August 1, 2014

COF-COF Rebuttal: Fluoride really does / doesn’t help

Written by: Lisa Konen, 23-Oct-2012

Adding fluoride to community drinking supplies has always been a hot topic. Many experts argue that the addition of fluoride has a public health benefit. Others believe differently, and some opponents even claim conspiracy. While everyone is entitled to their beliefs, Delta Dental of Colorado agrees with the Centers for Disease Control when they named community fluoridated drinking water as 1 of the top 10 Public Health Achievements.

What many Coloradoans don’t know is the research on fluoride’s effect on teeth began right here in our own state. A dentist practicing in Colorado Springs named Dr. McKay discovered that children who drank water from a source with unusually high levels of fluoride had teeth that were inexplicably resistant to tooth decay. The rest is history!

Now, there is a lot of misleading information being spread about community fluoridation. To put our reader’s worries to rest, we have addressed the top 3 myths about fluoride.

Myth: “Fluoride is a poison that doesn’t belong in drinking water.”
Fluoride exists naturally in virtually all water supplies and even in various brands of bottled water. If the people making this outrageous statement truly believed it, they would no longer drink water — or eat fish, eggs, meat or other food products that contain small levels of fluoride1. To put this myth into perspective, a 30-pound child would have to ingest an entire six-ounce tube to be in any trouble, according to the Poison Center2. Even then, this child would vomit the toothpaste before any real harm would be done.

Myth: Fluoride causes bone cancer and lots of other major health problems.
This myth is more of a scare tactic than anything else. There have been no conclusive or accepted evidence to suggest that the fluoride level added to community water supplies cause any major health problems.

Myth: I heard that the EPA is reviewing the maximum fluoride level because fluoride can cause a condition called ‘fluorosis.’ That’s reason enough to oppose fluoridated water.
Dental fluorosis is a rare cosmetic condition that can leave a minor discoloration of teeth that is usually detectable only by a dentist. Adults are not at risk for fluorosis as it only affects children who are waiting for their second teeth to come in. The chance of fluorosis occurring, which has always been relatively small, will decrease, thanks to new federal recommendations that revise the optimal fluoride level in drinking water3. Federal health official are consistently reviewing the subject of community water fluoridation and update their recommendations when appropriate.

We hope that we were able to correct some fictional information that is being spread. Community fluoridation helps everyone. It does not discriminate and that is why we will continue to support this initiative.

What are your thoughts?

1. Ernie Mueller is a former research chemist with the Environmental Protection Agency who also served as Alaska’s Commissioner of Environmental Conservation. See: Ernie Mueller, “Some fluoride opponents are making misleading statements,” The Juneau Empire, April 6, 2004, accessed on January 20, 2011 at opi_fluoride.shtml.

2. “Milwaukee Alderman Says Fluoride in Toothpaste Is a Poison.” PolitiFact Wisconsin. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.

3. Thomas H. Maugh. “HHS and EPA Will Recommend Lower Fluoride Levels in Water Supply.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 07 Jan. 2011. Web. 13 Sept. 2012.

Rebuttal by: Donna Mayne, 23-Oct-2012’t-help/

Lisa, you have made several claims that require a balanced perspective.

1. Safe water advocates don’t have issues with topically applied fluoride; rather, they object to the forced consumption of an artificial fluoridating agent classified as a hazardous material. Unlike, pharmaceutical grade fluorides used by dentists, fluoridating agents are unregulated, unrefined, and contain trace co-contaminants including arsenic, lead, mercury and radionuclides (radioactive substances).

2. If you’re going to cite the Center for Disease Control, why not also cite its more recent positions on water fluoridation? The CDC now cautions parents against feeding fluoridated water to infants and advises that more than 40% of U.S. adolescents have dental fluorosis – cellular damage to tooth enamel historically referred to as “Colorado Brown Stain.” The CDC also provides maps that display fluoridation rates and tooth-loss throughout the U.S. and based on their own data; a correlation between fluoridation and better oral health cannot be drawn. In fact, some of the most fluoridated states have the most tooth loss.

3. In his book “The Fluoride Deception,” investigative journalist Christopher Bryson exposes the true history of artificial water fluoridation, and it was not based on the innocent discovery of dental fluorosis in Colorado caused by naturally occurring calcium fluoride. Rather, it is the result of big corporations and the U.S. military trying to solve a cold war, industrial toxic waste dilemma.

4. “Natural” doesn’t necessarily mean safe. Snake venom is natural. In its natural state, calcium fluoride, the calcium helps to counteract fluoride’s toxicity. However, there is nothing natural about hydrofluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6). Handlers must wear respirators, face shields and HAZMAT suits.

As for links between cancers and fluoridation, recall that smoking advocates once dismissed the notion that tobacco use was cancer causing.

5. Health risks cannot be calculated using the 0.7ppm (0.7 mg/L) of artificial fluoride in drinking water. Cumulative exposure from multiple sources must be considered.  As well, since fluoridating agents are classified bio-accumulative toxins, dilution is not a tenable argument.

6. Fluoridation does, in fact, discriminate. As with any toxin, its effects are felt first and most by the young, the frail and those with the poorest nutrition.

7. It is startling how promoters of fluoridation neglect to mention fluoride’s clinical ability to suppress thyroid function and its continuous harmful cumulative and multigenerational stamp.