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Fluoride: the substance
Avoidance Strategies

Minimising the Risk to Health from Silicofluorides
Certain sub-sets of the population and individuals are highly sensitive to the presence of fluoride in their environment and diet. Foods and drinks manufactured in fluoridated areas contain fluoride if tap water was used in their manufacture.  See an article on Aliss Terpstra who became sensitised to fluoride when she lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the 1950s. 
If more of the UK water supply becomes fluoridated, the content of fluoride in manufactured foodstuffs will increase. Unfortunately, this means that we will be consuming more than the legal maximum of 1.5 ppm F/litre of water.  In 2009, it became illegal, according to an EU Regulation relating to vitamins, minerals and certain other substances added to food, to add hydrofluorosilicic acid to food when it is being made. Legally, water is food but before it is released to its customers, fluoridating water companies add hydrofluorosilicic acid to water - the food - "while it is being made".  Therefore, as far as food law is concerned, fluoridated water is illegal.  The EU Regulation was translated into UK Law in 2007. (Reg. 1631/2007) following the enactment of an earlier EU Reg. (EU Reg. 1925/2006) Article 17 of the earlier EU Reg. is of relevance.
Part 1: Advice for people living in non-fluoridated areas - but fluoridated people should also start by reading this list.

A simple rule: avoid anything that you know contains fluoride.

If you travel through or stay in a fluoridated area, try to avoid tap water and food manufactured in the fluoridated
area. This also means that you should not have a bath in your hotel.

Thoroughly question any dentist who recommends the use of products containing fluoride and seek an alternative. Many
dental products contain fluoride.  Even the cement used to fix crowns contain fluoride which leach into the gums and bloodstream.  We wary of being given glass ionomer fillings since these contain fluoride.

Resist any move by school authorities to give your children fluoridated milk, toothpaste, varnishes, drops or mouthwashes. You have the right to refuse permission.

If you are worried about your children swallowing their toothpaste or absorbing fluoride through the mouth’s lining and    gums, use fluoride-free toothpaste: Aloedent, Ayucare Neem Toothpaste, Boot’s Smile (Non-Fluoride), Euthymol, Forever Bright Aloe Vera, Tom’s  of Maine, Tea Tree, Sarakan, Natural Propolis, Weleda. Dental floss and many other dental products contain fluoride.

Eat foods low in fluoride: milk, eggs, red meats (not organs such as kidneys, heart, etc.), fruit with a protective inedible  rind (watermelons, orange, banana, coconut), tinned fruits packed in their own juices (e.g. pineapple) and those canned in non-fluoridated countries or regions.

Fish and shellfish contain varying amounts of fluoride.


Purchase pure fruit juices which are not made from concentrate. 

Peel apples and grapes before eating and avoid non-organic apple juice and grape juices which are commonly
 sprayed with high-fluoride, cryolite pesticides, particularly those from the USA. The pesticide is absorbed by the fruits’ skin and is incorporated into juices.  Concentrates, which incorporate the skins of fruit are also suspect.

Avoid wines and certain foods and drinks from fluoridated countries, or where fluorosis is endemic, or where the
grapes have been sprayed with cryolite (sodium aluminium fluoride). Consider buying organic wine.

Avoid all canned drinks and canned produce from fluoridated countries: the USA, Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Northern Ireland and most of the European Union are not fluoridated. It is rumoured that some Spanish cities are fluoridated: Sevilla, Aljarafe, Badajoz, Murcia, Lorca, Girona, Linares and the Basque country. Natural fluoride occurs in other parts of the World, such as the north coast of Tenerife, China, Africa and India, so manufactured foods imported from certain regions of these countries may be high in natural fluoride.

Avoid Indian and China tea and brick tea which grow in soil containing the fluoride anion. If you have to drink it, add milk which partially mitigates the negative effects of fluoride. Tea contains between 4.4 and 12 ppm of fluoride (4.4 – 12mg F per litre) and  this is provided by four mugs of tea). Just one mug can be enough for an overdose.

For further information on this topic, go to Dr Mercola Interviews Jeff Green, February 2012  .  Note that the article deals with American and Canadian food contamination, in the main.

Avoid fluoridated salt which is on sale in mainland Europe.  Also on sale is salt with fluoride and iodide - a completely
counter-intuitive product.  The iodide is essential for thyroid health while the fluoride prevents the iodide performing its function as a co-enzyme.

Non-stick kitchenware coatings, such as Teflon and Tefal, are made of fluoride. Non-stick coatings are usually applied
to aluminium pans and it is possible that fluoride enhances the neurotoxicity of aluminium. Scratches can release a significant amount of fluoride and aluminium into food. Over-heating a “dry” pan also gives off highly toxic fluoride vapour. The advice is not to use Teflon if the surface is scratched, thus exposing the aluminium underneath, and do not overheat. To avoid overheating, use more oil.

Avoid drugs containing fluoride.  Drugs often have two names: the commercial name and the international name which
more accurately describes the contents. Any drug whose name contains “fl”, “flu” or “fluo” will probably contain fluorine or fluoride.  Note that statins also contain fluoride although this is not so obvious. If you are taking any of the following, you could discuss an alternative fluoride-free drug with your doctor:

      Becotide (asthma drug);        
Lipitor (atorvastatin)
      Celebrex
Methanesulfornyl fluoride (MSF)
      Ciprofloxacin (fluoroquinolone)
Mevacor (Lovastatin)
      Crestor (rosuvastatin
Paxil
      Deramaxx
Paroxetine
      Diflucan (fluconazole)
Pravachol (pravastatin)
      Flixonase or Flixotide (fluticasone)
Prozac (fluoxetine)
      Fluanxol or Depixol (flupenthixol)
Rohypynol (flunitrazepam)
      Floxapen (flucloxacilin)
Sitagliptin (Januvia)
Stelazine (trifluoperazin
      Iressa
Ventolin (asthma drug)
      Lansprazole
Vioxx
      Lariam
Zocor (simvastatin)
      Lescol, LescolXL (fluvastatin)
 

This is not a comprehensive list. More medicines can be found at http://www.slweb.org/ftrcfluorinatedpharm.html  on http://www.just-think-it.com/f-drugs.htmor on http://www.medicines.org.uk/EMC/browsedocuments.aspx

 
Regarding statins, continued use of this medicine depletes the body’s store of Ubiquinol (Co-Enzyme-Q10, CoQ10) and supplementation is necessary since without this essential co-enzyme, vital body extra- and intra-cellular processes cannot take place.

Part 2: Advice for people normally living in fluoridated areas

Observe the avoidances in Part 1 and also …

Fluoride cannot be destroyed by boiling tap water or by filtering it out with a filter jug system (e.g. Brita). (Go to Advice from Brita)  All other commercial water purifier systems, apart from Reverse Osmosis, Distillation and Activated Alum either naively claim to remove fluoride or not mention it. (Go to Reverse Osmosis Explained). There are a vast number of types of filtration units now available on the Internet: people are becoming increasingly aware that tap water is not health-giving, particularly if it's fluoridated.  R/O also removes aluminium, arsenic and the disinfectant waste products of chlorine and chloramine.  Because of the suspected link between aluminium and Alzheimer's Disease, R/O is an essential method of reducing aluminium ingestion.  Many now suspect that chem trails unwisely contain aluminium nanoparticles which are allegedly being used to control of the weather.

R/O filtered water and distilled water is safe for washing and cooking vegetables, for making drinks and for food preparation etc. However, the filtration method removes the majority of minerals from tap water so if you’re concerned about not getting enough essential minerals in your normal diet, you could opt to instal a R/O unit which has an extra unit which adds back the essential minerals. Alternatively, purchase a good quality mineral water which will supplement the essential minerals removed from your  R/O water.

Buy bottled water which contains the smallest amount of fluoride per litre, e.g. less than 0.1mg per litre (< 0.1 ppm). These would be Natural Mineral Waters (NMW) from Wales, Scotland and other isolated areas in England such as the north Lake District and the area around Lichfield in the West Midlands. Some European bottled waters are also low in fluoride but do not declare fluoride on the label.  Bottled water high in silica (e.g. Volvic) is useful if you want to remove aluminium from your body but be aware that some NMW bottled waters also contain fluoride which is not listed on the label.  

Fluoride cannot be destroyed by boiling tap water.  In fact, boiling fluoridated tap water concentrates the fluoride.

Encourage your children to take filtered, fluoride-free natural mineral water (NMW) or fluoride-free spring water to school in small plastic water bottles which do not contain BPa.  Glass bottles would be better but the school may not want a child to use glassware.  Water in plastic bottles must be kept out of the sun and high temperatures.

Take filtered or NMW water to work for your hot drinks. This may mean that you may need to provide your own kettle.   At the time of writing (July 2012), the commercial bottled waters on sale in England which are fluoride-free (as anlysed by FADS) are Highland Spring Still Spring Water, Caledonian NMW (Sainsbury's), Chase Spring Water (bottled in Lichfield, Staffs), Ashbeck NMW (Tescos), Eden Falls (Asda), Still Table Water (Tescos) and Waitrose's Essential NMW from the Stretton Hills, Shropshire.  However, the supermarket chains could change their suppliers of Table Water (which is essentially Tap Water in a plastic bottle) and location of the bottling process, so nothing is certain.  NMW should, however, never vary and if FADS has tested it once and found it fluoride-free, then it should be OK now and in the future.

Do not use ordinary aluminium cookware, and, in particular, aluminium pressure cookers. Aluminium and fluoride is not a safe combination and is thought to be one of the causes of Alzheimer's disease.  Likewise do not wrap acidic foods (lemon and tomatoes) in aluminium foil.  Stainless steel, cast iron or ceramic are preferable. Stainless steel with aluminium encapsulated in the base and hard anodized (oxidised) aluminium are also safe.

Avoid hot baths and very hot showers – fluoride is easily absorbed through the skin, especially when the pores are open (dermal absorption). Likewise, fluoride is easily absorbed through the lining of the mouth and under the tongue (sublingually) so consider brushing your teeth with bottled water and non-fluoridated toothpaste if you are sensitive to fluoride.  Fluoridated toothpaste often causes hives, mouth ulcers and swollen gums.

Reduce length and frequency of swimming sessions.

If you are very sensitive to fluoride, do not breathe into freshly laundered clothes and pillow cases since they contain a dry concentrated residue of fluoride.  After all, fluoridated water is used in the spin cycle.  It may also not be a good idea to use a steam iron which uses fluoridated tap water, since if the vapour can be smelt, then there may be fluoride ions in the vapour.  This needs further research.

If you suffer from hypothyroidism, you should give very serious thought to installing a water filter (R/O or activated alum) as well as avoiding as much fluoride as possible. There are whole house filtration systems on the market although this organisation has not yet been able to analyse their product water.

Take kelp tablets (potassium iodide is available by mail order) and/or iodised salt so that your thyroid gland is helped to perform its normal function. (Fluoride displaces iodine in the thyroid gland and the negative effects on health are more pronounced where the body is lacking iodine).  Caution: if you have been diagnosed as having hyper- or hypothyroidism, consult your GP before supplementing with potassium iodide.

Take vitamins B6 and C supplements which minimise the effects of fluoride. Note that some supplements contain fluoride, but these are mainly sold in the USA..

Vitamin D3 is a good all-round vitamin which helps to boost your immunity.  We normally manufacture Vitamin D3 in our skin when exposed to ultra-violet wavelengths but in the winter in the northern hemisphere, our Vitamin D3 levels plummet.

VITAMIN D3 IS ESSENTIAL FOR YOUR CONTINUING GOOD HEALTH.

Take supplements of calcium and magnesium salts (Calc. Mag.) to help reduce fluoride absorption from the stomach and to assist in elimination. Calcium is better absorbed in association with natural fats – whole-fat milk is better than skimmed milk.  Do not take calcium on its own.

Selenium supplements (also present in brazil nuts and liver) is an essential mineral but do not take more than the recommended dose.

Boron is a useful essential mineral which, when taken in very small doses, removes fluoride from the body.

Maintain good general and dental health with meat, dairy products, varied vegetables, fresh fruits (peel non-organic apples, pears and grapes) and pulses. Reduce intakes of starches – bread, pasta, cereals, rice and sugars.

The American Dental Association and the Centers for Disease Control (USA) have now issued advice to American dentists regarding formula-fed babies who should not have their baby formula made up with fluoridated tap water because of the very real risk of the child developing dental fluorosis in permanent teeth.  Likewise the British Fluoridation Society has also posted a briefing paper warning against making up baby formula with fluoridated water.  (During January 2011, the USA's CDC recommended a reduction in fluoride concentration down to 0.7ppm.  Even so, formula-fed babies would still be overdosing at this concentration if living in a fluoridated area.)

Avoid baby food which contains meat since this is probably mechanically de-boned meat from animals which could have been reared in a fluoridated area.

If you live in a house which was built before 1970 and which has not had its water pipes extensively replaced with plastic pipes including the water pipe leading from the road to the house, it is probable that you and your family have higher than normal levels of blood lead.  This is because lead detaches from the inside of the lead water pipe in the presence of the highly negative ion of fluorine (F-) and consequently becomes bio-available. If concerned, as an initial measure, do not drink water which has been standing overnight or during the day in the road-to-house water pipe. Each morning and evening draw off a washing-up bowl-full of water and discard it. Then seriously consider getting your family checked out and if tests show a worrying level of blood lead, arrange with a plumber to replace the water pipes. Most water companies, realizing the danger of lead water pipes, add orthophosphate to the water at the treatment works. This lines the pipes and prevents lead leaching out. However, in a fluoridated area, the water chemistry is altered and the orthophosphate may not be as effective. The detachment of lead is temperature and pH dependent. Observe the precautionary principle.  Further research is required on this topic.

Part 3: The American Perspective

The following list has been copied from Fluoride Action Network (May 2009) (http://www.fluoridealert.org/faqs.htm).

1)  Consider switching to a non-fluoridated toothpaste (which you can find at most health food stores).
2) Young children, who don't have well developed swallowing-reflexes, often swallow a lot of toothpaste when brushing, which can cause disfiguring dental fluorosis and contribute greatly to total systemic intake. Also, even when the toothpaste is not swallowed, the fluoride may cross the gum membrane and enter the bloodstream.
3) If your child is using infant formula, it is imperative to avoid making the formula with fluoridated tap water. Infant formula reconstituted with fluoridated water delivers a very high dose of fluoride to a young baby. For instance, infant formula produced with fluoridated water contains 100 to 200 times more fluoride (1,000 ppb) than is found naturally in breast milk (5-10 ppb). In fact, while breast-fed infants receive the LOWEST body burden (mg/kg/day) in the population, they receive the HIGHEST body burden if they receive fluoridated formula.
4) Minimize consumption of processed beverages (e.g. soda and reconstituted juice). Soda and juice made from concentrate are often manufactured with fluoridated tap water, and hence, have fluoride levels similar to fluoridated water.
5) If you regularly drink non-organic wine or grape juice consider buying only organic varieties. Many commercially-grown grapes in the US are sprayed with a fluoride pesticide called Cryolite. The residues of this pesticide can result in high levels of fluoride in wine or grape juice. In the case of wine, if you don't want to spend the extra money buying organic, consider purchasing a European brand instead of a Californian brand, as Europe uses much less cryolite on its vineyards.
6) Be careful of drinking too much green or black tea. Tea almost always has elevated levels of fluoride and can contribute a substantial amount to one's total fluoride intake.
7) Minimize consumption of mechanically-deboned chicken. Mechanically deboned chicken (e.g. "Chicken McNuggets") has been found to contain elevated levels of fluoride due to the incorporation of ground bone particles (which are high in fluoride) into the meat.
8) If you live in a country which allows fluoridated salt to be sold, make sure that the salt you buy is unfluoridated. Consumption of fluoridated salt can greatly increase a person's fluoride exposure.
9) Check to see if any prescription medicines you are taking contain fluorine. If so, ask your doctor if there are any appropriate alternatives - as some fluorine-containing pharmaceuticals (e.g. Cipro) can metabolize into fluoride ion within the body, thereby increasing the body's exposure to fluoride. (http://www.slweb.org/ftrcfluorinatedpharm.html)
10) If you are going to have surgery, ask your doctors if they can use a non-fluorinated anaesthetic.  Anaesthetics such as Enflurane, Isoflurane and Sevoflurane will produce high peak levels of fluoride in blood for up to 24 hours.
11) Avoid the use of teflon-coated pans. Teflon-coated pans may increase the fluoride content of food.

Part 4: Pet Care
Dogs and cats fed on tinned dog and cat food (which is often de-boned meat and cereal) and which drink fluoridated tap water may be experiencing ill health. Vets do not look for the symptoms of fluoride toxicity. Giving your pets (including rabbits, etc.) bottled water and sourcing food which is not de-boned ought to restore their health if they are ill from fluoride toxicity. Horses, ponies and donkeys should be watered using rain water or allowed to drink from a non-contaminated stream. Makes sure there are no sources of lead in the water or soil or in the air.
 

References

American Dental Association Statement of baby formula and fluoridated water. (http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/positions/statements/fluoride_infants.asp.
 
British Fluoridation Society (2008). Water fluoridation and infant formula – a British Fluoridation Society briefing paper, Appendix.http://www.bfsweb.org/Infant%20F%20revised%20Jul08%20final.htm

Connett, E. and P. Connett (2001). Fluoride: The Hidden Poison in the National Organic Standards. 
http://
www.apfn.org/apfn/fluoride.htm .   “We have identified approximately 150 fluoridated pesticides. The three most widely used are herbicides: Trifluralin, Fluometuron and Benefin (Befluralin) (EPA, Aug 97). The category "Fluorine Insecticides" include Cryolite, Barium hexafluorosilicate, Sodium hexafluorosilicate, Sodium fluoride, and Sulfluramid.”

Groves
, B (2001). Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves to Death”. Dublin: Newleaf. ISBN 0-7071-3274-9

Husain
, S. (2006) ‘Aluminium Pans Causing Memory Loss’, in The News International (Pakistan). November 19, 2006 
http://www.fluoridealert.org/media/2006m.html

Masterjohn
, C. (2005) Statins Inhibit Coenzyme Q10 synthesis : http://
www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Coenzyme-Q10.html)

Shea
, J.J. et al. (1967). ‘Allergy to Fluoride’. Annals of Allergy ; Volume 25; Pages 388-391 July 1967. http://
www.fluoridealert.org/health/allergy/shea-1967.html. and http://www.slweb.org/allergy.html

Siew, C. et al. (2009).  Assessing a Potential Risk Factor for Enamel Fluorosis: A Preliminary Evaluation of Fluoride Content in Infant Formulas.  Journal of the American Dental Association, Vol 140, No 10, 1228-1236
 
 
Compiled by Joy Warren, BSc. (Hons) Env. Sci., West Midlands Against Fluoridation
10/06, rev. 03/16
Adapted, expanded and printed with permission of the author, Barry Groves, from “Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves to Death”.