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Fluoride

  • Fluoride in Drinking Water Linked to Urinary Stone Disease

    Fluoride is routinely added to our drinking water as it is believed to provide certain health benefits. But is this really the case? A study conducted by a team of Russian and Australian scientists, which was recently published in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry, reveals that fluoride added to toothpaste and drinking water may in fact increase the likelihood of Urinary Stone Disease – an excruciatingly painful disease of the urinary tract.

    fluoride2

    Urinary stones can form in the kidneys (kidney stones) or bladder (bladder stones) as a result of dehydration, which causes minerals that are present in the food we eat to form concentrated crystals rather than be flushed from the urinary system. Urinary stones typically consist of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and fluoride ions, as well as cystine and uric acid.

    Study Details

    To gain a better understanding of which minerals are responsible for the formation of urinary stones to enable us to take preventative measures, the research team analyzed a sample of 20 urinary stones from Russian patients using ion chromatography technology. Their analysis revealed that 80% of the urinary stones contained fluoride ions, mostly at low concentrations; but two stones consisted of high concentrations (> 0.5 mg) of fluoride. They attributed this to high concentrations of fluoride present in the patient's urine, which could stem from fluoridated drinking water or from ingesting toothpaste with fluoride added.

    According to the researchers, fluoride ions are known to possess an exceptional affinity to calcium ions, which leads them to believe that hyperfluorosis – chronic disease developing due to excessive amounts of fluorine and its compounds being absorbed into the body over a long period – to be a possible cause of Urinary Stone Disease.
    Fluoride is added to municipal drinking water in the belief that it helps combat tooth decay. However, according to the Fluoride Action Network, drinking water fluoridation actually involves adding a concoction of chemicals – sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, and hydrofluorosilicic acid – that are in fact unpurified waste products from industry and mining, which in some cases are contaminated with other toxic pollutants, such as arsenic. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is highly corrosive and is also associated with leaching lead from lead pipes, resulting in higher exposure to lead – another toxic drinking water contaminant.

    Fluoride Controversy

    Fluoridation of municipal drinking water is a controversial issue, with some believing that it promotes tooth health, while others hold a completely different view. Drinking water fluorination is known to cause dental fluorosis – discoloration of the teeth – in children exposed to high levels of fluoride, and has also been associated with other health issues, including bone cancer. A study conducted by the World Health Organization showed that European countries who do not fluoridate their drinking water do not have elevated levels of tooth decay, and in some cases fare better than countries that do.

    Some people consider fluoridation of drinking water to be a form of forced mass medication. If you would prefer to not have these chemicals forced upon you, you can take steps to remove them from your drinking water by filtering your water with a good quality water filter. The Berkey range of filter systems will remove lead and other contaminants, and can be fitted with additional fluoride and arsenic filters in the lower chamber to remove these contaminants from your drinking water.

  • This Spice May Protect Your Brain From Fluoride Damage

    A new study that was recently published online in Pharmacognosy Magazine highlights the brain-damaging capabilities of fluoride, and reveals that the curcumin found in Turmeric may combat the harmful effects that fluoride has on the brain.

    The authors concluded;

    “Our study thus demonstrate that daily single dose of 120 ppm F (Fluoride) result in highly significant increases in the LPO [lipid peroxidation, i.e. brain rancidity] as well as neurodegenerative changes in neuron cell bodies of selected hippocampal regions. Supplementation with curcumin significantly reduce the toxic effect of F to near normal level by augmenting the antioxidant defense through its scavenging property and provide an evidence of having therapeutic role against oxidative stress mediated neurodegeneration.”

    Turmeric

    Fluoride is added to many common products that we consume every day, including toothpaste and drinking water and is virtually impossible to avoid being exposed to. There is an ongoing controversy surrounding Fluoride and it stems from the harmful effects that overexposure to fluoride can cause, which include fluorosis, neurotoxicity and even cancer. The fact that it is routinely added to drinking water, which some believe amounts to being force-medicated without consent, is currently one of the the most hotly debated topics.

    According to the authors, who have been studying the neurodegenerative effects that fluoride has on the mammalian brain for many years:

    “Fluoride (F) is probably the first inorganic ion which drew attention of the scientific world for its toxic effects and now the F toxicity through drinking water is well-recognized as a global problem. Health effect reports on F exposure also include various cancers, adverse reproductive activities, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases.”

    This particular study, which examined fluoride induced neurotoxicity, identified oxidative stress and over-stimulation of the neuron (referred to as excitoxicity) as two of the main causes of neurodegeneration in the brain. Previous observations of people suffering from fluorosis – a condition where the tooth enamel becomes discolored or mottled due to over-exposure to fluoride during the early developmental stages – also exhibit neurodegenerative changes that are associated with oxidative stress in the brain.

    Previous studies conducted on the health benefits of curcumin have shown that it is a powerful antioxidant, that is able to protect the body against damage from singlet oxygen, hydroxyl radicals and superoxide radicals, and also boosts antioxidant defense mechanisms within the brain. The research team tested the neuro-protective properties of curcumin – a polyphenol agent present in turmeric – on mice, to see if it could potentially combat neurodegeneration and neurotoxicity associated with fluoride exposure.

    The research team used a group of mice to both assess the neurotoxicity of fluoride and the protective benefits of curcumin in reducing these neurotoxicity effects. They divided the mice into four groups, which were kept separate for thirty days, as follows:

    Group 1: no exposure to fluoride (control group).

    Group 2: exposed to 120ppm fluoride in distilled drinking water that was freely available.

    Group 3: exposed to 120ppm fluoride per 30mg/kg body weight in drinking water together with curcumin mixed with olive oil – dosage was administered orally.

    Group 4: dosed with curcumin 30mg/kg body weight

    After thirty days, the researchers measured oxidative stress levels in the brains of the mice. They found that mice in Group 2 that were exposed to fluoride only exhibited significantly higher levels of oxidative stress compared to mice in the Group 1 (control) who were not exposed to fluoride. The mice in Group 3 that were exposed to fluoride and curcumin exhibited lower levels of oxidative stress compared to the mice in Group two (fluoride only), which demonstrated the neuroprotective properties of curcumin against neurotoxity associated with fluoride exposure.

    This is not the first study to highlight the health benefits of turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian dishes. The paper cites over two hundred references to published scientific studies on the neuro-protective benefits of curcumin – an ingredient in turmeric – and there are thousands of articles on the GreenMedInfo database related to around 600 health benefits of curcumin and turmeric. Perhaps it's time to spice up your life.

    Journal Reference:

    Chhavi Sharma, Pooja Suhalka, Piyu Sukhwal, Neha Jaiswal and Maheep Bhatnagar. Curcumin attenuates neurotoxicity induced by fluoride: An in vivo evidence. Pharmacogn Mag. 2014 Jan-Mar; 10(37): 61–65. doi:  10.4103/0973-1296.126663

  • WHO Fluoride Study Shows Water Fluoridation is Unnecessary

    Fluoridation – the practice of adding fluoride to drinking water – is highly controversial. According to the Fluoride Action Network, the United States currently adds fluoride to over 70% of the drinking water it supplies its citizens, which results in more people in America drinking fluoridated water than the rest of the world combined. The majority of first world countries do not add fluoride to their drinking water, and yet the dental health of these populations is in no way compromised.

    New Fluoridation Data Released by WHO

    Data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on tooth decay rates of 12 year old children in developed countries provide strong evidence that fluoridation is not necessary. These statistics clearly illustrate that many countries that do not fluoridate their water at all have less incidence of tooth decay than countries that add fluoride to more than 60% of their water supply. As there is no noticeable difference in the rate of tooth decay between developed countries that add fluoride to drinking water and those that don't, this begs the question: Is fluoridation necessary?

    World Health Organization Data: DMFT (Decayed, Missing & Filled Teeth) Status for 12 Year Olds By Country

    Country DMFTs Year Status*
    Denmark 0.7 2008 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Germany 0.7 2005 No water fluoridation.67% salt fluoridation.
    England 0.7 2009 11% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Netherlands* 0.8 2002 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Switzerland** 0.82 2009 No water fluoridation.88% salt fluoridation.
    Belgium 0.9 2009-10 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Sweden 0.9 2008 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Australia 1.0 2003-2004 80% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Austria 1.0 2002
    6% salt fluoridation.
    Ireland 1.1 2002 100% water fluoridation in study.No salt fluoridation.
    Italy 1.1 2004 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    United States 1.19 1999-2004 64% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Finland 1.2 2006 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    France 1.2 2006 No water fluoridation.65% salt fluoridation.
    Spain 1.3 2004 11% water fluoridation.10% salt fluoridation.
    Greece 1.35 2005-06 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Iceland 1.4 2005 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    New Zealand 1.4 2009 61% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Japan 1.7 2005 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Norway 1.7 2004 No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    * The Hague | ** Zurich
    Tooth Decay data from:

    • World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Education, Training, and Research in Oral Health, Malmö University, Sweden. http://www.mah.se/CAPP/ (accessed on June 10, 2012)

    Salt fluoridation data from:

    • Gotzfried F. (2006). Legal aspects of fluoride in salt, particularly within the EU. Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed 116:371-75.

    Is Fluoridate Necessary?

    Fluoride is added to toothpaste to prevent dental cavities. Consequently, children in developed countries already receive fluoride in toothpaste – in fact many children actually far exceed the recommended daily intake of fluoride from this source alone. Fluoride in drinking water only adds to the amount of fluoride they are consuming – mostly without their knowledge or their parent's consent. According to the Fluoride Action Network, there is enough fluoride in half a tube of children's toothpaste to kill a young child.  In 2009, US poison control centers received more than 24,500 calls related to swallowing fluoride toothpaste.The benefits that fluoride offers in preventing tooth decay is provided by topical contact with teeth and not from any nutritional benefits that it provides. Therefore it's logical to assume that one not need to swallow toothpaste or drink water containing fluoride to receive these benefits.

    Health Effects of Fluoride

    When fluoride is consumed in excess it has toxic effects on the body; it can cause dental fluorosis (tooth discoloration), skeletal fluorosis (bone disease) and has been linked to bone cancer in teenage boys. Patients with impaired kidney function are particularly at risk of skeletal fluorosis – fluoridated water was responsible for causing bone disease in patients undergoing dialysis treatment until kidney dialysis units routinely implemented water filtration systems to filter fluoride from the drinking water provided to their patients.

    Is Fluoridation Simply Unmonitored Mass Medication?

    Because fluoride is added to drinking water as a preventative health measure rather than to treat the water, it is considered a drug. This is of particular concern, as once fluoride is added to drinking water, it is not monitored. There is no control over who receives this medication, or the dose they receive, and no way to monitor the effects on human health. Young children, elderly citizens, and those with compromised health receive the same dose as healthy adults, and if they drink excessive amounts of water, this may be higher still.

    For those interested, Big Berkey Water Filters has add-on fluoride filters that go in the lower chamber of the system and will reduce fluoride in the water up to 99.75%. The problems associated with fluoridation of drinking water are covered in detail in the documentary film ''An Inconvenient Tooth'' released in September, 2012.

  • Fluoride in Drinking Water

    Columbia, MO has recently joined the extensive list of US cities that are questioning the practice of water fluoridation. Many citizens are opposed to the fact that the government is in effect medicating the public without their consent through the public water supply, often with little control of the dosage administered.

    Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound that is commonly added to drinking water to promote dental health and prevent tooth decay. Hailed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as one of the top ten best public health achievements of the 20th century, the addition of fluoride to drinking water remains a somewhat controversial issue.

    Positive and Negative Heath Effects of Fluoride

    While small doses of fluoride offer dental health benefits, continued exposure to high doses of fluoride can have the opposite effect. Children under the age of eight can develop dental fluorosis – evident as white spots on teeth, or in severe cases, pitting of the tooth enamel; while adults that have been exposed to high levels of fluoride over a long period can suffer skeletal fluorosis – pain in the bones, calcification of joints, and in more severe cases, crippling, and a greater susceptibility to bone fractures as they get older.

    Recommended Levels of Fluoride

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has set the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for fluoride in drinking water at 4 mg/L, and a secondary maximum contaminant level (SMCL) of 2.0 mg/L as the standard for fluoride in drinking water. Levels above 4mg/L can have long-term adverse health effects, while levels above 2mg/L can have cosmetic effects, such as discoloration of teeth. The current guidelines as determined by the US Public Health Service for the optimal amount of fluoride in drinking water is set between 0.7-1.2mg/L. However, in an effort to balance the positive effects of fluoride for limiting tooth cavities, while also reducing the negative health effects of excessive exposure to fluoride, the US Department for Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently proposed that this be reduced to the lower end of this range – recommending that 0.7mg/L be set as the optimum.

    Health officials are concerned that Americans are being exposed to fluoride from multiple sources, including toothpaste, mouth wash, tooth whiteners, as well as drinking water. As water is not the only source of fluoride, the levels should be reduced accordingly.

    Removing Fluoride from Drinking Water

    If you are concerned about the levels of fluoride your family is being exposed to there are a number of options you can take to remove fluoride from your water. While boiling water can remove some pathogens, it will not remove fluoride, but will only increase the concentration of fluoride in water. You can remove fluoride with a home water filter that is capable of removing fluoride. While most standard drinking water filters are not able to remove fluoride, there are more specialized filters available that can.

    One of the more economical option is to invest in a good quality drinking water filter, such as a Berkey filter, that can be fitted with additional internal filter cartridges to remove unwanted fluoride. Berkey water filters accommodate at least two Black Berkey filter cartridges in the upper chamber that remove general water contaminants, including 99.99% removal of pathogens. To remove fluoride, arsenic, and residues of heavy metal ions, two or more additional PF-2 filters can be inserted into the lower chamber of the water filter to ensure that you have a supply of purified, healthy drinking water to provide your family.

  • To Fluoridate or Not: Berkey Water Filters Put You In Control

    For more than half a century, local governments in the United States have been adding fluoride to water supplies to prevent tooth decay. The U.S. Public Health Service reports: "over half of the U.S. population is served by drinking water that is fluoridated naturally or adjusted. Additionally, since the 1950's, fluorides have been incorporated into toothpaste, other dental products, and dietary supplements."

    From day 1, there have been dissenters. In 2006, a National Academy of Sciences report on fluoridated tap water and health brought what are often dismissed as fringe concerns directly into the mainstream. An expert government advisory panel recommended reducing the level of tap-water fluoridation to protect Americans from the harmful effects of too much fluoride.

    Fluoride in Tap Water and Dental Health

    In the 1940's, exposure to fluoride through food and drink was fairly low and access to fluoride-containing dental products was not common. Scientists and public health officials concerned with dental health noticed that regions with naturally highly fluoridated water also had fewer cases of dental caries. Subsequent fluoridation of drinking water supplies is often credited with 30-50% reductions in dental cavities.

    Over that period, there has also been a marked increase in dental fluorosis, discoloring and pitting of tooth enamel caused by excessive fluoride exposure while teeth are still developing. This has occurred both in areas of the country with fluoridated water and without, indicating that our overall fluoride exposure has gone up.

    Critics of fluoridation argue that the chemical's benefit is overblown. A review out in April 2011 by the West Virginia University Rural Health Research Center found that:

    urban U.S. children, with more exposure to fluoridated water and dental care, have just as many cavities as less fluoridation-exposed rural children.

    The researchers write: "For children's dental health measures, it was found that fluoridation rates were not significantly related to the measures of either caries or overall condition of the teeth for urban or rural areas."

    Overall reductions in tooth decay have been most dramatic among wealthy Americans and least among poor Americans, the ones that fluoridation is supposed to benefit.

    Too Much Fluoride and Health

    Excessive exposure to fluoride has implications beyond cosmetic appearance of teeth. Skeletal fluorisis is a bone and joint condition that increases bone density and leads to joint pain and reduced mobility. Full skeletal fluorosis is extremely rare in the United States, but mild forms of fluorosis may be confused with arthritis and chronic fluoride exposure has been linked to a wide variety of other ailments and conditions, including bone cancer.

    Fluoride Exposure Then & Now

    Tap water is the top source of fluoride exposure for most Americans, but all food and water has some fluoride. The geology of some part of the country results in more-than-average levels of fluoride. Fluoride is taken up in water-containing fruits and vegetables and accumulates in the bodies of animals and fish. Because of the sodium fluoride content of ocean water, seafood is a particularly good source of fluoride.

    Since tap water is used to process food, processed food usually contains as much or more fluoride than the water used in processing. If evaporation was used in processing, the resulting food stuffs may contain a great deal of fluoride. Instant tea, for example, when reconstituted with fluoridated tap water, contain much more fluoride than non-instant tea prepared with the same water.

    Fluoride-containing pesticides are another route of exposure and for years sufuryl fluoride was routinely applied to cocoa beans and dried fruit.

    Finally, fluoride-containing toothpastes and mouthwashes are much more common and easily available than when tap-water fluoridation first began. Topical application is the most effective way to strengthen teeth with fluoride, but swallowing toothpaste exposes the brusher to much more fluoride than is healthy.

    Do Infants and Children Get Too Much Fluoride?

    In response to the National Academies' report, Environmental Working Group analyzed tap water fluoridation with respect to one particularly vulnerable group of Americans: babies who's diet was entirely comprised of infant formula prepared from powdered mix and tap-water.

    EWG's analysis shows that in 25 of the 28 largest cities in the U.S., fluoride levels in tap water alone will put 8 to 36 percent of all babies up to 6 months of age over the safe dose of fluoride on any given day. "These elevated early life exposures put children at risk for precisely the health problems that the NAS committee is concerned about," said Dr. Tim Kropp, toxicologist and senior scientist at EWG.

    While exposures of infants are particularly dramatic, all children drinking overly-fluoridated water may be at risk of excessive exposure because of their small size.

    U.S. Fluoridation Levels To Go Down?

    In 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed that the nation's water utilities sharply reduce the amount of fluoride in tap water and the Environmental Protection Agency initiated a review of the maximum allowable amount of fluoride in drinking water.

    Big Berkey Water Filters and Fluoride

    Your Berkey filters put you in charge of your household water quality, including your fluoride exposure.

    EWG recommends that all households with water supplies exceeding the new HHS recommendation of 0.7 mg of fluoride per liter filter their water. Only filtered, or otherwise non-fluoridated, water should be used to reconstitute infant formula.

    To find out if your town complies with the new recommendations, consult the CDC fluoride database or contact your water utility.

     

    Optional Fluoride Water Filter for Your Big Berkey

    Whether your water supply contains more than the recommended levels of fluoride or you want to eliminate it for any reason, the Big Berkey filter can be a great water filter for you.

    By adding a PF-2 flouride water filter to any of the Berkey Water filtration systems, you can reduce up to 99.75% of the fluoride in your drinking water. The PF-2 filter is designed to work in conjunction with the Black Berkey filters for optimal water quality along with fluoride reduction.

    Watch a Video on Fluoride and the Big Berkey Water Filter


  • The Fluoride In Your Drinking Water is Industrial Waste

    Fluoride in our tap and municipal water continues to gain attention as a health concern for much of the public who have been exposed to this long-time practice. With that attention comes more awareness, additional research on its' long-term affects, and a better understanding of just where the fluoride found in our city tap water originates.

    It comes as a surprise to many that the fluoride added to our tap water is not the type of fluoride used at the dentist's office and in toothpaste (sodium fluoride), but is rather a form of industrial waste called hydrofluorosilicic acid, a byproduct of the phosphate industry and the primary form used for water fluoridation here in the US. In 2000, Dr. J William Hirzy, Senior Vice President of EPA's Headquarters Union in Washington DC, made the statement "If this stuff (fluoride) gets into our air, it's a pollutant; if it gets into a river, it's a pollutant; if it gets into a lake, it's a pollutant; but if it goes right into your drinking water system, that's not a pollutant. That's amazing. There's gotta be a better way to manage this stuff."

    This video was put together by the fluoride action network at fluoridealert.org; champions of the movement to spread the word on the dangers of fluoride in our water. Our regular readers are familiar with our writings on fluoride, but this video highlights a troublesome dimension to fluoridation covering the history behind where hydrofluorosilicic acid originates and it's impact. Towards the end you will notice some water filters referenced that are adept at removing fluoride from water, fluoride water filters in particular, the berkey water filter.  There's a good amount of information packed in here in a short time, so if you're like me, you may find yourself hitting the rewind button a couple times.

  • Fluoride Water Contamination in Northern Punjab, India

    By now, many of you are aware of the bodily risks that fluoride in your water presents. Fluoride toxicity harms bones, causes stiff joints, encourages skeletal abnormalities, raises the risk of cancer, results in genetic damage, can damage the thyroid, and hampers nervous system function. Given that you body does not excrete and rid itself of fluoride easily, continual exposure results in continual accumulation. Many states in the US have stopped the practice of fluoridation all together, and the question "to fluoridate or not to fluoridate" is becoming commonplace on state voting ballots.

    Fluoride Contamination in Punjab

    If you are not convinced of the detrimental affects of fluoride ingestion, the news video below on the Northern region of Punjab in India is a case study on it's toxic effects. In this region, contamination occurred through natural mediums and chemical fertilizers. While this news story does not speak to the fluoride concentration levels, a little research turned up a study by the Environmental Biology Laboratory, Post Graduate Department of Zoology, S.G.N. Khalsa (PG) College, in Sri Ganganagar, India called Fluoride contamination in drinking water in rural habitations of Northern Rajasthan, India.  This study provided some valuable data and recommendations.

    At the time of this study's release in 2007, fluoride was recorded in the ranges of 4.78 and 1.01 ppm (parts per million) with an average fluoride concentration of 2.82 ppm for the Rajasthan region. To put this in perspective, the Environmental Protection Agency allows up to 1 ppm of fluoride in water for fluoridation purposes. This study states "Due to the higher fluoride level in drinking water several cases of dental and skeletal fluorosis have appeared at an alarming rate". In other words, concentrations at only 3-5 times higher that what the EPA currently allows in the US has resulted in alarming rates of dental and skeletal fluorosis with the study calling for "an instant need to take ameliorative steps in this region to prevent the population from fluorosis."

    Do We Need Fluoride in our Drinking Water?

    To be clear, the news story speaks to boiling the water, however this only address the bacteria and parasites in the water.  Boiling will not remove or reduce fluoride levels in water.  In 2007 the ADA warned parents not to mix baby formula with tap water in the first 12 months of development so as to avoid fluoride intake. Are the risks of fluoride ingestion worth the claimed rewards? Many would argue that brushing multiple times per day, flossing, and visiting your local dentist regularly are more than sufficient in this day and age for teeth health.

    For those of you who are drinking fluoridated tap water, a berkey water filter equipped with a PF-2 fluoride filter will remove the fluoride to 99.75%. If you are unsure if your city/municipal water is fluoridated, simply call you local town water authority and they will be able to provide you this information.

  • Fluoride in Water and Fluoride Water Filters

    Good strong teeth in a child is a priority to conscientious parents and fluoride in water is considered by many to help achieve that. Yet, in spite of the advancements in dental care, more than one fourth of 2 to 5 year olds, and half of kids 12 to 15, have one or more cavities. Further, tooth decay has affected two thirds teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19. These statistics and other disturbing facts about the dangers of fluoride in water have parents increasingly purchasing fluoride water filters.

    Many agree with studies that seem to indicate that adding fluoride to public water will decrease the problem of tooth decay, while others strongly disagree.  Fluoride is the 13th most common element in the earth's crust and exists naturally in water. Some water has sufficient natural fluoride, but what if it is not naturally present? Should fluoride be added to water systems? The debate about fluoride won’t be settled here. Rather, the purpose of this article is to consider a few of these points, and to give you some options.

    Supporters of Fluoride in Water

    Supporters of fluoridation state, “Today, water fluoridation is estimated to reduce tooth decay by 20-40%....It is well known that fluoride helps prevent and even reverse the early stages of tooth decay.” These statements have the authority of a trained doctor. Similarly, “For over 60 years, water fluoridation has proven to be a safe and cost-effective way to reduce dental cavities.”

    Those favoring use of fluoride in general claim that its presence combats tooth decay in two ways. First, it strengthens the developing teeth and second, it aids the surface of the teeth by preventing the acid produced by the bacteria in plaque from dissolving, or demineralizing tooth enamel. Fluoride also allows teeth damaged by acid to remineralize, or repair themselves. It won’t repair cavities, but it can reverse minor tooth decay and prevent new cavities from forming.

    Opponents of Fluoride in Water

    The evidence for fluoride as part of dental care is well supported, however the data supporting the benefits of adding fluoride in water is not as strong. Opponents state; “There is no difference in the tooth decay rates of the fluoridated and nonfluoridated water regions surveyed.” They claim that increased amount of fluoride in children can actually increase tooth decay. Too much fluoride during the teeth developing years can cause enamel fluorosis, a mottling or discoloration of the permanent teeth. To add fluoride to water, along with toothpaste and treatments can exceed the maximum level that is safe.  Read the back of your toothpaste and you'll learn that fluoride poisoning is accompanied by vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, increased salivation, or increased thirst with symptoms lasting up to 24 hours but appear within 30 minutes after ingestion.  Are we slowly poisoning our bodies with continuous low levels of fluoride in our water?  Wouldn't younger children be more susceptible?

    Those opposed to the added fluoride say the studies have not considered it's long range effects. They claim it is directly linked to changes in bone structure and strength, cancer, impairs the immune system, causes birth defects and perinatal deaths, causes initial stages of skeletal fluorosis, inhibits key enzymes, causes osteoarthritis, and suppresses thyroid function. What do they say about the studies that prove that fluoride in water is good for dental hygiene? The studies had several flaws. First, they did not consider the differences between "natural fluoride" (ex: CaF) and added fluoride in water (ex: NaF). Second, these studies did not consider the other minerals in the water and these could actually be the cause of decreased instances of tooth decay. Third, adequate risk analysis was lacking with dental fluorosis as the only barometer for safety being included.

    Berkey Fluoride Water Filters

    Berkey

    Fluoride Water Filters

    If your conclusion from these points is that fluoride should not be in your drinking water, what are your options? Some opt for bottled water, but this can get expensive. A better alternative is to purchase a fluoride water filter. Some expensive units do this, yet there are also more affordable systems that provide optional fluoride water filters. Berkey water filter systems, for example, have available an additional fluoride filter that can be attached below the primary black berkeys and will remove fluoride from the water. If you don’t want fluoride, you don’t have to drink it.

  • Fluoride Linked to Bone Cancer - Study Finds

    In what appears to be another damning blow to water fluoridation, a recent study found blood fluoride levels significantly higher in patients with a rare bone cancer called Osteosarcoma when compared to control groups. Prior studies have made similar claims and seem to reinforce these findings. Let's hope this makes more people aware of the critically important fluoride debate.

    Read the Reuters Fluoride Article here.

  • The Dangers of Fluoride - The Great Debate

    I sometimes wonder what percentage of the population is aware of the ongoing fluoride debate. There’s absolutely a growing voice of dissent over municipal water fluoridation, but how familiar is the everyday citizen?  I know that a good majority of my friends and family are not aware of it. I’ve never heard it brought up on any major news television programs like 20/20 or Dateline.  It seems the majority of discussion is coming from radio programming, local news stations, activist groups, and some select scientific community organizations.

    Just last month, I had the privilege to catch an in depth conversation on the subject.  It occurred on one of my favorites programs; Coast to Coast AM w/ George Noory, where Director of the Fluoride Action Network, Paul Connett and leading dentist in the fight against fluoride, Dr. Bill Osmunson dug into the issue for 3 hours.  Here are some clips from the show.

    If you're interested in the full show, e-mail me at dan@bigberkeywaterfilters.com. In the meantime, below are some high level basic facts and information on the subject of fluoridation.

    What's the Debate?

    Adding fluoride to the public water systems, otherwise known as fluoridation, has occurred  for more than 60 years in the United States.  Given this basic historical fact, the immediate question that comes to many peoples mind when they are confronted with the debate is;

    “If fluoridation is so bad for us, wouldn’t we already have figured it out? Wouldn’t there be mountains of evidence to illustrate the toxic effects?”

    Opponents claim that this evidence does exist, and that much of the scientific and government community simply fail to acknowledge it. It's curiously regarded as a combination of sticking one's head in the sand along with a fear of taking a stand against conventional baked-in thinking. Among other statistics, defenders retort that the evidence for fluoride benefits is proven by US general population tooth decay reductions in the order of 50-60% since WWII. This statistic is one of the most controversial as these same reductions, over the same time periods, are shown in countries that have never engaged in water fluoridation.

    Where Does Fluoride Come From?

    Sodium fluoride, used in fluoridation, is a hazardous-waste by-product from the manufacture of aluminum.  It is a common ingredient in rat and cockroach poisons, anesthetics, hypnotics, psychiatric drugs, and military nerve gas.  Fluoride is more toxic than aluminum and studies have shown that fluoride consumption increases the body absorption rate of aluminum by 600%.  There are, however, controls set in place to manage this risk.  The EPA has maximum water fluoridation levels set at 1 ppm (part per million) and every day many of us are given the opportunity to read a warning on the back of our fluoride toothpaste:

    “Keep toothpaste out of the reach of children under 6. If swallowed get medical help or contact poison control center right away.”

    But, are these controls enough to protect the general population to the serious downside risks?

    Harmful Effects of Fluoride

    What is not up for debate is that fluoride harms bones, causes stiff joints, encourages skeletal abnormalities, raises the risk of cancer, results in genetic damage, can damage the thyroid, and hampers nervous system function in humans.   Opponents of fluoridation have a real cause for concern given that fluoride acts as a cumulative poison gradually and increasingly affecting the body over long periods of exposure. As a result, potential toxicity becomes a function on how much water is consumed on a daily basis, the individual’s body weight, and the body’s ability to filter and eliminate the chemical.  These are wide margin variables that may allow a relatively large percentage of the population to fall into a toxic range over time.

    Recently, there has been government studies that attest to fluoridation dangers.   In 2005, a CDC study showed irreversible enamel fluorosis in 1 out of 3 children.  Then in 2007, the ADA warned parents not to mix baby formula with tap water in the first 12 months of development so as to avoid fluoride intake.  Just recently in June of 2008, the National Kidney Foundation stated the kidney disease patients should be notified of the potential risks of exposure to fluoride.  Unfortunately, many individuals with thyroid disease and other ailments have been complaining about fluoridation without an official government response.

    Inherent Problems with Fluoridation

    Each year our scientists are getting better at understanding the toxic implications of fluoride, and one point is glaringly obvious.  With water fluoridation, you cannot control the dose ingested, both children and adults are treated with similar doses, and unless the public filters their water, they cannot opt out of this mass medication.  Regardless of where one stands, it's apparent that legitimate scientific data is challenging the entrenched "all benefits and no-risk" philosophy of water fluoridation, and all parties must openly and fairly revisit this practice.

    To see if you may be drinking fluoridated water, you can start here:  CDC Fluoridation Status.  In the meantime, for those who are concerned, Berkey makes a highly regarded and very popular fluoride filter that works in any berkey filter system. The PF-2 Fluoride/Arsenic Filters are to be used in conjunction with the Black Berkeys. The PF-4 Fluoride Filters are to be used with the ceramic filters.  More information on various system setups can be found here.

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