PART TWO here.
As the mother of a child with food allergies, I am hypersensitive about the things that go into her mouth. Reading labels and asking questions (and asking again) is my mode of operation. Can you relate? I am also convinced that my daughter, along with many other individuals with food allergies, is more sensitive to things in food and beverages such as preservatives, additives, pesticides and the like.
Lacking Evidence of Safety: The chemical used in most fluoridation programs - silicon fluorides - are hazardous waste products from the phosphate fertilizer industry. The U.S. EPA officially characterizes it as such. It has been shown to increase leaching of lead from brass fittings (on pipes) and increase the uptake of lead into children's blood.1 The FDA calls fluoride an "unapproved drug", meaning that it has not gone through rigorous trials to establish either its effectiveness or its safety. 2 Although the CDC, the ADA, and many other professional bodies promote and endorse fluoridation, none accept responsibility for any damages that may occur.3
Lacking Evidence of Effectiveness: According to studies, there is no significant difference in the number of dental carries between communities that fluoridate their water and those that do not. The recent consensus is that fluoride's benefit comes from putting fluoride on teeth, not from ingesting it.
Unethical/Poor Medical Practice: It is unethical to add anything that can be called a drug into the public's drinking water. Good medical practice requires the use of informed consent before any drug can be administered to an individual, let alone an entire group of people. I don't recall being asked if I'd like to consume fluoride. Then there's the issue of dose. With fluoride added to tap water, there is no way to control how much individuals are consuming. Babies and adults should not be given the same dose of vitamin C or tylenol so why should they be given the same amount of fluoride? And what about the petite woman who drinks 8-10 glasses of water a day vs. the larger man who drinks less? If fluoride were a safe and effective drug, surely the dose would need to be customized based on the age and/or size of the individual. Of even greater concern are the warnings now issued on some local water authority websites suggesting parents not prepare their infant's formula with fluoridated tap water.
Evidence of Harm: Although the studies done exploring the harmful effects of fluoride have not all been conducted as double-blind clinical trials, neither have the studies promoting it as safe and effective. There is a heavy weight of studies pointing to probable (and even definite) harm caused by oral fluoride intake. Here are a few.
Dental Fluorosis - Have you ever noticed either white or brown speckles on someones teeth? That's caused by fluoride (both me and my food-allergic daughter have this). In moderate to severe cases, the discoloration of the enamel comes with pitting and brittleness.4 This also happens in the bones and is known as skeletal fluorosis. One study showed a link between the severity of dental fluorosis and the frequency of bone fractures in children.5
Thyroid Function - Did you know that prior to water fluoridation, doctors commonly prescribed fluoride in cases of hyperthyroidism? And it worked. Although there are no definative studies proving this, the studies that do exist suggest that fluoride alters thyroid function by elevating TSH and altering T4 and T3 concentrations.6 This effect can happen at very low doses of fluoride similar to what a small child would consume by drinking one to two glasses of water fluoridated at 1 ppm (the usual amount added to tap water).7 This one bothers me a lot, considering the large number of people who are dealing with hypothyroidism. A thyroid depressant is the last thing they need!
Melatonin and the Pineal Gland - Okay, this one is the biggie in my eyes! Melatonin (the hormone responsible for the quality of sleep, among other things) is produced by the pineal gland. In addition to sleep, melatonin has an affect on the onset of puberty, with low melatonin levels triggering early-onset puberty. Guess what! Fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland and likely reduces melatonin production.8 Could this be why girls in the USA are experiencing puberty so much earlier than their mothers and grandmothers did? There is mounting evidence that points to this fluoride-early puberty connection. This one also hits home for me since my daughter's recent blood tests showed that she has a very low melatonin level. This matches up with her symptoms of poor quality of sleep and daily fatigue. This may or may not be related to fluoride, but its got me wondering.There's more. But don't take my word for it. Please do a little research on your own. To get you started, check out FluorideAlert.com, NoFluoride.com as well as the book The Case Against Fluoride (which surprisingly I found at my local library).
What can you do about it? You can let your opinion be known by signing this online petition to stop water fluoridation. You can purchase a water filtration system designed to remove fluoride from your drinking water. I've posted a a follow-up article about choosing a home water filtration system.
All footnotes reference the book The Case Against Fluoride by Paul Connett
1. pg 22; 2. pg 7; 3. pg 27; 4. pg 109; 5. pg 219; 6. pg 161; 7. pg 161; 8. pg 165-166, 168
Disclaimer: I wrote this article because I feel strongly about this issue and want to share this important information with as many people as possible. I am an affiliate of APEC Water Filter Systems because I believe they are one of the best options for removing fluoride and other harmful chemicals in tap water. I will receive a small portion of any purchase of APEC water filters that is generated through links on this blog.
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