Friday, January 14, 2011

Is tap water good for you?

I'm talking about fluoridated water. Once you start to peer through the slit in the black curtain there’s no pulling yourself back out. So, the only way to go is further in. But first, a few quick points I came across to get us started.

Getting a drug approved by the FDA cost $100 million dollars in clinical trials. No wonder small companies don't stand a chance in hell.

Allowing information on the established health benefits of supplements is opposed by the FDA.

Onto Fluoride.

It’s good for our teeth, right? Thank God they put it in the water, or we’d be in the dentist’s office all the time with our teeth rotting out of our heads, right? Great that it’s free, and everyone gets it! Right?

You guessed it. Nope.

The Wikipedia says “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control listed water fluoridation as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.” In fact, the whole Wiki entry reflects everything I used to believe about fluoridation.

Then I went to the “discussions” page. Here’s how the comments started:

“I am shocked at the cheerleading going on here. Fluoride is an industrial waste product and it accumulates in the Pineal Gland of the brain.”

And it went on into a much more heated and ugly debate. “The article is not balanced” seems to sum it up for me. The main page promotes fluoridation like an ad campaign, without referencing any of the controversy or addressing many of the more questionable facts about water fluoridation. For shame Wikipedia. I wonder how much in donations that cost?

If you want to know what the ADA and the FDA’s stand are on water fluoridation, just read the wikipedia page.

I’ll tell you the stuff it took me a little longer to uncover.

Seems the main controversial points to know about are:
1) Is Fluoride really good for our teeth?
2) Where does the Fluoride in our water come from?
3) What else does Fluoride do to us?
4) Does water fluoridation violate the individual's right to informed consent to medication?

The most obvious shocker is the suggestion that fluoride actually may be harming our teeth. There is something called fluorosis that an excess of fluoride can cause. One news video I watched said "according to new studies, this is showing up in one in three teens." Brown stains, white streaks and chipped teeth... If you want to see what fluorosis looks like, check here: (not pretty!)

This article goes on to say that “Children exposed to the government’s current maximum fluoride limit “risk developing severe tooth enamel fluorosis, a condition characterized by discoloration, enamel loss and pitting of the teeth, ” the National Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

In fact, last week, America’s top health official, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced plans to lower the agency's maximum recommended fluoride level from 1.2 milligrams per liter of water to 0.7. Which means that they acknowledge the research from many sources that there’s too much fluoride in American water, and it’s causing harm. It’s a start I guess.

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment have been campaigning against fluoridation for six years.

So although fluoride might help prevent tooth decay, too much of it is a bad thing for our teeth. Not only is it in our water, but it’s found in many types of toothpaste, and in foods too (many are made with fluoridated water). We really have no idea how much fluoride we ingest.

The Environmental Working Group supports the use of fluoride in toothpaste, where there is strong evidence of its effectiveness. But EWG’s analysis concludes that fluoridation of public water supplies should end, because the risks outweigh possible benefits, especially for infants and young children, who consume more water than adults relative to their size.

Hey, maybe we should just eat less sugar and brush and floss more?

Next up: What IS Fluoride?

A little history…


“In the 20th century the three nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) enabled agriculture to increase its productivity and the world’s population to grow more than six fold.”

Raw phosphate ore (which is what’s mined to make the fertilizer) contains high concentrations of fluoride. When this ore is processed, the fluoride content of the ore is vaporized into the air, forming highly toxic gaseous compounds. It seems for about 15 years, the cows were the most obvious great sufferers of this environmental disaster, being afflicted with terrible and painful bone cancer.

SO, the phosphate industry had to clean up their act. They came up with this scrubbing system that collects the toxic by products, and either they dump it in the wastewater ponds, or... water-treatment facilities!


“The chemicals used to fluoridate 90% of public drinking water are industrial grade hazardous wastes captured in the air pollution-control scrubber systems of the phosphate fertilizer industry, called silicofluorides. These wastes contain a number of toxic contaminants including lead, arsenic, cadmium and even some radioactive isotopes.”

So, instead of the expense of disposing of this 'fluosilicic acid' in a toxic waste dump, the acid is sold to municipalities, and injected into drinking water. EEK!! Sounds completely ridiculous, I know. But there you go.

BTW… my suspicious mind was curious about the dates that these two events happened. When did the scrubbing system start, and when did water fluoridation start? From what I could tell, it was about 1974 that the “scrubbing” system was patented (although sick cows from fluoride poisoning were reported back in the early 50's). But it was in 1945 that water fluoridation started in the USA. OK, fine. But still… it seems weird that they didn’t reconsider thinking fluoride was good for us when it was discovered that fluoride was poisoning the cows.

“The plain fact that fluorine is an insidious poison, harmful, toxic and cumulative in its effects, even when ingested in minimal amounts, will remain unchanged no matter how many times it will be repeated in print that fluoridation of the water supply is 'safe'." Ludwig Gross, M.D., former Chief of Veterans Administration Cancer Research, Bronx, NY.

You can read even more about what fluoridation is here, if you’re not horrified enough already.
or here

Onward! What else does this disgusting addition to our drinking water do to us?

I found this in an article from a site that seems to be an advocate of fluoridated water.

“However, with all the advantages, there are disadvantages of fluoride in water. Water fluoridation leads to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. Dental fluorosis, which is an excess of fluoride, can also alter the appearance of children’s teeth during the developing years. Skeletal fluorosis, the result of high concentration of fluoride, weakens the bones. There have been isolated cases of fluoride poisoning from addition of excessive quantities of fluoride. This shows up as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.”

“Studies show that fluoride is a toxin that can cause liver and brain damage, osteoporosis and thyroid disorders.”

Damn. Seriously?

There is one study I found to determine the impact of fluoride on the pineal gland - a small gland located between the two hemispheres of the brain that regulates the production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the onset of puberty and helps protect the body from cell damage caused by free radicals. It also helps regulates the sleep-wake cycle and has been shown to regulate blood pressure and body temperature.

"In conclusion, the human pineal gland contains the highest concentration of fluoride in the body. Fluoride is associated with depressed pineal melatonin synthesis by prepubertal gerbils and an accelerated onset of sexual maturation in the female gerbil. The results strengthen the hypothesis that the pineal has a role in the timing of the onset of puberty. Whether or not fluoride interferes with pineal function in humans requires further investigation."

OK, gerbils don’t like it. (poor things!) But wait there’s more…

Fluoride accumulates in our bones and makes them more brittle and prone to fracture.
There is a substantive body of evidence that fluoride can induce bone cancer. It seems to affect boys in their growth spurts more than girls. Excessive exposure to fluoride causes an arthritic bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. (this is difficult to diagnose in early stages, and can resemble various forms of arthritis including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.) Basically, it's just not good for the bones.

But wait… there’s even more…

Researchers at Binghamton University in N.Y., and an EPA neurotoxicologist speculate that "fluoride in water may complex with the aluminum in food and enable it to cross the bloodbrain barrier. Both treated groups also suffered neural injury and showed increased deposits of ß-amyloid protein in the brain, similar to those seen in humans with Alzheimer’s disease."

“In a recent article in the journal NeuroToxicology, a research team led by Roger D. Masters, Dartmouth College Research Professor and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government Emeritus, reports evidence that public drinking water treated with sodium silicofluoride or fluosilicic acid, known as silicofluorides (SiFs), is linked to higher uptake of lead in children.”

“…our preliminary findings show correlations between SiF use and more behavior problems due to known effects of lead on brain chemistry."

We all know lead poisoning is bad! Seems fluoride makes even lead worse in our bodies by making it more accessible.

If you want to be even more disturbed, check out the long list of fluoride symptoms from a study done in 1887!

Which brings me finally to…

Don’t you feel betrayed and violated that the decision to consume this toxic waste is being put completely out of your hands?

It is in the water for the love of god. Without our consent or even the full disclosure of what it’s doing to us. And if we don’t want it in our water, we have to BUY bottled water that is filtered, or a water filtering system OURSELVES! I say the government should have to provide filters to anyone who wants one. I didn’t ask or agree to have this crap in my water. Thanks but no thanks!

There is one small hope, that would solve this problem, but of course, would cause a multitude of other problems.
“…we will see a global peak in phosphate rock reserves, estimated to occur in the next 30 years.”
“Mining phosphorus for fertilizer is consuming the mineral faster than geologic cycles can replenish it. The U.S. may run out of its accessible domestic sources in a few decades, and few other countries have substantial reserves, which could also be depleted in about a century.”

But damn it, do we want to wait that long to be able to have clean drinking water? When all they have to do is just stop adding stuff?

One more link to what’s becoming my favorite site that isn’t afraid to call it like it is:

OK, don’t despair! I know this stuff gets really heavy. BUT there’s hope. There are lots of sites and information to help you from drinking as much of this stuff.

First of all… if you can, get a reverse osmosis filter to remove fluoride from your tap water. Definitely use fluoride-free water for infant formula.

If you go the bottled water route, make sure it’s been distilled or treated with reverse osmosis filtration, or at least doesn’t have fluoride in it! Nearly half the bottled waters out there are taken from tap water! The freakin' Bastards! You can also have mineral water (check there's no fluoride in there!) delivered in bulk quantities.

If you have pets, check this out…

Use the right toothpaste. The American Dental Association recommends fluoride-free toothpaste for children under 2. Personally, I also use a fluoride free toothpaste.

Here’s some reverse osmosis filter systems I found. There's more. Have a look around. Just make sure it gets rid of the fluoride. You want the Reverse Osmosis Systems. (USA) (NZ) (NZ) (has some nice options)

If you live in a fluoridation-free country… GOOD ON YOU! I applaud your country for looking out for your best interests in this case.

“99% of western continental Europe has rejected, banned, or stopped fluoridation due to environmental, health, legal, or ethical concerns.”

In 2000, government authorities from various countries were asked if they fluoridated their water and if not, why. Germany stopped all fluoridation and provided the most extensive reasons for that action via a position statement issued by the DVGW (German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water). As the letter indicated, “The information is dated 1992, but we still fully agree with this statement.” The DVGW sets technical standards that are used in the operation of water systems in Germany and the European Union. The following are quotes from the DVGW position statement.

(1) “It is not the task of water supply companies to add substances to drinking water intended as prophylactics against illness not caused by drinking water.” (2) “Caries is not the manifestation of fluoride deficiency, but is the result of a generally false nutrition and inefficient dental May 1, 2008
hygiene. Unwholesome habits resulting in caries are not eliminated by the fluoridation of drinking water; on the contrary, they are promoted.” (3) “The suggested optimal fluoride concentration of 1 mg per liter is very close to the dose with which long term detrimental effects in people cannot be excluded. . . the limit value in drinking water cannot be justified in view of different habits and therefore differing consumption of drinking water and the uncontrolled intake of fluorides from other sources. The safety of a lifelong accumulation of fluoride in the human body as a result of increased intake is disputed in medical science throughout the world.” (4) “More than 99 per cent [of fluoride contained in drinking water] would be discharged with waste water directly into the environment. This additional fluoride emission into waters is unacceptable for ecological reasons.” (5) “The consumer cannot avoid fluoridated drinking water made available by public water supply. This mandatory intake of fluoride violates the basic right to bodily freedom from injury . . . provided by the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany.” (6) “Fluoride intake for the prevention of caries is more effective with specific measures taken by the individual than by fluoridation of drinking water.” (7) “An assessment of risks vs. benefits involving both the health aspects and ecological consequences justifies DVGW’s rejection of the fluoridation of drinking water.”

Wow. Go Germany!!

You can check your country’s fluoridation levels on the web. FYI, Canada’s water is also fluoridated. But it doesn’t have to be a whole country affair. That the whole country is in or out. New York is trying to have fluoride removed from their tap water. Go New York!

The Ministry of Health in NZ website indicates the fluoride in the water supply should be between 0.7 ppm and 1.0 ppm. New Zealand tap water is fluoridated at 0.85 mg/L. If you live in NZ, you can check to see if your town has fluoride in your water.
After the US has dropped their acceptable levels “Byrne believes New Zealand's Health Ministry now has no choice but to also recommend councils drop their maximum fluoride levels to 0.7ppm.”

Yeah. No kidding.

I'm off to buy me a reverse osmosis filter system!

ps. boiling fluoridated water just concentrates the fluoride, so make sure you empty the kettle each time before you make a cuppa if you're using unfiltered water.

Next time... to reduce cholesterol, you have to take drugs, right? ha! So wrong.

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