The fluoride free movement continues to see unprecedented momentum in 2013 as Israel announces the phase-out of public water fluoridation requirements. First put into action in 2002, Israel’s fluoridation mandate formerly required all municipalities to treat public water with fluoride. That mandate will be lifted within a year, however, empowering Israeli municipalities to reduce exposure to the potentially toxic mineral by going fluoride free.
On April 11th, Health Minister Yael German signed new regulations that formerly end the requirement that all municipalities treat public water with fluoride prior to distribution (i). And while the new regulation gives communities the power of choice, Health Minister German has also filed an appeal to the Israeli government to examine the legality of water fluoridation programs. Around the world, many government agencies and health experts share the Israeli Health Minister’s concern.
In the U.S., health professionals argue that water fluoridation is unethical since fluoride is classified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a “drug” that many individuals do not desire. In this light, fluoridation programs actually deliver the potentially dangerous substance to members of the community, without their consent. According to reports issued by the Fluoride Action Network, this fundamental lack of consent is the main reason why 97% of European countries do not permit the controversial practice (ii).
The fluoride free water movement swept Australia earlier this year as well, prompting the Queensland State government to similarly lift fluoridation mandates. A reported 29 communities in Queensland followed suit, closing down multiple fluoridation centers in the region. In total, nearly 500,000 Australians are now protected from the potential dangers of fluoride exposure.
So Why Is Fluoride Added to Public Water?
Water fluoridation is a dated and controversial practice that was believed to prevent tooth decay in the mid 1900s. Since that time, an overwhelming body of research has indicated that fluoride is actually toxic when ingested and may lead to a number of serious health issues, including:
- Developmental Problems: Fluoride may accumulate in the Pineal gland, disrupting melatonin production and the onset of puberty in adolescents.
- Sleeping Problems: Melatonin is needed to regulate sleeping patterns. When fluoride disrupts its production (as described above), individuals may have difficulty falling asleep and reaching deep levels of rest. This may lead to a variety of serious physical, mental, and emotional issues.
- Kidney and Liver Damage: Fluoride may also accumulate in the kidneys and liver, slowly destroying the tissue over time.
- Gastrointestinal (GI) Irritation: Ingested fluoride may form hydrofluoric acid in the stomach, resulting in mild to severe irritation. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the most common symptoms of fluoride-induced GI irritation may include abdominal pain, vomiting, dehydration, and diarrhea.
- Reproductive Disorders: In 2002, a report published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology concluded that fluoride accumulation might cause male reproductive disorders. Most common were testicular disorders that are thought to be the result of the extreme oxidative stress.
Learn More About Fluoride, Health, and Holistic Dentistry
Miami dentist Dr. Theodore Herrmann, DMD has more than 20 years experience in holistic dentistry and has led numerous fluoride awareness campaigns to help individuals in South Florida recognize the dangers of fluoridated water while limiting exposure. Readers are invited to schedule an appointment with Assure a Smile to learn more, or visit the Miami Dentist Blog’s Fluoride Research Section to read about this dangerous chemical.
(i) “New Order Drops Water Fluoridation Requirement.” The Jerusalem Post. Accessed 16 April 2013.
(ii) “50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation.” Published on Flouridealert.org. Accessed November 26th, 2012.