Knowing that our bodies are made up of 80% water, it was a natural progression when we started to question environmental toxins, to investigate what was in the most consumed liquid in our household - WATER. Even though we are told the water we drink from the tap is ‘clean’, it’s not necessarily good for our health.
People will often say to me, ‘but it’s only in a minute amount, what are you worried about?’ Yes, that’s correct, but over your lifetime think about those minute amounts added together - that’s a lot of chemicals consumed!
The two most common contaminants we find concerning are chlorine and fluoride. Let’s start with chlorine. Chlorine is a chemical added to public water supplies, which is an effective disinfectant to kill disease-causing pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoans. Being inexpensive and easy to control and monitor, it is considered one of the best disinfecting agents.
However, it doesn’t come without problems. An article published by the National Institute of Health in Pubmed (1), suggests there is an increased cancer risk associated with the consumption of chlorinated water and some natural organic compounds. Well worth the read. Based on this research, we felt the need to remove as much chlorine from our drinking water as possible.
Now onto fluoride. Whilst it may be known to help reduce cavities in your teeth and recommended for dental purposes, it is important to understand the origin of this contaminant in our water supply. Fluoride can occur naturally in water known as calcium fluoride and, in safe quantities, is safe for human consumption. However, the main fluoride added to drinking water is silicofluorides. Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical grade products, but unprocessed industrial byproducts of the phosphate fertiliser industry. Unfortunately, the fluoride added to our water in Australia can be as high as 1.5mg/l. Whereas, in the United States, the level is not permitted to be higher than 0.7mg/l. Clearly, how much fluoride we ingest depends on how much tap water we drink, which I find rather confusing when it doesn’t matter what medical information you seek, the one common response is always - DRINK MORE WATER! More water equals more fluoride!
Some worrisome effects of fluoride, according to the World Health Organisation are dental and skeletal fluorosis (2). Excessive fluoride can cause fluorosis which is a change in tooth enamel ranging from hardly noticeable white spots to staining and pitting. Fluoride can also become concentrated in our bones, stimulating bone cell growth, altering the tissue’s structure, and weakening the skeleton.
Perhaps, most worrisome is early research conducted in laboratory animals suggesting that levels of fluoride in the drinking water (recommended in the United States) may be toxic to brain and nerve cells, affecting memory and learning, as reported in a systematic review by the National Toxicology Program in the United States (3).
Furthermore, two scholars' studies by Masters and Coplan (1990,2000) report a documented relationship between water treated with silicofluorides and elevated levels of lead in the blood of children. With three young children, we found this alarming (4).
With all of this considered, we make a concerted effort to drink filtered water where possible, because even though it is claimed that the minimal amount added is not harmful to humans, it’s the long term effect of that minimal amount accumulating in the body over years that must be a concern for anyone who has an invested interest in their health.
Warmest wishes in health
Ross & Reanna