9 Shocking Dangers of Fluoride Exposure
HEALTH, 24 Feb 2014
Exposure to fluoride is a contentious topic, mostly because exposure is everywhere. Not only is fluoride a common ingredient in toothpaste, many municipalities have a fluoridated water supply. Why? Well, the reason we’re given is that it encourages oral health… even though it’s not known to prevent harmful oral bacteria.  What is known is that fluoride is toxic. In fact, the number one reason for poison control calls concerning fluoride are for children who’ve eaten toothpaste.   Long-term ingestion is harmful to the brain, digestive system, heart, bones… even the tooth enamel it’s supposed to help.    These next 9 shocking facts will make you take a second look at your exposure to fluoride.
1. Weakens Skeletal Health
Skeletal fluorosis is a condition resulting from fluoride consumption. The liver is unable to process fluoride, thus it passes into the bloodstream where it combines with calcium that’s been leeched from the skeletal system. You’re left with weak bones, otherwise known as skeletal fluorosis. The risk has been known about for decades yet it’s not been established how much exposure will trigger skeletal fluorosis… and the impact it has on quality of life is horrendous.    The best way to protect yourself is to avoid fluoride. Recently, Chinese authorities established a link between reductions in fluoride exposure and the incidence of fluorosis. 
2. Causes Arthritis
Fluoride has been shown to cause calcification of cartilage, the essential tissue for joint health.  Degenerative osteoarthritis has been linked to skeletal fluorosis.  And in a study of individuals suffering from fluorosis, osteoarthritis knee conditions occurred frequently. 
3. Toxic to the Thyroid
Iodine and fluoride belong to a family of compounds known as halogens. Although iodine is beneficial to the thyroid, fluoride is not. However, because of the similarities, the thyroid can absorb fluoride instead of iodine. This is bad. Fluoride is toxic to thyroid cells; it inhibits function and causes cell death.  For decades, fluoride was used to reduce thyroid function in individuals suffering from an overactive thyroid.  Now — and pay attention to this — the range used in water fluoridation matches the levels typically used to reduce thyroid function. 
4. Calcifies the Ultra-Important Pineal Gland
Although the full capabilities of the pineal gland have been the subject of debate for centuries, it’s known for certain that, at a minimum, the pineal gland regulates body rhythms and wake-sleep cycles; two extremely important functions. Fluoride is especially toxic to the pineal gland, where it accumulates and calcifies the gland. In fact, by the time the average person reaches old age, their pineal gland will have higher calcium density than their bones. 
5. Accelerates Female Puberty
It also deserves mention that the pineal gland plays an integral role in the onset of puberty. Research has shown that girls living in areas prone to more fluoride exposure experience puberty earlier than girls exposed to less.  Fluoride’s damaging effect on sexual function only begins here…
6. Harmful to Male and Female Fertility
A direct link exists between fertility rates and fluoridated drinking water. Higher levels of fluoride correspond to lower fertility rates, particularly with drinking water levels of 3 ppm.  Animal models show that fluoride reduces reproductive hormones in females.  Men have it just as bad; those suffering from fluorosis have lower testosterone and fertility than men with limited fluoride exposure. 
7. Bad for Kidney Health
Fluoride is toxic to the kidneys and a higher rate of chronic kidney disease has been reported in areas where the water contains high levels of fluoride.   According to Chinese researchers, a fluoride level of 2 mg/L is all it takes to cause renal damage in children.  While water fluoridation levels are often much lower than this, the fluoride bombardment continues with toothpaste and other sources.
8. Harmful to the Cardiovascular System
Research suggests that exposure to fluoride causes cardiovascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.   Other research has examined its effect on blood pressure but had mixed results. Regardless, despite that cardiovascular disease can have many causes, the evidence, and history show its incidence increases with exposure to fluoride.
9. Negative Cognitive Effects
The Fluoride Action Network reports that, as of May 2013, 43 studies have examined the effect of fluoride on human intelligence. The results should motivate anyone to minimize their fluoride exposure. One observation is that fluoride negatively impacts children’s neural development.  Another is that children living in highly fluoridated areas have up to five times greater chance of developing a low IQ compared to those who do not. 
Reducing Your Exposure to Fluoride
Using non-fluoride toothpaste can immediately reduce your fluoride exposure. Maintaining healthy iodine levels can help protect the thyroid from fluoride. Fluoridated water is the largest concern and most water filters are not adequate for removing fluoride; instead look to a reverse osmosis water purification systems.
- Puciennik-Stronias M, Zarzycka B, Bo?tacz-Rzepkowska E. The effects of topical fluoridation of enamel on the growth of cariogenic bacteria contained in the dental plaque. Med Dosw Mikrobiol. 2013;65(2):129-32.
- Shulman JD, Wells LM. Acute fluoride toxicity from ingesting home-use dental products in children, birth to 6 years of age. J Public Health Dent. 1997 Summer;57(3):150-8.
- Whitford GM. Acute toxicity of ingested fluoride. Monogr Oral Sci. 2011;22:66-80. doi: 10.1159/000325146. Epub 2011 Jun 23.
- C. J. Spak, S. Sjöstedt, L. Eleborg, B. Veress, L. Perbeck, and J. Ekstrand. Tissue response of gastric mucosa after ingestion of fluoride. BMJ. 1989 June 24; 298(6689): 1686–1687.
- Sauerheber R. Physiologic conditions affect toxicity of ingested industrial fluoride. J Environ Public Health. 2013;2013:439490. doi: 10.1155/2013/439490. Epub 2013 Jun 6.
- Perumal E, Paul V, Govindarajan V, Panneerselvam L. A brief review on experimental fluorosis. Toxicol Lett. 2013 Nov 25;223(2):236-51. doi: 10.1016/j.toxlet.2013.09.005. Epub 2013 Sep 17.
- Czerwinski E, Nowak J, Dabrowska D, Skolarczyk A, Kita B, Ksiezyk M. Bone and joint pathology in fluoride-exposed workers. Arch Environ Health. 1988 Sep-Oct;43(5):340-3.
- Chachra D, Limeback H, Willett TL, Grynpas MD. The long-term effects of water fluoridation on the human skeleton. J Dent Res. 2010 Nov;89(11):1219-23. doi: 10.1177/0022034510376070. Epub 2010 Sep 21.
- Paiste M, Levine M, Bono JV. Total knee arthroplasty in a patient with skeletal fluorosis. Orthopedics. 2012 Nov;35(11):e1664-7. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20121023-29.
- Chen H, Yan M, Yang X, Chen Z, Wang G, Schmidt-Vogt D, Xu Y, Xu J. Spatial distribution and temporal variation of high fluoride contents in groundwater and prevalence of fluorosis in humans in Yuanmou County, Southwest China. J Hazard Mater. 2012 Oct 15;235-236:201-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.07.042. Epub 2012 Aug 8.
- Bang S, Boivin G, Gerster JC, Baud CA. Distribution of fluoride in calcified cartilage of a fluoride-treated osteoporotic patient. Bone. 1985;6(4):207-10.
- P. Roschger, P. Fratzl, S. Schreiber, G. Kalchhauser, H. Plenk, K. Koller, J. Eschberggrill, K. Klaushofer. Bone mineral structure after six years fluoride treatment investigated by backscattered electron imaging (BSEI) and small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS): a case report. Bone (Impact Factor: 3.82). 01/1995; 16(3):407-407. DOI:10.1016/8756-3282(95)90480-8.
- Savas S, Cetin M, Akdoan M, Heybeli N. Endemic fluorosis in Turkish patients: relationship with knee osteoarthritis. Rheumatology International. Rheumatol Int. 2001 Sep;21(1):30-5.
- Zeng Q, Cui YS, Zhang L, Fu G, Hou CC, Zhao L, Wang AG, Liu HL. Studies of fluoride on the thyroid cell apoptosis and mechanism. Zhonghua Yu Fang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2012 Mar;46(3):233-6.
- Merck & Co. The Merck Index, 1968 Edition. Rahway NJ. USA. (last accessed (01-10-2014)
- FluorideAlert.org. Thyroid. (last accessed (01-10-2014)
- Luke J. Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal gland. Caries Res. 2001 Mar-Apr;35(2):125-8.
- Luke J. The Effect of Fluoride on the Physiology of the Pineal Gland. Ph.D Dissertation, School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, UK. 1997.
- Freni SC. Exposure to high fluoride concentrations in drinking water is associated with decreased birth rates. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1994 May;42(1):109-21.
- Zhou Y, Qiu Y, He J, Chen X, Ding Y, Wang Y, Liu X. The toxicity mechanism of sodium fluoride on fertility in female rats. Food Chem Toxicol. 2013 Dec;62:566-72. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2013.09.023. Epub 2013 Sep 23.
- Susheela AK, Jethanandani P. Circulating testosterone levels in skeletal fluorosis patients. J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 1996;34(2):183-9.
- Chandrajith R, Nanayakkara S, Itai K, Aturaliya TN, Dissanayake CB, Abeysekera T, Harada K, Watanabe T, Koizumi A. Chronic kidney diseases of uncertain etiology (CKDue) in Sri Lanka: geographic distribution and environmental implications. Environ Geochem Health. 2011 Jun;33(3):267-78. doi: 10.1007/s10653-010-9339-1. Epub 2010 Sep 18.
- Chandrajith R, Dissanayake CB, Ariyarathna T, Herath HM, Padmasiri JP. Dose-dependent Na and Ca in fluoride-rich drinking water–another major cause of chronic renal failure in tropical arid regions. Sci Total Environ. 2011 Jan 15;409(4):671-5. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.10.046. Epub 2010 Nov 24.
- Liu JL, Xia T, Yu YY, Sun XZ, Zhu Q, He W, Zhang M, Wang A. [The dose-effect relationship of water fluoride levels and renal damage in children]. Wei Sheng Yan Jiu. 2005 May;34(3):287-8.
- Varol E, Varol S. Effect of fluoride toxicity on cardiovascular systems: role of oxidative stress. Arch Toxicol. 2012 Oct;86(10):1627. doi: 10.1007/s00204-012-0862-y. Epub 2012 May 10.
- Ma Y, Niu R, Sun Z, Wang J, Luo G, Zhang J, Wang J. Inflammatory responses induced by fluoride and arsenic at toxic concentration in rabbit aorta. Arch Toxicol. 2012 Jun;86(6):849-56. doi: 10.1007/s00204-012-0803-9. Epub 2012 Mar 16.
- Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environ Health Perspect. 2012 Oct;120(10):1362-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1104912. Epub 2012 Jul 20.
- Tang QQ, Du J, Ma HH, Jiang SJ, Zhou XJ. Fluoride and children’s intelligence: a meta-analysis. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2008 Winter;126(1-3):115-20. doi: 10.1007/s12011-008-8204-x. Epub 2008 Aug 10.
Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
DISCLAIMER: In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.