Fluorine, which forms the fluoride compound found in some toothpastes, has been linked to many health risks. According to the Fluoride Action Network, a coalition dedicated to educating the public about the dangers of fluoride, ingesting fluoride may cause adverse effects to vital body parts, such as the kidneys, bones, brain and thyroid. Although fluoride has been shown to benefit the teeth, there are no known benefits to ingesting it internally. However, fluorine is still present in many foods and beverages.
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Boiled Veggies and Baby Formula
Fluorine is used in public water supplies across the United States and in many other parts of the world, according to the Fluoride Action Network. More than half of the public water supplies in the United States contain fluorine. Fluorine cannot be removed from water by boiling and, in fact, can increase in concentration during the boiling process. Therefore, vegetables and other foods cooked in fluoridated water contain fluorine. Infants are also exposed to high amounts of fluorine when they are fed baby formula that has been mixed with fluoridated water. Women who are unable to breast feed can reduce this exposure by mixing baby formula with distilled water or bottled water that contains lower concentrations of fluoride.
Wine and Unwashed Grapes
Wines originating from California vineyards have been found to contain high amounts of fluorine, according to the Fluoride Action Network. This is attributed to the use of a pesticide called cryolite, which contains sodium fluoride, writes Dr. Paul and Ellen Connett. To protect the grapes from destruction from insects, they are sprayed with cryolite, leaving behind high amounts of fluorine in the grape supply, which remains throughout the wine-making process. In some cases, one glass of wine produced from grapes treated with cryolite contains as much fluorine as one full liter of fluoridated water, according to the Connetts.
Meat and Shellfish
Some types of meat contain fluorine. According to the Fluoride Action Network, most mechanically separated chicken contains fluorine. Mechanically separated chicken is put through a high pressure sieve, removing the meat from the bone and grounding it into a paste-like substance. Chicken put through this process is often used to make chicken nuggets and infant foods. High levels of fluorine are also found in some seafood products, according to the Fluoride Action Network. Shellfish and canned fish are among the highest seafood sources of fluorine.