Fluoride in Bottled Water

Written by Dr. Eugene Sambataro, DDS, Dental Physician

As printed in the Baltimore Resources Journal, Summer 2001

Although recent studies have questioned whether manufacturers of bottled water really are producing pure water, you can be comfortably reassured that chlorine and fluoride have been filtered out. But now on the scene is one large corporate conglomerate marketing bottled water with fluoride added.

Of course we want to eliminate all the impurities of public water, therefore filtered water has become very popular. Who would have thought that people would pay one or two dollars for a bottle of water. So why add a substance as toxic as fluoride back into water? Obviously many Americans have been convinced by mass marketing that infants, adolescents and even adults need fluoride to protect their teeth. Nothing is further from the truth. Opponents have concluded that fluoride does not prevent cavities and may even be dangerous to your health.

The rate of cavities has been declining for the past 70 years. The addition of fluoride to drinking water and toothpaste has had no discernible effect on this rate. The tooth decaay rates in Western Europe have declined as much as in the united States in recent decades in spite of the fact that 98% of Western Europe is non-fluoridated.

Even if all the recent studies were flawed and you concluded that fluoride does protect against cavities, there is still the issue of fluoride overdose. Since fluoride has been dumped into our water systems for 50 years, the fluoride in our drinking water is transferred to processed foods and beverages. A 12-ounce can of Coke contains one third the recommended total daily allowance of fluoride. Fluoridated communities are being overdosed up to seven times the recommended amount. I even question this recommended dose since I have never heard of fluoride deficiency. The only significant difference in the two is the incidence of dental fluorosis being double in fluoridated communities.

Dental fluorosis is actually creating the need for more dentistry instead of the claim that fluoride will reduce your dental visits. Mild fluorosis shows up as chalky white areas on the teeth and in advanced cases the teeth exhibit yellow, brown and black stains, pitting of the enamel and eventually, weakening of the teeth.

What about the argument that fluoride occurs in nature? Yes, it does in some areas, fluoride is found in natural spring water with other naturally occurring minerals. But the fluoride dumped into the public water is waste water collected in smoke-stack scrubbers of the phosphate fertilizer industry. This toxic waste contains lead, cadmium, arsenic and radium. By law, this toxic waste could not be dumped in rivers, lakes or the sea.

Despite the questionable positive effects on the teeth there are scientific studies around the world that continute to link fluoride to severe health risks including bone cancer, kidney cancer, hip fractures in the elderly and Alzheimer’s disease.

The union of scientists of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wrote a “white paper” outlining why the scientists at the EPA oppose fluoridation. To get a copy of this paper and more information, including websites where you can learn how to protect yourself, your children and grandchildren from fluoride overdose, contact us at the Institute and speak to our staff and browse through the resources and links posted on this site.

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