- The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors is
currently exploring a proposal to put fluoridation
chemicals into our main water supply. A final vote
could happen in the next few months. How do we want
them to decide?
- On the one hand, proponents' claims for community
water fluoridation (CWF) do sound appealing. Surely
we'd all like to believe that putting something into
our shared water supply could improve everyone's
dental health; help folks in poverty; save us money;
and not harm any people, pets, livestock, crops,
wildlife, or ecosystems.
- However, my conclusion is that these claims are
fundamentally not supported by today's science. That's
the reason that most industrialized countries have
rejected CWF, and many people have taken a public
stand against it, including thousands of top
scientific experts, dentists, doctors, former Public
Health Ministers, Nobel Laureates, and more. Many were
once proponents, until they looked below the glossy
- I think we need to set a very high standard before
we put any material into our community's water supply.
We should do so only if it's proven 100% safe,
effective, and necessary. To me, CWF fails all three
- However, some people are being persuaded by the
pro-CWF sales pitch. Therefore, it's up to "we the
people" to stand up and protect our local water,
health, environment, and food supply. A key part of
this is understanding and educating others about the
foundational problems with CWF.
- Eight Key Facts
- 1) Dentistry's use of fluoride is fundamentally
different than CWF. In dentistry, an individual
chooses to use pharmaceutical-grade fluoride compounds
in dose amounts that they or their dentist
- But, with CWF, an entire population is exposed,
without their consent, to uncontrolled and unmonitored
cumulative doses of a very different fluoride compound
&emdash; usually hydrofluorosilicic acid that's
contaminated with toxics and hasn't gone through a
testing and approval process with the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA).
- 2) Fluoride's benefit to teeth (mode of action)
comes from being applied to teeth surfaces (topically)
not from being ingested (systemically). Even the
Centers for Disease Control and National Research
Council agree with this.
- 3) Fluoride isn't an essential nutrient and has
no minimum daily requirement. There's no such thing as
a fluorine deficiency. This is stated clearly by
the U.S. FDA, the U.S. Public Health Service, and even
the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine
(IOM), which indicates that its 1997 report is being
incorrectly used to claim otherwise. Thus it makes no
sense to drink it!
- 4) Tooth decay has declined at the same overall
rate in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated regions
worldwide over the past 40 years. CWF is not
causing this decline.
- 5) Studies have not proven CWF to be safe and
effective. In 2000, the British government's Final
Fluoridation Study (nicknamed "The York Review") was
expected to confirm the claimed benefits of CWF.
Instead its systematic review of the science found
that no studies purporting to demonstrate CWF's safety
and effectiveness were of grade A status (i.e., "high
quality, bias unlikely").
- 6) Many studies have shown health harm from
fluoride, even at common U.S. exposure levels.
These include significant increases in bone factures
and cancers, thyroid tumors, arthritis-like symptoms,
decreased IQ, and dementia-like effects. Excess
fluoride also causes dental fluorosis, a permanent
staining and/or pitting of teeth that reflects bone
damage throughout the body. In 2010, 41% of America's
children had fluorosis, up dramatically from under 10%
in the 1940s. People with compromised nutrition are
more vulnerable to harm from fluoride. Pets, wildlife,
and ecosystems are also shown to be harmed by it.
- 7) Many Americans are already exposed to total
fluoride levels above what's considered safe,
through our dental products, food, soda, tea,
pharmaceuticals, pollution, and pesticides. Children
can go over the threshold just in how they brush their
- 8) Some community members are medically advised
not to drink fluoridated water. These include
infants and kidney patients. But removing fluoride
just partially from water requires expensive equipment
and is especially not affordable for CWF's primary
target audience, low-income people.
- To me, these facts demonstrate that CWF doesn't
fulfill its claimed benefits and is harmful to the
health of our community. For citations, further
information, and local action options, see
www.patriciadines.info/PPF.html [that's this
- Patricia Dines writes the Ask EcoGirl column,
and has been a writer and public speaker for over 25
years, serving many thousands of people through her
books, newsletters, articles, workshops, and more.
- © Copyright Patricia Dines, 2013. All