Just Grab Bottle Water? Wait! Not So Fast

bottled water fluoride
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For whatever reason, some popular bottled water brands add fluoride to their water. It can even be found in infant targeted water brands despite the fact that a Harvard Public Health Magazine article states their research finds fluoride in large doses would cause more bodily harm than dental good, and as such recommends a reduction of its levels in our public drinking water.

“In June 2015, the Cochrane Collaboration—a global independent network of researchers and health care professionals known for rigorous scientific reviews of public health policies—published an analysis of 20 key studies on water fluoridation. … [They] concluded that early scientific investigations on water fluoridation (most were conducted before 1975) were deeply flawed. ‘We had concerns about the methods used, or the reporting of the results, in … 97 percent of the studies,’ the authors noted. One problem: The early studies didn’t take into account the subsequent widespread use of fluoride-containing toothpastes and other dental fluoride supplements, which also prevent cavities. This may explain why countries that do not fluoridate their water have also seen big drops in cavity rates… .

“Moreover, fluoride itself may be dangerous at high levels. Excessive fluoride causes fluorosis—changes in tooth enamel that range from barely noticeable white spots to staining and pitting. Fluoride can also become concentrated in bone—stimulating bone cell growth, altering the tissue’s structure, and weakening the skeleton.

“Perhaps most worrisome is preliminary research in laboratory animals suggesting that high levels of fluoride may be toxic to brain and nerve cells. And human epidemiological studies have identified possible links to learning, memory, and cognition deficits, though most of these studies have focused on populations with fluoride exposures higher than those typically provided by U.S. water supplies.” – “Is Fluoridated Drinking Water Safe?” from the Harvard Public Health magazine.

Often bottled water is distributed in times of questionable tap water quality as a commonly practiced safety measure. Yet, nearly every recognizable brand of bottled drinking water has fluoride added to their products increasing one’s exposure to the mineral that at over-exposure adds to health risks as per the Cochrane Collaboration findings in the Harvard article.

The Live Science article “Facts about Fluoridation” states the US Health Department recommended in 2015 a lowering of fluoride in our drinking water. The article states, “In 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a recommendation for the optimal fluoride level that should be in drinking water to prevent tooth decay. This new recommendation is for a single level of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water, opposed to the 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter recommendation issued in 1962, which is now the standard. The change was recommended because most people in the United States have access to more sources of fluoride than they did when the guidelines were first put in place.”

Additionally, the Live Science article names more studies linking higher levels of fluoride to disease related to brain development and bone development.

Now to make matters much worse, the National Resource Defense Council, a 45-plus year environmental protection organization, cites in the 2016 article “The Truth About Tap: Lots of people think drinking bottled water is safer. Is it?” that leeching chemicals from plastics, and the only regulating requirement that bottle water be as safe as tap water as added evidence that bottled is not better.

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