Fluoridation Chemicals

The chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are derived from the manufacture of phosphate fertilizer. Captured in the industry's wet scrubbing systems, these chemicals contain a number of contaminants (e.g. arsenic, lead) not found in pharmaceutical grade fluoride. Of greater interest is the fact that 2 recent peer-reviewed studies (Neurotoxicology, December 2000; International Journal of Environmental Studies, September 1999), have found an association between consumption of water containing hydrofluosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride (the most commonly used fluoridation chemicals) and higher blood lead levels in children.

As of May 2007, approximately 67% of public water supplies in the United States are fluoridated. Of these water supplies, approximately 91% use hydrofluosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride (together known as silicofluorides), while 9% use sodium fluoride. As with the silicofluorides, sodium fluoride is derived from the phosphate fertilizer industry.

Water Fluoridation Additives - Centers for Disease Control, May 7, 2007

Confirmation of and explanations for elevated blood lead and other disorders in children exposed to water disinfection and fluoridation chemicals - Neurotoxicology, March 1, 2007

NSF Fact Sheet on Fluoridation Chemicals - National Sanitation Foundation, 2006

Dartmouth Researcher Warns of Chemicals Added to Drinking Water - Dartmouth News March 15, 2001

Silicofluorides & Higher Blood Lead - Roger Masters, Ph.D., Dartmouth University, June 17, 2001

EPA Admits that it has No Studies on the Health Effects of Silicofluorides - Letter from EPA's Robert Thurnau to Roger Masters, November 16, 2000

Treatment Chemicals Contribute to Arsenic Levels - Opflow Magazine, October 2000

Letter from EPA on industrial origins of Fluoridation Chemicals - Rebecca Hanmer, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, 1983

Silicofluorides Should Not Be Added to Municipal Water Without Safety Testing Adequate to Protect Children and Other Vulnerable Populations - Myron Coplan, P.E., & Robert Carton, Ph.D. Resolution submitted to the American Public Health Association, October 21-25, 2001.

The Phosphate Fertilizer Industry: An Environmental Overview - Fluoride Action Network, Updated April 2002