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It's Time to Take Fluoride Out of Our Water

tooth_brush_shutterstock_635308307By Deirdre Imus, 10-8-2019
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found both inside the human body (in our bones and teeth) and outside of it (in water, soil, plants, rocks, and air). Its name is probably familiar to the majority of people who see it primarily splashed all over labels for toothpaste and mouthwash. Fluoride is also used in medical imaging, in pesticides, as a cleaning agent and to make Teflon, steel and aluminum products. Often when we encounter an ingredient so frequently, and over so many years, we assume nothing of it. If fluoride is so ubiquitous, it must be safe. Right?

Well, no. Just because something occurs naturally in our bodies or the environment does not mean it is good for you, or even benign. Though fluoride is already inside of us, we are exposed to much more of it than we should be, and for a few reasons. Sometime around the middle of the twentieth century, scientists discovered that fluoride appeared to have a protective effect on tooth enamel, and could help prevent cavities and reverse signs of tooth decay. As a result, over subsequent decades, fluoride has been added to the water in countless communities, and added into a majority of dental products on the market.

Though the fluoridation of water is touted as one of modern dentistry’s greatest achievements, new research has brought in to question just what, exactly, we have been putting in our children’s bodies for the better part of nearly six decades, if not more. To start, as Dr. Paul Connett has pointed out on his website Fluoride Alert, that using fluoride for the purposes of preventing tooth decay is a form of medical treatment. Thus, he argues, inserting it into the water supply without giving many people a choice is essentially a version of uninformed consent. 

What’s more, a study published this past summer in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that high fluoride exposure during pregnancy might be lowering children’s IQs, especially boys. The study authors go so far as to recommend women reduce their fluoride intake during pregnancy, just to be safe. Accompanying this study on the JAMA website is a 12-minute podcast, where leading pediatricians express their deep concern about the “startling” evidence against fluoride, comparing the neurological damage as being “on par” with that of lead.  

Beyond that, and of grave concern, is a purported link between in utero fluoride exposure and developmental delays in infants, as well as suggestions that fluoride could be implicated in bone cancer as well. The evidence has mounted, and is continuing to mount, and the drum beat must continue. After all, more than 400 studies have indicated that fluoride is a neurotoxin that has caused reduced intelligenceneurobehavioral deficits, and brain damage.

Meaningful action is happening now.  Check out the work being done by Moms Against Fluoridation, whose mission is to end the addition of fluoridation chemicals to public water in this country. To that end, they are bringing a landmark lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  


The verdict is in on fluoride, and we need to seriously consider whether it’s time to take it OUT of our water, or at the very least further lower the levels that were already reduced in 2015 from up to 1.2 milligrams per liter to 0.7 milligrams per liter. Generations of children, many of whom are now adults well into their 70s, have been unwittingly exposed to fluoride. We already know it has been associated with a string of serious health problems; how much more evidence do we need? 

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