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How fluoridation got started. . .
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) hails the fluoridation of drinking
water as one of its top public health achievements. They tell a pretty little
story about a dentist in Colorado who, back in the early 1900s, noticed that
patients with brown stains on their teeth were less likely to suffer tooth
A dentist in Arkansas noticed the same brown stains on his younger
patients after a new well was dug in his town. Tests conducted in 1930 showed
the well water had high levels of fluoride.
The Dental Hygiene Unit at the National Institutes of Health reviewed the
claims and concluded that water laced with fluoride was an easy way to
prevent tooth decay. That led to widespread "dosing" of community freshwater
systems with fluoride.
The U.S. Public Health Service endorsed water fluoridation in the 1950s,
though it hadn't been proven safe for consumption (and still hasn't, for that
matter). The general goal is to raise the concentration of fluoride ions to 1
ppm (parts per million).
Yet, some communities already have higher levels of fluoride in their
water systems, even without government-mandated fluoridation. You see, the
stuff occurs naturally in some communities.
Thanks to naturally-occurring fluoride deposits and government-mandated
water fluoridation, some communities have levels as high as 4 ppm. Of note:
23 studies show that levels as low as 1.9 ppm are statistically associated
with lower IQs.
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that small amounts of fluoride do
promote healthier teeth. Even so, there's no effective way to regulate
groundwater sources. Fluoride is an ion that derives from the basic element,
fluorine. It occurs naturally in rocks and minerals and readily dissolves in
water. Once dissolved, fluoride has no taste or odor.
But it's not as if officials take time to check pre-existing fluoride
levels before dosing communities with more of the toxin.
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Even the FDA hasn't approved of fluoridation
I'm not a fan of the FDA in general. But it's ironic to me that not even
the FDA approves fluoride for widespread ingestion. It has not okayed the
chemical for mass use and officially classifies it as an "unapproved drug."
Fluoride pills are available by prescription only, and the FDA requires
fluoridated toothpastes to carry a toxicity warning.
Yes, there's a warning on your toothpaste tube that the contents are
dangerous to swallow.
Although lacking FDA approval, the organizations that support
fluoridation echo the endorsements of other associations and agencies in a
widespread "me-too" consensus. But endorsements by big-name organizations are
not the same thing as scientific inquiry with supporting data.
Here's where it gets really awful. Even though fluoride is a naturally-
occurring compound, that's not actually what authorities are adding to your
drinking water. They use a corrosive acid called fluorosilicic acid, and
their source for this substance is the air pollution control devices of the
phosphate industry. Why? You'll cringe at the answer. Fluoride gases are
hazardous pollutants when in the air. They wreak environmental harm.
Yes, the stuff that's added to your water is the toxic waste product of a
manufacturing process. If they weren't putting it in your water they'd have
to handle is as a "hazmat" — a hazardous material.
Authorities dilute these waste products and put them in our tap water.
But along with that, they unknowingly add other chemicals found in the plant
pollution. What it means is this: You're being medicated without consent, for
the convenience of big industry. And the dosage of the medication can't be
But at least it prevents tooth
decay, right? Uh, not quite. . .
Remember, there's no clear, conclusive proof that fluoride in the water
prevents tooth decay. It appears to be a spurious correlation that got the
dental authorities excited, not to mention everyone else involved with water
fluoridation. What they failed to consider was the effect of fluoride on the
rest of the body.
Regardless, health officials continue to promote fluoridation of our
water system as the best way to prevent tooth decay. Yet most developed
countries around the world don't share this view, and they refuse to
fluoridate their water — including 97 percent of Western Europe.
And here's an interesting fact: Tooth decay levels are not lower in
countries with water fluoridation than in countries without. While it's true
that the U.S. saw tooth decay decline as water fluoride levels rose, the same
decline in tooth decay was also seen in non-fluoridated countries.
The World Health Organization — a branch of the UN -- reports there's no
discernible difference between countries with fluoridated water and countries
For what it's worth, I stopped drinking fluoridated water and using
fluoride toothpate many, many years ago. My dentist doesn't apply it during
my twice-yearly visits. Yet I have no more cavities than before (in fact, I
get no cavities at all, even though I had a great many when I was a child.)
Because of all this evidence, several communities across North America
are fighting the unauthorized fluoridation of their water. The number of
people in Canada who are subject to fluoridated water has dropped by 25
percent in the past five years, thanks to public outcry.
Warning: You're being experimented on
without your informed consent
It's clear that water fluoridation compromises medical ethics. No doctor
is allowed to prescribe medication without an individual's informed consent.
But dosing the water supply does exactly that, and in a reckless manner since
there's no control or oversight regarding the dose of fluoride each person
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Leading authorities, based on new research, acknowledge that any
potential benefits of fluoride to your teeth can be achieved by applying it
topically, e.g. by toothpaste. That further underscores how ridiculous and
appalling it is to force people to swallow this chemical and allow it into
blood, bone and tissue.
If you'd like to know more, I recommend the documentary Fluoridegate — An
American Tragedy by Dr. David Kennedy.
The quickest way to protect yourself is to buy filtered water, but make
sure you verify that it's fluoride-free. You can also install a reverse
osmosis water filter in your home, which is supposed to remove fluoride ions
from your water. Specialized filters are also available — look for something
called an activated alumina defluoridation filter. You have to replace them
often, and they run about $30 a filter.
Keep in mind that fluoride isn't just coming from your water. Of course,
you know that most mainstream brands of toothpaste contain fluoride. So do
many "natural" brands found in health food stores. You have to read the
I'm not impressed with the evidence that fluoride prevents cavities, and
I recommend avoiding it in any form. Children have a tendency to swallow a
bit of toothpaste when they brush, so I absolutely would not allow them to
use a fluoridated brand.
Processed foods and beverages made in fluoridated countries also tend to
carry high amounts of fluoride. You're even at risk for extra fluoride
consumption when you consume specific pharmaceuticals, cook with Teflon pans,
or drink certain black or red teas.
When it comes to tea, instant tea appears to be the most likely to
contain high fluoride levels. After that, infusions of black tea brewed for
more than five minutes appear to increase fluoride content in your beverage
more than other teas. Now, there are many different types of black tea and I
don't know how much science is behind this allegation, and whether the
alleged fluoride content is related to the species of tea, to the type of
soil it's grown in, or to over-processing.
Tea lovers recommend brewing a quality black tea for four minutes,
certainly no more than five. If you follow the recommendation any fluoride
problem should be minimal.
Thank You Dr. Mercola
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