Water fluoridation is simply the adjustment of fluoride levels in water to maximize dental health benefits.
Fluoridation: just the facts…
Fluoride is one of the earth’s most common compounds.
Fluoride exists naturally in our drinking water, but, in some communities, not enough is present to maintain adequate dental health.
- Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in virtually all waters. The process of fluoridation does NOT involve introducing a foreign element to the water supply. It’s simply an adjustment to what is already naturally present in our water.
- Research shows that water fluoridation does not have any negative health effects on plants or animals. Under Washington State’s Environmental Protection Act (SEPA), a study was conducted in Tacoma-Pierce County to investigate any possible environmental consequences of adding optimal levels of fluoride to drinking water. Noting that the amount of fluoride in the water does not reach levels that are harmful to plants or animals, the SEPA study concluded that there are “no probable significant adverse environmental impacts.”
- There is no evidence that optimally fluoridated water has any effect on gardens, lawns or plants.
Fluoride and natural habitat
Salmon and other fish are not harmed by community water fluoridation. The low levels of fluoride used in community water fluoridation are significantly lower than fluoride levels naturally found in the ocean. In fact, salmon spend a significant portion of their lives in the ocean, which contains an average of 1.2 to 1.5 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride. Optimally fluoridated drinking water contains 0.7 ppm of fluoride.
Fluoride Additives Are Not Different From Natural Fluoride
Some consumers have questioned whether fluoride from natural groundwater sources is “better” than fluoride additives used in water fluoridation. Recent scientific studies demonstrate that the same fluoride ion is present in both cases.
* The ionic speciation study conducted in 2006 mentioned previously (Finney WF, Wilson E, Callender A, Morris MD, Beck LW. Re-examination of hexafluorosilicate hydrolysis by fluoride NMR and pH measurement. Environ Sci Technol 2006;40:8:2572)
* The pharmacokinetics of ingested fluoride was studied by a 2008 study (G.M. Whitford, F.C. Sampaio, C.S. Pinto, A.G. Maria, V.E.S. Cardoso, M.A.R. Buzalaf, Pharmacokinetics of ingested fluoride: Lack of effect of chemical compound, Archives of Oral Biology, 53 (2008) 1037–1041).