What Is Fluoride?
fluoride salts typically have distinctive bitter tastes and are odourless. Its salts and minerals are important chemical reagents and industrial chemicals, mainly used in the production of hydrogen fluoride for fluorocarbons. Fluoride is classified as a weak base since it only partially associates in solution, but concentrated fluoride is corrosive and can attack the skin.
Fluoride is the simplest fluorine anion. In terms of charge and size, the fluoride ion resembles the hydroxide ion. Fluoride ions occur on earth in several minerals, particularly fluorite, but are present only in trace quantities in bodies of water in nature.
How is Fluoride used in drinking water?
Fluoride-containing compounds, such as sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate are used in topical and systemic fluoride therapy for preventing tooth decay. They are used for water fluoridation and in many products associated with oral hygiene. Originally, sodium fluoride was used to fluoridate water; hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) and its salt sodium hexafluorosilicate (Na2SiF6) are more commonly used additives, especially in the United States. The fluoridation of water is known to prevent tooth decay and is considered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century”. In some countries where large, centralized water systems are uncommon, fluoride is delivered to the populace by fluoridating table salt. For the method of action for cavity prevention, see Fluoride therapy. Fluoridation of water has its critics (see Water fluoridation controversy). Fluoridated toothpaste is in common use, but is only effective at concentrations above 1,000 ppm.
Effects of Fluoride
Mineral fluoride in our community drinking water supply has been debated ever since it was introduced back in the mid-1940s with the aim to prevent tooth decay.
Evidence is mounting that in an era of fluoridated toothpaste and other dental health consumer products the potential risks from consuming fluoridated water may outweigh the benefits.
Many health concerns expressed by the opposition have to date been largely dismissed until recently.
Last year (2016), Harvard Public Health Magazine released an article outline a worldwide study comparing “Countries that do not fluoridate their water compared to Countries that do, have also seen big drops in the rate of cavities”.
Read the full article Fluoridated-drinking-water
11 Facts You May Like to Consider:
- Fluoride is added to our water at the ‘optimal’ dose of 1 ppm (equal to 1 mg/l).
This dose was set in the 1940s and was based on the assumption that the total intake of fluoride would be 1 mg/day, (about 4 glasses of water). However, today fluoride is also present in virtually everything we consume. A fact that is not taken into consideration when determining fluoride levels in drinking water.
- Most foods are made with fluoridated water. Crops are sprayed with fluoridated water and treated with pesticides that contain fluoride. Eat a bowl of cereal with milk for breakfast and a can of coke with lunch and you have already consumed 230% of the recommended ‘optimal’ dose.
- Cooking in fluoridated water also increases dietary fluoride levels, unlike chlorine, fluoride does not dissipate in the steam, rather it remains in the water and concentrates in the cooked food.
- Because of the increase in fluoride exposure from all sources combined, the rate of dental fluorosis has increased significantly over the past 50 years. Dental fluorosis (discolouration and pitting of the teeth) is often touted as simply an aesthetic problem, however, it is actually the first visible sign of fluoride poisoning.
- The ‘optimal’ level of 1 ppm is calculated for an average adult, so the dose received by an infant 1/10th of the weight of an adult would be 10 times the ‘optimal’ level.
- 99% of tap water is not consumed as it ends up down the drain, on the garden, is used to wash clothes, dishes, in the shower or bath, and so on. There is absolutely no need for fluoride to be added to drinking water.
- Naturally occurring organic calcium-fluoro-phosphate is an edible salt, insoluble in water and easily assimilated by the body, where it builds and strengthens bones and teeth. It is entirely different from sodium fluoride, which is soluble in water and cannot be assimilated by the body.
- The first use of fluoridated drinking water was in Germany’s Nazi prison camps, allegedly to sterilize humans and force the prisoners into calm submission. Sodium fluoride is a common rat poison and was used in nerve gas.
- Fluoride can diminish bone strength and increase the risk of fractures. According to the NRC, fracture risk may be increased at levels as low as 1.5 ppm.
- Fluoride can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland, resulting in iodine deficiency. Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of brain damage and mental disability in the world.
- Most people are aware of the fact that chlorine reacts to form numerous compounds, such as chloramines after it is added to our drinking water. However many people are not aware that fluorine is much more reactive than chlorine and is capable of forming any number of deadly compounds.