Fire Jumper

Fire Jumper
Roger Wright

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Open Blog Night, Day, Whenever! -First Up, Tap Water!

I am developing an open forum. Ask me your hardest, most pressing questions and I will blog about it!

I was asked by a concerned Mom about fluoride in tap water. She has been giving her daughter, who is about 15 months old, bottled water only. She wanted to know what I thought about this topic. Below is my reply:

Hi "Mama C!" My biggest problem with what you are doing is the fact that all your water is coming from plastic bottles that are laced with BPA.
Plastic bottles have been shown to "leach" toxic chemicals into water, juice, or baby formula that is stored in them, particularly after long periods of time or at higher temperatures. Bottled water is not dated, so you do not know if the bottle you are buy has been sitting in that plastic bottle for a year, or a month, or a day. FDA has stated that bottled water has, "an infinite shelf life." In addition it is highly unregulated, so if there ever was a problem it could be hushed much easier than the DEP water could. Remember the rocket fuel discovery? The fact that it was DISCOVERED is scary, but assuring that our water supply is monitored every minute of every day. You do not need to buy bottled water for health reasons in New York City, since the water meets all federal and State health-based drinking water standards. Also, bottled water costs up to 1,000 times more per year than the City’s drinking water and you are adding tons of waste with each of those bottles!

In addition bottled water contains:

  • Antimony– Bottled water contains higher levels of antimony, a trace element with similar characteristics and toxicity to lead, the longer it is stored in plastic bottles. (1)
  • Bisphenol A (BPA)– Found in plastic bottles and metal can liners, where it can leach into foods and beverages, bisphenol A is supposedly safe but some say it mimics naturally occurring estrogen and animal studies indicate that BPA may cause infertility, cancers, and hyperactivity. (2)
  • Other Endocrine Disruptors– Chemicals that mimic estrogen and other hormones, altering the body's hormone signals, metabolism, and reproductive health.

More recently, it was found that some companies' bottled water isn't "spring" water at all, but tap water that has been sterilized again with chlorine and more, then purified for taste. Despite clever marketing, this is little better than glorified tap water.

Healthy Water Sources

The water resource situation is hardly an easy one to resolve, but there are a few sources of water that may be better than others:

  • Filtered water– Charcoal or reverse osmosis filters provide readily available, reliable sources of clean water. Check to ensure that your filter actually removes what you want it to: many of the most popular brand-name filters take out only the most pungent chemicals, leaving the rest of the harmful (but tasteless) tap water additives in your drinking water. It's worth investing in a whole-house filter or, at the least, a kitchen filter for drinking water and a shower filter for the water you bathe in.
  • Well water– One of the safest and purest sources of clean water, as long as the well is checked regularly for contaminants like bacteria, metals, and pesticides. Unfortunately not available in most cities.
  • Distilled water– Distilled water is evaporated and then condensed, leaving nothing there except pure water. There is some concern about the way distilled water interacts energetically with the body. It also, unfortunately, carries absolutely no minerals.
  • Bottled Water in Glass– One of the safer options is spring water that has been bottled in glass. But glass bottles are expensive and difficult to find – especially in large quantities.
You can also do the following to remove chlorine in a very easy manner:

• Fill a pitcher and let it stand in the refrigerator overnight. (This is the best way.)

• Fill a glass or jar with water and let it stand in sunlight for 30 minutes.

• Pour water from one container to another about 10 times.

• Heat the water to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Once you remove the chlorine, be sure to refrigerate the water to limit bacterial regrowth.

Despite the importance of a clean water source, a large-scale solution to the water dilemma isn't yet available that combines mass availability, cost effectiveness, and practicality. So, I know your original question was about fluoride, to address that directly, my recommendation is this: limit fluoride in all other sources and do not worry about the drinking water. Use Tom's children's toothpaste, fluorine free. In addition, it is in limited amounts in the water, In accordance with Article 141.08 of the New York City Health Code, DEP's water has a KNOWN concentration of approximately 1.0 part per million (ppm) fluoride. Not as much as you might have thought.

If you are still unhappy, see:


  1. this was helpful. I am now guzzling tap water

  2. Awesome. Next, grab your closest Sigg bottle, fill'er up and take your water to GO!

  3. C.A Here,

    C.A here,

    Thanks to you I totally switched to tap water for all my babies bottles! However, I'm still not sure where I stand on the whole flouride issue. My Doc says I should be using toothpaste with flouride when I brush my daughter's teeth, but books I've read and a documentary that I recently watched claim that flouride is poison which was only legalised so that they could use it to make neuclear weapons.

  4. I hear your concerns about fluoride, sometimes the best you can do is chose the lesser of two evils. At your daughters age I would think that the fluoride in water is enough to keep her teeth safe without adding it in her toothpaste that she would be likely to ingest anyway. When she is older and knows how to spit the toothpaste out, I would consider switching at that point.