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Your Water Filter Can’t Stop Fluoride… But It Should

on November 29 | in Water Filtration | by | with 44 Comments

Photo Credit Darwin Bell on Flickr

Question: Is there any research regarding the water filter jugs by BRITA? I drink a lot of water and use BRITA instead of bottled water. I and my son drink it, cook on it, soak in it, and sometimes wash with it. I wonder if it is safe. Thanks!!!

~ Anna D

Wow, Anna, you sure know how to ask a loaded question! Rather than skimp on the answer to such an important topic, I’ve officially declared this “Water Week.” On the surface tap water seems pretty safe. We’ve all consumed it and we’re still kicking, right?

Um, no.

I mean YES we’re still kicking, but NO it’s not safe. :) In reading over 300 pages of research for this post, one fact became unavoidably certain: The harmful effects of tap water may occur gradually, but they are very real.

H2O: Simply . . . complicated.

So, what exactly is in a glass of tap water? Hydrogen and oxygen, of course. But there are also living organisms like bacteria and parasites, the chemicals we use to kill those organisms, chemicals from environmental pollution and pharmaceutical drugs. And then there are the chemicals we add for no good reason, like fluoride.

Fluoride = toxic (p.s. toxic is baaaaad)

If you’ve ever brushed with fluoride toothpaste you may have noticed this label:

[warning_box]WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek PROFESSIONAL HELP or contact a POISON CONTROL center immediately.[/warning_box]

Now, I read this label for YEARS and didn’t think anything of it. In a society that has warnings like:

  • “Remove child before folding” – On a child car safety seat
  • “Do not eat toner” – Laser printer manufacturer Ricoh
  • “Do not drive with sunshield in place.” — On a cardboard sunshield that keeps the sun off the dashboard.
  • “May irritate eyes.” — On a can of self-defense pepper spray.
  • “Caution: Hot beverages are hot!” — On a coffee cup.
  • “Do not use for drying pets.” — In the manual for a microwave oven.
  • “Warning: May cause drowsiness.” — On a bottle of Nytol, a brand of sleeping pills.

. . . how are we supposed to take cautionary labels seriously!?!?!

The sad fact is, in this case we really should. In The Flouride Deception, investigative reporter Christopher Bryson presents compelling evidence that water fluoridation results in lowered IQ, weakened bones, thyroid suppression and lowered metabolic function. It also kills our immune systems first line of defense – the beneficial bacteria in our guts.

Fluoride Weakens Bones

Some will say “I thought fluoride prevented cavities . . . what do you mean it damages bones? It’s ironic, but although fluoride thickens bones studies show it actually makes them more fragile by displacing bone mineral. Oh, and did you know that prior to 1938 fluoride was solely sold as RAT POISON??? No, that’s not disturbing AT ALL.

Additional research indicates it could cause Alzheimer’s:

Many municipal water supplies are treated with both alum (aluminum sulfate) and fluoride. These two chemicals combine with each other easily in the blood to form aluminum fluoride. Although elemental aluminum can not pass the blood-brain barrier, some compounds such as aluminum fluoride do. Aluminum fluoride is very poorly excreted in the urine. It is poisonous to the kidneys. Aluminum salts in the brain lead to Alzheimer’s Disease.

Source: Health Science on Flouride Toxicity

AND Down’s Syndrome

Studies dating back to the 1950s have shown links between Down’s Syndrome and natural fluoridation. Ionel Rapaport also showed how the age of women bearing Down’s Syndrome children decreased in direct relation to the increase of fluoride in the water supply. The more fluoride that was in the water, the younger the age of the women bearing Down’s Syndrome children.

Hidden Danger In Your Drinking Water and Toothpaste

Nations in Western Europe that stopped fluoridating their water have not seen an increase in dental cavities, so why aren’t we seeing this dangerous compound pulled from products? Two reasons.

First, fluoride is an industrial byproduct. Right now companies are able to unload this stuff into public water supplies for a profit instead of being required to dispose of it as hazardous waste.

By selling the fluoride byproducts for this purpose, companies avoid  the huge cost of disposing of these chemicals in the environment safely, and according to regulation. Back in the 1930’s, a band of industrial corporations – including Monsanto, U.S. Steel, Union Carbide, and Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA),  the leading producer of aluminum – had been cheaply disposing of their fluoride byproducts into the environment for years. This changed when their toxic waste became the target of negative press in the local news. A 1933 toxicology report by the USDA had warned of fluoride’s toxicity, singling out the aluminum industry as the biggest culprit.

The Fluoride Fraud

The second reason is liability. Can you imagine the class action lawsuits that would inevitably be brought against Colgate and other major corporations if fluoride is officially recognized as a health and environmental hazard? The research has been available for fifty years. Not to the public, mind you, but recently declassified Manhattan Project documents confirm that researchers and industry leaders knew fluoride was dangerous.

I know this sounds crazy and maybe a little to heavy on the conspiracy theory side, but it’s not like we haven’t seen this before. Remember when the tobacco industry refused to acknowledge that cigarettes cause cancer? The brilliant PR mind behind that campaign was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays.

Now, guess who else was a client of Bernays? The fluoride industry!

They know. They’re liable. One need not be a conspiracy theorist to track the almighty dollar on this one.

What You Can Do

Most home filters do not remove fluoride from water. In fact, if you bought it at any local retail store, you can be pretty sure it doesn’t. There ARE some options, though, which I’ll be covering in an upcoming post. In the meantime, here are some steps you can take to reduce your exposure.

So, the answer to your question, Anna: in my opinion,  Brita, Pur and most other filters do not filter water to a safe level. How’s that for long-winded?

What do you think? Is fluoride a concern for your family?

Recommended Reading:

Next Post In This Series: Medication By Hydration

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44 Responses to Your Water Filter Can’t Stop Fluoride… But It Should

  1. Shari VV says:

    Great info. I’ve long been curious as to whether our home RO system filters fluoride. The long list in the manual of chemicals it does filter doesn’t specifically say fluoride, so I doubt it. It’s very disappointing since we installed it while I was pregnant just to reduce/eliminate fluoride. I can’t wait to read more about what options there are. Thanks!

  2. Heather says:

    Shari – I would call the manufacturer. RO filters are usually capable of removing fluoride, but if it doesn’t mention it in the literature I’d double check.

  3. Lesley says:

    So does that water bottle you just advertised on your Holiday gift ideas remove fluoride?

    • Heather says:

      Lesley, I know YOU know this, but just to clarify about the “advertisement” I didn’t and won’t receive any financial compensation from any of the companies I mentioned for that post. :) To answer your question, no, it doesn’t. I’m not aware of any small, discreet on-the-go filters that can, so I consider the Sport Berkey the best of what’s available. I take it into restaurants, etc. for those times when water from home is just not available (even though I keep bottles of it in my car sometimes I run out).

  4. finally here it is
    thank you!
    Anna D

  5. Anna D says:

    Thank you so much for addressing this issue. I have been waiting for this post and am very glad that is is going to take the whole week. Looking forward to it. Very excited!

    PS: I checked with the authorities and thank God the water where we live, in London United Kingdom, is not fluoridated.

  6. [...] to day two of water week. If you missed yesterday my mission is to cover three major areas of concern regarding tap water [...]

  7. Genevieve says:

    Whoa. I knew fluoride was bad, and I’ve been trying to convince my hubby to kick the Crest habit for a while now, but this post still shocked me. Altheimers? Downs? I stick with my Tom’s toothpaste and bottled spring water, thank you very much.

  8. Carole says:

    Okay, I’m really, really late to the game on this one, but OMG!!!

    I followed a link on FB this morning; in the article, someone tossed off a comment about fluoride affecting thyroid function. I’d never heard that before, so I went googling, and boy was I shocked at what I found!

    I’m aghast that we still have that garbage forced on us this way, and I’m off to find a good filter, just as soon as I go read your review of that Berkley filter….

  9. Sverige says:

    The only deal on this cartridge I’ve found is to wait until it’s on the ‘buy 3 get the 4th free’ deal with Amazon. In all the years I’ve been using these, I’ve never had a calcium or scale build-up in my coffee maker, which is the point I guess.

  10. [...] metabolic function, Alzheimer’s and Down’s Syndrome, most dentists still recommend it!¹ Pass, [...]

  11. [...] metabolic function, Alzheimer’s and Down’s Syndrome, most dentists still recommend it!¹ Pass, [...]

  12. Fluoride is poison. Do your research. My kids’ doctor and dentist recommended it for them too and then my naturopath said don’t ever give it to em. It is so toxic in so many ways and it also prevents absorption of iodine. There is tons of info on fluoride online. I researched it a few years ago and decided to never ever give it to my kids.

  13. Holly says:

    Yes, haven’t gotten a filter yet but trying to switch to non-fluoridated toothpaste (kids balk and frankly I’m not a huge fan either, but we’ll keep trying. Bought the toothsoap and let me just say the gel … tastes like SOAP lol) ….. I only let the dentist do fluoride once a year on kiddos and probably will stop that too, although 3 are old enough to decide for themselves now. And I love the well water argument, people drank that for hundreds, nay thousands of years and were fine.

  14. Rachel Israel via FB says:

    have your well tested. most wells have flouride (it occurs naturally). we avoid flouride at all costs, so we do not drink our well water (b/c of iron mostly, but the flouride is another reason).

    • Nicole says:

      I would think- that for most people, naturally occurring fluoride would not be a huge problem. In the same way that naturally occurring trans fats (in butter), and naturally occurring msg (in broth) are not the evil dangers that the chemical, man made, industry by-product versions are.

  15. Jodi Strassheim via FB says:

    “The post-war campaign to fluoridate drinking water, he claims, was less a public health innovation than a public relations ploy sponsored by industrial users of fluoride—including the government’s nuclear weapons program. Legendary spin doctors like Edward Bernays exploited the tenuous link between dental hygiene and fluoridation to create markets to stimulate fluoride production and to prove the innocuousness of fluoride compounds, thereby heading off lawsuits by factory workers and others poisoned by industrial fluoride pollution. ” ~ The Flouride Deception by Christopher Bryson

  16. Kelly Keys Hellmuth via FB says:

    Wow. This is an eye opener.

  17. Wendy Smythe via FB says:

    no – never – my teeth feel so much better since I cut it out… its industrial byproduct not so different from prozac.

  18. Megan Pratt via FB says:

    Absolutely no, not ever.

  19. Thanks for the post, my 4 month old just had her doctors appointment and was given a perscription for Floride….It went in the trash the same day.

  20. exactly the reason we go to a holistic dentist and pediatrician — who would never recommend fluoride. do the research and you’ll see — it’s toxic

  21. Mégan Miles Alba via FB says:

    We had a well growing, and the dentist wanted to give flouride to my brothers for the same reason. My mom didn’t know any better and agreed. They both got very sick from it. After that, she refused ANY flouride treatments. Live and learn. Don’t do it.

  22. gina says:

    Question…can flouride discolor teeth? My daughter is healthy and I have high standards for the food I cook for them and I limit their sugar intake (nothing processed). However, she has a yellow tint to her teeth and it looks like she gets calcium buildup easily. Suggestions? Can the flouride cause this type of reaction? Thx, -Gina

  23. Love all these comment, ya’ll! So glad people are becoming more informed about this!

  24. Thanks! A lot of ‘Info’ to digest … and I am glad I was following that ‘Little Voice’ again! e

  25. you should always do what you think is best according to your knowledge

  26. [...] bones, thyroid suppression, lowered metabolic function, Alzheimers AND Down’s Syndrome (source). All experts agree that this stuff is not for babies – most of us would go further and say [...]

  27. Heather Brandt says:

    So which system do you recommend that will do all that it needs to do to keep our water in our home safe? I get confused trying to research it all but am concerned about our water :(

  28. Heather Brandt says:

    I’ve wondered about this system.Know anything about it? I have no clue which blog mentioned this but I know I must have gotten it from a whole-foods related blog. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0035KLEFM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&m=A8THYR9LMBZ1H

  29. Sahn Lee via FB says:

    Seriously? That would suck. I just got my baby to sort of enjoy bath time.

  30. Ken Buck says:

    So how are you dealing with the fluoride for bathing/showering? Our city water is fluoridated and most (except VERY expensive) whole house filters do NOT remove fluoride.

  31. Arielle Pollock says:

    this water bottle actually does remove fluoride (99.9%) but thats better than most

    http://www.alkaway.com.au/products-fill2pure-stainless-steel.html

  32. I can’t find any evidence that our bodies need fluoride. If the only benefit it has is so children can have healthier teeth, which is a possibly, why add it to water in the first place. If you think fluoride benefits the teeth, then use tooth paste with it in, however don’t make the rest of us consume it in our water.

  33. […] Your Water Filter Can’t Stop Fluoride… But It Should […]

  34. […] a nasty discoloration of the teeth.  If you’d like to learn more, take a look at thispost about fluoride in water by the Mommypotamus, one my FAVORITE real food bloggers.  She has amassed the most […]

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