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Ep. 152: Fluoride In the Water: Friend or Foe? with Melissa Gallico


Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Oct 09, 2019 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


Photo of Melissa Gallico smiling from

Melissa Gallico discovered after decades of cystic acne, that fluoride in the water was the problem. And the more she dug the more she learned about the politics of how this “forced medication” came to be–and whether or not it really lives up to the claims. Now she’s on a mission to save others from a variety of health problems caused by this known deadly carcinogen in most North American water supplies.

LINKS AND RESOURCES:

Get the book The Hidden Cause of Acne

Get the Alkaline Water System

Learn more about Melissa Gallico and join the #fpollution studio


EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS WITH MELISSA GALLICO:

  • [06:08] Is fluoride giving you cystic acne? Fluoride isn’t just in our water: it’s also a pesticide. And it might be the cause of your skin’s severe acne. Melissa Gallico has cured her own from eliminating fluoride from her lifestyle.
  • [11:47] Do you actually need fluoride for your teeth? Fluoride is a chemical byproduct we put in the water to “save” us from cavities. But, it turns out the science on that is very weak, and paid for by backers with ulterior motives. How did this happen?
  • [23:31] Why we still have fluoridated water: the truth. It’s a complicated history of corporate polluters, skewed research, and a hasty government, but when it’s looked at closely we can start to see connections.
  • [28:00] There are other negative health effects from fluoride. Fluoride affects the thyroid system, which changes our weight, mood, and more. It accumulates in bones, causing skeletal fluorosis, and in our pineal gland, changing our melatonin levels and circadian rhythm. It even affects your baby’s future IQ.
  • [31:18] How to reduce your fluoride exposure. Try a 30-day fluoride elimination lifestyle, with truly purified water for your skin and drinking. And remember, fluoride is found in our food, too.
  • [36:27] Is there hope? There is hope in stopping the promotion of fluoridation – forced medication – in the United States. There are lawsuits underway, and you can get involved by knowing the facts and informing your local city council. Listen to the podcast #FPollution by Melissa Gallico to learn even more.

TRANSCRIPT:

This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Robyn: It’s Robyn Openshaw, and welcome back to the Vibe show.

Today what is on my mind is clean water. I’m going to be interviewing Melissa Gallico.

She’s a former military intelligence officer and FBI analyst and she was a Fulbright scholar to the United Kingdom. So, smart girl, but she’s struggled with a major health issue for two decades of her life before she realized that it was completely caused by a chemical that’s in our water.

She has started a podcast called #Fpollution and she follows a paper trail of evidence — including declassified government memos, internal industry communications, legal filings — to show how the dental industry and corporate polluters and the sugar industry and human interest, or public interest, in finding a way to be impervious to dental cavities, somehow all came together to really corrupt the science and put fluoride in our water.

Water is also on my mind because I just taught a class. If you missed it, you can get the recording.

My class is all about how to get clean and alkaline water.

In my extensive studies on water for a very long time now, I’ve come to the conclusion that the ultimate water has all the impurities stripped out, minerals put back in, and then that water is ionized, which makes it extremely high antioxidant. More high antioxidant than your food is. It makes it alkalizing so that you know all this acidity in our food, air, water, and lifestyle is buffered by your water. It’s the simplest, easiest way to increase our antioxidants and shift our pH.

I really feel a difference in my body since I have my own water ionizer. I’ve had it for 10 years. I’ve moved five times in that 10 years. The first thing I do is say, ” Get my alkaline water going, please,” because I absolutely feel the difference.

If I’m drinking acidic water (which guess what? Most clean water is acidic), I am actually feeling it in my joints. I have one joint in my hand that tells me that I’m acidic. It’s like that little rooster that’s on top of your house. What do you call that? The weather vane. It’s like my weather vane. If my right knuckle hurts, it’s because I’m acidic and it’s time to shift my pH. And my alkaline water does that.

You can check out my class. When this discussion of fluoride is over, you can check out the class that I just recorded. This is that time of year when we, once a year, get you a “group by price,” or wholesale pricing, on a water ionizer, which gives you the totally clean, mineralized — or re-mineralized — ionized (or alkaline) water machines, which I love so much.

This is that one time of year, and the deal is ending soon. So make sure you go check out my class that I taught. There’s a great PowerPoint to watch and you can see it at greensmoothiegirl.com/alkalinewater. So, after listening to this chat with Melissa Gallico about fluoride, go check out greensmoothiegirl.com/alkalinewater for the class I just taught. If you get in on the group buy, you get wholesale pricing and some really cool freebies that we managed to drum up every year. And they’re not freebies like some eBook. They’re really cool freebies.

Melissa Gallico is the author of a new book called The Hidden Cause of Acne: How Toxic Water Is Affecting Your Health and What You Can Do about It.

Welcome to the Vibe show, Melissa Gallico.

Melissa: Thanks so much for having me.

Robyn: Today we’re talking about fluoride, and I kind of can’t believe that we haven’t covered this before on my show because I think it’s a really, really important topic. And I was really excited to see out there in the communities that I hang out in of health and wellness influencers that you’ve taken us on, because I feel like most people think that fluoride is an important nutrient for your teeth, for your health.

You’re going to fill us in on what the real deal is. But first of all, why did you get so interested in this topic that you’re now a researcher, published author, on the effects on our health and all the other issues around fluoride and fluoridation?

Melissa: I didn’t intend to have a career focused on fluoride.

I intended to have a career focused on national security issues. I went to Georgetown and studied science and technology with a focus on international security; I went right into the military and then the FBI. And during that time I had a lot of opportunities to stay abroad, live abroad, for different lengths of time.

It was this experience of moving back and forth between fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries that really showed me the importance of fluoride.

I had had cystic acne for almost 20 years and when I was doing my Fulbright in Scotland, my skin was completely clear. And that’s when I started to realize whenever I lived abroad my skin was completely clear; I would come back to the United States even for a short visit, for a week, and my skin would start to break out again. These near-cystic breakouts around my chin, and my jaw-line; sometimes it would extend down my back, on my chest, on my neck. Really severe acne. I eventually figured out it was because of the fluoride in the drinking water.

It was a long trial and error process, because fluoride isn’t just in our drinking water, but we also use it as a pesticide. So there’s a lot of different ways fluoride makes its way into the American diet. And through trial and error, I was able to eventually clear up my skin, even though I still live in “Fluorideville” as I call it.

I wrote this little guide — just a free PDF guide — and I put it online. And I thought, “I have this weird fluoride allergy that makes me have this reaction.”

But I started to hear from so many other people who also had that same reaction to fluoride and were able to cure it by limiting fluoride in their diet. A woman wrote to me, and in the email she said, “Your book saved my life” and I just thought, “I have to turn this into a real book.”

This was just like a 30-page PDF guide. So I wrote a book, and I really delved into the literature, the scientific literature, on acne and fluoride. And I was just astounded by what I found.

I self-published the book, and somehow it made its way to Stephen Herrick Buhner, a well-known herbalist and writer. And he is the one who eventually helped me to get a book deal, and officially bring the book into the world.

That’s how I ended up getting started on fluoride. And then through that research I uncovered that fluoridation is actually a pollution story. And so that’s where the podcast came from, the #FPollution podcast. I wanted to expose this pollution story behind fluoridation because I thought if more Americans knew that story, we would be in a better place to end fluoridation.

Robyn: Well, now it makes sense to me that you’re so passionate about it. I can’t imagine having cystic acne for what, 20 years, did you say that? That’s like a social liability; a teenage girl has so much embarrassment about everything to do with her looks and it was completely unnecessary. And then you find out your own government is dumping this in the water.

I can totally see now why you want to dedicate yourself to this, and probably save a lot of other kids and young adults from a similar fate.

I knew that fluoride was an endocrine disruptor. I didn’t realize that there are people who just that, and that alone, was causing their cystic acne.

Did you go through a long period of time of trying to figure it out and ruling out other things? It’s hard to kind of hone in on that, I would imagine.

Melissa: Yes. It took me decades. I did all the constriction gels. I was on Accutane. I did all the really harsh creams and all kinds of natural treatments. Lymphatic drainage massage, like every week I was going for that. Nothing really made a dent in my acne. It was just really severe.

I kind of narrowed it down to the water because I knew, in certain places I lived, as soon as I washed my face, I would feel a kind of sting. It felt uncomfortable. And in other places, I washed my face and it felt good. So I had a suspicion it was in the water. And for a long time I had been washing my face with bottled water.

I knew there are a lot of studies that show that topical exposure to fluoride can cause a condition called perioral dermatitis, which looks like acne. So I thought washing my face with bottled water makes sense.

Then something clicked, where I thought, “If it can cause acne topically, can it cause it if you’re taking it internally in your diet.” And it was so easy to test that theory. All I had to do was switch to fluoride-free water for a few weeks. And immediately I saw a huge improvement.

That’s when I knew I was on the right track. And then it took several more months; I would have a flare up and I would think, “Oh, well this must’ve been caused by something else.” But I would look back in my diet and see what I ate that was different. And then I’d go on pub med and look through the research and see, “Oh, chicken soup can be high in fluoride?” Like, who would’ve known that? I didn’t know that.

By eliminating that, I eliminated that source of flare-ups, and then eventually I just eliminated all those sources of fluoride and my acne is completely gone.

And it’s not just teenagers and young adults. A lot of women in their thirties and forties have acne. It’s on the rise in adult women, and in men as well. But I hear more from women. I’ve heard from people who have had fluoride-induced acne for 50 years and did not know it.

I think it used to be a teenager condition, maybe in the 50s and the 60s when that fluoridation was first introduced. But now that we’ve been living with fluoridation for so long, and if fluoride accumulates in your body and in your bones — the National Academy of Sciences estimates that the half-life of fluoride for bones is 20 years — we’ve been living with it for so long, I think that’s why we’re seeing higher and higher rates of adult acne.

Robyn: Let’s back up to, does fluoride actually deliver on its promise? Because it’s a chemical byproduct that is put in our water to save us from cavities. What do you have to say about whether it actually even prevents dental caries?

Melissa: The science on it is really weak, and I don’t even really get into the argument because the CDC says it saves two cavities per person. It’s not like our teeth would be falling out of our mouths if we didn’t have fluoridation. That’s their claim: two cavities per person. Even if I want to give them that, personally, I don’t think it prevents cavities when we drink fluoride; there’s some evidence that topical application of fluoride will be protective of dental decay, but drinking it? The evidence is very, very weak. And even if it does, there’s just so much evidence of harm that it really isn’t wise to be putting it in the water, or to be drinking it at all.

Robyn: I started studying it myself when my first child was a year old, and the pediatrician prescribed me a bottle of blue pills for him that were oral fluoride. He was supposed to take oral fluoride.

At that time our county — which is called Utah County, here in the state of Utah — was one of the few holdouts that weren’t fluoridating the water. I think that that will probably shock people. And I don’t know what’s happened — I don’t live in Utah County anymore — but there were the people who owned this chain of health food stores there in the county who every couple years there would be a bill to fluoridate the water, and they would fight it and they would get out the vote from all the holistic people who knew better and knew it to be this toxic chemical byproduct dumped into the water with a lot of financial reasons to leave it in the water, and very few health reasons, if any.

I was concerned because basically the pediatrician was saying, “He’s not getting medicated by the water like most people in the U.S. so here, give him this pill.”

I felt really uncomfortable with it. I studied it out, and I was shocked to find out that the people that I trust, like the government who treats my water and the pediatrician who is supposed to help be responsible for my child’s health, were leading me astray. So how did it even happen? What are the financial forces, the political forces? Why do we even have fluoride in the water if, at best, it might topically avoid a little bit of tooth decay? And even that is debatable.

 

Why Is There Fluoride In Our Water?

Melissa: Such a good question. And I was really fascinated by this when I started doing the research.

What we have forgotten as a society, or you don’t realize, is that fluoride is a leading form of air pollution. And in the mid-20th century when fluoridation was introduced, and they were doing all of these studies initially, fluoride was the leading form of air pollution, causing more litigation from damage to agriculture and livestock and things like that than the next 10 pollutants combined. It was a very costly pollutant.

Very early on, corporate polluters realized… They knew fluoride is toxic. No one disagrees with that. Fluorine gas is one of the primary components of a lot of the most dangerous chemical weapons. We all know that the element fluorine is very toxic. And they were studying this because their workers at the factory were being exposed to a lot of fluoride, and so they had the jump on studying fluoride effect on humans. And they definitely made the science go in their favor, and they worked very closely with dentists.

It’s really interesting; I have this podcast because I’m following the paper trail. I want to show people the documentary evidence that shows that these corporate polluters were the ones that kind of put the idea of fluoridation into the dentist’s mind. They fanned the flames of it.

The media loved it because the public wanted a magic bullet to cure tooth decay. Tooth decay was a giant problem because during the great depression and the world Wars, people were not well nourished and you could tell by their teeth. So they needed a silver bullet, and they wanted that magic bullet. It wasn’t really a hard sell to the public at large. Everybody was happy with it. Except for the fact that it is a very toxic chemical byproduct.

Over 90% of the fluoride added to water in the United States is hydrofluoric salicylic acid, which they purchase directly from the phosphate fertilizer plants in central Florida. For those plants to emit this hydrochloric acid into the atmosphere, it would be considered an illegal pollutant, and they’re not allowed to do that. They’re not allowed to put it in the waterways, to pollute the waterways with it.

But they can sell it to your local watershed supplier. They dilute it in the water system so it’s not as strong as if it was going into the atmosphere, but the science that says long-term exposure to low doses of fluoride is safe was funded and conducted on behalf of these corporate polluters to defend against all of these lawsuits that they were incurring.

Because they knew that if it became accepted fact that these low doses of chronic fluoride exposure weren’t safe, their industry wouldn’t be able to handle it. They couldn’t function — especially at the time with the pollution control devices that are available — they would not be able to survive if they weren’t allowed to pollute into the atmosphere.

I tell people it’s not a conspiracy. It’s not like there’s evil people saying, “I want to poison America, I want to poison Americans to control their minds or reduce population.” It was a pollution story.

They were, in their eyes, fighting for their survival as an industry. And you can see that; they put that right in the legal files. That was their argument to these judges a lot of times, “Our industry won’t survive and it will be a national security crisis if we don’t have the aluminum industry” (there’s all kinds of industries that are affected by the fluoride emissions). And so that’s why our science is so skewed, because fluoride is a leading form of air pollution.

Robyn: Interesting. And I didn’t know that it was also being used as a pesticide. Or that there are entire countries who use less fluoride or don’t use fluoride.

But we should cover that in a minute because it sounds like that was really key for you, when you would go over to Europe or wherever and be like, “Wait, my acne is gone.”

A lot of people would be like, “Is it that they don’t have spray Roundup on their wheat? And so eating croissants or bread over here is different? Is it that they don’t hybridize their grain?” I would be like asking all kinds of questions like that. But I think you’re making a very good point.

 

Cystic Acne and Fluoride

Melissa: There are so many different factors and I get that question a lot, of “How did you know that that’s the fluoride?”

The reaction, for me, it’s just a matter of hours. So I really can just look back to what I ate that day. And I’m an intelligence analyst, you know? So I was able to piece it together pretty clearly. And especially that it’s held up, this theory has held up for me since I was able to confirm it 15 or 10 years ago or so. It’s consistent, very consistent, always every single time from fluoride exposure. The experience of living with that reaction every day has made it really clear to me that that’s what it is.

Robyn: I’m sure there’ll be moms listening to this. Our audience is mostly 35 to 65 year old women, but women my age will be listening to this and going, “Oh my gosh, did I not think about that [with] my child? What if it was the cause or one of the causes of my child’s acne?”

I’m definitely asking myself that question except that I always filtered the water in my house, and usually we had whole home filtration. But maybe if you’re really sensitive it would still cause a problem. Maybe some fluoride can get through even in whole home filtration.

Melissa: That’s a good point, because I have a private Facebook group for fluoride-sensitive people who are in various stages of figuring out how to clear their acne or some kind of other health concerns that are caused by fluoride. And one of the things we’ve noticed, just by comparing stories, is that some of the filters that claim to reduce fluoride don’t reduce it. And not for sensitive people.

I used to recommend reverse osmosis. Like when I wrote my book, I said, “Osmosis water filtration is a very effective way to remove fluoride.”

But then I started hearing from people that it didn’t work for them. And then I learned that those systems rely on pressure, [which] can cause some of the minerals to backwash into the finished product and that can increase the fluoride content. There’s all these factors involved in whether it would reduce fluoride enough to actually completely clear your skin.

There’ve been others, like activated alumina is supposed to be super good for fluoride, but people with a fluoride-sensitivity cannot drink that water. It has to really be fluoride-free. That was something that I’ve learned since writing the book, just by comparing notes with other fluoride-sensitive people.

Robyn: Even if you’re not fluoride sensitive, I still think that it’s not like anybody metabolizes fluoride well, and we’re all fluoride sensitive. It’s just that for you, it shows up in a very aggressive way and a very debilitating way. The only good news about that is that you really went to the trouble of figuring it out.

What I wanted to ask you is, does the evidence link it to regular acne too, or only cystic acne?

Melissa: That’s a good question. I’ve had both kinds of reactions.

The cystic acne would be the bigger breakouts that would last sometimes a month, like these huge welts, but I would also get smaller pimples. So I kind of had both. And I think we won’t really know until we get researchers studying fluoride-induced acne, and there’s just going to be all kinds of questions like that.

Robyn: I think when people hear something like, “The chemical industry was in trouble” (or let’s say they weren’t in trouble, they were just looking for new uses for their products) [it’s hard to believe].

If you weren’t around in the 1950s when Dow Chemical would literally put up billboards that said “Dow: A Better Life Through Chemicals,” that’s just not something that a chemical company would put out there now. Because now there’s so much backlash and so much awareness of the consequences of this huge industry that’s creating plastics and volatile organic compounds and pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and all these chemicals for thousands of different uses.

We didn’t yet know in the 1950s and 1960s when this all happened, we didn’t know the fallout and we didn’t know the costs that we would pay. And so is it really just as simple as (I mean, any more information you can give us, because it’s hard for people to wrap their brain around): the chemical industry drove this product into our water supply through the dentists. The ADA still supports fluoridation (despite the massive amount of evidence that I know you review in your book).

Is it just because when a very lucrative industry gets inside several other industries, it’s just hard to pull it back? Is that as simple as what’s going on here?

Melissa: It’s really complicated because it started with the corporate polluters suggesting [answers].

For example, a researcher — who was actually funded by the sugar industry because they also played a role in fluoridation, as it covered up the fact that cavities were actually caused by sugar (there’s a huge paper trail there) — with research funded by the sugar industry studying nutrition and cavities, and he found that a certain diet was protective of cavities. And it was someone from the aluminum industry that said, “Oh, could be fluoride?” They just kind of planted that idea. And the sugar researcher was like, “Oh, let me see.” And he became the one who initially suggested adding fluoride to the water supply.

That was before federal researchers were looking at it.

The official story on the National Institute of Health’s website is that this public health dentist named H Trendley Dean pushed for fluoridation trials because of the “obvious” impact that fluoride had on preventing dental decay.

But if you look at his personal correspondence (which I have all this linked to in my show notes for the podcast), he actually thought that the beneficial effects of fluoride were being overblown, and he actually did not want to have fluoridation trials because he knew that they didn’t do any health studies. They didn’t do any risks assessments. They didn’t know how fluoride affected parts of the body other than teeth.

But the public demand was so great for it that they voted to overrule him, and they went ahead with the first fluoridation trials. And then he was kind of like, “Well if we’re doing trials I might as well be the one overseeing it so I can make sure it’s done correctly.” Then they’re doing trials even though it’s not what he wanted to do.

It was kind of this slippery slope. It wasn’t like the corporate leaders were pushing it the whole time. It was also public and media. And the U.S. public health service was very hesitant to endorse fluoridation. But once they did… they started these trials in 1945. They were supposed to be ten year trials. Five years later, so halfway through, the federal government endorsed fluoridation.

It was so peculiar because the studies weren’t completed. There was no new taxological data that came out that said it was safe. And there were a few congressional hearings that I go in-depth in different podcasts episodes where the congressmen are like, “Why did you endorse it? Why would you endorse it now?” And just seeing them tap dance around it… there was some other reason they endorsed it. There was some kind of pressure from somewhere.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that the head of the federal security who was in charge of the U.S. public health service was a big-time lawyer for the main polluter. I don’t know the physical evidence of that, but maybe that’s what happened. Maybe there was pressure. There was pressure from somewhere, and they endorsed it early. And once they made that kind of endorsement, they just never looked back.

It’s really hard to take something that you’ve been promoting, that the government has been promoting for decades, and then all of a sudden say, “Oh, we were wrong.” Like, who’s liable in that situation for all of the damage that’s been caused over those years by the government being wrong?

I think it started off as corporate polluters pushing it, but it turned into something else. Now it’s more; maybe there’s some ego involved. There’s definitely institutional inertia, where it’s just, “This is what we do.”

I know it’s hard for people to understand; like, why would the EPA go along with it? Why would the CDC go along with it? What about the Surgeon General’s office?

I have episodes on each of those government agencies, one at a time, and I go into depth on how it happened that they ended up not protecting [the people], the failing to protect the American people from the health effects of fluoridation. It’s so interesting to see how the science was manipulated by all the different forces that go into shaping public health policy.

Robyn: And it’s not just acne. There’s a lot of health problems that are linked to our exposure to fluoride in the water. And as you point out, elsewhere; I didn’t know it was in chicken soup, but if it’s in chicken soup I bet it’s in a lot of places.

What are some of the other negative health effects that are associated with chronic fluoride exposure?

Melissa: There’s a lot of research about how fluoride affects, like you said, the endocrine system, especially the thyroid. And there’s a lot of research. We’ve got a depressive thyroid function; we have this huge epidemic of people suffering from hypothyroidism and we’re literally putting a thyroid depressant in the public water supply.

That’s something that can have all kinds of side effects. Weight gain, mood. When you start messing with hormones, there’s a cascade of side effects that can occur.

Other health effects: it accumulates in our bones like I mentioned. So it can cause arthritis-like symptoms. It’s a condition called skeletal fluorosis. We don’t really see the advanced stages of skeletal fluorosis in the United States, as far as we know. But it’s a spectrum. Maybe people have more joint pain, more tendency to hip and bone fractures because of all of the fluoride that has accumulated in their skeletal system.

It definitely accumulates in the pineal gland, which regulates melatonin and our circadian rhythm. That’s where they found the highest concentrations of fluoride in the human body. So that could be affecting us as a society and in a lot of different ways.

A lot of research recently has come out on the neurotoxic effects of fluoride. There was a really big study published a few weeks ago in JAMA pediatrics about prenatal fluoride exposure and its effect on children’s IQ.

The researchers are saying that the neurotoxic effects of prenatal exposure to fluoride are equivalent to effects with lead. So that’s getting a lot of press, and people are starting to take it more seriously that fluoride is affecting parts of the body other than teeth.

We really need to start applying the precautionary principle and stop putting it in the water. There’s no reason for pregnant women to be consuming fluoride. And that’s what this study offers. The editor of the journal is saying — he’s a pediatrician, I think in Seattle Children’s Hospital — he’s now advising his pregnant patients not to drink fluoridated water.

Robyn: Well thank goodness for more voices out there saying that, because when we got lead out of our water — and many other products — what, decades ago? And you just said that there’s evidence that fluoride exposure is equally toxic, equally damaging to lead. If more people like you and this pediatrician start speaking up about it, then maybe we can finally see fluoride “go the way of the Dodo” like lead did.

I think that people need to start asking themselves questions about, “Have I been exposed to fluoride?”

You think that if you have an RO system on your sink, you’re golden. But you know, some of the bottled water where people think they’re getting filtered water, sometimes they’re just getting water, water. Sometimes they’re just getting water that’s not even been filtered. I have read that the vast majority of water that sold isn’t even filtered.

 

How To Avoid Fluoride Exposure

Talk about (because I was a little alarmed when you said the RO systems sometime get backed up or whatever) just for a regular person, we’re all sensitive to fluoride, right? You’re just really sensitive to it. Probably some people would say very allergic, or whatever. How do we then get rid of our exposure to fluoride? We probably can’t entirely get away from it, can we? But how do we massively limit it?

Melissa: There’s definitely a lot of things you can do to reduce your exposure to fluoride, and I have a huge post on my website. Everything I know about filtering fluoride from drinking water.

Basically, I usually recommend that people do a 30-day challenge. If you think one of your health side-effects is caused by fluoride, if you do a 30 day challenge with distilled water — I know some people don’t like to drink distilled water because it doesn’t have minerals, you could reconstitute it if you want — but it’s a very reliable fluoride-free drinking water.

That just gives you a baseline of how your skin looks, or some people think it’s causing migraine. So it’s a way to be fluoride-free for 30 days, and then you can try adding bottled water that you like, or reverse osmosis water. And if you see a difference then you know that that’s too much fluoride for you.

That’s one thing I recommend people can do. Or you can get a reverse osmosis filter that has an added fluoride filter. That way you have some redundancy there to take out fluoride.

Then as far as avoiding it in diet — you have a very health conscious crowd — the two searches that I found are most surprising to help conscious people are black tea, and even green tea, can be a significant source of fluoride. It’s the one edible plant that uptakes it naturally from the soil in large amounts.

I know people drink a lot of kombucha tea; that could be very high in fluoride. There been cases of people who drank a lot too, everyday they’re drinking multiple glasses of tea, and it’s caused arthritis later in life. Arthritis-like conditions are actually early stages of skeletal fluorosis. So that’s one thing to keep in mind.

Then with chicken soup: I know bone broth is really popular because of all the nutrients that it contains. But chickens, just like humans, will accumulate fluoride in their bones. So if you’re using conventional poultry bones where they have been eating feed that contains fluoride-based pesticides? Right now, the limit for fluoride residue from pesticides on poultry feed is 130 parts per million.

To it put that in perspective, the recommendations for drinking water is seven parts per million. This is 130 parts per million. It’s incredibly high. And all of my worst reactions were from chicken products that contained bone. Ground chicken often contains little shards of bone that gets in there. So that could be very high in fluoride.

Chicken soup, chicken lunch meats, chicken sausages, things like that. When you’re eating a very processed chicken product, it really needs to be organic. And if you know your farmer and can make sure those chickens are being provided fluoride-free water, that’s really your safest bet for chicken products?

I’ve never had a reaction with chicken breasts off the bone, but it’s really anything like that where it’s cooked on the bone or there’s little shards of bone in it, that’s very high in fluoride.

Robyn: Okay, so our tea drinkers are going, “Wait, are you saying I’m going to get exposed to a ton of fluoride?” The best we can get is if we get certified organic, am I wrong?

Melissa: Tea isn’t necessarily from pesticide. It’s from fluoride in the soil surrounding the tea. And sometimes soil has a lot of fluoride naturally; there’s a lot of fluoride belts throughout the world. They tend to be near the base of large mountain junctions because the mountains are pushing the fluoride from deep within the earth where it’s supposed to be. So that’s why it’s a lot of tea will contain high amounts of fluoride naturally, even if they’re organic.

Robyn: Okay. So we’ve covered some good ways to minimize your chronic fluoride exposure.

I do want to point out that if you’re eating garbage chicken products, it’s not just fluoride that concentrates in their organs and tissues and skin. It’s a lot of other chemicals as well. Fluoride is not by any means the only toxic chemical that we’re exposed to. But it’s the one that Melissa is highly, highly sensitive to, and it’s one of the most dangerous ones. But I just want to point out that where there is fluoride, there are other chemicals as well, and we all have different levels of sensitivity to it.

Tell us, besides decreasing our own personal exposure, how do we get involved in the movement? Tell us a little bit about where people can hear your podcast.

Do you think there’s hope? Do you think that the United States is ever going to stop promoting fluoridation? And how can we get involved so that we can accelerate getting fluoride out of our water?

Because it is forcible medication, and some people consider that to be very socialist because we don’t have any medical freedom when the water that is given to everybody to drink [has added fluoride]. Because not everybody in American can afford a reverse osmosis filter. In fact, the vast majority don’t. Most people drink water right out of the tap.

It’s forcible medication. Think about that for a minute.

Talk to us a little bit about the political issues. Do you have a lot of hope that we can really drive fluoride out of municipal water systems? And where can everybody find you?

Melissa: I definitely do have hope for the movement. You can see that people are getting more health conscious. The organics movement is growing, natural skin care products are becoming really popular and mainstream, and I think we will go right along with that as more people become aware of the everyday toxins that we’re exposed to on a daily basis.

There is a big lawsuit that’s going to trial in February; the Moms Against Fluoridation and the Fluoride Action Network and some other organic consumer groups are suing the environmental protection agency for their failure to enforce the Toxic Substances Control Act, which would, in their argument, make fluoridation illegal.

That lawsuit has already passed a number of hurdles in the courts, and the courts in the past have sided with people who have sued over fluoridation in different ways. They always kind of find a way to keep it in the water supply, but a lot can come out in those trials, especially in the discovery process. So that’s very exciting.

My podcast is called Fpollution.com, and it’s community supported. We have a small studio of producers and they help me get the podcast on the air. We’d love to have anybody on board that wants to get involved in any coordination.

And you could just start going to city council meetings if your town puts fluoride in the water and tell them you don’t want to have it in the water. Give them the study that came out in JAMA Pediatrics.

People just aren’t aware of what’s going on because they have so many other issues in their lives. But I found that just by talking with people, most people know that story. That story of corporate polluters polluting our water supply, and people fighting back. Once they learn that fluoride is a leading form of air pollution and that science is much more complicated than we originally thought, for a lot of people that just make sense. It clicks with them.

So just start having those conversations. I have a lot of resources. If you want to start on talking to your political representatives, feel free to reach out to me and I can get those to you.

I also have a private Facebook group for people who are trying to figure out if their acne is caused by fluoride or they’ve already determined that, and they just are sharing information with others. You’re welcome to join that as well. It’s called Fluoride-Free Faces.

Robyn: Thank you so much for being brave enough and taking time out of your life to speak up, because I know that saving others from what you’ve been through is a big part of your mission. I so appreciate you sharing with us today.

I hope you enjoyed this chat with Melissa like I did. Sorry, we had some technical issues for quite a while and hopefully the sound was okay for you, but I feel like it’s an important topic that everybody should know about, especially people who are raising children right now.

Because fluoride is being foisted on our children as a dental cavities solution. However, what it’s doing to their hormone system, I think, is really just unforgivable. That all of these industries have come together to keep perpetuating this fraud, really.

Again, if you want to check out my class that I just taught on alkaline water and what it can do for you, check it out at greensmoothiegirl.com/alkalinewater. Hopefully when you listen to it, the deal is still going. Check it out. We give you wholesale pricing — I think is something like 40% off retail — and you get some really cool freebies. So check that out, and I will see you next time.

Related article: Is Fluoride Good for Your Teeth? Know the Science & the Risks

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