Fluoride is found naturally in all water, in varying amounts. Many countries have the problem of too much fluoride in water, causing dental fluorosis, where abnormally high levels of fluoride accumulate in the body, affecting teeth and bones. Dental fluorosis, that causes teeth to become mottled, discoloured and pitted, can also occur in areas where water is artificially fluoridated. When water deemed to contain too little fluoride has extra fluoride added to it, the actual amount that individuals receive is completely unknown. It is called by some as ‘mass medication’ because each person in a fluoridated area drinks fluoridated water for their lifetime, with no routine monitoring of their fluoride levels, although in certain instances some pathology labs can measure levels. There is absolutely no way of measuring the dosage that individuals receive on a daily basis, or over a period of years. Individual dietary, dental and lifestyle patterns can vary the amount of fluoride intake enormously. As with all chemicals and minerals, children absorb far higher amounts than adults. A person's diet, general state of health as well as the body's ability to dispose of fluoride all affect how exposure to fluoride manifests itself. Water fluoridation proponents appear to be unconcerned about this. It is precisely this point that water fluoridation’s opponents are so concerned about, because of the well documented cumulative effects of fluoride on human health.

Food Sources Of Fluoride

Fluoride is abundant in food. [3] A US parent based website lists fluoride levels in foods using 41 research references including an Australian study on the fluoride content of infant formulas. [4]

(ppm = parts per million, mg/kg = milligrams per kilogram, mg/l = milligrams per litre)

  • Apple, 1 medium: 1mg
  • Beef - mechanically de-boned: 14.0-42mg/kg, hand de-boned: 2.0-4.0mg/kg
  • Black Tea: 7.8mg per cup
  • Black Tea (16 samples): 30-340 mg/kg
  • Breast milk: 0.004ppm, 250 times lower than levels in fluoridated water. Infant formulas should be made with filtered water
  • Coca Cola Classic: 0.82 -0.98mg/l
  • Diet Coke: 1.12mg/l
  • Infant foods (238): 0.01-8.38mg/kg
  • Mackerel: 26.0mg/kg
  • Pork - mechanically de-boned: 9.0-14.0mg/kg, hand de-boned: 2.0-3.0 mg/kg
  • Potatoes: 0.3 - 13mg/kg
  • Rice: 14.0mg/kg
  • Sardines: 61.0mg/kg
  • Sea Salt: 7.0mg/kg
  • Sugar: 13.0 mg/kg
  • Water: Tap in fluoridated areas: 0.7-1.2mg/l, Reverse Osmosis: 0.05mg/l
  • Wheat: 7.2mg/kg


Non-Food Sources of Fluoride

Apart from drinking fluoridated water, the other main source of fluoride is fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoridated toothpastes contain 500 – 1500ppm of fluoride. It is impossible to regulate how much and how often individuals brush their teeth, how much toothpaste they use and if they are in the habit of swallowing their toothpaste or spitting it out or swallowing it, as most children do. Additional fluorine is also found in agricultural products and medications. In the June 2006 issue of ‘Chemical and Engineering News’ [5] the cover story states: “As many as 30−40% of agrochemicals and 20% of pharmaceuticals on the market are estimated to contain fluorine, including half of the top 10 drugs sold in 2005.” These drugs include Larium, Paxil, Prozac, Luvox, Celebrex, Iressa, Ciprofloxacin and Risperdal. Aluminium smelters and fertilizer production plants can cause environmental fluoride pollution, which increases our exposure to fluoride. [6]

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