Health Hazards of Fluoride:
Dental Fluorosis -
High level intakes of fluoride have been medically established as capable of causing bone degenerating diseases called dental and skeletal fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is more evident in children, since their teeth are still at the stage of early development. Newly erupted teeth among growing children are becoming noticeably stained or of a darker color than that considered as normal teeth coloring. There are also cases where newly formed teeth have bone structures that are easily damaged.
However, the World Health Organization offers information that children who are already six years of age and onwards are no longer affected by the effects of fluoride, except for those who are suffering from Vitamin A, D and other nutritional deficiencies.
Further scientific studies revealed that fluoride easily enters the bone compartments but leaves slowly. According to the NRC report, the effects of over-exposure was documented as early as 1975. These were the studies pertaining to the effects of industrial fluoride among aluminum workers exposed to high concentrations.
The effects of skeletal fluorosis are described as progressive, as a result of the increasing accumulation of this substance in the bone compartments for a number of years. NRC estimates that this degenerating disease takes full effect in about 20 years. Those already suffering from the disorder are experiencing stiffness and pain in their joints as a result of ligament calcification and severe changes in bone structure.
The NRC recommends further medical and scientific studies on other diseases that stem from excessive ingestion of fluoride in the human body. There are evidences that excessive ingestion has influenced the occurrence of hypothyroidism.
Although fluoride could provide possible relief to hyperthyroidism, the effect of over-exposure to the substance under normal body conditions is said to be anti-thyroid. This means excessive intakes via drinking water can cause the thyroid to malfunction. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid is not active in delivering the hormones it produces to the different body tissues, at the concentration levels required by the body to function normally.
As a note to this section, studies about other health hazards of excessive fluoride still require sufficient evidence. There are substances present, other than fluoride, which can induce the occurrence of the disorders even at low levels. Nevertheless, the concern that excessive ingestion as contributing factors to several health disorders cannot be taken lightly. A likely example is the occurrence of goiter, and its relation to iodine deficiency, resulting from hypothyroidism.
Please proceed to the next page for information about the sectors susceptible to the health hazards of fluoride.