Tap water or bottled water? The choice has never been more confusing as evidence continues to mount on both sides of the argument. The newest research has heads really spinning for advocates of tap water. Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows the benefits of drinking fluoridated tap water for dental health while also confirming that tap water causes elevated levels of lead in the blood.
Lead in Water
Both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are in agreement that there is no safe lead blood level for children. In fact, lead is harmful to everyone, but especially children.
It often enters drinking water from corroding pipes. Exposure to even low amounts of lead causes serious health problems for children. Research has linked damage to the nervous system, learning disabilities, behavior problems, impaired growth, hearing problems and diminished formation of blood cells to lead in drinking water. In extreme cases, seizures, coma and death were reported.
Fluoride in Water
The first community to fluoridate its drinking water was Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945. Since then, the practice has expanded greatly with three out of four Americans now having access to fluoridated community water, according to Dr. Ken Collins, DDS, a leading dentist in Spokane, Washington.
“It’s been hailed as one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century thanks to reducing cavities in our nation by up to 25 percent,” he said.
While fluoride has been proven to reduce cavities and tooth decay, it can also be dangerous. In fact, in 2015 the United States lowered its recommendation on fluoride levels in drinking water for the first time. Too much fluoride, especially in childhood while teeth are developing, can lead to brittle teeth and staining. Excessive fluoride consumption can also cause kidney and digestive problems, brain damage and even IQ deficits in children and adults.
The Argument for Bottled Water
Cases like the recent water contamination in Flint, Michigan, make a strong case for bottled water. Not only do supporters of bottle water trust the safety of the water in the bottle more than the tap, but they also report enjoying the taste of bottled water more than tap water.
Another case for bottled water lies in convenience. If you accidentally leave your reusable bottle at home, it’s convenient to be able to buy a disposable alternative instead of having to choose an unhealthy bottled alternative or being forced to wait until you get home to hydrate.
The Argument for Tap Water
The biggest argument against tap water in the last decade has had nothing to do with tooth decay. The environmental impact of the production and disposal of plastic water bottles has been a big concern. Although plastic water bottles are 100 percent recyclable, many people choose not to recycle them. In addition, the oil required to produce the packaging is considered a waste of resources by those against bottled water.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
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Spokane, WA 99223
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