Fluoride Risks

Our kids have fewer cavities than we did, and many credit that to fluoride in the water supply.  However, most  European countries outlawed fluoride in drinking water decades ago and their dental health has improved as much as in the US, in some areas more.

Ascribing all of our dental health improvements to fluoride in the water doesn’t hold up.  Some in favor of fluoridation endlessly argue that there is no science to say it is bad for us.  This is simply not true; there is a lot of evidence showing health risks of fluoride in the water.

Although many people have believed for a long time that fluoride in our drinking water was good for our dental health, there have now been many studies that demonstrate that there are significant risks of fluoride in drinking water.  These present many excellent reasons why we should remove fluoride from our drinking water.

The dangers may go beyond cosmetic issues. The EPA released two newer reviews of research on fluoride. One study found that prolonged, high intake of fluoride can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures and crippling bone abnormalities.

In recent times we’ve been seeing information suggesting that eczema can be caused or aggravated by exposure to fluoride, so the time may be here to filter it out of the whole house.

Nearly always, the argument for adding fluoride to drinking water is that it is in a dosage that is safe and even good for us.  However, drinking water is not the only way we ingest fluoride – so isolating one source and saying the level is okay is absurd.  More and more the original untested assumption that fluoride in water would help with dental health is being confronted.

Fluoride is “Medicine in the Water”

Another issue is: do you really want ‘medicine’ delivered through your drinking water?  Our view is that we should each have the right to determine what medicines we intake – or don’t.

Fluoride doesn’t just break down and disappear. It accumulates over time.  An NRDC study says people today ingest 4 times as much as they were when they started putting fluoride in our drinking water!  This is spread evenly across intake from water, other drinks, food and dental products.  If you did everything you could think of to avoid fluoride, you couldn’t eliminate it!

Risks Identified with Fluoride:

  • Hidden Danger in Your Drinking Water and Toothpaste
  • Fluoride and Fluoridated Water’s Link to Thyroid Disease
  • The National Kidney Foundation has advised “Individuals with CKD [Chronic Kidney Disease] should be notified of the potential risk of fluoride exposure.” Too much fluoride damages bones and malfunctioning kidneys do not excrete fluoride properly allowing a toxic build-up in the bones.
  • Brittle bones, particularly for older people
  • High correlation between fluoridation and children’s ID development

There is also a growing body of concern about fluoride and skin diseases like eczema, particularly for hypersensitive people.  This information is from Fluoride Alert:  (Bolding added by Friends of Water.)

In the 1950s, the renowned allergist George Waldbott discovered that some individuals are hypersensitive to ingested fluoride. In a series of case reports and double-blind studies, Waldbott and other doctors found that relatively small doses of ingested fluoride, including the consumption of fluoridated water, could induce side effects that would quickly reverse after ceasing fluoride exposure. Consistent with Waldbott’s research, the largest ever government-funded clinical trial of fluoride supplements reported that one percent of the children taking the 1 mg fluoride tablets  exhibited hypersensitive reactions. Read more. 

More recently, a Finnish study found that the rate of skin rashes in a city population decreased significantly within months of the city terminating its water fluoridation program.  Although the authors were generally skeptical that fluoridated water could cause harm, they noted that:

“the significant decrease in the number of other skin rashes leaves room for speculation, seeming to favor the view that a small segment of the population may have some kind of intolerance to fluoride. This group of people should be studied further. The most frequently reported symptoms that disappeared from the time of actual to known discontinuation of fluoridation seemed to be itching and dryness of the skin.”
SOURCE: Lamberg M, et al. (1997). Symptoms experienced during periods of actual and supposed water fluoridation. Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology25(4):291-5.

Additional Comments on Fluoride:

“I am appalled at the prospect of using water as a vehicle for drugs. Fluoride is a corrosive poison that will produce serious effects on a long range basis.  Any attempt to use water this way is deplorable.”
-Dr. Charles Gordon Heyd
Past President of the American Medical Association.

Some research suggests that fluoride may be good for dental health when used topically.  However, at this point it has become clear that there is no rational reason to expose yourself to it through ingestion.  There is no question that too much fluoride does irreparable damage in many ways.  Put that together with the reality that you can’t control how much fluoride you are exposed to now as you also get it through foods, drinks and some medicines.