Kids and adolescents who do not drink tap water, fluoridated to be specific, are more likely to suffer a tooth decay, says a new US study. It also stated that the people who did drink tap water are more prone to high levels of lead in their blood.
Blood samples of 16000 kids and adolescents aged two to 19 years of age were analyzed by the researchers at the University of North Carolina. These were people who had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from the year 2005 to 2014. Over 12000 records had data on blood lead levels and 5600 of them had examination data on dental caries.
The results of this study revealed that people who did not drink tap water were more likely to suffer tooth decay. However, the same group of people was less likely to have high lead levels in their blood. People who drank tap water were more likely to have higher lead levels in their blood as compared to the kids who did not drink tap water. Researchers explained the same in the study published in Preventive Medicine Journal.
It was found that three per cent of the kids and adolescents suffered high lead levels in blood and 49.8% of them suffered tooth decay.
“Elevated blood lead levels affect only a small minority of children, but the health consequences are profound and permanent,” Anne E Sanders from the UNC explained.
“On the other hand, tooth decay affects one in every two children, and its consequences, such as toothache, are immediate and costly to treat,” she added.
Here’s how you can make your drinking water safer.
Place water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Leave it boiling for a minute. Then remove water from the flame and let it cool.
2. Chlorine bleach
Bleach is cheap to buy and easy to store. It takes very less bleach to make gallons of drinking water safe. It does add a strange taste to your water. Add one-eighth of a spoon of chlorine bleach to lots of water. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Water must smell of chlorine. If it doesn’t, repeat the treatment and if it still is the same, look for another treatment.
3. Iodine tablets
This one has the biggest impact on the taste of water. However, you cannot risk your health by drinking contaminated water just because of the pungent flavour. If not tablets you may use iodine tincture. Add just 5 drops of the tincture to about a quart of water and let it rest for 30 minutes.
4. UV treatment
If you do not wish to affect the taste of your water, go for this treatment. It just takes 90 seconds to treat a litre of water with this technique. A UV water treatment system is available in most stores.