Fluoride and Flame Retardants

Fluoride is a huge topic of debate around the country in regards to city water supplies. There really should be no debate on this, because the extensive body of scientific research on the subject shows very clearly that fluoride is a neurotoxin and a carcinogen.  Dr. Paul Connett’s book The Case Against Fluoride offers a compelling argument against the use of fluoride in humans and contains hundreds of scientific references.

Most fluoride used in water supplies is derived from mineral mining waste and is in an extremely toxic form. Fluoride has no natural role in the human body and the evidence shows it actually causes diseased teeth (dental fluorosis) rather than protecting them from decay when taken internally. Topical fluoride is helpful in reducing decay, but there is a risk of swallowing it. Fluoride can cause neurological toxicity, and there are thousands of calls to poison control centers every year due to children eating toothpaste. It says right on the tube it should not be swallowed – so why include it in a product to be put in your child’s mouth?  Use a fluoride-free product.

Another important source of fluoride is mass-produced beverages made using city water. Non-organic juices such as grape and others have extremely high amounts because sodium fluoride is used as a pesticide on the fruit (fluoride kills things you see). Tea also contains high levels of fluoride, with black tea having far more than green or white tea. It is very important to drink only organic teas and other beverages to avoid fluoride.

Fluoride is used in laboratory experiments to turn normal human cells into cancer cells, and a study out of Harvard showed that higher fluoride consumption caused a seven-fold increased risk of bone cancers in boys (Bassin, 2001). Fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland and may affect melatonin production and sleep regulation. Fluoride accumulates in bones to a great extent and can increase fracture risk.

Taking iodine supplements may help displace and clear fluoride, but this is not proven. Perfluorinated compounds, or “PFC’s”, are used on non-stick pans and cookware. These fluoride-containing chemicals leach into your foods and can cause thyroid problems and other hormonal disruption. The only effective way to remove PFC’s is to use the prescription gastrointestinal resin “cholestyramine” in between meals, which binds the PFC’s excreted in bile and carries them out in the stool.

The popular flame-retardants called PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls) were banned in the 1970’s because of all the health problems they were found to cause for humans and wildlife. They were replaced by PBDE’s (polybrominated diphenyl ethers), which were never studied for human safety. Now that we have used PBDE’s for several decades we realize they are extremely toxic as well. PBDE’s appear to cause problems with thyroid function and other hormonal effects. Certain PBDE’s appear to cause serious neurotoxicity in young children (Costa, L – Neurotoxicology – Jan, 2011).

Flame retardant chemicals (PBDE’s mostly) are found in very high levels in children’s mattresses, in the pajamas and other clothing. Cover mattresses with vinyl covers and thick sheets. You can opt for tight-fitting pajamas for children that don’t have flame retardant; and washing clothing with fabric softeners removes some of the PBDE’s each time. Furniture and carpets also contain these chemicals, and house dust therefore contains large amounts. Don’t let your kids eat on the furniture or carpet. Dusting should be done with a damp cloth, so as to pick up the chemicals without spreading them into the air again.

Published on: January 04, 2013
About the Author
Photo of Ty Vincent MD

Dr. Ty Vincent is an integrative physician who dispels many of the false beliefs the American culture has been led to embrace in regards to diet, exercise, and medical care in his new book Thinking Outside the Pill Box. He is a practicing physician, frequent speaker, and father of six.

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