Why is fluoride added to our drinking water? For over 70 years people in the United States have benefited from drinking water with fluoride, leading to better dental health, according to a statement made by the Center for Disease Control. But is it really safe or necessary?
Fluorine is an element. It is a gas, never occurring naturally in its free state. In microscopic amounts complexed with other minerals, it is often listed as a trace mineral, a nutrient for human nutrition. It is now well established that fluoride is not an essential nutrient. This means that no human disease – including tooth decay – will result from a “deficiency” of fluoride. This has nothing to do with fluoride or fluoridation. The fluoride added to drinking water is a compound of fluorine that is a chemical byproduct of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing. This form of fluoride is manmade. Fluoride in this form, has no nutrient value whatsoever. It is one of the most caustic of industrial chemicals. Fluoride is the active toxin in rat poisons and cockroach powder.
Most developed countries (including 97% of European countries) reject adding fluoride to drinking water. The United States, which fluoridates more than 70% of its water supplies, is an exception to this rule. According to the British Fluoridation Society, there are more people drinking artificially fluoridated water in the United States than all other countries combined. Even the US Department of Health and the US Environmental Protection Agency announced in January 2011 that they would like to set the recommended level of fluoride at the lowest end of the optimal range to prevent tooth decay.
Not all studies regarding water fluoridation have produced encouraging results:
Fluoride may lower IQ – Harvard scientists found that fluoride might well lower people’s IQ. After carrying out a review of fluoride/brain studies, the researchers said “Our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment.” Their study was published in the July 2012 edition of Environmental Health Perspectives.
Does fluoridation’s provide protection from cavities – New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc., in 2007, quoted a study that reviewed English-language fluoridation studies from January 2001 to June 2006 which found “Several epidemiological studies conducted in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities suggest that [fluoridation] may be unnecessary for caries prevention…”. This same Coalition reported that:
Women who avoided fluoride were less likely to develop anemia during pregnancy, had a lower risk of giving birth prematurely, and gave birth to heavier babies.
Fluoride was found to be linked to gum disease, according to an article published in the Indian Journal of Dental Research.
Studies link cancer to fluoride. A study published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control concluded that Boys who drink fluoridated water have an increased risk of a deadly bone cancer.
According to the Green Party in the United Kingdom “There is little conclusive evidence that fluoride reduces the incidence of dental caries (tooth decay) but it is known to increase dental fluorosis (mottled and pitted teeth).
Where does the fluoride added to water come from?
The main chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are known as “silicofluorides” (i.e., hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate). Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical-grade fluoride products, they are unprocessed industrial by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Since they undergo no purification procedures, they may contain elevated levels of arsenic. Recent research suggests that the addition of silicofluorides to water is a risk factor for elevated lead exposure, particularly among residents who live in homes with old pipes.
Is it possible to avoid fluoride in tap water?
If your community fluoridates its water supply, there are several options to avoid drinking the fluoride that is added. Unfortunately, you will need to pay for these options.
The options include:
Spring water: Most spring water contains very low levels of fluoride (generally less than 0.1 ppm).
Water filtration: Many water filters (e.g., Brita & Pur) use an “activated carbon” filter that does not remove fluoride. Water filters that do remove fluoride include reverse osmosis, deionizers that use ion-exchange resin, and activated alumina.
Water Distillation: Distilling water is an effective way of removing fluoride from water. Whereas a water filter is installed directly into the sink, a distillation unit is a separate device that can be stored on your countertop.
How can I reduce my fluoride exposure?
- Stop drinking fluoridated tap water, either buy spring water or install a filtration or distillation system that removes the fluoride.
- Eat More Fresh Food, Less Processed Food. When water is fluoridated, it is not just the water that is fluoridated, but all beverages and foods that are made with the water. As a general rule, therefore, the more processed a food is, the more fluoride it has.
- Don’t swallow fluoridated toothpaste. Studies have found that children can easily ingest more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended as a total fluoride intake from all sources.
- Avoid cooking with non-stick Teflon pans. Research has found that cooking with Teflon-coated pans can significantly increase the fluoride content of food.
- Minimize consumption of Mechanically-Deboned Chicken. Since bone is the main site of fluoride accumulation in the body, the higher levels of bone particle in mechanically deboned meat results in significantly elevated fluoride levels.
Ending water fluoridation is possible. Since 1990, over 300 communities in the United States and Canada — representing millions of people — have rejected water fluoridation schemes. Is it time that you take a stand in your community?
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