Fluoride has been a bit of a revelation to me. Six months ago I’d hear it mentioned and just the word alone, fluoride, would force my eyes upward, in a dramatic roll of annoyance. Really? Fluoride? With all the other earth-melting, health-shattering issues suffocating us, you want to whine about fluoride? Actually, that’s going overboard because I didn’t really think about it at all, total dismissal. It was a non-issue, just like it is for so many people I know on the front lines of the environmental movement – promoters of organic food and regenerative agriculture, champions of soil, saviors of trees and bees, and fighters for healthy families.
So why isn’t fluoridation an issue worthy of attention to so many who care about human health and the environment? My best guess would be, that like me a year ago, most people don’t know the facts. As we have learned over and over, the devil is often in the details, and in the case of fluoridation, those devilish details are in every glass of water you drink.
The main argument for fluoridating our water (or to avoid a conversation about it) stems from the false logic that longevity equals safety. It’s stated something like this: Fluoridation has been practiced for 70 years, so it has to be safe. If you believe science to be static and knowledge frozen in time, and that the same longevity argument proved true for things like lead, asbestos, and tobacco, then yes, fluoridation need not be questioned. If the longevity argument seems shortsighted, keep reading.
Fluoride helps our teeth and prevents cavities, right? That is the one, and only, thing that the average person knows about fluoride. So let’s expand that knowledge with a few simple facts that aren’t readily promoted by the American Dental Association or the Centers for Disease Control. Fluoride is a developmental neurotoxin (EPA) and a known endocrine disruptor (National Research Council 2006). Drinking fluoridated water as a means of cavity prevention is largely ineffective and based on notably poor science (Cochrane Report 2015). The fluoridation chemicals added to our water come mostly from the phosphate industry and are called hexafluorosilicic acid (HFSA). Some are imported from China in the crystallized form of fluorosilicic acid. The response by hardcore promoters of fluoridation is that you needn’t pay any attention to these facts because it’s all in the dose, and at the current dose added to our water, everything is fine. The only problem is that the latest scientific research and studies dispute that claim.
So much about the story of fluoride is odd, and I was happy to discover that the acronym for Our Daily Dose, coincidentally, is “ODD”. Every script edit or premiere pro revision reinforces how odd this story is: “ODD Final Edit.23”. The early history and deep connection with the aluminum and steel industries, Dupont’s Teflon, phosphate production, and the atomic bomb is odd and unexpected. It’s also odd that the CDC hails water fluoridation as one of the top ten public health achievements of the 20th century but then says it really only works when applied topically through fluoride treatments and toothpastes, not by ingesting it into our bloodstreams. The CDC claims that, at best, fluoridation reduces cavities by 25%, which works out to be less than one cavity per child, so your child might get three cavities instead of four. That would be okay —not a great victory but just okay — if fluoride weren’t also a developmental neurotoxin and an endocrine disruptor. Save a cavity and risk your child’s brain! What an odd thing to promote with such vicious loyalty and big money.
I chose the title for this film, OUR DAILY DOSE, because it came as a genuine surprise to me that the vast majority of us, over 200 million Americans, are being dosed daily with a drug — through our water, our soups, our juices, and our beers — and don’t even realize it. That statement might sound alarmist or indicate my susceptibility to irrational conspiracy theories, but it’s just a simple fact. A drug is a substance that is used to treat or prevent a disease, and fluoride (which is not a nutrient) is put in the water presumably to prevent the chronic disease of tooth decay.
Chlorine is different because it treats the water itself, killing harmful bacteria, whereas fluoride is put into the water to treat us. Okay, so we are being given a dose of fluoride in every drink we take whether we know it or like it. Who cares? That is exactly why I made this film. I find it odd that so many people have never given drinking a chemical on a daily basis the slightest thought.
You cannot have clean food without clean water. You can’t fight for organic food and not care that it’s washed down with a developmental neurotoxin that comes from the phosphate industry. And beyond any specific movement or issue in which we find ourselves involved, we can all agree that clean, pure water is at the very top of any health list. In the case of fluoride, which is a real threat to our health and especially to our children’s developing brains, the imperative to act is unquestionable and the action required is simple: stop adding it.
The truth lies hidden beneath the sweeping claims and emphatic dogma, which we so often swallow whole without even knowing it. Let's all dig a little deeper and have the courage to tell the truth and fight for change that brings better health to our families and communities.