You drink it, cook with it, and use it externally. Water is essential to our daily lives. But if you live in an area where the mains water supply is fluorinated, you may want to think again.
Although fluoride occurs naturally in water and some foods, the fluoride used in water supplies is not the same – it is an industrial grade by-product of the fertiliser and aluminium industry, which is highly toxic.
Hexafluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) is the chemical added to water supplies, Calcium fluoride (CaF2) is the fluoride that naturally occurs in water – two very different substances.
All fluorides are toxic to humans, but naturally occurring calcium fluoride is considered safe because of its insolubility. The chemical is naturally expelled through the body’s waste system. However, in areas where there is a high concentration of calcium fluoride, water companies add non-fluorinated water to dilute the content down to the recommended safe limit of one part per million.
The addition of hexafluorosilicic acid is a different matter. Hexafluorosilicic acid is used in the conversation of aluminium ore into aluminium metal, the refinement of lead, and in producing potassium magnesium and other salts for use in concrete and insecticide.
All fluorides are not equal, and the use of the highly toxic chemical in the water supply of any society needs to be a matter of concern.
Originally, fluorination of the water supply was said to improve dental health. However, this has since been disproved, and fluorination has the potential to cause serious health problems.
In the UK, the government passed the Water Act in 2003 which requires water suppliers to comply with fluorination directives from Strategic Health Authorities. The implementation of the Water Act was based on a study commissioned by the Department of Health in 1999 and conducted by the University of York.
The government claimed that the findings of the study were that fluoridation of the water supply was of benefit to dental health and there were no concerns over safety. This was false.
The report concluded that there were health risks involved, including dental fluorosis, skeletal fluorosis, cancer incidence and mortality, mortality, Down’s syndrome, hip and bone fracture, intelligence and thyroid disorders which were identified for inclusion in the review. The government chose to ignore this.
The effect of fluoride on dental health has been proven to only be effective when the fluoride is applied directly to teeth, as in toothpaste. There is no benefit when considering the medicinal effect of fluoride in the water system and the other health risks involved.
The UK (specifically England) and USA are two of very few countries which fluorinate water supplies.
At present, 97% of the western European population drinks non-fluoridated water. This includes: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and approximately 90% of both the United Kingdom and Spain.
The majority of European countries that do not fluorinate the water supply cite ethical and medical concerns as the main reasons.
Medical reasons are based on reliable research that fluoride in the drinking water is delivered indiscriminately and can have significant adverse effects on the health of consumers.
Ethical reasons include the mass medication of consumers without their consent, and without medical evidence that the person receiving the ‘treatment’ requires it, or that it would be safe. It is not possible for the dose of fluoride to be controlled because people consume different volumes of water
‘Mass medication’ by adding fluoride to the water supply is highly dangerous, and is the only chemical added to water as a medical treatment. Fluoride has no effect on the quality or safety of drinking water.
Some of the potential health risks are:
- Brain. According to the National Research Council (NRC), fluoride can damage the brain. Animal studies conducted in the 1990s by EPA scientists found dementia-like effects at the same concentration (1 ppm) used to fluoridate water, while human studies have found adverse effects on IQ at levels as low as 0.9 ppm among children with nutrient deficiencies, and 1.8 ppm among children with adequate nutrient intake.
- Thyroid Gland. Did you know that fluoride was used in the past to treat hyperthyroidism and that it was frequently used at levels below the current “optimal” intake of 1mg per day. Did you know that fluoride is able to mimic the action of TSH? Researcher Andreas Schuld has found that excess fluoride correlates with other thyroid-related issues such as iodine deficiency. When there is excess of fluoride in the body it can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland.
- Bones. Fluoride can diminish bone strength and increase the risk for bone fracture. While the NRC was unable to determine what level of fluoride is safe for bones, it noted that the best available information suggests that fracture risk may be increased at levels as low 1.5 ppm, which is only slightly higher than the concentration (0.7-1.2 ppm) added to water for fluoridation.
- Bone Cancer. Animal and human studies – including a recent study from a team of Harvard scientists – have found a connection between fluoride and a serious form of bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in males under the age of 20. The connection between fluoride and osteosarcoma has been described by the National Toxicology Program as “biologically plausible.” Up to half of adolescents who develop osteosarcoma die within a few years of diagnosis.
- Kidney Patients. People with kidney disease have a heightened susceptibility to fluoride toxicity. The heightened risk stems from an impaired ability to excrete fluoride from the body. As a result, toxic levels of fluoride can accumulate in the bones, intensify the toxicity of aluminum build-up, and cause or exacerbate a painful bone disease known as renal osteodystrophy.
- Babies. Tissues in the body may also be affected by early-life exposures to fluoride. According to a review published in the medical journal The Lancet, fluoride may damage the developing brain, causing learning deficits and other problems. A more recent review by a team of Harvard scientists found that most studies which have investigated fluoride’s effect on IQ have found reductions in intelligence.
So, if fluoride is such a toxic chemical by-product that can contribute (if not cause) major health problems, why would SOME governments insist on fluoride being added to the water supply?
The most obvious answer to this question is political dogma. Must of the ‘evidence’ used by governments is flawed and out of date. Governments can present the fluorination of the water supply as a political lever, claiming they are looking after the health of the nation. Perhaps governments do not want to admit that the continued fluorination of the water supply is ineffective. There may be other reasons, such as financial arrangements to dispose of toxic material, or other more clandestine purposes, such as the effect of the toxic chemical on the health of the population.
The UK public are grossly miss-informed about the fluorination of water supplies. Around 1 in 10 people live in areas where fluorination of the water takes place. The most fluorinated areas are the Birmingham area (known as the fluorination capital of Europe), and the northern region where approximately 34% of the population live in fluorinated areas. The main reasons fluorination does not cover more of the UK population is because of the reluctance of water companies to engage in a mass medication initiative, and the resistance of local pressure groups to fluorination where is has been proposed.
In the United States, around 60% of the population live in areas where water supplies are fluorinated, much more than any other country in the world.
If you want to know how ‘safe’ fluoride is, go and look at the tube of toothpaste (or any other dental product containing fluoride) you have and look at the health warnings.
Fluorination of water supplies is not necessary, not ethical, is potentially lethal, and the build-up of fluoride in the human body is highly toxic.
If you want to know how much of a concern the fluorination of water is, just search for ‘fluorination’ on the internet. There are many reliable sources of information that will open your eyes to the dangers of this toxic by-product.
If you live in an area where fluorination takes place, you will probably find an action group consisting of very concerned people.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where there is no fluorination, keep an eye on the local news and government websites and make sure you don’t become another victim of this mass poisoning.