Fluoride – a Toxic Contaminant which Few People are Aware of
Countries across the world have been including fluoride as an additive into the community water supply by various government, including the United States. And the public is informed that the addition of fluorides could help in preventing tooth decay. But when further investigation is done, this matter is more of a political issue than what it seems.
Fluoride — the Good and Human Friendly Chemical
In year 2000 the Government of United States had raised the number of Americans with fluoridated tap water from 62% to 75%, that was quite a significant increase. Adopted for more than a decade, it is likely that more and more households will receive fluoridated tap water in the future.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US federal agency for protecting public health and safety, claimed that fluoridating drinking water was a major factor for the declination of the incidence of cavities. According to scientific research, fluoride could prevent tooth decay, but excess fluoride, for example for those fluoridated drinking water, may cause detrimental effects on our bodies.
The Pollutant, Fluoride, is Toxic
Fluoride is a by product of heavy industries like copper, iron, aluminum and fertilizer. How to get rid of them legally became the first world problem of that time, as they would have to invest a huge sum of fortune to deal with the toxic waste. In 1930, a research conducted by the largest aluminum companies solved the problem by discovering that fluoride could prevent tooth decay. From then on, fluoride could be categorized as healthy additive, but not as toxic waste which requires the disposal of millions of dollars.
Even the US Government increase the number of cities receiving fluoridated drinking water, the City Council of Santa Barbara in California protested against the action of fluoridating community public water supply in 1999. British Medical Journal reported that fluoridating studies are flawed. And Canadian Government researched that fluoridation does more harm than good.
Fluoride is a cumulative poison. Our body usually absorb half of what we have consumed, they would be accumulated in teeth and bones, making them denser, but more brittle and easier to break. It has far more negative effect on children than adults, where they may suffer from a disease named “dental fluorosis’ when intake too much fluoride. This disease will make their teeth more prone to tooth decay and the patient might be suffering from fluoride poisoning. Studies have linked fracture bones, low IQ and learning disabilities with the intake of higher than safety concentration of fluoride as well.
Fluoride — Contaminant or Health Booster?
While it is debatable that fluoride is good or bad for our health, we believe that it must be having adverse effect on everyone who consumes too much fluoride. A small amount of booster may help in reducing cavity, but it often could lead to other medical problems when consumed in excess. To judge by yourself, answer this question: Have I ever be taught that fluoride is good for health? Well, in my case, I have been taught that calcium is good for health, and children can consume more calcium for bone development, so does minerals and vitamins. But did you ever heard that others telling you to intake more fluoride for body development? Another important concern one should notice — all tooth-related products contain fluoride are advised not to be swallowed on their packing usage, including toothpaste, mouth washers, even floss. If a certain amount of fluoride is good for healthy, why swallowing only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste per day would be hazard? A pea size of toothpaste has 0.5 mg of fluoride, which equals to 1-2 glasses of fluoridated water. A healthy person are advised to drink 8 cups of water everyday, that adds up taking 2 pea size of toothpaste a day. But as stated here you are not advised to swallow toothpaste…
After the process of teeth cleaning process, there usually would have leftovers of fluoride in your mouth, and consequently they will be swallowed into your body.
Sources of Fluoride intake in daily life
- Fluorindated drinking water
- Oral products and Teeth refreshing merchandizes (toothpaste, mouth rinse)
- Fruit juices and packed drinks from fluoridated areas
- Grape products and corps (high concentration of fluoride due to fertilizers)
- Canned food and tinned fish (fluoride as preservative)
- Medicine (such as antidepressants)
- Green tea and black tea
- Fluoridated salt
- Mechanically deboned chicken (like “Chicken McNuggets”)
There might be more sources of fluoride that could go into your body. Together with the 8 cups of water, it seems that fluoride is unavoidable. We may not be able to escape totally from fluoride, but we could try our best to take adequate measures on preventing the intake of fluoride.