The Centers for Disease Control Provides Easy Access to Information About Your Local Water’s Fluoride Content
Fluoride is one of the more controversial issues in water treatment. A part of the issue that is frequently overlooked is that the amount of fluoride added or maintained by the water supplier should be an important part of the discussion, as should also the nature and origin of the fluoride that is added.
Certainly there is a difference between naturally occurring fluoride and the industrial waste product that usually serves as a tap water additive, but there is probably a more significant difference between 4 ppm fluoride (currently the EPA upper allowable) and 0.7 ppm, which is what is now being recommended for cities with warm climate. (There is an assumption that in warm weather areas, people drink more water and therefore should have less fluoride in their tap water.)
We should note that many of the recent studies that show the brain-killing effects of fluoride were done in areas whose water has very high fluoride levels. Does this mean that if a lot of fluoride damages children’s brains a lot, a little fluoride will damage children’s brains a little? Perhaps, but not necessarily. Everything, including water and tomato juice and vitamin C, is toxic if the dose is high enough. It doesn’t take much fluoride to be too much, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that a small amount is toxic.
US water suppliers add fluoride at different levels. Optimal fluoride levels recommended by the U.S. Public Health Service and CDC for drinking water range from 0.7 ppm for warmer climates to 1.2 ppm for cooler climates to account for the tendency for people to drink more water in warmer climates.
To illustrate, two major US cities, fluoridate as follows:
New York City, a northern city — 1 ppm.
Denton, TX, a southern city — 0.7 ppm.
The Centers for Disease Control maintains a website where you can check the current fluoridation practices of your local water supplier.
One final comment. An infrequently mentioned fact about fluoridation of municipal water supplies is that it is not as exact a science as the public often believes. Fluoride levels can vary considerably from one part of a city to another and from one day to the next. This is especially true of small water supplies where a lot is being entrusted to personnel whose training is not always up to the job. The very realistic concern that what is intended to be 1 ppm may well arrive at your home as 4 or 5 ppm should make you consider a protective drinking water treatment for your home.