Fluoride and You

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is added to drinking water in many places.  But fluoride is not a nutrient.  No one has ever gotten sick from a lack of fluoride.  But people have gotten sick from drinking fluoride.

Want simple proof?  Read any tube of fluoride toothpaste.  It basically says, "do not swallow this because it contains fluoride."  Just a tiny amount, yet it's dangerous.

Then we have tap water.  If yours is fluoridated, each glass contains fluoride, but you're told to drink 8 glasses a day!

Where Does Fluoride Come From?

According to the Fluoride Action Network at FluorideAlert.org, "The main fluoride chemical added to water (hydrofluorosilicic acid) is an industrial by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry.  Unlike the fluoride used in toothpaste [sodium fluoride], hydrofluorosilicic acid is not pharmaceutical-grade quality.  It is an unpurified, industrial-grade, corrosive acid which has been linked, in several recent studies, to increased levels of lead in children's blood."

Any redeeming qualities?

There is conflicting information out there, and that's why fluoridation is so controversial.

Proponents claim that some communities have seen more cavities in their people when they stopped fluoridation and less when they brought fluoride back.  Opponents claim that there's no real difference in cavity rate between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities, except that fluoridated communities have more cases of fluoridosis (discolored teeth caused by damage to enamel). 

Most of Europe, which has rejected fluoridation, has a rate of dental caries comparable to the rate in mostly-fluoridated America.

To me, a major issue is this:  Fluoride is not a nutrient.  Even those who favor it admit that it's toxic at high doses.  And once it's in the water supply, controlling dosage is impossible.  It seems that the choices are to either pay to have fluoride removed from your water if you don't want it, or pay to supplement your diet with fluoride if you do want it.  The first choice seems too much like medicating people without their consent or adequate supervision.

This battle is raging around the world, by the way.  The Gloucestershire Green party (Ireland) summarizes: "So we have the Government's own review concluding that fluoridation is not very effective, has not been proven safe, and causes dental fluorosis that is not 'just a cosmetic issue.'  We have most countries rejecting fluoridation and we have many independent scientists expressing grave concerns."  (www.glosgreenparty.org.uk)

Making a Choice

So what can you do?

We could try to get the federal government to make fluoridation illegal, but I don't know that giving them yet another policing task is the best or most Constitutional option.  It appears to be up to state and local water authorities.

Gather the facts and contact your representatives.  Fortunately, there are plenty of facts.  To get you started, here's information on brain damage and more:

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