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Why the Fluoride in Our Water is Toxic + How I Filter Tap Water

  • Published on: 16 February, 2016
  • Last update: 04 June, 2018

The image you see above is a bag of fluoride. Yes — the very fluoride that’s put into our public drinking water (and every single food product that requires water, such as soups and beverages). And yes, the bag says “DANGER!” in bold letters, letting us know that this particular fluoride (sodium fluoride) is toxic when ingested.

How can this be? How can the additive we’re conditioned to think “prevents cavities” actually have toxic effects on our teeth, as stated on this label? The harmful outcome the warning is referring to is a condition called dental fluorosis. And according to the CDC’s latest data, 41% of U.S. children suffer from it! That’s 22 million innocent kids. Dental Fluorosis is defined as hypomineralization of tooth enamel caused by ingestion of excessive fluoride during enamel formation. It appears as a range of visual changes in enamel causing degrees of intrinsic tooth discoloration.

fluorosis fluorosis-rates

As you can see, dental fluorosis has skyrocketed since the beginning of water fluoridation in the 50’s. Since fluorosis is caused, by definition, due to overdose of fluoride, there’s one very important conclusion we should be taking from this: We are overdosing our children with this drug.

Why is that a problem?

To begin to see why this overdose is such a travesty, we should explore the other warnings on the bag. The label tells us that fluoride targets very specific organs in our body, along with our Central Nervous System (CNS). Our CNS is our brain, brain stem and spinal cord. Our brains transmit nerve impulses down the spinal cord and out to every organ & muscle in the body. The other organs affected include the heart, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, and especially the thyroid (which is not mentioned on the bag but I’ll get to in a minute!)

Why does fluoride have these toxic effects on organs?

Plain and simple, fluoride is toxic. Fluoride was found to be an equivocal carcinogen by the National Cancer Institute Toxicological Program (1). Early studies found a 5% increase in all types of cancers in fluoridated communities (2), and a recent paper by the New Jersey Department of Health has now confirmed a 6.9 fold increase in bone cancer in young males who reside in fluoridated communities (3). Researchers suspect this connection to cancer because half of ingested fluoride is deposited in bones, and fluoride stimulates growth in the end of bones, where osteosarcoma occurs.

“In point of fact, fluoride causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster than any other chemical.” – Dr. Dean Burk PhD, who spent over three decades with the national cancer institute.

Dr. Burk was an American biochemist, who co-discovered biotin. He was a head chemist at the National Cancer Institutes, received the Hilderbrand Prize in 1952 for his work on photosynthesis, and the Gerhard Domagk Prize in 1965 for his development of procedures for distinguishing the difference between a normal cell and one damaged by cancer. The man was a genius who came out with many discoveries, but waited until his elderly years to reveal his stance against fluoride. Burk states in the video below, “When you have power you don’t have to tell the truth. That’s a rule that’s been working in this world for generations. And there are a great many people who don’t tell the truth when they are in power in administrative positions.” He knew the consequences this revelation would have had on his career and reputation years earlier.


Watch the video above to hear Burk speak on the connection between fluoride and cancer.

Dr. William Marcus, Senior Science Advisor to the EPA Office of Water, was not as lucky as Dr. Burk and was fired because of his outspoken opposition to water fluoridation in the early 1990’s. He even claimed that they rigged their test results to show that fluoride did not cause cancer when in fact it did.

Fluoride is A Neurotoxin!

Fluoride is newly classified as a developmental neurotoxin by medical authorities in the March 2014 journal Lancet Neurology. The authors, Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Philip Landrigan of the Icahn School of Medicine, are advocating for a global prevention strategy to control what they call a “pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity.” 

The researchers’ meta-analysis revealed that the average loss in IQ in high-fluoride communities was reported as a mean difference of 0.45, which would be approximately equivalent to seven IQ points with a standard deviation of 15.  Some studies that they included in their analysis suggested that even slightly increased fluoride exposure could be toxic to the brain. Thus, their conclusion was that children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas.

Harvard’s website notes that although the children in the studies were up to 14 years of age, the investigators speculate that any toxic effect on brain development may have happened earlier, and that the brain may not be fully capable of compensating for the toxicity. Remind me again why big box stores are advertising special “nursery” water for baby formula with extra amounts of this neurotoxin as a selling point?


“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” Grandjean says. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”

To date, 49 studies have linked fluoride with reduced IQ in children.


Studies of human populations have reported associations between fluoride exposure and damage to the male reproductive system. Most notably, a scientist at the Food & Drug Administration reported in 1994 that populations in the United States with more than 3 ppm fluoride in their water had lower “total fertility rates” than populations with lower fluoride levels (4). While 3 ppm is a higher concentration than used in water fluoridation programs (0.7 to 1.2 ppm), it is still considered a “safe” level by the EPA. Our bodies can certainly build up levels equal to or higher than 3 ppm as we consume multiple sources of fluoride each day (tap water, juices, fruits sprayed with fluoride-based pesticides, soups, and other packaged foods).

Three studies of highly fluoride-exposed populations in China and India have also found that high fluoride exposure is associated with reduced male fertility (Chen 1997; Liu 1988; Neelam 1987). In addition, five studies from China, India, Mexico, and Russia have found that high-fluoride exposure is associated with reduced male testosterone levels (Hao 2010; Ortiz 2003; Susheela 1996; Michael 1996; Tokar 1977).

Thyroid Health

Fluoride was once prescribed as an anti-thyroid drug. Doctors selected fluoride as a thyroid suppressant based on findings linking fluoride to goitre, and, as predicted, fluoride therapy did reduce thyroid activity in the treated patients (McClaren 1969; Galletti 1958; May 1937). Moreover, according to clinical research, the fluoride dose capable of reducing thyroid function was notably low — just 2 to 5 mg per day over several months (Galletti & Joyet 1958). This dose is well within the range (1.6 to 6.6 mg/day) of what individuals living in fluoridated communities are now estimated to receive on a regular basis (DHHS 1991).

In February 2015, British scientists reported that fluoridated water in Britain is associated with elevated rates of hypothyroidism:

“We found that higher levels of fluoride in drinking water provide a useful contribution for predicting prevalence of hypothyroidism. We found that practices located in the West Midlands (a wholly fluoridated area) are nearly twice as likely to report high hypothyroidism prevalence in comparison to Greater Manchester (non-fluoridated area).” (Peckham 2015).

This is not surprising whatsoever when you look at the basic science of halogens.

The four major halogens are fluoride, chlorine, bromide, and iodine. The first three can be incredibly harmful to the human body when one consumes even a little too much. The last one, iodine, is required by all cells in the body, especially the thyroid – and it actually protects you from the other three!

The problem with halogens is this: the highly reactive ones (fluoride/bromide) will literally displace, or kick out, iodine from your body’s reserves. Yes, fluoride depletes your body of iodine!

Iodine is the basic building block of the T3 and T4 hormones and thus an adequate iodine intake is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. When iodine intake is inadequate during infancy and early childhood, the child’s brain can suffer permanent damage, including mental retardation. (Iodine deficiency is the leading cause of mental retardation throughout the world).

In China, researchers have repeatedly found that an iodine deficiency coupled with fluoride exposure produces a significantly more damaging effect on neurological development than iodine deficiency alone (Hong 2001; Xu 1994; Lin 1991; Ren 1989).

Despite the widespread availability of iodized salt, iodine deficiency has re-emerged as a public health concern in the United States (CDC 1998). That’s partly because iodized salt is useless and bio-unavailable, and partly because of the halogen kick-out effect I mentioned earlier. More than 15% of American women of child-bearing age presently have a moderate to severe iodine deficiency, and an additional 36% of are considered mildly iodine deficient (Caldwell et al., 2008). Fluoride is exacerbating this issue.

The fluoride in our water is a waste product of pollution

The naturally occurring mineral form of fluoride is ‘calcium fluoride.’ This fluoride is found naturally in the soil and thus, in spring water.

Sodium fluoride & Hexafluorosilicid Acid (HFSA) on the other hand are toxic waste by-products of the aluminum and phosphate fertilizer industries, and are often imported from China as you saw in the first photo.

The toxic by-products are what we have in our daily water, not the safe, naturally occurring mineral form of calcium fluoride. Here’s where our daily dose comes from:

  1. Sodium fluoride is a toxic by-product of the aluminum industry. As aluminum production increased in the first half of the twentieth century, it became necessary to find somewhere to put the fluoride. Manufacturers could no longer get away with dumping it into rivers or landfills (honest practice, right?), because it was poisoning crops and making livestock sick. Francis Frary, chief scientist for ALCOA, had an idea. He commissioned Gerald Cox at the Mellon Institute, to conduct research regarding the benefits of adding fluoride to the water supply. The Mellon Institute was frequently hired by big business to produce research that supported their industries, and for several decades they produced research showing that asbestos was safe and did not cause cancer. These guys sound trustworthy already, huh. All “research science” done to support water fluoridation was funded by these massive companies: Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), Aluminum Company of Canada, American Petroleum Institute, Dupont, Kaiser Aluminum, Reynolds Steel, and US Steel. Do these corporations sound like they really care about your teeth, or would it be wiser to remember that their one and only goal is profit (and waste dumping)? Thanks to these rigged studies, fluoridation was approved, and PR master Edward Bernays was hired to create the PR campaign that sold fluoride to the nation as an additive “recommended by your doctor and dentist for healthy teeth”. He was a pioneer of modern propaganda and used the theories of mass psychology and persuasion to suit the needs of corporate and political organizations.
  2. Hexafluorosilicid Acid is the most common form of fluoride used today. HFSA comes from the smoke stacks of the phosphate industry, captured by what are called “wet scrubbers,” put in place by the Clean Air Act to remove fluorine gas and other pollutants from the public airspace. Due to the fact that this waste product is being picked up on the sides of industrial smoke stacks, this HFSA is not purely fluoride! It ends up containing arsenic, mercury, cadmium, thallium, radionuclides, and lead.

Screen Shot 2016-02-16 at 5.34.39 PM

With all the corruption going on, it’s no surprise that the EPA welcomed this re-purposed waste with open arms. In a letter from 1983, Rebecca Hanmer (the EPA’s deputy assistant administrator for water) stated, “In regard to the use of HFSA as a source of fluoride for water fluoridation, this Agency regards such use as an ideal solution to a long-standing problem.

Can anyone explain to me why it would ever be a good idea to take care of a pollution problem by collecting the pollutant and transferring it to a different public outlet?

The bottom line: fluoride does far more harm than good.

You do not need fluoride in your water to prevent cavities. Your teeth will be healthy without it when you eat well and brush your teeth carefully. In fact, most Western countries do not fluoridate their water and yet their tooth decay rates have declined at the same rate as the U.S. (plus, they don’t have the dental fluorosis rates we do!) The following graph compares the tooth decay trends in Western countries with, and without, water (or salt) fluoridation.


Fluoridated water provides no benefits; only risks. I stopped subjecting my body, mind, and thyroid to this poison two years ago and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

How I Filter Fluoride from Tap Water


If you go to the “Products I Love” section of my website and click on ‘kitchen + home tools’ you’ll see that I list my beloved Berkey Filter and the fluoride filter add-on.

This is the Rolls Royce of water filters, especially for those of us who are conscious of fluoride, heavy metals, and other pollutants in tap water. Truly clean water is your first step to whole-body health and the well-being of your organs/glands such as your thyroid. This water filter is big enough for families of up to 4 people, holds 1.5 gallons, and filters not only heavy metals but also bacteria, cysts, parasites, and sediment. Because of the tiny pore size in their patented filter, they can remove submicron viruses without the use of chlorine.


The Berkey itself comes with their patented purification system inside, but because fluoride filtration requires more extensive technology, their fluoride filters come as an add-on product that you replace every 6 months. These fluoride water filters work as a post filter after the built-in system has already removed heavy metals and pathogens. As an added bonus it also filters arsenic, which as I mentioned is commonly found in HFSA thanks to the smoke stacks!

Nick and I fill our Berkey twice a day and it’s a perfect size for our counter top. Although it was expensive, it has saved us a lot of money that we were previously spending on fluoride-free bottled spring water (and also saved us from the BPA in the plastic that water came in!) Before the Berkey we were using a countertop distiller that we got on Ebay for $180, but after learning that distilled water is very ‘yin’ due to the lack of minerals we decided to make the switch.

Fluoride Documentaries

If you’d like to learn more about fluoride, or share this important information with family and friends, I highly recommend that you check out the documentary films below.

  1. Fluoride: The Hard to Swallow Truth (2011)
  2. An Inconvenient Tooth (2012)
  3. Our Daily Dose (2015)

Thank you for reading and please share with others in the comments if you recommend any other filters!

References Not Linked

(1) Bucher, et. al., Results and conclusions of the National Toxicology Program’s rodent carcinogenicity studies with sodium fluoride, Int J Cancer, 1991 Jul 9;48(5):733-7.

(2) Yiamouyiannis, J.A. and Dean Burk, “Fluoridation and Cancer: Age Dependence of Cancer Mortality Related to Artificial Fluoridation,” Fluoride, Vol. 10 #3 (102-123) 1977

(3) Cohn, Perry D. Ph.D. An Epidemiological Report on Drinking Water Fluoridation and Osteosarcoma in Young Males New Jersey Department of Health, Environmental Health Service, Trenton NJ November 8, 1992


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Thank Olivia for all of the great information. Does this filter also filter out medicine? I have been told that DC tap water has medicine in it. Also, what filter would you suggest in the shower/tub? Thank you.


Thanks again for all the work you do to educate us and save our lives. You are truly priceless.


We’ve had a Berkey Imperial for a number of years and really like it. We first got it because of concerns about fluoride in the water. And we wanted to have a water that could be used in emergencies. That’s what’s great about Berkey. It’s very versatile. There’s another brand of gravity filter called Propur that takes out fluoride. It’s very similar to Berkey but the filters are made differently. They’re about equal in effectiveness. Reverse osmosis filter systems are also very good for removing fluoride and all kinds of contaminants. But they have to be connected to your plumbing and they do waste a lot of water in the filtering process.

Lauren O'Neill

Aaaaah thank you for this post! I’ve been researching water filters and you may have just convinced me that the Berkey is the way to go! Do you use a shower filter as well? I would love to get a whole house filter but they’re so pricey.

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