Water fluoridation has been the subject of much debate over the years. It is added in varying amounts to the water supplies of a number of countries. The main eight countries in the world are; America, Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, who each fluoridate more than 50% of their public water supply. Most European countries do not fluoridate their water. However, fluoride is added to the water supply in England, affecting about 35% of the population. The principal affected areas are the West Midlands and North East of England.
The reason that governments cite for adding this known toxin to the water is the benefit to our teeth, in terms of reducing dental cavities. However, it has been suggested that adding fluoride to our drinking water is ineffective in reducing cavities, and worse still, it could be having major negative impacts on our health.
What is Fluoride?
Worryingly, the fluoride that is added to public water supplies is not derived from the natural fluorides that are found in our environment. The vast majority is actually toxic waste from industrial processes, including the manufacture of aluminium and hazardous hydrofluorosilicic acid from the phosphate fertilizer industry. It is contaminated with lead and arsenic.
This waste would be extremely costly to dispose of effectively, and so creating a legitimate case for dumping it into the water supply has saved the governments a fortune.
Dr Paul Cornett, a chemist specialising in environmental chemistry is quoted as saying:
"So not only are we (America) doing something quite unique, using the public water supply to deliver medicine ... we're using the public water supply to get rid of hazardous waste from the phosphate industry.”
It is interesting to note that China, one country that does not allow water fluoridation because of its toxicity, actually ships the waste product from their phosphate fertilizer industry to the United States, where it is added to their water supply!
How can Fluoride Help to Protect our Teeth?
Fluoride has been found to benefit teeth when used topically, on the outside of the tooth, to reduce the incidence of tooth decay, not when ingested. So there seems no obvious reason behind putting it into the water supply so that individuals are forced to swallow it.
It is very difficult to control the dosage to individuals also once the water has been contaminated. Considering the fact that there are strict guidelines around safe amounts of fluoride added to public water (namely 4 parts per million), it is concerning that we are not told to limit how much water we drink.
Studies have shown that there is virtually no difference in oral health between those people living in fluoridated countries, compared with those who do not. This suggests that fluoride is ineffective at reducing the number of cavities.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
The main reason for tooth decay is eating a diet high in sugar. The acids that your mouth uses to break down sugar also attack your tooth enamel. Over time, holes are formed in the dentine, allowing bacteria to enter and begin the process of decay.
How Does Fluoride Affect our Bodies?
So we have found that fluoride is largely ineffective at fighting dental cavities. Unfortunately for us, that is not where the only problem lies. The issue causing most worry is what impacts it is having on our bodies.
Fluoride is known to have a negative effect on the bone building process. Some studies suggest that fluoride builds up over time inside the bones, and causes arthritis and brittle bones, making people more prone to fracture. This is especially true in young children at critical points in their bone and tooth development.
32% of American children are seen to have been overexposed to fluoride as they show the tell-tale sign of mottled teeth. While it is argued that this is simply cosmetic, it is a clear indicator of what is happening unseen within their bodies.
A review of brain studies has found that one of the negative effects of fluoride exposure on children is damage to their neurological development. The study conducted by Harvard stated that children who lived in high-fluoride areas had,
"significantly lower IQ than those in low fluoride areas. The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children's neurodevelopment."
Fluoride has also been connected to reduced thyroid function, especially in women. This results in many symptoms, including a lower body temperature, dry skin and a tendency to suffer with constipation.
Fluoride and Baby Formula
It is particularly important to take heed of this information when using tap water to make baby formula, as the fluoride rich water could be doing more harm than good.
How Can we Avoid Ingesting Fluoride?
It is very simple for the government to stop adding fluoride to our water supplies, as simple as turning off a tap. Once it is in the water it is not easy to remove. The majority of filtration systems will not remove it.
One system that will give good fluoride removal is the Energy Plus filter
If you would like more information on this topic or products to help remove fluoride as you are concerned about the effects it is having on you or your family’s health then please do not hesitate to call our friendly team on +44 (0) 1764 662111 who will be more than happy to help advise you whether you make a purchase or not.