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Archive for March 25th, 2008

I have to confess that the extra reading I’ve done to prepare for these two posts on fluorine has proved eye-opening.  Although I’ve been trying to avoid fluorine to protect my thyroid for almost a year now, I really didn’t know until now how much damage fluorine also does to bones, brains, child development, and so much more.  As I mentioned in the previous fluoride post, the book Iodine: Why You Need It Why You Can’t Live Without It explains why fluorine harms the thyroid, and that was enough for me.  (Well, that and the agreement of a couple of naturopaths and doctors.)  What I’ve learned in the past few days, though, has shocked me.  I knew fluoride was bad, but I didn’t know just how bad.

For example, consider what The Fluoride Debate’s website reports:

One intriguing and disturbing fact about fluoridation is that over 90% of the agent used in US fluoridation schemes is not pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride, on which practically all toxicological testing has been performed, but industrial grade hexafluorosilicic acid obtained from the air pollution scrubbing systems of the superphosphate industry (e.g. Cargill Fertilizer). By law, this waste cannot be dumped into the sea but the EPA allows it to be diluted down with our public drinking water. The union representing scientists at the EPA headquarters in Washington, DC has gone on record as opposing this bizarre form of hazardous waste management (See www.fluoridealert.org)

Lovely!  Just what I hoped I’d have the privilege of drinking every day.  Even better, this kind of fluoride supposedly is also frequently contaminated with arsenic.  Mmmm.

I highly recommend visiting Dr. Mercola’s website for more information on fluoride’s effects.  Although you will need to sign up, access is free.  Once you’re on the site, simply search for “fluoride” or “fluoridation.”  You will find dozens of articles–ones that cite real studies and true news stories–for your perusal.  Dr. Mercola even has an entire page devoted to other websites where you can learn more about fluoride.

I also keep seeing information about a book called Fluoride Deceptionby Christopher Bryson.  Since I haven’t yet read the book, I can’t give a personal recommendation, but I can assure you that I’m adding it to my reading list.

Now that we’re all scared out of our minds, or maybe just mildly alarmed, what steps can we take to avoid fluoride?  Here are some ideas:

1.  Nix any toothpaste that contains fluoride.  Also dump any fluoride pills and mouth rinses.  I know that Jason, Tom’s of Maine, and Nature’s Gate make fluoride-free dental care products.  Personally, I prefer Jason’s varieties (particularly this one), and I buy them online at www.vitacost.com.  Just be aware that not all “natural” toothpastes are fluoride-free.  You’ll need to check the products individually.  (Consider checking the products or their ingredients at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com for other potentially harmful ingredients like sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate.)

2.  Find out for sure whether or not your water is fluoridated.  It probably is, but you never know.  You might be one of the lucky few. 

3.  Consider getting an outside opinion on what’s in your water.  I came across a company called Aqua MD that will not only let you know exactly what’s in your water (including fluoride, arsenic, VOCs [volatile organic compounds], and other contaminants), they’ll advise you on an action plan–all for $40.  And no, they don’t sell any of the treatment options.  Check out their website and watch the introductory video to find out more.  I plan to purchase their service for my own home. 

4.  Do somethingto treat/filter your drinking water.  Until now, I’ve been using an Aquasana counterop filter and shower filter to reduce my exposure to chlorine and VOCs, but I’m not sure how effective these are against fluoride.  For now, it’s probably better than nothing, but I suspect I’ll end up using the countertop filter in conjunction with a distiller very soon.  (FYI, I avoid chlorine because, like fluorine, it blocks iodine receptors and inhibits thyroid function, among many other terrible side effects.)

5.  Avoid drinking instant tea.  I know, it sounds really strange, but go Google “instant tea” and “fluoride” and devote the next 5 hours to reading the articles that come up.

6.  Don’t let your dentist use fluoride on you during your regularly-scheduled cleanings.  Just say no.  You are paying them, after all.  You might even consider switching to a biological dentist.  I haven’t yet done this myself, but I plan to transition soon.  I do have a dentist that does not use amalgam fillings (also known as “silver” fillings, they contain about 50% mercury).  Instead, he uses white, mercury-free composite fillings, which is certainly a step in the right direction.

7.  Finally, write letters or send emails to your representatives asking for an end to fluoridation.  The Fluoride Action Network provides a form letter here for contacting your Congressman.  I took advantage of this yesterday.

That’s all for now.  As always, thanks for reading!

[Edited: To read my third post on fluoride, go here.]

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