Toxic Chemicals Added To Our Drinking Water
In this era of relatively enlightened health and clean-water awareness, it is astounding that we are purposefully adding to our water other chemicals that have been proven in numerous studies to have severe negative health impacts.
Let’s take a look at two common controversial chemical additives.
Fluorine is one of the most abundant elements on earth. In its elemental form, fluorine is a pale yellow, highly toxic and corrosive gas. In nature, fluorine is found combined with minerals as fluorides.
Not accounting for industrial fluoride pollution and water fluoridation, probably everyone is exposed to some form of fluorine. Most human exposure to fluorides prior to sixty years ago was primarily from sources such as naturally fluoridated drinking water, seafood and fluoride in fruits and vegetables from the soil. However, over the past sixty years, there has been a dramatic expansion of the industrial, domestic, agricultural and medical usage of fluorine-based products and the average person's exposure has increased exponentially.
The industries that contribute to fluoride pollution include general manufacturing, phosphate fertilizer production, aluminum smelting, uranium enrichment facilities, coal-burning and nuclear power plants, incinerators, glass etching, silicon chip manufacturing, plastic manufacturing, and petroleum refining. Fluorine-based agricultural products (insecticides and fungicides) and fluorine-based medications add to the contamination. And up to sixty percent of the population drinks some form of fluorine purposely introduced into the drinking water as a public health measure.
Ingestion of fluorine may lead to a condition called “fluorosis,” also known as “Reservoir Based Disease.” This may occur when a person drinks water with an excess of more than 1-ppm (part per million) fluorine content. In dental fluorosis, the teeth lose their shine as fluorine removes the their enamel coating. They gradually acquire mottled brown and yellow spots, loosen in their sockets and fall out. In skeletal fluorosis, there is abnormal bone growth at the joints, causing the long bones to become bowed and painful. Other symptoms of fluorosis include loss of appetite and sterility.
One Federal agency, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, lists fluorine compounds and fluorides as one of the top 20 of 275 substances that pose the most significant threat to human health. The agency goes on to enumerate the dangers, including bone cancer, brittle bones, stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, sterility, and possible birth defects.