Posted By JenniferHogenson on December 14, 2010
Fluoridation is an issue that affects each and every one of us; most importantly our children. I’m sure we all can agree that the health of our children is something not to be taken lightly. And I would like to think that when given the choice people would choose health over policy. Fluoride…what exactly is it? We have been told fluoride is a safe and effective way to promote healthy teeth; but many of us do not know what this chemical compound is, where it comes from, or how it effects the human body.
The type of fluoride being added to most municipal water is hydrofluorosilicic acid. This type of fluoride is an industrial by-product from the aluminum, steel, cement, and phosphate fertilizer industries. It is illegal to let this chemical evaporate into the air or contaminate our rivers and streams. It must be disposed of as toxic waste; unless it can be sold as a product. Unlike toothpaste, it is not pharmaceutical grade quality. It is in fact an unpurified, industrial grade, corrosive acid that, when ingested, has detrimental health effects to our bodies.
Some health risks associated with low to moderate doses of fluorides are dental fluorosis, bone cancer, bone fracture, joint pain, skeletal abnormalities, reduced thyroid activity, IQ deficits, and increased lead absorbtion.
Dental fluorosis is probably the most common indicator of an overexposure to fluoride because we can visually see the damage that the fluoride has caused on the teeth; being spots or streaks of white, orange, or brown on the teeth. Dental fluorosis is caused by fluoride rearranging the crystalline structure of the tooth’s enamel while it is still growing. Currently dental fluorosis affects 40% of children across the U.S. . It is important to understand that fluorosis is not just cosmetic. If Fluoride can cause damage to the tooth-forming cells it also raises the concern that similar damage may be occurring in the bones. Since 50% of fluoride goes directly into the bones and teeth; this concern cannot be ignored. In fact there is a direct correlation between the index of dental fluorosis and the frequency of bone fractures in both children and adults. Fluoride has even been linked to osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer affecting mostly young males under twenty years old who have ingested fluoride during the childhood growth spurt period between the ages of 6-8. Multiple studies by the Unites States Public Health Service, the New Jersey Department of Health even the Harvard School of Dental Medicine all show that boys living in fluoridated areas during periods of rapid growth are more likely to develop osteosarcoma; specifically 7 times more likely.
What is adding insult to injury is the fact that ingesting fluoride has little to no effect in preventing tooth decay. Studies conducted by the World Health Organization show no real difference between the prevalence of tooth decay in fluoridated areas compared to non-fluoridated areas. Studies done the American Dental Association suggest fluoride may have a hardening effect on the enamel when it is applied topically; but they have failed to confirm its benefit when consumed systemically. Ingesting fluoride to prevent tooth decay is much like ingesting sunscreen to prevent a sun burn.
Not only is ingesting fluoride ineffective in preventing cavities; but the method in which it is distributed is completely ineffective as well. Fluoride is the only medication that is distributed to the masses in an unregulated supply. The problems that come with this sort or dosage system are clearly evident…we simply cannot control the amount of fluoride that is given or who it is given to.
Fluoridation allows a community to do to everyone what a doctor can do to no one; and that is force a patient to take a particular medication. Civil liberties, human rights, and informed consent are all violated when public water is used as a vehicle to deliver any sort of toxic chemical into our bodies; whether it is claimed to be a benefit or not.
Another concern is for the members of our community who have already been overexposed to fluoride. These people, particularly low income, have no choice but to keep ingesting the very chemical that caused their overexposure in the first place. In addition, we have no idea the amount of fluoride each individual person has in their body. Almost all people are consuming fluoride from sources other than public water, such as pharmaceutical medications with a fluoride base, bottled beverages and packaged foods that contain fluoride, fluoride treatments from dentists, doctors, and of course toothpaste, mouthwash, and dental floss. There is no individual prescreening of fluoride levels; which makes it very dangerous to supplement fluoride through public water.
The American Dental Association and the Center for Disease Control are both avid promoters of fluoride. Over the years it is evident they have a greater interest in protecting this policy than protecting human health. Ironically, both the ADA and the CDC have issued warnings to parents advising against giving infants and young children fluorinated water conceding that fluoride does have adverse effects on brain development as well as damaging effects to the teeth. Since this information has not been highly publicized, and no warnings appear on our monthly water statement I wonder how many new parents know about this warning; or more importantly, how many do not.
With the surmountable information about the damaging effects of fluoride it makes sense to come to the conclusion that if fluoridation is not safe for everyone; it is quite possibly not safe for anyone. When the policies regarding fluoride were put into place we did not have the scientific data that we do today. I feel it is time to reexamine the overall effects fluoride has on our bodies and pursue safer methods for preventing tooth decay.
The truth is the health risks associated with fluoridation are so numerous and severe that they far outweigh any potential benefit to the teeth. Proper nutrition and good oral hygiene are far better options in preventing tooth decay than ingesting this dangerous poison; and education, not fluoridation is the foundation for healthy teeth.