Fluorine resides in the class of elements known as ‘Halogens’ in the periodic table. Other elements in this division include Chlorine, Bromine, Iodine and Astatine. Fluorine is by far, one of the most reactive elements in the halogens as well as in the entire periodic table. It will react with almost every other element due to its ‘electronegativity’ (the force of attraction it exhibits towards other electrons – a term proposed by Linus Pauling). The Latin word fluo, or ‘to flow’ is how this atom was named, and it does this very well. Due to its reactivity, it is also responsible for killing many an early chemist that tried (unsuccessfully) to isolate it. That acidic solution that was used in the popular TV show “Breaking Bad” to make slushies out of dead bodies was hydrofluoric acid (HF). The only way to contain highly concentrated forms of fluorine, are with fluorine containing plastics like PTFE (also known by its DuPont trade name Teflon).
In Chinese Medicine, we use a herb called Zi Shi Ying (aka Calcium Fluoride/Diferric Trioxide) also called fluorite. It belongs to a class of herbs that “anchor, settle and calm the spirit”, which would be somewhat akin to sedatives and antidepressants in western medicine. These classes of substances can be beneficial as they calm anxiety, but if either allopathic or Chinese medicine practitioners were to recommend to authorities that we put it in tap water to take away collective stress from our population, we would all be sued for malpractice. This, however, is exactly what the dental profession has done up until now. They recommend the fluoridation of tap water to prevent dental carries (cavities).
This in the face of warnings from the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) not to allow small children to swallow toothpaste due to the possibility of accidental fluoride poisoning boggles the mind, as mass medicating a population is unethical, not to mention dangerous, when dosages are not monitored.
However, the real insult to the fluoride injury comes with the waste chemical that is used for municipal fluoridation purposes. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is a waste product from the phosphate fertilizer industry that is used for this purpose, and it is a medical unknown. To date, no studies on this chemical’s toxicology or persistence have been done. Finally, after all of this, no dentists have bothered to stand up and accuse sugar and highly refined carbohydrates as the causes of tooth decay. Which is worse, tooth decay, diabetes or delusions? I still scratch my head.
Connet P, Beck J, Micklem S., (2010), The Case against Fluoride, How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep it There. Chelsea Green Publishing. ISBN: 9781603582872
Toon, Richard (2011). “Fluorine, An Obsession with a Tragic Past” (PDF). Education in Chemistry 48 (5): 148–151.