If Fluoride is a Toxin, Why is it in Your Drinking Water?
Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) classification that fluoride can be considered a toxin, the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego have decided to add fluoride to their water systems. So why is fluoride considered a toxin, and how can it be harmful to your health? Should you be worried that it might be in your drinking water? Keep reading for answers to all those questions and more.
Why is fluoride considered a toxin?
According to the EPA, fluoride is a compound that contains the element fluorine, which has been noted as one of the most reactive elements ever known.
Fluorine mixes easily with other chemicals, and is used in many “industrial” applications, such as in the creation of metal, glass, ceramics, Teflon, and even pesticides, rat poison and nuclear weapons.
Since fluoride contains fluorine, the EPA has created limitations as to how much is actually safe for humans. The EPA has concluded that fluoride should be limited to four milligrams per liter, but that the optimal levels rest at 0.8 milligrams per liter.
Why is fluoride harmful?
Fluoride can damage enzymes which can result in a number of chronic diseases. Even small amounts can cause a breakdown of collagen. It also leads to an irregular formation of collagen, which is a major structural component of the skin, ligaments, tendons, muscles, cartilage, bones and teeth.
Studies have been conducted that show that the ingestion of fluoride can cause neurological damage, having effects on the brain and thyroid. It has also been linked to cancer in adolescent boys.
In addition, fluoride builds up in the body as you age, so even smaller amounts than the EPA’s recommendation can become harmful.
Some side effects of drinking just one to two pints of fluoridated water a day include:
- Stomach cramps
- Aching bones
- Skin rash
- Weight loss
Not only can the above result, but fluoride can damage the immune system. It does this by inhibiting the white blood cells from migrating to infected areas. It interferes with phagocytosis, which is what destroys bacteria and other foreign agents by white blood cells. Fluoride also speeds up the release of superoxide free-radicals in the white blood cells that are resting. When this happens, the aging process is accelerated.
While dental associations state that fluoride strengthens tooth enamel, adding it to the drinking water is hazardous because it exposes people on a “systemic” level. And because it’s being added to the water supply, more and more people will be exposed to it whether they choose to or not.
Although earlier studies have been conducted on the risks involved with fluoride in drinking water, the United States started adding it to public water systems in the 1940s. Los Angeles started adding fluoride to their water in the late 1990s. San Diego decided to add the fluoride in December of 2007.