By: Jean Wright (Letter to the Editor), Chatham This Week, Chatham, Ontario 22-May-2012 — Many years ago, when fluoridation was first proposed, I wrote a letter stating why I was opposed to this action. The first ballot failed, but a later one succeeded, and we have all been medicated without our personal consent ever since.
My reasons now are just as valid as they were then. To review, at that time I owned a flower shop, and did some research through FTD about the effect of fluoride on the flowers that were my stock in trade. I found that both gerbera daisies and gladiola were very sensitive to fluoride, among many others. My own experience with gerberas particularly showed that if I put them in Chatham’s newly-fluoridated water when I conditioned them, they didn’t last nearly as long as if I just recut the stems and left them in the unfluoridated water provided by the supplier.
The major claim for the use of fluoride, that it prevents cavities, is a medical claim, which makes it a drug. A drug can be defined as an article other than food intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of man or of animals. Fluoride is intended to affect the structure of the teeth, therefore it is a drug.
Drugs need to be prescribed, but dripping medication into the public water supply without the consent of (all) those who swallow it does not qualify as a prescription. Too much fluoride can cause serious health problems; children under six are advised not to use fluoridated toothpaste, for example.
Among other reasons for removing the chemical from our water: fluoride is a poison, a byproduct of aluminum mining. No matter where it comes from, it can be and sometimes is contaminated by heavy metals such as arsenic and lead. If the source of the chemical is China (and I have been assured Chatham’s is not) there is no way of knowing what is actually in it – remember the dog and cat food problems, and melamine in baby formula? And antifreeze in cough syrup? Lead in paint on children’s toys?
People who are using prescription thyroid medication should know that fluoride, because of its position on the periodic table, will be absorbed by the thyroid gland before iodine will.
By watering gardens with fluoridated water, the product may contain more fluoride than it should, which can also lead to health problems in otherwise healthy persons.
Many cities in the United States have begun removing fluoride from their water, saving them money and increasing the health of their citizens. The latest one, to my knowledge, is Albuquerque, N.M. With Chathamites having so many health problems, perhaps more consideration should be given to removing fluoride from our water supplies as well.