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Fluoride in Our Water - Friend or Foe?

Posted by Norm LeMoine

A spirited and important debate about the merits of fluoride treatment to our municipal water supplies has been raging on now for many years. Despite volumes of research articles and numerous books written by experts on the topic, two distinct camps have emerged with diametrically opposed views but with similar passion.

Below is a list of the arguments against fluoridating water as presented by the Fluoride Action Network (highly summarized pure waterhere). To read the complete assessment, refer to fluoridealert.org.

A set of opposing views in support of water fluoridation can be found at fluorideinfo.org. home of the Fluoride Information Network.

Radiant Life's Position

Though we understand that fluoride treatment to municipal water supplies was intended to improve the general dental well being of many, it has proven to be more problematic than beneficial. We see optimal wellness including dental health more a function of adopting and maintaining a wholesome, traditional, nutrient-dense diet than adding toxic chemicals like fluorosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride, and sodium fluoride to our water supply.

 

Fluoride Action Network - 10 Facts about Fluoride

  1. 97% of Western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water - Thus, rather than mandating fluoride treatment for the whole population, Western Europe allows individuals the right to choose, or refuse, fluoride. 
  2. Fluoride is the only chemical added to drinking water for the purpose of medication (to prevent tooth decay) - All other treatment chemicals are added to treat the water (to improve the water's quality and safety - which fluoride does not do). 
  3. Fluoride has minimal benefit when swallowed - Benefits that accrue from the use of fluoride, come from the direct application of fluoride to the outside of teeth and not from ingestion. There is no need, therefore, to expose all other tissues to fluoride by swallowing it.
  4. Fluoridated water is no longer recommended for babies - In November of 2006, the American Dental Association advised that parents should avoid giving babies fluoridated water. Babies exposed to fluoride are at high risk of developing dental fluorosis - a permanent tooth defect caused by fluoride damaging the cells which form the teeth. Other tissues in the body may also be affected by early-life exposures to fluoride. According to a recent review published in the medical journal The Lancet, fluoride may damage the developing brain, causing learning deficits and other problems.
  5. There are better ways of delivering fluoride than adding it to water for those people who actually want it such as toothpaste and mouth rinses.
  6. Ingestion of fluoride has little benefit, but many risks - Whereas fluoride's benefits come from topical contact with teeth, its risks to health result from being swallowed.
  7. The industrial chemicals used to fluoridate water may present unique health risks not found with naturally-occurring fluoride complexes - The chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are industrial waste products from the phosphate fertilizer industry. Of these chemicals, fluorosilicic acid (FSA) is the most widely used. FSA is a corrosive acid which has been linked to higher blood lead levels in children.
  8. Water fluoridation’s benefits to teeth have been exaggerated - While proponents still believe in its effectiveness, a growing number of studies strongly question this assessment. According to a systematic review published by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, "The magnitude of [fluoridation's] effect is not large in absolute terms, is often not statistically significant and may not be of clinical significance."
  9. Fluoridation poses added burden and risk to low-income communities - Low-income families are least able to avoid fluoridated water. Due to the high costs of buying bottled water or expensive water filters, low-income households will be least able to avoid fluoride once it's added to the water. As a result, low-income families will be least capable of following ADA’s recommendation that infants should not receive fluoridated water. 
  10. Due to other fluoride sources, many people are being over-exposed to fluoride - Unlike when water fluoridation first began, Americans are now receiving fluoride from many other sources besides the water supply.


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Resources and Recommended Reading:

Cure Tooth Decay, by Ramiel Nagel, 2011

The Truth about Children's Health, by Robert Bernardini, M.S., 2004

 

What are your thoughts about ingesting fluoride?

 

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      Hi! My Name is Kayla. I am an RN turned researcher, real-food-nibbler and integrative health advocate. Welcome to the blog!

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