What’s Wrong with Fluoride?
Fluoride is a cumulative toxin, which means the more exposure you get over greater periods of time, the worse your symptoms of fluoride poisoning are likely to be. Studies have also demonstrated that fluoride toxicity caused by overexposure can lead to increased lead absorption, disrupted synthesis of collagen, hyperactivity and/or lethargy, muscle disorders, bone cancer, increased tumor and cancer rate, arthritis, bone fractures, cell death, infertility, inactivation of 62 enzymes, and immune system disruptions.
Most fluoride exposure comes from our drinking water. While pharmaceutical-grade fluoride is harmful enough, the majority of water districts are not even using this type of fluoride to add to water supplies.
More than 200 million Americans drink these waters every day, according to the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). Fluoride compounds like fluorosilicic acid are toxic industrial waste products, which can also be contaminated with lead, arsenic, radionucleotides, aluminum, and other industrial contaminants.
But fluoridated drinking water is good for our teeth, right?
Well, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported no discernible difference in tooth decay between developed countries that fluoridate their water and those that do not. Also, research published in the Journal of Dental Research showed fluoride hasn’t stopped sugar-related tooth decay. According to an article from the American Journal of Public Health, fluoridation was adopted prematurely, without harms and risks being fully explored.
Plans are still in place for districts throughout the US to fluoridate their water supply, despite reports of the toxic effects. Worse still, there’s a pretty good chance the fluoride compounds being used to fluoridate our drinking supplies are coming from Mosaic Fertilizer, LLC.
How can I reduce my fluoride exposure?
- Stop Drinking Fluoridated Water
Tap water consumption is, on average, the largest daily source of fluoride exposure for people who live in areas that add fluoride to the water supplies. If you live in an area that fluoridates its water, you can avoid drinking the fluoride in one of three ways:
- Water Filters: Not all water filters remove fluoride, so be sure to get one of the three types of filters that can remove fluoride – reverse osmosis, deionizers (which use ion-exchange resins), and activated alumina. Each of these filters should be able to remove about 90 percent of the fluoride. By contrast, “activated carbon” filters (e.g., Brita & Pur) do not remove fluoride.
- Spring Water: Most brands of spring water contain very low levels of fluoride. Some brands, however, do contain high levels (e.g., Trinity Springs). Before consuming any bottled water on a consistent basis, therefore, you should verify that the fluoride content is less than 0.2 ppm, and ideally less than 0.1 ppm.
- Water Distillation: Purchase a distillation unit which will remove most, if not all, of the fluoride in your drinking water. The price for a distillation unit varies widely depending on the size, but small countertop units can cost as little as $200. Larger units can exceed $1,000, though.
- Don’t Let Your Child Swallow Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride toothpaste is often the largest single source of fluoride intake for young children, because they swallow a large amount of the toothpaste they put in their mouths. If you have a young child, use a non-fluoride toothpaste or closely supervise your children while they brush to make sure they use no more than a pea-sized amount of paste and fully rinse and spit when finished. If you do purchase toothpaste with fluoride, do not purchase candy-flavored ones (e.g., bubblegum and watermelon), as these toothpastes (which still contain adult-strength concentrations of fluoride) increase the risk that children will swallow it. Read the label! Fluoride toothpastes are a poison control substance.
- Do NOT Get Fluoride Gel Treatments at the Dentist
Because of fluoride gel’s high acidity, the saliva glands produce a large amount of saliva during the treatment, making it extremely difficult (both for children and adults) to avoid swallowing the gel. Even when dentists use precautionary measures such as suction devices, children and adults still ingest significant quantities of the paste, which can cause incredibly high spikes of fluoride in the blood for up to 15 hours.
- Eat More Fresh, Less Processed Food
When water is fluoridated, it is not just the water that is fluoridated, but all beverages and foods that are made with that water. As a general rule, the more processed a food is the more fluoride it has. Also, since processed beverages (e.g., sodas, reconstituted juices, and sports drinks) contribute more to fluoride intake than processed foods, it is most important to focus on reducing your consumption of processed beverages.
- Buy Organic Grape Juice and Wine
In the US, many vineyards use a fluoride pesticide called cryolite. As a result, the levels of fluoride in US grapes (that make raisins, grape juice and wine) are consistently elevated. To avoid the high levels of fluoride, buy organic.
- Reduce Your Tea Consumption (and/or Drink Tea with Younger Leaves)
Bottled and instant teas contain high levels of fluoride and very few antioxidants. Tea leaves accumulate high levels of fluoride and contain high levels of health-boosting antioxidants, while younger leaves have lower levels of fluoride but still maintain high levels of antioxidants. Try to purchase tea varieties made from young leaves (e.g., “white tea”). This will allow you to maximize tea’s known benefits while reducing the potential for harm.
- Avoid Cooking with Non-Stick Pans
Some research has found that cooking with non-stick-coated pans can significantly increase the fluoride content of food. If you have non-stick pans, consider switching to ceramic or another type of safe pan.
- Don’t Take Cipro and Be Mindful of Other Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals
Many pharmaceuticals are fluorinated, which means they contain something called a “carbon-fluorine bond.” Although the carbon-fluoride bond is supposed to be strong enough to resist breaking down in the body, this is not always the case. Some fluorinated drugs have been found to metabolize into fluoride within the body, and this greatly increases a person’s exposure. The most notable example of this is the drug Cipro. Other fluorinated chemicals that are currently known to break down into fluoride include fluorinated anesthetics (Isoflurane and Sevoflurane), Niflumic acid, Flecainide, and Voriconazole. If you are taking any of these drugs, find out if there are any safer alternatives available.
- Minimize Consumption of Mechanically-Deboned Chicken
Most meats that are pulverized into a pulp form (e.g., chicken fingers, chicken nuggets) are made using a mechanical deboning process. This mechanical deboning process increases the quantity of bone particles in the meat. Since bone is the main site of fluoride accumulation in the body, the higher levels of bone particle in mechanically deboned meat results in significantly elevated fluoride levels. Of all the meats that are mechanically deboned, chicken meat has consistently been found to have the highest levels. Thus, minimize consumption of mechanically deboned chicken.
Want to learn more?
Check out: New Short Film:’ Our Daily Dose.” In the video, award-winning director Jeremy Seifert (GMO OMG) lays out the dangers of water fluoridation. The most current research is highlighted and expert doctors, activists and attorneys close to the issue are interviewed to give an inside look at this prominent health threat. Whether you’re just now learning about the issues surrounding water fluoridation or have been aware of the risks and hoping for change, take 20 minutes to watch this eye-opening film.