By Dr. Mercola
Animals in southern Iceland are at risk of fluoride poisoning if they inhale or ingest the ash from the recent volcanic eruption. Fluoride poisoning can lead to internal bleeding, long-term bone damage and tooth loss.
According to BBC News:
“The fluoride in the ash creates acid in the animals' stomachs, corroding the intestines and causing hemorrhages. It also binds with calcium in the bloodstream and after heavy exposure over a period of days makes bones frail, even causing teeth to crumble.”
Many may see this story and never connect the dots between the tragic poisoning of these animals due to a natural event, and the intentional poisoning of human beings through excessive fluoride exposure each and every day.
This story is another clue that just because something exists in nature doesn't necessarily mean it is good for you. And this is certainly true for the seriously misguided use of fluoride to prevent dental cavities.
The practice of adding fluoride to your tap water began in 1945. With more than 60 percent of U.S. water supplies currently fluoridated, chances are you’re one of the 170 million Americans who drink fluoride on a daily basis.
Most likely, your dentist – along with countless government and public health officials -- has praised and promoted the use of fluoride, both in toothpaste and drinking water, as one of your must-do regimens to promote strong and healthy teeth.
Unfortunately, they’ve all bought the public deception, and have unwittingly participated in and perpetuated perhaps one of the grandest public health frauds and toxic cover-ups in U.S. history.
Fluoride – A Historically Known Toxin
Prior to 1945 when communal water fluoridation took effect, fluoride was a known toxin.
For example, a 1936 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association stated that fluoride at the 1 ppm (part per million) concentration is as toxic as arsenic and lead.
The Journal of the American Medical Association stated in their September 18, 1943 issue, that “fluorides are general protoplasmic poisons that change the permeability of the cell membrane by certain enzymes.” And, an editorial published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, October 1, 1944, stated,
"Drinking water containing as little as 1.2 ppm fluoride will cause developmental disturbances. We cannot run the risk of producing such serious systemic disturbances. The potentialities for harm outweigh those for good."
More recently, Christopher Bryson, award winning journalist and former producer at the BBC revealed the multi-tiered abuse of power by military and industry scientists and public health officials in his book The Fluoride Deception. In it, he describes the intertwined interests that existed in the 1940’s and 50’s between the aluminum industry, the U.S. nuclear weapons program, and the dental industry, which resulted in fluoride being declared not only safe, but “beneficial to human health.”
The political back story of how fluoride was introduced into your drinking water reads like a cross between a psychological thriller and mind-boggling science fiction.
Read Bryson’s book, and you’ll never think of fluoride the same again… Because the bottom line is that when you swallow fluoride, it does nothing to decrease disease, it merely accelerates it.
Do You Know What’s REALLY in Your Water?
What would you do if you suddenly found out that “fluoride,” which advocates claim is an all-natural element that you ingest anyway and is good for your teeth and bones, was not safe at all, but was actually a carcinogenic industrial waste?
That’s right! The fluoride in your water supply is not what you think it is.
The natural form of mineral fluoride found both in nature and in your teeth and bones, is called Apatite (calcium fluoro-chloro-hydroxyl phosphate).
Inside your mouth, there is a natural equilibrium between hydroxyl-apatite (calcium phosphate) dissolving and forming in your tooth enamel from substances occurring naturally in your saliva. Like everything else, your diet and various physical conditions shift this equilibrium back and forth constantly.
When you have more calcium phosphate dissolving than being adhered, you end up with a demineralization condition called caries. This is when cavities form in your teeth.
However, this has nothing to do with fluoride or fluoridation, but a good fib must always start with a kernel of truth, or else no one will listen to you.
So when it comes to the so-called “health benefits” of fluoride, it’s essential to understand what’s really being added to your water and other products you use on a regular basis, such as toothpaste.
When “fluoride” is added to your drinking water, it’s NOT the natural mineral. Instead, the fluoride in question is another chemical fluoride compound – the toxic waste product from phosphate fertilizer plants.
There are three basic compounds commonly used for fluoridating water supplies:
- Sodium fluoride (NaF)
- Sodium silicofluoride
- Hydrofluorosilicic acid
The last two, sodium silicofluoride and hydrofluorosilicic acid, are the compounds used for water fluoridation, with hydrofluorosilicic acid being the most commonly used additive, according to the CDC.
These are chemical byproducts of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing. Such fluoride is manmade, and in this form, fluoride has no nutrient value and no health benefits whatsoever.
But there’s yet another tidbit that is not talked about openly, and that is the fact that these hazardous industrial wastes – the fluoride compounds actually added to your water -- have NEVER been fully tested to ascertain their full potential health hazard.
Instead, the pharmaceutical grade “sodium fluoride” (the first one on the list) is used in the majority of studies evaluating the risk to human health.
Therefore, the real danger to your health may be far greater than any of the studies done so far have shown, and numerous studies have already identified the pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride as a toxic agent, capable of doing irreparable harm to your body.
Fluoride May Actually CAUSE More Cavities Than it Prevents!
Studies have also shown that fluoride does not even help prevent cavities, which is the number one reason for water fluoridation in the first place.
Instead, studies have shown that consuming too much fluoride might actually cause tooth decay.
One such study, published in the September 2001 issue of International Journal of Pediatric Dentistry, found that South African children who drank water containing high levels of natural fluoride (3 ppm), had more tooth decay than children in other parts of South Africa who drank much lower concentrations (between 0.19 to 0.48 ppm).
And fluoride-saturated American teenagers had twice the rate of cavities as the South African children drinking low levels of natural fluoride!
The Many Health Dangers of Fluoride
According to information from its Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), and from the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride is a dangerous toxin that can cause serious physical harm.
The chemical targets your:
- Gastrointestinal system
- Bone and skeletal structures
The MSDS for sodium fluoride also states that fluoride compounds can induce:
- Systemic toxic effects on your heart, liver, and kidney
- Depleted calcium levels in your body leading to hypocalcaemia and death
It points out that the toxic effect of fluoride might be delayed, and that laboratory experiments have resulted in the development of tumors.
In order to understand the long-term dangers of fluoride, it’s important to realize that fluoride is a cumulative poison.
Ninety-eight percent of the fluoride you ingest in water is absorbed into your blood through your gastrointestinal tract. From there, it enters your body’s cellular tissues. On average, about 50 percent of the fluoride you ingest each day gets excreted through your kidneys. The remainder accumulates in your teeth and bones, pineal gland, and other tissues, such as the aorta.
The amount deposited into your bones and teeth varies depending on your age. In children, more than 50 percent of an ingested dose of fluoride is deposited in bone, but in adults only about 10 percent is stored there.
As with teeth, fluoride is deposited in bone by the ionic exchange with hydroxyl-apatite as mentioned earlier. It does dissolve from bone as well, but at a slower rate than it is deposited, so if your intake remains constant, the level of fluoride in your bones increases linearly with age.
Therefore, if your kidneys are damaged, fluoride accumulation will increase, and with it, the likelihood of harm.
There are numerous health problems associated with the accumulation of fluoride in your body, such as:
- Hyperactivity and/or lethargy
- Dental fluorosis (staining and pitting of teeth)
- Lowered thyroid function
- Lowered IQ, and dementia
- Disrupted immune system
Fluoride also causes genetic damage and cell death, inactivates at least 62 enzymes in your body, and accelerates the aging process.
Overdosing is Easy
When water fluoridation first began, the “optimal” level of fluoride for dental benefit was said to be 1 mg/day for an adult male, based on the estimate that the average adult male drank one liter of water per day. However, even at that level, 10 percent of the population (those in the high-risk group) was expected to get fluorosis.
But water is not the only source of added fluoride.
Although you may not know it, you are exposed to fluoride from many sources other than the obvious lineup of toothpastes and mouth rinses.
Far less obvious sources of fluoride include:
- Food and beverages processed with fluoridated water
- Mechanically de-boned meat
- Pesticide residue on food
- Pharmaceutical drugs, especially SSRI antidepressants and fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro
- Soy baby formulas
- Instant tea
A 1991 review by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows just how drastic your overexposure might be when taking multiple sources into account.
Fluoride exposure levels for a 110-pound adult from food, beverages, toothpaste, and mouthwash
in Drinking Water
Total Fluoride Intake
Percentage Over 1 mg
< 0.3 mg/L
0.88 - 2.20 mg/day
as much as 120 %
1.58 - 6.60 mg/day
as much as 560 %
> 2.0 mg/L
2.10 - 7.05 mg/day
possible > 605 %
If you were to evaluate all the sources of fluoride you’re exposed to on a regular basis, you may be shocked by how much fluoride you and your children are actually ingesting.
Diet, Not Fluoride Builds Healthy Teeth
If you’re wondering how to keep your teeth healthy, remember that fluoride was never the answer in the first place.
Instead, you need to look to your diet if you want healthy teeth. In fact, most people whose diet includes very little sugar and few processed foods have very low rates of tooth decay.
Limiting or eliminating sugar, and avoiding processed foods and eating plenty of green vegetables and vitamin K2 -- along with regular cleanings with your natural dentist – is the best way to ensure your teeth stay healthy naturally.
I strongly advise you to continue educating yourself about fluoride and to avoid it as much as you can.
The Fluoride Action Network is a phenomenal resource for further education, and they’re doing much to pressure the US government for change. Their Statement asking Congress to end water fluoridation in the United States has now been signed by over 2,750 professionals.
There are also a number of books on the subject that are well worth reading, including: