JUL 11, 2016 12:55 PM PDT

Does Fluoride Cause Cancer?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Adding fluoride to public water supplies has been standardized in the United States since the 1940s. But decades after water fluoridation has become standard, there is still controversy surrounding the safety of this treatment. What are the risks of drinking fluoride?

Fluoride is a compound made from fluorine, a very reactive element. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 95 of fluoride added to public water comes from the phosphorite rock. The mineral compound is added at a concentration of about 1 part per million (1 ppm) or 1 milligram per liter - a very small amount that's only slightly higher than the naturally occurring fluoride concentrations of 0.3 ppm.

The intent of exposing people to fluoride-treated water is to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride binds to the tooth enamel, making the tooth more resistant to acid attack from bacteria. But could cancer be too steep of a price to pay for healthy teeth? Some people still have this fear.

Fortunately, the link between fluoride and cancer is still unproven. Research into this matter have found no conclusive evidence that fluoride increases the risks for cancer, kidney disease, or other conditions. The same cannot statement cannot be made about non-fluoride treated water.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 08, 2020
Neuroscience
Maternal Instinct Overrides Brain's Decision Making
JUL 08, 2020
Maternal Instinct Overrides Brain's Decision Making
Researchers have found that the maternal instinct can override the brain's decision-making regions to prioritize car ...
JUL 10, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Spot 4 Mysterious Circular Objects in Space
JUL 10, 2020
Astronomers Spot 4 Mysterious Circular Objects in Space
Scientists have spotted a new kind of signal in space- four strange, circular objects. Three are particularly bright aro ...
AUG 10, 2020
Cannabis Sciences
Researchers Debunk Cannabis Growing Myths
AUG 10, 2020
Researchers Debunk Cannabis Growing Myths
Researchers at Utah State University grew cannabis to study until the Controlled Substances Act came into force in 1970. ...
SEP 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Reusable Chinese Space Craft Lands Returns Earth
SEP 08, 2020
Reusable Chinese Space Craft Lands Returns Earth
The Chinese government has announced the safe return of a reusable spacecraft, called Chongfu Shiyong Shiyan Hangtian Qi ...
OCT 15, 2020
Health & Medicine
An Estimated 38 Million People were Exposed to Polluted Wildfire Smoke
OCT 15, 2020
An Estimated 38 Million People were Exposed to Polluted Wildfire Smoke
As wildfires continue to burn record-breaking acreages along the west coast of the United States and inland regions, hos ...
OCT 29, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
OCT 29, 2020
Water Found on Moon Enough to Sustain a Lunar Base
For the first time, scientists have found water on the moon's sunlit surface. Coupled with other evidence of water i ...
Loading Comments...