Concerns About Fluoride In Drinking Water
What has been said supporting the addition of Fluoride to drinking water
Sodium Fluoride – For Poison Concerns see Medical Safety Data sheet Sodium Fluoride
Water fluoridation operates by creating low levels (about 0.04 mg/L) of fluoride in saliva and plaque fluid. This in turn reduces the rate of tooth enamel demineralization, and increases the rate of remineralization of the early stages of cavities. Demineralization and remineralization is how fluoride exerts its major effect.
Fluoride also affects the physiology of dental bacteria, although its effect on bacterial growth does not seem to be relevant to cavity prevention. Technically, fluoride does not prevent cavities but rather controls the rate at which they develop although it is the only well-documented agent with this property, it has been suggested that also adding some calcium to the water would reduce cavities further. Water fluoridation does not affect the appearance, taste, or smell of water
In Australia the recommended drinking water Fluoride level range is from 0.6 to 1.1 mg/L
(milligrams per liter, equivalent to parts per million), depending on the average maximum daily air temperature; the optimal level is lower in warmer climates, where people drink more water, and is higher in cooler climates.
What is Fluoride
Fluoridation is normally accomplished by adding one of three compounds to drinking water: sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid, or sodium fluorosilicate.
• Sodium fluoride (NaF) was the first compound used and is the reference standard. It is a white odorless powder or crystal; the crystalline form is preferred if manual handling is used, as it minimizes dust. It is more expensive, but is easily handled and is usually used by smaller utility companies.
• Fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) is a cheap liquid byproduct of phosphate fertilizer manufacture. It comes in varying strengths, typically 23–25%; because it contains so much water, shipping can be expensive. It is also known as hexafluorosilicic, hexafluosilicic, hydrofluosilicic, and silicofluoric acid.
• Sodium fluorosilicate (Na2SiF6) is a powder or very fine crystal that is easier to ship than fluorosilicic acid. It is also known as sodium silicofluoride.
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