Fluoride Action Network | August 2012 | By Michael Connett
As with other fresh water supplies (e.g., spring water, lake water, river water), bottled waters have low levels of fluoride. Fresh surface water contains an average of just 0.05 ppm. To put this in perspective, artificially fluoridated water (using industrial-grade fluoride chemicals) contains 0.7 to 1.2 ppm fluoride, which is 14 to 24 times more than the average natural level.
Since most bottled water is derived from fresh surface water sources, it is not surprising to find that the levels in bottled water are generally very low. According to the USDA, the average level of fluoride in bottled water is 0.11 ppm. (USDA 2005). Less than 10% of bottled waters contain more than 0.3 ppm.
Although some fluoride proponents claim that the increased use of bottled water could be an explanation for the increase in tooth decay being seen in young children today. This, however, is a dubious claim. As an American Dental Association spokesman, Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, conceded in August 2012, “there has been no research to show using bottled water causes tooth decay.” In fact, the limited research that has been conducted has found no relationship between bottled water consumption and tooth decay — a finding consistent with other recent evidence on the ineffectiveness of fluoridated drinking water.
Fluoride Levels in Bottled Water
The following are the recorded fluoride levels in several popular bottled water brands sold in the United States. If the bottled water brand that you purchase is not included on this list, you can find out the fluoride level by calling the company, as this is information they should have readily available.
Data from: USDA (2005)
|Crystal Geyser||0.24 ppm|
|Poland Springs||0.10 ppm|
|Propel Fitness Water||0.02 ppm|
|Very Fine Fruit20||0.06 ppm|
|SOURCE: USDA (2005). National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods, Release 2.|
“[R]ecent analyses of bottled water samples [unpublished Iowa Fluoride Study (IFS) data from 2000 to 2004] show that 91 percent of the 103 samples assayed had fluoride levels under 0.3ppm, 3 percent with 0.3 to 0.7ppm, 5 percent at optimal fluoridation levels (0.7 to 1.2ppm), and 1 percent beyond optimal (1.33ppm).”
SOURCE: Broffitt B, et al. (2007). An investigation of bottled water use and caries in the mixed dentition. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 67(3):151-8.