dangers of fluoride and fluoridation

The Dangers of Fluoride

dangers of fluoride and fluoridationI regularly get asked questions about the dangers of fluoride and water fluoridation (often misspelled as flouride and flouridation). In fact, one of my employees was recently speaking with me about the sodium fluoride drops his daughter’s pediatrician had prescribed.

In response to the questions and concerns, I’ve put together this article which is loaded with information about fluoride (flouride), symptoms of fluoridation, and the dangers of consuming fluoride.

I hope this helps answer your questions!

  • The fluoride used for water fluoridation does not have FDA approval and is considered by the FDA as an “unapproved drug”. The proper use of any drug requires an understanding of how much is too much. Since fluoride is already in many foods and beverages, an estimated total intake of existing fluoride amounts is imperative. Research shows fluoridation is unnecessary since we’re already receiving 300% or more of the American Dental Association’s recommended daily amount.#
  • The chemicals used for fluoridation are not high purity, pharmaceutical quality products. Rather they are byproducts of aluminum and fertilizer manufacturing and contain a high concentration of toxins and heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and chromium. All proven to be carcinogens.#
  • Newsweek Magazine advised the public that “political decisions [about fluoridation] were at odds with expert advice” and “fluoride from your tap may not do much good-and may cause cancer.” Then, in 1992, Newsweek published another fluoride safety related article, “Is Science Censored?, a look at how political considerations influence what scientific studies get published.”#
  • The first noticeable signs of excessive exposure to fluoride in contaminated water, air, and food products include discolorations of the enamel. Dental fluorosis during tooth growth and loss of dentition in adulthood are two consequences of chronic intoxication with fluorine compounds. Abnormalities in mineralization processes affect by and large the osteoarticular system and are associated with changes in the density and structure of the bone presenting as irregular mineralization of the osteoid.*
  • Children’s sodium fluoride anti-cavity supplements were never found safe or effective by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They were never even tested.

    So why are these prescription drugs allowed despite no FDA approval? Because fluoride supplements were “grandfathered in” before the 1938 law was enacted requiring drug testing.

    So, products on the market before 1938 were presumed safe by the FDA who allowed grandfathered drugs to be sold without any testing. Once a drug is on the market for any reason, doctors can use them to treat any disease or condition.

    Sodium fluoride was on the market pre-1938, but not to stop cavities and not for any medical reason. Sodium fluoride sold as a rat poison.

    So, in effect, the FDA says – since sodium fluoride safely and effectively killed rats before 1938, the FDA considers it is safe to give to little children to prevent tooth decay.From a 1951 American Dental Association brochure:
    “There is no proof that commercial preparations such as tablets, dentifrices, mouthwashes or chewing gum containing fluorides are effective in preventing dental decay. Unfortunately such preparations are being offered to the public without adequate scientific evidence of their value.”*

  • 97% of western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water. This includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Switzerland. (While some European countries add fluoride to salt, the majority do not.) Thus, rather than mandating fluoride treatment for the whole population, western Europe allows individuals the right to choose, or refuse, fluoride.^
  • Contrary to previous belief, fluoride has minimal benefit when swallowed. When water fluoridation began in the 1940s and ’50s, dentists believed that fluoride needed to be swallowed in order to be most effective. This belief, however, has now been discredited by an extensive body of modern research (1).According to the Centers for Disease Control, fluoride’s “predominant effect is posteruptive and topical” (2). In other words, any benefits that accrue from the use of fluoride, come from the direct application of fluoride to the outside of teeth (after they have erupted into the mouth) and not from ingestion. There is no need, therefore, to expose all other tissues to fluoride by swallowing it.^
  • Ingestion of fluoride has little benefit, but many risks. Whereas fluoride’s benefits come from topical contact with teeth, its risks to health (which involve many more tissues than the teeth) result from being swallowed.

    Adverse effects from fluoride ingestion have been associated with doses attainable by people living in fluoridated areas. For example:

    • Risk to the brain. According to the National Research Council (NRC), fluoride can damage the brain. Animal studies conducted in the 1990s by EPA scientists found dementia-like effects at the same concentration (1 ppm) used to fluoridate water, while human studies have found adverse effects on IQ at levels as low as 0.9 ppm among children with nutrient deficiencies, and 1.8 ppm among children with adequate nutrient intake. (7-10)
    • Risk to the thyroid gland. According to the NRC, fluoride is an “endocrine disrupter.” Most notably, the NRC has warned that doses of fluoride (0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day) achievable by drinking fluoridated water, may reduce the function of the thyroid among individuals with low-iodine intake. Reduction of thyroid activity can lead to loss of mental acuity, depression and weight gain (11)
    • Risk to bones. According to the NRC, fluoride can diminish bone strength and increase the risk for bone fracture. While the NRC was unable to determine what level of fluoride is safe for bones, it noted that the best available information suggests that fracture risk may be increased at levels as low 1.5 ppm, which is only slightly higher than the concentration (0.7-1.2 ppm) added to water for fluoridation. (12)
    • Risk for bone cancer. Animal and human studies – including a recent study from a team of Harvard scientists – have found a connection between fluoride and a serious form of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in males under the age of 20. The connection between fluoride and osteosarcoma has been described by the National Toxicology Program as “biologically plausible.” Up to half of adolescents who develop osteosarcoma die within a few years of diagnosis. (13-16)
    • Risk to kidney patients. People with kidney disease have a heightened susceptibility to fluoride toxicity. The heightened risk stems from an impaired ability to excrete fluoride from the body. As a result, toxic levels of fluoride can accumulate in the bones, intensify the toxicity of aluminum build-up, and cause or exacerbate a painful bone disease known as renal osteodystrophy. (17-19)^

I hope this helps answer some of your questions about fluoride, fluoridation, and fluorosis. If there are questions this article didn’t answer, please leave me a comment and I’ll be happy to do my best to provide ou with the info you’re looking for!


Sources:

# http://www.nofluoride.com

* http://fluoridedangers.blogspot.com/

^ http://www.fluoridealert.org/fluoride-facts.htm

1. Featherstone JDB. (2000). The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention. Journal of the American Dental Association. 131: 887-899. (Additional references available at: www.fluoridealert.org/health/teeth/caries/topical-systemic.html )

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2001). Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States. Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Review. (MMWR). August 17. 50(RR14):1-42.7. National Research Council. (2006). Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards. National Academies Press, Washington D.C. p. 173-188.

8. Varner JA, et al. (1998). Chronic Administration of Aluminum-Fluoride and Sodium-Fluoride to Rats in Drinking Water: Alterations in Neuronal and Cerebrovascular Integrity.Brain Research. 784: 284-298.

9. Lin Fa-Fu, et al. (1991). The relationship of a low-iodine and high-fluoride environment to subclinical cretinism in Xinjiang. Iodine Deficiency Disorder Newsletter. Vol. 7. No. 3.

10. Xiang Q, et al. (2003a). Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36: 84-94; 198-199.

11. NRC (2006). p. 189-224.

12. NRC (2006). p. 107-148.

13. National Toxicology Program. (1990). Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Sodium Fluoride in F344/N Rats and B6C3f1 Mice. Technical report Series No. 393. NIH Publ. No 91-2848. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, N.C.

14. Hoover RN, et al. (1991). Time trends for bone and joint cancers and osteosarcomas in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program. National Cancer Institute In: Review of Fluoride: Benefits and Risks. US Public Health Service. Appendix E & F.

15. Cohn PD. (1992). A Brief Report On The Association Of Drinking Water Fluoridation And The Incidence of Osteosarcoma Among Young Males. New Jersey Department of Health Environ. Health Service: 1- 17.

16. Bassin EB, Wypij D, Davis RB, Mittleman MA. (2006). Age-specific Fluoride Exposure in Drinking Water and Osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control 17: 421-8.

17. Johnson W, et al. (1979). Fluoridation and bone disease in renal patients. In: E Johansen, DR Taves, TO Olsen, Eds. Continuing Evaluation of the Use of Fluorides. AAAS Selected Symposium. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado. pp. 275-293.

18. Ittel TH, et al. (1992). Effect of fluoride on aluminum-induced bone disease in rats with renal failure. Kidney International 41: 1340-1348.

19. Ayoob S, Gupta AK. (2006). Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Review on the Status and Stress Effects. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology 36:433–487


Comments

  1. [...] Fluoride, too, has many different risks.  It can harden teeth, but too much can cause ‘fluorosis,’ or weakening and yellowing of teeth.  Treatments are also absorbed systemically through the gums and soft palate in the mouth.  Fluoridated drinking water, too, has negative effects.  It is a carcinogen (causes cancer) and has never been proven to really help fight cavities.  In fact, it’s never been tested at all — it was in use prior to 1938, before the FDA required drugs to be tested before approval (all drugs used prior to 1938 were simply ‘grandfathered’ in and not required to be tested).  Sodium fluoride, now sometimes prescribed to children to get ‘extra fluoride’ was also sold prior to 1938 — as rat poison. [...]

  2. It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles referring to this article. I want to read more things approximately it!

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  4. [...] shows fluoridation is unnecessary since we’re already receiving 300% or more of the American Dental Association’s recommended daily [...]

  5. Dr. Marvin –

    What exactly do you mean by a “fluoride filter”? Do you have any recommendations for certain kinds?

    We live in the SoCal area and I’m not sure if our water is fluoridated or not. However, the majority of our drinking water, we DO run through a Brita water filter (jug) that we keep in our refrigerator. I also have recently started using Auromere toothpaste (mint-free, fluoride-free, etc) and it has helped so much! I started using it on a recommendation from a friend who was having some majoring health issues themselves. It turns out one of their symptoms was the same as mine, tooth sensitivity. I had been using a toothpaste especially for sensitivity and it stopped helping, so I switched to Auromere and WOW, amazing difference. I found it pretty cheaply via Amazon online as well ;).

    • There are a few whole-house fluoride filters out there that will remove most fluoride from your water. I haven’t personally tested or tried them so I can’t make a good recommendation on brand, but if you search for whole-house fluoride filter on Google should find a few. Your other option is a reverse osmosis filter, which will remove much of the fluoride but only from the faucet you install it on.

      Every city has different fluoridation policies, so if you contact your city water company you should be able to find out if it’s fluoridated.

      Thanks for sharing your toothpaste brand with us and good luck in your filter search. Let us know if you find a good one!
      Dr. Marvin

  6. I too live in Encinitas and recently I’ve been having symptoms of dry mouth, soapy taste in my mouth and arthritic pain in my hands. Never had I experience this prior. I have changed my toothpaste and with the recent information about flouride in our local water system, I wonder if I have flouride poisioning? How would I detox from this if it is poisioning or what type of treatment or precautions should I take? I have no Insurance to cover treatment!

    • I would recommend you see an alternative practitioner or a medical doctor to see what’s going on. Since you are Encinitas, you have a lot of great options. You may want to check out The Center for Advanced Medicine and see if they can help you.

  7. There is a big federal law case coming up in Maryland for dental fluorosis.There are a lot of groups coming out against fluoride.LULAC is one of them.There is one now called momsagainstfluoridation.org.Motto is when moms get impassioned they can move moutains.Let us all get involved to end fluoridation,Paul Connett-fluoridealert.org and Daniel Stockin of the Lillie Center

  8. Dr. Marvin,

    I’m in Encinitas too and remember reading various water district documents about potentially fluoridating our water. Do you know where that currently stands?

  9. Heather Says: May 25, 2011 at 11:35 pm

    Is there any way to avoid fluoride exposure? Especially in the drinking water? We live in the desert and drink a lot of water, and tap water is the most economical. But I’m very concerned about the levels of fluoride, especially in our young children and when I’m pregnant.

    • If your local water is fluoridated, you could buy a reverse osmosis water filter, a fluoride filter, or bottled water if you want to avoid it. Not much else you can do once your community decides to fluoridate the water.

  10. The best information I’ve come across on fluoride and fluoridated water is at the MaeBrussell(dot)com website. Just go to the bottom of the homepage. Dr. John Lee, Dr. John Yiamouyannis, Dr. Phyllis Mullenix, and Joanie Greggains explain the history, origin, and effects it has on the brain and body. The audio is 75 minutes long. Hopefully people will burn cds of the audio and pass them around.

  11. I treat my teeth topically once a month with sodium fluoride paste that I apply via trays that my dentist provided me. I do my best not to swallow any of it, but I can tell it’s going into my system because I always have a subtle drug/toxic reaction.

    Is there an alternative to sodium fluoride that I can use in similar fashion to protect my teeth from decay? Or is there a source of sodium fluoride that I can purchase that is of higher purity (pharmaceutical quality) and that does not contain the toxins and heavy metals that you write about?

    Thank you for your article!

    • Not really. Your best bet is to brush your teeth thoroughly using the proper tools, floss regularly, and rinse your mouth (with water) after eating to rinse away the acid left after eating. While the high doses of topical fluoride could help to a very small extent, you’re most likely not getting enough benefits to outweigh the risks associated with it.

  12. [...] all conventional toothpastes contain fluoride, which have been linked to thyroid disease and cancer. Most also have sugar, which seems counter-intuitive for a product designed to prevent cavities. [...]

  13. [...] copied the following list of adverse effects of fluoride from The Center For Natural Dentistry Adverse effects from fluoride ingestion have been associated with doses attainable by people living [...]

  14. [...] the dangers of fluoride: Pure Clear Water Filters The Dangers of Fluoride and Fluoridation Dangers of Fluoride and Fluoridation There is a deluge of information pertaining to the dangers of it. __________________ "To [...]

  15. [...] Working Group ranks sodium fluoride as a 9 out of 10 on their hazard list. And there are many more articles that detail the risks to our bodies. While they don’t take a stance on fluoride in [...]

  16. Odd question. Would stopping as much floride based intake cause a set of withdrawel syptoms? Do to health reason, especially my weight and due the fact my thyroid is about dead, I have switched to distilled water for all coooking and drink. Will the reduction of the toxins cause problems?

    • That’s a good question. Considering the amount of fluoride we intake on a daily basis without even taking into account our water supply, I would assume the answer is no, but I encourage you to seek an alternative provider and ask. With anything, cutting it completely out of your diet could cause problems, so it’s a good thing to be aware of.

  17. Thank you for posting this article. No wonder almost everybody I know is prescribed to Prozac & Adderall medication. Almost everybody that I talk to seems mediocre and one sided in daily conversations (always talking about the same non-important things i.e. football, shopping, television, and celebrity stars). Any these people seem so fascinated by such useless triviality. People are becoming stupid..and they are not consciously aware of it. If fluoride is the major reason why it disrupts & fucks up the thyroid gland, I am aghast. I have been drinking fluoride ever since I was born…….until the day I bought a fluoride water filter for my drinking water supply.

    I would also like to add that during the WWII era of Hitler-Germany, fluoride was added into the prisoner’s drinking water in order to keep the workers more productive & less likely to go on the verge of suicide or escaping. Plus you get the additive bonus of bone-fluorosis and crapped out thyroid gland. This is blasphemy to humanity! This was a substance used to control people then and today..

  18. Fluoride should be removed from water supply

  19. Thank you for sharing this information. People need to know that about 70% of US public water supplies are fluoridated and so are all the foods and beverages made with that water.

    Science never supported fluoridation. It has been promoted with slick PR and appeal to authority. Politics keeps the fluoride flowing. In order to stop it, people need to get active and educate their neighbors about fluoride’s health hazards. Then petition, lobby, call, write, email and visit local legislators and tell them you want the fluoride valves shut off.

    Legislators will be better able to stand up to special interest groups if their constituents show up in numbers as opposed to fluoridation.

    • The level of fluoride that’s already in our food and beverages is incredible. People living in fluoridated areas are typically receiving at least 300% of the recommended daily limit of fluoride in their diet… and that doesn’t include any unfiltered tap water they consume or dental pastes and gels.

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