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Is Tap Water Safe to Drink?

“Charleston Water System tap water meets or exceeds all drinking water standards and is safe to drink unless your immune system is severely compromised. You do not need a water filter to make your water safe to drink.”  So, it’s safe to drink for most?

You’re probably already thinking:  Why isn’t tap water safe for everybody?  What is the best type of water to drink?  Let’s first take a look at what’s potentially in tap water to make it less safe to drink.  Let’s explore that in another post.

How do you know if your tap water is contaminated?

  • Common sense:  look, smell, taste…
    • Water that’s safe to drink should ideally be clear with no odor or funny taste.
    • If your tap water tastes metallic, smells fishy, or comes out cloudy, it’s likely unsafe and full of contaminants.

Why and how does tap water become contaminated?

It can contain microorganisms like bacteria and parasites that get in the water from human or animal fecal matter.  It can contain chemicals from industrial waste or from spraying crops.  Nitrates used in crop fertilizers can enter the water with runoff from the land.

Is fluoride in tap water toxic?

Since the mid-1940s, compounds containing the mineral fluoride have been added to community water supplies throughout the U.S. to prevent tooth decay.   But is fluoride good for us in general?  Fluoride is added into the tap water we bath, drink and breath so we should consider if fluoride is healthy in general when considering the risk vs reward.

So yes, fluoride has been shown to help fight cavities and keep our gums healthy.  Since most of the commonly used tooth pastes utilize fluoride to help protect against cavities I wonder why it’s necessary to add to the water as well.

Is fluoridation of tap water just an old policy that needs to be updated?

“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 found that while water fluoridation is effective at reducing tooth decay among children, “no studies that aimed to determine the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries [cavities] in adults met the review’s inclusion criteria.”  To read more about the Harvard article click here.

The Cochrane report also 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.”

Is fluoride bad for you?

Everything in moderation…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.  Cancer.org says this about fluoridation causing bone cancers.

That’s not the worse of it.  Research in laboratory animals suggests that high levels of fluoride is toxic to the brain and nerve cells.  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.

So what do you think?

DOCTORJASE.COM How much water should you drink?

 

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