By Dr. Mercola
The absolute best way to help fluoride toxicity is to prevent it in the first place, which is why we are so passionate about removing it from the water supply because it is so hard to remove once it is there.
One of the risks of adding fluoride, a known poison that bio-accumulates in your body, to public drinking water supplies is what may happen if the dosing is off.
This is just what happened earlier this month in one Australian town, where a suspected electrical fault may have allowed fluoride levels to reach nearly double the guideline amount in local drinking water.
High Levels of Fluoride Mistakenly Added to Australian Drinking Water
Routine daily monitoring revealed the elevated fluoride levels, which reached 2.8 milligrams per liter (the Australian Drinking Water Guideline is 1.5 mg/L). The levels may have remained elevated for several days.
The fact is that there is a very real possibility of other equipment faults mistakenly dosing populations with dangerous levels of fluoride, and fluoride exposure can easily reach toxic levels.
For example, poison control should be called if you swallow a quarter-milligram of fluoride from toothpaste. Meanwhile, just ONE glass of legally fluoridated water can contain this amount of fluoride.
What is also interesting to note is the Australian drinking water guideline for fluoride. It's set at 1.5 mg/L, whereas in the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set a non-enforceable recommended guidelines of 2 mg/L, which is intended to protect against "cosmetic" issues like dental fluorosis.
The enforceable regulation for fluoride – the maximum contaminant level -- is set at 4 mg/L. Only if fluoride levels exceed this amount can the EPA take action to reduce levels. Perhaps this explains why, even at allowable levels, 41% of adolescents in the US currently have dental fluorosis from overexposure to fluoride.
Dental Fluorosis Is Not Just a Cosmetic Issue
Dental fluorosis -- a condition in which your tooth enamel becomes progressively discolored and mottled -- is one of the first signs of over-exposure to fluoride. Eventually, it can result in badly damaged teeth and worse... It's important to realize that dental fluorosis is not "just cosmetic" as the EPA and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest.
Dental fluorosis can also be an indication that the rest of your body, such as your bones and internal organs, including your brain, has been overexposed to fluoride as well.
In other words, if fluoride is having a visually detrimental effect on the surface of your teeth, you can be virtually guaranteed that it's also damaging other parts of your body, such as your bones.
Millions of People Routinely Ingest Fluoride at Levels That May Cause Harm
It's important to understand that even at levels deemed "safe" by health officials, fluoride may still pose a significant risk to your health. The fluoride added to municipal water supplies is a toxic byproduct from the fertilizer industry—a rarely discussed fact that effectively nullifies most if not all studies pertaining to fluoride; they simply have not studied the exact same type of fluoride being added to our water. That said, there are 25 studies showing that fluoride reduces IQ in children, including a recent study out of Harvard, in which the authors noted:
"The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children's neurodevelopment."
A separate, particularly striking, animal study showed that fluoride ingestion had a profound influence on the animals' brains and altered behavior.1 Pregnant rats given fluoride produced hyperactive offspring. And animals given fluoride after birth became apathetic, lethargic "couch potatoes." Other research has linked fluoride toxicity with the wide-ranging problems listed below.
|Increases lead absorption||Disrupts collagen synthesis||Increases manganese absorption, which is also linked to lower IQ in children||Crippling skeletal fluorosis and bone fractures|
|Genetic damage and cell death||Increased tumor and cancer growth||Disrupts immune system||Inhibits antibody production|
|Brain damage and lowered IQ||Dementia||Arthritis||Severe eye problems, including blindness|
|Impaired thyroid function||Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)||Inactivates 62 enzymes||Muscle disorders|
Fluoride May Be Dumbing Down Future Generations
There is not a single process in your body that requires fluoride, but swallowing this toxin has been found to damage your soft tissues (brain, kidneys, and endocrine system), as well as teeth (dental fluorosis) and bones (skeletal fluorosis). It's also known that over time fluoride accumulates in many areas of your body, including areas of your brain that control and alter behavior, particularly your pineal gland, hippocampus, and other limbic areas.
One of the most concerning aspects of widespread water fluoridation, however, is that, assuming you live in an area that fluoridates water, and you drink from the municipal water supply, you're being exposed to a toxic drug-like substance every time you take a sip.
This is reckless, as you cannot control the dose ingested, or who receives it, and there's no medical supervision. Water fluoridation clearly violates your right to informed consent as far as medical decisions go, and it may also be making future generations less intelligent across the board. As Dr. Bill Osmunson, an avid supporter of fluoride opposition, stated:
"No one fixes IQ. This is an irreparable, irreversible damage that's happening to our public. When you look at the bell curve of human distribution of intelligence, at the very bottom, way down there at the end, is what we scientifically call the mentally retarded. When you skew IQ five points down, that means that you're doubling the number of mentally retarded and you're halving the number of gifted and everybody else moves on down."
Unfortunately, rather than taking the precautionary approach and stopping fluoridation until we can be absolutely certain it is safe, our policymakers, who pay lip service to the science that they say informs their decision-making, continue to blindly forge ahead, refusing to give the scientific evidence the attention it deserves.
The good news is that US cities and other countries are taking action to end this dangerous practice. In 2013, fluoridation was rejected by voters in Wichita, Kansas and Portland, Oregon. Israel also announced it will end its mandatory fluoridation program, and Ireland has proposed legislation that would make water fluoridation a criminal offense! Canada has also seen a 25 percent drop in fluoridation programs over the past five years as a result of increasing public awareness about the associated dangers.
Do You Drink Fluoridated Water? Eat More Lycopene
One of the ways that fluoride does damage is by inducing oxidative stress and altered antioxidant defenses. Oxidative damage is, in turn, associated with the development of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
One study found that fluoride administration induced oxidative stress, but when lycopene, an antioxidant, was also given, it helped to minimize the toxic effects of fluoride.2 Lycopene, a carotenoid antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelon a pink or red color has long been suggested to be more powerful than that of other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene. It's found in tomatoes (especially cooked tomatoes), apricots, guavas, watermelons, papayas, and pink grapefruits.
If you drink fluoridated water, it makes sense to try to increase your intake of lycopene and other dietary antioxidants to potentially decrease the fluoride's toxicity.
Another option is to purchase a water filter that removes fluoride. The three types of filters that can remove fluoride are reverse osmosis, deionizers (which use ion-exchange resins), and activated alumina. Each of these filters should be able to remove about 90% of the fluoride. By contrast, "activated carbon" filters (e.g., Brita & Pur) do not remove fluoride. For more information on water filters, click here. You can also help to take action to get fluoride out of drinking water on a larger scale…