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No.67 Fluoride: The Subtle Hazard

Applied Health Journal

Applied Health Journal

Topics of Health and Natural Healing
Issue 67
ISSN: 1525-6359



Let the following words about the trace mineral "fluoride" serve as a yellow caution light that precedes a red stoplight - particularly if you live in a community that fluoridates its water. Several years ago the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) raised the amount of fluoride permissible to add to water supplies from one part per million to a maximum of four parts per million.

For this reason, you may be an endangered species. Sadly, no government agency is looking out for your welfare as it does for animal life on wings or four legs. That is reason enough to learn the facts and how to defend yourself and loved ones against fluoridation hazards.

The purpose of fluoridated city water is to protect the teeth of children from cavities.

Is fluoridation achieving its primary purpose? On my desk are three professional publications that say a resounding "No!" They are "Community Health Studies", "The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association", and the report "Fluoride", Volume 23, stating that tooth decay is not reduced by fluoridation. Further, all recent large-scale studies show no difference between the number of cavities in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities.

One study by University of Arizona researchers that appeared in "Chemical & Engineering News" reported additional negative news: "The more fluoride a child drank, the more cavities appeared in the teeth."

Four publications, the respected "Science, the Journal of the American Dental Association, Journal of Public Health Dentistry", and the National Research Council's "Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride", state that dental fluorosis, (permanent white spots or yellow discoloration of teeth) affects eight to 51% of children who drink fluoridated water. Fluorosis is the initial sign of fluoride poisoning.

Several years ago, parents of a young boy in the United Kingdom sued the manufacturer of a fluoride toothpaste for their son's "severe dental fluorosis," claiming that this firm's product caused it. The mother explained that her son never ate sweets, and she made sure he brushed his teeth twice daily, using only the pea-sized amount recommended on the product's label. He used to swallow the toothpaste. The mother stated, "I rang up the company, but they said that would be all right."

After receiving the boy's diagnosis by an independent medical specialist, the toothpaste company paid the couple one thousand pounds. Media stories about this incident released a flood of lawsuits by hundreds of other British couples whose children have dental fluorosis.

Repercussions of this drama occurred in the United States, and consumer advocacy groups urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to order companies to place a poison label on fluoridated toothpastes. However, after numerous committee meetings, the FDA watered down the labeling to this: "WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional assistance or contact a Poison Control Center immediately."

Rampant decay and gum disease among children of low-income families in New York City's fluoridated Borough of Harlem attracted attention of the American Dental Association (ADA), which expressed concern about the rise in dental fluorosis in the nation's children. However, this concern did not deter the ADA's continued endorsement of water-fluoridation.

Perhaps the most frightening demonstration of discolored, cavity-ridden, rotten and missing teeth -- plus many other symptoms -- was reported to me by a writer who visited the village of Kizilcaoern, Turkey. Upon seeing wrinkled and bent people painfully hobbling around the village square, this writer instantly thought that this was a colony of progerics, individuals who are old when born and rarely live past age 10 or 11. Both men and women in their thirties and forties had such deep wrinkles, loose, flabby, and hanging skin that they looked ancient.

Why? The village's sole supply of water was a well with five parts per million fluoride, one more part per million than permitted in USA fluoridated water. Threatening as this is, citizens of our fluoridated communities have even more reason for concern than the citizens of Kizilcaoern. Their beverages - soft drinks, watered-down juices and beer - as well as canned fruits and vegetables, soups, jellies and jams and TV dinners produced in cities with fluoridated water, bring them a bonus value of fluoride. Even that is not the end. Toothpastes and mouthwashes add to the parts per million of the fluoridated water.

Seven articles from medical and dental publications report that fluoride causes cancers - mainly of the bone - in rats, mice and human beings. Four articles from different issues of the "Journal of the American Medical Association" reveal that hip fractures are substantially higher for people living in fluoridated communities than in non-fluoridated.

A research project by scientists at Harvard Medical School, the Eastman Dental Center, Iowa State University, and the Forsyth Research Institute reported in "Neurotoxicology and Teratology" reveals that fluoride adversely affects the central nervous system, causing "motor dysfunction, IQ deficits, and/or learning disabilities in human beings."

Several decades ago dentist, Casimir R. Sheft, summed up the hazards of mass fluoridation - "It is inconceivable that a toxic prescription drug listed as a cumulative protoplasmic poison could be taken from the cradle to the grave, sick or well, young or old, in the same dose given to a six pound baby and a 230-pound man without somebody being harmed."

Fluoride started out as a rat poison and has moved up in the world. A byproduct of the aluminum and synthetic fertilizer industries, fluoride wastes formerly piled mountain-high in storage yards of industrial firms. They could not even pay people to haul it away. Then a public relations genius of an aluminum company created a plan to protect Junior's teeth and sold the idea to government officials and dental societies. Now a poisonous waste product has been transformed into something apparently desirable and definitely profitable.

As long ago as 1854, chemists steeped in the history of their profession, knew that fluoride was a poison and an antagonist to the healthy function of the thyroid gland - particularly in areas where soils are deficient in iodine, the major nutrient of the thyroid gland. Could the expanding use of fluoridated water be contributing to the rising statistics for hypothyroidism (low thyroid function)?

In the third edition of the best-selling book "Solved: The Riddle of Illness" on undiagnosed hypothyroidism, Stephen Langer, MD and I point out that approximately 40 percent of the people suffer from this condition -- many of them totally unaware of this fact. Major symptoms of this condition are dragging fatigue, cold hands and feet, menstrual and menopausal problems, high cholesterol levels, overweight, sexual dysfunction, depression and difficulty in thinking and remembering.

There are 64 different symptoms of hypothyroidism, and conventional doctors often diagnose one or two symptoms and treat them without diagnosing the basic cause. This is why endocrinologist Gerald S. Levey, MD, chief of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, calls hypothyroidism "a treacherous masquerader."

The problem of misdiagnosis compounds itself, because most doctors order only tests for the amount of thyroid hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone in the blood. Dr. John C. Lowe, research director for the Fibromyalgia Research Foundation, has studied in this medical area for 15 years and finds that cellular resistance to thyroid hormone is a widespread problem. Unless there is enough thyroid hormone to penetrate the cells - and this amount differs in all of us - it merely continues to circulate in the blood in the manner of a Federal Express truck circling a housing development and not delivering a package.

During public appearances and radio call-in shows, Dr. Langer and I constantly hear the following complaint in various words:

"I am over-fatigued, have cold hands and feet and female problems - obvious symptoms of hypothyroidism - and my doctor will not prescribe thyroid hormone for me, because my blood tests are normal."

A generation ago, the main reason for hypothyroidism was insufficient iodine in the soil in what is called Goiter Belts, and consequently, in fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts grown and eaten there. Now produce is grown in many parts of the nation and shipped everywhere. Further, people in the nation are much more mobile, today.

Fluoride in the environment does more than diminish thyroid function. An article in the Journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research states that it also acts as an antagonist to the mineral magnesium, essential to the function of more than 300 enzyme systems:

"The amount of fluoride assimilated by living organisms constantly increases, and magnesium absorption diminishes as a consequence of progressively advancing industrialization. An increasing intake of magnesium plays a protective role by countering and reducing the toxic effects of fluoride."

Not only do we swallow fluoride in water, we also breathe it if we live in areas where aluminum and synthetic fertilizers are produced. Added to fluoride in foods, beverages and tooth pastes, our intake of this chemical can be frighteningly high - above the four parts per million authorized by the EPA and near, or above, that in the Turkish village of Kizilcaourn.

With the U.S. Public Health Service promoting fluoridation, the United States is in a distinct minority among medically advanced nations of the world. Water fluoridation has been rejected or abandoned by Austria, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland.

Countries that do not fluoridate are Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. After 16 years of study and negative findings, Sweden banned its use in community water. After 20 years of study, Holland condemned its use. Likewise, Finland abandoned water fluoridation after 20 years of research, which revealed that there are higher than normal rates of osteoporosis in fluoridated water areas!

Widespread condemnation of fluoridated water by dentists started a resistance movement against it in Japan. The "Japan Times" (of Osaka) reported the following:

"Sodium fluoride, a poisonous crystalline salt widely used for the prevention of tooth decay, may be carcinogenic, as revealed by animal tests by a Nippon Dental College team. Their findings raise doubt about the safety of fluoride."

Because fluoride is an environmental hazard in so many places, it is difficult to avoid. However, for this purpose, many of us buy bottled spring water. Even at that, it is "buyer beware", and "be sure to read the fine print," inasmuch as some spring water contains added fluoride.

For the traveler, most hotels sell bottled spring water. There is some talk in the home filter industry about filters that may remove fluoride, but, thus far, those on the market do not.

Investing a few minutes of time can be insurance against buying food and beverages made with fluoridated water. Many processors of these products show addresses on labels or containers and can be questioned about this problem.

It is now possible to find toothpaste without fluoride in your health food store, drugstore or supermarket. Check the labels, thoroughly, to be certain.

One of the sad stories relative to fluoride is that, despite the widespread knowledge about its hazards, the federal government continues to promote its use in community water. So do most professional dental societies.

Government agencies supported by our taxes that should be protecting us, and our health, seem more concerned about protecting the bottom line of industrial firms that produce fluoride.

Please send questions for the author to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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References:

  • Oldenburg, Don, "Poison Warning Mandatory on Fluoride Toothpaste," Washington Post, June 16, 1997.
  • Yiamouyannis, John, Fluoride: The Aging Factor, Acton, Ohio. Health Action Press, 1993.
  • "Japanese Dentists Condemn Fluoride," Japan Times, Osaka, Japan, August 3, 1982.
  • Shelley, John, "Brits Uncover Fluoride Cover-Up," Health Freedom News, September/October, 1997.
  • Stevens, Julianne, "Advanced Countries Shun Fluoridation," Health Freedom News, September/October, 1997.

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