The Health Risks of Fluoride and Water Fluoridation
Fluoride is a contentious subject. Some people are adamantly opposed to it being in our water. Others argue that it’s perfectly safe, even beneficial. Most of us are left with no idea what to think. We’ve been told for years that it would help our teeth, keep enamel strong, and prevent cavities, but new voices are rising, calling fluoride a poison and pointing out the health risks.
There are also rumors of dark conspiracies at the root of fluoridation that describe groups with evil desires to accrue money, bypass laws, and make the masses more docile and easier to control. These often wild conspiracy theories make those who speak out against fluoride easy targets for the opposition, labeling them as quacks and nut-cases. This is unfortunate as it undercuts the many valid arguments against fluoride, draws attention away from the real problems, and makes it easy for those who are unsure to ignore the warning signs.
Why Conspiracy Theories Don’t Help
Conspiracy theories are addictive to those who believe them. They make people feel smart, enlightened, and powerful, but peer pressure is also a strong motivator that doesn’t disappear after high school. Most of us don’t want to look like quacks. We have an innate desire to be on the right side of any issue. For that reason, this article will not go into the conspiracy theories that may or may not be behind fluoridation of our water supply. The reason fluoride first entered our water and our food is irrelevant. It’s too late to change any of the reasons this compound became part of human consumption. Correcting the problem at hand is more important than placing blame.
Fluoride really does help limit cavities or at least delay them. It reacts with teeth, binding to them and replacing other minerals, to make your chompers more resistant to acid. Communities that have natural fluoride from the earth in their water are less likely to develop cavities. This is a fact and one of the reasons fluoride was looked at as a possible addition to water back in the 1940s. The majority of studies show that the benefits of fluoride are purely topical. This means that the water’s contact with our teeth gives us the benefits while ingesting it does not.
Fluoride is the only compulsory mass medication that we know of. Communities that fluoridate water skip the normal process of involving doctors, dentists, prescriptions, and choice.
The sodium fluoride we now add to our water is not the same calcium fluoride that naturally occurs in well water and springs. The fluoride we are dumping into our drinking water is a by-product of nuclear production, aluminum manufacturing, and phosphate mining. It is much more dangerous than natural calcium fluoride. Calcium fluoride honestly isn’t all that safe either, but it’s much easier for the body to deal with.
Sodium fluoride must be labeled by law as toxic. In material safety data sheets it is marked as extremely dangerous to health. It must be handled with splash goggles, protective suits, and respirators. It is categorized as a toxic substance from the moment it is pulled from industrial filters up until it is added to our water. As soon as it hits our water, it becomes beneficial. All conspiracies aside, this just doesn’t make sense.
Compounded Overdose Risks
It has become much easier to get more than could possibly be of any benefit. Fluoride comes hidden in water from our taps, bottled water, canned foods, sodas, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and even in the fruits and vegetables we eat. Plants that are watered with fluoridated water absorb the sodium fluoride and it makes its way into the leaves, fruits, nuts, grains, and seeds we rely on to feed ourselves. This dangerous concentration of a known toxin is compounded as pesticides that use fluoride as a main ingredient are also sprayed on crops to kill insects.
Too much fluoride, or fluoride poisoning, is called fluorosis. Fluorosis causes problems in the development of teeth and bone and is especially problematic for young children as they are growing. Mild fluorosis can be seen as white or brown spots on teeth. These are permanent and can flake off, leaving pits in the same teeth fluoride is supposed to be saving. More advanced fluorosis weakens teeth, staining them dark brown and yellow and pitting them deeply. Fluorosis can deform bone, twisting the spine, over-mineralizing joints, and bending legs into unnatural and painful curves that limit mobility.
Fluoride affects more than teeth and bone, it also damages the liver and kidneys as the body tries to get rid of something it perceives as poison. It builds up in the pineal gland, calcifying and inhibiting this vital organ’s function in healthy sleep and circadian rhythm. The pineal gland also plays a role in delaying puberty until the body has developed enough for the process to begin. Premature puberty may be associated with fluoride buildup in the pineal gland as seen in studies involving young gerbils. Any stress on this gland will also impact the thyroid and the entire endocrine system, affecting energy levels, motivation, growth, ability to handle stress, and more. Fluoride is also considered a mutagenic compound, which may contribute to DNA damage, cancer risks, and Alzheimer’s.
Fluoride levels may also affect IQ. There have been numerous studies in recent years all across the world that have linked elevated fluoride in the body with lower IQ and test scores. There have been other studies that contradict this, but any correlation between the two should not be ignored by parents, especially as fluoride is added to many baby formulas and often doubled by the use of tap water with those formulas. Lower IQ and early puberty is not something we want to pass on to future generations.
First, limit your exposure to sodium fluoride. Buy organic food as much as possible. These foods will not have been sprayed with pesticides containing fluoride. Buy natural toothpastes and mouthwashes. Don’t buy bottled water or sodas. Find out if your city adds fluoride to your water and avoid drinking it if they do. Buy distilled or reverse osmosis filtered water. Carbon filters won’t remove fluoride. Try to eat fresh foods over canned foods that may have been processed with fluoridated water. Read labels and know what is going into your food, but know that fluoride won’t always be listed as an ingredient if it originally came in water.
Flush the Fluoride
Next, work to flush fluoride from your body. Natural calcium and magnesium will both help the body rid itself of fluoride. Natural vitamin C will also aid the body in removing stored toxins. Drink plenty of clean, fluoride free water so the body has the hydration it needs to excrete the fluoride. Exercise during the day; this encourages the release of toxins through sweat and boosts melatonin production later when you sleep. Darkness is crucial to the pineal gland’s creation of melatonin, so make sure you sleep in a dark room. Iodine removes fluoride too; try adding sea vegetables like seaweed to a few of your dishes. Boron is supposed to help dissolve fluoride, but it is has its own risks in high doses, so go easy on it or get it from foods like beets. Fulvic acid, a naturally occurring nutrient in organic soil, is a powerful and natural chelator that will rid the body of the heavy metals that can come packaged with sodium fluoride. Find fulvic acid in organic produce and in supplements.
About Charlie Pulsipher
Charlie Pulsipher is a health and fitness enthusiast, writer, author, and neighborhood do-gooder. He shifted his education from Biochemistry to English Literature in an attempt to avoid math, but never stopped loving the natural world of the miniscule. He has published several fantasy and science fiction novels and helped others publish more down to earth books about natural foods. He can’t stop writing. He is probably happily tapping away on some keyboard even now.