Fluoride: Fact or Fiction in Preventing Cavities

f you haven’t heard about the dangers of fluoride, you’re not alone. You may think flouride’s safe because it’s in our drinking water and because we’ve all been told fluoride’s responsible for strong teeth and bones, but think again. Critics claim fluoride does none of those things, and what’s more the Environmental Protection Agency’s senior toxicologist alleged in 1992, “regarding fluoridation, the EPA should act immediately to protect the public. Not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity and other effects.” Robert Carton, a former EPA scientist of twenty years, also had biting words for those responsible for fluoride in water,  “Fluoridation … constitutes unlawful medical research. It is banned in most of Europe; European Union human rights legislation makes it illegal.”

So, how could something so toxic end up in our water? To understand, let’s start at the beginning. According to neurologist Russell L. Blaylock, in his book Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life, fluoride was introduced into the water supply after the Aluminium Company of America (Alcoa) needed to get rid of flouride, which was a waste product created from Alcoa’s aluminium production. Alcoa luckily had the right connections, because its founder, Andrew Mellon, also happened to be the Secretary of the Treasury, and he just happened to have the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) reporting to him. So, when the suggestion arose to put fluoride in the drinking water, Alcoa and Mellon were all for it because it could save them money and let them dispose of flouride all at the same time. Other people were not. For instance, the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Medical Association (AMA) balked, as did the head of the USPHS. All of them insisted fluoride was dangerous and toxic.

Unfortunately, the fluoridation plan proceeded, and eventually Grand Rapids, Michigan, was the site chosen for the first test. Flouride was introduced there on January 25, 1945, despite the fact there were no studies done as to its safety, and despite the fact the USPHS, ADA, and AMA all were concerned about its toxicity. Those in favor of fluoridation were powerful, and soon after the Michigan test began, anyone who objected to fluoridation, according to Blaylock, were “labeled by the masterminds of Alcoa’s PR group as loonies and right-wing extremists.” Before long the USPHS and ADA reversed themselves, and a vigorous nationwide campaign was undertaken, despite no studies being complete and no one declaring fluoride safe; however, by the 1960s, there was mounting evidence against fluoride and reports of its toxicity. There was also increasingly solid evidence there was “no difference in tooth decay rates between fluoridated and unfluoridated areas.” In fact, evidence showed the reason for the decrease in cavities had to do with better dental hygiene and better nutrition.

Since the 1960s, critics against fluoride have continued to increase. Blaylock alleges flouride is neurotoxic at 0.5 parts per million (ppm). Flouride is regularly put into our drinking water at 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter, and the EPA has declared it safe at up to 4.0 milligrams per liter. It’s unclear how to translate the figures from milligrams per liter to ppm, but what Blaylock argues is fluoride accumulates in our bodies over time, and the more flouride sources the quicker the accumulation, and the more likely we’ll experience toxicity and its associated side effects. You also need to keep in mind that even if fluoride levels were safe, there have been numerous spills and mistakes when adding fluoride to our water supplies. One spill in Hooper Bay, Alaska, in 1993, resulted in 260 poisoned people, and a similar spill occurred in Middletown, Maryland, which was seventy times greater than normal levels, and even though people were warned by radio and television, not everyone got the message.

Numerous doctors, researchers, and studies now maintain fluoride causes the following:

  • dental and skeletal fluorosis
  • DNA repair enzyme damage
  • increased osteoporosis and cancer risk
  • genetic damage, abnormal brain development, and hypothyroidism
  • infertility in males

Besides the obvious physical human problems fluoride causes, Blaylock warns we need to worry even more about the accumulation of fluoride in our environment. Fluoride is purposefully placed in many products—cosmetics, mouth washes, toothpaste, medications, pesticides, fruit juices, teas, milk, etc. It then goes back into our food supply, water, and soil, and “once the majority of our food supplies and water supplies are contaminated, along with our soils, no one will be able to escape the hazards of fluoride toxicity.” So, what will we do then, what will our children do, and how will we all suffer?

Today, 75 percent of America’s drinking waters are fluoridated, and, Carton claims, “The level of fluoride the government allows … is based on scientifically fraudulent information and altered reports. People can be harmed simply by drinking water.” A federal report published in 2007 agrees. The National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) National Research Council (NRC) report found “Fluoride poses risks to the thyroid gland, diabetics, kidney patients, high water drinkers … [and] the 12-member NRC fluoride committee unanimously decided that fluoride’s 4 milligrams per liter (4 mg/L) maximum-contaminant-level (MCL) must be lowered.” However, even if we lower fluoride levels, you still have the accumulation problem, and flouride will likely remain in many other products and continue to affect us. If you’re worried about our drinking water or want to learn more about fluoridation, here’s a list of things you can do:

  • Check your annual water quality report for your area by clicking here. If you have fluoride in your water, and if you don’t want it, become active in your community and lobby against it being added to your drinking water.
  • Do not purchase fluoride products, such as fluoride toothpastes, mouth washes, or dental rinses. Find holistic and organic health products that do not contain fluoride.
  • Read the EPA’s Water Health Series: Filtration Facts if your want to purchase an appropriate filter to remove fluoride from your water. They offer suggestions and tell you how to purchase the correct filtration system. I also provide a shortened version with my recommendations in My Water Decision.
  • Visit the Fluoride Action Network. If you are a professional (DDS, PhD, MD, ND, DC, DO, JD, RN, etc.) sign their “Professionals’ Statement to End Fluoridation.”
  • Write to manufacturer’s that add fluoride to their products, such as toothpaste, mouth wash, and dental rinse manufacturers, and tell them you want it removed.

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