Does Fluoride in Tap Water Affect Your Health?

For decades, fluoride has been added to municipal tap water in communities across the United States. The discovery that it could be used to help prevent tooth decay and make dental care a less significant expense for American families led many to applaud this development. However, later research suggested there may be some hazards presented by fluoridated water, and its popularity has suffered in response.

If you have concerns about drinking fluoridated water, the good news is that working with a water dispenser company can help you enjoy safe, purified water for use in all your household tasks.

Let’s take a closer look at what fluoride is, why it’s added to tap water and what concerns this presents.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in some water sources, as well as in ground bedrock, soil and even plants. Many naturally occurring deposits of fluoride are used to produce the compound that helps prevent tooth decay.

The fluoride that’s added to water systems typically isn’t the naturally occurring type, however. It generally is fluorosilicic acid, which is created when phosphate fertilizer companies extract the compound from their mineral sources and purify it. This purified form of fluoride is more than 99 percent pure and is exactly the type that is added to water systems.

Why is there controversy around fluoride in tap water?

An increasing amount of research suggests that children and adults who drink fluoridated water may be at a higher risk of tooth damage or other health problems.

A 2012 study led by Harvard University scientists found that children in high-fluoride areas may have significantly lower IQs than children who live in low-fluoride areas. Those in the high-fluoride group also were found to have signs of early puberty, lower thyroid function and a higher risk of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Other studies have also suggested that the chemical can affect the brain’s development, potentially leading to lower IQs. It may also be a contributor to a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis, which causes painful, stiff joints and can lead to chronic pain.

Are there any other health risks associated with fluoride?

Yes. In fact, there has been a significant amount of research showing a link between fluoride and a disorder known as skeletal fluorosis. This disease is caused by bones absorbing too much fluoride, which can lead to a variety of complications.

Studies have linked skeletal fluorosis to elevated rates of osteoporosis, increased risk of broken bones and fractures and lower scores on tests designed to measure bone density.

There is also evidence that fluoride can cause damage to the kidneys. A study published in Lancet suggests that people with diabetes may be at an especially high risk of kidney problems if they consume too much fluoride.

What can I do to reduce my exposure?

There are ways to minimize your fluoride exposure, but the most important thing is to ensure you have access to unfluoridated drinking water. One option for doing so is to seek the services of a water dispenser systems supplier.

To learn more about how a water dispenser company can help ensure you have purified drinking water, reach out to Pure Water Technologies today.