By: Tyler Kula, Sarnia Observer, Sarnia, Ontario 20-May-2013 – If regulated properly, fluoridated water is safe, says Lambton County’s medical officer of health.
“The caution is it should be properly regulated,” said Dr. Sudit Ranade.
Fluoride in water has been used since the mid-20th century to strengthen teeth, although questions have been raised about whether it does any good — and whether it may actually cause harm.
Consuming excess amounts has been linked to low IQ and other health concerns, but the amount in tap water, which should be regulated to between 0.5 and 0.7 parts per million, doesn’t cause adverse affects, Ranade said.
“There isn’t a lot of evidence that fluoride is damaging to people in the quantities that it’s added to the water supply, or even when you add in the other kinds of treatment, like fluoride treatments and fluoridated toothpaste,” he said.
The cost of adding $1 of the controversial chemical to water can save up to $38 in dental treatment and oral health care costs — a relatively cheap preventative measure against tooth decay for people who can’t afford dental care, Ranade said.
“If we take it out, we’re disadvantaging all of the people who would like to have fluoride in their water,” he said, noting more than 90 professional health organizations, including Health Canada, support current fluoride levels in water.
Ranade recently recommended the Lambton Area Water Supply System (LAWSS) continue water fluoridation.
It’s six member municipalities in Sarnia-Lambton are in the midst of voting on whether to replace LAWSS’ $300,000 fluoridation system.