Fluoride is a form of the chemical element fluorine. It is used as medicine. Fluoride is added to public drinking water to prevent tooth decay. Children who do not drink fluorinated public water because their homes use water from a private well often take fluoride tablets to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is added to toothpaste and mouthwashes so it can be applied directly to the teeth to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is also taken by mouth for treating weakened bones (osteoporosis) and for preventing bone loss in people with rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease.
By Dr. Mercola
Study after study confirms that fluoride is a dangerous, toxic poison that bioaccumulates in your body while being ineffective at preventing dental decay… yet it continues to be added to many municipal water supplies in the US.
Yet even as we continue on with this more than six decades-old debate, I have encouraging news from the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) to share.
More Americans are wising up to the risks of water fluoridation, and they’re using their votes to keep this fertilizer-industry byproduct out of their drinking water (the fluoride added to municipal water supplies is a toxic byproduct from the fertilizer industry—a rarely discussed fact!).
5 Fluoride-Free Victories to Celebrate Already in 2014
Despite compelling scientific evidence against the practice, the US still lags far behind other nations in acknowledging the mistake of water fluoridation and ending this tragic “public health” measure.
As a result, individual communities around the US have taken up the fight to end water fluoridation in their own local areas. Around the world, even more countries are also opting to go fluoride-free. The latest fluoride-free victories include:
1. Wellington, Florida: After hours of debate and testimony from medical experts and residents, council members voted to end 14 years of fluoridation. A number of pro-fluoride dentists are unfortunately working to overturn the council’s vote, but it’s still a victory for now. FAN reported:
“Ultimately, a majority of councilors agreed that citizens shouldn’t be forced to ingest an unnecessary chemical in the public drinking water supply.”
2. Amherst County, Virginia: The Service Authority Board voted to discontinue fluoridation because of conflicting opinions on what constitutes “optimal” levels of fluoride. According to FAN, “Several Board Supervisors felt that the additive was unnecessary and a waste of resources.”
3. Woodsville, Oregon: The Woodsville City Council was considering adding fluoride to the city’s drinking water, but after polling residents found that 100% of respondents were against it. They have since ended their fluoridation discussions.
4. Sebastopol, California: City Councilors voted unanimously against fluoridation in Sonoma County because of concerns the fluoride could leach into their groundwater from surrounding communities, putting residents at risk.
5. Bantry, Ireland: Town Councilors voted unanimously for an immediate end to fluoridation throughout Ireland.
So far in 2014, it looks like the trend against water fluoridation that started in recent years is gaining speed. In 2013, fluoridation was rejected by voters in Wichita, Kansas and Portland, Oregon. Israel also announced it will end its mandatory fluoridation program, and Ireland even proposed legislation that would make water fluoridation a criminal offense!
Canada has also seen a 25 percent drop in fluoridation programs over the past five years as a result of increasing public awareness about the associated dangers, and it seems such awareness is only on the rise.
Why Are So Many People Now Against Water Fluoridation?
If you’re new to this issue, you may be wondering why so many municipalities are striking down water-fluoridation efforts. Available research clearly shows that:
- Water fluoridation does not work to prevent cavities
- Fluoride works when topically applied only (and even then not dramatically so)
- There are unacceptable risks involved in the practice of water fluoridation
If you live in an area that fluoridates water, and you drink from the municipal water supply, you’re being exposed to a highly toxic drug-like substance every time you take a sip.
This is reckless, as you cannot control the dose ingested, or who receives it, and there’s no medical supervision. Water fluoridation clearly violates your right to informed consent as far as medical decisions go, and it may also be making future generations less intelligent across the board — there are at least 25 studies showing that fluoride reduces IQ in children!
There is not a single process in your body that requires fluoride, but swallowing this toxin has been found to damage your soft tissues (brain, kidneys, and endocrine system), as well as teeth (dental fluorosis) and bones (skeletal fluorosis). It’s also known that over time, fluoride accumulates in many areas of your body, including areas of your brain that control and alter behavior, particularly your pineal gland, hippocampus, and other limbic areas.
One particularly striking animal study showed that fluoride ingestion had a profound influence on the animals' brains and altered behavior. Pregnant rats given fluoride produced hyperactive offspring. And animals given fluoride after birth became apathetic, lethargic “couch potatoes.” Other research has linked fluoride toxicity with the wide-ranging problems listed below.
Increases lead absorption Disrupts collagen synthesis Increases manganese absorption, which is also linked to lower IQ in children Crippling skeletal fluorosis and bone fractures Genetic damage and cell death Increased tumor and cancer growth Disrupts immune system Inhibits antibody production Brain damage and lowered IQ Dementia Arthritis Severe eye problems, including blindness Impaired thyroid function Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) Inactivates 62 enzymes Muscle disorders
Farm Bill Reverses the Planned Phase-Out of Toxic Sulfuryl Fluoride
While it’s encouraging that US cities and other countries are taking action to end this dangerous practice, earlier this month the Agricultural Act of 2014 (better known as the “Farm Bill”) was passed. Unfortunately, it includes language that reverses the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed phase-out of sulfuryl fluoride. The reversal was added in the eleventh hour after intense lobbying by the National Pest Management Association and Dow AgroSciences. The language states:
“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall exclude non-pesticideal sources of fluoride from any aggregate exposure assessment required under section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 346a) when assessing tolerances associated with residues from the pesticide.”
The idea of using sulfuryl fluoride, a toxic food fumigant, is extremely worrying as it not only leaves toxic residues on food, but can be lethal to humans in its pure gas form—the form in which it is applied to the food. According to Dr. Paul Connett, PhD, a chemist and executive director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), people have died during the application of the fumigant.
When applied to food, it breaks down into free fluoride. Many American children are already heavily overexposed to fluoride, so this added source of exposure can only worsen matters. (Organic foods do not permit its use.) According to Dr. Connett, there’s every reason to be concerned about the use of sulfuryl fluoride gas on food, because some of the fluoride residues allowed by the EPA are “astronomical.”
For example, the EPA was allowing 120 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride on wheat flour. Wheat flour is consumed in so many foods on a daily basis by most people that you not only need to be concerned about chronic effects of low-level fluoride intake, but also with its acute effects. Dr. Connett goes so far as to say that you could potentially be in serious trouble simply by eating a pizza made from a recently fumigated batch of wheat flour.
Do You Drink Fluoridated Water?
If you drink fluoridated water, it makes sense to try to increase your intake of lycopene and other dietary antioxidants to potentially decrease the fluoride’s toxicity. One study found that fluoride administration induced oxidative stress, but when lycopene, an antioxidant, was also given, it helped to minimize the toxic effects of fluoride. Lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelons a pink or red color has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. It’s found in tomatoes (especially cooked tomatoes), apricots, guavas, watermelons, papayas, and pink grapefruits.
Another option is to purchase a water filter that removes fluoride. The three types of filters that can remove fluoride are reverse osmosis, deionizers (which use ion-exchange resins), and activated alumina. Each of these filters should be able to remove about 90% of the fluoride. By contrast, “activated carbon” filters (e.g., Brita & Pur) do not remove fluoride. You can also help to take action to get fluoride out of drinking water on a larger scale.
Join the Fight to Get Fluoride Out of Drinking Water
There's no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.” Furthermore, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?
At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. But you're stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it's very difficult to filter out of your water once it's added. Many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the US and Canada. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.
Fluoride is safe for most people in the amounts added to public water supplies and used in toothpastes and mouthwashes, and applied by dentists. Low doses (up to 20 mg per day of elemental fluoride) of supplemental fluoride taken by mouth appear to be safe for most people. Higher doses are Unsafe and can weaken bones and ligaments, and cause muscle weakness and nervous system problems. High doses of fluoride in children before their permanent teeth come through the gums can cause tooth discoloration.