For many years the dominant view has been that fluoride was beneficial in our water supply, and that those who disagreed were misinformed. The facts, however, tell us that fluoride is absolutely dangerous to us. Every day we see more and more research showing the risks of ingesting fluoride.
The idea of putting fluoride into the water supply began when it was recognized that people living in a place with natural fluoride in the water had fewer cavities than those living elsewhere. That was true. But, the supply of fluoride being added to the water supply is industrial waste – and not the same form of fluoride found in nature.
In November 2006, the American Dental Association sent a letter to its members letting them know that fluoride is very dangerous for infants under the age of one, and that fluoride should not be added to their food or water. As we understand it, this information was shared with the members of the ADA, but not shared with the general population.
Europe outlawed fluoride in the water decades ago and their dental health has improved just as much as that in the US, and in some cases more.
There are many places you’ll find stating that ‘fluoride has been shown to be safe.’ It is very difficult to find a significant body of research to back up that claim. And it is usually stated “at the levels found in the water.” However, we now intake about 4 times as much fluoride as when they started adding it to the water through our food, toothpaste, water and drinks!
According to a systematic review of fluoride supplement research in the November 2008 Journal of the American Dental Association, "There is weak and inconsistent evidence that the use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries in primary teeth." The authors could find only one study, from China, showing any fluoride benefit to primary teeth and that study was probably biased with a high withdrawal rate. “Mild-to-moderate dental fluorosis is a significant side effect. Clinical Implications. The current recommendations for use of fluoride supplements during the first six years of life should be re-examined.”
Research is increasingly showing the risks of fluoride in the drinking water – even in very low dosages. Take a look at the results of 10 scientific research studies in 2007 gathered by the Fluoride Action Network.
Risks of ingesting fluoride include: Chronic Kidney Disease, Thyroid Disease, reduced brain development in children, reduced IQs, dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, and increases in hip and other bone fractures.
The good news is that you can remove fluoride from your drinking and cooking water by using a good Reverse Osmosis Filtration System.
Dangers of Fluoride in Toothpaste and Water
Health Sciences Institute e-Alert
July 15, 2002
It was right there in front of me and I still couldn't believe it. Watching TV last weekend I saw an advertisement for a new product from Dannon: bottled water for kids called "Fluoride to Go."
The pitch? "Why give your child soda full of sugar? Instead offer them Dannon Fluoride to Go - a convenient, satisfying way to help your child build strong teeth." So now Dannon offers you a choice: you can give the kids sodas with all the added sugar, or you can give them water with all the added toxins.
Well, in case you didn't know it, fluoride is highly toxic. In fact, before fluoride was deemed a "cavity fighter," it was used as insecticide and rat poison. It's true. Even more surprising is that when it comes to dental hygiene, fluoride actually does more harm than good.
Everything you always DIDN'T want to know about fluoride
For decades the message that fluoride safely prevents tooth decay has been considered sacrosanct. This idea came from the same "chemicals for better living" era that also told us that smoking cigarettes soothed the throat.
Now for a brief history lesson: please switch off the lights and turn on the projector...
Fluoride is a pollutant - a by-product of copper, iron and aluminum manufacturing. The problem of how to legally dispose of fluoride was solved in the 1930's when a study (funded by one of the country's largest aluminum companies) concluded that fluoride prevented tooth decay. A successful public relations effort, helped along with some cooperative government cronies, resulted in the good news going out: this miracle chemical, when added to water supplies, will give everyone healthy teeth and brighter smiles.
But does fluoride actually prevent tooth decay? Not according to the largest study ever conducted on fluoridation and oral health. 39,000 school children in 84 areas around the U.S. were studied in the mid-80's, and the results showed no statistical difference in tooth decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated cities.
Meanwhile, tooth decay trends tracked by the World Health Organization from 1970 to the present show that the incidence of decayed, missing or filled teeth has been steadily in decline with each passing year in the U.S., France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Iceland and Greece. And why are the numbers of decayed teeth on the decline? Better oral hygiene and improved dental practice is the most obvious answer. It's certainly not the fluoride. Because of all of those countries, only one adds fluoride to the public water supply: the United States.
A few of the countries listed above used to put fluoride in some of their water, but they eventually wised up to the dangers of this aluminum by-product. And here's some truly radical thinking for you: many of those countries simply refuse to run fluoride through every citizen's faucets based on the idea that health treatments should be a personal choice and not mandated by the government. What a concept!
So how is fluoride bad for you? To start with, the irony is that when you consume too much fluoride, your teeth can become discolored and crumble. But that's nothing compared to the other ways that fluoride attacks your mind and body.
In tests on laboratory animals, fluoride has been shown to enhance the brain's absorption of aluminum - the substance that's found in the brains of most Alzheimer's patients. Three different osteoporosis studies have associated hip fractures with fluoridation. And excessive fluoride has been shown to damage the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, leading to limited joint mobility, ligament calcification, muscular degeneration and neurological deficits.
And finally (I saved the worst till last), a number of different studies have linked fluoride to as many as 10,000 cancer deaths per year, with a high incidence of bone cancer among men exposed to fluoridated water.
In the meantime, local, state and federal government agencies across the U.S. do their best to simply dismiss all this bad news. Unlike their European counterparts, they're sticking to their outdated and baseless claims that the stuff is good for you. Why? If I had to guess, I'd say it's because they're terrified that if they admit that fluoride is poison, the deluge of resulting civil law suits just might wash them away.
So back to Dannon - what do you think? Are kids getting so little fluoride that they need to have it added to their bottled spring water? Consumer Reports magazine says YES! As you may recall Consumer Reports has been a target in previous e-Alerts for offering superficial and wrong-headed advice on health and nutrition issues. My beef with CR is that they are no more qualified to give me nutrition advice than my internist is qualified to tell me which air conditioners have the best ratio of energy efficiency to BTUs. And yet, they continue to get involved in issues they just have no place in.
Last February, Dr. Marvin Lipman, a spokesman for Consumer Reports, stated that not everyone is getting enough fluoride. The problem, says Dr. Lipman, is twofold: some communities don't fluoridate their water systems, and a lot of people these days are drinking bottled water which contains no fluoride. Ah, but don't you worry - in addition to Dannon, as many as 20 other bottled water pushers, are answering the "need" for more fluoride. And if you still think you're not getting sufficient fluoridation, an article in Consumer Reports suggests that you sign up to have 5 gallon jugs of fluoride-laced water delivered to your door.
But let's be perfectly clear: Fluoride is not something your body needs. No one has a fluoride deficiency. Fluoride is a false magic bullet solution from a bygone era. Now, 60 years after water fluoridation began, the word is getting out: this stuff is just plain bad. But thanks to Dannon and others, it appears that fluoride is about to take its toll on at least one more generation of American kids before someone overcomes the government marketing mindset and reveals this poison for what it really is.
Most Americans are unaware of the dangers of ingesting fluoride. Most dentists, physicians and scientists are unaware of the dangers of fluoride and water fluoridation. According to a 1988 article in the prestigious Chemical and Engineering News, scientific voices of opposition to fluoridation have been suppressed, since 1950 when the U.S. Public Health Service first endorsed fluoridation. Power tactics including threats, ridicule and frank censorship aimed at scientists and clinicians knowledgeable about fluoridation have prevented the truth about fluoride to be disseminated to the science world as well as to the public. Whenever a public agency is charged with objectively evaluating the safety of a procedure while at the same time endorsing and recommending it, a serious conflict of interest is set up. This is exactly the position of the U.S. Public Health Service for the past 44 years.
Facts About Fluoride
So, what are some of the facts about fluoride? According to the handbook, Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, fluoride is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. It is a cumulative poison that accumulates in bone over the years. According to the Physicians Desk Reference, "in hypersensitive individuals, fluorides occasionally cause skin eruptions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, or urticaria. Gastric distress, headache, and weakness have also been reported. These hypersensitive reactions usually disappear promptly after discontinuation of the fluoride."
From 1990 to 1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association published three separate articles linking increased hip fracture rates to fluoride in the water. In the March 22, 1990 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Mayo Clinic researchers reported that fluoride treatment of osteoporosis increased hip fracture rate and bone fragility.
A study by Procter and Gamble showed that as little as half the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water supplies resulted in a sizable and significant increase in genetic damage. Epidemiology research in the mid-1970's by the late Dr. Dean Burk, head of the cytochemistry division of the National Cancer Institute, indicated that 10,000 or more fluoridation-linked cancer deaths occur yearly in the United States. In 1989, the ability of fluoride to transform normal cells into cancer cells was confirmed by Argonne National Laboratories. Results released in 1989 of studies carried out at the prestigious Batelle Research Institute showed that fluoride was linked to a rare form of liver cancer in mice, oral tumors and cancers in rats, and bone cancer in male rats. Since 1991, the New Jersey Department of Health found that the incidence of osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, was far higher in young men exposed to fluoridated water as compared to those who were not.
In addition to the well documented toxic effects of fluoride, fluoride even at dosages of 1 part per million, found in artificially fluoridated water, can inhibit enzyme systems, damage the immune system, contribute to calcification of soft tissues, worsen arthritis and, of course, cause dental fluorosis in children. These are unsightly white, yellow or brown spots that are found in teeth exposed to fluoride during childhood. In 1993, the Subcommittee on Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride of the National Research Council admitted that 8% to 51% and sometimes up to 80% of the children living in fluoridated areas have dental fluorosis. Malnourished people, particularly children, usually targeted for fluoridation, are at greater risks to experience fluoride's harmful effects.
Surprisingly, the most recent studies do not even show that water fluoridation is effective in reducing tooth decay. In the largest U.S. study of fluoridation and tooth decay, United States Public Health Service dental records of over 39,000 school children, ages 5-17, from 84 areas around the United States showed that the number of decayed, missing, and filled teeth per child was virtually the same in fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. Dr. John Colquhoun, former Chief Dental Officer of the Department of Health for Auckland, New Zealand, investigated tooth decay statistics from about 60,000 12 to 13 year old children and showed that fluoridation had no significant effect on tooth decay rate.
Given all of this scientific information, what is behind this push for universal fluoridation? Prior to 1945, fluoride was properly regarded as an environmental pollutant. It was responsible for many lawsuits against industries, such as the aluminum industry and the phosphate fertilizer industry, whose waste products contain large quantities of fluoride. This fluoride destroyed crops and animals, leading to the lawsuits. The limited public view was that fluoride was an environmental pollutant that needed to be reduced or eliminated from the environment.
As a result of clever public relations campaigns, fluoride was transformed from an environmental pollutant to an essential nutrient necessary for producing healthy teeth. The science was poor, but the P.R. campaign was great. Being against fluoride was like being against motherhood or apple pie. Industries not only made millions from selling this environmental pollutant to water companies and toothpaste companies, but more importantly, it saved billions of dollars that would be required to clean up this environmental pollutant.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from fluoride?
First, avoid fluoridated water. Much of the metropolitan area, including New York City water is artificially fluoridated. Boiling water removes chlorine, but concentrates fluoride. Water filters do not remove fluoride, unless there is a reverse osmosis component. Children should avoid fluoridated vitamins and fluoride treatments at the dentist. Everyone should avoid fluoridated toothpaste. The concentration of fluoride in water is 1 ppm, in toothpaste 1,000 ppm and in fluoride dental rinses 10,000 ppm. Work on your legislators to get fluoride out of the water supplies.
The Wall Street Journal recently (3-23-06) ran an article reporting on the National Academy of Science's concern about high levels of fluoride in the nation's drinking water, and that the maximum allowed amount "should be lowered."
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Of all the water on the earth, humans can use only about three percent of this water. Such usable water is found in groundwater aquifers, rivers, and freshwater lakes. Water is precious. Use it wisely. Did you know that it takes more water to manufacture a plastic bottle for bottled water than it does to fill it?
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