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What You Should Know about Fluoride in Drinking Water

by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated September 13, 2021
Water is crucial to survival. We cannot attain optimal health without clean and healthy water. However, the water we have found ourselves drinking and using nowadays contains several harmful chemicals. One of these dangerous chemicals is fluoride, usually found in large amounts in municipal tap water. Surprising, isn’t it? Contrary to expectations, the government’s tap water to our homes is treated with fluoride because it allegedly improves our dental health. But this is far from the truth.

Fluoride Explained

The human body contains many essential trace elements, and fluoride is one of them. Depending on the dose, fluoride can have physiological effects on the body. However, it causes poisoning when present in high amounts. Unfortunately, we have seen several cases of endemic fluoride poisoning, which attacks the teeth and bones. Symptoms include the development of teeth plaque and impairing of visual organs, skin, endocrine, digestion, central nerve, cardiovascular system, and other vital organs and systems of the body.

How Does Fluoride Get Into The Water?

The foremost theory of fluoride’s effect on the human body system was propounded in 1931 by H. V. Churchill, a Chief Chemist in a prominent American mining company. According to Churchill, people who drink water with high fluoride content will most likely not develop cavities. This is another reason fluoride has become an essential component of mouthwash and toothpaste.
Ten years later, fluoridated water became a thing. The Grand Rapids in Michigan pioneered the fluoridation of water in 1945. The adoption spread to other communities, thanks to the increasing evidence of positive effects of fluoride, especially on preventing cavities in children. Although the capabilities of fluoride to prevent tooth decay in children were well established, there is little or no evidence to suggest the same happens in adults.
The Cochrane report was later published, and this marked a turning point for the fluoridating movement. According to the report, previous scientific studies that suggested fluoridated water offer positive health benefits are inaccurate. The argument was clear, considering these reports were silent on why other products with high amounts of fluoride, such as toothpaste and mouthwash, were trusted.
This discrepancy has led to extensive research on why consuming large amounts of fluoride is bad for humans’ health. There more evidence we have, the more concerns health-conscious consumers and physicians have had to deal with.
What are the health implications of fluorinated water?

Side Effects of Fluoride in Drinking Water

Dental Fluorosis

The most sensitive part of the body when it comes to fluoride is the teeth. This is why chronic fluorosis starts in the body with dental fluorosis as a symptom.
The normal mineralization process of the teeth is impaired when there is too much fluoride in the system. Hence, children may suffer dental fluorosis if they consume too much fluoride in their developmental years.
Dental fluorosis is presented as a dull tooth surface, opaque plaque, usually yellowish-brown or black colored, with a rough chalk-like texture. Other symptoms include loss or damage of the enamel and tooth defects.

Skeletal Fluorosis

This is an aggravated symptom of dental fluorosis, presented by marked transformations in the function and structure of the bones and joints. This is followed by severe pains, deformation, osteoporosis, or osteomalacia. When the excess fluoride combines with calcium or phosphorus in the blood, it impairs a few important metabolic activities. Alternatively, the combination may lead to the formation of insoluble calcium fluoride, which deposits in the bone to increase density and cause sclerosis. The depletion of the blood calcium may cause hyperparathyroidism.

Nervous System

Fluoride accumulation in the body may cause adverse effects on the nervous system. The accumulation occurs in the brain tissue via the blood-brain barrier, thereby impairing the brain’s physiological processes. Early signs of nervous breakdown include memory loss, fatigue, insomnia, and perpetual weakness.

Thyroid Function

The normal functioning of the thyroid gland is at risk with excessive fluoride in the body. This may ultimately lead to goiter.
Fluoride in Drinking Water

Home Fluoride-Removal Systems That Work

Drinking water often contains many suspended particles, including fluoride, chlorine, lead, and hard water minerals. You can trap these particles in the media with a fluoride filter, ensuring only the smaller water particles pass through as filtered water. Alternatively, you can go for a filter that removes fluoride and adds another ion, leaving you with cleaner, fresher drinking water with a minimal amount of fluoride – about 10% of the initial content.

Reverse Osmosis Water Filters

Reverse osmosis filters are designed to use a reverse pressure filtration mechanisms to remove contaminants in water. These filters can remove up to 99% of fluoride in water, alongside impurities like bacteria, rust, viruses, heavy metals, radium, arsenic, and TDS.
The Waterdrop D6 RO water filter system is equipped with a 5-in-1 composite reverse osmosis filter that carries out an efficient multi-stage filtration process. The DOW reverse osmosis membrane has a pore size of 0.0001μm, effective against a wide range of contaminants in water, such as benzene, chromium, sodium, lead, PFAs, nitrates, salt, and others. The filtered water is delivered fast and consistently, thanks to a 600 GPD flow rate and a drain ratio of 1.5:1. The modern design of this RO water system is complemented with a stylish faucet and a digital screen that displays the TDS level of the water and filter life in real-time. In addition, the waterproof RO system is well-protected against electrical leakage. Now you can easily keep track of water quality and how much filter life you have left.

Outdoor Fluoride Water Filter

Are you looking to filter out fluoride for a four-person family? The King Tank gravity-fed water filter is your best bet. The filter can effectively filter up to 6,000 gallons of tap water. The storage capacity is up to 2.25 gallons any time, ensuring you get filtered water in an instant. Installation and user experience are seamless. The design is safety-centered, thanks to its 304 food-grade stainless-steel housing. As a result, you can rest assured of durability and sturdiness when in use.
A metallic water level spigot is included in the box, which fits perfectly with the chamber to avoid leaks. In addition, a non-slip stand has been included for additional support when in use. You get all of these alongside the package, thus saving money on accessories purchases.

In Conclusion

The human body needs fluoride for effective functioning. However, its effect on the body can go both ways. If present in excess or limited amounts, it can adversely affect bones and teeth. Low fluoride amounts in the body lead to osteoporosis and dental caries. If present in high amounts, fluoride can cause skeletal and dental fluorosis. Fluoride can also impair the functioning of the brain, kidney, and liver. Studies on how fluoride in drinking water affects human health across various regions have shown that it is important to monitor the amount of fluoride in drinking water to ensure it is within acceptable hygiene standards. Local communities must develop local drinking water sanitary standards that govern how much fluoride content in drinking water gets into the body. This is the only way to ensure the human body is not at severe health risks through the consumption of alarming amounts of fluoride.