The Fluoride in Water Story: Part 1
Your body. Your health. But their choice?
Have you ever wondered about the fluoride story? What this chemical is, where it comes from, and what health effects it actually has (both beneficial and disastrous)?
These are important questions.
We are going to look at fluoride in depth, so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your family. This first story (Part 1) is about ingested fluoride (added to drinking water) with a second story about topical fluoride (added to toothpaste and used in dental treatments).
What is fluoride and where does it come from?
Although fluoride is a naturally occurring, abundant mineral and the ionic form of fluorine, fluoride compounds are mainly ‘produced’ on a large scale by some industrial processes — they are, in fact, by-products of industrial waste.
“The fluoride chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water…are not pharmaceutical grade quality. They are, instead, unpurified industrial by-products that are collected in the air pol-lution control systems of certain industries.”1
How does fluoride enter the water supply?
The magazine Origins reported that, “Fluorosilicic acid [a fluoride chemical] has for the past half century been transported from Florida fertilizer factories to water reservoirs throughout the United States. Once there, it is drip fed into drinking water.”
It might sound unlikely, bizarre even, that the government would endorse the addition of chemical by-products to drinking water. But this type of fluoride — a by-product from the production of phosphate fertilizers — remains the prevalent source.
“Without the phosphate industry’s effluent, water fluoridation would be prohibitively ex-pensive. And without fluoridation, the phosphate industry would be stuck with an expensive waste disposal problem.”2
What are some side effects of excessive fluoride ingestion?The excess intake of fluoride through drinking water, food products and industrial pollutants over a long period of time has been linked to a variety of serious health concerns.3To name a few:
- Fluorosis, which can lead to ugly brown spots on the teeth. But this condition has also been described as “A crippling disease resulted from deposition of fluorides in the hard and soft tissues of body. It is a public health problem caused by excess intake of fluoride…over a long period.”
- Hormonal disruption. Hormones pass messages from one tissue to another and function within a small range to ensure health. But, fluoride has been shown to:
- reduce sex hormone levels, which may disrupt puberty and fertility;
- cause changes in the level of hormones secreted by the thyroid and parathyroid, which could slow down many of the body’s processes (unfortunately NOT the aging process!);
- potentially exert unwanted effects on insulin, resulting in an abnormal blood sugar levels.
- Neurotoxic effects. This is a scary one. Fluoride appears to alter the function of the nervous system. This is particularly worrisome for children’s neuro-development. Recent US Government funded studies link fluoride exposure to IQ loss. No wonder some are calling fluoride ‘a developmental neurotoxin.’
- ADHD. This chemical has also been implicated as a contributor to attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD). As a 2018 study said, “Higher levels of fluoride exposure during pregnancy were associated with… ADHD.”
Now that we’ve seen some of the dangers, let’s look at the moral and ethical question:
Should we have the right to pure, clean, unmedicated drinking water?
Even though fluoride is an industrial chemical or by-byproduct, it seems to be used as a drug or medication. This is because fluoride is said to affect the structure/function of the body (teeth in this case), which is FDA’s description of a drug or medicine.4
In the USA — as in many countries — doctors and dentists have to earn the right to practice and to prescribe medication or drugs. Yet patients still have a choice, an enshrined personal liberty that empowers us to decide what or what not to ingest or provide to our families.
Even it if is actually beneficial for teeth — which is disputed by IAOMT — by directly add-ing this chemical to our drinking water, one can argue that a medical decision is imposed upon us.
Furthermore, the Cochrane Collaboration—a global independent network of researchers and health care professionals highly regarded for rigorous scientific reviews—published an analysis of 20 key studies on water fluoridation. They found that scientific investigations on water fluoridation (most were conducted before 1975) were deeply flawed. “We had concerns about the methods used, or the reporting of the results, in … 97 percent of the studies.”
Lately, major concerns about excessive fluoride intake and related toxicity were raised worldwide, leading several countries to ban fluoridation. Only 3% of the population in western Europe is currently consuming fluoridated water, yet tooth decay rates in these western European countries are no higher than in the few western countries (e.g., the United States) that fluoridate their water.5
Clean, pure drinking water should be a human right. If you want to add minerals to your water or spike it with fluoride, that should be a choice.
What can you do?
It is actually the city or state that is responsible for an area’s drinking water, so change should be undertaken at that level. “The 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act gave regulatory oversight of public drinking water (tap water) to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to the EPA, fluoride is voluntarily added to some drinking water systems as a public health measure to help reduce the incidence of cavities among the population. The decision to fluoridate a water supply is made by the State or local municipality and is not mandated by EPA or any other Federal entity.”6
Where you live decides the type of water you can access by default. A list of the fluoridation status of 50 of the largest US cities can be found here.
While the fluoride story is unsettling there are simple steps you can take to limit your expo-sure and take back control of your wellbeing, starting with water filtration.
If your tap water is fluoridated, filters are available to remove it from your water. Here are some helpful resources:
- The Best Water Filters For Removing Fluoride
- Considerations When Buying A Water Filter
- Berkey Fluoride Filter
The fluoride story takeaway
Fluorosis, hormonal disruption, and neurotoxic effects are substantial concerns. We need to know about these dangers because, as the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” Armed with the right information, you can make choices that work best for you and your family.
A healthy life and healthy teeth are about balance. A holistic approach that implements sensible choices — like choosing to filter drinking water and opting for fluoride-free tooth-paste or dentifrice — can make a significant difference to you and your family’s wellbeing. Because, you deserve it!