The Effects of Chemicals and Minerals such as Flouride and Chlorine in Tapwater

The villain in the cult classic Doctor Strangelove or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb becomes deeply concerned that fluoride found in the drinking water supplies has rendered him impotent. Fluoride is one of many minerals commonly added to drinking water supplies, but fluoride does not have the side effects the villain in this film believes it does.

The film mentioned might be fiction, but a consumer should be aware of the effects of minerals and bacteria in tap water in order to make educated choices.


Chlorine is a chemical commonly added to tap water to kills off harmful bacteria in public tap water supplies. This chemical builds up in fat cells and can be transmitted in bodily fluids, according to the Your True Health web site. The same web site states that consumption of chlorine in tap water increases the risk of colorectal and bladder cancer.


Many toothpastes contain fluoride. Many municipalities add fluoride to their drinking water. This mineral does help build stronger teeth. Small amounts of fluoride, such as the amounts found in fluoride toothpastes are deadly poisons. The amount found in most drinking water is not usually harmful and helps stronger teeth develop.

Calcium and Magnesium

These minerals are beneficial to human health in the correct amounts. These minerals in tap water generally cause what is referred to as hard water. This can affect how well the water cleans clothes and dishes, but causes little harm when humans consume tap water that contains these chemicals. Hard water is most common in areas with a lot of limestone.


Some minerals give off radiation. As long as the levels of radiation do not exceed EPA standards, the drinker will not be harmed. If the radiation levels exceed safe levels, drinkers have an increased risk of cancer and may develop radiation sickness.


Most water supplies do not contain harmful bacteria because of the chlorination process. Sometimes harmful bacteria gets through and can spread the disease that the bacteria causes. When this happens, local governments issue boiled water advisories for the affected areas.

Bottled Water versus Tap Water

Bottled water is a multi-million dollar industry. It is not much safer to drink bottled water than it is to drink tap water, according to Doctor Michael Lam’s web site. Many people feel it tastes better than the tap water provided by many municipalities. People concerned about the effects of tap water and bottled water should consider buying distilled water.

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