For the past 70 plus years it has been assumed that swallowing fluoride was the most effective way to strengthen teeth, but most researchers now concede that fluoride’s primary benefit comes from topical contact with teeth, not from ingestion. In fact, ingestion of fluoride has long been known to be hazardous to our health. Excessive fluoride exposure is a well-known cause of skeletal and dental fluorosis which causes a weakening of both. Other chronic ailments include arthritis, glucose intolerance, gastrointestinal distress, thyroid disease, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancers, and brain damage including neurobehavioral deficits such as ADHD, memory problems, impaired visual-spatial organization, and reduced I.Q. Although fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral what is added to drinking water is hydrofluosilicic acid which is a byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry and of course not at all naturally occurring.
It was the research on the neurotoxicity of the brain that attorney Michael Connett focused on when presenting his case at the trial against Fluoride. Connett presented over 200 animal studies showing that prolonged exposure to varying levels of fluoride can damage the brain, particularly when coupled with iodine deficiency or aluminum excess. Additionally, he presented 69 human studies linking moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence, 60 animal studies reporting that mice and rats ingesting fluoride have an impaired capacity to learn and or remember, 12 studies (7 human, 5 animal) linking fluoride with neurobehavioral deficits, 3 studies linking fluoride with impaired fetal brain development, and 7 mother-offspring studies linking fluoride in the urine of pregnant women to reduced IQ in their offspring. Lastly, a meta-analysis published by a team of Harvard scientists in July of 2012 that investigated the relationship between fluoride and human intelligence showed that in 26 of those 27 studies a relationship was found between elevated fluoride and reduced IQ. In March of 2014, the medical journal The Lancet published a review of “developmental neurotoxicity” which concluded that fluoride is one of only 11 chemicals known to damage the developing brain and a possible cause for ADHD, learning disabilities, autism, and other cognitive impairments and that the harm is often untreatable and permanent. Dr. Bruce Lanphear (Simon Fraser University) and Dr. Howard Hu (University of Southern California) both of whom are M.D.’s and researchers and who were instrumental in getting the lead out of gasoline in 1996, believe that fluoride is as much of a neurotoxin as lead.
With the overwhelming evidence presented at the trial, under cross examination the director of EPA’s I.R.I.S. program (Integrated Risk Information System), Kristina Thayer, and Dr. Joyce Donohue, chief scientist of water at EPA, both admitted that more care should be used to address the overexposure of fluoride to the U.S. population. Further cross examination of Casey Hannan, director of Oral Health Division of the CDC admitted that there was no data on the tolerable upper-level neurotoxic effects of fluoride on infants and children. When Connett asked EPA scientists to give an example of the benefits of a study for fluoride, only one study was referenced. A study by Mullenix, which incredulously showed that there were neurotoxic effects from prenatal fluoride exposure!
Presently, the official position of the FDA, CDC, and EPA is that fluoride is recommended to be added to the drinking water throughout the U.S. However, it is still up to each municipality to determine if they want to fluoridate. Most bigger cities do fluoridate. You would have to check with your own municipality to find out if your water is fluoridated. However, even if your municipality does not fluoridate, chances are you are getting fluoride from products you buy that may have been made in a location that does fluoridate. For instance, beverages you buy in a store may have come from an area of the country that fluoridates. Another problem is pregnant women taking prescription multivitamins that have fluoride in them. It is not uncommon for pregnant women to develop hypothyroidism or gestational diabetes. It is very possible that fluoride exposure could be a cause of it and low thyroid in the mother could result in impaired brain development in the fetus. In the 1940’s and 1950’s fluoride was prescribed as a drug for people with hyperthyroid. Between water exposure, inadvertent swallowing of toothpaste, and possibly fluoride treatments from dentists, children are potentially being exposed to a toxic level of fluoride.
Fluoride was originally a byproduct from the aluminum smelting industry and was used on a massive scale in the Manhattan project to enrich uranium in the production of the first nuclear bombs used to end the war with Japan. Sadly, documents from the war department reveal that there were workers that were injured or died from exposure to fluoride, and complaints from farmers, and others who were near the project. Alarmingly, even though this information was known, the public health service still endorsed fluoride to be added to drinking water in 1950 before a single trial was completed on fluoridation safety. For those of us in the natural health sphere the problems with fluoride have been long known but the government along with other entities such as the American Dental Association, fertilizer industry etc., were able to influence policy under the half truth that fluoride was good for our teeth.
Between the original submission to the EPA requesting action on their official fluoride policy in 2016 and when the trial took place in 2020 there were many new studies on the dangers linking fluoride with brain development. The judge has asked the EPA to review these studies more carefully. Hopefully, the EPA reverses the governmental endorsement for water fluoridation. If they do not, let us hope the judge makes that decision for them so that a seventy-year mistake can end, and the ill effects from Americans ingesting this medical additive fluoride in water can stop.
“Scientific inquiry shouldn’t stop just because a reasonable explanation has apparently been found.” Neil deGrasse Tyson