AMMAN – The Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna) has suspended plans to add fluoride to the capital’s water after initial studies indicated a variation in existing fluoride levels in Amman’s water sources.
“Studies carried out by Miyahuna and the Ministry of Health over the past two years indicated that levels of fluoride vary in the capital’s water sources; some are high while others are quite low,” Miyahuna Deputy Executive Director Saad Abu Hammour said.
The study indicates that the highest percentage of fluoride – 0.65 milligrammes (mg) per litre of water – was detected at the Zai Water Station, which supplies the capital with the majority of its water needs.
Water samples from other sources, however, revealed low fluoride levels, ranging between 0.1-0.5mg per litre of water.
The international standard for fluoride in water ranges from 0.7 to 1.2mg per litre of water.
“We decided to put plans to add fluoride on hold as more scientific studies are needed to determine how much fluoride should be added and where,” Abu Hammour told The Jordan Times, noting that excessive amounts of the mineral can cause dental fluorosis.
Dental fluorosis occurs with the excessive intake of fluoride, either through naturally occurring fluoride in the water, water fluoridation, toothpaste, or other sources.
Adding fluoride to the capital’s water, which is projected to cost the company JD200,000 annually, was driven by a previous study which revealed that fluoride levels in some of the capital’s water are below the percentage needed to combat dental disease.
Fluoride is commonly added to toothpaste, drinking water and oral hygiene products because it increases the resistance of tooth enamel to decay.
According to the Health Ministry, an estimated 60 to 75 per cent of children suffer from dental diseases, while studies indicate that children under the age of six usually have four decayed teeth.
© Jordan Times 2009