Fluoride, also known as sodium fluoride, is a derivative of salt. It’s known that fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth. Fluoride is a natural element found in the environment.
Though beneficial when ingested in a low dose, prolonged exposure and consumption can lead to serious health problems. Ingestion of fluoride can cause gastrointestinal disturbances at least 100 mg for a 50 kg individual.
True indeed, fluoride is helpful in dental health, yet large consumption can interfere with bone formation. The commonly affected individuals are children and pregnant women.
Fluoride is naturally found in groundwater. Though synthetic fluorides are chemically created and combined with certain products such as toothpaste to help strengthen and whiten teeth, the waste materials from these products coming from certain industries can leak through the soil and contaminate the public water supply.
Some countries that depend on groundwater as a source of drinking water are gravely affected since groundwater has naturally occurring fluoride.
The Lethality of Fluoride in the Body
As recommended by the World Health Organization, the therapeutic level of fluoride to produce optimal dental health is within 0.5 to 1.0 mg/L (milligrams per liter), depending on the climate. The recommended maximum amount of fluoride in water should be within 0.7 milligrams per liter to 1.2 mg/L.
The fluoridation process was added to the public water system to ensure that the community receives a beneficial amount to help teeth and bone formation.
Though fluoride is excreted mainly through urine and feces, it isn’t advisable to take larger doses. Fluoride is usually the product of dissolved granite rocks that seep through the soil and combine with water. Fluoride toxicity is noticeable due to the excessive bone formation by the affected individual, especially seen in children.
Similar to other countries, water fluoridation in America is controversial. As of May 2000, 42 of the cities in America had water fluoridation. The first cities to fluoridate are Michigan and Grand Rapids in January 1945 to prevent tooth decay in their communities.
In 1951, the US Public Health Service made it an official policy to fluoridate the public water system. Meanwhile, in the 1960s, it had become widely used and reached around 50 million people. By 2012, 67.1% of the population in America are consuming water from the community water systems that have fluoride within or above the recommended levels.
The water fluoridation in America's communities is partly because of the research spearheaded by Dr. Frederick McKay. He ignited the curiosities of the community and started an investigation into the ‘Colorado Brown Stain.’ Today, this is known as Dental Fluorosis, characterized by pitting and cracking of the teeth.
In 1909, Dr. McKay examined 2,945 children from the Pikes Peak region. He found out that this is due to poor nutrition, radium exposure, and calcium deficiency in the water.
Meanwhile, the Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA) researchers said that the Colorado stain was due to high fluoride ion concentration in the water. The Pikes Peak region contains cryolite which contains fluoride. When it rains or snows heavily, the dissolved fluoride made its way to the water system.
In the next years, experts determined the safe level of fluoride which must be added to water supplies. The research aims to warn areas with high fluoride concentrations. Also, it targets those communities with low fluoride to add more in the water to prevent tooth decay.
Fluoridation is one of the common subjects of court cases where activities sued various municipalities. They said that there is an infringement of their rights on due process and medical treatment by having compulsory water fluoridation.
Many people sued authorities due to illnesses that they think we're due to fluoridation. In most cases, the court held that there are no connections between water fluoridation and health problems.
No federal or state court has found water fluoridation to be unlawful. More often, the courts held in favor of the cities or municipalities.
Supporters of pro-fluoridation believe that the treatment is effective and safe even for children. It is endorsed by the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention and the American Dental Association.
On the other hand, the cons say that it is unethical since it does not ask for individual consent. Many people don’t even know about it. For them, fluoridation is unnecessary since there are products like toothpaste purchased by parents for their children.
Is Fluoride Bad For The Body?
Fluoride is toxic at various concentrations. In 2006, the National Research Council, supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, found out that the upper limit for fluoride is at four ppm. However, it was too high for kids. Thus, they can develop severe dental fluorosis. The EPA recommends lowering the ppm-level.
Meanwhile, the CDC believes that one ppm of fluoride is safe and effective when added to water.
However, here are some of the health risks that overexposure to fluoride poses:
The authorities recommend that fluoride content must be within 0.7 ppm only. If the concentration is above 4.0 ppm, it can be already hazardous.
Children exposed to high fluoride concentrations during the developmental stage of childhood can lead to mild dental fluorosis. It is when little white streaks begin to form in the enamel of the teeth. Although dental fluorosis may not affect the teeth' health, it can be a big threat to discoloration. Furthermore, the staining is noticeable.
Apart from dental fluorosis, overexposure to fluoride can cause skeletal fluorosis. This is where the bones and the joints are very painful, which can happen over the years.
The bones may become less elastic, and they may harden. As such, the risk of fractures increases. If the bone tissue accumulates and it thickens, it can add to the impaired joint mobility.
Excessive fluoride levels can lead to damage of the parathyroid glands, which can further result in hyperparathyroidism. This disease is known as the uncontrolled discharge of parathyroid hormones.
If fluoride is ingested in large amounts, it can cause depletion in the bone structures and become more susceptible to fractures. Also, it can cause the above-normal concentrations of calcium in the blood.
A study published in 2017 shows that overexposure to fluoride before birth can cause poor cognitive problems as the child develops.
The study was done on 299 pregnant women. They have monitored the women during pregnancy and as they give birth to their children. The study also observed children age between 6 to 12 years old.
They tested the children's cognitive ability from 4 years old, six years old, and 12 years old. It has been found out that higher fluoride levels are associated with lowering IQ scores.
Furthermore, fluoride has been documented as a neurotoxin in 2014. It is hazardous to the development of the child together with various industrial chemicals. These are arsenic, lead, methylmercury, and toluene. As such, parents must prevent products with these contents.
Meanwhile, here are a few of the affected organs in the body when excessive fluoride consumption happens:
Fluoride In Body Parts
Brain - prolonged and high levels of fluoride exposure can affect the neurodevelopment of children. When ingested by a pregnant woman, it can gravely affect the baby so that it interferes with the physical and psychological development of the infant.
Bones - associated with hip and wrist fractures, toxic levels of fluoride can cause bone weakening.
Kidney - due to fluoride-containing drugs, fluoride-induced nephrotoxicity occurs. The most susceptible individuals are those who have impaired kidney functions. Since elimination depends on the glomerular filtration rate, the greater the damage, the higher the risk.
Teeth - yes, teeth are affected too when excessive fluoride is ingested. Medically known as dental fluorosis, it appears as opaque white patches on the enamel of the teeth.
Fluoride Contamination in Drinking Water
Water is also contaminated with fluoride due to chemical waste products of man and sometimes a natural occurrence of the environment.
Since some countries still depend on well water as the source of drinking water and some harmful pathogens are also present, boiling water has become a routine to provide safe drinking water. However, there is no assurance that these pathogens are removed.
Since fluoride also contaminates public water supplies by seeping through the soil, they will be endangered of fluoride exposure and toxicity, especially pregnant women and children, once it goes to the consumer's home.
The United States is one of the world's largest fluoride consumers. Americans are gravely exposed to fluoride that is naturally found in the environment and some fluoride-based products. The greater demand for toothpaste and fluoride-based drugs is mostly consumed by Americans to keep them healthy and aid them in their daily functions.
Most Americans aren’t aware that they have been exposed to large amounts of fluoride. Consuming fluoride-rich water, using fluoride-formulated toothpaste, and taking fluoride-based drugs can cause health problems. How can you prevent fluoride toxicity then?
Prevention is Always Better than the Cure
Preventing fluoride toxicity is the only way to maintain your health. As a matter of fact, some Americans have been overdosed on fluoride and have suffered. Here are some tips to prevent fluoride intoxication:
To help prevent fluorosis, the best thing to do is to breastfeed infants. Prepare formula milk using fluoride-free water to help protect babies from fluorosis.
Choose Toothpaste With Lower Fluoride Content
Since fluoride is usually found in toothpaste, using toothpaste with lower to no fluoride content is one way to help whiten and strengthen teeth.
Moreover, children ages six years old and below must not use mouthwash that contains fluoride. Parents must supervise their children as they brush their teeth to ensure that they do not ingest the toothpaste.
Consult Your Doctor
Consulting your doctor before taking fluoride-based medicines can also lower your risk of intoxication.
You ask your doctor if alternative medicines that don’t contain fluoride or have a lower fluoride dose are also viable solutions.
Invest In The Water Filter In Your Home
Most importantly, since fluoride is found in water and water is the most consumed beverage, it’s imperative to use a water filter.
Berkey Water Filter
Berkey water filter is an effective way of eliminating fluoride from your water. Using the Berkey filter is the best way of removing fluoride because it filters chemicals and conserves essential minerals naturally present in water.
Berkey water filters are convenient and easy to use. You can have the assurance that you and your loved ones are safe from contaminants found in drinking water.
Purifying water in the safest way possible, you can ensure that no fluoride makes it to your water and that you and your family are safe and healthy.
Check out some of our products here at the Berkey:
Crown Berkey 6 Gallons Water Filter System
One of the must-haves for the whole family is the Crown Berkey 6 Gallons Water Filter System. It comes with a standard two Black Berkey Purification Elements. However, you can upgrade it anytime to 4, 6, or 8 water filters, depending on the family's needs.
Indeed, this product is ideal for larger groups. You can use it inside your home, churches, workplace, and hospitals. Amazingly, anyone can use it during outdoor activities.
The Crown Berkey is an innovative solution during emergencies. When a calamity and having a clean water source are challenging, the Crown Berkey can be the best solution to produce safe drinking water for the family.
Here are its features and specifications:
The Crown Berkey is made of AISI 304 stainless steel, which is highly polished. It has a storage capacity of 6 gallons or 22.7 liters, making it the biggest amongst our product lines.
As you buy this product, you can have a system consisting of an upper and lower chamber. Also, it includes the 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements, 2 Fluoride Removal Filters, one spigot, one stainless steel lid, two washers, two wingnuts, one priming button, six blocking plugs, and one rubber gasket, which aims to protect the base.
The height of the Crown Berkey is 31," and it has a diameter of 11".
For normal use, it can serve around 6 to 12 people every day. However, when it is fully configured, you can use it during emergencies. As such, it can serve around 300 to 625 people.
Meanwhile, the product can purify around 6.5 gallons or 24.6 liters of water using 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements. When you use eight pieces, you can purify up to 26 gallons or 98.4 liters of water.
Finally, the Crown Berkey is proven and tested to reduce up to 99.9% of fluoride in the water. Apart from fluoride, it can also remove viruses, pathogenic bacteria, lead, arsenic, iron, chlorine, mercury, and others.
Grab your own Crown Berkey nowhere!
Imperial Berkey 4.5 Gallons Water Filter
Another awesome product is the Imperial Berkey Water Filter. Unlike the Crown Berkey, this one is smaller and can be used by mid-size families.
However, just like all the Berkey products, the Imperial Berkey can also be used during emergencies and outdoor activities. You don't need to worry about contaminated water as long as you have the Imperial Berkey wherever you go.
It comes with a standard 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements, but it can be upgraded to 4 to 6 elements. Surely, this is a versatile, efficient, and quality product.
Know more about its specifications and features below:
The Imperial Berkey is made of AISI stainless steel, which is highly polished. Compared with the Crown Berkey, this one is only 17" in height. Meanwhile, it has a storage capacity of 4.6 gallons or 17 liters of water.
As you buy this product, you can have a complete upper and lower stainless steel chamber package. Then included are the 2 Berkey Purification Elements, one stainless steel lid, two fluoride removal filters, two wingnuts, two washers, one priming button, one spigot, and one rubber gasket to protect the base.
It can serve a family of 4 to 6 members when you use it daily. Meanwhile, it can amazingly serve around 200 to 400 people with clean water during emergencies when it is fully configured.
The Imperial Berkey can eliminate 99.9% of fluoride content in the water. As such, every parent need not worry about water contamination with the use of this product. Thus, grab yours today!
Go Berkey Kit
You can choose the Go Berkey Kit Portable Water Purification System for a water filter solution for travel. This one is good for camping, school activities, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. You can bring it anywhere you go since it is lightweight.
In addition, the product comes along with the generic Sports Berkey portable water purifier bottle. This is indeed perfect for the adventurous side of you.
Sneak a peek at its features and specifications below:
This product is constructed with AISI 304 stainless steel. This type of stainless steel has higher corrosion resistance in comparison with regular steel.
Meanwhile, the Berkey Kit has a storage capacity of about .95 liters or 1 quart.
The kit includes the upper and lower stainless steel chambers. Also, it has 1 Black Berkey Purification Element, one priming button, one washer, one stainless steel lid, one vinyl carrying case, 1 Generic Sports Berkey Bottle, and Black Berkey Primer.
It has a height of 14" and a diameter of 4". This product can be used by 1 to 2 people.
With the Go Berkey Kit, you are assured that you can have clean drinking water anywhere you go. This is scientifically proven to remove 99.9% of fluoride. Not only that, but it can also eliminate harmful chemicals, pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and cysts.
Surely, this Go Berkey Kit is an awesome gift for you, your friends, and your loved ones. Thus, grab it nowhere!
Sport Berkey Water Bottle
The Sport Berkey Water Bottle stands out among all portable water filters due to its effective results. This is indeed a must-bring product for all the millennials and old-school consumers who are always on the go. You can bring this to school, work, or any part of the world.
This product can be used every day, and it can last up to 50 years. Indeed, it is very convenient and economical.
Check out more of its features and specifications below:
The Sport Berkey has a filter installed on the bottle itself. One can have immediate access to 22 ounces of clean water every day with this product. You can use it for a long period or after 640 water refills.
To use the Sport Berkey Water Bottle, first, you have to remove the product's cap. Then fill it with water. Next, close the bottle with the cap. See to it that the lid is tight and secured.
After that, you have to pull down the loop of the lid. Next, extend the straw. Then, to allow the water to pass through the filters and out of the bottle, squeeze the bottle.
Repeat this process two times so that you can remove the dust particles which is found on the filters. This is built-up due to the manufacturing processes. After that, rinse the Sport Berkey Water Bottle. Now, you can use the Sport Berkey to your liking!
The Berkey Water Filter Systems are more powerful than any other gravity filter element currently available. The micropores within the Berkey Filters (Black Berkey Elements) are so small that viruses and pathogenic bacteria cannot pass through them.
Scientifically tested and proven, Berkey Water Filter has microfilaments that can filter sediments and remove turbidity caused by chemicals and disease-causing microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses.
Check out the complete list of contaminants Berkey water filters can remove.