- I make my own all natural cleaning supplies.
- We bathe our kids with all natural, organic shampoos and use only the safest sunscreen.
- Our fruits and vegetables are mainly organic. Our dairy is always organic. Our meat and poultry is organic, or at the very least, vegetarian-fed and free of antibiotics and growth hormones. Our organic diet allows us to avoid artificial colors and flavors, as well as high fructose corn syrup.
- We have all but eliminated plastic from our kitchen, cook with cast iron and store our food in Pyrex or stainless steel containers.
- We don't drink bottled water because of chemicals that may leach out of the plastic bottles (and most of it is tap water anyway) and use stainless steel bottles when we're out and about.
But I'm becoming increasingly concerned that all of this effort is being offset by chemicals that may be lurking in our drinking water. I've written about this before. I thought I'd resolved my concerns and settled on drinking our tap water. But I've been thinking more about the studies that point to the presence of sex hormones, mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants and antibiotics in municipal drinking water. See this article, or this one or this one. Is this why children are going through puberty earlier, has it contributed to health problems, is this one reason autism is on the rise? Maybe what I'm doing now to protect my family isn't enough. I haven't found any home kits that test for the presence of pharmaceuticals and my city doesn't test for them, so I have to go on faith that our tap water won't harm my family over time. Hmm. Not feeling the faith.
Just about the only element of municipal drinking water that has kept us from installing a reverse-osmosis filter is fluoride. But I wonder: is water fluoridation really necessary, or even good for us? My kids get fluoride treatments from their dentist twice a year and I brush their teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Do they really need it in their drinking water, too?
So I took the opportunity to ask the dentist today at my kids' semi-annual cleaning/checkup whether fluoridated water is necessary. She said that having systemic fluoride (i.e., from drinking water) is important for developing teeth more than for the teeth that have already broken through (since these can be cleaned with fluoride toothpaste and given fluoride treatments). So I asked her if she thought it would be okay if I started using reverse osmosis for our drinking water once the kids' adult teeth started coming in, and she said yes.
I'm still wondering about it, though. How much damage might these chemicals do to my family in the three years until my younger child starts losing baby teeth?
What would you do?