Advocates of fluoridated water insist that the chemical additive is good for teeth, but actual science routinely shows otherwise, including a new study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association confirming fluoride as a toxic substance that actually destroys teeth, particularly those of developing young children and babies. Not to mention the bone disease and brain damage that I will be
When people are exposed to excessive levels of fluoride through sources like drinking water, foods and beverages and even swallowed toothpaste, it often results in a condition known as dental fluorosis. The internal uptake of fluoride into teeth over time causes their enamel to become mottled and discolored, the end result being damaged teeth that have essentially rotted from the inside out.
Dr. Steven Levy, D.D.S., and his team found during their study that “fluoride intakes during each of the first four years (of a child’s life) were individually significantly related to fluorosis on maxillary central incisors, with the first year more important.” They went on to warn that “infant formulas reconstituted with higher fluoride water can provide 100 to 200 times more fluoride than breast milk, or cow’s milk.”
In other words, young children have the highest risk of severe tooth damage from fluoride, especially those that are six months of age or younger, a time during which children’s blood-brain barriers have not fully formed. Even low ingestion levels cause the direct depositing of fluoride into the teeth, brain and other bodily tissues and organs which, besides causing fluorosis, also causes disorders of the brain and nervous system, kidneys and bones.
And the American Dental Association (ADA) has known that fluoride exposure causes dental fluorosis since at least 2006, but the group has done nothing to warn the 200 million Americans that live in communities with fluoridated water to avoid its use in babies and infants. Many dentists still recommend that children and adults not only drink fluoridated water, but even advise parents to add fluoride drops to their children’s drinking water if the family lives in unfluoridated areas or drinks private well water.
Fluoride causes serious health problems
In 2006, a study published in The Lancet identified fluoride as “an emerging neurotoxic substance” that causes severe brain damage. The National Research Council (NRC) wrote that “it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body by direct and indirect means.”
About a month later, another study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found a definitive link between fluoride intake and reduce IQ levels, indicating once again that fluoride intake causes cognitive damage.
At Harvard University, researchers identified a link between fluoride and bone cancer. Published 14 years after it began, the study found that the highest rates of osteosarcoma, a fatal form of bone cancer, were occurring most in populations drinking fluoridated water. The findings confirmed those of a prior government study back in 1990 that involved fluoride-treated rats.
Kidney disease is another hallmark of fluoride poisoning. Multiple animal studies have found that fluoride levels as low as 1 part per million (ppm) — which is the amount added to most fluoridated water systems — cause kidney damage. And a Chinese study found that children exposed to slightly higher fluoride levels had biological markers in their blood indicative of kidney damage.
The NRC has also found that fluoride impairs proper thyroid function and debilitates the endocrine system. Up until the 1970s, fluoride was used in Europe as a thyroid-suppressing medication because it lowers thyroid function. Many experts believe that widespread hypothyroidism today is a result of overexposure to fluoride.
Since fluoride is present in most municipal water supplies in North America, it is absurd to even suggest that parents avoid giving it to their young children. How are parents supposed to avoid it unless they install a whole-house reverse osmosis water filtration system? And even if families install such a system, fluoride is found in all sorts of food and beverages, not to mention that it is absorbed through the skin every time people wash their hands with or take a shower in fluoridated water. Perhaps these are some of the reasons why the ADA has said nothing about the issue despite the findings.
There simply is no legitimate reason to fluoridate water. Doing so forcibly medicates an entire population with a carcinogenic, chemical drug. There really is no effective way to avoid it entirely, and nobody really knows how much is ingested or absorbed on a daily basis because exposure is too widespread to calculate. But political pressure and bad science have continued to justify water fluoridation in most major cities, despite growing mountains of evidence showing its dangers.
Ending water fluoridation is a difficult task, but concerted efforts by citizens, local authorities, and even dentists, have resulted in some significant victories. To learn more about fluoride, check out the Fluoride Action Network (FAN):
Sources for this story include:
Many who oppose water fluoridation consider it to be a form of compulsory mass medication. They argue that consent by all water consumers cannot be achieved, nor can water suppliers accurately control the exact levels of fluoride that individuals receive, nor monitor their response.
Water fluoridation was characterized in at least one journal publication as a violation the Nuremberg Code and the Council of Europe’s Biomedical Convention of 1999. A dentistry professor and a philosopher argued in a dentistry journal that the moral status for advocating water fluoridation is “at best indeterminate” and could even be considered immoral. They asserted that it infringes upon autonomy based on uncertain evidence, with possible negative effects. Another journal article suggested applying the precautionary principle to this controversy, which calls for public policy to reflect a conservative approach to minimize risk in the setting where harm is possible (but not necessarily confirmed) and where the science is not settled.
In the United Kingdom, the Green Party refers to fluoride as a poison, claims that water fluoridation violates Article 35 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, is banned by the UK poisons act of 1972, violates Articles 3 and 8 of the Human Rights Act and raises issues under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
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The water fluoridation controversy arises from moral, ethical, political, and safety concerns regarding the fluoridation of public water supplies. The controversy occurs mainly in English-speaking countries, as Continental Europe has ceased water fluoridation. Those opposed argue that water fluoridation may cause serious health problems, is not effective enough to justify the costs, and has a dosage that cannot be precisely controlled. In some countries, fluoride is added to table salt.
At the dosage recommended for water fluoridation, the only known adverse effect is dental fluorosis, which can alter the appearance of children’s teeth during tooth development. Dental fluorosis is considered cosmetic and unlikely to represent any other effect on public health. Despite opponents’ concerns, water fluoridation has been effective at reducing cavities in both children and adults.
Opposition to fluoridation has existed since its initiation in the 1940s. During the 1950s and 1960s, some opponents of water fluoridation suggested that fluoridation was a communist plot to undermine public health.
At the dosage recommended for water fluoridation, the only clear adverse effect is dental fluorosis, which can alter the appearance of children’s teeth during tooth development. This effect is mildly cosmetic and is unlikely to represent any real effect on public health. Fluoridation has little effect on risk of bone fracture (broken bones); it may result in slightly lower fracture risk than either excessively high levels of fluoridation or no fluoridation. A major Australian study found no clear association between fluoridation and cancer or deaths due to cancer, both for cancer in general and also specifically for bone cancer and osteosarcoma, and other adverse effects lack sufficient evidence to reach a confident conclusion.
The WHO set a general guideline of 1.5 mg/L concentration of fluoride in drinking water to avoid adverse effects of higher concentrations including severe dental fluorosis and skeletal fluorosis, as these effects were minimal at this concentration or lower. In 2006, a 12-person U.S. National Research Council (NRC) committee reviewed the health risks associated with fluoride in the water and unanimously concluded that the maximum contaminant level of 4 mg/L should be lowered. Although it did not comment on water fluoridation’s safety, three of the panel members, namely Robert Isaacson, Kathleen Thiessen and Hardy Limeback, expressed their opposition to water fluoridation after the study and the chair, John Doull, suggested that the issue should be reexamined.
Because water fluoridation provided is not individually controlled, opponents express concern for vulnerable populations such as children, nutritionally deficient individuals, and renally impaired individuals. The National Research Council states that children have a higher daily average intake than adults per kg of bodyweight.:23 Those who perspire heavily or have kidney problems consume more water and thus also have a greater intake. A 2006 study found an association between fluoride exposure in drinking water during childhood and the incidence of osteosarcoma among males but not among females. A 2009 analysis by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated that upon reviewing this and other similar studies, the weight of the evidence does not support a relationship. However, the CDC also calls for further research into this potential association to help support or refute the observation. A study performed as a doctoral thesis, which is described as the most rigorous yet by the Washington Post, found a relationship among young boys, but then the Harvard professor who advised the doctoral students determined that the results were not highly correlative enough to have evidentiary value; the professor then was investigated but exonerated by the federal government’s Office of Research Integrity (ORI).
An epidemiological connection between silicofluorides, an industrial byproduct which is used to fluoridate much of the U.S. water, and lead uptake in children was observed in a 2000 study. A 2006 U.S. CDC-funded study was unable to replicate the results, which the original researchers responded to in a 2007 rebuttal. Aside from the lead connection, concerns are raised as to whether silicofluorides might have different effects on the body than sodium fluorides, and silicofluorides have not been rigorously tested for safety.
The available evidence shows that water fluoridation is effective in reducing cavities (see effectiveness section of the main article). The most comprehensive systematic review found that fluoridation was statistically associated with a decreased proportion of children with cavities (the median of mean decreases was 14.6%, the range −5 to 64%), and with a decrease in decayed, missing, and filled primary teeth (the median of mean decreases was 2.25 teeth, the range 0.5 to 4.4 teeth), which is roughly equivalent to preventing 40% of cavities. The review found that the evidence was of moderate quality: many studies did not attempt to reduce observer bias, control for confounding factors, report variance measures, or use appropriate analysis. The effect is largely due to the topical effect of fluoride ions in the mouth rather than the systemic effect of ingestion.
Fluoridation opponents have challenged the efficacy of fluoridation,although their arguments have been accused of bias. A large study of water fluoridation’s efficacy was conducted by the National Institute of Dental Research in 1988, which officially found “20 percent fewer decayed tooth surfaces” corresponding to “less than one cavity per child”. Arguing that the study had errors, the data was reanalyzed by fluoridation opponent John A. Yiamouyiannis, whose results indicated no statistically significant difference in tooth decay rates among children in fluoridated and nonfluoridated communities. Conversely, fluoridation proponents argued that Yiamouyiannis’ work had errors.
In 1986 fluoridation opponent Mark Diesendorf pointed out the substantial declines in tooth decay in nonfluoridated European countries. This failed to account for the fluoride added to table salt in continental Europe. Although fluoridation may still be a relevant public health measure among the poor and disadvantaged, it may be unnecessary for preventing tooth decay, particularly in industrialized countries where tooth decay is rare.
American biochemist Dean Burk, after his retirement, devoted himself to his opposition to water fluoridation. According to Burk “fluoridation is a form of public mass murder.”
A 2001 study found that “fluoride, particularly in toothpastes, is a very important preventive agent against dental caries,” but added that “additional fluoride to that currently available in toothpaste does not appear to be benefiting the teeth of the majority of people.”
The International Chiropractor’s Association opposes mass water fluoridation, considering it “possibly harmful and deprivation of the rights of citizens to be free from unwelcome mass medication.”
In the United States, the Sierra Club opposes mandatory water fluoridation. Some reasons cited include possible adverse health effects, harm to the environment, and risks involving sensitive populations.
Citing impacts on the environment, the economy and on health, the Green Party of Canada seeks a ban on artificial fluoridation products. The Canadian Green Party adopted in 2010 a platform position which considers water fluoridation to be unsustainable.
Arvid Carlsson, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine, opposes water fluoridation. He took part in the debate in Sweden, where he helped to convince Parliament that it should be illegal due to ethics. He believes that it violates modern pharmacological principles, which indicate that medications should be tailored to individuals.
Sociologist Brian Martin states that sociologists have typically viewed opposition to water fluoridation as irrational, although critics of this position have argued that this rests on an uncritical attitude toward scientific knowledge.
On 15 April 2008, the United States National Kidney Foundation (NKF) updated their position on fluoridation for the first time since 1981. Formerly an endorser of water fluoridation, the group is now neutral on the practice. The report states, “Individuals with CKD should be notified of the potential risk of fluoride exposure by providing information on the NKF website including a link to the report in brief of the NRC and the Kidney Health Australia position paper.” Calling for additional research, the foundation’s 2008 position paper states, however, that there is insufficient evidence to recommend fluoride-free drinking water for patients with renal disease.
“I would advise against fluoridation.. Side-effects cannot be excluded .. In
Sweden, the emphasis nowadays is to keep the environment as clean as possible with regard to pharmacologically active and, thus, potentially toxic substances.”
– Dr. Arvid Carlsson, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine (2000)
“The American Medical Association is NOT prepared to state that no harm
will be done to any person by water fluoridation. The AMA has not carried out any research work, either long-term or short-term, regarding the possibility of any side effects.” – Dr. Flanagan, Assistant Director of Environmental Health, American Medical Association. [letter]
“I am appalled at the prospect of using water as a vehicle for drugs.
Fluoride is a corrosive poison that will produce serious effects on a
long range basis. Any attempt to use water this way is deplorable.”
– Dr. Charles Gordon Heyd, Past President of the American Medical Association.
“E.P.A. should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer
data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity and other effects.” – Dr. William Marcus, Senior Toxicologist at E.P.A.
“Water contains a number of substances that are undesirable, and fluorides are just one of them” stated Dr. F. A. Bull, State Dental Director of Wisconsin, speaking at the Fourth Annual Conference of State Dental Directors.
These are strong, deliberate statements.
They are made by the top medical authorities in our nation
based on the latest medical research
Why Fluoride HAD to be Declared Safe
Now declassified files of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Energy Commission shows that the toxicology department at the University of Rochester — which was under the direction of Harold Hodge — was asked to produce medical information about fluoride that could help defend the government against lawsuits where they were charged with fluoride pollution.
It is now clear that if water fluoridation were declared harmful to human health, the U.S. nuclear bomb program, as well as many other fluoride-polluting industries such as aluminum plants and fertilizer manufacturers, would have been left open to massive litigation.
Declare fluoride not only safe, but beneficial, and sell the troublesome waste to municipalities across the US…
How the Idea for Water Fluoridation Came about
The brainchild of water fluoridation was Gerald Cox, a researcher with the Mellon Institute in Pittsburg. He received the suggestion to look at fluoride’s dental effects from Francis C. Frary, then director of the aluminum laboratory for the Aluminum Company of America. Frary had reasons for the suggestion other than the possibility of protecting tooth enamel, however. He was very concerned about the fluoride pollution being generated by the aluminum plant, as lawsuits from surrounding farmers increased.
Another major player in the creation of this scheme was Harold Hodge, the chief toxicologist of the Manhattan Project. As part of a group of scientists and engineers who helped develop the atomic bomb in World War II, Hodge was responsible for evaluating the toxicity of the chemicals used in the production of the bomb. One of the chemicals, as mentioned, was fluoride. Due to the massive amounts of fluoride required to produce bomb-grade uranium and plutonium for these nuclear weapons, the Manhattan Project also needed some way to avoid potentially crippling lawsuits.
Last but not least, there was Robert Kehoe with the Kettering Laboratory, a private toxicology lab that ended up producing a massive bibliography of abstracts on the soundness of communal water fluoridation, and fluoride’s (beneficial) role in public health.
However, this research was not particularly independent or unbiased. Not only was Robert Kehoe working for the Fluorine Lawyers Committee, preparing defenses in fluoride litigation cases, the Kettering report on the health benefits of fluoride was also funded by the National Institute of Dental Research and fluoride-polluting industry-heavyweights like:
The Aluminum company of America (ALCOA) DuPont Reynolds Metals
The Aluminum company of Canada Kaiser Aluminum U.S. Steel
What’s Really Being Added to Your Water Supply?
Originally, the fluoride used to fluoridate water supplies came from the aluminum and atomic bomb industries. A couple of years later, however, they realized there was another fluoride product that was much more readily available. The reason it was so readily accessible was because it was a truly hazardous waste that was very hard to get rid of, namely hydrogen fluoride from the phosphate fertilizer industry.
This fluoride gas is captured in the scrubber system and turned into hydrofluorosilicic acid—which is the primary source of fluoride used for water fluoridation. This phosphate fertilizer byproduct also typically contains arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury, plus a variety of other contaminants that are part of the phosphate ore.
“And so now you have a product, or a hazardous material, that you can’t put in an ocean, you can’t put in a river or lake or stream, you can’t bury it, and you can’t even give it away,” says Green. But you can sell it and put it in the commercial water supplies!
“… [T]his is why we hear all of these constant claims of how great it is without any treatment,” Green says. “Meaning, it doesn’t have to be filtered. It doesn’t have to be refined or anything. It can be taken directly all across the United States and dumped in the water—the very place they couldn’t put it directly [if it was still considered hazardous waste].”
Fluoride Proponents Never Actually Tested “the Real Thing”
Part of the difficulty when discussing water fluoridation is that many do not realize that the fluoride you find in drugs, for example, while harmful, is not quite as bad as what’s being used for water fluoridation. The fluoride added to your drinking water is not pharmaceutical grade.
It’s a toxic industrial waste product.
Deepening the deception is the fact that none of the studies on fluoride actually used the far more toxic hydrofluorosilicic acid that is added to the water supply. Rather they use pharmaceutical grade fluoride, so the health hazards are likely FAR worse than any study has so far discerned.
“So when someone uses the word fluoride, I believe we start with a deception from the very beginning,” Green says. “… [T]here is almost a bragging by the promoters of fluoridation that you don’t have to study it because they have studied fluoride over and over again, yet they have never looked at the actual product itself until just recently!
In 1998 to 2000, I was able to get a congressional investigation on fluoride. At that particular time, the House Committee on Science allowed us to write some questions that would be sent out to various entities. Originally it was to the EPA… We asked them to send the scientific data they had on the silicofluorides. They wrote back [saying they] couldn’t find any [data] for chronic effects of the use of hydrofluorosilicic acid or the silicofluorides.
They didn’t have any at all.
Up until 2010, and now 2011, there have only been two studies that have dealt with the continued use of hydrofluorosilicic acid.
… [T]hey were able to finally confirm, through these toxicological studies, the very thing they had found through large epidemiological study—that there is a higher amount of lead that shows up in blood. In the epidemiological study it was 400,000 children. It showed that there was a tremendous increase… four times as much for Latinos, seven times as much for blacks, and a[n on average] doubling of the danger level of lead in children’s blood, when hydrofluorosilicic acid was present in the water.”
The importance of that was that it was also compared to having no fluoride added into the water and [pharmaceutical grade] sodium fluoride added into the water. So there was really a difference between the specific products being placed in there.”
Fluoride Increases Heavy Metal Accumulation in Your Body
These studies also showed that hydrofluorosilicic acid increases lead accumulation in bone, teeth, and other calcium-rich tissues. According to Green, the free fluoride ion actually acts as a transport of heavy metals, allowing them to enter into areas of your body they normally would not be able to go, such as into your brain.
“Industry prizes what we call fluoride compounds,” Green says. “What’s amazing is there is so much [information] out there that’s never explained to the general public. But [fluoride] is… the most aggressive seeker of another electron. It’s the most electromagnetically negatively charged element in the entire world. It basically is the most interactive of all the elements… It will give up whatever it’s with to be with something else…
So it’s prized by industry because it actually disrupts molecular bonds… Industry also wants it because it creates tighter molecular bonds. So Scotchgard, Stain Master, Gore-Tex, ski gear… These are all fluoride-type compounds as well because they actually make it a tighter molecular bond that is more impervious to penetration.
… By the time you get to the enzyme activity, and knowing what it can do to disrupt enzyme activity, the effects are so widespread, it’s just amazing… Once [people] learn the nature of fluoride, they would never want to put it in their water.”
How to Eliminate Water Fluoridation—An Alternative Strategy
Green suggests an alternative strategy for ending water fluoridation. Rather than being “anti” fluoridation, he prefers reframing the issue from a more positive perspective.
“First of all, we always have to determine what our audience is,” Green says. “There are certain audiences that you could talk about science to because they are scientists… but for the general public, [you need to] start talking about the nature of fluoride, and broaden the base of their understanding so it isn’t just a single-purpose agent that is being placed in the water…
So as an example, fluoride is used in the ceramics business to make ceramics more porous. Well, it does exactly the same thing to your bones. Once they have learned all the other uses for fluoride, it becomes very easy to see how it does the same thing to your own calcium-rich tissues.”
I conclude that with all of the research that has been done of late that directly deems Fluoride harmful to ingest especially in young infants and children, it has still become a very slow process to rid this aluminum waste by product from our drinking water. The implications that we have been lied to and poisoned for almost one hundred years is so great that no one is willing to accept responsibility, and it will continue to be a fight to make our drinking water safe. We need to band together at the local and state levels with facts in hand and put an end to the scam once and for all.