Many people drink tap water on a daily basis, and have done so for years, not giving it a second thought. If the government doses the tap water with fluoride and tells us it’s to prevent caries, then shouldn’t we believe them?
Have you ever asked yourself why then, after decades of fluoride dosing, are caries levels always on the increase? Tasmania was the first state to introduce fluoridation in 1953 in a mining town called Beaconsfield, and has maintained the record of the highest fluoridation rates of any state in Australia at 98%. Why then does Tasmania have some of the highest caries rates in Australia?
The risk of caries in your teeth is more related to diet
Research scientists have since worked out that the risk of caries is more related to socio-economic status, as well as education about health and diet. The data shows that fluoride supplementation does not prevent caries, and can even be harmful depending on the amount consumed.
The long-held belief that drinking fluoride would somehow make your teeth stronger and more caries-resistant came from old studies, which showed that fluoridated toothpaste kills caries bacteria in the mouth, as it works like a bacteriocide or insecticide.
In some great leap of the imagination, it was assumed that drinking the stuff would also have the same caries prevention effect. But that’s the same as assuming because soap is used to clean the outside of the body, that if you drink it, it would also clean the inside of the body. This kind of assumption totally ignores the potential toxic effects of ingestion of the chemical, and its accumulation in cell stores over time.
The acids in the mouth (produced by eating sugars) breed corrosive bacteria that munch on enamel. Alkaline saliva protects and supports the tooth enamel.
If you have a balanced organic diet (devoid of white flour, processed sugars and artificial chemicals), including enough balancing minerals like magnesium, and you clean and floss your teeth daily, then your saliva can be more protective.
Fluoridated toothpaste also comes with its own set of risks if inadvertently swallowed. Be wary of letting children use fluoridated toothpaste, as their swallowing muscles may not be developed enough to avoid traces of the toothpaste from being swallowed. In the USA there has to be a poison warning on the tube. If a child even swallows a pea sized amount, it requires a hospital check-up.
Fluoride is not a nutrient, but a poison to cells
Many people mistakenly think of fluoride as a mineral, and many a politician promoting fluoridation has referred to it as, “the magic mineral.” However, this is not true. Fluorine in its pure form is a gas which is the most toxic of four main halogens; chlorine, bromine and iodine. Fluorine happens to be the most tightly binding element on the periodic table, so it is mostly found as a compound clinging to something else.
It’s important to note that fluorine blocks the other halogens too – the most important one for a healthy thyroid and brain function being ‘iodine’. It’s the ‘bully in the playground’ of the body. It also happens to block our most vital and essential mineral – magnesium. This is why fluoride is a neurotoxin and the brain should be protected from it.
In its concentrated form, before fluoride is added to water supplies, it is so acidic it is capable of eating holes in concrete if spilled accidentally. It corrodes metals it comes in contact with, such as in containers or plumbing pipes and valves. Fluoride salt clings to metals and ‘eats’ them. That’s why, if you have any metals in your plumbing system, by the time fluoridated water comes out of your kitchen tap, it would have collected a bunch of other metals along the way.
The name ‘halogen’ means ‘salt-producing’. When halogens react with metals, they produce a wide range of salts. The resulting compound then turns the ‘ine’ into an ‘ide’, such as with calcium fluoride.
Calcium fluoride is the most common form of natural fluoride. It’s commonly found in surface waters at about 1-2%, but is quite insoluble and therefore not readily taken up by tissue cells. The body tends to excrete calcium fluoride via the digestive system. It’s a different story however if the fluoride is a salt such as sodium fluoride, hexafluorosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride, which are the chemicals usually added to fluoridated town water. In this form fluoride becomes dangerous because it can lodge in tissue cells and accumulate over time if exposure is chronic (regular).
Other halogens which bind with metals to form salts can be beneficial to our health in the right amount, such as sodium chloride (common table salt), magnesium chloride, and potassium iodide.
Fluoride however is not considered an essential nutrient because the body can survive and thrive well without any fluoride at all, and it is not needed for strong bones or caries prevention. In fact, accumulated fluoride in calcified tissue like teeth causes fluorosis brown staining and pitting, and in bones it can cause bone malformation or crippling, as well as a more brittle structure.
Why did they start fluoridating?
In the 50’s and 60’s the fluoride chemical they used for fluoridating water supplies was sodium fluoride, which is an industrial waste product from aluminium smelters and fertilizer plants that had to be disposed of. If it was let out into the air via chimney smoke it killed surrounding farm animals, so they put filters in the chimneys. These were scrubbed out and the stuff collected was so toxic and corrosive they needed hazmat suits to handle it. Another profitable use for it was as a rat poison or insecticide – like McGesson’s Sodium Fluoride (used in the 1950’s).
In more recent years water authorities have switched to a cheaper toxic fluoride waste from industrial chimneys called hydrofluorosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride, which are also fluoride salts that can be absorbed by our tissue cells. These industrial fluorides tend to have toxic metals contamination, such as lead, cadmium, aluminium, mercury and others. The manufacturers don’t scrub, clean or process this black chimney waste, but simply package and sell it as ‘Fluoridation Chemical for Water Supplies’. The main fluoride waste producers are fertilizer manufacturers and aluminium smelters.
There were no high quality studies which ever supported the idea that fluoride would prevent caries, nor were their toxicological studies that proved chronic ingestion was safe. Perhaps saying it enough times to the public made it so in their minds. The marketers pushed on relentlessly to change government policy and manipulate public opinion just like they did in the days when they promoted that smoking was good for your health. In fact, the advent of fluoridation belongs to this same era.
You can find out more about the history of fluoridation and how it came about by reading the academic books and studies listed on this website. Ohio State University also have an interesting historical summary of how fluoride from industrial wastes got into out town water supplies.
Modern technology of fluoride gas removal in fertilizer manufacture
According to Armatec Environmental, “Toxic fluoride gas fumes given off when producing phosphate fertilisers must be captured and scrubbed before the gas stream can be released to atmosphere. Armatec has developed fluoride scrubbing technology to the highest degree, achieving stack emissions less than 5 milligrams of fluoride per cubic metre.” The question to ask is, what happens to these waste chemicals after they are captured by the scrubbers: What do government water authorities do with these chemicals? Are they tested for toxic elements and metals?
Most countries have stopped fluoridation
Most developed nations do not fluoridate their water these days. Only 5% of the world’s population drink artificially fluoridated water. Japan, Russia, China, as well as most countries in Europe, Asia and Soth America, have discontinued or not taken it up after conducting their own studies and research into the health side effects.
Only 11 countries in the world have more than 50% of their population drinking fluoridated water: Australia (80%), Brunei (95%); Chile (70%), Guyana (62%), Hong Kong (100%), the Irish Republic (73%), Israel (70% –note that they stopped fluoridation in 2014 and haven’t resumed as of April 2021), Malaysia (75%), New Zealand (62%), Singapore (100%), and the United States (64%).
In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council recommends to councils and water authorities to dose the water within the range 0.6-1.1 mg/L, depending on the region and estimation of what would be the final water product dosage of 1ppm (1mg per litre), which they consider to be ‘optimal’. Some councils in regional areas of Queensland have not continued with or taken up fluoridation. But all major cities of Australia remain fluoridated as at December 2023. Check with your local council if you aren’t sure about your area.
How much fluoride might you be consuming?
It is recommended to water authorities by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to add 1ppm (parts per million) of sodium fluoride or similar fluoride chemical, but not more than 1.5ppm. In some areas less can be added, depending on the level of fluoride in the natural water catchment areas or bore water.
Also, in tropical or desert areas where people drink more water because of excessive perspiration, the fluoride levels to be added can be dropped to 0.6ppm. At the end of the day everything is a ‘guestimate’. How is it at all possible to apply the correct dose to each individual in this medical treatment? Even if you were to assume you needed fluoride at all – one size doesn’t fit all!
In any case, the WHO has reported that if people consume just 2 milligrams of fluoride per day, they risk the development of dental fluorosis, which is a harbinger of worse problems in the body. Chronic consumption of fluoride can lead to a myriad of other health problems, including magnesium deficiency symptoms.
Excessive perspiration can cause transdermal loss of magnesium, and if more fluoridated water is consumed, that fluoride can block the work of magnesium further.
At 1 part per million (1ppm) concentration in the water, if you consume one litre, this equals 1 milligram of fluoride. This means, if you consume two litres of fluoridated tap water, this gives you 2mg of fluoride. If you drink three litres you get 3mg of fluoride. What about all the tradies working outside in the hot weather on building sites drinking ten litres of tap water? They would be getting 10mg of fluoride! Amounts like these are very toxic.
The point is, with artificial water fluoridation, the dose of this medicinal prophylactic ‘treatment’ cannot be controlled because you can’t control the amount people drink. And small children tend to drink more fluids in relation to their body weight so they’d be getting an even more toxic dose than adults.
It’s interesting to note that studies have found children living in fluoridated areas mature in different ways. Their second teeth emerge about one year later and they move into puberty earlier than their counterparts in non-fluoridated areas. The pineal gland, which is associated with our body clock and maturation, can accumulate thousands of times more fluoride concentration than bone. “By old age, the pineal gland has readily accumulated fluoride and its fluoride/calcium ratio is higher than bone.”
Fluoride lowers IQ in children – study
Fluoride and toxic metals can bind up any available magnesium in the body and this inhibits metabolism and normal functioning. The fluoride and associated metals can get into the brain and endocrine organs to affect hormones, as well as damage arteries, heart, kidney and liver. Fluoride tends to settle mostly in the calcified tissue of the body like bones and pineal gland. It can also disrupt the microbiome and immune system because it works as a bacteriocide.
Recent studies have shown even a small concentration of fluoride (as in fluoridated areas of 1ppm which is 1mg per litre) drunk regularly by pregnant women can lead to the lowering of the IQ in their offspring. Take a look at this study here carried out in 2019 by Jama Pediatrics.
This study found: “A 1-mg higher daily intake of fluoride among pregnant women was associated with a 3.66 lower IQ score (95% CI, −7.16 to −0.14) in boys and girls.” The conclusion of the study was: “In this prospective birth cohort study from 6 cities in Canada, higher levels of fluoride exposure during pregnancy were associated with lower IQ scores in children measured at age 3 to 4 years. These findings were observed at fluoride levels typically found in white North American women. This indicates the possible need to reduce fluoride intake during pregnancy.“
Another published study in 2020 – Assessment of fluoride levels during pregnancy and its association with early adverse pregnancy outcomes – found, ““There was a negative correlation between urinary fluoride and hemoglobin levels (P = 0.031, r= -0.59) and females with elevated urinary fluoride levels were found to have a strong association with the pregnancy complications, i.e., anemia, miscarriage, abortion, and still birth (χ2 = 9.23, P < 0.05).”
A research website in the US called www.fluoridealert.org has collaborated with a large number of scientists in an effort to spread awareness of the problem of fluoride overdose via tap water. The site quotes Scientist David Bellinger from Harvard Medical School referring to the effects of fluoridation as being: “… actually very similar to the effect size that’s seen with childhood exposure to lead.”
It’s interesting to watch a video this organisation has made featuring prominent brain research scientists talking about fluoride’s risk to the developing brain of an unborn child.
These experts in the field say it’s vital that pregnant women and parents who formula-feed infants be warned of fluoride’s serious risks to the developing brain, and that pregnant women and infants should not be consuming fluoridated water at all.
Fluoride causes premature ageing and bone degeneration
Even at low concentrations of fluoride in drinking water, chronic exposure can accumulate fluoride mainly in the bones of the body and cause a range of detrimental effects. Fluoride is also an endocrine disruptor due to its suppression of the thyroid gland and pineal gland, which regulate our body clock sleep-wake cycles, ovulation and fertility, as well as hormone balance. We could easily call fluoride the ‘Ageing Element’ as it leaves us with foggy brains, weaker bones, acidic, polluted and yes – more wrinkly!
A study from Sweden, published this year, found the rate for hip bone fractures in post-menopausal women was 50% higher in an area where there was up to 1 mg/L fluoride in the drinking water. The study used detailed information from more than 4,000 older Swedish women enrolled, starting in 2004 and following through until 2017.
The risk of hip fractures was increased among the Swedish women who had the highest levels of urine fluoride excretion and the highest estimated fluoride intake from beverages and food relative to women with the lowest levels of each exposure.
As we age our levels of cellular magnesium drop
The amount of magnesium in tissue cells is actually a biomarker and indicator of our youthfulness and how well we age. The more magnesium, the less incidence of degenerative disease. The more magnesium, the less aches and pains, and the better the energy and metabolism. We need the energy for detoxing and for building new cells to replace the old ones. Magnesium represents our bio-electrical power-point via mitochondrial production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
As our magnesium levels drop with ageing it makes our cells more vulnerable to fluoride assault. Magnesium is our cell protector because it binds up the fluoride. Magnesium is also essential to make important detox enzymes such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase, which counteract free radicals.
Magnesium deficiency is associated with acidosis from free radical waste products because of slow clearance, compromised digestion and consequent slowing metabolism. If you get magnesium deficient, and on top of that have extra fluoride exposure, then the fluoride will steal some of your magnesium, which you can’t afford to lose! If you can’t detox and neutralise the free radicals (acids) then you degenerate faster. In other words, the body can’t take the garbage out fast enough, causing a pile up in wastes and toxins.
So many potential fluoride exposures!
In addition to fluoridated tap water there are now many other potential sources of fluoride exposure, including kombucha, tea, medicines and Teflon.
The ‘halo effect’ adds to our fluoride exposures, as fluoridated water is used to make other food products, such as reconstituted fruit juices, beer and packaged foods.
Higher levels of fluoride have been found in the popular health drink – kombucha – because kombucha is made using black tea leaves, which have a high propensity to absorb fluoride from the soil, especially if that soil has had fluoride-containing fertilizer added. So, if you’re making your own kombucha to support your digestion and gut health, it’s best to limit the fluoride content by using white or red tea leaves instead of the black tea leaves. For more information, read here.
Even a cup of tea made with Camellia sinensis leaves can have on average 1-2mg of fluoride, so if you have more than one cup a day this can quickly add up. To minimise the fluoride content, use loose leaves (not bags) and the younger tea leaves, which offer higher quality antioxidant value but contain lower fluoride levels.
The older leaves have more time to accumulate fluoride and can have up to 20 times more fluoride than younger leaves. Also, the tea grown in China tends to have more fluoride than the tea from Japan due to lower fluoride content of soils in Japan. For more information about this read more here.
The use of fluoride as a preservative in medicines has increased too. You can even be exposed to fluoride outgassing when you use Teflon products (non-slip cookware etc). Also fabric protection chemicals like the old Scotchguard can outgas fluoride.
PFOA or PFOS firefighting chemicals are fluorides which can be absorbed from the environment they have been used in. There are also pesticides such as aluminium fluoride, which are used on crops and can therefore creep into the food supply.
- 97% of western Europe has rejected water fluoridation
- Many children now exceed recommended daily fluoride intake from toothpaste alone.
- Fluoride is not a nutrient.
- 64 studies have linked fluoride with reduced IQ in children.
More information about these issues is available at The Fluoride Alert.
As you can see, it’s very important to guard against toxic exposures to fluoride in order to maintain health and wellbeing. The fluoride in tap water tends to be the largest source of chronic fluoride exposure, so if you can at least avoid that with a proper fluoride filter like a reverse osmosis or ion-exchange filter, or drink rain water or bottled water, you’ll be ahead.
- Stop artificial water fluoridation.
- Use a proper fluoride filter if drinking fluoridated tap water, and remineralise it with Elektra Magnesium Chloride Flakes.
- Avoid beverages or drugs made with and containing fluoride.
- Avoid exposure to Teflon and fire-fighting chemicals which are fluoride-based.
- Supplement with nascent iodine to support the thyroid if you suspect fluoride toxicity.
- Eat organic – predominantly fresh vegetables. These donate antioxidant vitamins, minerals and enzymes to help the body detox. Seaweeds and green leafy vegetables support the thyroid and detoxification.
- Eat fermented foods to support the gut microbiome.
- Supply your body with more magnesium: This is a must even if you do avoid fluorides from water and food, because we can also lose magnesium excessively under stressful conditions. Using transdermal magnesium daily can supply the extra magnesium we may not be getting from foods, or that may be lost under stress. You don’t have to worry about getting too much via skin as your body is in control of what it takes up: It’s just a concern if you don’t get enough.
- The symptoms of fluoride toxicity tend to mimic magnesium deficiency symptoms. Fluoride binds up magnesium and steals it from your reserves. Magnesium defends us against fluoride exposure by sacrificing itself to keep the engine running. You lose some in the process, but the remainder works to supply mitochondria in ATP energy metabolism, and to regulate calcium. So, it’s better to have more than less!
- Selenium helps the body remove fluoride. Brazil nuts are a great natural source of selenium. As little as 5 a day can deliver the RDA of selenium.
- Iodine, preferably nascent iodine (which is the best quality), helps remove fluoride via urine. This supports the thyroid too.
- Tamarind is part of the Ayurvedic medicine system and when added to your favourite tea beverage helps expel fluoride.
- A dry sauna or magnesium bath can help to excrete fluoride via skin, but be sure to drink enough purified mineralised water to rehydrate.
For more information about how to increase your levels of magnesium, visit here.
By Sandy Sanderson © 2021-23