Chemicals 101: Fluoride, Exposed
Environmental science is a growing field. However, environmental research and city policy have often butted heads. This is no different in the case of fluoride, which has been added to metropolitan water since the late 1970’s. While officials claim to keep fluoride for the dental well-being of their citizens, they ignore studies that hold fluoride to be anything but beneficial.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is the 13th-most abundant element on Earth’s crust. It is a negative anion of fluorine and is present in most metals.
Because it occurs naturally, trace amounts of fluoride are present in groundwater and soil. However, it can also be synthesized in labs.
Why is Fluoride a Health Concern?
The release of a 1975 study that correlated fluoride consumption with lower levels of dental decay gave rise to excessive consumption of the mineral, especially after cities began adding it to municipal drinking water without the consent of constituents. Since this time, institutions like Harvard University, the WHO, and the EPA have documented the negative effects of excessive fluoride consumption.
Unsurprisingly, the most popular study comes from Harvard, which found a correlation between excessive fluoride consumption and lowered I.Q. Since the study’s, over 50 replication attempts have yielded similar results. According to the Fluoride Action Network, the question is no longer whether excessive fluoride consumption lowers I.Q. Rather, it is what dose of fluoride, and for how long.
Scientists have also researched the negative effects of fluoride on the body, specifically the bones and teeth. Skeletal fluorosis, characterized by the pitting, darkening, and weakening of the bones and teeth, has been associated with individuals with lifetime exposure to excessive fluoride. In the same vein, a 2006 study published in Cancer Causes & Control identified a possible link between excessive fluoride consumption and osteosarcoma in boys.
Finally, the WHO has determined that the regular consumption of fluoride at rates exceeding 1.5mg per liter of water can exacerbate neurological conditions, like epilepsy, as well as gastrointestinal conditions.
How does Fluoride Contaminate Water?
Although fluoride occurs naturally and has been consumed via groundwater for centuries, it has only been added to water over the past three decades. Especially in areas with high counts for natural fluoride, this means that individuals are consuming potentially deadly levels of the mineral.
The rarity of natural fluoride contamination is worth noting. In areas without fluoride-treated water, measurements rarely exceed half of the EPA’s safety limit of 4 parts per million (ppm). From this information, environmentalists have long concluded that fluoride contamination happens via human intervention, rather than from natural causes.
Is Fluoride Regulated?
Currently, fluoride levels are regulated at the municipal level. Since most U.S. cities still fluoridate their water, and since some U.S. cities base their fluoridation levels on frequently-updated measurements, it is impossible to determine a national average.
How to Remove Fluoride from Your Water
As Fluoride is a natural element, it is difficult to remove all fluoride from your water. Trace amounts, however, have long shown to be harmless. Thankfully, too, Adya Clarity provides an affordable solution for avoiding dangerous fluoride levels; it traps 100% of fluoride ions and brings levels to below EPA detectability.
At once naturally-occurring and potentially-harmful, fluoride is the frenemy of environmental scientists and city politicians, alike. However, until municipal officials recognize that excessive consumption of fluoride does more harm to well-being than good, to teeth, it is up to the people to act. Thankfully, with the help of Adya Clarity, you can prevent your family and friends from excessive fluoride exposure.
Blank, Tara & Connett, Michael. “Fluoride & I.Q.: The 50 Studies.” FluorideAlert. Fluoride Action Network, 11 Sep. 2016. url: http://fluoridealert.org/studies/brain01/.
Choi, A.L., Sun, G., Zhang, Y., & Grandjean, P. “Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” PubMed. National Center for Biotechnology Information, Oct. 2012. Abstract. url: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22820538.
Mercola, Dr. Joseph. “Harvard Study Finds Fluoride Lowers I.Q.” Mercola. Dr. Joseph Mercola, 7 Aug. 2012. url: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/07/effects-of-fluoride-to-children.aspx#_edn1.
Mercola, Dr. Joseph. “No Evidence for Fluoridated Water to Result in Less Cavities.” Mercola. Dr. Joseph Mercola, 20 Sep. 2016. url: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/09/20/fluoridated-water-less-cavities.aspx.