Honestly, it’s not to hard to see why someone would be paranoid these days about what’s in the water. For instance, the Dakota Access Pipeline threatens clean water in the Missouri River and its tributaries. Residents in Flint, Michigan have already suffered from excessive lead exposure, and litigation against those responsible is still going on.
And because of improper irrigation methods, fertilizers and pesticides can end up in the water–in fact, medicinenet.com says that agriculture is the top source of pollution for lots of countries! Additionally, a recent article that was presented at Medline Plus showed that these farming chemicals affected the oral cavity:
Pesticide exposure may change the makeup of bacteria in the mouths of farm workers, a new study finds.
Researchers at the University of Washington analyzed swabs taken from the mouths of 65 adult farm workers and 52 adults who didn’t work on farms. All lived in Washington’s Yakima Valley.
The farm workers had higher blood levels of pesticides, and greater changes in their mouth bacteria than non-farm workers, the study found.
The most significant finding was in farm workers who had the organophosphate pesticide Azinphos-methyl in their blood.
In this group, researchers found significantly reduced quantities of seven common groups of oral bacteria. Among those was Streptococcus, which first author Ian Stanaway called “one of the most common normal microbiota in the mouth.” He’s a doctoral candidate in environmental toxicology.
Stanaway noted that previous studies have found that “changes in species and strains of Streptococcus have been associated with changes in oral health.”
The changes noted in this new study persisted into the winter, long after the growing season when pesticide use is highest, the researchers said.
The study doesn’t establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship, however.
The results were published recently in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
With this discovery, “the challenge becomes, what does this mean? We don’t know,” principal investigator Elaine Faustman said in a journal news release. Faustman is a professor in the university’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences.
“We depend on the microbiome for many metabolic processes,” she said . . .
With all these different chemicals possibly floating in the water, many people’s concerns have also turned to fluoridation.
Many communities are voting against it now because they believe that it is dangerous. However, fluoridated water has been used in the U.S. for more than seven decades. The surgeon general even released a report recently, confirming his recommendation of this practice. There are many studies that show that it can lower the cost of dental care as well as reduce cavities.
But because people are so concerned with fluoridated water now, a society has actually been established to educate people and help them understand that this practice is much different than pesticides, lead, and other contaminants:
Johnny Johnson Jr., DMD, president of the newly formed American Fluoridation Society (AFS) got into the fluoridation fight when local officials in his community of Pinellas County, FL, voted in 2011 to discontinue water fluoridation, citing concern that residents might be ingesting too much fluoride . . .
“I thought she was kidding, but she was serious,” he recounted. “I explained there’s been no literature that found any connection whatsoever between water fluoridation and cancer, and I sent her information. She was blown away by the research and said she had definitely been misled.”
In another incident, a public health student told him there was “lots of debate about toxins and arsenic in fluoride.” Dr. Johnson replied: “There’s no debate; the science is crystal clear.”
. . . The main thing that healthcare professionals can do is be aware of what’s going on in their communities regarding water fluoridation, Dr. Johnson advised. Letters to newspapers and noticing what people are saying about the issue are tip-off’s about efforts against community water fluoridation.
As Dr. Johnson says in this article, dentists need to reach out and consult their patients before taking any action.
If you are still paranoid and want the best of both worlds, you could opt for topical fluoride treatments at your local office (these are great since you don’t ingest them) and then drink water that isn’t fluoridated.
But again, your dentist can enlighten you on the correct dosage of fluoride. Even if you get too much, the only downside that’s been established is fluorosis, which is a discoloration of the enamel.