How Much is too Much: A Look Into Fluoride

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Around 4.2 trillion gallons of water are seen in the United States each year, but approximately 90% is immediately evaporated or goes to the ocean (McCuen, 1986). In 1974, Congress passed the Safe Drinking Water Act after a national debate over the amount of organic chemicals such as chloroform and benzene in drinking water within the United States (McCuen, 1986).One of the other ground water contaminants is fluorine. There is not much fluorine in its elemental state due to its high level of radioactivity and exists in the form of fluorides within minerals and water (WHO, 2004). Fluoride was introduced in water during the last half of the twentieth century and was one of two newer developments that deal with drinking water (Barzilay, 1999). Fluoride is used for protection against cavities and other dental caries and bonds to the enamel on teeth (Barzilay, 1999). Fluoridation is a beneficial achievement for public health and beginning experiments with it established fluoride as effective and as a cost efficient method of helping public health. This cost effective method of fluoridation only costs citizens, on average, anywhere from 30 cents to 2 dollars a year (Walker, 1978). However, only a small amount of the fluoridated water pumped out each year reaches people’s mouths; because, most of the water ends up being used to do personal business like washing dishes. A fluoride concentration of 1 milligram per liter is the perfect amount of fluoride to prevent tooth decay although some of the side effects that fluoride has on people can be dangerous if consumed in too high of concentrations.

Is Your Water Fluoridated?

In the late twentieth century over 60% of the US population had been using fluoridated water. Approximatel...

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...lower and where the climate is generally humid and wet, the concentration of fluoride in water is generally higher. Fluoride, when consumed correctly can pose as a health benefit, but if it is not then it can cause severe health issues and even death.

Works Cited

Barzilay, J. I. (1999). The water we drink. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press.

Langwith, J. (2010). Water. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.

McCuen, G. E. (1986). Protecting water quality. Hudson, Wisconsin: GEM Publications.

Walker, R. (1978). Water supply, treatment, and distribution. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

WHO. (2000). Chapter 6.5 Fluorides, World Health Organization (WHO), Regional Office of Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark.

WHO. (2004). Fluoride in drinking water. Retrieved from

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