Author: Lynn Sheffield

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Fluoride in Our Drinking Water

(Part 2 of 5: Clean Water Epidemic)

mad-hatterWhen thinking about Fluoride in our drinking water, a certain story comes to mind – the story of mercury. In the 18th and 19th century, millinery or hat-making was a well sought-after craft. During this time, men’s felt hats would often contain some amounts of mercury. Unbeknownst to the people at that time, mercury has been proven to be a neurotoxin, which can cause brain malformations and even death. Over time, many of these men began to display symptoms of “madness” as the long-term effects of this mercury exposure led to toxicity in the brain – and the term Mad Hatter was born. The point of the story is to illustrate how without proper knowledge or information, we are exposing ourselves to greater health risks in the long run through chemical additives, like fluoride.fluoride_water_vs_toothpaste

A Recap of Fluoride’s History

natures-way-cause-tooth-decayIn case you missed last week’s blog How Clean is Your Water? Here’s a quick recap on how fluoride cam to be in our drinking water supply. Fluoride became a huge focus in the 1930’s when they began to correlate tooth decay in relation to fluoride consumption. As a means of protecting children from early tooth decay, the US Department of Health & Human Services began adding fluoride to major water supplies, spinning it as “Water Fluoridation: Nature’s Way of Preventing Tooth Decay.” Recently, this US Department announced their mission that 80% of the US water supply will contain fluoride.

Fluoride in Our Drinking Water – Long-Term Effectsfluoride_protestors

Although these treatments and processes came about with the best intentions, the long-term effects of these chemicals in our water supply are just beginning to surface. The fluoride initiative alone is beginning to become a major concern for many people as they begin switching to fluoride-free products. Very recently, many medical journals classified fluoride as a neurotoxin – the same classification given to lead, mercury and arsenic. “The fluoride added to our water supply is mostly seen as a cumulative toxin that accumulates in our bodies and can manifest itself in problems over time, including dental fluorosis, or far worse health problems,” stated The Lancet Medical.

The Fluoride Solution?

The long-term solution would be to teach proper dental hygiene to our children and stop allowing the government to add chemicals into our water supply without understanding the long-term risks. However, the likelihood that will change tomorrow is slim to none. In the meantime, find yourself some fluoride free toothpaste and a water filter for your tap water at home. Although the research is still ongoing to the long-term effects of these added chemicals, such as fluoride, it’s important to eliminate any harmful chemicals from you and your children’s diet.

Fluoride Toothpaste Warning:fluoride-toothpaste_warning

 

tap_water

How Clean is Your Tap Water?

(Part 1 of 5: Clean Water Epidemic)

 Explore the overwhelming problem of global clean water; starting in your own home and zooming out to the overall global clean water epidemic.

global_water1

 We are very fortunate to have clean affordable drinking water as citizens of a first world country; however just how clean is our tap water really? When we think of “unsafe” drinking water, many of us may humorously refer to an embarrassing incident a relative may have had while vacationing in Mexico or other. Although this is a form of mild illness caused from contaminated water, let’s narrow the focus of a major global issue and start in our own backyard – from there we can zoom out to the larger global clean water epidemic.

We know that our tap water is “safe” to drink because it’s cleaned and regulated, right? Although this is partially true, we are just yet beginning to understand the long-term ramifications of these cleaning methods. Let’s take a step back and start at how the whole water treatment process came about…

microscope_clipartClean Tap Water – The Beginning

According to the American Water Works Association, the invention of the microscope in the 1850’s shed some light on the amount of germs and contaminants for the first time. In 1902, Belgium began using chlorine to clean or treat water in a public water supply. Today, almost every major city treats their drinking water with chlorine or other chemicals to kill any germs in the water.

The Additives

Chemicals are added to our water supply not once, but twice throughout the treatment process. Although the first round of chemicals (aluminum sulfate, polymers and chlorine) are then “filtered,” there is a final round of chlorine or chloramine that is added to the water supply prior to storage and distribution – this stage is called disinfecting. According to the CDC, this process prevents the spread of Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Norovirus. However, why are there more additives in our water supply such as fluoride?water_treatment_process

Fluoride became a huge focus in the 1930’s when they began to correlate tooth decay in relation to fluoride consumption. As a means of protecting children from early tooth decay, the US Department of Health & Human Services began adding fluoride to major water supplies. Recently, this US Department announced their mission that 80% of the US water supply will contain fluoride.

The Questions

Through all this research, it’s easy to find yourself with more questions, such as what are the long-term effects of Fluoride in our water supply? Or why is the US Department of Health & Human Services adding fluoride to our drinking water, when the FDA labeled the fluoride in toothpaste with a poison warning back in 1997? All these questions answered and more in the next blog: Fluoride in Our Drinking Water – Helpful or Harmful?

Workout-Schedule

Schedule Your Workout

schedule_workout_quoteIt’s easy to go into each week and each day with the best of intentions, to workout or get some exercise in. However, our best intentions are often put on the back burner as the craziness of your work days unravel. That’s why it is crucial to schedule your workouts – just like any other appointment. Here are three simple tips to help you not only schedule workouts, but keep them.

Schedule Your Workout

Treat your calendar as your boss when it comes to appointments. When you schedule something your boss (calendar) is there to hold you accountable to those tasks and actions. Take out your calendar right now and find two to three days where you can block off 30 minutes to exercise. Now that it is in your calendar, keep your appointment!

Protect Your Workout

Honor your appointments like any other important appointments you would make. For example, you wouldn’t miss an important business meeting or your child’s dance recital – so do not miss what’s important to you! The more you practice honoring your appointments with yourself, the easier it becomes.

Enjoy Your Workout

Working out doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. Simply find something that you enjoy and do that. Just get up and move! There are many different options out there for great movement. For example, Yoga or Pilates classes, dance class, swimming, or even a brisk walk – perhaps as part of your lunch hour? The idea here is to enjoy the exercise you’re doing. When you find an exercise that you enjoy, you will never have to workout another day in your life.