Will Milwaukee follow Tea Party hysteria and ban fluoridated water? - Baltimore Post-Examiner

Will Milwaukee follow Tea Party hysteria and ban fluoridated water?

Woman Drinking Glass of Water

Adding fluoride to the water supply at times has been the height of debate in this country since its use was discovered. Sometimes a pariah, often a cavity savior, fluoride has the ability to cause some shrill debate.

Now it’s Milwaukee’s turn.

Milwaukee Alderman Jim Bohl is pushing the city to axe all fluoride in the water, claiming the city is “overdosing” its resident on fluoride. Milwaukee’s flirtation with fluoride started in 1953 and Bohl is taking the argument that it was a hazardous experiment at best that didn’t work.  He wants to take the $540,000 the city spends annually to fluoridate water to pay for critical dental services to children in low-income neighborhoods.

James Bohl

Bohl walks down the usual road of arguments about the pitfalls of fluoride: it can cause spotty, pitted brown teeth; may weaken bones; may cause lower IQs; may cause cancer; is an unnecessary addition to what’s become a fluoride-rich diet from other sources; and that Europe is doing just fine without it.

He has support from the nation’s leading fluoride opposition, the always militant-sounding Fluoride Action Network.

Backers, led by the likes of dental associations across the land, call fluoride foes’ contentions, “junk science” and refer to the addition as one of the top 10 health achievements in the last century.

And the Centers for Disease Control, the country’s be-all and end-all when it comes to things about health, sits, kind of, on both sides. It concedes — especially in the case of dental fluorosis, the tooth spotting condition—that some adverse effects could happen, but that fluoride overall is a good thing.

The fluoride foray has hit the national spotlight as well since the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to recommend that water suppliers reduce the maximum amount they put in the water.

About 73 percent of the U.S. population receiving public water gets fluoride. Wisconsin ranks 16th in the percentage of residents getting it. Minnesota (which has a state mandate) ranks 6th; Illinois, 8th; Michigan, 15th; and Ohio, 19th. Maryland ranks first, with 99.8 percent covered, while New Jersey is 49th (14 percent) and Hawaii, 50th (11 percent).

The city of Baltimore puts this statement out to calm the waters: “Fluoride is added to the filtered water at each of the plants to reduce tooth decay. The plants maintain fluoride levels of approximately one part per million of the treated water.

Arguing about fluoride in the water is like dealing with Scientologists — the arguments might be plausible but the presentation is a bit frenetic. Numbers and conspiracies can be tossed about with aplomb.

Anti-fluoride types on the extreme sound like this post on the topic: “Hitler was into fluoride. It targets a part of the brain that makes people less inclined to stand up to authority. That is the other reason (in addition to profit) why the elite corporate interests that control America pull whatever strings that must be pulled to ensure people continue its consumption.”

It’s not a total surprise that the fluoride debate has come back to Wisconsin, the hotbed of fluoride opposition in the first place. In 1950, opponents organized objections based on safety, ethics and its usefulness. It didn’t work, but the state doesn’t have a fluoride mandate to this day. And given Wisconsin being notorious for its connection to anti-communist witch hunts at that time, led by U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy, it’s not a leap that soon the national debate on fluoride included whether or not it was a Communist plot to poison America’s water supply. That leap of logic stayed on the debate table for over a decade.

Milwaukee Alderman Bohl sticks with science in his opposition: “Milwaukee shouldn’t be playing either doctor or dentist to our citizens. We are not qualified to do this and those who urge us to continue accept no legal responsibility for any harm it may be causing.”

A counterpart in Michigan—where the fluoride saga first started with a Grand Rapids experiment in 1945– still sees red. In December, the Township of Hartland banned fluoride. The movement was led by local Tea Party member and Trustee Glenn Harper.

Says Harper:  “Our biggest complaint about Obamacare is that bureaucrats and politicians are going to be making medical decisions for us. Here’s a perfect example of where we’re doing that. We don’t need to do that.”

Twelve states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have laws for statewide fluoridation.

Minnesota faced a challenge that went to its Supreme Court when that state went fluoride in the 1970s. Brainerd argued that its referendum should supersede the state mandate.

Ohio has mandates on water suppliers of over 5,000 people, but Springfield (pop. 60,000) was grandfathered due to a referendum. Michigan lowered its fluoride vehemence in the late ’70s, but in recent years has put extensive public health resources in studying and monitoring fluoride results. It has also set up a grant program for water suppliers to get fluoride set up.

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s home state Massachusetts does not mandate communities put fluoride in the water while President Barrack Obama has made it clear he supports fluoride. (See sidebar.)

Bohl could easily throw cost into his argument, given that Milwaukee spends $540,000 a year on fluoride. Many small towns have cited the cost in their opposition, even one community where it counted just $22,000 against the budget.  Instead, he says some of the savings would be put toward a dental program for poor people.

Milwaukee would be the largest city in the U.S. to remove fluoride to date. Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (pop. 80,000) had it in, took it out, put it back in several years later, and then took it out again a year after that.

In Florida, Pinellas County stopped putting fluoride in the water last year, affecting some 700,000 people. But most cities listed on the Fluoride Action League list of rejecters are quite small, and include many towns in Nebraska who opted out of fluoride on election-day referendums in 2008. Canada seems more inclined to get into the fray, with some large cities like Calgary, joining the fluoride opposition.


About the author

Doug Hissom

Doug Hissom writes a weekly environmental column for Baltimore Post-Examiner. He has covered local and state politics in Wisconsin for more than 20 years. Over the course of that time he was publisher, editor, news editor, managing editor and senior writer at the Shepherd Express weekly paper in Milwaukee. He also covered education and environmental issues extensively. He ran the UWM Post in the mid-1980s, winning a Society of Professional Journalists award as best non-daily college newspaper. An avid outdoors person he regularly takes extended paddling trips in the wilderness, preferring the hinterlands of northern Canada and Alaska. After a bet with a bunch of sailors, he paddled across Lake Michigan in a canoe. Contact the author.
COMMENT POLICY
  • Concerned

    Alderman Bohl states that Europe is doing just fine without it. Alderman Bohl has clearly never been to Europe and seen the average mouth.

  • me

    Will M find the real questions?

  • nyscof

    Picker asks LIST ONE ARTICLE FROM A RESPECTED, CREDIBLE, PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL THAT PROVES THAT COMMUNITY WATER FLUORIDATION IS NOT EFFECTIVE AND IS UNSAFE.

    “The prolonged ingestion of fluoride may cause significant damage to health and particularly to the nervous system,” concludes a review of studies by researchers Valdez-Jimenez, et al. published in Neurologia (June 2011). The research team reports, “It is important to be aware of this serious problem and avoid the use of toothpaste and items that contain fluoride, particularly in children as they are more susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride”

    “The investigation has demonstrated that under the rigorous experimental conditions employed, fluorine is not a dietary essential.” Richard Maurer and Harry Day, “The Non-Essentiality of Fluorine in Nutrition” Journal of Nutrition, 62: 61-57(1957)

    Your turn. Let’s see the actual safety studies!

    • OHitmatters

      Worth reposting……..Concerns about fluoridation’s safety have been taken seriously and thoroughly evaluated. There is over 60 years of well studied fluoridation experience with large populations. We have good information with world wide consensus that water adjusted to 0.7 ppm fluoride is completely safe. Here is a list of systematic reviews which have found fluoridation safe. These deliberations are done by organizations with sufficient resources to retrieve, read and weigh all the science. California Carcinogen Identification Committee (2011) European Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (2011) Department of Public Health, Scotland, UK (2008) Health Canada Report on Fluoride and Human Health (2008) National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government (2007) National Research Council, U.S.A. (1993, 2006) World Health Organization (1994, 1996, 2006) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Public Health Service (2003) International Programme on Chemical Safety, W.H.O. (2002) Forum on Fluoridation, Ireland (2002) Medical Research Council, U.K. (2002) U.S. Guide to Community Preventive Services (2002) U.S. Surgeon General’s Report (2000) University of York, U.K. (2000) Institute of Medicine, U.S.A. (1999) U.S. Public Health Service (1991) New York State Department of Health (1990) Because of the volume of scientific research – as of this evening there are 5931 articles in the National Library of Medicine’s database found by searching on fluoridation; 44478 by searching on fluoride, most reasonable people will look to expert scientific opinion. The overwhelming expert consensus is the reason that fluoridation reaches about 74% of Americans on public water systems. Professional organizations and expert committees have, based on this literature, come to the uniform conclusion that community water fluoridation is safe, effective and inexpensive.. What the many respected dental, medical, public health and disease prevention organizations say in their own words can be conveniently read at: http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/fluoridation/respected-organizations/

      • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

        The Centers for Disease Control is often quoted as claiming fluoridation is a good thing. However, CDC dentists are hired to promote fluoridation, not study it. CDC representatives have been known to fudge the truth. For example: The CDC’s fluoridation spokesperson, dentist Dr. William Bailey, told the Fairbanks Alaska City Council that the CDC doesn’t do original fluoride/fluoridation safety research. Instead the CDC relies on many reviews and reports from the US and other countries. Some of the studies Bailey mentions actually do not support fluoridation’s safety and/or efficacy as Bailey claimed. Transcript: http://www.fluoridealert.org/bailey1.html Bailey said, “Of all the expert committees and all the systematic reviews that have been done, they have all said that water fluoridation is safe and effective and healthy. So that’s the basis of our decision to promote it…The systematic reviews which I am talking about – the National Health and Medical Research Council – the National Research Council in 2006 – the Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry in 2003 – the Forum on Fluoridation in 2002 in Ireland – the University of York in 2000 and so forth.” Here’s the truth: National Research Council (2006) This isn’t a fluoridation risk/benefit analysis. It found EPA’s current fluoride maximum-contaminant-level-goal (MCLG) for drinking water is not protective of health and must be lowered. EPA has yet to act upon this recommendation. Several members of the NRC panel believe fluoride’s MCLG should be as close to zero as possible.(1) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2003) This report says “… subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds…the elderly, people with osteoporosis, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and/or protein.” (2) University of York, UK (2000) About this report, the Centre for Review and Dissemination writes “We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide.”(3) Lewis and Banting, Canada (1994) “The effectiveness of water fluoridation alone cannot now be determined,” they write.(4) New York State Department of Health (1990) The authors concluded:“… some individuals may experience hypersensitivity to fluoride-containing agents.” And,“…it is currently impossible to draw firm conclusions regarding the independent effect of fluoride in drinking water on caries prevalence using an ecologic study design.”(5) World Health Organization (2006) This report, not about fluoridation, documents high levels of natural fluoride causing human bone and teeth malformation in many countries.(6) Medical Research Council, UK (2002) This report, not a fluoridation risk/benefit analysis, identifies fluoridation health uncertainties such as total exposure and bone effects.(7) Institute of Medicine (1999) Since fluoride is not a nutrient, this report set the adequate intake from all sources to avoid children’s moderate dental fluorosis (discolored teeth) and, also, the upper limit to avoid crippling bone damage — which the IOM admits “is too high for persons with certain illnesses…”(8) References: http://forum.starnewsonline.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1949

    • OHitmatters

      The type and quality of research is a critical factor. Heres a dose of your own medicine. I read the same research article that you sited and found some things to quote. Here is how I’d site the source.
      Maurer, R.L. & Day, H.G. (1957). The non-essentiality of fluorine in nutrition. Journal of Nutrition, 62(4), 561-573. Retrieved from http://jn.nutrition.org/content/62/4/561.long on June 19th, 2012.
      The study was done on rats (I prefer human studies when looking for credability)
      “the kidneys, livers and bones of deficient and supplemented animals
      showed no differences which could be attributed to the fluorine supplementation” (p. 572) .

      “Under the extremely rigorous conditions of this study
      fluorine was not found to have any influence on the growth
      and well-being of rats.” (p.571).

      “The controls were given water containing 2 ppm of fluorine
      as sodium fluoride. (p566).

      “it is improbable that this defect is attributable to the deficiency of fluorine. All of the losses may have been due to imbalances in the diet other than fluorine
      deficiency or to the type of cages used because the growth rate
      of the survivors was not affected by the provision of fluorine
      in the drinking water.” (p.566).

    • OHitmatters

      One more thing…. These are a couple of examples of how taking a short clip/quote from any research can make it meet my agenda and the reason that you can’t read the comments section of a newspaper and consider the information found to be true. .

      “fluorine is definitely an essential element” (p.562).

      “The “deficient” animals were a great deal smaller and had a much higher
      incidence of caries than the control group.” (p.562).

      A critical and comprehensive review is an absolute must….. and I prefer that a qualified scientist conduct this review not someone who devotes their life to eliminating a proven public health method.

      • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

        Fluoride is not an essential nutrient: a) Fluoride is not a nutrient per 1999 Letter from the presidents of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicinehttp://www.fluoridealert.org/nas-1998-letter-nutrient.html b) “…because there is no consensus on the essentiality of fluoride, and because declaration of a percent DV for this nutrient would be of little value to consumers, the agency is removing fluoride from the RDI [recommended daily intake] list…” Federal Register: December 28, 1995 (Volume 60, Number 249)] Rules and Regulations , Page 67163-67175 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration, 21 CFR Part 101 Docket No. 90N-0134, RIN 0910-AA19 http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-1995-12-28/pdf/95-31197.pdf

  • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

    I repeat where’s the scientific evidence to show fluoridation is safe. These groups are asked to review the scientific literature and can’t find anything to prove fluoridation is not safe because NO STUDIES HAVE BEEN DONE

    In fact, they all point this out and recommend safety studies be done; but they never are.

    Show us the actual studies that maybe we’ve overlooked which actually test people for the harmful effects of drinking fluoridated water.

    Again leave out efficacy studies. We would just like to see the studies which show children with dental fluorosis don’t have skeletal fluorosis. We would like to see the cancer rates based on individual fluoride ingestion. What’s the rate of kidney damage, thyroid damage, bone defects, anemia, brain deficits in people who drink fluoridated water.

    For decades we’ve been told fluoridation is safe for everyone. But in January 2011, whoops it’s not safe at 1 ppm anymore. It has to be 0.7 ppm. Yeah that’s the ticket. Except that the Centers for Disease Control says that babies up to six months old will develop fluoride damaged teeth without any benefit if they are fed infant formula mixed with fluoridated water even at 0.7 mg/L.

    What else are the “authorities” overlooking. How long will it take for government agencies to catch up with the science indicating that fluoride ingestion does not reduce tooth decay but does expose individual’s to fluoride’s scientifically-proven adverse effects?

  • factsforhealth

    An elusive & pivotal but not unfamilar detail emerged in Alderman Kohl’s quest for simple facts at the Milwaukee debate. None of the twelve “fluoride” proponents/”experts” at the May inquiry had described or cited the existence of one sound toxicological study for the following: the demonstrated safety and/or efficacy for humans (of ANY age or health status) known daily to swallow “optimal” concentration or “optimal” dosage (if such exists) of “fluoride”-added tap water. So: can Fluoride For Health or Ima.dentist or Doug H or the next dozen “experts” (from Wherever) help us out? After over sixty years of fluoridation, seems reasonable to expect such a minimal burden of proof exists somewhere? Or perhaps not at all?

  • factsforhealth

    An elusive & pivotal but not unfamilar detail emerged in Alderman Kohl’s quest for simple facts at the Milwaukee debate. None of the twelve “fluoride” proponents/”experts” at the May inquiry described or cited the existence of one sound toxicological study for the following: the demonstrated safety and/or efficacy for humans (of ANY age or condition!) known to swallow “optimal” concentration or “optimal” dosage (if such exists)– of “fluoride”-added tap water. So: can Fluoride For Health or Ima.dentist or Doug H or the next dozen “experts” (from Wherever) help us out? After over sixty years of fluoridation, seems reasonable to expect such a minimal burden of proof exists somewhere?

  • fathermisty

    This article, without giving it’s reader a chance to make up their own mind, sells you the idea that if you oppose fluoridation you are “hysterical” and furthermore it pins the whole movement on the Tea Party? Strange. Anyway, I’m not interested in the propaganda or the biased writing or in which side is going to outwit one another. The whole practice is unethical and the data is outdated. Also, give us a break and stop trying to categorize everyone into these groups and parties. I suppose it makes it easier to pass the blame and ignore individuals and their civil liberties. Provide some new data and research reinforcing the issues rather that calling people names.

    Here is Dr. William Hirzy (while serving his 6th term as Senior Vice President of the EPA Union) and his presentation “Why EPA’s Union of Professionals Opposes Fluoridation”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViNNIwmzTzI

    • Picker22

      Water fluoridation is important to a community’s better oral health, especially the children’s. There is abundant new (and older) good science supporting the practice. The single most compelling positive effect is the avoidance of operations for severe cavities in young kids. The huge Louisiana study showed that 2/3rd of the operations for terrible cavities and 50% of the dental bills were avoided with fluoridation. see: Water Fluoridation and Costs of Medicaid Treatment for Dental Decay — Louisiana, 1995-1996. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention September 03, 1999 / 48(34);753-757 http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4834a2.htm The Texas legislature commissioned a study of the dental bills saved with fluoridation with similar findings as did a study of Medicaid cases in New York State. Even more recently, in 2010 it was shown that kids who drink fluoridated water in childhood become adults with more teeth. see: Am J Public Health. 2010 Oct;100(10):1980-5. The association between community water fluoridation and adult tooth loss. Neidell M, Herzog K, Glied S. Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20724674 Also from 2010 is the finding that fluorosis makes a tooth resistant to cavities. Public Health Rep. 2010 Sep-Oct; 125(5): p 647-654. Geographic Variation in Medicaid Claims for Dental Procedures in New York State: Role of Fluoridation Under see: Contemporary Conditions Jayanth V. Kumar et al http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2925000/ Water fluoridation prevents cavities in adults and children, in permanent teeth and baby teeth, and on the exposed root surfaces common in older people. Because of the volume of scientific research – as of this evening there are 5931 articles in the National Library of Medicine’s database found by searching on fluoridation; 44478 by searching on fluoride, most reasonable people will look to expert scientific opinion. The overwhelming expert consensus is the reason that fluoridation reaches about 74% of Americans on public water systems. Professional organizations and expert committees have, based on this literature, come to the uniform conclusion that community water fluoridation is safe, effective and inexpensive.. What the many respected dental, medical, public health and disease prevention organizations say in their own words can be conveniently read at: http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/fluoridation/respected-organizations/

      • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

        Picker, that NYS study by Kumar is totally bogus. It’s based on Medicaid claims and 80% of dentists refuse to treat Medicaid patients and those that do only treat a handful.

        Actually, as I’ve told you before NYS Department of Health Statistics show that the most highly fluoridated NYS counties do not have less tooth decay and that fluoridation didn’t level out decay between low-income and not-low-income children within counties.

        Further, after 67 years of fluoridation, 57 years of fluoridated toothpaste, a glut of fluoridated dental products that didn’t exist when fluoridation began, a fluoride-saturated food supply and emergency rooms are flooded with people in dental pain costing taxpayers millions of dollars because most Americans can’t afford dental care and organized dentistry lobbies our legislators to keep their lucrative monopoly and disallow viable groups from filling the cavity in dental care that’s occurred on their watch..

        This is occurring in all fluoridated cities and states.

        Besides, we’re still waiting for studies which prove fluoridation is safe for kidney patients, the thyroid gland, high water drinkers, etc. Endorsements don’t cut it any more.

        • Picker22

          Kumar et al found that in New York the mean number of claims per child for cavity related services was highly statistically associated with the extent of fluoridation in a New York’s counties. More fluoridation, fewer claims. Claims for non-cavity related services were not related.

          The reference is:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2925000/

          The study was published in a very prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal. Readers might want to read it themselves to see if your evaluation of “totally bogus” is correct. These results stand regardless of whatever access problems for Medicaid recipients exist in New York.

          Readers can see what Dr. Kumar said about the study at:

          http://www.pewstates.org/news-room/press-releases/water-fluoridation-what-the-science-says-85899379792

          Do you also have a problem with the Louisiana study??

  • danat

    FLUORIDEALERT.ORG
    THE FDA WON’T APPROVE FLUORIDE, WHY SHOULD WE? EVERYONE, DESERVES THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR CHILDREN, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER DRUG. I respect your right to use Fluoride, please respect our American right to abstain from this unapproved, and unproven drug? It would be much cheaper to make it available at a discount for poor folks, as there are many sources such as toothpastes and rinses, rather than the expensive process or handling and storing a hazardous material at our water dept. For some of us the idea that a toxic CARCINOGEN, on the order of ARSENIC, AND ASBESTOS , becomes medicine when diluted is a risk we don’t care to take, especially with our infants, children, pregnant mothers, elderly, and other especially vulnerable populations.

    My husband served two tours in Bosnia, and two in Iraq. The whole time he was there we clung together as a family because we knew Rob was fighting to keep America Free. Unlike fascist regimes that force people to do things against their will or sacrifice the health of some for the profit of others. As far as we’re concerned that’s why he and millions of others have risked their lives, and others have given theirs. Does that make me hysterical? That’s why I’m for all of your rights to consume as much as you want easily and safely, even if it hasn’t been fully tested for safety or effectiveness. Paxil, Vioxx, Prozac, were all thought to be safe, and effective drugs, but we’ve found out how many risks THEY REALLY HAVE. Just like the ad’s always say: ask your dr. if this drug is right for you, and the weigh the risks and decide for yourself. The argument isn’t over fluoride’s safety, that isn’t known, the argument is over everyone’s right to choose how much is right for them, just like every other drug. Please go ahead and use as much as you like, we’re not trying to take it away from anyone, why can’t you respect the large population of people, like infants, you children, and many others for whom any dose of fluoride is too risky?

    I think many Americans might be missing the truth about the toxic byproduct of industrial waste called fluoride that is added to your water, without FDA approval. For this I can’t blame you as our govt health officials and the lawyers of the involved industries haven’t made it easy. Because there has never been an FDA Approval, any assertion that fluoride or any other toxic chemical be added to our children’s drinking water is shocking to me, and very reckless at best. A toxic stew, that doesn’t come from a pharmaceutical clean room, or even a food grade facility, but a toxic Industrial waste so harmful it was used as a rat poison, damages teeth, bones, and collects in your brain. Doug why don’t you look into the source of the “fluoride” that is added to wataer and the economics. It’s so toxic the FDA can’t certify it’s safety or it’s effectiveness. That’s right, FLUORIDE IS AN UN-APPROVED DRUG, that is put in the drinking water of our children, even though nobody knows how risky it is because it’s too toxic to ever pass FDA.

    Please, I’m happy to fight for anyone’s free right to use fluoride, but when you try to force somebody else, who doesn’t need it, or want it, to take an Unapproved Drug against their will, you need to return the same respect we have for your choice, and reconsider your position, because we know all American’s believe in Freedom. I want the industries that produce fluoride to pay to properly dispose of their waste some place other than my water, and stop passing the costly burden of their toxic waste onto all of us! That’s not the American way, and that’s a fact nobody can dispute. JUST SAY NO to UNAPPROVED, UNPROVEN DRUGS, AND KEEP THEM AWAY FROM MY KID’S WATER!

    Sincerely Rob and Dana, parents and proud, patriotic Americans. GET THE FACTS FOR YOURSELF AT Fluoridealert.org

    FLUORIDEALERT.ORG

  • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

    The American Dental Association reports in its Fluoridation Facts Booklet, “decreased fluoride removal may occur among persons with severely impaired kidney function who may not be on kidney dialysis.”

    The Centers for Disease Control reports the following: “The prevalence of dental caries in a population is not inversely related to the concentration of fluoride in enamel, and a higher concentration of enamel fluoride is not necessarily more efficacious in preventing dental caries.” and “It is not CDC’s task to determine what levels of fluoride in water are safe” and
    “Saliva is a major carrier of topical fluoride. The concentration of fluoride in ductal saliva, as it is secreted from salivary glands, is low — approximately 0.016 parts per million (ppm) in areas where drinking water is fluoridated and 0.006 ppm in nonfluoridated areas (27). This concentration of fluoride is not likely to affect cariogenic activity.”

    The Institute of Medicine reported that since fluoride is not a nutrient, it set the adequate intake from all sources to avoid children’s moderate dental fluorosis (yellow teeth) and, also, the upper limit to avoid crippling bone damage—which the IOM admits “is too high for persons with certain illnesses…” The adequate intake of fluoride for six month olds is a mere 0.01 mg a day which is already in all infant formula, whether concentrated or not, and when fluoridated water is added it puts babies at substantially greater risk of developing dental fluorosis without any benefit since fluoride hardens teeth topically not systemically.

    • Ima.dentist

      It is always good to know the credentials of those commenting on this issue. Opposition groups, like NYSCOF (new york state coalition opposed to fluoride) and FAN (fluoride action network) have absolutely no credible science to support their statements. They take one liners and sentences taken from credible scientific sources and reword, take out of context, and twist them to make them appear to support their fear tactics. They count on the readers who really want to learn about fluoridation to lack the sophistication to look up the references for themselves.

      Go to the following link and learn about NYSCOF and its members:
      http://www.scienceinmedicine.org/policy/papers/AntiFluoridationist.pdf

      You’ll quickly see that they are no WHO, CDC, AMA, ADA, American Academy of Pediatrics, US Surgeon General, or any credible scientific group that supports fluoridation as safe, effective, and inexpensive.

      • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

        The link Ima.dentist provides is not scientific. It’s put togerher by two dentists who have been zealous fluoridationists for decades. One is a former fluoridation spokesperson for the American Dental Association. They always insult peoople and groups opposed to fluoridation rather than focus on science. They only represent themselves. Some of their writings are, in fact, libelous.

        Those opposed to Fluoridation include:
        • Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine, 2000
        • Vyvyan Howard, MD, PhD, Immediate Past President, International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE)
        • Ingrid Eckerman, MD, MPH, President, Swedish Doctors for the Environment (LFM), Stockholm, Sweden
        • Raul Montenegro, PhD, Right Livelihood Award 2004 (known as the Alternative Nobel Prize), President of FUNAM, Professor of Evolutionary Biology, National University of Cordoba, Argentina
        • The current President and six past Presidents of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology
        • Three scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Headquarters Union in Washington D.C.
        * William Marcus, PhD, Former chief toxicologist of the EPA Water Division, Boyds, MD
        • Three members of the National Research Council committee who wrote the landmark 2006 report: Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards (Hardy Limeback, PhD, DDS; Robert L. Isaacson, PhD; Kathleen M. Thiessen, PhD)
        • The Board of Directors, American Academy of Environmental Medicine
        • Two advisory board members of the UK government sponsored “York Review”
        • Andy Harris, MD, former national president, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Salem, OR
        • Theo Colborn, PhD, co-author, Our Stolen Future
        • Lynn Margulis, PhD, a recipient of the National Medal of Science
        • Ken Cook and Richard Wiles, President and Executive Director, Environmental Working Group (EWG)
        • Magda Aelvoet, MD, Former Minister of Public Health, Leuven, BELGIUM
        • Doug Everingham, former Federal Health Minister (1972-75), Australia
        • Peter Montague, PhD, Director of Environmental Health Foundation
        • Ted Schettler, MD, Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network
        • Stephen Lester, Science Director, Center for Health, Environment, and Justice
        • Lois Gibbs, Executive Director, Center for Health, Environment, and Justice, Goldman Prize Winner (1990), Falls Church, VA
        • FIVE Goldman Prize winners (2006, 2003, 1997, 1995, 1990)
        • Sam Epstein, MD, author, “Politics of Cancer” and Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition
        • Michael W. Fox, DSc, PhD, BVM, MRCVS (former vice president of The Humane Society of the US, former vice president of Humane Society International and the author of more than 40 adult and children’s books on animal care, animal behavior and bioethics),
        • Environmental leaders from over 30 countries

        • Ima.dentist

          The respected Public Health Dentists who wrote this white paper are indeed scientists. The Institute for Science in Medicine’s Mission Statement is simple:

          “ISM is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting high standards of science in all areas of medicine and public health. We are organized as a policy institute and “think tank,” comprised of health care professionals, scientists, and researchers in many fields who agree that the best science available should be used to determine health policy and to establish a standard of care that both protects and promotes the public health. We necessarily oppose policies which erode a science-based standard of care and thereby significantly expose the public to fraudulent, worthless, or harmful medical practices and products.”

          It is easy to understand those opposed to science would be opposed to those who expose their unfounded basis for their arguments. To list the Scientists and Researchers who have made fluoride and fluoridation the most researched subject matter in history would take volumes of books, not a few lines as listed above in your references NYSCOF.

          Consider some of the hundreds of groups that recognize the health benefits of community water fluoridation for preventing dental decay: WHO, AMA, US Surgeon Generals, the American Cancer Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, CDC, American Dental Association, US Public Health Service, the American Osteopathic Association, US Dept of Defense, the National Health Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition…..

          These supporting groups have only one goal in mind. That is to protect the health and welfare of all of the world’s inhabitants. To propose that these respected, credible, scientific, intelligent, and loving groups are coercive in their efforts to effect some diabolical coverup of toxic waste is deceptive and naive at best. And NYSCOF and FAN and their participants know this. But to accomplish their agenda, they resort to fear and scare tactics to get the publics attention.

          Consider the players: Scientific National and Internationally Recognized Groups, or a small group of vocal opponents with absolutely no credible science to back up their claims. The choice is clear in who to base our public’s health with.

          • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

            Where’s the science showing fluoridation is safe? Endorsements are not science.

          • Ima.dentist

            Oh NYSCF. To play the shell game. Ask a question, get an answer. Move the shell and repeat. On and on and on.

            1. YOU ASKED FOR ONE STUDY SHOWING FLUORIDATION’S EFFECTIVENESS. ANSWERS PROVIDED AD NAUSEUM.
            2. YOU ASKED FOR SAFETY. ANSWERS PROVIDED AD NAUSEUM.

            BETTER YET, WHY DON’T YOU LIST ONE ARTICLE FROM A RESPECTED, CREDIBLE, PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL (and no, FAN and FluorideAlert.org are not qualified by the standards that define what constitutes credible, peer reviewed data and articles…see ADA Fluoridation Facts page 8 again for a scientific explanation of what this means http://www.ada.org/sections/newsAndEvents/pdfs/fluoridation_facts.pdf ) THAT PROVES THAT COMMUNITY WATER FLUORIDATION IS NOT EFFECTIVE AND IS UNSAFE.

            EVEN BETTER YET, WHEN YOU PROVIDE THE REFERENCE, DON’T CHERRY PICK A SENTENCE AND TWIST IT TO SUPPORT YOUR ERRANT CONTENTIONS. PROVIDE THE SENTENCE VERBATIM, GIVE THE EXACT LINK TO THAT REFERENCE (and no, linking to FAN, FluorideAlert.org, or any other opposition website lacking recognized credible credentials), AND LET THE READERS MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION. NOT ONE THAT YOU WANT THEM TO “TRUST, BECAUSE YOU SAID SO”.

            Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association endorse water fluoridation as safe and effective.  I trust their knowledge and expertise.  And I’m sure most people would trust them over the unproven claims that you espouse.

  • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

    Oh Doug, where to begin. This could have been written in the 1950′s. Just substitute “tea party” with “old ladies in tennis shoes” or any other group offensive to you.

    The truth is that those opposed to fluoridation do not fall into any political group. We have learned to work together for the common good on this issue. We are right wing, left wing, gun-toters and gun-haters, abortion foes and right-to-choosers, god-fearing or atheistic. It’s the science that binds us!!!

    Fluoridation began in the 1940′s with the belief that ingested fluoride, thought to be an essential nutrient, incorporated into children’s developing teeth to make them decay-resistant.

    However, modern science proves that fluoride hardens outer tooth enamel by topical means alone and fluoride’s adverse effects occur upon ingestion such as dental fluorosis (discolored teeth) which now affects almost 60% of US adolescents even though cavity rates are increasing and emergency rooms have become the new dental office because most Americans can’t afford dental care and 80% of dentists refuse Medicaid patients.

    Fluoridation is out-dated, ineffective and unscientific and should be stopped country-wide.

    And fluoride is not a nutrient nor essential for healthy teeth. Consuming a fluoride-free diet does not cause tooth decay. Fluoride can have a host of detrimental effects, even at the low levels added to water supplies.

    The National Research Council, at the request of the EPA, formed an expert panel to review fluoride toxicological data. The NRC revealed in 2006 that EPA’s safe water fluoride levels are too high to protect health. In fact, three members of that panel believe water fluoride levels should be as close to zero as possible. Especially troubling is fluoride’s adverse effects to the thyroid gland, kidney patients, babies and people who drink lots of water.

    Scientific evidence of fluorides adverse effects (for the open-minded) can be found here http://www.FluorideAction.Net/health

    By the way Baltimore. It’s time you lobbied your legislators to stop fluoridation also. You will be saving money, your health and even your teeth as studies show that, when fluoridation ends, so do cavities.

    • Fluoride For Health

      Why do anti fluoridationists always site the same NRC study? The National Research Council itself explained that its report was not an evaluation of the safety of water fluoridation. The NRC raised the possibility of health concerns about areas of the U.S. where the natural fluoride levels in well water or aquifers are unusually high. These natural fluoride levels are two to four times higher than the level used to fluoridate public water systems. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reviewed the NRC report and stated, “The report addresses the safety of high levels of fluoride in water that occur naturally, and does not question the use of lower levels of fluoride to prevent tooth decay.” Anti-fluoride groups cite many studies that were poorly designed, gathered unreliable data, and were not peer-reviewed by independent scientists. You can find them at Fluoride Action’s Website. For information you can actually trust, check out what the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Dental Association, the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have to say about fluoride and fluoridation.

    • Ima.dentist

      Anti-fluoride activists have no evidence proving that fluoride is harmful at the level used for fluoridating water.  They will make all kinds of claims, but the science doesn’t back them up.  If you want to know what the evidence shows about fluoridation, visit this site:
      http://www.pewcenteronthestates.org/initiatives_detail.aspx?initiativeID=85899367159

    • Ima.dentist

      More than 3,000 studies or research papers have been produced about fluoridation and fluoride.  After all of these studies, if there were any evidence of these supposed harms, we would know about it by now.  Two facts are clear: Americans have been drinking fluoridated water for over 65 years, and there is overwhelming evidence showing it is both safe and effective.

      To read a comprehensive, organized answer to the opposition’s “claims” above, see: http://www.ada.org/sections/newsAndEvents/pdfs/fluoridation_facts.pdf

      • http://www.fluoridation.webs.com nyscof

        Please show us just one of those 3,000 studies which proves that consuming fluoridated water at “optimal” levels is safe for everyone. I’m not interested in effectivenss. Just safety.

        Your failure to provide this information will indicate that such evidence does not exist.

        • Ima.dentist

          For those interested in the above question posted by nyscof, a very concise Q&A by the respected Pew Center on the States will clearly answer many of the charges set forth by the opposition. The link is:
          http://www.pewstates.org/research/analysis/water-fluoridation-frequently-asked-questions-85899379776

          An additional reference entitled “REVIEW OF FLUORIDE: BENEFITS AND RISKS” published by the US Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, reviews the literature (aka research) of the safety and effectiveness of fluorides, both systemically and topically: http://www.health.gov/environment/ReviewofFluoride/default.htm

        • Picker22

          Concerns about fluoridation’s safety have been taken seriously and thoroughly evaluated. There is over 60 years of well studied fluoridation experience with large populations. We have good information with world wide consensus that water adjusted to 0.7 ppm fluoride is completely safe. Here is a list of systematic reviews which have found fluoridation safe. These deliberations are done by organizations with sufficient resources to retrieve, read and weigh all the science. California Carcinogen Identification Committee (2011) European Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (2011) Department of Public Health, Scotland, UK (2008) Health Canada Report on Fluoride and Human Health (2008) National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Government (2007) National Research Council, U.S.A. (1993, 2006) World Health Organization (1994, 1996, 2006) Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, U.S. Public Health Service (2003) International Programme on Chemical Safety, W.H.O. (2002) Forum on Fluoridation, Ireland (2002) Medical Research Council, U.K. (2002) U.S. Guide to Community Preventive Services (2002) U.S. Surgeon General’s Report (2000) University of York, U.K. (2000) Institute of Medicine, U.S.A. (1999) U.S. Public Health Service (1991) New York State Department of Health (1990) Because of the volume of scientific research – as of this evening there are 5931 articles in the National Library of Medicine’s database found by searching on fluoridation; 44478 by searching on fluoride, most reasonable people will look to expert scientific opinion. The overwhelming expert consensus is the reason that fluoridation reaches about 74% of Americans on public water systems. Professional organizations and expert committees have, based on this literature, come to the uniform conclusion that community water fluoridation is safe, effective and inexpensive.. What the many respected dental, medical, public health and disease prevention organizations say in their own words can be conveniently read at: http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/fluoridation/respected-organizations/

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