The world is a strange place. Take fluoride, for example. In this country, the handling and disposal of hydrofluorosilicic acid - an industrial by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry - is closely monitored and regulated by the EPA. That is, until it is sold as a product. Then, as if by magic, this highly toxic substance no longer requires oversight by the EPA. It is transported freely across the country and is added to public drinking water supplies, so that everyone who drinks the water also drinks some of the toxic chemical.
Unlike the fluoride used in toothpaste, hydrofluorosilicic acid is not pharmaceutical-grade quality. It is a corrosive acid, usually unpurified. Exposure to fluoride has been associated with developmental problems in infants and increased levels of lead in children’s blood.
Now, anyone who grew up watching television knows that fluoride helps prevent tooth decay (or so we've been told), so you might think that adding the chemical to drinking water might help reduce tooth decay, but there is actually no scientific evidence to support this theory. The only measurable benefit scientists can document comes from the topical application of fluoride, not from systemic ingestion.
The practice of adding fluoride to drinking water has been banned in most European countries, but here in the United States it is still widely accepted, with government agencies and industrial producers stubbornly clinging to the notion that exposing the entire population to this chemical, without their consent, is wise and just. We strongly disagree.
If you live in an area where fluoride isn't added to your water supply, consider yourself lucky. If not, you might want to think about getting your family a good quality water filter.