Four years ago, the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) decided to add fluoride to the tap water of millions of Californians as of October 2007.

Since then, the American Dental Association (ADA), scientists at Harvard University, and the prestigious National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences have all raised serious concerns about the safety of fluoridated water for infants and young children.

Specifically, both the NRC and the ADA warn that infants under the age of two years old may be overexposed to fluoride, since their water intake is greater than that of adults pound for pound.

The MWD is planning on adding 0.8 parts per million fluoride to its public water supply. This would expose more than 64,000 children to levels of fluoride that exceed the federal government's acceptable daily intake for a child.

The CDC estimates about 30 percent of children who drink fluoridated water have some degree of fluorosis - an unsightly staining and pitting of the teeth.

Additional research has identified far more serious health risks in the years since the MWD decided to fluoridate their water supply, including:
- A March 2006 joint report from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council (NAS/NRC) identified fluoride as a potent hormone disruptor, with the potential to impair thyroid function.

- The NAS/NRC also raised concerns about fluoride's ability to impair intelligence.

- A 2006 Harvard study linked fluoridated water to osteosarcoma (an often fatal form of bone cancer) in boys.
Earlier this month, more than 600 medical, dental, scientific, academic, public health, and environmental professionals signed a petition to Congress asking for congressional hearings. Included in this group is Dr. Arvid Carlsson, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine, who stated, "Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It's really obsolete. "

Environmental Working Group August 20, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

The question that begs to be asked is why are the current practices used to set public health standards so inconsistent with the science and policies used to develop safe fluoride limits? Normally, agencies have to consider the full range of potential health impacts, including new scientific findings, and set standards that are safe for vulnerable populations as well as the average healthy adult.

But for some reason the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not updated its safe fluoride limit in 21 years, despite overwhelming new scientific findings pointing toward fluoride being a devastating health hazard.

The EPA itself warns that their current fluoride standard of 4 parts per million is double the safe limit for children under the age of nine.

Although the state of California decided to add fluoride at a level that is below both the federal and California limits, its toxicity is not based on absolute numbers - many factors are involved, including your size, and how much water you drink.

Fluoride consumption comes with a number of negative health effects. Consider that:
- Fluoride accumulates in the bones, making them brittle and more easily fractured, and in the pineal gland, which may inhibit the production of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate the onset of puberty.

- Fluoride damages tooth enamel (known as dental fluorosis) and may lower fertility rates.

- Fluoride has been found to increase the uptake of aluminum into the brain and lead into blood.

- Fluoride inhibits antibodies from forming in the blood.

- Fluoride confuses the immune system, causing it to attack the body's tissues. This can increase the growth rate of tumors in people prone to cancer.
Since fluoride accumulates in the body over time, children are even more susceptible to long-term health risks, such as developing osteosarcoma. This type of bone cancer is the third most common form of cancer in children, with a fatality rate of 50 percent. Almost all survivors are forced to amputate limbs.

I commented on this and many other dangers of fluoridation in another article, titled "CDC Covering Up Serious Hazards of Water Fluoridation," just last week.

Amazingly, despite all this evidence, a quick online search for current fluoride recommendations garnered alarming results. The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital with the University of Michigan Health System, for example, carries these frightening recommendations:
"Fluoride builds strong, decay-resistant enamel and reduces cavities by 70%. Children 6 months to 16 years old need fluoride... Drinking fluoridated water (containing 0.7 to 1.2 parts fluoride per million) or taking a prescription fluoride supplement is the best protection against tooth decay... To get enough fluoride from drinking water, a child must drink at least 1 pint of fluoridated water each day... Fluoride is safe...

... If fluoride isn't added to your city's water supply or you are breast-feeding, ask your health care provider for a prescription for fluoride drops or tablets during your next routine visit...Mixing fluoride with milk reduces absorption of the fluoride to 70%. For this reason you should give fluoride to your child when he or she has an empty stomach."

Yes. Raising awareness about the danger of fluoride is like swimming against a strong tide.

Removing Fluoride

Unfortunately nearly all carbon filters will not remove fluoride. So if you receive your water from a municipal water supply it is highly likely it is fluoridated. You can check with your supplier to confirm, but if it is the only practical way to remove it will be with a reverse osmosis filter.

Other Sources of Hazardous Fluoride

Shockingly, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) the EPA has approved sulfonyl fluoride as a safe pesticide ingredient, at doses 10 times higher than the drinking water standard.

So, while the science confirms that fluoride should be removed from drinking water entirely, you now have to contend with fluoride-based pesticides in your food, in addition to the fluoride in your water... Common sense logic is as abundant on this issue as waterfalls cascading through the Sahara desert.

Remember, fluoride does not evaporate. Nor does cooking, food processing, regular filtration, or digestion remove fluoride. It just keeps going right up the food chain. I believe the dangers of fluoride are indisputable. Therefore, do whatever you can to protect yourself and your children from this toxic chemical. Filter the water in your house with a reverse osmosis filter, and wash all your fresh produce before eating.

If you buy bottled water, do NOT let misadvised medical professionals fool you into purchasing "nursery water" containing fluoride for your baby!

One of my readers also reminded me to reiterate the fact that tea is also a source of fluoride.

Be Proactive -- Voice Your Opinion

I recommend taking a proactive stance, and voicing your opinion to the lawmakers and the decision makers about these serious health issues. You can send a message to Congress in support of "the Professional's Statement Calling for an End to Water Fluoridation and a new Congressional Hearing" .

And if you want to add your name to the petition asking Wal-Mart to "Stop Selling Fluoride "Nursery Water" for Infants," sponsored by The Fluoride Action Network, you can sign that petition.

Related Articles:

Is Fluoride Really As Safe As You Are Told?

What Your Dentist Isn't Telling You About Fluoride

Fluoride Spurs Bone Cancer Risks in Young Boys