know that the use of fluoride in tap water has been banned in almost all of the European countries? Five countries are now the exception: Ireland, Poland, Serbia, Spain and the UK are now the only European countries that continue to fluoridate their water supply. In the UK, it is estimated that 10% of drinking water is treated with fluoride. But what is fluoride, why is it still being added to our water sources and what are the effects of fluoride in drinking water?
Why is there fluoride in drinking water?
Fluoride is the reduced form a chemical element called fluorine. It can be found naturally in soil, water and foods. It is also synthetically produced for use in toothpaste, mouthwashes and various chemical products. In the 1940s, scientists discovered that fluoride had benefits for dental care and, since then, it has been used to treat public water supplies and drinking water.
Initially, the addition of fluoride to drinking water was believed to promote dental health and to help prevent cavities. Water authorities began adding fluoride to municipal water supplies to reduce the prevalence of tooth decay in the population. However, the compound is far from harmless and scientists have recently discovered some dangerous side effects of fluoride in our drinking water.
Over the years, there has been some stiff opposition to the benefits of fluoride in the UK, with many people attempting to avoid fluoride by using fluoride-free products. However, with 10% of drinking water in the UK being treated with fluoride, complete avoidance is difficult. Clearly, then, it is important to understand the effects of fluoride.
The troubling effects of fluoride in drinking water
It’s all too easy to believe that small amounts of fluoride ingested daily has no noticeable effect on our health, but the long-term effects of the gradual accumulation of fluoride in a person’s body over time can severely impede their quality of life.
Here are some of the potential side-effects of drinking water that contains fluoride:
- Dental fluorosis: Exposure to high concentrations of fluoride during childhood can result in dental fluorosis. Fluorosis is a disease which mostly affects children during their tooth development that leaves white streaks or dots on the enamel of the teeth.
- Skeletal fluorosis: Excessive exposure to fluoride can result in a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. In this bone disease, fluoride accumulates in the bones over time. Early symptoms include stiffness and pain in the joints, as the bones become hardened and less elastic. When the bones harden, they also become more susceptible to fracturing and breaking. In severe cases, the bone structure may actually transform as the ligaments calcify, resulting in impaired mobility and pain.
- Neurological problems: Studies have shown that high exposure to fluoride results in lower IQ in children and developmental problems later in life. In fact, in 2014, fluoride was declared a neotoxin that could be hazardous to child development.
Other risks include impaired immune systems, suppressed thyroid function, and increased risk of cancer and reproductive problems. With so many potential side-effects, it is important to monitor your intake of fluoride, but when you’re unknowingly ingesting fluoride in your harmless glass of water, how can you be sure that it is safe?
How to reduce the intake of fluoride: distilled water
ViaFosa’s water distillers remove all traces of fluoride typically found in tap water and even in bottled water. Through a process of distillation, you can be sure that your water is free from fluoride and any of its potentially dangerous side-effects. You can read more about the benefits of distilled water by the experts here, or contact us today.