"WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately."
This is the warning label that you will find on all toothpastes containing fluoride.
One of the little-known facts about fluoride toothpaste, is that each tube of toothpaste - even those specifically marketed for children - contains enough fluoride to kill a child.
Did you know that 97% of western Europe has chosen fluoride free water and that fluoride is the only chemical added to drinking water for the sole purpose of medication (to prevent tooth decay). Fluoride has nothing to do with water treatment.
Is it right for someone to add medication to our water without our approval?
Ingestion of fluoride has little benefit and many risks with possible damage to the brain with adverse effects on IQ, reduction of thyroid function, increased risks of bone fracture and bone cancer especially people with impaired kidney function since the kidneys cannot excrete the fluoride so the fluoride accumulates in the bones. Other side effects are dental fluorosis, joint pain and skin rash.
The main fluoride chemical added to water (hydrofluorosilicic acid) is an industrial by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry (toxic waste is barreled up and sold, unrefined, to communities across the country). Communities add hydrofluorosilicic acid to their water supplies as the primary fluoride chemical for water fluoridation.
Even if you don't live in a community where fluoride is added to water, you'll still be getting a dose of it through cereal, soda, juice, beer and any other processed food and drink manufactured with fluoridated water. I especially kept seeing many sources saying that infant formula was a big source of fluoride for babies. Children are at a greater risk of fluoride overdose than adults. Unlike the fluoride used in toothpaste, hydrofluorosilicic acid is not pharmaceutical-grade quality. It is an unpurified, industrial-grade, corrosive acid which has been linked, in several recent studies, to increased levels of lead in children’s blood.
I called my local water company to inquire if fluoride was added to our drinking water. The answer was no but since that time I found a website listing the water systems and the fluoride levels in the water and found that my water company does indeed add fluoride to the water system. I was very disappointed. I urge you to find out about your water system and hopefully have some influence to get your water supply free of added fluoride. Here is a website that you can use to look up your specific water supply and find out whether you have fluoride added to your water. http://thyroid.about.com/library/articles/blfluoridefinder.htm
Other than reducing your fluoride intake, it will be important to maintain a healthy diet. The importance of a healthy diet has been suggested by the repeated observation that humans/animals with poor nutrition are more severely impacted by fluoride toxicity than those with adequate nutrition.
See this latest post from Fox News: In a surprising reversal, last month EPA’s announced that it intends to lower the maximum amount of fluoride in drinking water because of growing evidence supporting the chemical’s possible deleterious effects to children’s health.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/02/22/epa-reverses-fluoride/#ixzz22yI8HBek
Here are the 10 top tips for reducing fluoride from the Fluoride Action Network: See their website for more information on each tip. I have the abbreviated version here.
1) Stop Drinking Fluoridated Water: Tap water consumption is, on average, the largest daily source of fluoride exposure for people who live in areas that add fluoride to the water. Avoiding consumption of fluoridated water is especially critical for infants. Click here to get their advice about water filters.
2) Don’t Let Your Child Swallow Fluoride Toothpaste
3) Do NOT Get Fluoride Gel Treatments at the Dentist
4) Eat More Fresh Food, Less Processed Food. When water is fluoridated, it is not just the water that is fluoridated, but all beverages and foods that are made with the water. As a general rule, therefore, the more processed a food is, the more fluoride it has.
5) Buy Organic Grape Juice and Wine. In the United States, many vinyards use a fluoride pesticide called cryolite. As a result, the levels of fluoride in U.S. grape juice and wine (particularly white grape juice and white wine) are consistently elevated. Also if you are a heavy consumer of raisins, then buy organic.
6) Reduce Your Tea Consumption (and/or Drink Tea with Younger Leaves) Be careful of drinking too much tea, particularly bottled and instant varieties. The tea plant accumulates high levels of fluoride, and excess intake of tea is known to cause a painful bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. Some teas though contain high levels of health-boosting anti-oxidants. Not only are anti-oxidants good for health in general, they also help to protect you from fluoride toxicity.
If you love tea, therefore, try to purchase varieties that are made from young leaves (e.g., “White tea”). This will allow you to maximize tea’s known benefits, while reducing its known harm.
Another option is to drink yerba matte – a caffeinated herbal tea from South America that contains very low levels of fluoride (< 0.2 ppm)
7) Avoid Cooking with Teflon Pans
8) Don’t Take Cipro and Be Mindful of Other Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals. Many pharmaceuticals are fluorinated, which means they contain something called a “carbon-fluorine bond.” Although the carbon-fluoride bond is strong enough to resist breaking down within the body, this is not always the case.
9) Minimize Consumption of Mechanically-Deboned Chicken: Since bone is where fluoride is accumulated thus mechanically processed chicken will contain greater quantity of bone in the product.
10) Avoid fluoridated salt. If you live in a country which allows fluoridated salt to be sold, make sure that the salt you buy is unfluoridated.
I have been in the market myself for a water filter to remove fluoride. I checked Amazon filters for this and found some that I have listed in this post but I do not have experience with them. Here is an in depth review of filters from the Fluoride Action Network. Many food bloggers recommend the Big Berkey Filtering system.
Sources: http://www.fluoridealert.org/ Picture credit: Flickr
Debbie Vail, NC
Greetings from east central Alabama and welcome to my site. I am a graduate of Hawthorn University, a leader in holistic education.
See more about me and my educational experience.