Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Fluorosis

 

Qus 1. Can fluoride from water be removed by boiling ?
Answer

No, fluoride cannot be removed by boiling. Boiling water for long time is also harmful as water will evaporate and get concentrated with fluoride and it should be avoided


Qus 2.

Can the water filters available in the market remove fluoride ?

Answer

Presently none of the water filters or water purifying systems except using Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology would remove fluoride.

RO-water purifying system is rather expensive and maintenance cost would add on to the cost. However, it is ideal for small industries or for community installations.


Qus 3. How to get safe water for cooking and drinking ?
Answer

The best method is to look for a source of water in the same locality where one lives, which has fluoride less than 1.0 mg/litre. It is not necessary that all sources of water in a locality will be contaminated with fluoride. Safe and unsafe sources of water are known to co-exist.

 

The maximum requirement of water for cooking and drinking purposes for an individual is approximately 10 litres / day. Safe water should be used judiciously for consumption only. Contaminated water can be used for other domestic purposes including bathing, washing and cleaning etc.


Qus 4. Is there no other way to get safe water. ?
Answer There is a filter now available which is known as Activated Alumina domestic defluoridation filter. The domestic filter is in use in nearly 10000 homes in certain endemic villages for Fluorosis in India. The filter is specially fabricated for the project areas where we are controlling Fluorosis village-wise. May be one day such filters may be available in the open market.

Qus 5. What are the food items / or other products which has high fluoride besides drinking water.
Answer We need to develop a food fluoride compilation for which agricultural crops district-wise or state-wise need to investigated for fluoride content. However, there is some information suggesting the food and other items that need to be avoided due to high fluoride content. It is listed in the previous page under the heading: "fluoride contaminated items to be avoided".

Qus 6. Fluoride is high in Tea and therefore one should not drink tea?
Answer Black tea (tea without milk) and Black lemon tea (lemon squeezed and added to tea) are not good for health

Qus 7. Tea is often stated as good for Health. Why?
Answer Tea has 2 aspects to be considered (1) Tea has a variety of antioxidants which are good for health (2) Tea has very high fluoride which is not good for health /injurious to health. Which aspect should be taken into consideration for practice. Though Tea has very high fluoride, its harmful effects can be eliminated by adding calcium rich milk. Milk tea is safe. It is equally important to know that addition of milk to tea does not destroy antioxidant properties of Tea. Therefore milk tea is the best which has high antioxidants and harmful effects of fluoride reduced by addition of milk.

Qus 8. White salt and Black rock salt (sandha namak ) are bad for health?
Answer Yes, white salt (sodium chloride [NaCl]) is the one used in routine cooking. Salt intake should be reduced by those who have High BP. The salt commericially available is iodized as Iodine is an essential micronutrient. Black rock salt (CaF2) has the highest concentration of Fluoride 157 ppm and should not be used at all as fluoride is injurious to health.

Qus 9. How do one get to know food which product is having black rock salt?
Answer The processed and packaged food items when sold, it would have a label. The label invariably specifies the ingredients added. In the list of ingredients if Black salt is specified, avoid buying such items. Example pickles, masala packs, namkins, beverage packs  etc. should be checked before buying.

Qus 10. What toothpaste should one buy?
Answer

All toothpastes marketed, whether labeled “Fluoridated” or not, contain fluoride. Fluoridated brands have more fluoride than the non-specified brands

 

Fluoridated brands, there is deliberate addition of Fluoride by the Manufacturers. It may range from 1000 – 4000 ppm. But what is inscribed on the carton is “Fluoride content in the pack at the time of manufacture is 1000 ppm”. This is not true; Fluoridated brands has more than 1000 ppm. Manufacturers are cutting and pasting the law under which toothpaste is manufactured. The 1000 ppm is the maximum raw material contaminant permitted by law.

 

Non-Fluoridated brands may also contain fluoride; fluoride arises as an impurity from the raw material used for manufacture. The fluoride arising as an impurity may be as high as 800 – 1000 ppm.

 

Caution:

 

Fluoridated brands should not be used as fluoride from the paste can enter into blood circulation, (though an adult does not eat toothpaste) through absorption by the blood vessels in the mouth within seconds. Fluoride is not good for teeth; it does more damage to teeth. Avoid buying fluoridated brands of paste.  

 

Among the Non-fluoridated brands the Ayurvedic Pastes are safer.

 

All pastes may have an inscription indicating “contains 1000 ppm of F¯ at the time of manufacture”. This may or may not be relevant to the exact amount of F¯ in the paste and particularly in a particular batch manufactured. Manufacturers are cutting and pasting the existing law under which toothpaste is manufactured.

 

The manufacturers are expected to test every brand and every batch before the product is put out to the market. They should inscribe the actual amount of F¯ present in the paste. It may be for example 135 ppm or 100 ppm or 250 ppm at the time of manufacture. They do not practice this approach. Had they adopted this approach, their product would find a better sale as the people of this country, young and old, require “fluoride free toothpaste” which the country does not produce for reasons best known to the Policy makers of this nation.


Qus 11. Television Advertisements show bacteria on the teeth surface in abundance and a particular brand of toothpaste or mouth rinse used, then they show no bacteria. What does this mean?
Answer Yes, bacteria breeds in the oral cavity and all over the teeth. It is important to rinse the mouth with water and clean the teeth after every meal so that bacteria does not bread. Fluoride paste and mouth rinses are popularized for destroying the bacteria. But using fluoride does more damage to health as it get into blood circulation in no time. Use of dental floss helps to remove food particles between teeth  reduces bacterial growth. Promote oral health and hygiene is the best way to avoid bacteria breading in the oral cavity.

Qus 12. Are soft drinks safe?
Answer

All soft drinks marketed should be avoided. Children should never be given soft drinks !!!.
The indigenously made soft drinks viz. Jal Jeera, Nimboos, etc, the label on the package / carton should be checked. May contain black rock salt (CaF2) with very high fluoride and therefore should not be consumed.


Qus 13 . Can one drink the fruit juices sold in cartons /bottles ?
Answer

Serving fruit juice during breakfast has become fashionable.

      • Fruit juice is also served as a substitute to “soft drinks”
      • Fruit juice can never remain in a carton/bottle on the shelf of super markets for a long time.
      • Fruit juice is either pasteurized or chemical preservatives are added from decomposing.
      • The color of the fruit juice will change through passage of time. But the buyer is not able to see the color as it is often packed in a Non-transparent carton.
      • The chemical(s) added as a preservative to destroy bacteria from growing, is seldom specified.
      • Fluoride is a Preservative as it destroys bacteria from growing but manufacturers do not specify the chemical preservative added.
      • Considering all facts, it is advisable to avoid readymade juices available in Supermarkets
      • The best approach is to have a glass of fruit juice freshly prepared and served immediately.
It may be from a single fruit / vegetable viz. Mosambi, Water Melon, Pineapple or Pomegranate or Tomato. It is also possible to mix fruits and make juice i.e. apple, celery, carrot mixed juice or orange, tomato, carrot mixed fruit juice can also be prepared. It is not necessary to add salt/sugar. Lemon may be squeezed.

Qus 14. A freshly made single fruit juice OR a mixed fruit juice, which is better?
Answer This depends upon an individual, who consumes the juice. When a mixed juice is consumed, if it does not suit an individual, there may be an uneasy feeling in the stomach, cramps or pain. Then that combination should be avoided by that individual. The stomach would convey a message, one has to be sensitive to such message(s).

Qus 15. When fruit juice is served during breakfast. Should it be consumed first or at the end of the breakfast.
Answer Preferably in the beginning, before consuming solid breakfast. The reason, in an empty stomach when juice is consumed, absorption of the essential and micro nutrients is faster.

Qus 16.

When freshly prepared salad with home-made salad dressing is served for lunch, when should one consume the salad?

In the beginning, OR along with the food OR at the end of the meal, before the sweet dish?

Answer

Preferably salad may be served and consumed first before serving the other Lunch items viz. Roti, Rice, Dhal, Vegetables etc.

This approach is preferred to fill the available space in the stomach with as much salad as possible so that oily rich, highly spiced and fried items are consumed less which is not good for health.

 

Eating more salad with home-made salad dressing with lime, olive oil, crushed garlic, pepper with sugar and salt is good for health and also helps in reducing weight and to lead a healthy life.

 

Salad prepared by mixing raw vegetables, fruits, steamed vegetables etc. is full of essential nutrients and Antioxidants and is good for health. Consuming salads is a very healthy habit. This habit need to be cultivated