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FLUORIDE RISKS

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 studies that demonstrate that drinking fluoride is dangerous to our health. Our kids have fewer cavities than we did, and we imagine the reason is fluoride. However, Europe outlawed fluoride in drinking water decades ago and their dental health has improved as much as in the US. In some areas European dental health has increased more than in the US. To ascribe our dental health improvements to fluoride on this basis is bad science.

The American Dental Association put out a message to its members in November 2006 saying that in order to prevent tooth damage babies under 1 year old should not ingest fluoride.

Frequently the argument for adding fluoride to drinking water is that it is in a dosage that is safe and even good for us. The first issue is: do you really want ‘medicine’ delivered through your drinking water? Another issue is that drinking water is not the only way we ingest fluoride – so isolating one source and saying the level is okay is fallacious.

Fluoride doesn't break down and disappear. It accumulates over time. People today ingest 4 times as much as they were when they started putting fluoride in our drinking water! This is pretty evenly spread 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! Cut back on fluoride when you can. You'll still get lots!

Here’s a quote from John R. Lee, M.D., the former Director of the Marin Medical Society in California, regarding another risk of drinking fluoride: “All studies of fracture rates relative to long-term fluoridation exposure indicate a significant increase in fracture risk.” This includes at least 8 studies in low-dosage situations! (Emphasis to “All” added by this article’s author.)

Bone health is far from the only risk identified by fluoride ingestion. Others identified by the National Research Council include adverse effects to the thyroid gland, diabetics and kidney patients.

Children’s brain development came to the forefront as a concern after three 2007 medical studies suggested that fluoride may have a detrimental effect on childhood IQ. Several studies published in 2007 showed shortcomings in previous research studies. A Mexican study linked high-fluoride (5 ppm) in water to reduced IQ by controlling other key factors by multiple regression analysis. The study also eliminated bias by assuring that the psychologist conducting the IQ tests did not know which of the children had high fluoride exposure. According to the authors, exposure to fluoride was associated with reduced Performance, Verbal and Full IQ scores. The individual effect of fluoride in urine indicated that for each mg increase, a decrease of 1.7 points in Full IQ might be expected.

While the levels at which problems were identified will lead some pro-fluoride folks to conclude this and similar studies should be ignored, remember the point made earlier in this article. Water is by no means the only source of fluoride; we are ingesting 4 times what we did when fluoride was first introduced into the US water supply. (Municipalities add in the area of 1ppm.) Add to that that individual sensitivities vary. There are serious risks to drinking fluoride from our water supply.

Proponents of fluoride in the water supply frequently say that there is no science to prove fluoride in the water supply is dangerous. While the use of the word ‘prove’ may make that statement narrowly correct, the fact is there is a great deal of scientific study indicating serious risk. Common sense suggests we should stop drinking fluoride.



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