This article was last updated on 8/4/2022
Adding fluoride to municipal drinking water supplies has been a hot-button issue for years. Some cities and residents support the potential health benefits of widespread fluoridation in the public water supply. Others are opposed to what they consider forced medication by the government and doubt the health benefits of fluoride in water altogether.
Read on as we take a closer look at the purpose of fluoride and break down the benefits and drawbacks of adding fluoride to public water sources. Also below, we’ve included helpful tips for removing fluoride from your workplace’s water coolers.
Taking a Closer Look at Fluoride and Water in the Workplace
Fluoride is a chemical that can be found in toothpaste and the water supply of over 73% of American community water systems, as explained by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC). The use of fluoride exposure in drinking water began in 1945 with the goal of:
- Preventing tooth decay.
- Strengthening enamel.
- Promoting overall dental health.
The American Dental Association first endorsed adding fluoride to the water system in 1953 as it was said to provide the same health benefits as brushing one’s teeth.
The CDC found that community water fluoridation prevents tooth decay in children and adults by 25% – and that’s on top of the advantages Americans receive from using fluoride toothpaste. The organization considers fluoridation to be one of the top 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.
Fluoride is actually found naturally in soil, rocks, and water. It occurs when salt from the element fluorine combines with these raw earth components, as explained by ChemicalSafetyFacts.org. If the government hadn’t chosen to add additional fluoride into our drinking water, there would still be a natural presence of it in what we eat and drink.
The federal, state, and local governments help determine regulations surrounding water safety. Federally, this legislation is called the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). The Food and Drug Administration regulates how much fluoride goes into toothpaste, mouthwash, and other dental health products while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determines the standards and regulations for drinking water safety. Even the World Health Organization gets involved with their own fluoridated water recommendations for oral health.
With so many regulations working closely together, we can assume our water is safe, right? Let’s take a closer look.
The Pros of Fluoridation in Your Workplace Water Supply
Communities across the globe have reduced tooth decay and improved oral health among residents through water fluoridation, as reported by the Centre for Disease Control. In the U.S., this can be spotted today, especially in an age when many also have access to fluoride toothpaste. Beyond the documented health benefits, fluoridating drinking water:
- Is the most effective and widely used method of promoting dental health.
- Acts as an antibacterial, slowing down the growth of bacteria in the mouth.
- Continues to help prevent tooth decay in American children, 42% of children aged 2 to 11, and 91% of adults are still affected by dental caries (tooth decay and cavities), according to Today.
- Saves communities money they would otherwise be spending on dental care.
- Is not a medication; it’s a natural ingredient found in groundwater, the oceans, and other natural resources.
The Cons of Fluoridation in Your Workplace Water Supply
Despite the noted health benefits of fluoride, there have been questions and doubts raised as to its efficacy when put in drinking water. Some experts have even claimed that excessive fluoridated water can result in a host of negative outcomes, including:
- The onset of dental fluorosis or enamel fluorosis, a staining or breakdown of the teeth from excessive fluoride exposure. Although fluorosis is a cosmetic condition and does not cause any serious physical problems, the National Institutes of Mental Health has suggested that fluoride-damaged teeth can lead to psychological and behavioral problems.
- Some dentists and experts stress that fluoride must be applied topically to be effective for oral health.
- Water fluoridation of all levels has been linked to bone fractures and other health issues. Medical News Today reports low thyroid functions, fatigue, weight gain, and irregular bowel function could be exacerbated by consuming too much fluoride.
- There is no controlled usage, meaning people who drink lots of water, therefore, are exposed to lots of fluorides.
- Many suggest adding fluoride to our water supply is an unethical practice of mass medication for Americans who cannot choose or give consent. Currently, there exists no medication or supplement that is physically tolerated universally by populations, and fluoride is no different.
Elevate Your Drinking Water With Water Filtration
Residents on both sides of the debate on fluoridated drinking water stand to benefit from using filtered water dispensers from Quench. Consumers who believe in the health benefits of fluoride in water will be happy to hear that the standard carbon filtration in Quench water coolers removes impurities, yet leaves the fluoride behind. Meanwhile, opponents to fluoridation who want to know how to remove fluoride from their water system can opt for a filtered water dispenser with a reverse osmosis filter system. A reverse osmosis filter system like the one in Quench’s Q8 and Quench 12 series effectively removes fluoride, as well as a variety of other contaminants to boost water quality.
Elevating Your Water Supply With a Water Filtration System
Bottled water in the workplace can be expensive, wasteful, and unsustainable. Organizations should consider installing a water filtration system for any of the following reasons:
- It’s a cost-effective way to provide clean, great-tasting water to employees.
- Employees will be healthier, happier, and more productive if they have access to clean water.
- It can help reduce your business’s environmental footprint—saving thousands of single-use plastic bottles and tons of gallons of carbon emissions every year.
Water is a scarce resource and the quality of water is deteriorating every day. Don’t rely on bottled water alone. Instead, consider a water filtration system to protect your employees and customers from the harmful effects of poor drinking water quality.
A water filtration system removes contaminants such as heavy metals, microorganisms, and chemicals from the water. This can help reduce the risk of health issues such as stomach discomfort, diarrhea, kidney problems, and cancer. A water filtration system also helps improve the taste of drinking water by removing chlorine or chloramine taste and odor. This makes it easier for employees to drink more fluids which can help them stay hydrated and boost productivity in the workplace.
The Quench Solution for Your Business
The ingredients found in municipally treated tap water vary from zip code to zip code. Those interested in a breakdown of fluoride levels in water by city can visit our Local Water Experts page. Quench has a national team of account managers and service technicians standing behind every filtered water dispenser and reverse osmosis filter system. Our in-depth knowledge of fluoridated water and fluoride level conditions from coast-to-coast, including fluoride levels in water by city, allows us to recommend the best water filtration solution for your business. So, the choice is yours!