The health benefits and risks of fluoride have been heavily debated in recent decades, especially fluoridated bottled water. Bottled water comes from different sources, including natural springs and everyday tap water, both of which contain some amount of fluoride. There is no definite amount of fluoride that we should or should not consume, so whether or not you want to drink fluorinated bottled water is a matter of opinion.
Fluoride is a naturally-occurring chemical compound that is praised by dentists for its role in preventing tooth decay. Although it is scientifically proven to be beneficial, it is criticised by some who believe its prevalence in drinking water is causing an overdose of fluoride that has lead to health defects such as bone fractures in adults and fluorosis in small children (FluorideAlert.org).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a fluoride level of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million (ppm) as an optimal level for preventing tooth decay. The CDC does admit that people who have been exposed to higher levels of fluoride over their lifetime have an increased risk for bone fractures (CDC.gov).
Because the CDC does not require amounts of fluoride to be listed on nutritional labels, fluoride is usually listed only as an additive. To find out how much fluoride the product actually contains, you will have to check the product website or contact the manufacturer.
Bottled water that comes from tap water will most likely contain fluoride because most tap water is fluoridated. Dasani and Aquafina, which are nothing more than purified tap water, will most likely contain fluoride. Poland Spring, FIJI Water, Perrier, and Deer Park contain fluoride, and even boast its health benefits on their websites. Evian makes no mention of fluoride on its website either way.
It’s important to remember that fluoride is found naturally in water at low levels, so any brand of water that boasts “all natural” or “no chemicals added” may still contain fluoride. Some companies remove fluoride, some leave it, and some add more. The only way to know for sure is to check the label or call the manufacturer.
Most bottled water companies want to make their product appealing to as many people as possible and therefore may resist advertising their lack or abundance of fluoride as not to alienate customers with strong opinions. Either way, fluoride is so abundant in natural water, tap water, and food and beverages made with water that it is almost unavoidable to consume.