Is our water making kids dumber? Several studies out say yes, including a new long term, multi-million dollar study sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. This study found that fluoride exposure in utero can lower a child’s IQ a sizeable amount. According to the study, each 0.5 mg/L increase in fluoride over 0.8 mg/L in the mother’s urine was associated with a 2.5-point reduction in IQ and a 3.15-point reduction in general cognitive index scores in the child. The more fluoride found in the mother’s system the more the child’s IQ was reduced. What’s worse is that fluoride is the one “drug” that no one is controlling the dosage of. No matter how much is in the water (amounts vary city to city) you could potentially have way more fluoride intake than your neighbor due to your personal exposure through drinking, cooking with city water, eating food processed with fluoridated water, etc. Follow up studies of the children with high exposure to fluoride in utero shows the impact on their IQ remains as they grow older.
Maybe this will help. This article sheds light on why our water is fluoridated in the first place and *Spoiler Alert* it has less to do with tooth decay and more to do with money and environmental politics. Not only did this start as a solution of how to cheaply dispose of industrial waste from aluminum plants (the waste being toxic fluoride, of course), but it’s become one of the biggest deceptions in modern American healthcare. I say American, because most other countries have been wise enough to avoid it and/or ban fluoridated water due to health concerns. There’s also lots of research showing that fluoride is mildly effective in preventing tooth decay when it’s applied topically and is relatively ineffective when ingested. Despite mounting studies, the ADA still endorses fluoridating public water even though it may do more harm than good. As the Mercola site says “How the ADA can prioritize the prevention of tooth decay over IQ loss is simply incomprehensible.“
So maybe you’re not a pregnant mama, but you’re wondering if you should still be concerned. Yet again, the answer is yes. For decades cities have dealt with dental fluorosis, in which exposure caused children to develop weakened enamel and brown spots on their teeth due to fluoride exposure, and pages and pages of studies have linked fluoride exposure to joint pain, ADHD, cancer and increased tumor growth, hormone disruption and it’s even been linked to hypothyroidism. Another problem is contamination. The fluoride added to public water isn’t medical grade, instead it’s unrefined industrial waste (yes, you’re reading that right) and is often contaminated with arsenic, lead, aluminum and more. The bottom line is that the government is adding unrefined hazardous material to your drinking water without your consent and without any safety regarding dosage. It’s NOT ok.
Fluoride Water Filters
Until they end fluoridating public water, the best thing you can do is filter out the fluoride. Easier said than done, since fluoride is extremely difficult to filter out and most filters on the market do NOT remove fluoride. After researching water filters to death (seriously, I spent more time than I’d like to admit on this), I finally jumped on the Berkey Bandwagon. It’s pretty reasonable compared to other water filter systems and with the fluoride filter attachments, it checks everything off my list for what I want to filter out. The water comes out tasting awesome too. You can actually put muddy creek water in this and get clean water in under an hour. I was a little wary of having something large live on my counter, so we got the travel size Berkey with the additional fluoride filters and it’s perfect for our family of four. I fill it 1-2 times a day typically and within a few minutes there’s enough clean water to fill a glass.
Eventually I’d like to get a whole house filter, but it’s been hard sifting through information on those. Most don’t remove fluoride, but my friend Janny found one that does and recently had it installed. You can read her experience so far here. I’ll see how she does with it long term before I commit lol.
You can also use a reverse osmosis system like this one to filter it out, but be aware that this filters everything out, even the minerals, so be sure to remineralize your water for proper hydration (the system I just linked to remineralizes for you). The other downside to this kind of system is that they typically expel gallons of waste water to produce clean water, which can mean a much higher water bill and slow water flow.
Don’t be afraid to write to local government agencies and even EPA if you’d like to see our public water change. Here’s to fresh pure water!