Readers Write: Under assault from chemicals

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Toxic chemicals are with us every day.

Being bombarded by chemicals shouldn’t be a way of life.

There are positive interventions that can be used to lessen our exposure to many of these chemicals, beginning by knowing where they lurk.

I will focus on two classes of chemicals that are pervasive in modern society –  perfluorinated chemical compounds and plasticizer chemicals.

Fluoride, a PFC, is a very familiar chemical, and yes, our dentists even recommend using fluoride rinses and toothpaste containing fluoride for preventing cavities.

The most common source of fluoride exposure for Americans is our tap water, but did you know your food could also expose you to fluoride — on a regular basis?

A surprising source of fluoride comes from fast food wrappers and containers.

Perfluorinated chemicals are used to give wrapper papers a slick surface, making them oil and grease resistant.

These chemicals are prevalent in dessert and bread wrappers, pizza box liners, French fry containers, white cardboard containers with a shiny inside coating, and more.

It has been confirmed that fluorinated chemicals indeed migrate from the packaging directly into the food.

Note that the amount contained in the food depends on the food’s temperature, and also how long the food is in contact with the wrapper.

A general rule to remember is that hot foods tend to release more of these chemicals than do cold ones.

At least 27 fast food chains in the U.S. have tested positive for PFCs.

If you are concerned, contact a company’s main headquarters to find out if its food wrappers contain them.

Another chemical in the fluoride family is perfluorooctanoic acid, used to make non-stick cookware.

Cooking in this type of pot or pan can cause this acid to transfer to your food.

Microwave popcorn bags, candy wrappers and other food product wrappers contain this chemical.

Plasticizers are in the plastic wrappings for meat, chicken and other foods with a plastic wrapper.

These contain phthalates, considered to be endocrine disruptors.

Another powerful hormone disruptor is bisphenol A, a chemical that is in the lining of almost all cans.

All of these chemicals are associated with a wide array of health problems including cancer, heart disease, immune and thyroid dysfunction, infertility, low birth weight and developmental problems.

The Environmental Working Group is trying to stop fast food companies from using these chemicals.

So, along with the EWG, we can make our voices heard by telling food companies and the FDA that we want safe wrappings and containers for our food.

In addition to wrappers and containers, fumigants and pesticides can turn food into yet another source of fluoride.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) allows direct application of sulfuryl fluoride, a commonly used fumigant, on certain food crops.

Sulfuryl fluoride breaks down to fluoride after application.

According to the EPA, foods most commonly fumigated include cocoa powder (100 percent), dried beans (100 percent), walnuts (99 percent) and dried fruits (69 percent).

While only about 3 percent of rice is fumigated, brown rice tends to be the highest at 12.5 parts per million (this compared to 8.4 parts per million for cocoa powder).

Direct application is also permitted on coffee.

A pesticide called cryolite, commonly used on grapes grown in the U.S., contains sodium, aluminum and fluoride.

It is best to avoid consuming non-organic grape juice.

Food processing companies also use sulfuryl fluoride for preventing pests in closed storage structures.

As noted by Fluoridealert.org, website of the Fluoride Action Network, the EPA of the United States does not require food processors to remove food prior to fumigation of a food storage area.

All western countries go by the same protocol.

As a result, any food that is being stored in a particular facility during fumigation will be contaminated with fluoride.

High levels of sulfuryl fluoride are known to cause serious adverse health effects, including crippling skeletal fluorosis, this according to the late Albert Burgstahler, Ph.D., professor emeritus of chemistry, University of Kansas and one of the world’s best known authors on the dangers of fluoridation.

His efforts aimed to end fluoridation worldwide.

According to the Fluoride Action Network, scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

A coalition of environmental, medical and health groups along with the Fluoride Action Network is urging the EPA to end fluoridation of the public water supply.

This coalition has presented the EPA with a petition featuring some 2,500 pages of scientific documentation of fluoride’s ill effects on human health.

There are significant measures we can take to help protect ourselves from these chemicals.

Filter your tap water.

Avoid fast food; focus on locally grown foods, ideally organic.

Opt to not microwave food that has a plastic wrapper.

Better yet, don’t nuke your food at all.

Of course, cooking from scratch, if you can, will limit your exposure to these harmful chemicals.

Store food in glass rather than plastic.

Use glass baby bottles.

Now, in addition to food, numerous household, clothing and personal care items contain perfluorinated chemicals.

Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid is a key ingredient in stain-resistant fabrics including carpets and upholstery.

Be aware that various glossy paints, varnishes and sealants contain PFCs as well.

Since so many household cleaning products also contain phthalates, you can avoid exposure to them by using natural cleansers.

While we are on the clean cycle, avoid dry sheet fabric softeners.

These contain a tremendous amount of synthetic chemicals and fragrances.

Many of these can cause damage to our health including brain health.

Watch out for water-repellant clothing, as PFCs are used in the manufacturing of these kinds of garments.

PFCs are found in personal care products as well, including dental floss (easy glide) and cosmetics.

If possible, use feminine hygiene products made of real cotton.

Health food stores are a good source for these products.

Replace vinyl shower curtains.

Buy fragrance-free products.

Choose a “greener” floor mat material for toddlers.

Be sure to purchase toys, pacifiers, teething rings, etc., for babies that are BPA-Free.

Some phthalates you will find are di-n-butyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, benzyl butyl phthalate and dimethyl phthalate.

For those who are thinking of having a family, avoid the chemicals 2-butoxyethanol and methoxydiglycol.

These two toxic glycol ethers can compromise fertility and can cause harm to the fetus.

Read your labels.

If you can’t pronounce it – don’t buy it.

Think organic products.

They are the least toxic for the Earth and all of its inhabitants.

Keep an eagle eye on the grand scale.

Let’s make sure this is not our last chapter.

That’s a “wrap.”

Gary Feldman

(Gary Feldman is a nutrition educator and lecturer, instructor in the Port Washington Union Free School District Continuing Education program, was an innovator in the nutritional supplement retail industry, and a health writer.)

30 COMMENTS

  1. This is a very good summary of problems with chemicals.
    The fluoridation issue is very simple to cure.
    Remove the fluoride from drinking water and put as much as you wish in your own glass of water.
    The rest of us then won’t be forced to consume it. Everyone will be happy with freedom of choice.

    AND think of the saving of tax money.

    • jwillie6 – Explain exactly how you have lost your freedom of choice and are forced to consume fluoridated water. Are THEY using mind control? physical force? Is it the chemtrails?

      Gary Feldman provides the standard, unsupportable claims about alleged risks of drinking optimally fluoridated water in this article.

      It is interesting Feldman mentions the petition submitted to the EPA to ban fluoridation in 2016. The EPA responded with this conclusion, “Based on this review and careful consideration of your request, the EPA is denying the petition. The reasons for the agency’s denial are set out in the enclosed, pre-publication copy of the notice, which will be published in the Federal Register announcing the EPA’s decision.”. The EPA documented specific ways the petition misrepresented studies submitted as alleged evidence that fluoridation was harmful.
      ~> https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/02/27/2017-03829/fluoride-chemicals-in-drinking-water-tsca-section-21-petition-reasons-for-agency-response

      • Please excuse Mr. Johnson. He keeps trying to promote the big money scheme of fluoridation ____ and in a very wordy manner. He may be paid do so.

        Fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry (hydrofluorosilicic acid) and it wreaks havoc on the brain, the thyroid, the bones and body. People in the whole world (only 5% fluoridated) and in Europe (only 3% fluoridated) have realized what kind of damage fluoride can cause to our health in general.

        The 70 year old science of forced fluoridation is simply wrong and dangerous, but other big money schemes with the wrong science hung on for years, like tobacco, DDT, lead in gasoline, and asbestos. We eventually learned the truth.
        So, it will take some time to overcome the fluoridation scheme.

        • jwillie, aside from not answering Mr. Johnson’s question, says, ” . . it wreaks havoc on the brain, the thyroid, the bones and body. . . The 70 year old science of forced fluoridation is simply wrong and dangerous, . . ”

          jwillie, please cite one documented example of any person who was harmed in any way because they drank optimally fluoridated water (water with 0.7 ppm of fluoride) – even for as much as a lifetime. With all the harm you claim, it shouldn’t be that difficult.

          I anxiously await your non-answer.

          • Poor Joe heard that fluoride was good for young children’s teeth. But because it was in the drinking water, he still had to consumed it in every glass of water, every day of his life. It offered nothing for adults once their teeth were formed.

            He didn’t know that fluoridation results in slow poisoning over a lifetime which causes thyroid damage, dental fluorosis, lowered IQ, brittle bones (broken hips & arthritis), kidney damage, cancer and other health dangers.

            So Joe is now in very bad condition. He wishes he was able to respond himself.
            Thanks for your concern.

  2. Long islanders must remain vigilant and call, email and visit their elected officials and tell them to resist the actions of the NYS Dep’t of Health which is instigating water fluoridation across the state. Nassau and Suffolk Counties currently add NO fluoride into the water supply which is a good thing. But we are a target Our biggest fear is that fluoridation will be mandated at the state level and take away Long Islanders local decisions which have rejected and stopped fluoridation wherever it was implemented or instigated.

    Fluoride chemicals are added to water supplies in a failed effort to reduce tooth decay in tap water drinkers. Fluoridationists circumvented the political process by adding authorization of $10 million dollars fluoridation grants into the governor’s budget along with a new law that makes it really hard to stop fluoridation once it’s started. Despite freedom of information requests, and direct questioning no one takes the blame for adding this wording into the Governor’s budget.

    The Medicaid Redesign Team said they took the money from Medicaid funds which is a total was of Medicaid money. More information is here: http://fluoridedangers.blogspot.com/2016/07/new-york-back-doors-fluoridation-on.html

    • nyscof – It is interesting that you and other fluoridation opponents (FOs) don’t seem to care about implementing all methods that have been demonstrated to reduce dental decay in a population.

      Fluoridation has been shown to be safe and effective with over 70 years of evidence.

      A balanced review of all the evidence (not just the carefully selected and edited opinions in anti-F propaganda) can be found in two extremely helpful reviews:

      The 2016 World Health Organization report: Fluoride and Oral Health, Conclusions:
      —> “Studies from many different countries over the past 60 years are remarkably consistent in demonstrating substantial reductions in caries prevalence as a result of water fluoridation. One hundred and thirteen studies into the effectiveness of artificial water fluoridation in 23 countries conducted before 1990, recorded a modal percent caries reduction of 40 to 50% in primary teeth and 50 to 60% in permanent.”
      —> “More recently, systematic reviews summarizing these extensive databases have confirmed that water fluoridation substantially reduces the prevalence and incidence of dental caries in primary and permanent teeth. Although percent caries reductions recorded have been slightly lower in 59 post-1990 studies compared with the pre-1990 studies, the reductions are still substantial.”
      —> “The question of possible adverse general health effects caused by exposure to fluorides taken in optimal concentrations throughout life has been the object of thorough medical investigations which have failed to show any impairment of general health.”
      ~> http://who.int/oral_health/publications/2016_fluoride_oral_health.pdf

      Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council 2016 Fluoridation Report, Conclusions:
      —> “Water fluoridation within the current recommended range in Australia (0.6 to 1.1 mg/L) is effective in reducing the occurrence and severity of tooth decay in children, adolescents and adults. In Australia, water fluoridation within this range can be associated with an increase in dental fluorosis. This is often not readily visible and it has no effect on the function of teeth. There is no evidence that water fluoridation within the current Australian range is associated with any adverse health effects.”
      ~> https://www.scimex.org/__data/assets/file/0017/106523/16399-NHMRC-Fluoride-Information.pdf

      • Fluoride is the only drug forced on EVERYONE..

        Yet, yet, there is not one scientific study to prove fluoride (hydrofluorosilicic acid) is safe and effective for all members of the public, infants, children, sensitive, kidney problems (pre-diabetics & diabetics), elderly, etc.
        This is immoral and should be illegal.

        • jwillie says, “there is not one scientific study to prove fluoride (hydrofluorosilicic acid) is safe and effective for all members of the public, ”

          Nor is there a scientific study to prove anything is completely safe. Show me the study showing that drinking distilled water is completely safe . . or that using a cell phone is completely safe . . or that sitting in a chair is completely safe.

          Your comment resembles something a con-man would try.

          • It is strange. Fluoride is the only drug forced on EVERYONE. All other drugs must be approved by the FDA as safe and effective.

            So, no study exists for fluoride.
            One would think that a chemical used ln rat and roach poison should be examined closely for human safety.

          • jwillie6 – Your absurd comments like, “One would think that a chemical used ln rat and roach poison should be examined closely for human safety” is complexly meaningless.

            By your “logic” it would be even more reasonable to argue that chlorine compounds should not be used to disinfect drinking water because chlorine was used as a chemical weapon to kill humans, not rats.

            You continue to make another absurd statement, without a shred of proof, that fluoridation is a form of medication. If that were even remotely true, why have fluoridation opponents been completely unable to provide proof of their opinion?

        • Jwillie, there is a reason there are no studies that “prove fluoride (hydrofluorosilic acid) is safe and effective for everyone…”. It’s because hydrofluorosilic acid is not fluoride. It is a compound which contains fluoride ions. That’s just elementary chemistry.

          Once HFA releases its fluoride ions into water, it no longer exists in that water. It does not reach the tap. It is not ingested. So, please do enlighten us all as to why anyone would need safety and effectiveness studies for a substance which is not ingested, and with which consumers have no contact whatsoever.

          As far as the fluoride ions released by HFA, they are identical to the fluoride ions humans have been ingesting in water since the beginning of time. There is no valid evidence of any adverse effects of these ions at this level. Just because you and most other antifluoridationists fabricate piles of unsubstantiated nonsense about these ions does not mean that it is the responsibility of anyone to disprove any of it.

          As far as effectiveness, countless peer-reviewed scientific studies clearly demonstrate this effectiveness. Because you are ignorant of this science does not mean that it doesn’t exist.

          My suggestions to you are:

          1. Go back to high school and take a beginning level chemistry course.
          2. Educate yourself on the scientific evidence of fluoridation
          3. Realize what a complete fool you continue to make of yourself by plastering these same verbatim uninformed little blurbs all over the internet.

          Surely there is some elementary, or high school kid in Louisiana who can help you understand this issue. It really is not that difficult.

          Steven D. Slott, DDS
          Communications Officer
          American Fluoridation Society

          • Fluoride is a by-product of the phosphate fertilizer industry (hydrofluorosilicic acid) and it wreaks havoc on the brain, the thyroid, the bones and body. People in the whole world (only 5% fluoridated) and in Europe (only 3% fluoridated) have realized what kind of damage fluoride can cause to our health in general.

            The 70 year old science of forced fluoridation is simply wrong and dangerous, but other big money schemes with the wrong science hung on for years, like tobacco, DDT, lead in gasoline, and asbestos. We eventually learned the truth.

            So, it will take some time to overcome the fluoridation scheme.

      • We don’t need half a book on promoting the fluoride disaster.

        Instead of posting half a book, just allow each person to have control of any drug they ingest.
        We all deserve freedom of choice for any drug.

    • For the purpos of disclosure, “nyscof” is the “Media Relations Director” for the antifluoridation group, “fluoride action network (FAN).

      As can be noted by the erroneous claim of “FAN” as reported in the article, as well as the groundless claims of “FAN” in the petition summarily rejected by the EPA, there is nothing stated or disseminated by “FAN” that can, in any manner, be trusted for accuracy.

      Given these facts, the question for Long Islanders is whether they wish to entrust a healthcare decision which directly impacts the health and well-being of themselves and their families on:

      1. The opinions of the “Media Relations Director” for a dubious antifluoridation group, and “information” on her personal blog…..or

      2. The overwhelming consensus opinion of respected science and healthcare

      Doesn’t look like a very difficult choice.

      Steven D. Slott, DDS
      Communications Officer
      American Fluoridation Society

      • More disclosure — As someone recently reported:

        Beware of newly formed, “The American Fluoridation Society (AFS)”
        It is reported that Delta Dental (a national dental group) of California has recently paid AFS $50K for promoting artificial fluoridation. So we can expect to see many of the paid trolls making comments. They are dental-industry puppets.

        The big money side will do anything to cover up the truth and keep the fluoridation scam going.

        See: http://www.crescentcitytimes.com/beware-of-newly-formed-the-american-fluoridation-society/

        • jwillie6 – Your comment, “More disclosure — As someone recently reported:” perfectly illustrates the “quality of evidence” employed by fluoridation opponents.

          People are expected to believe something that “someone” reported based on absolutely no supporting evidence or disclosure of who that “someone” might be.

          Based on the level of “evidence” promoted by fluoridation opponents, that “someone” is probably one of the alien forces plotting to invade earth.
          http://montalk.net/alien/35/synopsis-of-the-alien-master-plan

        • jwillie says, “Delta Dental (a national dental group) of California has recently paid AFS $50K for promoting artificial fluoridation.”

          Makes sense. Why wouldn’t a health insurance company pay to promote the health of a community? Since Delta is in the business of making money . . and an insurance company hates to pay out claims because paying out claims costs money . . obviously it would do everything possible to reduce the number of claims paid out. No conspiracy theory here, other than a business trying to improve the bottom line.

        • Jwillie who is actually James Reeves of Louisiana, does not seem to understand that attempting to hide behind “it is reported” does not protect him from liability for the unsubstantiated, libelous claims he makes under that little ruse. Publicly disseminating unsubstantiated defamatory information concocted by someone else, without performing due diligence to verify the validity of such information, constitutes libel for which he is fully accountable.

          So, James, present your proof that that:

          1. “Delta Dental (a national dental group)” has “paid” the AFS anything, whatsoever.
          2. there are any “paid trolls” associated with the AFS.
          3. there is any “big money” coverup of anything whatsoever associated with the AFS.
          4. fluoridation is a “scam”

          As you obviously cannot provide any such proof, you can expect to hear from the AFS attorney.

          Steven D. Slott, DDS
          Communications Officer
          American Fluoridation Society

          • Dentists are fine professionals and are oral cavity specialists, but are acting outside their areas of expertise when with the health damage from fluoride in thyroids, brains (lowered IQ and ADHD), bones (broken hips and arthritis), kidneys, and cancer etc. and that is unethical.

            Dentists are certainly not oncologists, pharmacologists, toxicologists, endocrinologists, neurologists and epidemiologists

          • jwillie6 – Are you suggesting that dental training does not include any mention of benefits and risks of all treatments for dental decay?

            What are your scientific or health care credentials? Do you have any training as an oncologist, pharmacologist, toxicologist, endocrinologist, neurologist or epidemiologist? How about any other scientific training or experience?

            Your comments suggest that any scientific or health topic is way outside your area of expertise – which appears limited to copying and pasting anti-F propaganda.

          • jwillie

            You are certifiable. The boys in the white jackets should be knocking at your door any time now.

            Steven D. Slott, DDS
            Communications Officer
            American Fluoridation Society

          • jwillie

            You are certifiable. The guys in the white jackets should be knocking at your door any time now.

            Steven D. Slott, DDS
            Communications Officer
            American Fluoridation Society

  3. Okay, so let’s look at the claims reported in this article in regard to fluoridation. They typify the half-truths and false claims consistently put forth as “evidence” by fluoridation opponents:

    1. Article: “According to the Fluoride Action Network, scientists from the EPA’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a ‘chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.'”

    Facts: No. These scientists did not classify fluoride as anything. From the lead researcher of the study on which this “fluoridealert” claim is made:

    “It is correct to state that this is not an official EPA list or classification. It is a list of chemicals that have some level of evidence in the peer-reviewed literature for indications of developmental neurotoxicity.”

    “We did not try to categorize the chemicals, or rate them as to the level of toxicity or incidence of toxicity.”

    —Expanding the test set: Chemicals with potential to disrupt mammalian brain development
    William R. Mundy, et al.
    Neurotoxicology and Teratology 52 (2015) 25-35

    Additionally, the evidence on which was based the developmental effects of fluoride on humans was the 27 Chinese studies of the Grandjean/Choi meta-analysis. These studies have been completely discredited for….by the admission of Grandjean and Choi, themselves…..having key information missing, inadequate control for confounders, and questionable methodologies. So while the scientists did find evidence within the scientific literature of developmental effects of fluoride, they made no claim as to the validity of this evidence, nor did they differentiate between concentration levels of fluoride.

    From the Summary Information on Chemicals of this study:

    “Evidence for developmental effects of fluoride in humans comes mainly from several
    epidemiologic studies in China, where populations can receive high exposure to fluoride in local
    drinking water sources. A meta-analysis showed that children in high-fluoride areas had
    significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas (Choi et al., 2012).”

    2. Article: “A coalition of environmental, medical and health groups along with the Fluoride Action Network is urging the EPA to end fluoridation of the public water supply.”

    “This coalition has presented the EPA with a petition featuring some 2,500 pages of scientific documentation of fluoride’s ill effects on human health.”

    Facts: This latest “FAN” petition was, of course, rejected by the EPA. In a recently released 40 page, detailed explanation of the rejection, the EPA stated:

    “After careful consideration, EPA denied the TSCA section 21 petition, primarily because EPA concluded that the petition has not set forth a scientifically defensible basis to conclude that any persons have suffered neurotoxic harm as a result of exposure to fluoride in the U.S. through the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water or otherwise from fluoride exposure in the U.S.”

    The document goes on to systematically dismantle the arguments of the petitioners, and explain the irrelevance, invalidity, and/or misrepresentation by petitioners, of the studies presented as support For the claims of the petitioners.

    —Fluoride Chemicals in Drinking Water; TSCA Section 21 Petition; Reasons for Agency Response
    A Proposed Rule by the Environmental Protection Agency on 02/27/2017
    Federal Register of the United States

    Steven D. Slott, DDS
    Communications Officer
    American Fluoridation Society

    • We don’t need half a book on promoting the fluoride disaster.

      Instead of posting half a book, just allow each person to have control of any drug they ingest.
      We all deserve freedom of choice for any drug.

        • No proof needed for freedom of choice.

          We have a right to say no to this treatment. Adding it to public water denies us this basic human right.
          There is no control over the dose. Some drink a glass or two of water and some may drink seven or eight glasses.

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