Fluoride is a natural mineral that protects teeth from tooth decay. Specifically, it stops the tooth decay process and helps strengthen tooth enamel. Although almost all water contains fluoride, the levels are too low to reduce tooth decay. This is why community water fluoridation has been introduced. Fluoride is added to the community water and reaches everyone who drinks that water. Sounds like a good thing right? Well, before you make your vote, there’s more to know about community fluoridation.
Fluoride and the Brain
The fluoride added to municipal water supplies is actually a toxic byproduct from the fertilizer industry. Not many Americans are aware of this fact. A study at the Harvard School of Public Health and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have added fluoride as a neuro-toxicant that can harm brain development in fetuses and infants. There are also 37 human studies linking modest amounts of fluoride to neurobehavioral deficits and reduced intelligence. Plus, there are about 100 animal studies linking fluoride to impaired antioxidant defense systems, damage to the hippocampus and a reduction in lipid content in the brain.
Studies from China, India and Iran have also reported an association between reduced IQ and fluoride exposure. On study even indicated that just moderate levels of fluoride exposure can make the neurological defects of iodine deficiency even worse.
As many of the negatives about community water fluoridation continue to emerge, many communities have stopped water fluoridation. Canada has dropped its communities down to 60 percent, and cities in Oregon have stopped adding fluoride to its public water. Dallas ended its water fluoridation in January 2015. Its decision was based on the fact that fluoride is fundamentally a poison and the effectiveness of preventing tooth decay has never been demonstrated by a randomized controlled study.
Fluoride and Pharmacology
Many pharmacologists feel that water fluoridation goes against the basic principles of pharmacology. This is because the dose cannot be controlled. It’s just impossible to control the dose each person receives, as everyone drinks a different amount of water. At the same time, it’s critical to monitor dose, especially for laborers, athletes and those with kidney disease and diabetes. Fluoride goes to everyone regardless of vulnerability, health or age. Even Dr. Arvid Carlsson, a 2000 Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology is trying to keep water fluoridation out of Sweden.
The Real Benefits of Fluoride
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged the benefits of fluoride are topical and not systemic. There is no benefit to swallowing it in order to protect the teeth. With this in mind, it just makes more practical sense to deliver fluoride to the teeth in the everyday toothpastes that people use. Water fluoridation just isn’t necessary. And data from the World Health Organization reveals that western countries who rejected water fluoridation experienced the same decline in population dental decay as fluoridated countries.
Although water fluoridation isn’t the greatest environmental health threat, why play with fire? All it takes is turning off the spigot in the public water system. But it will take masses of citizens with the political will to get it done.