By Dr. Joseph Mercola
with Rachael Droege
Imagine a drug being prescribed to the entire U.S. populationwith no consent and no way to track dosage or individual reactions,and without concern for some people’s increased vulnerabilityto the drug. It sounds crazy, but that is exactly what ishappening in the United States with water fluoridation.
Fluoride has been added to the U.S. water supply for over50 years in order to prevent dental decay. Not only is thepractice unsafe, which I will address later, it is also ineffective.Data compiled by the World Health Organization shows no differencein tooth decay in countries that use fluoridated water comparedwith countries that don’t use fluoridated water.
Further, several additional studies have found that toothdecay rates do not increase when water fluoridation is stopped,and in some cases the rates even go down. The largest U.S.survey, conducted from 1986 to 1987, found that fluoridatedwater made no difference in tooth decay when measured in termsof DMFT (Decayed, Missing and Filled Teeth), and made a statisticallyinsignificant difference (on about 0.5 percent of 128 toothsurfaces) when measured as DMFS (Decayed, Missing and FilledTeeth Surfaces).
When water fluoridation first began it was believed thatfluoride had to be ingested for it to be effective. However,this has since changed and the dental community now almostunanimously believes that fluoride’s benefits resultfrom topical application, not when it is swallowed.
Despite fluorides apparent ineffectiveness, it is still usedin the United States, but not without consequence. The fluoridethat we ingest from the water supply and from a number ofother sources such as toothpaste, mouthwashes, processed food,some vitamin tablets, and beverages like fruit juice, sodaand tea is associated with a number of negative health effects.Consider that:
- Fluoride accumulates in the bones, making them brittle and more easily fractured, and in the pineal gland, which may inhibit the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate the onset of puberty
- Fluoride damages tooth enamel (known as dental fluorosis) and may lower fertility rates
- Fluoride has been found to increase the uptake of aluminum into the brain and lead into blood
- Fluoride inhibits antibodies from forming in the blood
- Fluoride confuses the immune system, causing it to attack the body’s tissues. This can increase the growth rate of tumors in people prone to cancer
Noting these and other health risks and the obvious ethicalissue of medicating an entire population without their consent,many European countries have banned water fluoridation.
The U.S. National Research Council is now compiling a reviewof fluoride data, as about 10 years ago the group found significantgaps in the available data on fluoride safety and efficacy.However, it will likely be some time before water fluoridationis stopped in the United States.
For now you can protect yourself from fluoride by using onlynon-fluoride toothpaste and not receiving fluoride treatmentsfrom your dentist. Eating a healthydiet and avoiding processed foods will ensure that yourteeth stay healthy naturally.
Of course it's also important to avoid drinking fluoridatedwater. Testing for tap water contaminants that can harm youand your family is one of the most crucial health steps youshould take now, but knowing how and where to find a trulyreliable source for that is not always easy. Therefore, Idecided it was important for my team and me to do our duediligence on this issue and provide you with a solution youcan trust--and afford.
AquaMD, as the water testing division of the American WaterCouncil, is considered one of the nation's "Premier TestingLaboratories" (laboratory certification # PH-0465). Theyare an Environmental Protection Agency registered lab, certifiedby the EPA's NELAC/NELAP standards. (NELAC and NELAP are acronymsfor the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference(NELAC), which manages the National Environmental LaboratoryAccreditation Program (NELAP). NELAP is an EPA program andis the only attempt at a standardized and ubiquitous nationaltesting certification policy.)
AquaMD provides "Certified Testing," an importantdistinction as many labs provide mere "InformationalTests" or "Screening" that is inferior to certifiedtesting, which adheres to certified protocols.
Of course, though AquaMD is considered a top-notch water-testingagency, I decided it was important to do our own independentresearch just to make sure I was providing you with the mostreliable service. In short, we provided the same tap waterspulled at the same time for a variety of different tests atAquaMD and another agency that is also credentialed as a premiertesting laboratory, and they showed like results across theboard.
I worked with Brian Cronin, director of AquaMD, and otherwater safety experts, to create the "Mercola's RecommendedWater Tests"--and to make them affordable compared toother sources. For those with municipal tap water supplies,I highly encourage you to consider the FULL test package,which includes testing for VOCs (48 harmful contaminants)and MTBE. If that package is not possible, the BASIC packageis still a very smart move, as it tests for the most commoncontaminants including harmful bacteria.
A separate package has been designed for those with wellwater supplies, catering to the most common and dangerouscontaminants for that source. If you have well water and livein or near a region with heavy agricultural activity, youshould also consider adding the test for pesticides &herbicides to your package (AquaMD enables you to add additionaltests to your package or customize your testing package entirely,for instance they offer a fluoride test on its own).
Even if you are unable to test your water at this time, Iencourage you to take the free water evaluation at AquaMD.AquaMD has compiled data on municipal water supplier's reportedresults and this is a good place to get at least a general idea of your water quality.