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To Fluoridate or Not To Flouridate - That is the Question

by Mark Timmons May 24, 2011 3 Comments

What follows is from Water Technology Online. Dr. Joseph Cotruvo is president of Joseph Cotruvo and Associates, LLC, Water, Environment and Public Health Consultants. He holds a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry and is a member of the World Health Organization's Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality Committee and expert advisory groups on drinking water quality, desalination, wastewater and water reuse. He is a former director of the USEPA Drinking Water Standards Division.

Many world source waters contain small to large amounts of fluoride. Artificial fluoridation is utilized in many drinking water supplies because studies have shown reduced incidence of dental caries (tooth decay) when appropriate levels of fluoride are present in drinking water. The World Health Organization, World Dental Federation and the International Association for Dental Research recommend use of fluoride to supplement inadequate intake, including water fluoridation. Water fluoridation cannot be mandated by the U.S. federal government; drinking water standards have upper limits for health (primary MCL) and aesthetic (secondary MCL) protection. It is, however, recommended by federal health HHS agencies like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Dental Research (NIDR) and professional dental organizations; some states mandate it or some have community option. The consensus in the professional dental community and CDC is that the risks of fluoridation are small (primarily some incidence of mild hardly noticeable dental fluorosis). They also say that although societal factors have changed significantly since the inception of water fluoridation in the '40s (e.g. better dental care), better overall population health and widespread use of fluoridated toothpaste, parts of the population still receive dental benefits from fluoridation of drinking water and it is very cost effective. The CDC recently recommended that the amount of fluoride that should be added to drinking water should not exceed 0.7 mg/L because the dental benefits are still achieved and with less mild dental fluorosis, and therefore greater amounts are not necessary. Some of the issues that have been raised about water fluoridation over the years include:

  • It is mass medication;
  • There is sufficient fluoride in the diet rendering additional fluoride in water unnecessary;
  • There may be a small bone cancer risk;
  • The common fluoridation chemical fluosilicic acid has not been tested in a bioassay;
  • Fluosilicic acid reduces pH and increases the corrosivity of drinking water toward metal pipe surfaces therefore contributing to lead exposure;
  • The fluoride is derived from phosphate production and some geologic radioactivity may be carried over with the fluoride chemical;
  • Traces of arsenic and heavy metals are present in drinking water grade fluoride and fluosilicic acid, so much more expensive pharmaceutical grade chemicals should be used.

The advocacy organizations feel that the issues have been adequately resolved, and the risks, if any, are small and outweighed by the benefits; opponents do not agree.

That is a very concise discussion of the fluoride issue. Personally, I remove the fluoride from my family's water. If you choose to do so, you can do it the way I do it - with Reverse Osmosis. Here is a webite that lists 50 Reasons not to Flouridate:

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September 08, 2011 Caroline

Since removing about 85% of the fluoride from my drinking watter I have noticed the joints in my hands are no longer stiff in the morning.

September 27, 2011 mark


I have no difficulty in believing that. It’s poison!

January 25, 2015 What is the Best Way to Remove Chloramines from Wat er? | Ask The Water Doctor

[…] which also has many deleterious effects. I have discussed the effects of fluoride in a previous BLOG. So, if you want to reduce BOTH chloramine and fluoride, then you would need something like our […]

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