Water Fluoridation Uncovered. The Truth Behind Our Tap Water

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Water Fluoridation Uncovered

Water fluoridation is a hot topic that is receiving many column inches across the world, and for good reason. It is added in varying amounts to the water supplies of a number of countries. The main 8 in the World are America, Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, who each fluoridate more than 50% of their public water supply. Most European countries do not fluoridate their water.

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The Good Human has previously shared a Q&A post on this topic, which you can read here.

The reason that governments cite for adding this known toxin to the water is for the benefit it provides to our teeth, by reducing dental cavities. However, it has been suggested that adding fluoride to our drinking water is not only ineffective in reducing cavities, but it could be having enormous negative impacts on our health.

What exactly is fluoride?

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Worryingly, the majority of fluoride that is added to public water supplies is not derived from the natural fluorides that are found in our environment. It is usually toxic waste from industrial processes, including the manufacture of aluminium and hazardous hydrofluorosilicic acid from the phosphate fertilizer industry. It is contaminated with lead and arsenic.

This waste would be extremely costly to dispose of effectively and responsibly, therefore creating a legitimate case for dumping it into the water supply has saved the governments a fortune.

Dr Paul Cornett, a chemist specialising in the environmental chemistry is quoted as saying:

“So not only are we (America) doing something quite unique, using the public water supply to deliver medicine … we’re using the public water supply to get rid of hazardous waste from the phosphate industry”.

It is interesting to note that China, one country that does not allow allow water fluoridation because of its toxicity, actually ships the waste product from their phosphate fertilizer industry to the United States, where it is added to their water supply!

Does fluoride benefit our teeth?

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
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Comments

  1. I’ve always been on the fence when it comes to fluoridation, but I do want to make a few points here.

    Do you have any sources that claim fluoridation does not benefit dental health?

    The link you have for bone health refers to a rare instance of fluoride poisoning, when nearly 136x greater than the well that wasn’t affected, but that was due to lack of proper monitoring in this remote Alaskan village over 20 years ago, not the norm you’d see today in modern cities and towns.

    Also, the link to Mercola’s site (someone who has a history of fear-mongering and sensationalism) doesn’t offer much compelling evidence against fluoride either. The data used in that Harvard study came from China, where their water is (in some places) substantially higher in naturally occurring fluoride, not the same levels we’d experience in a major US or Canadian city.

    When we consider that nearly all the food we eat contains some level of fluoride, often in substantially higher quantities than you’d find in tap water, it seems like the arguments against fluoridating water are more about personal preference and not scientific evidence against it.

    1. Fluoride concentrations in unprocessed foods are predominantly far lower than those of artificially fluoridated water. The exposure analysis in the 2006 US National Research Council report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards estimated that around 75% of fluoride exposure comes from drinking water when it has a fluoride concentration of 1 ppm, not including tea drinkers.

      1. Most North Americans aren’t eating a diet of unprocessed food, and more than half are regular tea drinkers. In some parts of the world, tea drinking is done throughout the day and I haven’t seen reports of an over-exposure to fluoride in those countries.

        I’d still like to see more research on toxicity from regular exposure (not acute toxicity) in order to have an opinion either way. My water is fluoridated, so this is an obvious concern for me and my family.

    2. Hi Eric, I wanted to agree that evidence does not give a clear picture either way, as quoted below. But first I wanted to link a study that claims that fluoridation does not benefit dental health – http://www.fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/nidr-dmft.pdf. “Given the certainty with which water fluoridation has been promoted and opposed, and the large number (around 3200) of research papers identified, the reviewers were surprised by the poor quality of the evidence and the uncertainty surrounding the beneficial and adverse effects of fluoridation. Studies that met the minimal quality threshold indicated that water fluoridation reduced the prevalence of caries but that the size of the effect was uncertain. Estimates of the increase in the proportion of children without caries in fluoridated areas versus nonfluoridated areas varied (median 15%, interquartile range 5% to 22%). These estimates could be biased, however, because potential confounders were poorly adjusted for. Water fluoridation aims to reduce social inequalities in dental health, but few relevant studies exist. The quality of research was even lower than that assessing overall effects of fluoridation.”
      SOURCE: Cheng KK, et al. (2007). Adding fluoride to water supplies. British Medical Journal 335:699-702.

  2. The US Centers for Disease Control reports that ingesting fluoride does not reduce tooth decay and that the amount of ingested fluoride that bathes the teeth topically with fluoride is too low to have any beneficial effects.

    Further, any topical application of fluoride lower than 1,000 parts per million can not be marketed as a tooth decay preventive. The studies that claim that fluoride at approximately 1 PPM reduces tooth decay systemically and now corrected to say topically and scientifically flawed. They never measure total fluoride intake, socio-economic status, toothbrushing habits, diets and ability to afford dental care.

    The studies state that tooth decay has declined since fluoridation has been introduced, therefore, fluoridation reduces tooth decay. HOwever, tooth decay rates have declined in countries that never fluoridated their water, salt or milk – some even have lower decay rates than in the US which is facing a dental health crisis after 70 years of fluoridation, 60 years of fluoridated toothpaste, a glut of fluoridated dental products (and in higher concentrations) a fluoride-saturated food supply (google USDA Fluoride in Foods Database)

    So it’s no wonder that fluoride overdose symptoms such as dental fluorosis (discolored teeth) now afflicts up to 60% of adolescents in the US – 51% of whom still have cavities despite 41% having dental sealants.

    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to comment on this post. Fascinating, I feel like I have only seen the tip of the iceberg of this issue of fluoridation.

  3. I’ve done my research on fluoride. I’m clear. I use products from “Friends of Water” that remove that, plus heavy metals & radiation. I recommend them. Radiation is another can of worms. Remember Fukishima? Anywho, I’ll just say this; the Nazi’s came up with Flouride, so there you go. Also, there’s flouride free tooth paste options for you consideration. Again, Do your research.

  4. This article raises some important points, but has a few errors. Israel banned forced-fluoridation last year, and the percentage of the population directly subjected to it in England is much lower than 35%. 4 ppm is a concentration, not an amount, and it is definitely not safe. It is the US EPA’s current maximum contaminant level goal for fluoride in drinking water, which the National Research Council recommended should be lowered way back in 2006, because it does not protect against adverse health effects. The EPA is corrupt and has failed to act.

    1. Hi Dan,

      Thank you for taking the time to reply and for pointing out the errors. I feel there is much more to this topic than I managed to cover here, I will take the time to look into the points you made re the EPA and National Research Council.

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