t isn’t often that I take on topics like today’s, since most people only really start to worry about their health once they get older.
But after almost 30 years in the field, I’m seeing my patients’ children and grandchildren really stepping up and wanting to be as healthy as their relatives. And for them, doing so requires addressing some of the longer-term threats that the American public faces.
This includes threats like herbicides and pesticides. Or toxins from plastics. Or the toxin I want to talk about today, which is quite literally in our own drinking water: fluoride.
An invisible hazard
Fluoride is a mineral that’s naturally present in a lot of waterways. But it’s also a toxic byproduct of the aluminum and fertilizer industries—one that was easy enough to “spin” (and monetize) once we discovered by accident that it also prevented tooth decay.
Community water fluoridation has been common practice for a century now. Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population has fluoride in their tap water—and as you know, it’s also a staple ingredient in conventional toothpaste and mouthwash.
Admittedly, research supports the fact that fluoride prevents cavities. Which is all well and good… until you consider the latest report from the National Toxicology Program.
Why? Because it says, clear as day, that fluoride is “presumed” to be a “cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans.”
Scientists based this conclusion on human studies with a consistent pattern of findings. For example, just last year, a published paper linked fluoride intake in pregnant women with declines in IQ among their children between the ages of three and five.
Another study showed an association between high levels of fluoride in a mother’s urine and lower scores on IQ and other cognitive assessments among her children… even into early adolescence. And yet another study established a link between high prenatal fluoride exposure and increased rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
And considering the fact that ADHD—not to mention autism spectrum disorder—has emerged as a modern epidemic among American youth, we simply can’t afford to brush off these findings.
The choice is yours
Now, it is worth noting that researchers only saw these troubling patterns with very high levels of fluoride. (In other words, over 1.5 ppm—more than double the so-called “optimal” level of 0.7 ppm.)
Lower exposures didn’t show consistent effects on cognitive development. But I can’t say that reassures me much, considering the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency’s “enforceable” limit for fluoride in public water supplies is 4.0 ppm. Which means anything below that is A-OK in their book—regardless of the potential consequences.
For me, it comes down to this: Fluoride is known to prevent cavities. But it’s also a known neurotoxin. And only one of those problems is easy to fix.
In the end, as always, the choice is yours. (As hard as the American Dental Association has tried to take it away from you).
Fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash is now available in the natural products sections of many stores. As for water, the simplest way to find out whether your municipal supply is fluoridated is to call your water utility provider and ask.
If the answer is yes, there are specialized filtration systems available that can remove fluoride from your tap water—most notably, reverse osmosis filters.
They’re not cheap. But having one installed is a whole lot cheaper than moving. And if you ask me, the peace of mind is worth every penny.
P.S. For more tips on ways to stay healthy in a polluted world, take a look at the April 2019 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“Staying healthy in a polluted world: How to protect yourself against the dangerous toxins you come face-to-face with on a daily basis”). Subscribers have access to that article, and all of my past content, in the archives. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today.
“Fluoride at High Levels ‘Presumed’ a Neurodevelopmental Hazard.” Medscape Medical News, 11/18/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/921485)