Drinking Water and Long-term Health Effects

G. Scassellati Sforzolini, R. Pasquini, M. Moretti, S. Monarca

Abstract


The quality of drinking water is known to have positive or negative in-fluences on human health. At present, in the industrialized countries mi-crobiological contaminants in public water supplies are under control, due to the widespread introduction of effective disinfection and potabili-zation systems. However, of special interest are other public health pro-blems linked with the presence of many water components or contami-nants. Since the beginning of this century, fluoride showed to have bene-ficial effects on dental caries and the practice of adding fluoride to drinking water has been widely followed in many countries for reduction of dental caries. More recently, a large body of scientific information indi-cates that various characteristics related to water hardness are correlated with incidence of cardiovascular disease. Moreover, the discovery of the presence in drinking water of inorganic and organic contaminants with mutagenic/carcinogenic properties gives rise to public health concern. 

Key words: Drinking water - Dental caries - Cardiovascular disease - Cancer. 


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