Second Opinion Magazine
Flouride in Your Water – Is It Safe?
But why did communities ever start adding fluoride to their water? In the early 1900s, there were communities in the American West where the children were developing a brown staining of their teeth that came to be known as Colorado Brown Stain. Through the studies of various dentists and public health workers, it was eventually discovered that this staining was caused by high amounts of fluoride in the drinking water in those communities. Instudying Colorado Brown Stain, researchers concluded that although the teeth had brown discoloration, the teeth were also more resistant to tooth decay than normal. Once they figured out that too much fluoride was causing the tooth staining,they sought to determine what levels might provide decay prevention without also causing staining. When a level they considered safe was set, many communities began adding it to their drinking water in hopes of preventing tooth decay. Currently 70 to 75 percent of American communities add fluoride to their drinking water.
The CDCP’s website notes that there is no federal requirement to fluoridate water. Instead, that decision rests with each local municipality, or in some cases it is mandated by state law. However, the US Environmental Protection Agency sets the standards for drinking water safety, and that agency determines how much fluoride is safe in community water supplies.
But not everyone sees community water fluoridation favorably, and many are questioning whether any amount of fluoride in water is safe.
The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) (http://fluoridealert.og/issues/water/) asks why US communities fluoridate their water when many developed nations do not, including Japan and most of Western Europe, noting that tooth decay rates are lower in these nations (that don’t fluoridate their water) than here in the United States. The FAN website says, “Fluoridating water supplies is an outdated, unnecessary, and dangerous relic from a 1950s public health culture that viewed mass distribution of chemicals much differently than scientists do today.”
Dr. Joseph Mercola, along with many others, sees the origins of water fluoridation in a diferent light than does the CDCP. He considers the fluoride that is added to community water supplies a “waste product of the chemical fertilizer industry” (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/25/5-fluoride-free-victories.asp). There are also those who argue that a massive PR campaign convinced people to accept the fluoridation of their water.
Dr. Mercola explains some of the health risks that several studies have shown result from water fluoridation: “There areat least 25 studies showing that fluoride reduces IQ in childre. There is not a single process in your body that requires fluoride, but swallowing this toxin has been found to damage your soft tissues (brain, kidneys, and endocrine system), as well as teeth (dental fluorosis) and bones (skeletal fluorosis).
The FAN website explains that “in recent years, communities throughout the United States and Canada have started to reassess the conventional wisdom of fluoridating their water. Many of these communities, including over 150 since 2010, are reaching the obvious conclusion: when stripped of its endorsements, well-meaning intentions, and PR-praise, fluoridation simply makes no sense.” Cities that have discontinued fluoridating their water include Portland, Oregon;Wichita, Kansas; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Motivation for doing so comes partly from a desire to save money and balance budgets, but is largely due to a good deal of skepticism about the claimed benefits of fluoride. Local, Chippewa Falls and Altoona are not currently adding fluoride to their water.
John Laughlin IV, with local Health Centered Dentistry says, “I would encourage anyone who is drinking fluoridated water to do their own research to find out if they think it is the bet thing for them. Given the history of how our water came to be fluoridated, I think there are significant questions for even n-scientists to give us pause and rethink this practice.”