(By Dr. Mercola | Mercola.com)
Despite widespread public health adoption, water fluoridation has come under close scrutiny over the past quarter century. Time has stripped away fluoridation’s rosy glow. Once touted as the magic solution to dental caries, fluoride’s benefit for your teeth – IF there is any, which is still debatable – comes with overshadowing downsides.
No matter which scientific studies you examine, or which population trends you view, the only rational conclusion is that fluoride’s health dangers far outweigh the marginal dental benefits it might offer. The science is very clear about the following:
- Fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product that is a poison to your body and in no way a “nutrient,” offering no benefits at all to the human body. The fluoride added to water supplies can be contaminated with lead, arsenic, radionucleotides, aluminum and other industrial contaminants. Additionally, the fluoride added to municipal water supplies is not pharmaceutical grade.
- Fluoride exposure comes from tap water, most toothpaste and many antibiotics, including ones given to farm animals. There is a large variation in exposure levels, making it impossible to accurately predict these variables for any person, family or community.
- Fluoride exposure for many can easily reach toxic levels. For example, poison control should be called if you swallow a quarter milligram of fluoride from toothpaste. Meanwhile just ONE glass of water can contain this amount of fluoride.
- Fluoride is a cumulative poison that has been proven to cause wide-ranging, serious health problems, such as damage to your bones, brain and endocrine system.
- Dental caries can be prevented with means other than fluoridation, thereby avoiding the adverse effects of fluoride.
Fluoride is Found in More than Just Your Drinking Water
Fluoride is found in all natural waters to some degree. It can be extremely high in groundwater, depending on a number of factors, such as the types of rocks and minerals of that region. Drinking water is the largest fluoride source, adding to your exposure from dental products. But you may not be aware that fluoride is also present in some surprising places:
- A variety of vegetables and fruits, grains, taro, yams, cassava, meat, poultry and fish (especially canned fish), milk and tea; most natural foods have only minor levels of fluoride, but there are a few exceptions. Tea leaves, for example, tend to concentrate fluoride from the soil; deboned meat and poultry can be very high in fluoride due to contamination from bone particles during processing.
- Processed foods and beverages such as sodas, juices, sports drinks, baby foods, etc., are often high in fluoride.
- Air can be tainted with fluoride, particularly in areas with greater industrial pollution from coal burning and phosphate fertilizer production; fluoride exposure can also be a problem after volcanic eruptions, as was discovered in southern Iceland.
- Pesticides and cryolite,1 a fluoride-containing mineral used as a pesticide on dozens of food products in the U.S.
- Non-stick pans emit a fluoride gas when heated.
Summary of Fluoride’s Potential Health Hazards
It’s important to realize that fluoride is a cumulative toxin, which over time can lead to more serious health concerns than dental fluorosis (spotting on your teeth). Skeletal fluorosis from fluoride toxicity can be crippling and even deadly. The neurological effects are also quite disturbing. There are now 25 studies showing fluoride is associated with diminished IQ, even at levels as low as 0.3 to 3 parts per million, which overlaps the range in many American communities (0.7 to 1.2 ppm). Studies have shown fluoride toxicity can lead to the wide-ranging problems listed below.