How About a Big Dose of Fluoride with Your Veggies?

We’re all familiar with the idea that the greatest source of fluoride today is probably toothpaste and treated drinking water, but did you realize that fluoride is also present in the food supply?  Produce – both organic and non-organically grown — that is sprayed with pesticides — contains what many of us would consider alarmingly high levels fluoride

In fact, studies reveal that the typical North American diet accounts for about 1.8 milligrams of fluoride daily — almost twice the amount of fluoride delivered from drinking one liter of fluoridated water. The consumption of non-organic foods (and some organic produce as well) is now thought to account for as much as one-third of the average person’s fluoride exposure.

The fluoride-based pesticide called cryolite is essentially sodium aluminum fluoride, which is favored by growers for its high level of effectiveness at killing produce loving insects. Cryolite (a white or colorless mineral made up of fluoride, sodium and aluminum in crystal form) is also well known for its ability to adhere to produce in a thick layer of ‘protection’ – a layer that is extremely difficult – if not impossible – to remove before consumption.

Produce temporarily stored in warehouses is also treated with a gas fumigant, used to kill insects and rodents – and it penetrates produce completely, making it impossible to wash off later. This fumigant leaves extremely high levels of fluoride residue in and on stored foods.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) currently allows up to 7 parts per million of fluoride on more than 30 fruits and vegetables that are treated with cryolite. It is applied as dusts, granulars or powders and is applied by ground or aerial spray.

They are:

  • apricots
  • beets
  • blackberries
  • broccoli
  • brussel sprouts
  • cabbage, cauliflower
  • citrus fruits
  • collards
  • cranberries
  • cucumbers
  • eggplants
  • grapes
  • kale
  • lettuce
  • melons
  • nectarines
  • peaches
  • peppers
  • plums
  • pumpkins
  • radishes
  • raspberries
  • squash
  • strawberries
  • tomatoes
  • turnip

Due to the fact that cryolite is easily absorbed by crops, people who then consume treated produce are ingesting an unknown amount of fluoride. According to, “Cryolite contains aluminofluoride ions that shed fluoride ions, which then pass through the blood-brain barrier and contaminate brain tissue.”

It’s Everywhere!

Long thought to be a harmless additive for human consumption, fluoride based pesticides have increased in strength over the years to the point where iceberg lettuce can now contain a massive 180 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, an amount this is fully 180 times higher than what is found in fluoridated drinking water. As with iceberg lettuce, grapes have also been grown for years using cryolite under the trade name Kryocide, which is used to deter leaf-eating pests.  Considering that wine is made from grapes, it is another mass consumed source of fluoride exposure. Kryocide use is found primarily on California grapes but it is also present in potatoes and citrus. Surprisingly, despite cryolites’ liberal use during the past 50 years, insects have not built up a resistance to it, making it a fundamental pesticide for many growers.

Meats and Teas – also unwanted sources of fluoride

Cereals, mechanically deboned meats, and black or green tea are other sources to watch out for. Mechanically deboned meats derive fluoride content from the animal itself, which is exposed through cryolite treated feed and water—which is absorbed by the animal and remains present in meat products all the way to the consumer’s dinner table.

Black and green teas are naturally high in fluoride regardless of whether they are grown organically without pesticides due to how the plant readily absorbs fluoride thorough its root system. According to some sources, there are reports of people who have developed crippling skeletal fluorosis – a bone disease caused by excessive consumption of fluoride — from drinking high amounts of iced tea alone.

One research study reports that practically all food contains some amount of fluoride since “plants take it up from the soil and from the air. From the soil, fluoride is transmitted through fine hair rootlets into the stems, and some reaches the leaves.” Therefore, buying only organic produce will not automatically eliminate one’s exposure to food-based fluoride.

The National Organic Standards (NOS) allows for the use of sodium fluoride in organic agriculture – regardless of their mandate to prohibit “natural poisons such as arsenic or lead salts that have long-term effects and persist in the environment” it does not regulate the use of fluoride.

What’s the concern?

Two Russian studies, (1969 and 1977) demonstrated that workers exposed to fluoride-contaminated compounds experienced dramatic declines in reproductive function. Men working in the cryolite industry for one to two decades on average, who were also diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis, demonstrated a decrease in testosterone levels.  Women, whose job exposure brought them into contact with superphosphate fertilizer, experienced an increase in menstrual irregularities and related issues, as compared to women who had no contact with the substance.

Fluoride has the ability to stimulate the harmful effects of other chemicals and heavy metals in the environment, potentially making them even more harmful than they would be otherwise.

For example, when you combine chloramines with the hydrofluorosilicic acid, the combination becomes very effective at extracting lead from old plumbing systems, promoting the accumulation of lead in the water supply – water which is then consumed by animals and humans alike. Studies have shown that hydrofluorosilicic acid also increases lead accumulation in bone, teeth, and other calcium-rich tissues. This happens when the free fluoride ion acts as a transport of heavy metals, allowing them to enter into the soft tissues of the body where they normally would not be able to go, including sensitive organs such as the brain.


This Food Blasts Your Body with Up to 180 Times the Fluoride in Drinking Water —

Harmful Effects of Fluoride – Fluoride Action Network:

Nearly all conventional food crops grown with fluoride-laced water, then sprayed with more fluoride