Fluoride is a naturally occurring chemical found in some ground water, in many plants, and other sources. In the U.S., it has a long history of use as a preventative for tooth decay, as an additive to public drinking water. It also has as long a history of controversy and detractors that date back to its inception as an additive to drinking water. There is a growing body of scientific research that reports the potential for significant adverse effects from too much fluoride in our systems. There is growing evidence of a decrease in cavities whether living in a community with fluoridated water or without. Very few European countries currently fluoridate their water.
I am fortunate to live in a wonderful community surrounded by breathtaking mountain and water views. In fact, the main view from my house is of the tallest mountain in Oregon: Mt. Hood – part of the more extensive Cascade Mountain Range that spans the Pacific Northwest from northern California to southern British Columbia. Hood’s majestic peak reaches high up into the sky above its summit, pulling down it’s own weather patterns that create surrealistic colors and cloud formations above. It is also our main source of delicious, refreshing water from the snow and glacial melt off each year. The only additive to our public water supply fed by this pristine mountain is the minimum required chlorine, which we filter out.
A year or two ago, I was actively involved in a local effort to try and stop an attempt to add fluoride to our local water supply. We fought hard and won. There are many reasons why I don’t think fluoride should be added to water supplies but, personally, I didn’t want to add to the already existing natural supply I was ingesting everyday through my tea. Tea contains natural fluoride in just the right amount to keep teeth strong and reduce cavities.
The problem is, adding any additional sources of regular fluoride consumption into public water supplies would put me, and anyone else consuming large quantities of tea a day, at risk. Consuming too much fluoride can cause fluorosis, an excess of fluoride buildup in teeth, bones and organs, making them brittle. It has also been shown to negatively impact kidneys, immune function, reproductive system, endocrine disruption (particularly thyroid) and other problems. Obviously there are groups of people who can argue the positive benefits of adding fluoride to public drinking water, but I think the arguments against continue to get stronger, especially when there are numerous other methods to apply fluoride locally to the teeth.
I recently read an article alerting readers to the potential risks of consuming large quantities of tea using water that is fluoridated. The levels of fluoride occurring naturally in tea combined with those in fluoridated water, can bring the levels up beyond what is considered acceptable by government and medical recommended standards which, I believe, are already too high. Consider this a friendly warning that you should always check the amount of fluoride contained in your water supply, whether public or bottled, and preferably use water that contains none.
Photo “The World of Water” is copyright under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License to the photographer “Snap” and is being posted unaltered (source)
Originally posted in October 2008 by Sandy Bushberg