Starland County has alerted residents that elevated fluoride levels were found in the Hamlet of Rumsey’s water on Tues. Jan. 7.
In accordance with Health Canada, fluoride levels exceeding 1.5 mg/L may cause dental fluorosis.
Children under the age of eight years should be cautioned on the intake as those under this age limit are at a higher risk of developing this.
Fluoride occurs naturally in the earth’s surface so all well water, groundwater and lakes have some level of fluoride.
Small amounts, up to 0.7 mg/l, are added to some community water supplies that already contain low levels of naturally occurring fluoride to help prevent tooth decay and maintain good dental health.
Mild fluorosis looks like white flecks on the teeth that may be difficult to notice.
However, teeth with moderate to severe fluorosis have large white patches and may have rough enamel or stains.
These changes only happen while the teeth are developing under the gum which means you will not see the problem until adult teeth erupt into the mouth which could be five to six years after consuming the water.
Once teeth have finished forming and have fully developed, there is no more risk of this so older children and adults should not be concerned.
As for other forms of contact, no evidence that fluoride is absorbed through the skin means handwashing, dishwashing and bathing are not concerns.
If a resident wishes to reduce the fluoride level in their water, reverse osmosis, distillation or activated alumina are methods of home treatment.
Everyone is encouraged to find more information by contacting Alberta Health Services or the Starland County Office.