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  • On August 10, 1981 regulations affecting the fluoridation and iodization of salt were published in the Mexican Official Journal (similar to the US Federal Register).
  • On May 27, 1991 Mexico became the seventh country in the world to adopt salt fluoridation as a mass measure, following an agreement signed by the Health Secretariat, the Industry & Commerce Secretariat and the Mexican Association of Salt Industries. The laws were made upon the advice of “dental experts”, funded by Kellogg’s who also funded the implementation of the program.
  • In Mexico, 250 mg of fluoride is added to each kilogram of salt destined for human consumption (table salt, cooking salt, breads and bakery products, processed foods, etc.)
  • 250 tons of fluoridated salt are consumed each year.
  • Mexico’s population is estimated to consist of 95.8 million people, and thus, the current consumption of fluoridated salt per person - child or adult - would be 7.14g per day. 
  • Dental fluorosis is serious problem in Mexico, affecting up to 100% of the population.
  • To this date, no study documenting an overall approach of health effects of long-term exposure to  fluorides has been conducted in Mexico.

   Considering that over 5 million people already suffer from fluorosis in Mexico - and water fluoride contamination is widespread, it is simply incredible how the “dental experts” convinced the authorities of a fluoride “shortage” and to implement a national fluoridated salt program!

   Although the areas with high fluoride in water were to be excluded from the National Program, data reveals that this was not the case and even states such as Chihuahua, long known to have high fluoride content in water, were included.

   Maybe the reason for this outrageous nonsense is the fact that Mexico has “a few things to hide” and it is in the government’s best interest to hide any adverse health effects of fluoride, and to promote its “benefits”?

   Mexico is one the biggest “fluorite” (fluorspar - calcium fluoride) manufacturers in the world, the mining industry being a major source of fluoride contamination and poisoning. Mexico produced 780,000 tons of fluorspar in 1989. San Luis Potosi, a state where fluoride poisoning is endemic, is Mexico’s largest fluorspar generator.

“There is a lot of support for the mines because they provide a lot of jobs.”

   The Mexican Government also co-owns the biggest salt works plant in the world - Exportada de Sal S.A. (ESSA), found responsible for major fluoride pollution in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon (Pacific Ocean).

Notes & Quotes...

    “Due to the agreement signed in May 1991 by the Mexican government and the industrial sector, the program is funded without interfering the finances of the public and industrial sector or the family revenue. This guarantees the continuity of the program - in the medium and long terms -, which is one of the essential conditions to achieve the epidemiological impact that is being pursued.” (Hernandez, CEDROS 1995)


    “Objective. The aim of this study was to know the frequency of dental fluorosis in school children living in an area of Mexico City. Material and methods. We examined 44 permanent resident children and for we used the Dean’s Community Index for assessing dental fluorosis. The kappa index for inter-examiner was of 80%. Results. Fluoride concentration in drinking water was 1.03 + 0.23 ppm. Prevalence of dental fluorosis was 81.9%. In 20 children there was very slight, fluorosis in 5 was slight and 2 had moderate fluorosis. The prevalence was 81.9%. Conclusions. Our results show that dental fluorosis is present in the examined population and that the factors involved should be studied.” (Jiménez-Farfán et al, 2001)

    “When all sources of ingested fluoride were added and total fluoride intake was calculated, the children, both in Mexico City and Veracruz, were ingesting amounts of fluoride well above the upper limits of the proposed safe threshold for fluoride intake.” (Martinez-Mier et al, 2003)

Background Papers

Prevention of dental caries through salt fluoridation in Mexico Dra. Lucíla Pazos Hernandez, National Coordinator of the Salt Fluoridation Program in Mexico

ESSA & Bitterns

   Mexico has the biggest salt works plant in the world - Exportada de Sal S.A. (ESSA). The company makes salt from seawater which is pumped into concentration ponds measuring 33,000 hectars.

   The plant is owned by the Mexican Government and Mitsubishi. 

   The salt plant creates an effluent called bittern (a liquor remaining after salt-boiling). The bitterns are disposed of into the Ojo de Liebre lagoon, a coastal lagoon of the Pacific Ocean.

   Every winter the area is used for breeding by the gray whale. The area is also used by many migrating birds from the US and Canada.

   In December 1997, 94 green turtles were found dead weeks after the company discharged its bitterns into the lagoon. When the bitterns were investigated to fluoride content, they contained over 100 mg per liter. ESSA had earlier claimed that the bitterns contained the same salts present as seawater, only more concentrated (20-fold).
F- was found to be 60.5 times higher than F- in sea water.

   Every year over 24.6 Million cubic meters (m3) of fluoride-polluted bitterns (approx. 6.5 billion US gallons!) are  discharged into the lagoon.

SOURCE: Tovar et al, 2002

   Please note that in the US it is illegal to discharge such “bitterns”. However, they are often used as “de-icing salt” (Ventura County Star, 2002), and dumped on roads, contaminating the environment.


Barrandey OSE, Cabello AMV, Magaña RJ, Rodríguez DE - “Sal fluorurada, riesgo o beneficio para la población de la
ciudad de Chihuahua” Rev ADM 51(2): 80-89 (1994)

    “The population of the city and the state of Chihuahua presents clinical data of dental fluorosis (Mottled Enamel) in different degrees of severity since the drinking water in this area contains variable levels of fluoride, however in adition to this the "National Program for Prevention of Dental Carities by Fluoridation of Salt"; includes the state for it's distribution.

    The levels of fluoride in several different sources of drinking water in the city of Chihuahua and in the most populated municipalities were determined in addition the incidence and degree of dental fluorosis in elementary school children was established; in order to justify the withdrawal of the mentioned national program as soon as possible and therefore to avoid an increase in the frequency and severity of dental fluorosis in the population.

Hurtado R, Gardea-Torresdey J - "Environmental evaluation of fluoride in drinking water at ’Los Altos de Jalisco’ in the Central Mexico region" J Toxicol Environ Health A 67(20-22):1741-53 (2004)

Hurtado R, Gardea-Torresdey J, Tiemann KJ - "Fluoride occurrence in tap water at 'Los Altos de Jalisco' in the Central Mexico region" Proceedings of the 2000 Conference on Hazardous Waste Research

Martinez-Mier EA, Soto-Rojas AE, Urena-Cirett JL, Stookey GK, Dunipace AJ - “Fluoride intake from foods, beverages and dentifrice by children in Mexico” Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 31(3):221-30 (2003)

Soto-Rojas AE, Urena-Ciritt JL, Martinez-Mier E - “A
 review of the prevalence of dental fluorosis in Mexico” Rev Panam Salud Publica 15(1):9-17 (2004)

    “The prevalence of dental fluorosis reported in Mexico ranged from 30% to 100% in areas where water is naturally fluoridated and from 52% to 82% in areas where fluoridated salt is used.”

Tovar LR, Guttierrez Ma E, Cruz G - "Fluoride content by ion chromatography using a suppressed conductivity detector and osmolality of bitterens discharged into the pacific ocean from a saltworks: Feasable causal agents
in the mortality of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon, Baja California Sur, Mexico" Analytical Sciences Vol.18:1003 (2002)

Ventura County Star - “A natural history of salt” July 21, 2002

Wyatt CJ, Fimbres C, Romo L, Mendez RO, Grijalva M - "Incidence of heavy metal contamination in water supplies in northern Mexico" Environ Res 76(2):114-9 (1998)

Jiménez-Farfán MD, Sánchez-García S, Ledesma MC, Molina FN et al - “Dental fluorosis in children living in South-east Mexico City”
Original title: “Fluorosis dental en niños radicados en el suroeste de la Ciudad de México” Rev Mex Pediatr 68 (2): 52-55 (2001)

FULL TEXT in Spanish available here




Alarcón-Herrera MT et al - ‘WELL WATER FLUORIDE, DENTAL FLUOROSIS, AND BONE FRACTURES IN THE GUADIANA VALLEY OF MEXICO” Fluoride  34(2): 139-149 (2001) Click here

Diaz-Barriga states that endemic fluorosis is an environmental health problem that affects 5 million people in Mexico.

Diaz-Barriga F, Navarro-Quezada A, Grijalva MI, Grimaldo M, Loyola-Rodriguez JP, Ortiz MD - “ Endemic fluorosis in México” Fluoride 30(3) 233-9 (1997)




EPA: Detailed Meeting Summary/Minutes Deming 2003