By Dr. Mercola
Ingesting fluoride – a toxic fertilizer-industry byproduct – in drinking water for the sake of preventing tooth decay is an outdated, dangerous practice that is damaging human health and the environment.
The research on this is very clear, and although the US government has been slow to acknowledge it, other nations are ending this tragic "public health" measure.
Quite simply, the truth is out about fluoride, and the more people become informed, the less tolerance they have for this toxic drug-like substance to remain in their drinking water.
This is precisely the case in Europe, where 98 percent of countries have rejected water fluoridation either by removing it from their water supplies or never adding it to begin with.
Except for Ireland. Ireland is the only country in Europe that has mandatory fluoridation – a practice that hopefully won't be long for this world, thanks to the efforts of nutritionist Aisling FitzGibbon, better known as "The Girl Against Fluoride."
The Girl Against Fluoride Takes on Ireland's High Court
FitzGibbon is in the process of taking a High Court legal action against the Irish government in an effort to end the country's mandatory water fluoridation. The campaign was started after her own recovery from depression, which she attributes to drinking fluoride-free water.
Court case proceedings began in January 2014, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing a Supreme Court ruling in 1963 that mandated water fluoridation in Ireland. As FitzGibbon said, they are "fighting for our democratic right to clean water."1
Last year, three town councils in Ireland said they backed an end to water fluoridation but so far the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health has rejected anti-fluoridation arguments. In Bantry, Ireland, for instance, town councilors voted unanimously for an immediate end to fluoridation throughout Ireland.
Now, in an open letter to Irish Water, FitzGibbon has stated the agency and its board members will be held accountable for personal injury caused by the consumption of excess fluoride in drinking water.
She also pointed out that they have a "legal duty" to warn consumers about fluoride's toxic effects and said customers will refuse to make contracts with Irish Water, while current customers will withhold payment for artificially fluoridated water. According to the letter:2
"Irish Water has now been informed of the imminent actions of an ever-increasing and already large number of people who are gravely concerned about the dangers to human health caused by the over-consumption of fluoride [adding that they] are no longer prepared to tolerate being forced to consume it by a nanny state."
Mandatory Water Fluoridation Is Fading Fast
Ireland's hold-out for fluoridation is meeting increasing opposition not only within Ireland but around the globe. Over the past five years, a literal avalanche of Queensland, Australia communities has stopped fluoridating their water supplies. There are now 15 regional councils in Queensland that are either stopping fluoridation or refusing to start. That affects about 50 different townships.
That, of course, has encouraged people not only in Queensland but also those throughout Australia. In New Zealand, several communities have also stopped fluoridation over the last few years. The most recent was Hamilton, which is the second largest city in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in Israel also announced it will lift the mandatory requirement for fluoridation in 2014.
This leaves only Ireland and Singapore as the last two remaining countries with this mandatory practice. But with the rest of the world quickly ending mandatory water fluoridation and Fluoride Girl's increasingly popular, and vocal, campaign, it will be interesting to see how much longer they hold out.
As Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) reported, it very much seems like the Irish government is going to have a difficult time holding on to mandatory fluoridation for much longer:3
"Knowing that Ireland is the only country in Europe which has mandatory fluoridation, those promoting this outdated practice must have been disturbed to hear the news from Queensland that the new government there has dropped mandatory statewide fluoridation and there has been a stampede by many communities to end fluoridation or not start it, even though in one case the equipment was already installed.
…Even better from our perspective was when the Minister of Health in Israel announced that fluoridation would no longer be mandatory there in 2014. This sets a wonderful precedent for Ireland to follow… It was particularly satisfying… when John Gormley, former mayor of Dublin and former Minister of the Environment, finally released his report (while serving on the Parliamentary committee for Health and Children) in which he recommended that fluoridation be halted in Ireland.
…Finally, there is the good news from nearby unfluoridated Scotland where the government has reported very positive results in their low-cost educational program to fight tooth decay. So fluoridation promoters in Ireland cannot argue that if fluoridation is halted it will result in chaos. Scotland has shown there is a better, safer, and more rational way of fighting tooth decay without forcing it on people who don't want this treatment via the public water supply."
The Low-Down About Fluoride: It's Toxic and It Doesn't Work
Once touted as the magical solution to dental caries, fluoride's benefit for your teeth – IF there is any, which is still debatable – comes with overshadowing downsides. No matter which scientific studies you examine, or which population trends you view, the only rational conclusion is that fluoride's health dangers far outweigh the marginal dental benefits it might offer (and those minimal benefits come from topical exposure, not systemic). The science is very clear about the following:
- Fluoride is a toxic industrial waste product that is poisonous to your body and in no way a "nutrient," offering no benefits at all to the human body. The fluoride added to water supplies can be contaminated with lead, arsenic, radionucleotides, aluminum, and other industrial contaminants. Additionally, the fluoride added to municipal water supplies is not pharmaceutical grade.
- Fluoride exposure comes from tap water, most toothpaste and pesticide and fertilizer residues on food. There is a large variation in exposure levels, making it impossible to accurately predict these variables for any person, family or community.
- Fluoride exposure for many 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 water can contain this amount of fluoride.
- Fluoride is a cumulative poison that has been proven to cause wide-ranging, serious health problems, such as damage to your bones, brain, and endocrine system and conditions such as lowered IQ, thyroid dysfunction, and more.
- Dental caries can be prevented with means other than fluoridation, thereby avoiding the adverse effects of fluoride.
As FitzGibbon puts it:4
"Fluoride easily displaces iodine in the body, a lack of which shuts down production of thyroxine and can lead to hypothyroidism causing dry and premature aged skin, a lowered body temperature and a slower metabolism. Fluoride is known to be a risk factor in the development of many serious health problems that are prevalent in Ireland [and elsewhere] today.
These include cardiovascular and neurological disease, type 1 diabetes, osteoporosis, skeletal fluorosis, chronic fatigue and depression. The HSE [Ireland's Health Services] claim that the fluoride is added to water for dental health; however we have the worst teeth in Europe despite us being the only county to be fully fluoridated."
There's even more to the story than this, however. Water fluoridation came about as the result of a massively successful PR campaign, and was reportedly first suggested as a way to protect aluminum and steel producers from lawsuits against the fluorine pollution coming from their plants. If you want to know more, watch Dr. David Kennedy's documentary film Fluoridegate — An American Tragedy, which exposes the sordid truth about water fluoridation (and as you'll see, it has nothing to do with promoting dental health).
It's Possible to Remove Fluoride from Your Water
If you live in an area with fluoridated water, you can 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.
You can get more information from FAN on fluoride and water filters here. However, you really shouldn't have to filter your water to remove this contaminant that shouldn't be there in the first place. That's why we are working closely with FAN to get fluoride out of drinking water on a larger scale.
Join the Fight to Get Fluoride Out of Drinking Water
There's no doubt about it: fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a "chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity." Furthermore, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 41 percent of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis—unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride. Clearly, children are being overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?
At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash. But you're stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it's very difficult to filter out of your water once it's added. Many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END water fluoridation, both in the US and Canada. Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So, please, support the anti-fluoride movement by making a donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.
You can also get involved with "The Girl Against Fluoride's" campaign to end water fluoridation in Ireland. In order to bring a successful legal challenge against the Irish government, funding is required to pay to fly in expert witnesses from around the world to give testimony. You can donate toward this cause here. She is also seeking signatures for a petition to end fluoridation of Irish drinking water. You can sign the petition now to take part in this historic movement.