Taiwan – Taiwan has no intentions of tightening fluoride standards Environmental authorities in Taiwan yesterday said they have no plans to tighten the standards for fluoride in drinking water, despite the U.S. government’s recent move to do so.
The US government has lowered the permitted level of fluoride in tap water to 0.7 mg per liter, raising concerns whether Taiwan should also revise its standard.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pointed out that no fluoride is added to Taiwan’s tap water, but said it would continue to regularly check fluoride levels in water.
Taiwan’s current standard for fluoride in drinking water is 0.8 mg per liter, according to the EPA.
But as no fluoride is added to tap water in Taiwan, regular inspections have usually returned readings far lower than the standard, the EPA said.
Lin Chien-hui, head of the EPA’s Department of Environmental Sanitation and Toxic Substance Management, noted that there was a debate two decades ago about the benefits of adding fluoride to tap water.
Although the addition of the chemical may improve the nation’s dental health, it may pose a risk for those with particular illnesses, Lin said, adding that toothpaste with fluoride can serve the same purpose.
The EPA official stressed that it would be wasteful to add fluoride to tap water, as only five percent of it is used for drinking. Lin added that fluoride could also be a pollutant.
Lin Chieh-liang, a toxicologist with Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, New Taipei City, said human bodies need only 1.5 mg of fluoride daily, and an intake of more than 6 mg can result in poisoning, according to the United Evening News.
Adding fluoride to tap water carries a potential threat of poisoning, the doctor was cited as saying.