USA – Costco Connection Debate June 2014 (Volume 29 Number 6) – Most countries in the world (including 97 percent of Europe) do not fluoridate their water. Yet, tooth decay has been coming down as fast in non-fluoridated countries as in fluoridated ones, according to a World Health Organization study.
It is a poor medical practice to use the water supply to deliver medicine. You cannot control the dose or who gets the medicine, and it violates the individuals right to informed consent to medical treatment.
U.S. government-funded studies cited in the Journal of Denial Research and the Journal of Public Health Dentistry indicate that the evidence supporting swallowing fluoride to reduce tooth decay is very weak. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) admits that the predominant benefit of fluoride comes from topical, not systemic, application. Fluoride works on the surface of the tooth, not from inside the body. Thus, there is no need to swallow fluoride and no need to force it on people who don’t want it.
Proponents argue that the level at which we fluoridate — I part per million (ppm) — is so small that it couldn’t possibly hurt anyone. However, 1 ppm is 250 times the level found in mothers’ milk. It is r to give a bottle-fed baby 250 times more fluoride than nature intended.
Today our children are being grossly overexposed to fluoride, as evidenced by a CDC study indicating that 41 percent of U.S. children age 12 to 15 have dental fluorosis (irreversible damage to the enamel). More worrying are the many animal
and human studies showing that fluoride is a neurotoxin. For example, a Harvard team showed that
out of 27 studies, 26 found a lowering of IQ in children exposed to fluoride, with an average loss of 7 IQ points, which is substantial.
Fluoridation’s proponents have argued that this meta-analysis can be ignored because the fluoride concentrations were much higher than the levels used in fluoridation. But this b simply not true. In nine of the studies the concentrations were less than 3 ppm. This leaves no adequate margin of safety to protect all of our children from damage to their developing brains.
Alternative solutions are available. The Childsmile program in Scotland has shown that large reductions in tooth decay can be achieved in low-income families with cost-effective programs involving teaching tooth-brushing in nursery schools, educating parents on better diets and providing topical fluoride varnishes to those most vulnerable. Our reckless practice of fluoridating public drinking water must be brought to an end as soon as possible.
Dr. Paul Connett (PhD) is co-author of The Case Against Fluoride (Chelsea Green, 2010) and director of the Fluoride Action Network (www.fluoridealert.org)