When you think of fluoride, you may find yourself picturing non-stick pans or toothpaste in your mind. It is one of the most common substances used in everyday life and people often think that it is safe. Fluoride is one of the basic ingredients of toothpaste. It is also used as a pesticide because it is toxic among insects. A special kind of fluoride called Uranium hexafluoride is utilized in processing nuclear reactor fuels and atomic bombs. Some compounds called polytetrafluoroethylene are used in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery as a replacement for soft tissues in the body.
Fluoride can be found naturally in various water sources. For example, rivers and lakes have approximately 0.5 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water while groundwater near volcanoes or mountains has 50 milligrams per liter. In connection with oral hygiene, fluoride has been added to drinking water since the early 1900’s when Frederick McKay observed that a small amount of fluoride in the water can help reduce tooth decay. Since then, public water supply has been fortified which ranges from 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter of drinking water. In the US, more than 60% of the population receives fluoridated water.
How fluoride helps the teeth is quite simple. When you drink water, the fluoride washes away food sugars on the enamel of the teeth that may cause tooth decay. When absorbed in the body, it helps strengthen the teeth from the inside. The controversy revolving around the presence of fluoride in drinking water has been going on for decades. The concern revolves around health complications such as dental fluorosis which affects children’s teeth development. Fluoridation of water has minimal effects on the risk of bone fractures. In rare cases, when the fluoride concentrations in water exceed the recommended levels, acute fluoride poisoning might occur. The symptoms include nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. In the US, it was reported that three outbreaks occurred between 1991 and 1998. During that period, the fluoride concentrations increased to 220 milligrams per liter.
Removing Fluoride From Drinking Water
Fluoride is quite easily removed from drinking water using a reverse osmosis system. When removing contaminants that may be a health risk, it's important to choose a system that has a third party validation such as NSF or WQA. These organizations test products to make sure they are actually able to remove the contaminants they claim. aQuatell offers the WQA certified Aqualux Reverse Osmosis System which will remove fluoride from your water.