Fluoride – Health and Environment
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is found world-wide and is primarily used for dental health. Fluoride has been praised for being one of the top successes in dental health throughout the century. Today more than ever, fluoride is used in many households’ commodities with or without the knowledge of the user. In the 1940’s fluoride was added to the water supply in order to lower tooth decay. Before the 1940’s not one common household item contained fluoride. In the past 60 years, the use of fluoride has drastically increased. Today fluoride is found in mouth wash, tooth paste, water and bottled tea to name a few. Studies have shown that fluoride in large doses are not only damaging to human health, but also to the environment.
Fluoride research began in Colorado Springs, Colorado, when a young dentist by the name of Frederick Mckay opened a dental practice in 1901. He noticed that some residents of the community had severe browning of their tooth enamel that wasn’t recorded in any dental books. After a few years of research, he suspected that the cause behind the browning was due to water. In 1923, Mckay met with parents of children in Oakley, Idaho, who had the same peculiar browning of teeth. These stains began to appear shortly after a water pipeline had been constructed to supply the city with fresh water from a spring. Mckay analyzed the water and found nothing suspicious, but advised the city to cut off the water supply from the pipeline anyway. Within just a few years the browning on children’s teeth began to stop, leading Mckay to concluding that the problem was because of the water. In 1931 after extensive studies and with the help of research conducted by the chief chemist of The Aluminum Company of America, H. V. Churchill, studies concluded that high levels of water-borne fluoride was the cause of the brown tooth enamel. Later studies that were conducted concluded that in low doses of fluoride (about 1 part per million) could prevent tooth decay in maturing children. Thus began the fluoridation process of the water supply (National Institue of Dental and Craniofacial Research: The story of Fluoridation).
From the 1950’s to 2004 the number of Dental Fluorosis cases in the United States has increased from 10% of children in fluoridated communities, to 41% of all children in America between the ages of 12-15. Dental Fluorosis is a defect in tooth enamel that is caused by over exposure of fluoride. Although supporters of fluoride claim that it reduces tooth decay and should be used to promote oral health; studies of the effects of fluoride show that there is no such benefit and in some cases produce worse tooth decay. The Journal Fluoride Vol. 27, 1994 reported that a study conducted in New Zealand over the span of 14 years; 98% of children had no dental benefit from fluoridation. On the contrary, non-fluoridated communities’ children showed slightly less tooth decay than their fluoridated counterparts. Tooth decay was actually determined by the income of the household and the children’s nutritional diet. A similar study of 400,000 children that was conducted in India concluded with similar results.
Because of these and other studies conducted world-wide, 98% of the major countries throughout the world have stopped fluoridating their water supply. Studies conducted in America however, show that there are health benefits to using fluoride in our water systems. In 2010, the American Government recommended that the amount of fluoride for a male over the age of 18 should intake about 4.0mg per day. Fluoride accumulates in the human body, which is why they must set a consumption limit. In some cities, however, the amount of fluoride that is contained in one liter of drinking water can be upwards of 1.2mg or more.
According to the Mayo clinic medical practice and research group, the recommended amount of water consumption for a grown male is 3 liters a day. If you consume the recommended amount of water per day, you have already consumed upwards of 90% of the recommended fluoride intake. This also does not account for the fluoride you intake when you brush your teeth, consume food or that you absorb through your skin when you bathe. According to a scientific analysis of tea; the amount of fluoride contained in one green tea bag can be upwards of 22mg
Before fluoride was regulated to be added to the water supply, a large group of dentists had recognized that fluoride posed no significant health benefit. What they found was that fluoride was harmful to oral health and bone health. Recent studies have shown, however, that a small amount of fluoride intake does improve oral health, approximately one part per million. The problem is not the fluoride itself; the problem is over-fluoridation. The fluoride that was used during these tests is naturally occurring throughout the world. Most people in America don’t realize that the “fluoride” that is being put into the water supply is far from naturally occurring.
Hexafluorosilicic acid and Silicofluoride are inorganic chemical compounds that are the byproduct of the production of Apatite (fertilizer). In America alone, scrubbers on the stacks of fertilizer and phosphoric acid plants capture nearly 40,000 tons a year of these compounds, and it is then removed from dispersing into the atmosphere. Once it has been removed, it is placed into barrels and labeled as a toxic and corrosive hazardous material. Furthermore, the contents of these barrels do not contain pure Silicofluorides or Hexafluorosilicic acid. Instead, they contain a variety of very toxic materials including lead, cadmium, and arsenic that are removed with the fluorides. All of these materials are then shipped to cities throughout America to be dumped into the water supply; lead, arsenic and all.
Silicofluorides alone are proven to be more toxic then lead. Clearly there imposes a very large risk to human and environmental health in allowing these toxins to be put in our water supply. According to Anita Shattuck, the highest rated hazardous waste facility in America charges fertilizer companies $1.40 per gallon to dispose of their fluoride byproducts. Cities on the other hand will buy it for pennies so that they can supply their water with fluoride; all the while keeping costs down and profits high for the fertilizer companies.
Studies have linked fluoride to birth defects, skeletal fluorosis, and neurological problems. Further studies have shown that exposure to fluoride can lower the IQ in developing children. Although fluoride has been approved and nominated as one of the top 10 greatest medical innovations of the 20th century, it is increasingly being recognized as a highly toxic poison that is extremely damaging to human health and to the environment. Fluoride has also been shown to be extremely hazardous to animals; causing severe nerve and brain damage, bone cancer and death. It has also been linked to damaging and killing of farm crops. The other chemicals that are dumped into the water supply along with this fluoride have also been shown to be extremely damaging to the environment.
Every year, hundreds of tons of fluoride are omitted into the environment by industries, adding to the greenhouse gases that are polluting our air. Hydrogen fluoride can exist as a particle that is capable dissolving in clouds until it is deposited as acid rain into lakes, and streams. Sulfur hexafluoride is one of the main fluoride pollutants that is released into the environment and is now one of the main greenhouse gases that countries are trying to prevent from omitting. Scientists have now estimated that the Sulfur hexafluoride molecule has a lifetime of around 3,000 years in the atmosphere and in 1996 alone, more than 7 Million metric tons was released into the atmosphere.
Fluorides have been proven to yellow leaves and slow the growth of plants throughout the environment; but the possible destruction from this much toxic waste being released into the atmosphere is not yet known.
Dr. Jennifer Luke from the University of Surrey – “Fluoride is now introduced at a much earlier stage of human development than ever before and consequently alters the normal fluoride-pharmacokinetics in infants. But can one dramatically increase the normal fluoride-intake to infants and get away with it?”
The answer is, no.
Fluoride is an extremely toxic substance and shouldn’t be consumed.
“Fluorine compounds or fluorides are listed by the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) as among the top 20 of 275 substances that pose the most significant threat to human health.”
Babies that are fed formula mixed with fluoridated water are posed with possibly the greatest health risk above other consumers because their bodies are just beginning to develop. Because significant doses of fluoride can cause a variety of different health and neurological problems, babies should not consume fluoridated water. Infants between the ages of 0-6 months are recommended by The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine to only receive 0.01mg of fluoride per day. Infants between 7-12 months are recommended 0.5mg per day. As we saw earlier, one liter of water would contain enough fluoride for over 3 days of the recommended dosage for an infant. Clearly consumption of fluoridated water by infants poses a serious health hazard to the well-being of the child.
Because fluoride has been proven to show no significant health benefits and in fact, actually poses some very serious health hazards, the consumption of fluoride should be avoided at all costs. The United States Government attempts to regulate how much fluoride is in every part per million, but the cities that are continually allowing this toxic waste byproduct from the fertilizer industry to be dumped into the water supply is completely outrageous and sickening. Until the public is informed about the possible dangers associated with consuming fluoride and the damage it can do to the environment, private industries will continue to sell this waste to cities in order to keep costs low and profits high; all the while poisoning their very own friends and families.