Oxford County Public Health has issued its annual reminder to residents about levels of fluoride and sodium in some of the county’s municipal drinking water.
Parents with children under six years of age should pay close attention to fluoride exposure to prevent dental fluorosis in children, while those on sodium restricted diets should pay close attention to sodium they may be consuming from municipal water.
“Fluoride and sodium are naturally occurring minerals in Oxford County’s water supply,” said Peter Heywood, program manager of health protection at public health. “While these minerals are harmless for most people, those with health challenges that could be impacted by excess sodium in their diet should be keenly aware of the sodium content in drinking water. As well, parents in certain communities should be aware of fluoride levels, which could cause cosmetic dental problems for young children. It’s all about giving residents the information they need to make the best decisions for their personal and family’s health.”
While fluoride levels up to 2.4 mg/L are safe to drink, fluoride levels above 1.5 mg/L in municipal drinking water have been reported in the communities of Brownsville, Ingersoll, Lakeside, Springford and Tillsonburg.
Fluoride levels above the recommended level of 1.5 mg/L may put children under six years of age at risk for dental fluorosis which is discolouration of the teeth. Households with children under six in these communities should use bottled water for baby formula, and cut back on other sources of fluoride, like using non-fluoride toothpaste.
Fluoride is not added to Oxford County drinking water, but is naturally present in some of the water systems.
Sodium levels in drinking water are only a concern for individuals on a sodium-restricted diet. This includes people with kidney disease, heart disease, high blood pressure or liver disease.
These residents should speak with their physician or health care provider about how sodium in the water may affect their health. Communities with sodium levels that range above the recommended level of 20mg/L include: Bright, Brownsville, Embro, Ingersoll, Norwich, Otterville, Springford, Thamesford, Tillsonburg and Woodstock.
Oxford County’s 17 municipal drinking water systems are monitored 24/7 to ensure its safety and quality. In 2015, Oxford County Public Works treated and supplied 11.6 million cubic metres of drinking water.