Clean Water Guide

10 Facts About Fluoride

  1. Fluoride is the active ingredient in rat poison and Prozac. (click to tweet)

  2. Fluoride supplements have never been approved by the FDA. (click to tweet)

  3. Most developed countries do not fluoridate their water. (click to tweet)

  4. Fluoride affects many tissues in the body besides the teeth. (click to tweet)

  5. Fluoride is the only medicine added to public water and is labeled as a drug by the FDA. (click to tweet)

  6. 40% of American teenagers show visible signs of fluoride over-exposure. (click to tweet)

  7. For infants, fluoridated water provides no benefits, only risks. (click to tweet)

  8. Fluoridated countries do not have less tooth decay than non-fluoridated countries. (click to tweet)

  9. Swallowing fluoride provides little benefit to teeth. (click to tweet)

  10. Fluoridation is not a “natural” process. (click to tweet)

Medical Journal Labels Fluoride a "Neurotoxin"

A ground breaking publication in one of the top main-stream medical journals has now added six additional substances into its classification of neurotoxicants, and one of them is fluoride. (source)

 The publications abstract reads as follows:

“Neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia and other cognitive impairments, affect millions of children worldwide, and some diagnoses seem to be increasing in frequency. Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence. In 2006, we did a systematic review and identified five industrial chemicals as developmental neurotoxicants: lead, methyl mercury (common in vaccines), polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic and toluene. Since 2006, epidemiological studies have documented six additional developmental neurotoxicants – manganese, fluoride, chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, tetrachloroethylene, and the polybrominated dihenyl ethers. We postulate that even more neurotoxicants remain undiscovered. To control the pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity, we propose a global prevention strategy. Untested chemicals should not be presumed to be safe to brain development, and chemicals in existing use and all new chemicals must therefore be tested for developmental neurotoxicity. To coordinate these efforts and to accelerate translation of science into prevention, we propose the urgent formation of a new international clearinghouse.”

Where Does Fluoride Come From?
The substance added to our drinking water is called hydrofluorosilicic acid. It is a toxic waste substance created from the production of aluminum, fertilizer, steel and nuclear industries. It’s not the natural element of fluoride, it’s industrial toxic waste. Hydrofluorosilicic acid, is so toxic that one needs to wear a full body suit and mask to be around it.

Industrial practices produce millions and millions of gallons of this liquid hazardous waste. Because it costs these corporations thousands and thousands of dollars per ton to neutralize and dispose of (hydrofluorosilicic acid), they instead sell it to the population as a ‘product.’ How ridiculous is that? Hydrofluorosilicic acid is shipped to your local drinking water supplier.

“If this stuff gets out into the air, it’s a pollutant; if it gets into the river, it’s a pollutant; if it gets into the lake, it’s a pollutant; but if it goes right straight into your drinking water system, it’s not a pollutant. That’s amazing.” (source) (source) Former VP and Senior Chemist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters.

Fluoride's Toxicity

It’s important to realize that fluoride is a cumulative toxin, which over time, can lead to more serious health concerns than dental fluorosis. (For more information, read this article on toxins and their relation to multiple neuro-developmental disorders).

 Fluoridation advocates have long claimed that the safety of fluoridation is beyond scientific debate. However, according to the well-known toxicologist, Dr. John Doull, who chaired the National Academy of Science’s review on fluoride, the safety of fluoridation remains “unsettled” and “we have much less information than we should, considering how long it has been going on.”

In 2006, Doull’s committee at the NAS published an exhaustive 500-page review of fluoride’s toxicity. The report concludes that fluoride is an “endocrine disruptor” and can affect many things in the body, including the bones, the brain, the thyroid gland, the pineal gland, and even blood sugar levels.

 Far from giving fluoride a clean bill of health, the NAS called upon scientists to investigate if current fluoride exposures in the United States are contributing to chronic health problems, like bone disorders, thyroid disease, low intelligence, dementia, and diabetes, particularly in people who are most vulnerable to fluoride’s effects.10 These recommendations highlight that—despite 60 years of fluoridation—many of the basic studies necessary for determining the program’s safety have yet to be conducted. 

Fluoride is Not An Essential Nutrient

It is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain.

  • The possibility has been raised by studies conducted in China that fluoride can lower intellectual abilities.

  • Fluoride is an endocrine disruptor.

  • Several lines of information indicate an effect of fluoride exposure on thyroid function.

  • Sufficient fluoride exposure appears to . . . increase the severity of some types of diabetes.

  • The relationship between fertility and fluoride requires additional study.

  • Further research on a possible effect of fluoride on bladder cancer risk should be conducted.

  • These changes have a bearing on the possibility that fluorides act to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

-  SOURCE: National Research Council. (2006)

 Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards. National Academies Press, Washington D.C

Fluoride does not affect tooth decay rates

Tooth decay rates have “precipitously declined” in all western countries, irrespective of whether the country ever fluoridated its water.

Countries in RED use fluoride in water
Countries in BLUE do not fluoridate their water
see Fluoride Action Network for 
complete details, sources, data.

In the 1950s, dentists believed that fluoride was a “nutrient.” A nutrient is a vitamin or mineral that is necessary for good health. Dentists believed that fluoride ingestion during childhood was necessary for strong, healthy teeth. A “fluoride deficiency” was thus believed to cause cavities, just like a deficiency of calcium can cause osteoporosis, or a deficiency of vitamin-D can cause rickets. It is now known, however, that fluoride is not a nutrient. As acknowledged by the CDC, the fluoride content of a tooth has little bearing on whether or not the tooth will develop a cavity. According to the CDC:

 “The prevalence of dental caries in a population is not inversely related to the concentration of fluoride in enamel, and a higher concentration of enamel fluoride is not necessarily more efficacious in preventing dental caries.”
- SOURCE: CDC (2001). Recommendations for using fluoride to prevent and control dental caries in the United States; "Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Review 50" (RR14):1-42.

In short, people can have perfect teeth without consuming fluoridated water or any other fluoride product. As with teeth, no other tissue or cellular process requires fluoride. Accordingly, it is now accepted that fluoride is not an essential nutrient.

Action Tips

1)   See data at:
2)   See data at:
3)   For data on the number of countries in Europe that allow fluoridated salt, see: Gotzfried F. (2006). Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed 116: 371–75. Unlike water fluoridation (which applies fluoride to an entire water supply), salt fluoridation in Europe is limited to household salt that people have the option to purchase. In two of the five European countries that allow salt fluoridation, only 6% to 10% of household salt is actually fluoridated. Salt fluoridation is thus a far less intrusive application of fluoride than water fluoridation.
4)   See extensive compilation of published research and data
5)   World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Education, Training, and Research in Oral Health, Malmö University, Sweden. Data available at (accessed on March 30, 2013).
6)   A representative example of this viewpoint was expressed by Dr. Robert Kehoe in 1957: “The question of the public safety of fluoridation is non-existent from the viewpoint of medical science.”
7)   In a January 2008 article published in Scientific American, Dr. Doull was quoted as saying: “[W]e’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many years—for too long, really—and now we need to take a fresh look. In the scientific community, people tend to think this is settled. I mean, when the U.S. surgeon general comes out and says this is one of the 10 greatest achievements of the 20th century, that’s a hard hurdle to get over. But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began.” See:
8)   National Research Council. (2006). Fluoride in drinking water: a scientific review of EPA’s standards. National Academies Press, Washington D.C. Available online
9)   See excerpts of NAS’s findings at:
10) See excerpts of NAS’s recommendations at:
11) Most fresh surface waters (e.g., lakes/streams) contain very little fluoride. When fluoride is obtained from deep ground water supplies, however, fluoride contamination can become a significant problem.  See infra note 13.
12) High levels of naturally occurring fluorides have wreaked havoc on tens of  millions of people’s health around the world, particularly in developing countries where water shortages force many rural communities to obtain water from deep in the ground. Consumption of fluoride-laden well water causes serious health ailments, including tooth loss, bone disease, ulcers, brain damage, heart disease, and thyroid disease. Because of this, international organizations like UNICEF assist developing nations in finding ways of removing fluoride from the water. For a review by UNICEF on the worldwide scope of fluoride poisoning,
13) In Canada, the average level of fluoride in fresh surface water is just 0.05 ppm, which is 14 to 24 times less fluoride than added to water in fluoridation programs. See: Environment Canada. (1993). Inorganic Fluorides: Priority Substances List Assessment Report. Government of Canada, Ottawa. p. 14. Fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, and eggs contain even lower levels of fluoride (unless they’re sprayed with fluoride pesticides). See: In the rare circumstance where rivers or ponds contain the same level of fluoride that is added to tap water, salmon and frogs have been found to suffer serious harm, including bone disease, changes in behavior, and increased mortality. See: Shaw SD, et al. (2012). Journal of Zoo & Wildlife Medicine 43(3):549-65; Damkaer DM, Dey DB. (1989). North American Journal of Fisheries Management. 9: 154-162.
14) As noted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized, and water authorities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them.”
15) In 20th century, fluoride pollution caused more harm to livestock than any other pollutant. In Polk County, Florida (the capital of America’s phosphate industry), cattle downwind of the phosphate industry suffered “mass fluoride poisoning.” Between 1953 and 1960, “the cattle population dropped 30,000 head,” and “an estimated 150,000 acres of cattle land were abandoned.” As one farmer explained, “Around 1953 we noticed a change in our cattle… We watched our cattle become gaunt and starved, their legs became deformed; they lost their teeth. Reproduction fell off and when
a cow did have a calf, it was also affected by this malady or was a stillborn.” For discussion and documentation, see:
16) See: Weng C, et al. (2000). Treatment chemicals contribute to arsenic levels. Opflow (AWWA), October, p. 6-7. Available at:
17) Hirzy JW, et al. (2013). Environ. Sci. Policy On the lead/neurotoxic risk, see: Coplan MJ, et al. (2007). Neurotoxicology 28(5):1032-42; Maas RP, et al. (2007). Neurotoxicology 28(5):1023-31.
18) Beltran-Aguilar ED, et al. (2010). Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999–2004. NCHS Data Brief No. 53.
19) For photographs and discussion, see:
20) Spzunar SM, Burt BA. (1988). J. Dent. Res. 67(5):802-06; Hodge HC. (1950). J. Am. Dent. Assoc. 40:436-39.
21) See:
22) See:
23) See:
24) See:
25) See:
26) See:
27) See:
28) Institute of Medicine. (1997). Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. p. 302.
29) Ekstrand J, et al. (1981). British Medical Journal 283: 761-2.
30) In a May 15, 2012 letter to Senator Barbara Boxer, the CDC wrote: “We are unaware of data . . .  about the additional protection from tooth decay that could result from [intakes greater than 10 micrograms/day of fluoride].” See:
31) See:
32) See:
33) Choi AL, et al. (2012). Environmental Health Perspectives 120:1362-68.
34) For a discussion of these studies, see: For a listing of all studies that have found an association between fluoride and reduced IQ,
35) Dr. Philippe Grandjean, the senior scientist who authored the Harvard review, has stated that: “Chemical brain drain should not be disregarded. The average IQ deficit in children exposed to increased levels of fluoride in drinking water was found to correspond to about 7 points – a sizable difference. To which extent this risk applies to fluoridation in Wichita or Portland or elsewhere is uncertain, but definitely deserves concern.” See:
36) Under current fluoride supplementation guidelines, two-year-old children living in non-fluoridated areas are prescribed 0.25 mg of fluoride per day. This is the same amount of fluoride contained in just one 8 ounce glass of water fluoridated at 1 ppm. To learn more about current fluoride supplementation guidelines, see: Rozier RG, et al. (2010). J. Am. Dent. Assoc. 141(12):1480-89.
37) 21 U.S.C. § 355(a). Although an exception to this rule exists for drugs that were on the market prior to 1938, fluoride supplements did not enter the market until the 1950s. Accordingly, the “grandfather clause” exception does not apply to fluoride supplements. For a detailed discussion on this point, see:
38) To access FDA’s letters confirming this fact, see:
39) The two fluoride supplements that FDA has rejected are Enziflur (a fluoride/vitamin combination) and prenatal fluoride supplements. See:  and
40) According to the NAS, “fluoride is no longer considered an essential factor for human growth and development.” See:
41) According to the FDA: “Fluoride, when used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or animal, is a drug that is subject to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation.” See:
42) In Germany, for example, “the argumentation of the Federal Ministry of Health against a general permission of fluoridation of drinking water is the problematic nature of compulsion medication.” See this and other statements from European authorities
43) Under the principle of “informed consent,” the patient has the “right to self decision.” See: AMA Ethical Opinion 8.08. While the doctor has an “obligation . . . to present the medical facts accurately to the patient,” it is the patient (or the patient’s caregiver) who has the sole right to decide what medical treatments to use.
44) Fejerskov O. (2004). Caries Research 38:184 (“The hypothesis was that increased intake of fluoride during tooth formation raises the fluoride concentration in enamel and hence increases acid resistance. As a consequence fluoride had to be taken systemically and artificial fluoridation of drinking waters became the ‘optimal’ solution.”).
45) For an extensive compilation of quotes from dental researchers discussing this consensus, see:
46) According to the CDC, “fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children.” Centers for Disease Control (1999). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 48: 933-40.
47) In Maryland, 84% of dentists do not accept Medicaid patients. Similar rates exist in other states, including Alabama (82%), Colorado (79%), and Ohio (72%). As a result, most low-income children are not able to receive treatment from a dentist. See data and reports at:
48) See:
49) Beltran-Aguilar ED et al. (2005). MMWR Surveillance Summaries 54(3): 1-44. For a discussion of other studies that have found racial disparities in fluorosis rates,
50) See:
51) For a compilation of reports, see:
52) See:
53) Ismail AI, et al. (2006). Severity of dental caries among African American children in Detroit. Presentation at ADEA/AADR/CADR Conference, March 11. Abstract available at:
54) Albert DA, et al. (2002). Dental caries among disadvantaged 3- to-4-year-old children in northern Manhattan. Pediatric Dentistry 24:229-33.
55) Bridge to Healthy Smiles. Cook County Oral Health Crisis. Available at:
56) Bexar County Head Start Dental Screenings Program. See data
57) For a discussion of these tragic outcomes, see: Carrie Gann, Man Dies from Toothache, Couldn’t Afford Meds, ABC News, Sept. 11,2011, and Laura Owings, Toothache Leads to Boy’s Death, ABC News, March 5, 2007.
58) Allowing access to dental therapists represents an important strategy for expanding dental care services to underserved populations. Dental therapists are specially trained to provide dental care, such as tooth cleanings and fillings. According to a recent review, “the quality of technical care provided by dental therapists (within their scope of competency) was comparable to that of a dentist, and in some studies was judged to be superior.” Nash D, et al. (2012). A Review of the Global Literature on Dental Therapists. W.K. Kellogg Foundation. p. 6. Despite these findings, dental trade associations (such as the American Dental Association) are vigorously lobbying against efforts to allow dental therapists to serve underprivileged populations. See: Levine D. (2011). Why Are Dentists Opposing Expanded Dental Care? Available at:

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