Fluoride in drinking water is a controversial subject. Whereas some people believe that the mineral is perfectly safe (and even beneficial) to consume, others are convinced that exposure to too much fluoride can have serious consequences on a person’s health. Either way, it’s important for people to know why the mineral is in their drinking water and what options they have to remove it if they choose to. Today we’re going to talk about what fluoride is, the potential health effects that it can have and what water treatment systems are available to remove it from your home’s drinking water!
What is fluoride and how does it get into drinking water?
Fluoride is an element that occurs naturally in New Hampshire’s bedrock. As a result, it is almost always present in drinking water that comes from private wells, especially if the wells are dug deep. In addition, some public municipalities intentionally add fluoride to their water supplies in order to prevent tooth decay, a practice which has caused much controversy. Fluoride has no taste, smell or color, so the only way to measure the amount of fluoride in your drinking water is to have your water tested at a laboratory.
What are the potential health effects of fluoride in drinking water?
At low levels, fluoride in drinking water is generally considered to have health benefits. In particular, the mineral is known to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. However, water with elevated levels of fluoride can have some potential health effects. Below is a list of the effects different levels of fluoride (in parts per million) can have on the human body:
- 1-1.5 ppm: This is the optimal level suggested by the CDC, and studies have shown that a dose this small can help prevent tooth decay.
- 1.5-4 ppm: Fluoride concentrations at this level are not shown to help prevent tooth decay any more than concentrations in the previous category. In fact, it is believed that fluoride at this concentration can stain tooth enamel.
- 4+ ppm: Fluoride concentrations in this range are widely considered unsafe and have been linked to a bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. This condition weakens bones, impairs joint mobility and may even cause arthritis.
In addition to the health effects above, some people believe that adding fluoride to drinking water can lead to an elevated risk of cancer. Concern has also been raised about the chemicals that are used to fluoridate public water supplies, which may contain dangerous metals like arsenic and lead.
What is the best way to remove fluoride from drinking water?
If you’re concerned about the possible health effects of fluoride in your home’s drinking water, you can remove it by installing a residential water filtration system. We typically recommend reverse osmosis systems for fluoride removal, either as a point-of-use system for a single drinking water tap or as a whole house system to remove fluoride from every tap in your home.
If you have any questions about fluoride in drinking water, or if you’d like a water system serviced or installed in your home, contact McBride’s water advantage, your water softener and water filtration system dealer in Epsom, New Hampshire. We provide service all over New Hampshire, including towns like Strafford, Weare and Londonderry, NH.