Excessive Levels of Fluoride Found in Edson, Alberta Public Water

The water supply for the town of Edson, Alberta has been found to contain levels of fluoride that exceed the level deemed appropriate by the Health Canada Guidelines, according to the Edson Leader.

Fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral found in a variety of foods and water, can be beneficial for a population’s dental health if kept at the Health Canada Guidelines’ recommended level of 0.7 to 1.5 milligrams per liter. However, Edson’s current levels are between 0.11 to 2.21 milligrams per liter.

According to the Health Canada Guidelines website, drinking water containing fluoride can help strengthen tooth enamel, the body’s hardest substance, and prevent tooth decay.

However, excessive fluoride levels in a town’s public water supply can be hazardous for children younger than 8, because their teeth aren’t fully formed, according to Dr. Kathryn Koliaska, medical offer of health in Alberta Health Services north zone. Prolonged exposure to high fluoride levels can result in fluorosis, a condition that causes tooth discoloration and roughened tooth enamel, she told the Edson Leader.

Water fluoridation poses no health risk to adults, Dr. Koliaska said, and there are currently no definitive scientific studies proving that fluoride has a negative impact on one’s health.

If parents are concerned about the fluoride levels in Edson’s water, Dr. Koliaska suggested they drink a 50-50 mixture of Edson water and bottled spring water.

Edson is not currently under a drinking water advisory, according to the Edson Leader.

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