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UK Against Fluoridation

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

A Mother's Letter to FAN Members
Kyle's Story:
Showers that hurt?  Impossible! (part two)
There are many who believe that fluoride cannot cross the skin and that acute transdermal fluoride poisoning by showering or bathing in fluoridated tap water is simply impossible.  In 2008 I was one of them.  If you read Part One of Kyle's story, you already know that by the year 2000, I had finally discovered how hyper-sensitive my then 14 year old autistic son was to drinking fluoridated water, and that his pain had dramatically decreased after switching to reverse osmosis water.  Lucky for me, FAN was founded that same year and as their outreach and website grew, my knowledge of fluoride grew.
By 2006 I started talking to elected and governmental officials about fluoridation and met Bill Osmunson, DDS, at a public meeting.  Bill cast the line, and I caught the bait and the bug, of anti-fluoridation activism.  In 2008 Bill and I spoke with over 50 state legislators or their aides about fluoridation. 
Meanwhile, after 8 years of hauling thousands of gallons of reverse osmosis and spring water to my home and after 2 years of political activism in opposition to fluoridation, I was still a non-believer that a shower could harm Kyle.  I used a carbon shower filter to protect him from chlorine fumes, and although I knew fluoride would not be filtered out, I naively thought it could not be absorbed through the skin.
Compared to those insanely hard, painful years prior to our initial "fluoride discovery", Kyle was doing decently in 2008 and I thought I was an expert at protecting him from chemicals by then.   Oh, but I had a lot to learn---still do!
His vastly improved quality of life had enabled him to work a part-time office job at Highline Community College.  But I was stumped about morning headaches he'd been having for many months and had had multiple conversations with his doctor about it.  We investigated various possible causes---was it mold?  Or something in his completely organic, highly specialized breakfast?  My detective skills failed me.  Each morning he woke up without a headache, but before he left for work his head was throbbing.
Another angel came to our rescue---another mother of an autistic teenager.   This mom had read a Letter to the Editor I had written about fluoridation and my autistic son's reactivity, looked me up and called me.  During that first 3-hour conversation, she talked about her son's fluoride hyper-sensitivity, and her own which was even much worse.  She told me of a visit to Seattle, and one bath in fluoridated water here that resulted in nasty red, itchy welts at the bath water line and below, which then bled and peeled over the next 2 weeks.   I began to wonder about my mysterious itchy rash (tiny red bumps) on my scalp, chest and back and began to wonder about Kyle's morning headaches.
The next day I had Kyle skip his morning shower.  No morning headache.  Then I had him shower before bed.  Oh, Lordy---déjà vu!  It had been many years since Kyle's once-common, middle of the night bedroom "earth-shakes"---wildly pounding, so-called "restless legs" and many hours of screaming.  (Now, seeing it again, I remembered that back in those old days I gave him Epsom Salt baths before bed for pain...in fluorinated, but de-chlorinated water.)
Oooh-kaay...I stopped the showers entirely and heated bottled water on the stove for my 220 pound grown man to sponge bathe for the next week.  No morning headaches.  I conducted several more "shower trials", still using the carbon shower filter, and all were followed by head pain around 5-15 minutes after showering (even before any food had been eaten).  I tried the evening shower only once more, with the same screaming aftermath into the middle of the night.  Clearly, the pain was much worse with the bedtime showers, but I had no idea why.
Over the next 6 months or so, I tried many different shower filters, but none protected Kyle from fluoridation chemicals enough to avoid the after-shower headaches. 
When we'd go camping for a week or two, I'd call ahead about the fluoridation status.  Campgrounds almost never have added fluoride, but do have chlorine.  Kyle does not get headaches when showering at campgrounds or when we'd visit relatives near Portland with no fluoridation, but with chlorination.  Same with motels---in fluoridated towns, headaches followed the shower.  In non-fluoridated motels, even in the absence of a chlorine filter, he did not get headaches after showering.
Now that I was connecting the fluoride dots, I also noticed that my itchy rash disappeared after 3-4 days of no fluoridated showers and returned about a week after resuming.  Oddly, I've never seen a similar rash on Kyle, but I have since talked to several other women who also get tiny red itchy bumps on their scalp from fluoridated showers.  Could we be reacting to a different fluoridation contaminant, I wonder?
After all those months of bottled water sponge baths, I finally found a shower filter on www.mercola.com that, while it makes no claims to do so, removes enough of the fluoridation chemicals for Kyle to be able to shower IF we do all 4 of these things: 
  1. Set a timer and limit the shower to 4 minutes;
  2. Use warm water, not hot;
  3. Keep water pressure at the lowest possible, about 1 gal/min, for maximum filtration contact;
  4. Change filter at 3 months, not 6 as the manufacturer suggests, which for our usage is about 700 minutes of total run-time on the filter.  Kyle starts to get after-shower headaches between 3-4 months of use on this filter. 
There are other methods to remove fluoridation chemicals from bathing water, such as in-home reverse osmosis systems, but this was the simplest and cheapest for us.  Seattle's water is soft, but with harder water (higher mineral content), the effectiveness of filters may be less.
I am eternally grateful to FAN and all of the "Friends of FAN" that I heavily rely on to educate me about fluoride and fluoridation.  My holiday wish today is to see an end to the unnecessary curse of fluoridation so that I can help other families like mine focus on caring for their loved ones with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, rather than spending valuable time and resources trying to provide safe, poison-free water for their children. 

I hope you'll help FAN put a halt to water fluoridation by giving generously. 

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