Fluoride: One of Many Reasons I Use A Berkey Filter

I have no idea why we are still consuming this poison.

In 2012, a Harvard study demonstrated that flouride consumption was associated with lower IQs in children. The study was a review of little-publicized studies from China, where fluoride naturally occurs in higher concentrations in the groundwater. Specifically, the study says,

“The researchers conducted a systematic review of studies, almost all of which are from China where risks from fluoride are well-established. Fluoride is a naturally occurring substance in groundwater, and exposures to the chemical are increased in some parts of China. Virtually no human studies in this field have been conducted in the U.S., said lead author Anna Choi, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH.”

Just to point out, this states, “… risks from fluoride are well-established.”

A systematic review and meta-analysis of these studies was published and can be read here.  Some of the highlights found here are:

  • “A recent report from the National Research Council (NRC 2006) concluded that adverse effects of high fluoride concentrations in drinking water may be of concern and that additional research is warranted. “
  • The highest limit of fluoride by the EPA in the US is 4 mg/L.
  • “Fluoride readily crosses the placenta”

Granted, the EPA changed their suggested limit of Fluoride to 0.7 mg/L from it’s previous suggested limit of 0.7-1.2 mg/L. But, a “suggested limit” is just that- a suggestion. It’s not enforceable in any way. The upper limit remains at 4 mg/L. So, in essence, nothing actually changed.

Even more unbelievable is coming across this document, which clearly shows the EPA considers fluoride to be a danger. Just check out the section entitled “Chemicals with Substantial Evidence of Developmental Neurotoxicity”. Oh, and emphasis on the word substantial was theirs, not mine.

This also does not take into consideration fluoride exposure from other sources, like toothpaste and mouthwash which, if you look at the warnings on the packaging specifically states, “Do not swallow,” and “in case of accidental ingestion, contact the poison control center.” The amount of fluoride in toothpaste is approximately the same as what is found in four 8oz cups of water. Yet, we are encouraged to drink twice that amount daily with no “contact the poisoning control center” warning.

Also on the CDC’s website, the source of the fluoride is Sodium Fluoriosilicate. This is not the same fluoride that is naturally occuring in the groundwater in China. It’s actually a byproduct of manufacturing fertilizer.  This now (in)famous statement by former EPA assistant administrator Rebecca Hanmer in 1983,  “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.”

So, this waste product is too toxic for the air and streams and oceans, but it’s okie dokie to dump directly into our drinking water?  (Ok, time for me to take a deep breath.)

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Now this morning (which is what put this bee in my bonnet), I read a summary of an article published in the Lancet CITING flouride as a “neurotoxicant”. It puts fluoride in the same category as,  “lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls, arsenic, and toluene.” To read the summary, click here.

Out of curiosity, I looked up my city’s fluoride levels through a link of the Centers for Disease Control’s website. (To look yours up, click here.) We are listed at 1 mg/L. Not horrible, but certainly not under the unenforceable “suggested limit” of the EPA. The information on the page confirmed that our fluoride levels are adjusted upward to “the optimal level for the prevention of dental caries.”

Here’s the thing. I brush my teeth. I make my children brush their teeth. Taking care of one’s teeth is a responsibility that begins and ends with the individual, and we do not need to be dosing an entire population to make up for the poor hygiene habits of a few! And in the grand scheme of good health, isn’t brain function a bit higher on the list of health priorities than dental cavities?

Yet, when people try to talk about these demonstrated dangers, we get labeled “conspiracy theorists”.  Not for nothing, but Harvard, the National Center for Biotechnology Information,  and the Lancet aren’t exactly “conspiracy theorist” institutions.

My Answer

I would love to see the practice of adding fluoride to municipal water supplies stopped. That’s unlikely to happen, as it is so ingrained into public perception that fluoride is both safe

Our Berkey, protection from both infectious agents, heavy metals, and toxins in the water supply.

Our Berkey, protecting us from infectious agents, heavy metals, and toxins in the water supply.

and beneficial for humans. Plus, with as wide spread as fluoridation is in the industrialized nations and in our dental products, there’s a lot of money to be made in fluoride, and this is likely the heart of the matter.

So my answer to this is to use a Berkey filter. This is not your average filter. This is a THE filter. This filters out just about everything you could imagine, and it has optional fluoride and arsenic filters, and filters only need to be changed an average of every two years. The cost up front is significantly more than other water filters, but it’s a much better filter and produces far less waste from disposable filters than something like a Brita.

Even if fluoride were to be removed, I would still insist on my Berkey. Have you ever seen the inside of municpal pipes? It’s disgusting. A few years ago, our roads were torn up and new pipes put in. I got a sneak peak at the old pipes. The layer of gunk and muck that was in the pipe- yuck! A point-of-use filter is definitely the way to go.

We got the Berkey a year ago with our tax return (along with a Sun Oven). I got the “Crown Berkey” which is the biggest model Berkey makes, and I use this exclusively for all of our drinking and cooking water.  This gives us a point of use filter that removes lead, chlorine, and a laundry list of undesirables, including fluoride. We also take it with us when we travel to our cabin to work on the future homestead.

Admittedly, transporting this giant filter is a bit of a pain. It’s quite large, it needs to be drained first, and packing it up in a bug-out level emergency would take up a lot of precious time. Berkey does make a travel model, but this isn’t in the budget at the moment. Instead, I’m going to start putting some funds aside to buy just the filters, and make some DIY Berkey filters. This isn’t anything new, there are plenty of DIY Berkey tutorials on the internet, but it’s really a worthwhile project. Will post the results here when we do this. But, first, to save up for it.

To see all of Berkey's offerings on Amazon.com, click here.

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