Rady Ananda, Contributing Writer
In July of this year, the United Nations declared access to clean water a human right. The United States was among 41 nations that abstained from supporting the resolution. Since October 15th is Blog for Water Day, a close inspection of a common US practice – fluoridating city water supplies – is in order.
The subject of water fluoridation has been controversial for decades, but a new book,The Case Against Fluoride, won the accolades of a Nobel Laureate:
Sweden rejected fluoridation in the 1970s and, in this excellent book, these three scientists have confirmed the wisdom of that decision. Our children have not suffered greater tooth decay, as World Health Organization figures attest, and in turn our citizens have not borne the other hazards fluoride may cause. In any case, since fluoride is readily available in toothpaste, you don’t have to force it on people.
~ Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Laureate in Medicine or Physiology (2000) and Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, University of Gothenburg
Published on October 7th, The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There, by Paul Connett, James Beck, and Spedding Micklem, warns that water fluoridation “receives no oversight from the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency takes no responsibility for the practice.”
Carl Hays (a Booklist Online reviewer) also applauded the book:
On the eve of the new millennium, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), listed water fluoridation as one of the twentieth-century’s 10 greatest public-health achievements. Yet according to the authors of this painstakingly researched expose of fluoridation’s overall ineffectiveness and toxicity, endorsements such as these from the CDC and other health organizations are motivated more by face-saving politics than credible research.
Fluoridation advocates who have previously branded detractors as conspiracy theorists and shills for junk science will be hard pressed to debunk the hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and sound scientific reasoning presented here.
In March of this year, the issue again made news
when workers in the Amesbury, Massachusetts water plant found that the bags of fluoride the city had bought from China contained an unknown, non-soluble substance. It comprised 40% of the product.
This month, the video caught the attention of bloggers who focused on the warning label on the sodium fluoride bag seen in the video:
TARGET ORGANS: Heart, Kidneys, Bones, Central Nervous System, Gastrointestinal System, Teeth. Do not get in eyes or on skin. Do not ingest or inhale.
Why are they putting this in our water?
Many scientists oppose adding such a toxic substance to our main drinking supply, yet powerful forces keep our water fluoridated. A short 30-minute film, Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation
, provides some chilling information.
Even assuming that the given reason for fluoridating our water – to prevent tooth decay – is legitimate, pharmacologists, toxicologists, dentists, and medical doctors explain how mass drugging a population violates medical ethics since it lacks informed consent.
Among the 2,000-plus professionals who call for the ban of this practice, Dr Carlsson states: “It’s absolutely obsolete.” Modern pharmacology recognizes that individuals react differently to the same dosage of a given drug.
“Now in this case, you have it in the water and people are drinking different amounts of water. So, you have huge variations in the consumption.”
Dr Phyllis Mullenix concurs. “The whole name of the game [of pharmacology] is to deliver the right dose to the right person at the right time. And that’s not what fluoridation does.”
Any benefit from fluoride on teeth is only topical. As one scientist put it, “If you want to prevent sunburn, you don’t drink suntan lotion. You put it on your skin.”
Yet, fluoridated municipal water exposes our internal organs to a toxic substance. Children are especially vulnerable, because the blood-brain barrier is not fully developed. Fluoride lowers intelligence. One in three US adults has arthritis, which is a symptom of skeletal fluorosis. Fluoride also causes depression and lethargy, they report.
The World Health Organization advised that a third of US children suffer from dental fluorosis caused by too much fluoride intake.
Professionals in the film also cite a 2006 report
by the National Research Council, which urges the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water.
In the Amesbury news report, we saw bags of sodium chloride. But the form of fluoride added to most municipal water supplies is hexafluorosilicic acid, a waste product of the agricultural phosphate industry. It is not pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride.
Meanwhile, fluoride filtration systems can be purchased for home installation, ranging from around $50 a year to several hundred dollars.