Frequently Asked Questions about Water Fluoridation

Has long term ingestion of fluoride ever been proven to be safe and effective?

We are often reassured that water fluoridation is safe and effective. The truth is, there has never been a double blind controlled trial or proper toxicology report to verify the safety and effectiveness of ingesting fluoride. If that’s hard to believe, click on the below link to see the proof.

HealthCanadaFOIPJune2014snip-2-4

Why is fluoride added to water?

Fluoride is added to drinking water to prevent dental caries (tooth decay/cavities), a non-waterborne disease. Today, there is ample scientific data showing us that swallowing fluoride does very little to decrease or prevent tooth decay.

“For a long time, the systemic effect of fluoride was regarded to be most important, resulting in recommendations to use fluoride supplements such as tablets or drops. However, there is increasing evidence that the local effect of fluoride at the surface of the erupted teeth is by far more important.”
SOURCE: Zimmer S, et al. (2003). Recommendations for the Use of Fluoride in Caries Prevention. Oral Health & Preventive Dentistry 1: 45-51.

“Fluoride, the key agent in battling caries, works primarily via topical mechanisms: inhibition of demineralization, enhancement of remineralization, and inhibition of bacterial enzymes.”
SOURCE: Featherstone, JDB. (2000). The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention. Journal of the American Dental Association 131: 887-899.

“Although it was initially thought that the main mode of action of fluoride was through its incorporation into enamel, thereby reducing the solubility of the enamel, this pre-eruptive effect is likely to be minor. The evidence for a post-eruptive effect, particularly its role in inhibiting demineralization and promoting remineralization, is much stronger.”
SOURCE: Locker D. (1999). Benefits and Risks of Water Fluoridation. An Update of the 1996 Federal-Provincial Sub-committee Report. Prepared for Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.

What type of fluoride is added to our drinking water?

Hydrofluosilicic Acid or HFSA for short is the type of fluoride chemical added to Owen Sound’s drinking water. It is a waste by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry and is consistently contaminated with arsenic, lead, mercury and radium.

Here’s the actual container the fluoride is kept in at the Owen Sound water treatment facility.

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The below picture is a chemical analysis of a typical shipment of fluoride that is added to the drinking water. Note the very high level of arsenic. Incredibly the arsenic is not filtered out before being added to the drinking water, it is simply diluted to an ‘acceptable level.’

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How is fluoride different from other water treatment chemicals?

Water treatment chemicals, such as Chlorine, are used to make drinking water safe to consume. Fluoride on the other hand is the only chemical added to drinking water to treat the people who consume the water, rather than the water itself. The Food and Drug Administration officially classifies fluoride as a drug. Therefore, fluoridating water supplies can be considered a form of mass medication, which is unethical as people have the right to informed consent before being administered a drug.

Do our bodies need fluoride?

No. Fluoride is NOT an essential nutrient. An essential nutrient, like iodine is required by the body to maintain proper function of the thyroid gland. Fluoride does not fit into this category. Therefore, our body does not need fluoride to maintain optimal oral health. Fluoride is often conveyed as being an “important” nutrient or mineral, but this is no way the same as  an essential nutrient.

Is it true fluoride damages the brain?

Yes! Over the last 30 years over 100 studies have found that exposure to fluoride can damage the brain. Medical professionals used to think about toxins in terms of dose, but now understand that they must think about toxins in terms of timing of exposure. Because fluoride is an established toxin, even small doses ingested during the early years of a child’s life negatively affects the development of their brain. Here is a helpful link to review some of the studies covering this matter. http://fluoridealert.org/issues/health/brain/

The video Our Daily Dose also discusses this.

What are the symptoms of fluoride toxicity?

Possible Symptoms of Fluoride Poisoning

Please Note: Having one or more of these symptoms does not necessarily mean you are fluoride poisoned.

This page is offered only as a guide, which can help you determine whether fluoride poisoning is a possibility.

Only your doctor can diagnose and treat you.*

  • Arthritis – stiff, painful joints with or without swelling; painful feet in morning
  • Asthma – especially after showering in chlorine-filtered water
  • Bony, painful lumps where tendons and ligaments attach to bones. Calcifications of connective tissue on X-ray, especially with pain and reduced range of motion
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) – especially if it lifts when you spend time in an unfluoridated city or switch to distilled water for drinking and cooking
  • Cold – temperature below normal, feeling cold all the time, feeling cold soon after a hot bath or shower
  • Colic in bottle-fed babies or colic developing when breast-fed babies start solids or are weaned
  • Dental fluorosis (white or brown spots on teeth)
  • Diabetes – worsening symptoms
  • Diabetes insipidus (a kidney ailment) – excessive thirst, increased water consumption that does not relieve thirst, dry throat and irritated eyes, and frequent, dilute urine, especially at night, with normal blood sugar findings
  • Eyes – moving black spots (scotoma, or floaters)
  • Fatigue, weakness and brain fog after bathing or showering in chlorine-filtered water
  • Fibromyalgia (severe muscle weakness and/or pain with extremely sore spots on various bony areas)
  • Food intolerances that seem to come and go
  • Gastrointestinal problems – irritable bowel, nausea, diarrhea without apparent cause, heartburn and upper bowel pain especially after drinking a full glass of water
  • Gum disease – irritated or bleeding gums despite good hygiene and diet; gums heal when you use unfluoridated toothpaste
  • Heart palpitations and increased heart rate without exertion
  • Kidney disease – worsening symptoms, kidney stones
  • Skin – hives, blisters, rash on stomach or back within an hour of drinking fluoridated water or after bathing or showering in chlorine-filtered water
  • Tea drinking – causes upset stomach, gastric pain, heart palpitations or “the jitters” similar to strong coffee
  • Teeth – loosening or needing to be extracted despite good hygiene and diet
  • Thyroid diseases – underactive (hypothyroid), overactive (hyperthyroid or Grave’s disease), goiter and nodules

Taken from http://www.slweb.org/ftrcpossiblesymptoms.html (December 11, 2014)

If you suspect you may be, indeed, fluoride poisoned, we offer you a self-help protocol for immediate response to your symptoms.

A Note on Fluoride Sensitivity

People can be fluoride-intolerant (toxicity, illness or pain reactions from non-histamine response) or fluoride-allergic (histamine response) from birth or from exposure and accumulation (acquired). They are the same problem with different routes of expression.

Individuals may be:

  • born hypersensitive (about 1% of the population, of all ages, probably a genetic component)
  • hypersensitive or increasingly severe after accumulating too much (chronically poisoned; can happen to anyone born and raised in a fluoridated area, but may also have a genetic component)
  • hypersensitive after acute episode: poisoned from fluorinated drugs, pesticides, workplace exposure, or synergistic toxicity with exposures to electromagnetic fields (e.g. cell phone tower radiation), vaccines, chemicals or emotional trauma (e.g., car accident or tour of duty in a war zone) when previous to that exposure you were fine; now you have become intolerant of or allergic to fluoridated water and all other sources of fluoride

* Our Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative already has several Collaborative members, located in various places, who are MDs and are willing to see people who are fluoride poisoned. These doctors (and some dentists, too) accept the fact that people can be poisoned by fluoride, and they are learning about fluoride poisoning and ways it can be treated. Not all of these doctors feel competent to treat fluoride poisoning, but they have agreed to learn and to serve as liaisons for patients in their area. If you are having trouble finding a doctor who is friendly to the idea, please contact us and we will try to find you a nearby practitioner who is a Collaborative member.

I think I might have too much fluoride in my system, how do I get myself tested?

You need your doctors help and expertise on diagnosing a possible case of fluoride toxicity. The best test is the 24-hour urine fluoride test (document below).  In the MDS document the 24-hour urine fluoride test is listed on page 104 as a non-OHIP billable test.  If your family physician is unable to order the test request that your family physician contact Grey Bruce Regional Centre to see if arrangements can be made through the hospital laboratory.  If this fails contact the Hospital-In Commons laboratory in Toronto directly.  Their website is http://www.hicl.on.ca/contact.shtml.  I have included their contact information below.

Fluoride Urine Test

F, Sodium Fluoride

SAMPLE REPORT

Specimen Type: Urine

Description:

The Fluoride Urine test is used to measure environmental or occupational exposure to fluoride.   This test measures fluoride, creatinine, and fluoride:creatinine ratio.  Fluoride is a mineral which is important for developing healthy teeth and bones.  Over exposure to fluoride can cause symptoms such as respiratory problems, stomach pains, and neurological problems.  Over time, fluoride exposure can result in weakened bones and damage to the kidneys, thyroid, and brain.  Fluoride is used in a number of industries such as glass manufacturing, aluminum, iron, steel, oil and fertilizer.  It is also commonly found in chemicals used to kill insects and rodents and may be found in drinking water.  While fluoride may be found in products such as toothpaste or vitamins, it is rare to suffer ill effects unless a person ingests large amounts of these products.

A urine fluoride screening can be more accurate than a blood test in determining if a person is suffering from chronic fluoride exposure.  A urine test is more likely to show elevated levels than a blood test if there has not been recent exposure to high levels of fluoride.

This test is typically ordered when someone is experiencing symptoms of fluoride exposure especially if they have had contact with chemicals containing fluoride or work in an industry where airborne exposure to fluoride is common.

Turnaround time for the Fluoride Urine Test is typically 3-5 business days.

 Incubation Period:

 Requirements:

Customers getting tested due to occupational exposure should have their specimen collected either before the start of their shift or as soon as possible after their shift.

MDS Document: see page 104

MDS Ontario Directory of Laboratory Services

How do I filter fluoride out of my tap water?

There are a couple of methods to do this. Probably the most popular is using reverse osmosis filtration systems. The other ways are by distilling your water, using ion exchange filters or a Berkey filtration system with added activated alumina filters. Brita filters, regular carbon filters or activated charcoal filters do not take fluoride out of the water.

5 ways to filter fluoride out of your drinking water.

  1. Reverse Osmosis systems: locally can be purchased from Water Depot or The Water Store.
  2. Distillation: different systems can be purchased online.
  3. Activated Alumina filters: Berkey Water Filters has activated alumina filters that you can add to their system. This is a simple, counter top option. Click here to check out Berkey filters. There is also a company out of Toronto, On. that sells an economic activated alumina filter. Click here to check out their filters.
  4. Ion exchange resin filters:Typically a more expensive approach to filtering fluoride out of the water. Search online for sellers.
  5. Bone Char filters: Can be harder to find in North America. Search online for sellers.