1 Oct 2012

Fluoridation is Outdated and Harmful

Fluoridation is Outdated and Harmful: By Carol S. Kopf, Media Director, Fluoride Action Network 
Fluoridation is a 1940's concept begun with the mistaken belief that one milligram fluoride ingested daily from one liter of water reduced children's tooth decay while teeth formed. Now children consume up to six times that amount of fluoride from water, food, beverages, and dental products negating the need for water fluoridation and putting Americans at unnecessary risk of fluoride's adverse effects and overdoses. 

Further, swallowing fluoride doesn't stop cavities. Fluoride hardens outer tooth enamel topically, not systemically, according to the CDC. 

Fluoridation opponents and proponents agree that too much fluoride is a bad thing with dental fluorosis (discolored teeth) and skeletal fluorosis (bone and joint damage) the consequence. EPA sets safe water fluoride contaminant levels at 2 mg/l and 4mg/L to prevent dental and skeletal fluorosis, respectively. 

Early fluoridationists promised only 10% would develop mild dental fluorosis (white spots). But today 41% of 12-15 year-olds have dental fluorosis - 3% moderate/severe (yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth). Government's failure to examine these children for skeletal fluorosis nullifies any safety claims. 

CDC's Oral Health Division, comprised mostly of dentists, pronounced fluoridation a great achievement, but didn't conduct any original safety research and admits early fluoridationists wrongly assumed that fluoride ingestion prevented cavities. 

Legislators, organizations, foundations and associations that endorse fluoridation were and are lobbied with incomplete and incorrect knowledge; few if any do original research or poll its membership. 

Most literature reviews actually point out huge gaps in fluoride safety knowledge. For example, UKresearchers reported in 2003 "We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide." In 2006, the Chairman of the National Research Council (NRC) panel on fluoride toxicology, John Doull PhD, said many safety questions are still unsettled. 

NRC also revealed that fluoride, even at low doses added to water supplies, can damage the thyroid, kidney patients, babies and heavy water drinkers. Consequently, many dental, health and government agencies now advise that infant formula should not be mixed with fluoridated water. Also, the National Kidney Foundation withdrew its fluoridation endorsement. Even the American Dental Association admits fluoride can harm kidney patients. 

Fluoridationists dismiss non-US studies. Harvard researchers reviewed 27 foreign studies and concluded that they reliably indicate that water fluoride levels are linked to lower IQ - including studies of communities with water fluoride levels lower than US EPA safe levels. Where are the USstudies to confirm or deny this? 

Calcium fluoride found in nature is much less toxic than hydrofluosilicic acid, the tainted byproduct of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing, added to US fluoridating communities' water. In fact, calcium is the antidote for fluoride. There is no dispute that fluoride can be toxic. 

Fluoride is neither a nutrient, nor essential for good oral health. Fluoridation is an out-dated, ill-conceived public health blunder that needs to be abandoned world-wide. We should educate, not medicate. We cannot continue to allow our children to be unpaid guinea pigs, and without parental informed consent, and partake in this ongoing fluoridation experiment for the political viability of organized dentistry.

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