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When most people hear the word fluoride, they generally think of their teeth and their dentist. Fluoride, after all, is added to some public water systems and many dental products for the purpose of preventing cavities. Less well known is that fluoride is a highly toxic compound, a major industrial air pollutant, a key ingredient in some pesticides and fumigants, the cause of a tooth defect that currently impacts over 40% of American teenagers, and the cause of a devastating bone disease that impacts millions of people throughout the world. For too long, the toxicity of fluoride compounds has been overlooked by the public health and environmental communities. The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) was founded in 2000 to remedy this imbalance. (Source: FAN)
The following video produced by FAN outlines 10 important facts about fluoride:
The 10 facts are:
- Most developed countries do not fluoridate their water
- Fluoridated countries do not have less tooth decay than non-fluoridated countries
- Fluoride affects many tissues in the body besides the teeth
- Fluoridation is not a “natural” process
- 40% of American teenagers show visible signs of fluoride over-exposure
- For infants, fluoridated water provides no benefits, only risks
- Fluoride supplements have never been approved by the FDA
- Fluoride is the only medicine added to public water
- Swallowing fluoride provides little benefit to teeth
- Disadvantaged communities are the most disadvantaged by fluoride
To read more about these 10 facts, click here.
Singapore’s Drinking Water
In Singapore, the quality of our drinking water is regulated by the Environmental Public Health (EPH) (Quality of Piped Drinking Water) Regulations 2008. The drinking water standards set out under the EPH Regulations were based on the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. PUB will make continuous effort to maintain drinking water quality at the highest possible level. (Source: PUB website)
This means just like in most of the USA, our drinking water is also fluoridated.
The PUB website also tells us exactly how much fluoride is being added to our drinking water:
From the above table, we see that the amount of fluoride in our drinking water averages 0.47 mg per litre of water. This is on the lower end of the WHO recommendation of between 0.4 to 0.7 mg per litre.
The primary reason for water fluoridation in Singapore is for dental health.
“Dental care begins with preventive dentistry promoted through the Health Promotion Board. The Board targets students through a network of 200 static clinics located in the schools as well as 30 mobile dental clinics. This plus fluoridation of potable water and availability of fluoridated toothpaste has greatly diminished dental decay and tooth loss. Public dental services are available in some polyclinics and hospitals, and the National Dental Centre.
If you are of the view that that you should remove fluoride from your drinking water, Berkey Water Filters, with its optional PF-2 fluoride reduction elements added, is the ideal solution.
Good health begins with clean water. Berkey water filters have a longstanding reputation for quality and service. It is the only water filter system trusted around the world by numerous international relief organisations to provide clean drinking water during times of crisis or natural disaster.
The Berkey water filter system is so powerful that it is classified as a purifier. This is because it far exceeds the abilities of a standard water filter.
All water filter makers will make claims regarding how good their systems are. However, only the Berkey has been tested and ranked as the best gravity filter system by an independent laboratory. In October this year, Mike Adams of Natural News, the world’s largest independent natural health website with more than 7 million unique readers, published his report which tested more than 10 popular water filters available in USA. The test report is available at www.WaterFilterLabs.com.
The Berkey system will remove all bacteria, fungi, viruses and toxic heavy metals from your drinking water. It also removes chlorine and other volatile organic compounds.
Water for Life Pte Ltd is the local authorized distributor for Berkey water systems. We carry the full range of Berkey water filter systems and accessories. All water filters sold by us come with the same warranties offered by the parent USA company.
With the Big Berkey, pure, clean water is now available … everyday!
I know this is a topic that is not directly related to water, but today I came across a very well written article on the above topic. Since
most all of us use cell phones, and those of us who care enough about the quality of our drinking water are almost certainly also very conscious of our health and general well-being, I thought I would reproduce part of that article below:
FACT: Cell phones emit microwave radio-frequency radiation.
FACT: This radiation has the ability to penetrate our bodies.
FACT: Our governments do virtually nothing to protect us from these dangers.
And yet there is strong evidence, multiple peer reviewed studies, to indicate that cell phones cause cancer and other diseases.
First let’s just consider what cancer is.
Cancer And DNA
The National Cancer Institute says, “Cancer is a term used for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues…..all cancers begin in cells……cells grow and divide in a controlled way to produce more cells as they are needed to keep the body healthy. When cells become old or damaged, they die and are replaced with new cells. However, sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. The genetic material (DNA) of a cell can become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. When this happens, cells do not die when they should and new cells form when the body does not need them.”
So cancer typically involves abnormal cell division and DNA damage and in some cases cells may form a mass of tissue called a tumor.
Types Of Brain Tumor
Gliomas, a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spine are typically malignant. Gliomas are particularly deadly. Most people survive only 1 to 3 years after diagnosis.
The 44 Reasons
1. Cellular Damage: Telecoms giant T-Mobile in Germany commissioned an independent study to review all relevant research on the health risks from wireless telecommunications. It was concluded that,
“On the cellular level, a multitude of studies found the type of damage from high frequency electromagnetic fields which is important for cancer initiation and cancer promotion.
2. Significantly Increased Risk of Glioma: Gliomas are becoming increasingly common. The $25 million Interphone Study found that: “regular use of a cell phone by adults can significantly increase the risk of gliomas by 40% with 1640 hours or more of use (this is about one half hour per day over ten years).”
3. Tumor Risk on Cell Phone Side of Head: Again from the Interphone Study – currently the big daddy of cell phone radiation studies it being the largest and longest study on the link between cell phones and brain tumors – it also found, “tumors were more likely to occur on the side of the head most used for calling”.
4. Harmful Association Between Cell Phone Radiation and Tumors: A review of 23 epidemiological studies by 7 scientists on the link between cell phones and cancer concluded, “harmful association“. One of the reports authors commenting the study results said, “although as a whole the data varied, among the 10 higher quality studies, we found a harmful association between phone use and tumor risk. The lower quality studies, which failed to meet scientific best practices, were primarily industry funded.”
To read more regarding the other 40 reasons, please go to ElectricSense.com.
Those of us living in Singapore are fortunate in that the PUB sets a very high standard for the quality of water that comes out from our taps. Whether or not one agrees with the taste of the water, most Singaporeans are comfortable with the fact that they can drink the water straight from the tap without fear of catching some waterborne disease. Even when they may not drink the water straight from the tap when they are at home, they will invariably drink it when they are eating out – as most restaurants and eating places will usually serve water straight from the tap!
However in spite of such high hygiene standards, I find it surprising that in the majority of homes, at least those that do not filter their tap water (and even some that do) they will boil the tap water before using it for drinking and cooking purposes. When asked why do they do this, the answers vary from
- I guess it’s a habit I inherited from my parents,
- I feel safer drinking boiled water as boiling will kill all the germs,
- I don’t like the taste of the chlorine and boiling removes it.
I am sure there are other reasons not listed here.
The other thing that I find surprising is that many households also “invest” in expensive water purification / treatment equipment. Most of us I am sure have heard about Diamond water or Kangen water or MRET water. Those that use such devices invariably claim that drinking the water produced by them has improved their health, or the health of their loved ones. Of course there are also some people who think that all this is just a plain waste of money. I am not here to criticise people who have invested in such expensive equipment. There is enough empirical evidence to show that in many cases, those who were consuming water from such devices have witnessed dramatic improvements in their health, or the health of their loved ones.
Coming back to our main question, why should we filter our tap water? I can suggest the following reasons:
Even though the water produced by the PUB is clean and safe for drinking directly, it may become contaminated because of the delivery system. The entire system of pipes and intermediate storage tanks that convey the water to our tap is a primary source of contamination. Old corroded metal pipes may leech toxic heavy metals into the water. Plastic pipes are no better. Ever heard of BPAs? These are additives added to the plastic and they are endocrine disrupters. In layman terms, they are bad for our long-term health.
Those of us that live in HDB flats and even some private condos are well aware of the contamination problems associated with the rooftop water tanks. Due to breaches in security, maintenance workers have been known to use these tanks as their private swimming pools and also in an extreme case, to dispose of their paramours. Yuks!
One of the PUB’s main concerns after the water leaves their plant is the possibility of bacterial contamination. To combat this, they add extra chlorine to the system, especially when the water is stored in the rooftop tanks. This is one of the main reasons why our tap water often has a strong chlorine smell. It is really the lesser of 2 evils. Without the additional chlorine, the risk of a catching a water borne disease from bacterial contamination cannot be ruled out. The added chlorine is extremely effective in killing off such bacteria. Unfortunately, the chlorine imparts a nasty odour to the water.
This is probably the main reason why most families boil their water, as boiling effectively removes this chlorine odour. (Hint: If chlorine odour is a problem, and you want to save money by avoiding the need to boil the water, just let the water stand in a cover container for 24 hours before drinking it. Most of the dissolved chlorine would have evaporated by then!) But boiling does not remove the other possible sources of contamination post water-treatment. For example, it will not remove rust, heavy metals and other toxins.
Then we come to the issue of fluoride. Most people have been told, and they strongly believe fluoride is essential for healthy teeth, hence fluoride in the drinking water is a good thing. Besides, most of the oral hygiene products sold in Singapore are fortified with fluoride. Have you tried to get fluoride free toothpaste? Not only are they hard to find, when you do find them, they cost a lot more than normal toothpaste!
Did you know the Singapore is only one of 9 countries in the world that still fluoridate their tap water? (Source.) Fluoridation of tap water is no longer practiced, in fact, it is banned in most of Europe, and also in Japan, China, Russia. Just a few months ago, Israel also stopped fluoridating their drinking water. Do all these countries know something that we don’t? I know this can be a rather controversial subject, so I will not want to dwell on it too long. Those that want to know more can easier do their own research on the Internet. A good place to start may be Dr Mercola’s website.
[Latest newsflash – 20 Dec 14: The City of Prince George in British Columbia, Canada, has just voted to stop fluoridation of its municipal water! Read more…]
Suppose you want to remove fluoride from your drinking water: Did you know that fluoride is one of the hardest substances to remove? Very few water filters have the capacity to remove fluoride. As far as I know, only the Berkey filter can remove it without any energy input, and at a reasonable cost. The other methods to remove fluoride would involve either distillation or the use of a reverse osmosis system. These methods will remove all the fluoride, but their running costs are quite high.
Many water filter companies make bold claims for their products. However, very few of them can back up their claims with test reports done by independent laboratories. The company that makes the Berkey filters is one of the few that has done so. Test reports from independent laboratories are available.
The Berkey system had a real boost recently when Mike Adams from Natural News did an independent laboratory test (at his own cost) on a whole range of counter-top and pitcher water filter systems. In the counter-top category, the Berkey came out tops in their testing.
So, why should we filter our tap water before drinking it?
The primary reason why a person or family should filter their tap water before drinking should be the primary reason – which is to remove all possible contaminants – whether organic or inorganic. I.e. remove all bacteria, fungi, viruses, and also heavy metals (which are toxic to us), and other toxic substances. The Berkey is the system that does this very well, and at a very competitive price.
To those people who swear by their alkaline water or energy water, or water with smaller molecular cluster size, I say, more power to you!
However, I would strongly recommend that before you put your tap water into those devices that will treat and enhance the water, ask yourself this question, “How good are the pre-filters in your system?” Most of these systems use only a simple carbon filter to remove odours and other impurities. I would suggest that if you really care for the quality of your drinking water, you should use a Berkey filter to purify the water before enhancing it further with your expensive water treatment system. You have already invested so much into buying these systems, why don’t you take your system further by feeding it really clean water for it to “enhance”?
The Berkey system only costs a fraction of these “high tech” systems, but what it does, it does really well. It will clean the water of all toxins and other impurities. I daresay the Berkey is the best compliment to your high-tech water treatment system.
And it also has a very low running cost. For example, for a family of 4, you will probably only need to change your black filters every 5 years or so, at a cost of $180 a pair. That’s less than $40 a year!