IS FLUORIDE & CHLORIDE IN OUR DRINKING WATER SAFE?
Fluoride and chloride are among the many constituents of our drinking water that may be naturally available or added by most municipalities as a measure to improve public health. It is believed they play an important role in maintaining our health and preventing disease and are therefore necessary. However, there is still much debate surrounding our safety since the initiation of drinking water fluoridation and chlorination, from people from around the world. Although there exist permissible limits – defined by American Public Health Association (APHA) and World Health Organization (WHO), among many other organizations – for drinking water quality, it is strongly argued that the levels of these chemicals in our drinking water may be too high. Albeit the effects of chloride and fluoride in drinking water are still being studied, there is a lot of evidence that these permissible levels are harmful. This has influenced a growing number of communities to disapprove and vote for their removal in the past years. With the look of things, these numbers will probably keep soaring. Here’s why:
Health impact of chloride and fluoride in drinking water
Numerous pieces of evidence extensively rebut the research that prompted drinking water fluoridation and chlorination. It was made known from a 2015 analysis of 20 critical studies that while the addition of both chemicals effectively reduced tooth decay among children, none of these studies met the review’s inclusion criteria for determining the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries [cavities] in adults. The method and report employed in those studies were flawed to a great extent, along with the problem of not considering the widespread use of fluoride-containing products such as toothpaste, gel, and mouthwashes – which also account for fluoride intake. This probably explains the reduction in cases of cavities even in countries that do not add fluoridate their water.
A report from World Health Organization links excessive fluoride intake to various forms of fluorosis; and expatiates on how fluoride content from other physical activities and dietary habits also contribute to the excessiveness. Fluorosis of the teeth is the damage to tooth enamel which results in barely noticeable white spots, staining, or pitting of the tooth. Also, when concentrated in the bone, fluoride causes tissue alterations, thereby causing skeletal fluorosis, altering the tissue’s structure and ultimately leading to stiffening and pain of the joints and bones (weakened skeletal system) or abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
Moreover, a consistent finding of several studies is that fluoride lowers IQ. The most conspicuous of those studies – observed up to 300 expectant mothers and concluded that “higher prenatal fluoride exposure was associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring at ages 4 and 6–12.” Prior research on laboratory animals suggests the brain and nerve cells are susceptible to damage from high levels of fluoride intake and therefore are at higher risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, hence the association of lower IQ scores with high fluoride intake.
Some other studies link high chloride levels with an increased risk of acute kidney injury and heart disease. Carlos Tello (Ph.D.) compiled numerous studies reporting its association with difficulty in blood and oxygen circulation in the body may result in health problems such as high blood pressure, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea – thus an increase in morbidity and mortality.
All of these reasons leads to just a verdict – the presence fluoride and chloride, ingesting in high amounts, makes drinking water not safe for drinking! Fortunately, there has been growing disapproval of their addition among the masses with people believing that the potential health risks of these chemicals outweigh the benefits.