What is Fluoride and Why is it in My Family’s Drinking Water?

Hello Mommies and Daddies.  Thank you for joining me today!  As many of you know, I created happyhealthychildren.org to provide you with the scientific information you need to raise happy, healthy children.  With that being said, today I want to talk with you about your family’s drinking water supply.

Many of you may have already thought about and researched this issue.  And I am so glad!  But please read on because some of the information in this post may be new to you and may cause you to change your family’s drinking water sources.

How many of you remember when the city of Flint, Michigan was found to have lead in its drinking water between 2014 and 2015?  To many people, it may seem crazy that a substance as toxic as lead could be found in the municipal water supply of a major US city in the 21st century. However, what most people don’t realize, and what needs to be realized, is that the drinking water supply throughout most of the United States is full of toxins.

In fact, the problem of contaminated drinking water is so widespread that this post will be only part one in a series.  Today I want to focus on one toxin found in our water supply: fluoride.

For those of you who don’t remember much about high school chemistry, let’s review what fluoride is.  (I was the nerdy girl sitting up front 😊).  Flouride is a naturally occurring element that has been shown to protect against the development of dental cavities.  Sounds good so far, right?  What else is fluoride though?  It is a neurotoxin.  In other words, it is a substance that is poisonous to the human brain and nervous system.  In fact, because fluoride is so poisonous, in 1997 the Food and Drug Administration actually mandated that toothpaste manufacturers add a warning label on their toothpaste bottles that states “if more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or dial (412) 390-3381 right away (Poison Control Center).”  This is how serious ingesting fluoride is!  It can cause many harmful effects to human beings, up to and including death.

Now we have reviewed what fluoride is, what its benefits are and what its dangers are. 

Let’s link this back to our drinking water.  It turns out that, in the 1940s, after the dental benefits of fluoride were discovered, many municipalities decided to add fluoride to their drinking water.  The logic here was that, if fluoride was added to the drinking water, children would be exposed to it from the time they were literally in their mother’s womb onwards. 

However, while it was true that fluoride reduced tooth decay among children, no rigorous scientific studies were performed to determine the safety of adding flouride to the drinking water before this was implemented on a wide-spread scale.  

Despite this lack of safety studies, fluoride continues to be added to our local water supplies. In 2012, authors from the Harvard University School of Public Health looked at a systematic review of studies on fluoride in the water supply. What they concluded was that “the addition of fluoride to our drinking water supply resulted in an average IQ loss of 7 and maybe up to 15 points”.  The senior author of the article, Philippe Grandjean, concluded that “fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury and other poisons that cause the chemical brain drain”.

There have been additional studies published in major medical journals documenting the harmful effects of fluoridated water.  One example of such a study was published in JAMA Pediatrics 2019 which showed that mothers who are exposed to higher levels of fluoride in their drinking water during pregnancy had children with lower IQ scores.

Can this really be???  Can we really be exposing ourselves and our children to poison just by drinking our water?  The data is before you.  You decide.

Now, let’s take a look at the dental health issue.  After all, if we are going to lose a few IQ points, at least we should have nice teeth, right?  WRONG!  According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, both countries that do and do not fluoridate their water have seen large decreases in cavities among children in the past 35 years.  This is thought to be due to a general improvement in dental hygiene as well as the widespread use of fluoride in toothpaste throughout both of these groups of nations.  In other words, brushing your teeth regularly with a fluoride-based toothpaste appears to provide the same dental protection as adding toxic fluoride to the drinking water.  But without having to ingest the toxin!

As you know, in this blog, we always talk about solutions.

What are solutions to this widespread problem?  Please make sure that you and your family are drinking fluoride-free water. The best way to ensure that this is the case is to drink water that has gone through a fluoride-removing filter, water that has been purified using reverse osmosis or bottled spring water.  Keep in mind that not all water filters remove fluoride.  Many popular brands, like Brita, do not!  I have an upcoming post comparing different water filters.  Until then, rest assured that Epic Water Filters, Sagan Life Systems, Waterdrop Systems and Berkey Water Filters all provide clean, healthy, fluoride-free water for you and your family.

Please stay tuned for part two of this series, in which we will talk about the other toxins in our local water supplies and why it is crucial to avoid them if you want to raise happy, healthy children.

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