A new study has found that some children are being exposed to excessive amounts of fluoride as a result of consuming a number of beverages that contain the substance, in combination with fluoridated water, toothpaste, supplements, and other sources
Many experts and environmental groups are already concerned that children, as well as adults, in the U.S. are being put at risk of any number of serious health problems as a result of overexposure to fluoride.
The current study involves one of the milder side-effects of too much fluoride; a condition known as dental fluorosis. This condition can cause white streaks on teeth.
Of the 408 children studied, more than one-third showed such signs of dental fluorosis. The children were getting the excess fluoride from beverages such as infant formula and pure fruit juices.
The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Dental Research.
The children (between the ages of 10 to 13) were followed from birth as part of the Iowa Fluoride Study. The research team reviewed beverage consumption Ã¢â‚¬Å“diariesÃ¢â‚¬Â as well as fluoride concentration of well waters and store-bought beverages. The childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s teeth were examined at 7 and 12 years of age.
The researchers found about 36% of the children showed white streaks on their teeth or other signs of what was generally mild dental fluorosis. These children consumed more pure fruit juices at 16 months and less milk at 9 months than children who did develop fluorosis.
The children with fluorosis were also found to have consumed more fluoride from other beverages such as infant formulas at 6 and 9 months and pure fruit juices at 12, 16, and 20 months.
While dental fluorosis is a concern, the following excerpt from an anti-fluoride group demonstrates the high level of danger some see in excessive fluoride consumption in the U.S.
“…fluoride (that is added to municipal water) is a hazardous waste product…for which there is substantial evidence of adverse health effects and, contrary to public perception, virtually no evidence of significant benefits,” says Dr. William Hirzy, Vice President, Chapter 280 of the National Treasury Employees Union, EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C.
At least 22% of all American children now have dental fluorosis as a result of ingesting too much fluoride, according to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). That rate may be 69% in children from high socioeconomic-status families and those who live in fluoridated communities, according to a July 1998 report from The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and corroborated in several reports published since 1995 in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA-see below). Fluorosis is the discoloration and, in advanced cases, the pitting of teeth. Bleaching is not effective.
The more serious health concern is that dental fluorosis is not the only harmful health effect that results from overexposure to fluoride. Fluoride has been linked in government and scientific reports to a wide range of harmful health effects, including: bone and tooth decay (including dental and skeletal fluorosis, bone pathology, arthritis, and osteoporosis) Alzheimer’s, memory loss and other neurological impairment, kidney damage, cancer, genetic damage, and gastrointestinal problems. In addition, fluoride has been found to leach lead from old water pipes and soldering material, which has resulted in increased lead levels in people.
Americans, even in unfluoridated communities, are suffering serious harmful health effects from overexposure to fluoride due to its widespread and uncontrolled use. Fluoride can be found in any food or beverage made with fluoridated municipal water. Less than 2% of Western Europe drink fluoridated water compared to over 60% of the United States population.Ã¢â‚¬Â