Date: June 17, 2019

Mainly cloudy. 40 percent chance of showers late this evening and after midnight. Wind northeast 20 km/h becoming light near midnight. Low 12.


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Elevated Fluoride Levels in Drinking Water

This page was reviewed or revised on Monday, February 13, 2017 2:49 PM

Fluoride is naturally released into groundwater from certain rock types such as granite and gneiss. It is beneficial to teeth and bones when within recommended limits.

To ensure that fluoride levels are within the recommended limits, municipal water supplies are monitored by the County of Lambton. Municipal water supplies typically have a fluoride level less than 0.80 milligrams per litre (mg/L) but no greater than 1.5 mg/L.

Some areas in Lambton County (not on a municipal water supply) have elevated levels of natural fluoride occurring in the water supply.

Dental literature indicates that water with fluoride levels around or above 2.0 mg/L or parts per million (ppm), may cause some dental “fluorosis” to occur.

The Canadian Dental Association defines dental fluorosis is a change in the appearance of teeth . Fluorosis is caused when higher than optimal amounts of fluoride are ingested in early childhood. In its mildest and most common form, it affects the look of the tooth with small white specks appearing on a child’s teeth. Fluorosis occurs while the tooth is forming below the gums (usually during ages 0-6 years) not after the tooth erupts into the mouth.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It is the responsibility of any homeowner with a private water supply to ascertain the water quality including fluoride levels.

Fluoride Toothpaste

It is known that many of the “white” spots on teeth may be the result of young children “eating” or swallowing fluoride toothpaste. See more information on Fluoride / Non Fluoride Toothpaste.

Recommendations if the fluoride content of drinking water exceeds 1.5 mg/L:

If young children are consuming this water and you are worried about fluorosis; consider buying a home treatment system to remove or reduce the fluoride content.

If purchasing a home treatment system is not possible, use water from another source with a lower fluoride level (e.g. non-fluoridated, bottled water) for drinking, cooking, mixing juices or making baby formula, especially when there are young children at home.
Only reverse osmosis and distillation process removes fluoride.

For children under 7 years of age, and particularly for children who may swallow toothpaste, a parent should consider the use of non-fluoride toothpaste or no toothpaste. Only small amounts (pea size or a smear) of toothpaste should ever be used. Parents should dispense the toothpaste and brush their teeth.

Lambton Public Health DOES NOT recommend the use of fluoride supplements. They should NOT be used in areas with elevated fluoride levels.

A fluoride treatment at the dentist has very little chance of contributing to fluorosis. If concerned, talk with your dental health professional.

Fluoride Water Test

Free testing of drinking water for nitrates, nitrites and fluoride is no longer offered in Ontario. However, it is available on a fee-for-service basis. The public can use any accredited lab.

View a list of licensed laboratories from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change that can provide drinking water tests in Ontario. For more information call Lambton Public Health at 519-383-8331 or toll free 1-800-667-1839.

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