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Effects of Fluoride in Public Water

Updated on March 16, 2013
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Effects of Fluoride in Public Water

by Richard Brown


The EPA is the governing body on municipal drinking water, not the FDA. The FDA has no jurisdiction in the matter so their approval of fluoridation is mute and non-existent. The EPA requires defluoridation of municipal drinking water if it has more than 5 parts per million (5 ppm). 39% of children age 6 to 10 exhibit skeletal fluorosis if they consume water with 5.53 ppm daily. The average American in fluoridated water areas consumes between 3 to 4 mg of fluoride per day; assuming that they drink the recommended 1.5 to 2 liters of water per day. Another study found the daily intake of fluoride in fluoridated water areas to be 2.1 mg to 2.4 mg with the assumption that they drank 1 to 1.5 liters per day. The water consumption accounts for about 1 mg to 2 mg of fluoride per day in areas with water at about 1ppm fluoride. This is ruffly half of their total fluorine intake because of food prepared with fluoridated water. Fluorine is clinically proven to be a toxic waste. Toxic levels of fluorine are allowed and promoted in municipal drinking water.

When I began my research, I was made skeptical by the barrage of “tin foil hat wearers” citing numbers and figures without support; telling of studies and not citing them. This was countered with well toned and credited professionals, especially dentists. These professionals are saying that fluoride is not only completely safe for everybody, but also extremely beneficial; particularly for people with low incomes because it prevented caries in teeth. With the hopes of finding solid research to crush the conspiracy theorists with in your face science. I began searching for peer reviewed scientific articles with general terms like, water fluoridation. I kept having to reject them for pulling numbers out of holes in their research. One early one, one of many I didn't think to obtain reference information for, was about the absorption and retention of lead (Pb) in children with fluoridated drinking water. This was a federal government funded study, a fact that they repeated in the text many times. In the method section of the body they controlled for children with high Pb exposures by eliminating them. That study found that their was little to suggest higher absorption and retention of Pb in fluoridated areas. The children exposed to higher amounts of Pb would be the best indicators of whether fluorine in drinking water had any relationship with internal Pb levels. I found such things the standard in fluoridation research. There were exceptions.

A study titled “Oxidative Stress in Children with Endemic Skeletal Fluorosisducted in the village of Kneru Nayak Thanda, India (YM Shivarajashankara). Fluorosis is a clinical entity characterized by the toxic effects high-fluoride has on soft tissues, bones, and teeth. The detrimental effects have been proposed to be due to increased oxygen radical generation and lipid peroxidation (H 0 ). Of 46 children 41 (89%) had dental fluorosis, and 18 (39%) had skeletal fluorosis. The study assessed lipid peroxidation and antioxidant levels in immune defense systems in the blood of the children. 15 healthy children from other parts of the region with water <1.0 ppm (greater than) fluoride were matched by age and sex, and severed as controls. The process by which they obtained, stored, and tested the blood of the children is meticulously documented suggesting little chance of error. There was increased lipid peroxidation based on the elevated Malondialdehyde (MDA) Glutathione (GSH) was significantly lowered and Glutathione Peroxidase (GSH-P) activity was markedly increased in the red blood cells of the children with skeletal fluorosis compared to control. Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) was slightly but significantly decreased. Plasma ascorbic acid was elevated and uric acid was lower. They provided tables for control and fluoric, with statistical significance p< 0.001.

MDA (nanomoles/g Hb)

control (n=15) 219.3 (+-) 7.80

fluorotic (n=18) 256.0 (+-) 9.04

statistical significance p<0.001


Chronic fluoride toxicity is closely associated with oxidative stress and peroxidation in humans. Fluoride impairs free radical scavengers like GSH, GSH-P, SOD, and abscorbic acid. Rats tested showed and increase in antioxidants but the children's dropped probably because the children exhausted their storage with the prolonged utilization/mobilization (YM Shivarajashankara).

I'm mostly concerned about the how deviant from the control range the children with skeletal fluorosis were. That's a big change and the rest of the numbers read similarly. Oxidative stress has been conclusively linked to a myriad of diseases such as: cancer, heart disease, Autism, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and many others.

Shortly after the publication of this study, all of Europe and most of the wold stopped adding fluoride to public water systems.

This led me in pursuit of another answer: How much fluoride does the average American consume? If ruffly 5.5 mg (from drinking water) daily was enough to toxify 39% of Indian children this should be a big public safety concern. That last statement is very wrong; at least were governing bodies are concerned.

The latest and greatest research I could find was from 1974. The study is titled “Dietary Fluoride Intake in Man” (Osis) and was supported by the National Institute of Dental Research. It took place in Chicago. It found that when the water was fluoridated, the 6 year average of daily fluoride intake ranged from 1.56 to 1.91 mg not including drinking water. The average being about 1.9. When the water was temporarily unfluoridated it was about half of that. This is based on hospital diets that were found to have very similar fluoride profiles to the average American. All diets were prepared with tap water. when the water was fluoridated, as it was the vast majority of the time it had 1 ppm. If some one were to drink 1 to 2 liters water with a fluoride content of 1ppm combined with this diet they would consume between 3.0 to 4.0 mg of fluoride per day (Osis).

At this time the authors were unaware of any similar research having been done over a period of years. Shorter studies had been done and they referenced them. London England residents got an estimated 2.2 to 3.2 mg a day. Tea has a high fluoride content, the concentration largely depending on how long it is steeped. In this study the tea bags were immersed in water for about 3 min. “In the Baltimore area were the water contained about 1 ppm fluoride, the dietary fluoride intake was determined from the contents of shopping baskets of four young male.”(Osis) It was then determined that the daily intake of fluoride from drinking water was in the range of 2.1 to 2.4 mg a day with the water consumption estimate at 1 to 1.5 liters.

This study showed that prepared beverages like coffee were the greatest contributors to dietary fluoride intake. Large fluctuations in the fluoride content of processed and canned food could be from being prepared with water of varying fluoride concentrations. Comparatively high levels of fluoride in low calcium bread can be explained by the use of water instead of milk (Osis).

Flourine enters tooth enamel by contact, not through the blood stream. When ingested fluorine is absorbed by the body and reacts with metals in blood, soft tissue, and bones. This causes health problems. Fluoridated toothpaste applies fluoride topically were it can react with tooth enamel making it stronger. You should not ingest significant amounts of toothpaste. Spit your tooth paste into the sink when you are done brushing your teeth. This is the best use of fluoride to prevent tooth decay.

In conclusion, 39% of children develop skeletal fibrosis when their water contains about 5.53 ppm fluoride. These children also were eating food prepared with that drinking water, which contributed to their medical problems. In areas with fluoridated water the fluoride concentration is supposed to be 1 ppm, and the daily intake through diet is about 1.9 mg per day. When fluoridated water is combined with fluoride in our diets, we get an estimated dosage of one sixth of the total of the children in that isolate village in India. That there are people that are more sensitive to fluoride than the general population, is common sense. Since when do the tin foil hats have to have more than a kernel of truth? If I take into consideration one of their crack pot numbers saying that 1% (<3 million) of the population will have clinical symptoms of fluoride toxicity at a chronic 1mg per day (more than this in the average diet). We shouldn't be putting this into public drinking water. Fluoride effects tooth enamel by contact, this means topical application like in tooth paste, not though ingestion. Please keep fluoride in my tooth paste, if some one is fluoride sensitive or they have a tin foil hat, they can get a toothpaste with out fluoride. We shouldn't put an extremely toxic in the water were it is not effective and has a detrimental effect on a large number of people. Every one has the right to safe drinking water, not just those of us who are less sensitive to fluorine.

Works Cited

YM Shivarajashankara. Ar Shivarajashankara. S Hanumanth Rao. P Gopalakrishna Bhat. “Oxidative Stress in Children with Endemic Skeletal Fluorosis” International Society for fluoride Research (2001). Google Scholar (2012).

Osis, D. Kramer, L. Wiatrowski, E. Spencer, H. “Dietary Fluoride Intake in Man” Journal of nutrition (1974). Google Scholar (2012)


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