Fluoride: you’ve probably seen it labeled in certain toothpastes as an add-on “bonus”, and proponents of fluoride will tell you it is a good thing that is saving us all from tooth decay. But is it? And who is really the source spreading the notion that fluoride is a good thing?
According to the CDC , American communities with a fluoridated water supply have been growing since 1945. In 2010, nearly ¾ of the population of the country had access to fluoridated water.
Fluoride and the Human Body
When a city has a fluoridated water supply, that means that your body is absorbing some fluoride whenever you drink water, cook with it, brush your teeth, and even shower. While the amount of fluoride added to water is measured in parts per million, numerous studies have demonstrated that consuming fluoridated water has toxic effects on the human body.
Increased Risk of Hip Fracture
A 1992 study printed in The Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated an increased risk of hip fracture in elderly women and men consuming fluoridated water. Additional studies have backed up this finding.
Correlation between Fluoridation of Water Supply and Osteosarcoma
Osteosarcoma is a form of cancerous bone tumors that occurs in kids. A Harvard University study showed a link between fluoridation of water supply and osteosarcoma among males.
Fluoridation of the water supply has also been associated with dental fluorosis, a permanent discoloration and pitting of the teeth. One pediatric study showed that areas with fluoridated water supplies also showed an increased rate of dental fluorosis in children. Likewise, the CDC has suggested that reconstituting infant formula with fluoridated water increases the risks of developing dental fluorosis.
Hampered Neurodevelopment in Children
Multiple studies have linked fluoridated water supplies to lowered IQ in children, and there is concern about fluoride’s neurotoxic effects. The EPA classifies fluoride as a chemical with “substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”
A 2012 Harvard University Study published in Environmental Health Perspectives determined that fluoride exposure very likely affected children’s neurodevelopment, showing that children in high fluoridated areas had substantially lower IQs than those in low fluoride areas.
Where Does Fluoride Come from Anyway
While fluoride is a naturally occurring element, the fluoride that is added to municipal water supplies is actually a byproduct of phosphate mining. Before fluoride was co-opted for dental use, it was released into the environment as chemical vapors. These vapors killed plants and livestock near the phosphate mining operations. In order to curtail the death to life in the areas of the phosphate industry, they began putting fluoride through “wet scrubbers” to capture the chemicals, and then selling the fluoride as a cavity preventative.
The Body Toxic
Part of the Beauty Detox lifestyle is minimizing foreign chemicals and toxins in your body. One of the main objections to the fluoridation of the water supply since it began in the mid-1940s is that by placing fluoride in municipal water supplies, people are being forced to ingest the substance without choice. The FDA has never approved or regulated fluoride as a medication or food additive. Rather, it is regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974, which gives the EPA the authority to set drinking water standards. As previously mentioned, the EPA classifies fluoride of having substantial evidence of neurotoxicity.
Because chemicals can build up to toxic levels in your body, I do not recommend consuming fluoridated water.
What To Do
How can you ensure your family’s safety from fluoridated water?
- Contact your local water utility to discover if your water supply is fluoridated.
- Realize that many bottled water brands, soft drinks, and juices may also contain fluoride if the water is sourced from a fluoridated municipal supply.
- Several types of water filters may help remove fluoride from water. These filtration systems include reverse osmosis, defluoridation filters, and distillation filters.
- Most commercial filters except those specified above do not remove fluoride from water. Neither does boiling or freezing.
- Get a high quality shower filter.
- Consider using an unfluoridated, natural toothpaste.
- If your water supply is fluoridated, do not take fluoride supplements.
- Processed foods and beverages may contain fluoride from municipal water supplies. Minimize processed foods and stick with natural, organic plant foods (vegetables, fruits, and even exotic fruits can all be found at farmers markets.)
- Avoid cooking with fluoridated water.
- Other sources of fluoride include black tea, mechanically separated chicken, seafood, wine, and beer, Teflon pans, cigarettes, and pesticides.