Is Fluoride in Your Water Really Harmful?

Hazards of Fluoride in Water

The painstaking debate continues about whether or not fluoride in your drinking water is beneficial for your teeth and health. For years, we were not concerned about what was in the water we drank, unless we noticed something floating around in it. However, the particles you don’t see is the thing that sends a cross bone and skull warning sign flying in front of our water sources and receptacles.

We are inundated with reports about the effects of fluoride and its impact on tooth decay. Some dental researchers indicate that the benefits of fluoride are primarily topical and not systemic. While we are not attacking the dental industry, there are many reviews and studies that discuss the dangers of a high intake of fluoride which extends beyond cosmetic concern. When examining the possible health effects associated with fluoride in drinking water, the EPA noted that exposure to excessive consumption of fluoride over a lifetime may lead to the likelihood of increased bone fractures in adults, along with pain and tenderness. They go on to say that children 8 years old and younger who are exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride increase their chances of developing pits in the tooth enamel, as well as a range of other cosmetic effects to their teeth.

Many contaminants found in our drinking water warrants significant concern for purification and safety. If your water comes from a household or private well, be sure to check with your health department or local water systems that use ground water, for information on harmful contaminants in your area. There is a variety of filtration systems designed to help remove or reduce numerous waterborne contaminants. When asked about how to remove fluoride from your drinking water, the EPA gave the following statement: “The following treatment method(s) have proven to be effective for removing fluoride to below 4.0 mg/L or 4.0 ppm: distillation or reverse osmosis.”

Reverse Osmosis Systems (RO) will typically use carbon filters, sediment filters and an RO membrane to reduce and remove waterborne contaminants. Reverse Osmosis (RO) removes more contaminants at a higher rate of efficiency than other forms of water filtration. We recommend that you use a reverse osmosis system like the Aqua-Pure APRO5500 Reverse Osmosis Water Filter, the Pentek RO-3500 Monitored Reverse Osmosis System or the Aqua Flo E75TFC-3SFBP RO System with Booster Pump for removing fluoride. The reverse osmosis system is normally located or installed under the sink.

So what do you think about fluoride in your drinking water? “To fluoride or not to fluoride? That is the question!” We would love to hear your comments about this ongoing discussion regarding the trials and tribulations of fluoride in our drinking water. We also invite you to vote in our poll that you will find in the upper right-hand corner on this blog. Do you own a reverse osmosis system? If so, we invite you to share your experience with us.

 

Top 10 Most Disturbing Things in Our Water

What’s in your water? We at Filters Fast have compiled a list of the top ten most disturbing things found in tap and bottled water. Some of these may surprise you.

#10 – Chlorine

The chlorination of water is a disinfecting method used by water treatment plants to eliminate the presence of bacteria and other microorganisms in city supplies.  This seems beneficial, but consider the consequences: chlorine in water often reacts with other naturally-occurring elements to produce toxins that are carcinogenic. Prolonged exposure has been linked with several adverse health conditions like asthma and several types of cancer.

#9 – Lead

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Lead in water is a major concern for children and pregnant women, as it affects physical and mental development. Although measures taken over the last few decades have drastically reduced the amount of lead in water supplies, it is still often found in houses and buildings with old pipes. Water that sits for long periods of time in corroded pipes can become contaminated and, when drank, result in lead poisoning.

#8 – Cysts

Cryptosporidium and Giardia are two of the most common water-borne microbiological cysts. These protozoan parasites enter lakes and streams through sewage and animal waste. Drinking water from said lakes and streams is not such a good idea, unless you’re sure the cysts have been filtered out. You could end up with a mild to severe gastrointestinal illness.

#7 – BPA

BPA, otherwise known as bisphenol-A, is found in the plastic used in water bottles and other manufactured products. A large number of studies on BPA have found its effects on the body to be toxic. If BPA leaches into bottled water, it could result in many different types of cancer.

#6 – Fluoride

Ah, the Fluoride debate: to fluoridate or not to fluoridate.  Well, some maintain that fluoride in water is beneficial to dental health. Others claim it is linked to bone cancer and can actually cause dental fluorosis with extensive exposure. It’s all a matter of where your priorities lie. Sure you might die of cancer, but at least you can still flash those healthy, strong pearly whites during your funeral visitation, right?

#5 – Fecal Coliforms

Yes, you read that right. While bottled water companies market their product as healthier than tap, many bottles have been found to contain a small percentage of feces. What’s another word for feces?

You don’t want that in your water.

#4 – Pesticides and Herbicides

This might not sound like such a big deal, since pesticides and herbicides are regularly used to farm our world’s food supplies. But whether you eat them or drink them, these substances are toxic, and have been labeled “gender benders.” Studies have found that atrazine, a common herbicide, is able to turn male frogs into female frogs. Farm run-off puts these toxins in our water supplies, so unless you’re trying to induce a sex change, I’d be careful.

#3 – Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals are scary, because they may be harder to filter than all of these other substances. Since pharmaceuticals do not biodegrade, throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet may cause them to end up in your water supply. Ninety percent of pills can pass through humans unchanged, so that human waste becomes a factor as well. Repeatedly ingesting water contaminated with pharmaceuticals can disrupt normal hormone function or lead to cancer.

#2 – Natural Gas

Several homes across the country, all of which are near a local natural-gas drilling site, have witnessed the miracle of flaming tap water. The good news is that it’s easy to test for – hold a lighter up to your faucet. The down side is that you might get burned while doing so.

#1 – Crickets

In the words of Dr. Peter Gleick, “yes, crickets.” Gleick recently published a book called, Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession With Bottled Water. In it, he discusses the contaminants found in bottled water that most people don’t look for. His examples include a 1994 recall on a Texas-manufactured, bottled, sparkling water that was found to be contaminated with crickets.

I don’t think it gets more disturbing than this, but I could be wrong.  Are these the ten worst things found in tap and bottled water supplies?  Perhaps you have some contaminated water stories you’d like to share.