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  • Simple Color-changing Water Test Could Keep Kids Safe from Fluoride

    A simple water test that utilizes visual color change to detect whether fluoride is present in drinking water could help prevent skeletal fluorosis, a debilitating bone disease that is common in developing countries in Africa and Asia.

    While low levels of fluoride are toted as being beneficial for dental health, exposure to fluoride at higher levels can lead to skeletal fluorosis — a disease that results in irreversible crippling deformities of the joints and spine, particularly in children, as their skeletons are still developing.


    When water flows over certain naturally occurring minerals in soil or rocks, it may dissolve fluoride. As a result, high concentrations of naturally occurring fluoride are found in some drinking water sources in certain parts of China, East Africa, India and North America.

    In developed countries, fluoride concentrations in drinking water are checked and controlled by water treatment facilities before it is piped to households. However, in undeveloped countries where water treatment and distribution networks are lacking, people depend on untreated well water, which very often is tainted with fluoride at levels that are deemed unsafe.

    Fluoride concentrations in groundwater tend to fluctuate widely according to the weather, with higher concentrations typically occurring after periods of high rainfall.

    Now, a team of researchers from the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies at the University of Bath, together with scientists from the university's Innovation and Research Centre (WIRC), have developed a quick, simple and selective color-changing test that is able to detect high levels of fluoride in drinking water. The researchers hope to develop the color-change test into a low-cost disposable test strip that is accessible, accurate and easy for anyone to use. The team believe that in the future this could make a real difference to the health and welfare of people who are routinely exposed to fluoride.

    The Bath research team have partnered with the Nasio Trust — an NGO that protects and supports at risk children in Eastern Africa — to develop their water testing system to make it easier to use on the ground.

    "For decades, people living in Oldonyosambu area of Arusha Tanzania East Africa, have been drinking water with naturally occurring levels of fluoride that can reach over sixty times the US recommended level. This has had a severe impact on the lives of people in this poor community, causing crippling skeletal fluorosis, chronic pain and poor cognitive development in children," said Director of the Nasio Trust, Nancy Hunt, who hopes that the newly formed partnership will help them identify water sources with high fluoride levels so that they can take measures to make the water safe for people of Oldonyosambu to drink, and in so doing, ultimately improve the long-term health outlook of this community.

    The researchers are also seeking additional partners who can assist them with taking this technology to the next level and help develop the test. The team also plan to adapt the technology so that it can be used to detect other hazardous water contaminants such as cadmium, lead and mercury in the future.

    Journal Reference

    Carlos M. López-Alled, Adrian Sanchez-Fernandez, Karen J. Edler, Adam C. Sedgwick, Steven D. Bull, Claire L. McMullin, Gabriele Kociok-Köhn, Tony D. James, Jannis Wenk and Simon E. Lewis "Azulene–boronate esters: colorimetric indicators for fluoride in drinking water", Chemical Communications, (2017) DOI: 10.1039/c7cc07416f

  • Prenatal Exposure to Fluoride in Mother's Womb Linked to Reduced Intelligence in Kids

    Pregnant women who have high levels of fluoride in their urine are more likely to give birth to children with lower IQ levels, a new study has found. The study, conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Toronto together with experts from the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico, University of Michigan, McGill University, Indiana University, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Harvard School of Public Health, is the first study of this size and scope that examines the effect of fluoride exposure across multiple stages of neurodevelopment in children.

    "Our study shows that the growing fetal nervous system may be adversely affected by higher levels of fluoride exposure," said Dr. Howard Hu, Professor of Environmental Health, Epidemiology and Global Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and principal investigator of the study. "It also suggests that the pre-natal nervous system may be more sensitive to fluoride compared to that of school-aged children."



    For over 60 years, people living in the United States and Canada have been exposed to fluoride in their drinking water as well as dental products, which both have fluoride routinely added in order to prevent dental cavities and strengthen bones. In many other countries around the world it is also added to table salt and milk for the toted health benefits it provides. However, many argue that the health risks far outweigh any health benefits that fluoride offers, and water fluoridation needs to be abolished or at least more strictly controlled. This has fueled a greater interest by the scientific community to explore the issues, particularly the effect that exposure to fluoride has on the developing brains of young children, so that they can provide informed input so that drinking water standards can be regulated accordingly.

    Previous studies have shown that continued exposure to recommended levels of fluoride in Canada and the US can cause some side effects such as mild dental staining, while exposure to fluoride at concentrations 5-10 times higher than the recommended levels can cause fluoride to accumulate in the bones — a condition known as skeletal fluorosis. Yet, according to Hu, "Relatively little is known, with confidence, about fluoride's impact on neurodevelopment."


    The study, which was recently published in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at data collected from 287 Mexico City mother-child pairs who participated in the Early Life Exposures in Mexico to Environmental Toxicants (ELEMENT) project, where pregnant women were recruited between 1994-2005, who, together with their children, have been monitored ever since.

    The researchers analyzed urine samples collected from the mothers during their pregnancy, as well as urine samples collected from their children when they were between 6 and 12 years old, to get a clearer indication of the personal fluoride exposure of both the mother and their child.

    "This is significant because previous studies estimated exposures based on neighborhood measurements of drinking water fluoride levels, which are indirect and much less precise measures of exposure. They also looked at children's exposures instead of prenatal exposures or had much smaller sample sizes of subjects to study," explains Dr. Hu.

    The research team then examined the link between fluoride levels in urine and the verbal, quantitative and perceptual performance, as well as memory and motor skills of children at 4 years old, and again when they were between 6-12 years old. They also took other factors that are known to affect child neurodevelopment into account, including: birth weight, gestational age when born, birth order, and child's sex, as well as mother's marital status, socioeconomic status, IQ, education, age at delivery, smoking history and lead exposure.

    The study found that levels of urinary fluoride where slightly higher in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women in the US and Canada. However, according to Dr Hu, the study's findings don't provide sufficient information to suggest that there is no safe level of fluoride exposure.

    "The potential risks associated with fluoride should be further studied, particularly among vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, and more research on fluoride's impact on the developing brain is clearly needed."

    Journal Reference

    Morteza Bashash, Deena Thomas, Howard Hu, et al. Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6–12 Years of Age in Mexico. Environ Health Perspect; (Sept 2017) Vol 125:9; DOI:10.1289/EHP655

  • To Add Fluoride or Not to Add Fluoride

    Fluoridation of Drinking Water Continues to be a Contentious Issue

    In December 2016 many parts of San Jose, California, began adding fluoride to their drinking water supplies; a decision that was based on pressure from dentists, oral hygienists, and health officials within the Public Health Department of Santa Clara County. This change means that 230,000 residents of Santa Teresa, East San Jose and Almaden Valley now receive fluoridated drinking water, whether they wish to or not.

    This change occurred almost simultaneously with an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that allowed a Marshall County water utility to stop adding fluoride to drinking water over concerns that this additive is considered unhealthy. Water officials in the city of Arab ceased fluoridating its drinking water in August last year, after considering several scientific studies that highlighted the potential health threats that fluoride poses to those exposed to the additive in high doses. But shortly thereafter, the City Council ordered the water utility to continue adding fluoride to the city's drinking water supply — a move that has now been overturned by the supreme court ruling.

    baby drinking

    The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has joined forces with a coalition of other medical, health and environmental groups that is urging the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban water utilities from adding fluoride to drinking water supplied to the public. The coalition recently presented the EPA with a petition supported by more than 2,500 pages documenting scientific studies that show the health effects associated with drinking water fluoridation.

    Read 12 Reasons Why we Need to End Water Fluoridation

    According to the petition, "the amount of fluoride now regularly consumed by millions of Americans in fluoridated areas exceeds the doses repeatedly linked to IQ loss and other neurotoxic effects; with certain sub-populations standing at elevated risk of harm, including infants, young children, elderly populations and those with dietary deficiencies, renal impairment and/or genetic predispositions."

    As fluoride is has been scientifically acknowledged as a neurotoxin, the Fluoride Action Network is calling on the EPA to use the power afforded to it under the auspices of the Toxic Substances Control Act to ban the widespread use of a potentially harmful chemical that may pose a public health risk, especially to vulnerable members of society.

    The petition also goes on to say that as ingesting fluoride offers very little health benefit, "there is little justification in exposing the public to any risk of fluoride neurotoxicity, particularly via a source as essential to human sustenance as the public drinking water and the many processed foods and beverages made therefrom."

    Read WHO Fluoride Study Finds Water Fluoridation Unnecessary

    Fluoride has been shown to lower IQs of children exposed to in their drinking water, and is also considered a neurotoxin that can cause developmental problems, and other symptoms associated with neurotoxicity in humans. Fluoride in drinking water has also been linked to an increased risk of underactive thyroid, as well as urinary stone disease — an excruciatingly painful disease of the urinary tract.

    Concerned About Fluoride in your Drinking Water?

    The EPA has handed over the supporting scientific evidence to the National Research Council for their scientists to review. While they deliberate and ponder over decisions that ultimately affect your health and that of your loved ones, you can take action:

    1. Read the full Petition here.
    2. Read a summary of the Petition here.
    3. Add your name and endorsement in support of the citizen's petition, click here.
    4. Find out how to remove fluoride from your drinking water here.
  • Fluoride in Drinking Water Linked to Increased Risk of Underactive Thyroid in the UK

    Scientists in the UK are stressing the need to switch to an alternative approach in efforts to combat tooth decay after results of a study that was recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health suggest fluoridation has negative health effects.
    According to the study, fluoride in drinking water is associated with a 30% increased risk of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in England, prompting the research team to question public health policies relating to water fluoridation as a tool to protect the public's dental health.

    Roughly 10% of the English population, amounting to some 6 million people, reside in areas that receive drinking water that either contains natural fluoride or is artificially fluoridated with 1mg fluoride per liter of water.


    The scientists examined data supplied by the Drinking Water Inspectorate to assess fluoride levels in drinking water supplies by area for 2012. They then compared this data set with data relating to underactive thyroid diagnoses obtained from family doctors in 2012-2013. They obtained complete data from 7935 out of 8020 general family practitioners.

    The research team also conducted a secondary analysis, where they compared two urban areas: West Midlands, whose drinking water supplies are fluoridated; and Greater Manchester, whose drinking water supplies are not treated with fluoride.

    After taking influential factors, such as older age and female sex -- both linked to a higher risk of underactive thyroid -- into account, the researchers found that there was a link between the level of fluoride in drinking water and higher rates of hypothyroidism.

    In areas where fluoride levels where higher than 0.7 mg/l, rates of underactive thyroid where higher than expected compared to areas where fluoride levels were lower than this. In areas where drinking water contained fluoride at levels higher than 0.3mg/l, doctors saw at least a 30% increase in hypothyroidism cases. Furthermore, incidents of hypothyroidism were almost twice as common in the West Midlands compared to Greater Manchester.

    The researchers acknowledge that this was purely an observational study, and as they did not take other sources of fluoride, such as those found in toothpaste and other products, into account, no conclusive statements relating to cause and effect can be made. However, they stress that these results echo the findings of previous studies, and while they only assessed diagnosed cases, there are likely to be other undiagnosed cases that they missed.

    "Consideration needs to be given to reducing fluoride exposure, and public dental health interventions should stop those reliant on ingested fluoride and switch to topical fluoride-based and non-fluoride-based interventions," the researchers conclude.

    If you are concerned about the health impacts of fluoride in your drinking water, you can take steps to remove fluoride with a drinking water filter that is capable of removing fluoride. The Berkey range of filters that accommodate filters in the bottom housing can be fitted with fluoride cartridges that will remove fluoride and arsenic from your drinking water, making it safe for your family to drink.

    Journal Reference

    S Peckham, D Lowery, S Spencer. Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England? A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water. Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, February 2015 DOI: 10.1136/jech-2014-204971

  • 12 Reasons Why We Need to End Water Fluoridation

    With more and more countries choosing not to fluoridate their water, we have to ask why cities across the US still routinely add fluoride to their drinking water supplies. Dr Paul Connett, who is the director of the Fluoride Action Network, and co-author of The Case Against Fluoride, has put together a comprehensive argument supporting the need for citizens who care for their health to challenge this.



    1.  Fluoride has no nutritional value - the human body does not require fluoride to meet any of its dietary needs.

    2.  Fluoride levels in breast milk is very low. Babies fed with formula made with tap water receive as much as 175-250 times as much fluoride than breast-fed babies.

    3.  Children in countries who fluoridate their water are being over-dosed with fluoride; there is a high incidence of dental fluorosis -- in the US, 41% of children between the age of 12-15 have been diagnosed with dental fluorosis.

    4.  Fluoride is a known toxin -- even low levels of exposure can pose health risks.

    5.  When drinking water is treated with fluoride authorities cannot control the dosage people receive -- everyone who drinks the water is exposed, no matter what their age or weight may be, and regardless of their health status or nutritional needs.

    6.  Adding fluoride to public drinking water equates to forced medication, and violates a basic human right as no consent has been given by each and every individual affected.

    7.  Fluoride that is ingested with drinking water builds up in the calcified tissue within the body and can cause calcium poisoning over time. Victims typically experience symptoms very similar to arthritis, and bones may also become brittle making them prone to fracturing more readily.

    8.  Many countries have opted not to fluoridate their drinking water, and according to WHO, the incidence of tooth decay in children is dropping at the same rate or faster in countries that don't add fluoride to their water compared to countries that do.

    9.  There have never been any randomized control trials conducted that effectively demonstrate that ingesting fluoride will reduce the likelihood of tooth decay.

    10.  There is very little evidence to support the notion that orally ingesting fluoride will prevent dental cavities, and the little evidence there is, is very weak.

    11.  Oral health practitioners around the world agree that the benefits fluoride offers in terms of dental health is achieved through topical application as apposed to systemic absorption of fluoride.

    12.  Fluoridation of drinking water was initiated to combat a disease (dental cavities), yet fluoride has never been officially approved as a drug by the US Food and Drug Administration, who still have it classified as an "unapproved drug".

  • Water Fluoridation: Why is the US still putting its Citizens at Risk?

    Water fluoridation continues to be a contentious health issue, with many disputing the notion that fluoride provides oral health benefits when it is ingested and suggesting that the opposite is true. In fact, due to health, ethical and legal implications, many countries around the world have taken steps to restrict the use of industrialized fluoride, and some have even gone so far as to ban its use completely.

    People who live in countries that still routinely add fluoride to their water have taken fight to the local levels.  Many of these folks have also taken steps to remove this additive from their drinking water with a fluoride water filter to protect their family.


    The website,, provides an insight into the health issues associated with water fluoridation and fluoride ingestion, and also provides a list of countries that have rejected or banned fluoride -- one of these countries is China, which has the highest population in the world. According to, only 5% of the world's population fluoridates its water, of which 50% of this statistic is made up of people living in the USA. also points out that 99% of countries in western Europe have rejected or banned water fluoridation, and many of these countries have ceased adding fluoride to their drinking water. Some cities in Canada and the US have started to follow suit, albeit rather slowly.

    The websites and both provide further information on the countries that have rejected or banned water fluoridation, which include: Austria (does not add 'toxic fluorides'), Belgium (believes people who wish to take fluoride can do so themselves), Denmark, Finland (suggests there are healthier options to prevent tooth cavities), Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan (suggests calcium fluoride rather than sodium fluoride is beneficial, but still requires this to be regulated), Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, as well as certain countries in Africa.

    According to information obtained from the Fluoride Action Network and, only a handful of European countries still fluoridate their drinking water -- these include: Ireland (73%), the United Kingdom (11%), Spain (11%), Serbia (3%) and Poland (1%).

    Fluoridation of drinking water has been associated with several health issues, including dental fluorosis, an increased risk of cancer, and a reduced IQ in children. Yet many water utilities across the USA still routinely add this contaminant to their drinking water supplies. This contaminated water is then piped to your home, where you and your family are unwittingly exposed to this potentially harmful pollutant. If your water utility routinely adds fluoride to your drinking water, we recommend that you take measures in your own hands to protect your family's health by investing in a good quality drinking water filter that is able to remove this potentially harmful contaminant. By doing so, you will be empowered to have the final say in what you and your family are exposed to via your drinking water.

    As many of our readers are already well aware, the Berkey water filter systems filter out a wide range of drinking water contaminants, with the ability to be fitted with additional PF-2 fluoride filters to remove the 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.


    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.”


    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

    Denmark0.72008No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Germany0.72005No water fluoridation.67% salt fluoridation.
    England0.7200911% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Netherlands*0.82002No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Switzerland**0.822009No water fluoridation.88% salt fluoridation.
    Belgium0.92009-10No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Sweden0.92008No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Australia1.02003-200480% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    6% salt fluoridation.
    Ireland1.12002100% water fluoridation in study.No salt fluoridation.
    Italy1.12004No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    United States1.191999-200464% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Finland1.22006No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    France1.22006No water fluoridation.65% salt fluoridation.
    Spain1.3200411% water fluoridation.10% salt fluoridation.
    Greece1.352005-06No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Iceland1.42005No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    New Zealand1.4200961% water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Japan1.72005No water fluoridation.No salt fluoridation.
    Norway1.72004No 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. (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.

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