***Update 4/15/18: The Fluoride Action Network has made impressive progress in their lawsuit against the EPA in an attempt to end fluoridation*** see the history and details here: http://fluoridealert.org/articles/newsbud-interviews-paul-michael-connett-on-tsca-fluoride-case/.
Fluoridation: the practice of adding fluoride to our drinking water at the drinking water treatment plant, allegedly to medicate the public (to prevent the formation of cavities).
This is one of the “endlessly debated” topics I find so frustrating. Thank the creator for organizations like the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), who concisely present the facts and truth regarding fluoride for everyone to read on the internet. FAN works with groups from all over the world, including Australia (FAN-Australia), Canada (COF-COF), Ireland (several groups), Japan (Japanese Society for Fluoride Research), Israel (very active individuals), and New Zealand (FAN-NZ). They also work with an impressive roster of scientists and researchers, including Paul Connet who wrote “The Case Against Fluoride.” This post features a whole bunch of information from the FAN website.
Studies show Fluoride Lowers IQ
“Our findings add to our team’s recently published report on prenatal fluoride and cognition at ages 4 and 6–12 years [the Bashash et al 2017 paper] by suggesting that higher in utero exposure to F has an adverse impact on offspring cognitive development that can be detected earlier, in the first three years of life.”
This finding adds strength to the rapidly accumulating evidence that a pregnant woman’s intake of fluoride similar to that from artificially fluoridated water can cause a large loss of IQ in the offspring. – FAN bulletin
As a wise woman said “More power to you if fluoridation doesn’t bother YOU, but NOT the power to assume it’s safe for your neighbor with kidney disease, his pregnant wife or their diabetic daughter!”
It is against the law to medicate through the water supply, but somehow the fluoride industry has the government and everyone believing that this exception is ok.
FAN is not the only one has allowed truth to lead where it may. All-star NFL Quarterback Tom Brady of the Patriots warns against fluoride in his recent book – “The TB12 Method: How to Achieve A Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.” In chapter 7 while discussing the importance of hydration, Brady acknowledges the risks of ingesting fluoride, advising readers to remove it from tap water by filtration.
Regardless of all the nuances of the debate included below, fluoridation of our drinking water should cease; we should never medicate the public through our food or water supply. In the words of FAN campaign director Stuart Cooper: “the practice of artificial water fluoridation set[s] a dangerous public health precedent that threaten[s] personal freedom and choice by using the public water supply to distribute a drug, without consent or concern for vulnerable subpopulations.”
He goes on to say:
- “I’ve never seen a study that says children need more, not less, exposure to environmental toxins.
- I haven’t read a study that recommends ingesting more hazardous waste from the phosphate fertilizer industry as part of a healthy diet.
- I’ve never laid on eye on a journal article recommending the addition of aluminum, arsenic, or other heavy metals to our public drinking water, as fluoridation does.“
Previous to working with FAN, Stuart worked as a lobbyist and campaign director for corporate, public health, and nonprofit clients, regarding issues considered controversial at the time, like single-stream recycling and ending outpatient referral kickbacks for corrupt doctors. He says that nothing he has worked on previously has “presented the amount of obstacles or level of opposition that working to end overexposure to fluoride has. The amount of effort, propaganda, and money the fluoridation-lobby is willing to utilize to cover-up their experiment-gone-wrong is unprecedented. Their credibility and authority are tied too closely to fluoridation, and there is no letting go for them, regardless of emerging science, of facts, of reality, of anything.”
Don’t We Need Fluoride to Protect Our Teeth?
NO – fluoride doesn’t prevent decay/cavities. Although we have been adding fluoride to our water, the amount of cavities in the United States has continued to increase!! Cavities have many causes, such as nutrition or mineral deficiencies in the diet, breathing thorugh the mouth/not keeping the mouth closed during the day or night (when your mouth is open the pH inside your mouth changes), etc, etc! Fluoride does not fix the symptom, nor does it even begin to address the cause.
Dental researchers admit that any fluoride “benefit” would result from direct topical contact with the teeth – NOT INGESTION, through water or tablets. This is the most important thing to remember, as fluoride’s negative health effects come from ingestion. I don’t believe fluoride has any benefit that could justify it’s use/biological harm, and I don’t believe there is a problem fluoride can resolve that can’t be more effectively resolved using an alternative. The FAN website states:
Recent large-scale studies from the United States have found little practical or statistical difference in tooth decay rates among children living in fluoridated versus non-fluoridated areas. In addition, data complied by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that tooth decay rates have declined just as rapidly in non-fluoridated western countries as they have in fluoridated western countries. Read more.
If people remain convinced that they need fluoride, let them apply it topically, buy toothpaste containing fluoride, or add it to their own water at home. My personal opinion is that no one should be using fluoride, unless someone can prove its efficacy (studies have not shown this), because even fluoride applied at home will still eventually find its way into the waterways of all, as do all neurotoxic and endocrine-disrupting ingredients from cosmetics, sunscreen, pesticides, antibiotics, birth control hormones, etc. I’m not saying we should ban antibiotics right now; however, we do not intentionally add antibiotics to our drinking water, nor should we add fluoride or any other ‘medication.’
“The Government Says This is Safe!”
As is the case with so many aspects of our modern life, the status quo is often not safe, and the government is unfortunately crippled by fraudulent corporations and lobbyists, red tape, and lack of motivation and incentive. FAN has detailed the history of government fluoridation policy from 1986 to the present, which explains some of the how and why of the fluoride status quo.
However, many public officials inside and outside government have spoken out against fluoridation, even in the past year of 2017. Read this list gleaned from media and public statements – you might even find your local public official on this list making a statement, and find that you have a supporter right in your ‘backyard’ – I did!
Fluoride Harms Our Bodies
In my opinion, fluoride wreaks havoc in the body in general, and can make any disease or condition worse, or create a situation in which the body has yet another obstacle getting in the way of healing. According to the research, fluoride causes decreased IQ, arthritis, gastrointestinal distress, thyroid disease, glucose intolerance, bone fragility, skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis, and possibly cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.
- Complete research on fluoride’s health effects by FAN
- possible symptoms of fluoride poisoning, by SecondLook
- possible symptoms of fluoride overdose, by the University of Maryland
- Fluoride is particularly harmful for babies.
Audrey Adams and other parents of autistic children also state that fluoride exposures cause excruciating pain in their autistic children, and they share success after eliminating exposure to fluoride in food, drinking water, and bathing water.
97% of Western European countries have rejected the practice of fluoridation. The United States however fluoridates more than 70% of its water supplies—now at a concentration of 0.7ppm, according to FAN.
States that have mandatory fluoridation, according to the FAN Network, as of December, 2017:
- Arizona – 2011
- California – 1995
- Connecticut – 1965
- Deleware -1998
- District of Columbia – 1952
- Georgia – 1973
- Illinois – 1967
- Kentucky – 1966
- Louisiana – 2008
- Michigan – 1968
- Minnesota – 1967
- Mississippi – 2009
- Nebraska – 1973
- Nevada – 1999
- Ohio – 1969
- South Dakota – 1969
- Massachusetts – 1957
- Maine – 1957
- New Hampshire – 1959
- Utah – 1976
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
Fluoride – Where Does it Come From? What Kind does my City Use?
The following excerpts are taken from the Washington Action for Safe Water website, which is led in part by Audrey Adams, who has an autistic son who is extremely sensitive to fluoride, and who experiences excruciating pain after ingesting fluoride. Just because you or I don’t experience overt signs of sensitivity like her son does, doesn’t mean that we are not negatively affected! Everyone’s health is absolutely affected.
Where do artificial fluoridation chemicals come from?
The main chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are known as “silicofluorides” (i.e., hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate). Silicofluorides are not pharmaceutical-grade fluoride products; they are unprocessed industrial by-products of the phosphate fertilizer industry. Since these silicofluorides undergo no purification procedures, they can contain elevated levels of arsenic — moreso than any other water treatment chemical.
Doesn’t fluoride occur naturally?
As a general rule, the only fresh water with high levels of fluoride (other than waters polluted by fluoride-emitting industries) is water derived from deep wells. Rather than being something to celebrate, high levels of naturally occurring fluorides have wreaked havoc on tens of millions of people’s health around the world. People consuming water with naturally high levels of fluoride have been found to suffer serious health ailments including disfiguring tooth damage, bone disease, ulcers, reduced IQ, thyroid disease, and infertility. Because of this, international organizations like UNICEF assist developing nations in finding ways of removing fluoride from the water.
Thankfully, most fresh water supplies contain very low levels of fluoride. The average level of fluoride in unpolluted fresh water is less than 0.1 ppm, which is about 10 times less than the levels added to water in fluoridation programs (0.7 to 1.2 ppm). The frequent claim, therefore, that “nature thought of fluoridation first” does not withstand scrutiny.
What Kind does my City Use?
The majority of cities use the liquid form of fluoride (fluorosilicic acid (FSA)). It contains many other contaminants, but the FSA is “guaranteed” to be 25% of the product.
As far as I know, the remaining locations use the white dry powder (sodium fluoride).
My city treatment plant adds FSA to the water to amount to 6 parts per million (ppm) coming out of the tap. This is confusing as the amount is usually measure in mg/L. The source water for our city contains 12mg/L, but after they add fluoride to the water, the treated water contains .57mg/L.
Fluoride May Increase Other Contaminants
The FAN network states that research suggests that the addition of silicofluorides to water is a risk factor for elevated lead exposure, particularly in homes with old pipes (pre 1986).
I’ve read that fluoride can aid aluminum in crossing from the gut to the blood, or from the body to the brain – (fluoride appears to weaken membranes in general).
Need Proof? Peer Reviewed Scientific Studies, & News
FAN maintains a fabulous user-friendly database of fluoride studies.
FAN also has an incredible library of news articles categorized by state and by country, reports, and in-depth analysis regarding “everything fluoride,” which is updated daily.
Here are a few highlights from the studies database:
A 12-year multimillion dollar study, financed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has shown an association between fluoride exposure to pregnant women in Mexico (as measured by fluoride in their urine) and lowered IQ in their offspring. The study was published in the world’s leading environmental health journal (Environment Health Perspectives). Even so this didn’t stop the American Dental Association and other promoters of fluoridation from dismissing the significance of the study for pregnant women in fluoridated communities even though the fluoride urine levels in the Mexican women are similar to U.S. levels. For example, most of the Mexican women had urine fluoride between 0.5 and 1.5mg/L. Studies have found that adults in the U.S. have between about 0.6 and 1.5mg/L, almost exactly the same range.
This important study was not covered in the New York Times, Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. So even when our concerns are validated few people – including key decision-makers and many others who could help us on this issue – hear about it.
Mullenix et al, raised this possibility in her seminal work on fluoride’s impact on animal behavior in 1995. This study got her fired from her position as the chairperson of the first department of toxicology in a dental school (Forsyth Research Institute in Boston), reminding us how hard it is to separate serious science on this issue from political interference from those who are determined to keep this practice regardless of its human costs.
Now we have over 150 animal studies that show that fluoride can interfere with various aspects of brain function; 45 studies that show that fluoride interferes with the ability of animals to learn and remember and 51 human studies that have associated exposure to fluoride with loss of IQ. And some of the best of these studies have been carried out at doses exceeded by many children in fluoridated communities.
Using standard risk assessment techniques, former U.S. EPA risk assessment specialist, Willam Hirzy PhD, has shown that 1.4 mg/day is associated with a lowering of IQ by 5 IQ points in one well-conducted Chinese study (Xiang et al., 2003a, 2003b).
Is it Possible to Filter Out Fluoride?
The best solution would be to cease the practice of fluoridation. For more information about how to achieve this in your area, scroll down.
In the meantime, The Fluoride Action Network published a page offering several considerations when attempting to filter out fluoride. I can’t offer much regarding their ideas, because I’ve only had time to research and try out carbon filters. Their mention of bone filters is intriguing (what is a bone filter?).
To find out how to best determine which contaminants are present in your water, and select a method to purify your water, read my post on drinking water, contaminants, testing and filters.
Some use a fluoride meter to monitor the effectiveness of various filters.
Stop the Practice of Fluoridation in Your City
Because it is so difficult/sometimes impossible to filter out fluoride, we need to stop adding it to our water!!! And as individuals, we need to effect this change – and it is possible! In the words of the Fluoride Action Network:
79% of community or council votes on fluoridation in the U.S. were prompted by residents or officials calling for an end to fluoridation, not for implementation of it. In fact, data shows that for every attempt by the fluoride-lobby to initiate fluoridation, there are 4 attempts by communities working to stop it...and a majority of them have succeeded.
Since 1990, more than 500 communities throughout the world have ended existing fluoridation programs or rejected new efforts to fluoridate either by council vote or citizen referendum. In 2017 alone, we’ve confirmed that at least 17 communities with a combined population of approximately 500,000 voted to prohibit fluoridation. This brings the number of victories since 2010 to at least 236 communities, representing approximately 7 million people.
Almost all of these victories were the result of citizens organizing local campaigns and voicing their opposition to public officials, with many working in coordination with FAN or using our materials to educate their neighbors and local decision-makers about the serious health risks associated with the practice. Some of 2017’s victories included:
- Curacao (pop. 160,000)
- Greater Johnstown Water District, Pennsylvania (52,657)
- Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (72,000)
- Port Angeles, Washington (19,038)
- Hinchinbrook Shire Council, Queensland, Australia (12,500)
- Bedford Regional Water District, Virginia (25,000)
- See the full list of victories
By State: 4,790 Professionals who Signed Statement Opposing Fluoridation – Please sign if you can!
AL • AK • AZ • AR • CA • CO • CT • DE • DC • FL • GA • HI • ID • IL • IN • IA • KS • KY • LA • ME • MD • MA • MI • MN • MS • MO • MT • NE • NV • NH • NJ • NM • NY • NC • ND • OH • OK • OR • PA • RI • SC • SD • TN • TX • UT • VT • VA • WA • WV • WI • WY • International Signers
- wonderful letter written to the Environmental Protection Agency, which could be used as a example to write your own letter to your legislators: http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/epa-petition.pdf.
- FAN’s Action Tool Kit: http://fluoridealert.org/take-action/activist-tool-kit/
- Many public officials inside and outside government have spoken out against fluoridation, even in the past year of 2017. Read this list gleaned from media and public statements – you might even find your local public official on this list making a statement and discover a supporter right in your ‘backyard’ – I did!
Highlights from the list of statements from Public Officials:
“The pipe at the “T” by the air stripper has had to be replaced in the area where fluoride is pumped into the water supply due to corrosion. It has been replaced for the 3rd time since installing the air stripper in 2012 at a cost of $850 for the replacement parts.”
“HCR34 sought to recognize community water fluoridation as a significant public health achievement. My testimony clarified that 70% of public water supplies in the US contain artificially fluoridated water. Fluoride is a mineral, not an essential nutrient. No disease, not even tooth decay, is caused by a fluoride deficiency. The dose is impossible to control since everyone consumes different amounts. Infants drinking baby formula and competitive athletes may ingest more than the average person. Fluoride accumulates in the body, largely in calcifying tissues such as bones, and can pose a health risk…[Fluoridation] is a form of medical treatment, where other treatments that are chemically added are for water quality or safety, which fluoride does not do. I just can’t support it. It has some detriment to your body.”
“The more I’ve looked at it, the science of it is perhaps more debatable than a lot of people realize…I’ve found peer-reviewed articles in very reputable publications that bring up questions about, first of all, the efficacy of fluoridation through the water versus the topical application of fluoride in toothpaste or by a dentist. And second, the effects of fluoride, specifically questions raised about whether it causes brittle bones that might lead to hip fractures, whether it has had a developmental impact in some cases, whether it has an effect on thyroid function; lots of different questions have been raised…It’s a very strange way of [distributing fluoride] by dumping it in the water. You aren’t controlling dosage at all…like anything it has different effects on different people. And the other thing is a huge percentage of it doesn’t do anyone’s teeth any good because it’s being used to wash clothing, or dishes, or cars, or whatever else you use the water for at your house.” (see video interview)
“Firstly [rejecting a plan to fluoridate] is good for the people of Southampton and the surrounding area that would have received this medication via their tap water. But it’s also good news because I think it sends out a message nationally that public health bodies cannot impose their wishes [upon] people without their consent.”
“New research shows that ingesting fluoride delivers health risks without benefit of less tooth decay which makes water fluoridation obsolete, unhealthy and a waste of money, and that is why I introduced legislation calling for the end of Milwaukee’s water fluoridation program…We have served as guinea pigs in this ongoing and failed experiment for far too long. In my position as Alderman, it is my duty to promote the health, safety and welfare of all our residents. Adding fluoride chemicals into our public water supply runs counter to this and therefore needs to end.” – (Read his entire statement)
“We are making this change because the authority recognizes there are conflicting opinions about the benefits of water fluoridation…We believe we should not put anything into the water that is not required by regulation to maintain the potability and pH balance of your water.”
“I remember as a kid, one of the big battles going on was about fluoridation of the water. Well, I don’t know whether or not fluoridating the water helps people’s teeth become better or not. I don’t know that. But, I do know that in this country, we should be the ones who should be deciding what we put into our bodies one way or the other. Not the federal government or the local government putting fluoride into our water. A lot of these things come down to freedom issues. They come down to whether or not we will control our own destiny. The fact that we will be consistent with what our founding fathers had in mind for us in controlling our own lives.”