Fluoride is one of the most common chemicals in modern life, and is an entrenched part of the water supply in a long list of communities. What many people don’t know is that fluoride is not the super safe additive some have made it out to be, and can in fact be very harmful to your health. We’ll tell you why that is and what you can do about it.
In 1936 the Journal of the American Dental Association said that fluoride at a 1 part per million concentration is as toxic as lead and arsenic. An editorial in the same publication in October of 1944 said, “Drinking water containing as little as 1.2 ppm fluoride will cause developmental disturbances. We cannot run the risk of producing such serious systemic disturbances. The potentialities for harm outweigh those for good.”
In the 40s and 50s, the government, due to the interests of the aluminum industry, our nuclear weapons program and the dental industry, declared fluoride to be beneficial to human health. Let’s take a look at that.
Isn’t fluoride natural?
Indeed, in a form. Natural mineral fluoride is found in nature and in teeth and bones, and is called Apatite. In your mouth, you have a natural balancing act happening between hydroxl-apatite (calcium phosphate) dissolving and the forming of enamel that can shift depending on diet and physical conditions. When you have more calcium phosphate dissolving than adhering you end up with de-mineralization that causes cavities.
This process has nothing to do with fluoride on its own, but regardless, the fluoride in our drinking water is not the natural mineral we deal with every day.
The fluoride in water is another compound. There are three basic compounds to think about: sodium fluoride, sodium silicofluoride and hydrofluorosilicic acid. The last two are used for fluoridating water and the last is the most common.
What are they? They are byproducts of steel, cement, aluminum, phosphate and the manufacture of nuclear weapons. They are made by man and have no nutrient value or health benefits at all. On top of that, they’ve never been fully tested to see just how harmful they can be. Instead the more benign (if it could be called that) sodium fluoride is what is used when many studies evaluate the risks of fluoride.
Did you know that American teens that live with fluoridated water have twice the cavity rate of South African children drinking low levels of natural fluoride? Our fluoride can cause what it’s supposed to be preventing.
And according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, even sodium fluoride can cause serious harm. In the Material Safety Data Sheet, the NIOSH stated that this chemical targets your kidneys, heart, bones, teeth, nerves and gastrointestinal system. It can cause systemic toxic effects to the heart, kidneys and liver and depleted calcium that can lead to hypocalcaemia and death. The report also states that the effects might be delayed and lab experiments have caused tumor development.
As fluoride accumulates in the body, you could suffer things like hyperactivity, arthritis, teeth pitting and staining, lower thyroid function, lower IQ and a disrupted immune system. It inactivates at least 62 enzymes, accelerates aging and can cause genetic cell damage.
All this from water?
Water is a big part, but the problem is that fluoride is also found in food and drinks that are processed with fluoridated water, in mechanically deboned meat, in pesticide residues, some instant teas, soy baby formulas and many pharmaceutical drugs. Combine them all and the problem is exacerbated, and overdosing becomes easy.
But don’t I need fluoride for healthy teeth?
No. Fluoride doesn’t help your teeth anyway, as we stated above. Your diet has much more to do with healthy teeth. Limiting or eliminating sugar, avoiding processed foods and eating green vegetables is the best way to keep your teeth healthy.
So how do I get rid of it?
On a large scale, contact your Congressional representatives and demand that fluoride and a list of other toxins be taken out of your local water supply. Join local groups to fight for clean water. On a personal scale, you can eliminate most or all fluoride from your home drinking water with some simple systems.
Three systems are good for reducing and removing fluoride: bone char, reverse osmosis and steam distillation.
Bone char is popular because fluoride naturally attracts to bone and therefore is easily attaches to the bone char. It removes contaminates effectively. Besides fluoride, it also removes chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides and other harmful chemicals. A two stage filter removes around 50% of fluoride, while a three stage removes 75% and a four stage removes around 95%. Therefore, we recommend a four stage system, though other options are available. Bone char systems are easy to use with whole house filtration systems, making it easy to clean the water in all of your faucets.