19 Aug 2011

USA - Fluoridation raises important questions

Fluoridation raises important questions
Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011
A recent look at cost, effectiveness and side effects of fluoridating drinking water supplies evokes memories of the fluoridation wars of the 1950s and '60s.

While we hope it doesn't result in total elimination of a proven tooth-decay preventive, we acknowledge that elimination indeed might be the result.

Mount Clemens' City Commission voted recently to stop fluoridating the city's water supply as soon as it uses up its remaining supply of the fluoride compound. Although many pushed for elimination on grounds that it is or may be harmful, one commissioner cited elimination of the $40,000 annual cost.

Fluoride is present naturally in most ground water. Cities, starting with Grand Rapids in 1945, began adding it to water systems after it was shown that it substantially reduces tooth decay. A range of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million was considered suitable; Detroit began adding it to the regional water system at the rate of 1 part per million in the mid-1960s.

It was controversial then, as in most communities. Proposals to fluoridate were put on many ballots, and defeated often. High concentrations of fluoride were known to cause mottling and pitting of teeth and were suspected in bone ailments as well.

Opponents of fluoridation say the presence of fluoride in toothpaste and some foods and bottled water now justify eliminating it from water supplies.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and American Dental Association continue to promote its use, and few challenge fluoride's effectiveness in preventing tooth decay.

Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed decreasing the amount of fluoride to drinking water to 0.7 parts per million, the lower limit of the current range.

The Department cites the increasing amount of fluoride from toothpaste and other sources along with an increasing amount of mostly low-level pitting of teeth in adolescents and evidence that there is no decay prevention from concentrations over 0.7 parts per million.......

Why is the SCSHA going to put 1ppm in the water?

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