Fluoride, in many parts of the world is taken regularly with drinking water. Because of this, many theories have arisen that show some harmful impacts of the use of it on human health. According to some theories, this substance may be the root cause of many chronic diseases.
Some of them include tumours, cardiovascular disorders, abnormal birth, and even anaemia. Other theories propose that it has adverse effects on biology, and can cause genetic abnormalities.
Fluorine is the 13th most abundant element on the earth. Fluoride is the anion of the fluorine. It is present in the calcified tissues like bone and teeth. Fluoridated water has been admitted to reducing the risks of tooth decay in children.
In Australia, fluoridated water is available to the majority of the population. About 93% of people in South Wales, 92% in W.A, and 76% in Queensland have access to it. It is a component of water in many areas whereas in others fluoride is added to water. The Fluoridation of Public Water Supplies Act 1966 controls and manages the amount of fluoride in water in Western Australia.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) issued the “Australian Drinking Water Guidelines” to assure the safety of the drinking water. These Guidelines were updated in October 2017. According to these Guidelines, fluoride concentration in water should be 0.7 to 1.0mg/L. In hot climatic regions, the concentration should be much lower as more water is consumed in these regions. It is also suggested that the concentration of fluorides must be kept below 1.5mg/L in drinking water.
Many agencies and cancer councils have reviewed the link between types of cancer and fluoridated water, during the previous 3 decades. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the US Public Health Service, the Medical Research Council, the European Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), California’s Identification Committee (CIC), and the Royal Society of New Zealand have conducted researches on the use of fluoridated water and it impacts. The results of the studies by these agencies have shown that no evidence shows a correlation between fluoridated water and cancer.
In July 2017, NHMRC has published an information paper in Australia. According to it, there is much evidence that indicates that water fluoridation can reduce tooth decay in children as well as in adults.
Also, there is no reliable evidence that it has caused any health problems to anyone in Australia.
In Australia, there are some cases where it has caused dental fluorosis. But in these cases, fluorosis is very mild and doesn’t cause any aesthetic concern to the patient.
Evidence has also indicated that there is no link between water fluoridation and cancer, Down syndrome, hip fracture, cognitive dysfunction, or lowered intelligence.
The NHMRC also found that there is no reliable evidence that shows a correlation between fluoridated water and chronic diseases like high blood pressure, kidney diseases, abnormal weight during birth, musculoskeletal pain, osteoporosis, and skeletal fluorosis.
There are some more research on the correlation between water fluoridation and osteosarcoma (bone cancer). A US-controlled study in 2016, found a correlation between both. According to this study, exposure to fluoridated water in childhood has caused osteosarcoma among boys, but not in girls.
A lot of doubts were cast on this issue as no earlier research has shown such a link. In 2016, a study in Texas indicated no relationship between the level of water fluoridation and osteosarcoma among children or adults.
Fluoridation is acknowledged as a health achievement as it can reduce the risks of dental caries and even improve your oral health. Also, there is no reliable evidence that has shown that it could be the cause of chronic disorders. Recent research have verified that there is no correlation between both.