(NaturalNews) A compilation of data made possible by homeowners who voluntarily submitted water samples from their private wells in Maine, unveiled some shocking results after they were tested by the state.
According to a report by Scientific American, wells in 10 communities harbored "dangerously high levels of fluoride," and in some cases, the samples contained more than double the amount of fluoride recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is 4.0 mg/L.
In addition to fluorosis, a condition that causes discoloration, pitted teeth and surface irregularities in young children, dozens of studies, including one conducted by Harvard, have linked high levels of fluoride to lower IQ levels in children.
A 2011 report by the Maine Department of Conservation [PDF] states that 44 percent of Mainers rely on private wells. In Dedham, a tiny community located in Hancock County, Maine, 37.8 percent of 37 tested wells had high amounts fluoride that exceeded the state's maximum exposure guidelines.
About 10 percent of wells in another eight towns across the state tested positive for fluoride levels higher than the state's cutoff, which is 2.0 mg/L. The communities included Surry, Prospect, Franklin, Sedgwick, Penobscot, York, Harrison and Stockton Springs.
Mainers could be exposed to even higher levels of fluoride if you factor in toothpaste and other dental products.
Because private wells in the United States are unregulated for drinking water standards, it is the homeowner's responsibility to periodically test and, if necessary, treat the water, according to Science Direct.
New England states have higher fluoride levels due to underlying granite
Maine and other New England states such as New Hampshire and Rhode Island have particularly higher levels of fluoride in the groundwater due to their geology.
Fluoride can occur both naturally and synthetically. The latter is most often used for fluoridating public water supplies, a "treatment" that can cause dental and skeletal fluorosis.
Naturally occurring fluoride is a chemical found within many rock types and is associated with the weathering process particularly in regions with underlying shale, sandstone and granite bedrock. It is odorless and cannot be detected by scent or taste and is rather difficult to filter out.
More people drink fluoridated water in the USA than the rest of the world
Fluorosilicic acid, or hydrofluorosilicate, is unpurified fluoride derived from the phosphate fertilizer industry in which phosphate rock is converted into soluble fertilizer. Two very toxic fluoride gases are released during this process, hydrogen fluoride and silicon tetrafluoride.
Releasing the gases into the atmosphere "caused severe environmental damage among downwind communities, including widespread cattle poisonings, scorched vegetation, and various human health complaints" according to FluorideAlert.org.
Amid legal and regulatory mandates, the phosphate industry was forced to install "wet scrubbers" to trap the fluoride gases, which are then collected in storage tanks and shipped to water departments across the country, an unthinkable action that's caused decades of debate and controversy.
Maine well water also tested positive for manganese, nitrates, nitrites and uranium
Over a quarter of well users in Maine failed to act after learning about the contaminated water. Arsenic, manganese, nitrates, nitrites and uranium were also found in the state's groundwater at levels equal to or greater than the Maximum Contaminate Level (MCL) in 2011.
Surveys showed that Mainers were reluctant to clean up their water even after learning that it was contaminated with arsenic, a deadly toxicant known to cause cancer, blindness and numbness in the hands and feet. This behavior makes it unlikely that any measures will be taken to reduce the fluoride content in private wells.