Health concerns about what we ingest are not just limited to food. Over the past few years, there has been some back and forth about water quality and the impact of drinking bottled water.
Part of the preference for bottled water drinkers has to do with what’s in the water. In the midst of figuring out the differences between purified, spring, distilled, alkaline, and everything else, there have been questions about fluoride content.
Though it’s been touted for its effectiveness at improving dental health, too much fluoride can also cause fluorosis. Fluorosis is a condition that can cause brown discoloration, pits in the teeth, or deformed tooth enamel in children. Skeletal fluorosis can cause pain, stiffness, or weakness in bones, mostly in adults.
Several years ago, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued recommendations to lower the amounts of fluoride in the public drinking water. While the EPA regulates the amount of fluoride in tap water, the CDC notes that the FDA limits the amount of fluoride that is allowed in bottled water products. But the tricky part is that manufacturers don’t include it on the label unless they’ve added it to the water.
If you’re one of those people who are worried about how much fluoride you’re taking in, then you’ll probably be interested in this list. Below are bottled brands that contain high amounts of fluoride – some have it added in, some do not, but it’s still in their water.
This list from the International Bottled Water Association is not exhaustive and if you have questions about fluoride content in a particular brand, contact the manufacturer.
- Crystal Springs
- Belmont Springs
- Nursery Water
- Puritan Springs
- Deer Park
- Poland Spring
- Zephyr Hills
- Diamond Springs
- Mount Olympus
- Hinkley Springs
- Pure Flo
Some water brands that do not contain high levels of fluoride or are fluoride-free:
- Artesian Wells
- Callaway Blue
- Aqua Pure
- Deja Blue
- Whole Foods 365
- Mountain Valley Spring
- San Pellegrino
- Summit Spring Water
- Santee Springs
- Nantze Springs
When the new DHHS recommendation was published in the U.S. in 2015, it was made to be .7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of drinking water. Two-thirds of the U.S.’s public drinking supply adds fluoride to the water. Because fluoride can accumulate in the body, avoiding the old standard of .7 – 1.2 ppm is advisable to limit health effects. In Europe, over 90% of countries do not fluoridate their public water supplies.
To avoid fluorosis, the CDC recommends that children find an alternative drinking water source if the drinking water contains more than 2 mg per liter of fluoride. Bottled water brands with naturally occurring low levels of fluoride or those that have been filtered out are considered acceptable alternatives.
To protect children’s dental health, organizations like the American Dental Association and Environmental Working Group suggest that children 2 and under avoid toothpaste with fluoride, and that infant formula not be mixed with fluoridated water. Distilled water is an option.
What’s your position on bottled water? Which bottled brand do you prefer? Do you have concerns about fluoride consumption or fluorosis?