Monday, June 30, 2008

One good reason to keep your bottled water

Today's Seattle Times describes bottled water and mentions that many of the the nation's mayors are suggesting we use tap water instead.

But missing from the discussion is the one difference between bottled and tap water that might matter: tap water contains fluoride (at least here in Seattle and Mercer Island).  Adults with healthy teeth don't need fluoride, and young kids can get it plenty of other ways.  Scientific American and others point out that many of us get too much, mostly thanks to tap water.

I just checked with Aquafina (and I'm sure the other mainstream waters are similar): they don't contain fluoride.

So my advice to anyone in government who wants to force us to give up bottled water:  turn off the fluoride in the tap water first.


Anonymous said...

Oh geez...have you been to countries with no flouride in the water? Have you seen the teeth? My oh my, I would think a single visit to such a country would yield quite a different reaction than "turn off the fluoride".

Think about the US in past generations many cavities did your grandparents or even parents have at each checkup!

Drink all the bottled water you want...but please OH PLEASE...don't go backward on our future by removing flouride.

Richard Sprague said...

Matter of fact, I have been to countries with unfluoridated water: in Japan and virtually all of Europe it's illegal to put the stuff in the water!
And I've been to places with too much fluoride. Ever seen those funny spots on teeth? That's fluoride overdose. I won't even go into the possibility that fluoride causes cancer and worse--who knows if it does or not, but why do we want to be one of the few cities on earth that risks it?

There's a much better way to prevent cavities: brush daily with a fluoride toothpaste. If you depend solely on drinking water for cavity protection, I don't want to see your teeth.

But don't take my word for it. Read the Scientific American article.

Anonymous said...


You should read the fine print on the labels of the bottled water you buy. A lot of them will say that it is "municipal water". Yep, just good ol' city water, with flouride, chlorine, and all the other nice little "additives" that you get in Seattle or anywhere else.

Also, you should know that the City of Mercer Island gets it's water from the City of Seattle.

When I buy bottled water, I always look to make sure it is labeled "spring water". I don't know for sure how much better it is, but at least I can't taste the chlorine in it, so I presume it isn't just bottled city water.

Dave H.