Here in the Ozarks, we have excellent water. We’re largely spoiled by having it so good. Some places have a little more iron than is nice, and virtually everyone around here has a lot of calcium in their well, but for the most part, it is the best water straight out of a well that I’ve found anywhere in the country. But it looks like many of the small towns in this area are adding fluoride to the water and the residents don’t have any knowledge of it being added.
A lady I recently met writes a column on health for some papers in the area, and she was kind enough to include me in the loop to get this important information out there. If you live in an area that has rural water supplied, or in a small town, you might just want to have the water tested for fluoride yourself.
Here is the article by Marie Lasater of Texas County, Missouri.
Another Look at Fluoride
By Marie Lasater
In a previous discussion on toothpaste, we looked at the hazards of fluoride – dental fluorosis,
bone fractures, thyroid toxicity and negative effects on IQ in children, Switching to non-
fluoridated toothpaste is not enough, as an even more hazardous form of fluoride is being
added to our drinking water in some areas close to home.
The purported beneficial effects of fluoride on dental decay have largely been refuted. Fluoride
makes bones and teeth more brittle. Strong teeth in those of us who grew up on well water can
be attributed to the high amounts of calcium in the water, not naturally occurring fluoride,
which is occasionally found in small amounts, but not here in the Ozarks.
Although the American Dental Association continues to adamantly defend fluoride, at least 17
prominent organizations have withdrawn their support since 1990, including the American
Academy of Diabetes, the American Cancer Society, American Nurses Association, American
Psychiatric Association, National Kidney Foundation, and the Society of Toxicology. The reversal
of these organizations in their former support of water fluoridation is in response to new
research, and to increased toxicity in the type of fluoride being added.
New studies have been published; including one from the New Jersey Department of Health
documents males under the age of 50 had 5 – 7 times the incidence of bone cancer in
fluoridated areas, with teen males ages 10-19 with highest levels.
Another study of cancer rates in the ten largest fluoridated US cities found 10% more cancer
deaths than the non-fluoridated cities, especially tumors of tongue, mouth, pharynx, esophagus,
stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, larynx, bronchi and lungs.
Hip fractures in 2 Utah cities were compared: fluoridated Brigham City and non-fluoridated
Cedar City. Hip fracture rates were double in elderly men and women in the city with fluoridated
A study published in 2008 conducted over a 20 year period looked at effects of fluoride in
children. 16 different studies were included in the analysis, and found “Children who live in a
fluorosis area have five times higher odds of developing low IQ than those who live in a non-
A 2011 article actually quantified the decrease in IQ as related to fluoride levels. Looking at
excreted fluoride in the urine, researchers found that each increase in 1 mg/L of urine fluoride
was associated with 0.59-point decrease in IQ, and concluded that even low levels of fluoride
exposure in drinking water had negative effects on children’s intelligence and dental health.
On the basis of new research, Hardy Limback, DDS, President of the Canadian Association for
Dental Research reversed his position on water fluoridation stating “children under 3 should
NEVER use fluoridated toothpaste and baby formula must never be made up using tap water.”
One thing that happened in 1989 and 1990 concerned the switch from fluoride to fluorosilicic
acid, which is gathered by removing the residues in smokestack scrubbers left behind from the
treatment of phosphate ores with sulfuric acid, and would be considered a toxic waste, if it
wasn’t added to our water supply. When the hurricanes hit Florida in 1989 – 1990, the supplies
of fluorosilicic acid were depleted in the holding tanks, so supplies were imported from countries
such as China, who likely thought that putting their hazardous waste in our drinking water was a
pretty good idea. Fluorosilicic acid contains variable amounts of lead, arsenic, and mercury,
which you will see identified on your annual water quality report.
What exactly is fluorosilicic acid? I spoke with a long-term employee of a local water system who
actually was the one to add it to the drinking supply. It comes in large barrels from a chemical
company, marked “Poison,” and has an acid pH similar to battery acid. Per first hand report, it is
corrosive to the pipes, especially close to the points where it is added. It gradually disperses, but
the homes closest to the treatment plant get the highest doses. Taxpayers actually pay for the
privilege of having China’s industrial waste added to their water, a cost of about $2.00 per
person per year, in addition to the significant cost of replacing pipes.
Filters do not work to remove fluoride, because of the small diameter of the fluoride ion. It can
only be removed by reverse osmosis or distillation.
The FDA designated fluoride “not generally recognized as safe” in 1985, and permitted no
fluoride to be added to food or dietary supplements. The Department of Health and Human
Services exempted fluoridated water from the ban, including water used to make food. Even the
World health Organization says fluoride levels should be around 0.7 mg/L, and in 2011 the
federal government adopted this standard. Unfortunately, fluoride levels in Houston, Missouri
are as high as 1.13 mg/L and 1.1 mg/L in Cabool as of their 2012 reports. Fluoride has been
added to Cabool’s water supply since March 1, 1962, and in 2013 they received an award from
the ADA for “50 Years of Water Fluoridation.” I saw the award first hand, but it was not
publicized. Fluoride was first added to the city water supply Houston, Mo in 2002 by a vote of
the City Council, following a comment period, creating a new ordinance.
How to Help
First, the town of Licking and all of Dent County do NOT have fluoridated water. The only towns
in Texas County adding fluoride are Cabool and Houston. Cabool’s addition of fluoride is
documented on the CDC webpage, but Houston is erroneously listed as having zero fluoride,
with none added. I called the CDC, and was told that they “hadn’t updated the website in a
while.” It must have been quite a while, as fluoride has been added for the past 13 years. I
challenged them to update their website, as this is false information for those searching on their
own. I pulled my own samples from the Houston water supply, confirming the presence of
significant levels of fluoride. I then contacted Missouri DNR who established that the city of
Houston does indeed add fluoride, and directed me to the location of some obscure reports.
If you live in an area still adding fluoride to your water, contact your city council, or attend a
meeting, requesting that fluorosilicic acid be removed. When fluoride was added, no public vote
was required. Fluoride can be taken out the same way – by a vote of your city council. Dozens of
surrounding cities are removing fluoride from their water, including most recently Waynesville
and Bolivar, let’s not be the last.