Why Fluoride Should Be Banned From Our Drinking Water

I woke up to some good news today, when I saw the headline "Green Party of Canada calls for ban on the fluoridation chemicals hexafluorosilicic acid and sodium silicofluoride." It seems that, like me, the Green Party isn't happy with the fact that we indiscriminately pump fluoride into our water supply and wants it banned at the federal level. Go Green Party!

Fluoride has been added to our water supply for the last 60 years, supposedly for the benefit of our teeth. It is widely believed that adding fluoride to the drinking water will help to prevent dental caries (cavities). However, the 1999 Centers For Disease Control study widely cited as justification for the fluoridation of the water supply only looked at topical applications of fluoride in the form of toothpastes and dental fluoride treatments, not ingested fluoride.

The Green Party's reasons for banning fluoride in tap water are mainly environmental, citing the fact that the fluoride chemicals put into our drinking water are actually toxic by-products scrubbed from the smokestacks of the phosphate mining industry. Also, 99% of this fluoridated water ends up being discharged back into the environment, because none of the processes used to treat sewage water can remove fluoride.

The environmental impact is extremely important, for sure, but I come at the issue from the perspective of how fluoridation immediately affects our health. In 2006, a distinguished panel appointed by the National Research Council of the National Academies published a 500 page report about the effects of excessive fluoride ingestion. Their conclusion was that the standard set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of 0.4 parts per million is unsafe and causing "increased risk of bone fractures, decreased thyroid function, lowered IQ, arthritic-like conditions, dental fluorosis and, possibly, osteosarcoma." Toronto, as an example, currently fortifies their water to 0.6 ppm.

Ethically speaking, even if fluoridation of the water supply worked the way we're told it does (preventing tooth decay), we're being delivered unregulated, unapproved medication via the water supply without our consent. This is completely unethical. Never mind that the daily dose of medications delivered in this way can't be regulated and the effects of fluoridation on the population are not being monitored -- even more importantly, our rights are being infringed upon by our inability to opt out. Fluoride is actually quite difficult to remove from water, requiring expensive reverse osmosis filter systems or distillation. Yet the cost of these systems is not subsidized for those who don't wish to ingest excessive fluoride.

Lets face it, the fluoridation of our water supply has always been a sneaky means for industry to get rid of a toxic by-product. It has never been about the health of the public's teeth. Keep in mind that the effectiveness of fluoride in drinking water for preventing cavities has *never* been demonstrated, it has only been assumed effective given the effectiveness of topical fluoride treatments. Fluoride works to reduce tooth decay from the exterior of the tooth, not systemically from inside the body. It simply makes no sense to drink it. Fluoride toothpastes are cheap and widely available. This is a viable strategy for getting fluoride for dental health, if one chooses, not by exposing the rest of the body to the risks involved in fluoride ingestion.

Ironically, epidemiological evidence largely indicates water fluoridation to be detrimental to the health of the teeth. Excess fluoride in the diet can actually lead to a condition known as dental fluorosis, where brown discolouration of the teeth with white spotting occurs. A 2007 report by the CDC stated that 41 percent of children aged 12-15 now have some form of fluorosis, whereas 36 percent of children 16-19 have fluorosis. While this effect is largely cosmetic, it still brings the wisdom of fluoride supplementation into question.

Fluoride isn't even an essential nutrient, according to the National Academy of Sciences, meaning no human disease, including tooth decay, can ever result from a fluoride deficiency. The human body needs no fluoride in order to function at its optimum. The same cannot be said for true nutrients like calcium or magnesium, for instance.

Take a look at the ample information on the Fluoride Action Network's site to see the multiple, well-reasoned arguments against water fluoridation. We've been scammed on this from the very beginning. Hopefully the Green Party can make water fluoridation in Canada a thing of the past.
(9.13.2010, Doug DiPasquale) http://www.thatsfit.ca/2010/09/13/fluoride-drinking-water/?icid=main|canada-hp|dl3|sec2_lnk1|170350

The Healthy Foodie is Doug DiPasquale, Holistic Nutritionist and trained chef, living in Toronto. You can email him with questions at dougthehealthyfoodie@gmail.com.

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