Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Dangerous Drinking Water

So I’ve tackled poor air quality. Now it’s water’s turn!

Back in the day, scientists realized that many children did not have strong teeth. So, they decided to add fluoride to drinking water. The idea was that the fluoride would pass through the mouth along with the water when the person drank it. The fluoride would, in turn, make teeth stronger. But, the geniuses never thought of where the fluoride would go after it was swallowed – of course it was absorbed by the body!

Today, our country suffers from major health problems. Some of them could be caused by fluoride deposits in the body. Here are few of the adverse health effects fluoride is associated with:
1. Dental flourosis (a condition that occurs mostly in children, when fluoride interacts with developing teeth, causing enamel defects)
2. Alzheimer’s and dementia – it is thought that fluoride enters the brain and actually helps aluminum pass into the brain.
3. Low IQ and mental retardation
4. Arthritis
5. Skeletal flourosis (symptoms similar to arthritis, very painful)
6. Thyroid suppression – 20 million people in the US suffer from underactive thyroid. Fluoride is actually used to treat overactive thyroid problems!
7. Drops in hormone levels- especially melatonin levels (leading to insomnia)

I know I said this in another blog, but I will say it again. While it is certainly possible, and even highly likely, that the rate of cancer, hormone problems, and mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s were unknown and thus unreported before the 20th century, even when taking these things into account, it seems that these diseases are on the rise. In our highly advanced, progressive nation, how is this? Could it have something to do with, among other things, fluoride added to our water? It’s worth asking.

Our bodies are over 70% water, and by all recommendations, we are supposed to drink between 48 and 64 oz. of water a day. Water is such an important part of our life that any possible unhealthy effects caused by the water we drink and sustain ourselves with should not be taken lightly.

Europe, in fact, does not take it lightly. That is why it has stopped adding fluoride to its water. And guess what? The kids’ teeth are fine! So why does the U.S. keep adding fluoride to its water?

Chlorine is another dangerous additive. While chlorine is necessary to remove harmful bacteria from water, and came to be used widely after typhoid and cholera outbreaks, there are dangerous effects caused by chlorine.

Chlorine reacts with organic matter, producing other chemicals such as chloroform, bromate, chlorite, haloacetic acids (HAA5), and total trihalomethanes.

A 1991 study found that 9% of bladder cancer cases, and 12% of rectal cancer cases in the U.S. can be directly attributed to chlorinated water. Other problems from a 2004 study have been found:
1. Anemia in children, especially infants
2. Nervous system problems
3. Kidney problems
4. Liver problems
5. Spontaneous miscarriages

While the EPA has set standards on fluoride and chlorine additives in drinking water, they still remain, and any level can be too high, as demonstrated by the above studies!

So until the U.S. does something to address our contaminated drinking water, we should all thoroughly filter our water before we drink it!

Sources: (citing studies)

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