The Dangers of Water Fluoridation {And How to Protect Yourself}

skull drinking from a fluoridated water fountain

If you are aspiring to a healthier, greener life, and have been transitioning yourself or your family to a whole foods diet, or gradually eliminating the chemicals in your cleaning and beauty products, you have probably heard by now that fluoridated tap water is bad for you.

But why exactly are so many scientists, dentists, parents and concerned citizens worried about (and protesting against) water fluoridation? Isn’t that the stuff that keeps our teeth from falling out?

In a word: NO!

This article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Ever wonder why most kids’ toothpastes have no fluoride? Because kids inevitably will swallow some paste, and fluoride is extremely TOXIC. In fact, eating a tube of toothpaste will kill a child (and seriously harm an adult), so be sure to keep any fluoride paste or mouthwash out of reach, just like you do with vitamins and medicines.

For me, this begs the question:

Why are we putting a toxic chemical that everyone agrees should never be swallowed into our food and water supply in the first place?

Most people don’t know that the type of fluoride added to water supplies, most toothpastes, and many beverages and foods is typically a waste product of the nuclear, aluminum, and phosphate (fertilizer) industries.

The EPA has classified fluoride as a toxin. Fluoride is so toxic that, in addition to being a primary ingredient in rat and cockroach poisons, pest fumigants and crop pesticides, fluoride is also an active ingredient in anesthetic, hypnotic, and psychiatric drugs, as well as nerve gas used by the military.

A recent study in the Lancet, the world’s oldest and most prestigious medical journal, has recently identified fluoride (alongside arsenic, lead and mercury) as one of eleven major neurotoxicant chemicals implicated in the pandemic of neurodevelopmental disabilities in children, including autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, and other cognitive impairments.

Under the U.S. Safe Water Drinking Act, it is illegal to dump fluoride in lakes, streams and oceans, but, for some strange reason, it’s OK to dump fluoride into our food and water supplies and then rub it into our teeth and gums twice a day. Hmmmmm.

Do we really want this stuff in our bodies at all, especially when safer alternatives exist?

How Did We Get Here? – A Brief History of Fluoride

According to journalist Christopher Bryson, author of The Fluoride Deception, getting large quantities of fluoride into the water and food system was the result of the massive public relations campaigns sponsored by industries who were saddled with getting rid of the toxic waste.

Fluoride is necessary for the processing or enriching of uranium. Much of the original proof that fluoride is “safe” for humans in low doses was fabricated in the 1940s by Manhattan Project A-bomb program scientists, who had been secretly ordered to provide “evidence useful in litigation” against defense contractors for fluoride injury to citizens.

The first lawsuits against the U.S. A-bomb program were not over radiation, but over fluoride damage. Their pro-fluoride propaganda was successful in convincing juries and the public that not only was fluoride safe, but that it was beneficial for kids’ dental health!

Fluoride was used by both Hitler during WWII and also by the Russians in attempt to make the population more docile. Fluoride is also a principal ingredient in many antidepression drugs such as Prozac because of its ability to numb the mind to a degree. And fluoride was key in the worst air pollution disaster in U.S. history in Donora, Pennsylvania that killed 20 people and hospitalized over 7,000 between October 26 and 31, 1948.

Because of the mind altering affects of fluoride, in the early 1950’s, the notorious spin master and father of advertising, Edward Bernays, continued the campaign for adding fluoride to water supplies as an experiment in engineering human consent! Then the ADA picked up on the dental issue and endorsed sodium fluoride’s addition to water supplies.

For the last several decades, any dissenting health professionals with studies and reports against fluoride were usually dismissed as quacks regardless of their credentials. Despite this, in 1999, over 1500 professionals at the US EPA, including toxicologists and risk assessment experts voted unanimously to oppose the fluoridation initiative in California because of the health risks involved.

But politics trumped science, and fluoridation was approved in most California municipalities anyway.

This 30 minute film lays out the history of fluoridation and some of the evidence of its harm.

YouTube video

Fluoride’s Effects on Your Health

The fluoride used for water fluoridation does not have FDA approval and is considered by the FDA as an “unapproved drug.” The proper use of any drug requires both informed consent, and an understanding of how much is too much. As they say, the dose makes the poison.

Knowing this, it is actually unethical to fluoridate water, because it basically amounts to giving an unapproved, “one-dose-fits-all” drug to an uninformed general population, without any consideration of the medical history, other exposures to fluoride, age, weight, or lifestyle of the individuals in that population. (This is the main reason fluoridation is banned in much of Europe.)

But the situation is actually worse than just “one dose fits all.” Since fluoride is already in many foods and beverages, in addition to tap water, it is estimated that we’re regularly receive 300% or more of the American Dental Association’s recommended daily amount. So this essentially means that we are overdosing on an unapproved drug with known harmful effects.

Generally, most fluoride entering the body is not easily eliminated and tends to accumulate in the bones and teeth. Recently, it has been discovered to accumulate also in the thyroid gland as well as the pineal and pituitary glands, located in the middle of the brain.

And if you have kidney problems, it is well known that you must avoid fluoride and fluoridated water at all costs, or risk life-threatening consequences.

photo of teeth with significant pitting, cracking and discolorations from fluorosis

The most common and obvious consequence of fluoride accumulation is dental and skeletal fluorosis which permanently stains and pits teeth and bones, and leaves them brittle.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a whopping 41% of American teens between ages 12–15 now have disfiguring dental fluorosis. Yet, the American Dental Association continues to promote fluoride, refusing to admit that instead of preventing tooth decay, fluoridation is causing even more dental harm.

But even the Environmental Protection Agency is concerned about fluoride in our water. In 2011, the EPA recommended significantly lowering the allowable fluoride in tap water following a revised risk assessment study that found 2 out of 5 adolescents had tooth streaking or spottiness and some pitting as a result of excessive fluoride.

Another recent EPA study showed high intake of fluoride can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures and crippling bone abnormalities.

The flood of fluoride in water and food also creates other more serious health problems that are not widely publicized—even suppressed. Nevertheless, in addition to fluorosis, independent labs and reputable researchers have linked the following health issues with daily long term intake of fluoride:

  • Cancer (additional studies here.)
  • Genetic DNA Damage
  • Thyroid Disruption – the pituitary gland is greatly affected by fluoride, which, in turn, affects the complete endocrine system and leads to obesity. (People with thyroid disease are advised to avoid fluoridated water.)
  • Neurological Impairment – The toxic effects of fluoride on the central nervous system is confirmed by previously-classified government research. Many studies confirm fluoride’s neurotoxic effects on the brain and have shown that children exposed to high levels of fluoride had lower IQs.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Birth Defects
  • Cystic Acne – Also called fluoroderma.
  • Melatonin Disruption – lowers immunity to cancer, accelerates aging, sleep disorders.
  • Pineal Gland Disorder – calcification, which clogs this gland located in the middle of the brain.
  • Osteoarthritis and Increased Risk of Bone Fractures – it is estimated that 1/3 of all osteoarthritis cases are caused by skeletal fluorosis.

As far back as 2005, “the heads of 11 EPA unions, including those representing the agency’s scientists, demanded that EPA reduce the permissible level of added fluoride in water to zero, citing research suggesting it can cause cancer. Other studies have pointed to neurotoxicity and hormone disruption from excessive fluoride.”

In fact, the most recent Harvard study showed that fluoride can impair the neurological development and lower the IQ in children!

The dangers of water fluoridation seem to be vast and grim.

50 Ways to Love Your Mother E-book cover

Save Money, Save the Environment!

Get the FREE Quick-Start Guide to Going Green, and get 50 simple steps you can take today that will not only go easy on the planet, but your wallet, too.

FREE when you sign up for The Small Footprint Harvest newsletter!

Fluoridation Proven Ineffective

The Case Against Fluoride book cover
A comprehensive analysis of the science (and lack thereof) of fluoridation. (affiliate link)

You might be worried about how removing fluoride from our drinking water or toothpaste might affect our teeth. But you do not need to be.

All of the recent large-scale studies of water fluoridation have shown that there are no positive effects from the practice. According to statistics from the World Health Organization, the tooth decay rates of countries which do not fluoridate their water supplies are just as low, or even lower, than those countries which do.

Further, several studies published since 2000 have reported that there has been no increase in tooth decay rates noted in communities which ended water fluoridation.

Fluoridation is illegal, banned or not used in an overwhelming number of countries, including many industrialized countries. Despite pressure from the dental industry, 97% of western Europe has rejected, banned, or stopped water fluoridation due to environmental, health, legal, or ethical concerns. And yet, their children’s teeth are just as healthy as children’s teeth in the U.S. In fact, in many parts of Europe, they are healthier.

The good news is that the voice of concerned, unbiased science is beginning to overwhelm the voice of pro-fluoride industry propaganda. For example, in November 2006, the American Dental Association actually advised parents to avoid giving fluoridated water to babies or using it to make formula.


Increasingly, more and more dentists and dental students are examining ALL the evidence for themselves and changing their minds about fluoride, mercury fillings, BPA sealants and other highly toxic dental materials. And, as a result, it is getting easier to find non-toxic dentists that will help you protect your and your children’s teeth without fluoride.

Steps to Reduce Fluoride Exposure

Fluoride can be found in tap water, bottled tap water brands like Dasani, Aquafina, or Nestle Pure Life; soft drinks, juices, teas and foods made with tap water; vitamins; non-organic produce; non-organic poultry; and of course, toothpaste and mouthwash. (Is it any wonder we are getting too much?)

One way to avoid fluoridated water is to buy spring water from a water service, but this is not always economical or environmental. Buying a filter that can remove fluoride from your tap water is the more cost-effective choice over the long term. You can even buy a whole-house filter and have fluoride-free water for cooking, drinking, bathing and toothbrushing!

  • Filter your tap water. A standard faucet or pitcher filter bought at a big box store will NOT filter fluoride. You’ll need a reverse osmosis filter or one of the filters recommended here.
  • Don’t take fluoride supplements. Read the labels on your and your children’s vitamins carefully.
  • Read labels on bottled beverages and juices. Unless they are made using spring or reverse-osmosis water, they are probably made with fluoridated public tap water.
  • Eat organic. Fluoride is a primary ingredient in several crop pesticides and warehouse fumigants, so you can find lots of fluoride in both conventional produce and also concentrated into conventional poultry, meat, eggs and dairy.
  • Be wary of tinned fish and canned food items. Fluoride may be used as a preservative.
  • Avoid using chewing tobacco. Ew. There are many, many reasons to avoid this, not just the fluoride.
  • Avoid long term use of medication that contains fluorine. Certain antidepressants and medications for osteoporosis contain fluoride.
  • Consider using fluoride-free toothpaste. There are many great brands like Earthpaste, Dessert Essence and more that contain no fluoride. Some can even be found at better drug stores. You can also make your own toothpaste. Because it has no glycerine, DIY toothpaste leaves teeth “dental-visit” clean and ready to be remineralized via a good diet.

How You Can Help Stop Water Fluoridation

Many U.S. cities are fighting water fluoridation, including New York City, NY, Austin, TX, Portland, OR, San Diego, CA, Lawrence, KS, and more. Many cities in Canada and New Zealand are also fighting fluoridation.

Here are some things you can do to fight fluoridation in your city.

Send information about the dangers of water fluoridation to your local city council members and mayor. Presenting information at local council meetings and directly with council members can go a long way in ending fluoridation, which is how Fairbanks, Alaska ended water fluoridation.

Contact your local environmental agency and express opposition to water fluoridation, or request a fresh investigation into the science behind fluoridation. Many areas continue to fluoridate their water supplies simply because that is what they have always done. But gaining a fresh perspective from an independent fluoride investigation committee can be an effective solution for reforming public consensus on the fluoride issue.

This approach was successful in Juneau, Alaska, where a fluoride commission was established specifically to study the science behind fluoride and compile a report for the city council to review. Based on the commission’s findings, it was recommended to the council that the city stop fluoridating its water supply, which went into effect in 2007.

Hand out fluoride information to your friends, family, neighbors. Most people have no idea that the fluoride added to their water has been designated by the U.S. EPA as a toxic waste product responsible for causing bone fractures, dental fluorosis, and other conditions. They also probably do not know that the official Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for sodium fluoride lists the chemical as carcinogenic, mutagenic, and toxic to bodily organs and the reproductive system.

You can access a wealth of information about the dangers of fluoride, which you can share with those around you, at:

In addition, you can:


34 thoughts on “The Dangers of Water Fluoridation {And How to Protect Yourself}”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I agree that water fluoridation is dangerous. We should avoid this, especially for kids. Even if flouridation is heathly for our teeth, but do harm to our healthy. It is not worth risking. And our toothpastes normall has flouridation chemicals, so our potable water doesn’t need to.

  2. This is an interesting read! I think most states and territories in Australia have water fluoridation programs currently operating despite the ongoing debate over its health benefits. While I was working for Australian clients before, I came upon several interviews of government officials and health experts attesting that it is safe to add fluoride to water and that it is good for their dental health. They even cited some studies to back-up their claims. But after reading this article, I’m now having second thoughts on whether fluoride is really good for our health. I guess I will have to conduct further research on this.

  3. I’ve grown up thinking that fluoride is good because it’s in our toothpaste. Now I know better. Thanks for this highly informative article!

  4. Avatar photo
    Mayumi Liwayway Espina

    Interesting article. Fluoridation is quite commonplace in many areas. This can lead to debilitating health effects. I think fluoridation should stop.

  5. Hi Dawn,

    I finally know where the discoloration on my teeth have come from. It’s unfortunate an article like this wasnt around years ago to educate my parents.

  6. This article does a thorough job of explaining the problems with fluoridation. Most people don’t give it a second thought, unfortunately. When my husband and I learned about it, we decided to take action right away and bought a Berkey water filter with the optional fluoride filters. What bothers me the most about the whole thing is that most of us in the US (I believe it’s 70%) are on municipal water systems and we are being medicated without our consent. It’s great to get involved and try to stop it, but it’s a long process to change anything that the government has put in place. So keep fighting, but get yourself some kind of fluoride filter to protect your family in the meantime!

  7. Another way to remove Fluoride is via another medium which is a carbon medium combined with calcium which has not been mentioned. This is actively being used by companies to remove fluoride. If the link doesn’t show up I’ll try to post again…

  8. Avatar photo
    Lori @ Our Heritage of Health

    This is a great informative post about flouride! I avoid flouride as much as possible now, but I don’t even like to think about all of the flouride exposure I got as a child . . . (flouridated toothpaste, flouridated drinking water, flouride treatments at the dentist etc.)

    Thanks for sharing with Old-Fashioned Friday! 🙂

  9. Glad we have well water 🙂 Thanks for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!!! Can’t wait to see what you share this coming Thursday 🙂 Here’s the super easy link to the next hop!

    1. Unfortunately, fluoride is a naturally occurring substance and is almost certainly found in your well water. I live in an area that has a naturally high concentration of fluoride in the groundwater and many local people show evidence of dental fluorosis. You may want to have your water checked to determine the levels of dissolved minerals; you may need a filtration system, after all.

  10. Avatar photo
    Countrified Hicks

    What an informative post! I would love for you to come share these on my weekly link up that just went live for the week.

  11. Avatar photo
    Justyn @ Creative Christian Mama

    Great post! I agree completely. When I lived in England, all the military kids were given chewable fluoride pills. How horrible!

    I saw this post at the Saturday Round Up! 🙂

  12. GREAT article! You clearly did your homework!
    I live in Portland where we are about to have a city-wide vote in May whether or whether not to fluoridate the water.
    If only everyone would do their homework like you 🙂

    1. Yeah, I’m amazed that Portland is considering fluoridation. I hope you all succeed in rejecting that measure, and I hope something you read here, or the links within can help your effort somehow! Best to you!

  13. Thanks for sharing this information. My daughters Pediatrician (whom I didn’t like much anyway) prescribed her a supplement with Fluoride in it without telling me! It’s a good thing I read the label before giving it to her. Needless to say we switched doctors right away.

  14. Avatar photo

    Thanks for such an informative post. I’ve always been against fluoride (thankfully we have well water!), but I never knew all the specifics. I’m pinning this article so others can be informed too!

  15. Avatar photo
    Kathy @ Mind Body and Sole

    Dawn, this is such a well-written informative post. Thank you for sharing it on Wildcrafting Wednesday. 🙂

    What are your thoughts on the LIFE water system? It has filters for floride and as I energy test for our family, I get that the LIFE system is better for my family than the Berkey.

    1. Thanks for your comment and question, Kathy!

      Unfortunately, water ionizers don’t remove fluoride. The LIFE ionizers website says you have to buy a special fluoride-removing pre-filter for that. Ionizers have their own health benefits that come from electrically charging and structuring the water (and are extremely pricey compared to water filters because of it), but they can’t physically remove fluoride minerals from the water–only a filter can do that.

      Although the Berkey is not the most efficient fluoride removal system, I like them because they are low-tech and great for camping, emergency preparedness and power outages. I would keep a Berkey for prep purposes alone!

      But for regular day-to-day fluoride filtration on a budget, I would use an under-counter activated alumina or RO filter, if I didn’t have access to a local spring. Right now I get all our drinking/cooking water from a very clean local spring, and have an alumina chlorine/fluoride filter on my showerhead, which I use to filter my child’s bath.

    2. I purchased a Life M-11 water ionizer. It came with 4 filters of which there are two per-filters, at no extra cost for any of them. I’m not sure about the other two, but the per-filters both take out fluoride. One of the per-filters “takes out municipal-added fluoride to undetectable levels”, as stated on their website.

      From what I have been reading lately, fluoride is the most important toxin to get protection from. I’m quite sorry I can not now remember the cellular biochemical process that fluoride does to our health. But I just remember how horrible it was to the body’s processes. Anyone who thinks the those in power at the FDA has the public’s better interest in mind, should think again.

  16. We recently purchased a Berkey…and love it!

    Our city claimed to do a routine water chlorination. The water almost smelled like straight bleach. I didn’t even want to bathe my children in it, we all experienced headaches, stomach aches, so we bought distilled water during that time until our Berkey arrived.

    My husband and I called to complain to the water department and numerous people called back with all different stories and tried to assure us that the water was safe.

    A friend of ours heard from a reliable source, that the water department was chemically flushing & cleaning out the pipes.

  17. Avatar photo
    Melinda--Marshmallow Mudpie

    I agree completely! We buy flouride-free toothpaste and have taught my son about the dangers of flouride. We’re very lucky to live in a city that doesn’t flouridate the water. Thanks so much for writing this! I’m going to pin it. 🙂

  18. Sad how everything revolves around money. If it’s cheaper to be unhealthy, companies will make unhealthy products.
    Thanks for sharing this info at A Humble Bumble!

  19. We make our own toothpaste and are planning to invest in a reverse osmosis system. Please consider sharing your post with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday!

    1. Thanks for sharing this with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope to see you again today!

  20. Hi, Thankyou for writing this. My fiance has been over exposed to fluoride as a child and his teeth are stained and discolored and very brittle. In fact one just chipped a little from eating an apple. Is there a way to detox fluoride from our body?

    1. I always said no, until I switched to a non-toxic dentist who uses it only selectively. Using a little fluoride topically just on a tooth surface, and only as needed, is a LOT different than drinking several cups of it a day, and having it poison every system in your body.

  21. Is reverse osmosis really bad? I cook all our food from scratch so maybe we’d get the minerLs back in??. Isn’t it better to get rid of the pharmaceuticals along with chlorine/flouride? I’ve been trying to figure this out for the past year. I’ve looked into the berkey but that doesn’t get rid of the pharmaceuticals. What do you think?

    1. Reverse osmosis will get just about everything out of the water; it’s the only system that will. You can add minerals back in by using ConcenTrace or some other trace mineral product. You can get additional minerals from leafy greens, bone broth and fresh-pressed veggie juices, but if you don’t eat those daily, I’d put the trace minerals back in the water. Makes the water taste better and feel more refreshing too. In abundance, Dawn



50 Ways to Love Your Mother contains 50 simple steps you can take today that will not only go easy on the planet, but your wallet, too.


Get it FREE when you sign up for the Seasonal Harvest newsletter!

50 Ways to Love Your Mother - Simple Steps for a Greener, Healthier Planet


Get refreshing new ideas to save money and live greener and healthier every day.
Join Small Footprint Family on your favorite social network!