When did you last brush your teeth with rat poison? Maybe this morning!
Sodium Fluoride (NaF), an ingredient of most toothpastes, has been used as the active constituent in insecticides, wood preservatives, fungicides and rat poison. It works on rats by causing lesions in their stomachs which eventually result in the rat bleeding to death. (source)
Not exactly what we want to put in our mouths!
Fluoride Affects Male Fertility
Male infertility is responsible for about 50% of the fertility problems that couples face. Infertility in males is often the result of reduced sperm court, abnormal sperm quality (reduced motility and altered morphology), or altered levels of sex hormones (reduced testosterone). A review of over 100 studies of sperm density from 1938 to 1996 found that human sperm count has significantly declined in North America and Europe since the 1940s. (Swan 2000) While the causes of this decline are not entirely known, fluoride exposure – particularly from topical fluoride gels – must be considered as one of the potential contributing factors. (source)
1) DON’T Get Sodium Fluoride Gel Treatments at the Dentist
Although dental researchers have stated on numerous occasions that fluoride gel treatment should ONLY be used for patients at highest risk of cavities, many dentists continue to apply fluoride gels irrespective of the patient’s cavity risk. The fluoride gel procedure requires the patient to clamp down on a tray for 4 minutes and uses an extremely concentrated, acidic fluoride gel (12,300 ppm). Because of the fluoride gel’s high acidity, the saliva glands produce a large amount of saliva during the treatment, which makes it extremely difficult (both for children and adults) to avoid swallowing the gel.
Even when dentists use precautionary measures such as suction devices, children and adults still ingest significant quantities of the paste, which can cause incredibly high spikes of fluoride in the blood (for up to 15 hours). These fluoride levels place patients, particularly children, at risk for stomach pain, nausea and vomiting, and places a person at risk for short-term kidney damage, harm to the reproductive system, and impairment to glucose metabolism. The next time your dentist asks you whether you want a fluoride gel treatment, just say NO.
2) Don’t Let Your Child Swallow Sodium Fluoride Toothpaste
Fluoride toothpaste is often the largest single source of sodium fluoride intake for young children, and is a major risk factor for disfiguring dental fluorosis. This is because children swallow a large amount of the paste that they put in their mouth. In fact, research has shown that it is not uncommon for young children to swallow more sodium fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended as an entire day’s ingestion from all sources.
If you have a young child, therefore, we recommend that you use a non-fluoride toothpaste. If, however, you do use fluoride toothpaste, it’s very important that you supervise your children while they brush to make sure they use no more than a “pea-sized amount” of paste, and that they fully rinse and spit after they finish. And, lastly, do not purchase candy flavored toothpaste (e.g., bubble-gum and watermelon) as these toothpastes (which still contain adult-strength concentrations of fluoride) increase the risk that your children will swallow it (and actually want to swallow it).
3) Buy Organic Grape Juice and Wine? Why…
In the United States, many vineyards use a sodium fluoride pesticide called cryolite. As a result, the levels of fluoride in U.S. grape juice and wine (particularly white grape juice and white wine) are consistently elevated. Indeed, in 2005, the USDA reported that the average level exceeded 2 ppm for both white wine and white grape. The levels of fluoride in red wine are also elevated (1 ppm), and so are raisins (2.3 ppm). If you buy grape juice and wine, or if you are a heavy consumer of raisins, buy organic. In the case of wine, if don’t want to spend the extra money on organic, consider purchasing a European brand, as Europe uses far less cryolite than the U.S.
4) Stop Drinking Fluoridated Water:
Tap water consumption is, on average, the largest daily source of fluoride exposure for people who live in areas that add fluoride to the water. Avoiding consumption of fluoridated water is especially critical for infants. Bottled water often contains fluoride. Here is a list of bottled waters that DO NOT contain fluoride. If you live in area which fluoridates its water, you can avoid drinking the fluoride in one of three ways:
- Water Filters: One way of avoiding the sodium fluoride from tap water is to purchase a water filter. Not all water filters, however, remove fluoride unless they offer a fluoride filter. The three types of filters that can remove fluoride are reverse osmosis, deionizers (which use ion-exchange resins), and activated alumina. Each of these filters should be able to remove about 90% of the fluoride. By contrast, “activated carbon” filters (e.g., Brita & Pur) do not remove fluoride. For more information on water filters, click here.
- Spring Water: Another way is to purchase spring water. Most brands of spring water contain very low levels of sodium fluoride. Some brands, however, do contain high levels (e.g., Trinity Springs). Before consuming any bottled water on a consistent basis, therefore, you should verify that the fluoride content is less than 0.2 ppm, and ideally less than 0.1 ppm. You can find out the level of fluoride level in some of the popular brands here.
- Water Distillation: A third way to avoid fluoride from the tap is to purchase a distillation unit. Water distillation will remove most, if not all, of the fluoride. The price for a distillation units varies widely depending on the size.
5) Avoid Bottled and Instant Teas
Avoid bottled and instant teas as they have been found to contain low-quality leaves that have very low levels of anti-oxidants. With bottled and instant tea, you get the risk (fluoride) without the benefit (anti-oxidants). Instead brew your own tea with purified water and from a source you trust.
6) Avoid Cooking with Non-Stick (Teflon) Pans
Some research has found that cooking with Teflon-coated pans (i.e., stick-free pans) can significantly increase the sodium fluoride levels in food. If you have Teflon pans, therefore, consider switching to stainless steel.
7) Don’t Take Cipro
Many pharmaceuticals are fluorinated, which means they contain something called a “carbon-fluorine bond.” Although the carbon-fluorine bond is strong enough to resist breaking down within the body, this is not always the case.
Some fluorinated drugs have been found to metabolize into fluoride within the body and this greatly increases a person’s exposure. The most notable example is Cipro.
8) Avoid Fluoridated Salt
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. To see a list of countries that allow fluoridated salt, click here. Fluoride is not added to Himalayan Salt.
Summary On Effectively Filtering Your Own Water
- Drink distilled water and add back minerals.
- Safety-tested artesian spring water should be fine. Ask those responsible for testing that spring about the fluoride levels.
- All wells contain naturally occurring levels, some low and some quite high.
- We use the Big Berkey Filter in our home and take our own ‘on-the-go’ water. This is the BEST PRICE I know (and I have searched) for the best filtration. It removes 99.9% without fluoride filters!
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Thanks for reading!