FDA imposes stricter limits on fluoride in bottled water – but some health officials say it's STILL too high, putting us at risk for bone disease and neurological problems
- The FDA has proposed to lower the permitted level of fluoride in bottled water to 0.7 milligrams per liter
- It is slightly lower than the currently permitted 0.8 milligrams per liter
- Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, has been found to prevent tooth decay when added to drinking water
- Some health officials say the proposed limit should be even lower, referring to studies that have found that too much fluoride causes bone disease and neurological problems
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposes stricter limits for fluoride in bottled water.
The proposed rule would lower the permitted level of fluoride to 0.7 milligrams per liter, a little lower than the currently permitted 0.8 milligrams per liter.
It is consistent with the 2015 Public Health Service recommendation, which says that 0.7 milligrams per liter is ideal for community water systems that add fluoride to prevent tooth decay.
In addition, the rule would only apply to fluoride added by the manufacturer, not at the level allowed in bottles containing fluoride from spring water.
But some officials say the new proposed level is still too high and put consumers at risk for bone disease and neurological problems.
The FDA has proposed reducing the permitted level of fluoride in bottled water to 0.7 milligrams per liter, a little lower than the currently permitted 0.8 milligrams per liter (file image)
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that occurs in soils, rocks and water.
It is added to toothpastes, mouthwash and drinking water because studies have shown that water with optimal fluoride levels can reduce the prevalence of tooth decay.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, water fluoridation can reduce the amount of spoilage in children by up to 60 percent.
However, experts have discovered that fluoride in high concentrations can be dangerous.
This includes dental fluorosis, which is when faint white streaks appear on the teeth when younger children consume too much fluoride.
It can also cause skeletal fluorosis, a disease caused by too much fluoride in the bones.
As the bones harden and become less elastic, the risk of pain and fractures increases and may ultimately lead to loss of mobility.
Some health officials argue for even lower limits than those proposed by the FDA, and claim that dental problems are not their only concern.
A 2012 analysis led by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health looked at studies in which children were exposed to high levels of fluoride in water.
The researchers discovered that the children lost an average of seven IQ points during tests.
And a 2017 study from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, discovered that higher exposure to fluoride before birth led to lower scores on cognitive function tests.
"Given that fluoride can damage brain development, I would recommend keeping the maximum fluoride concentration in bottled water below 0.7 mg / L," Dr. said. Philippe Grandjean, an associate professor of environmental health at TH Chan School. CNN.
Christopher Neurath, research director of the American Environmental Health Studies Project, part of the Fluoride Action Network lawyer group, says he does not believe the new proposed limit is sufficient to protect children.
The FDA proposed a decision to reduce the permitted amount of added fluoride in bottled water to 0.7 mg / L is too little too late, "he wrote in a statement to DailyMail.com.
& # 39; We are most concerned about the rapidly emerging scientific evidence that prenatal and early fluoride exposure is neurotoxic and can cause decreased IQ.
The FDA action will do little to control current rates of fluorosis and will do little to reduce the risk of neurotoxicity in the fetus and young children. & # 39;
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