(NaturalNews) If you're connected to natural health circles, you've probably been privy to a lot of the buzz about fluoride (it's a subject that just doesn't seem to permanently go away). Years ago it began as concern among health-conscious people about the substance's presence in toothpaste. Apparently, toothpaste manufacturers were paying attention; In the past it was nearly impossible to find toothpastes free of sodium fluoride, but luckily that trend has reversed. Much has been made recently in alternate news publications of cities around the world adding fluoride to the drinking water, and the logical objections of a well-informed citizenry. Obviously, many people know that fluoride is bad, but what is it really? Read on to find out.
Sodium fluoride defined: A "pickling" agent with many industrial applications
Sodium fluoride (SF) is an inorganic chemical compound with the formula NaF on the periodic table. It is made by neutralizing hydrofluoric acid or hexafluorosilicic acid. It appears as a colorless, solid white crystal which provides the fluoride ion for mostly industrial applications. It holds the EU classifications of "Xi" for Irritant, and "T" for Toxic. Sodium fluoride is a pickling (preservative) agent and inorganic poison and therefore commonly used in pesticides, fungicides and insecticides (this is because sodium fluoride prevents the growth of fungi, bacteria and mold). Sodium fluoride is used in the manufacturing of steel and aluminum metals. It's also used as a metal surface treatment and cleaning agent, for glass frosting, as a wood preservative, and for pH adjustment in industrial textile processing.
Potential adverse health effects of fluoride exposure
Ingestion of fluoride in high enough doses or low doses over a long period of time is known to cause varying ailments. Some of these are:
- Stomach pain or irritation - Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite - General weakness - Risk of convulsions - Ulcers - Cardiac arrhythmia - Hypocalcemia with nervous system disorders (tetany) - Dental fluorosis* (discoloring of teeth) - Skeletal fluorosis* (adverse changes in bone structure or bone strength) - Development of Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer
(*Fluorosis is the condition of the formation of deposits of fluorides in bones and teeth)
Chronic exposure of a known-toxin and bio-accumulative substance
Taking into consideration the main uses for fluoride and the concept of fluorosis, it begins to appear to be a ludicrous concept to consciously add a toxic substance such as fluoride into drinking water or toothpaste and mouthwash. As illustrated above, fluorosis can occur over long periods of time with low doses of ingested fluoride. This is a surefire sign of a bio-accumulative toxic substance, i.e., a substance that builds up in our bodies over time. At first, bio-accumulative toxins have little adverse effect on health and well-being, but down the road, as the toxin accumulates in tissues, the adverse health effects begin to materialize, with potentially disastrous results.
About the author: Zach C. Miller was raised from an early age to believe in the power and value of healthy-conscious living. He later found in himself a talent for writing, and it only made sense to put two & two together! He has written and published articles about health & wellness and other topics on ehow.com and here on NaturalNews. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Applied Science.