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In the Name of God بسم الله
iCambrian

Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies

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Hi everyone,

So I occasionally hear about this fluoridation of public drinking water and how it concerns some people.  Ill start by saying, studying water quality is what I do just about on a daily basis, so I figure it wouldnt hurt to give thoughts.

So basically, for those who aren't aware of the water fluoridation topic, public water supplies in a number of countries have fluoride additives.  This compound by dental professionals is considered to help prevent tooth decay and cavities.  Basically, by dental professionals, it is considered to be better for human health.

On the other end of the discussion, you have people who feel as though they should have the right to choose what is in their water or not. And if the government has control of water supplies, hypothetically they could harm us if they contaminated the water we drink.

Other people go further and propose ideas about fluoridated water and how it harms brain development of people, effectively brainwashing everyone.

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So in studying water, most countries have environmental standards.  Regulations that say, you cannot have X concentration of Y in the water you drink.  If Y concentrations were discovered, you would typically have to shut down that water supply and clean it up. These standards are developed through referencing fluoride related research and its harmful affects.

So there are a few questions I am seeking to shed light on in this topic.

1) What amount of Fluoride is harmful to us?

2) What Standards are in place for Fluoride?

3) What amount of Fluoride is our country supplying to us?

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1) What amount of Fluoride is harmful to us?

http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/nas.htm

https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/_files_nhmrc/file/your_health/fluoridation/20160824_evidence_report_final_1.pdf

http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/1104912/

So I took three documents of a number I've looked through, noted above. Everyone is free to add or reference their own.  But it may help to simply have a read through them if anyone is interested.

Most expansive studies appear to reach similar conclusions. Those conclusions being that higher concentrations of fluoride can harm human health and brain development, typically in children (lower body mass equates to greater affects of smaller concentrations of fluoride).

Everyone is free to read the conclusions of each document and to make what they wish of them. 

Just out of curiosity, I did a lay persons statistical analysis of data provided in the Harvard study and derived my own conclusions from it. Basically, if anyone understands, I calculated upper and lower confidence limits of both harmful concentrations of fluoride and non harmful concentrations, then removed statistical outliers to try to give a more accurate conclusion to the data that harvard is providing. These being based on Table 1 of their research paper.

Basically, and this is just my personal messing around and is by no means a conclusion of a greater value than any greater scientific organization, but...

The mean concentration of fluoride in drinking water that is considered safe is 0.89 mg/L.

The mean concentration of fluoride in drinking water that is considered harmful is 3.08 mg/L

I would suspect that if you drink public water with a concentration of fluoride greater than 3.08 mg/L regularly throughout your life, you may be harmed.

Again this is more of a lay interpretation of data.  Its just me spending a half hour playing with numbers and isnt exactly an in depth analysis.

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2) What Standards are in place for Fluoride?

3) What amount of fluoride is currently being supplied to us?

This question comes down to what country you live in.  If you live here in the US, each state is going to have its own standards that are applicable to EPA regulations.  Currently the EPA is proposing fluoridation at 0.7 mg/L. Which is lower than the mean concentration of fluoride in of statistically safe drinking water, as per the above referenced studies.

Also, there are state regulatory limits.  In New York, just as an example, there is a regulatory limit of 2.2 mg/L fluoride in public water supplies. This means that, public water is regularly monitored, and should there be greater than 2.2 mg/L fluoride discovered in your public water, they will shut the water supply down until they treat the water. New York actually has some of the cleanest drinking water in the US.

So basically, if you live in the US, youre likely safe in regards to fluoride in public drinking water. If you drink natural water from the earth in your own private supply well, that is a different story, however, public supply wells in most states are regulated themselves by municipalities, so even if you went to a local park, your water is likely fine.  Also, so far as I am aware, even with the installation of a potable water well for private use, youre still required to demonstrate safe drinking water quality before you can legally use your well.

 

I have stuff to do today, so I guess ill leave the topic at that for now.

 

Edited by iCambrian

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Also, I just wanted to say this.

 

When I took data from the referenced research, and calculated the confidence limits and mean concentrations, I did this all independently of anything stated by the EPA.  Seeing that the EPA calls for a lower concentration than the one I calculated, suggests that the EPA knows what theyre doing. I did not intentionally derive a low concentration of fluoride, just to make the US EPA look good.

With respect to scientific finds, so far as I am aware, their suggestions are reasonable. 

and of course, like everything in science, as more research comes about, things are subject to change.  So, time will tell where this all goes.  As of right now, as an environmental geologist, there doesnt appear to be a threat in water fluoridation at low concentrations.  Beyond that, there is also discussion of the benefits in fluoridation in prevention of cavities, but I simply do not have the time to follow up on that at the moment.  Maybe I will later.

Edited by iCambrian

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Salam aleykum,

Nice thread. I read some of it and IA I want to read all of it but a question that popped into my head before I got to read all of it is:

What kind of damage does an "overdose" of fluoride actually have on the human body scientifically spoken?

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22 minutes ago, IbnSina said:

Salam aleykum,

Nice thread. I read some of it and IA I want to read all of it but a question that popped into my head before I got to read all of it is:

What kind of damage does an "overdose" of fluoride actually have on the human body scientifically spoken?

Based on research, and to be honest this isnt a topic I have looked too far into, but from what I have seen, it can harm brain development and result in lower IQ levels, and beyond that, if the concentration is too high, it could just outright kill someone.  What biochemistry is involved in that, I do not know. 

 

Also, thank you for the compliment.

 

Edited by iCambrian

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And Ill add for viewers, the regulating bodies in government, at least here in the US, regularly re analyze research as research is performed worldwide.  So talks about contaminants in water, is something that regularly occurs nation wide in both the public and private sectors. The private sector is regulated by the government, however, the private sector also works along side the government, providing feedback and criticism. And together, both regulate water supplies for the people of the US.

So if someone suggests that the government has a secret that relates to mind control of people and water fluoridation, it by default turns to the private sector, secretly contaminating their own water, which really doesnt make any sense. 

Edited by iCambrian

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I figured I'd make a post here.  Someone in another topic keeps bringing up toothpaste, so here goes...

 

" The lethal dose for most adult humans is estimated at 5 to 10 g (which is equivalent to 32 to 64 mg/kg elemental fluoride/kg body weight).[30][31][32] "

 I just snagged this from wiki, feel free to poke at it, its just for fun.

so at a minimum, 32 mg/kg. So lets say someone weights 68 kg.  That would be 2176 mg of fluoride or 2.176 grams of fluoride.

Lucky for me I actually own fluoridated toothpaste (been using this brand since I was a baby). It consists of .15% w/v fluoride ion. So there are .15 grams fluoride in 100ml of toothpaste. I have roughly 130 ml toothpaste in my bottle.  Thats .195 grams.

So if it takes 2.176 g of fluoride to kill someone of 68 kg, they would have to eat 11 tubes of toothpaste to meet the minimum range of the lethal dose. I dont know about you, but I dont think I could eat 1 tube, let alone 11.

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Ultimately none of this matters because none of us sit around eating toothpaste to begin with.

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I think fluoridated water is like public school - it's meant as a nice gesture to help the people who need it most, but it isn't for everyone. Do household water filters such as the Brita filter remove fluoride? What steps would a person who does not have access to a private water supply take to avoid consuming fluoridated water if they do not want it?

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10 minutes ago, iCambrian said:

I wonder what would be lost in using certain filters.

Well, money for starters. Probably some minerals. 

My house came with one of those countertop filters shown in the linked site. I didn't know what it was and couldn't connect the portable dishwasher with it there, so i removed it. Anyone here want to buy a countertop single fluoride filter? I have no idea how old it is, but it's shiny and looks clean. 

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Britta did not remove potassium permanganate that has been added in many State's water supply to get rid of zebra mussel clogging water pipes in USA. Britta is mainly just activated charcoal and not that effective in filtering. Water from reverse osmosis or distilled ones are purest form.

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I was thinking about britas, just with this discussion.  Activated carbon works well with stripping out harmful organics, like gasoline compounds for example.  So in that sense they may be good.  However, with regular public water testing, you arent going to have gasoline in your water to begin with.  So, im not quite sure what to make of those.

 

From Brita.com

  • Zinc: Exposure to zinc can cause nausea & vomiting, and long-term effects of anemia & pancreatic damage.
  • Cadmium: Exposure to cadmium can cause liver damage.
  • Chlorine: Chlorine leaves a bad taste & odor in your tap water.
  • Copper: Exposure to copper can cause gastrointestinal distress and liver & kidney damage.
  • Mercury: Mercury from landfills can lead to kidney damage over time.

 

Mercury from landfills?   If there were a release from a nearby landfill, you would need a lot more than a brita filter to clean up your water.

Brita filters seem to be useful for people who live in an area where they know their groundwater may naturally have high levels of the above compounds. Other than that, I cant see it doing much for anyone.  These compounds are already regulated in public water supplies, so I wouldnt imagine these filters are worth the money.  Our tax dollars already fund the use of brita filters on a mega scale at treatment plants.

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