I recently had to do some research about Water Fluoridation for a paper. Turns out I didn’t know anything (not a big surprise) about Fluoride or what it does to our teeth and body. It was nice going into my research with an open mind. I read information favoring and opposing fluoridation. Second Look is a great website with lots links to both sides of the discussion.

I am opposed to Mandatory Water Fluoridation.

About a month ago I read a book called The Hundred-Year Lie: How Food and Medicine are Destroying Your Health by Randall Fitzgerald. It wasn’t a happy book. Pretty scary stuff. There was a little section about fluoride that did stay with me. Here’s a quote from the book:

“There was an ulterior motive for the aluminum industry and the fertilizer industry to promote the fluoridation idea. A by-product of factory smokestacks operated by both industries was a toxic waste called silicofluoride that contained lead, cadmium, arsenic, and other toxins. Instead of these industries having to pay for the disposal of this waste (today at an estimated cost of $8,000 a truckload), fluoridation enabled both to make money by selling the waste for use in public water supplies.”

When I originally read this I didn’t like the sounds of it but it struck me as leaning a bit toward a conspiracy theory. Obviously I didn’t forget reading it and when I was doing research for my paper I stumbled upon similar statements from other sources. Not good.

Fluoride was fist added to a municipal water supple back in 1945 in Grand Rapids, MI. Since then, the American Dental Association has aligned itself with the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and supported water fluoridation as “the most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay” (http://www.ada.org/fluoride.aspx). They have supported water fluoridation for 65 years.

During those 65 years, oral health in the United States has improved. Is it the fluoride? The key initial studies have been questioned as “dubious scientific quality” (The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation by Dr. Phillip Sutton).  There are many studies that show the quality of children’s teeth in industrialized countries to have steadily improved since 1930. There are also many studies that show very little difference between the teeth of children who grew up with fluoride in their water and those without fluoride in their water. Is it possible that the improved quality of teeth could have something to do with “a) a better standard of living; b) better education; c) better dental hygiene; d) more refrigeration; e) more fresh fruits and vegetables in diet; f) more cheese in diet; g) exposure to antibiotics in processed food; and h) less exposure to environmental lead” (www.slweb.org/connett.html). There are all sorts of possibilities so let’s look more closely at fluoride.

The information that I have read leads me to believe that there really aren’t any definitive studies that show the benefits of fluoridated water. As long as it causes NO HARM, no big deal right. Unfortunately there are many studies that point to fluoride as a huge toxin and very dangerous.

Some of the information that I found came from a doctor by the name of John R. Lee. Dr. Lee was a well respected doctor, teacher and published author. He spent 25 years researching the subject of fluoride. You can learn more about Dr. Lee in this tribute letter found on his official website.

Here are some of his bullet points regarding fluoride in a paper he wrote in 1995 (add emphasis is mine). You can find the full text here.

  • The Public Health Service (PHS) confirms that dental fluorosis occurs in 30% to 60% of children in fluoridated communities and in only 10% of children in unfluoridated communities – indicating excessive intake of fluoride from dietary, toothpaste and other sources – not wise to add even more to water.
  • Bone cancer is correlated with fluoride intake – there is no study that refutes this association
  • The National Research Council (NRC) confirmed that seven out of nine fracture/fluoride studies found hip fractures directly correlated with fluoridation exposure.
  • The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and all other health agencies no longer regard fluoride as an essential nutrient. It is an extremely potent enzyme inhibitor with a toxicity rating greater than lead and just a bit less toxic than arsenic.

You might be wondering what fluorosis is. I had no idea. Here is some quoted information about Dental Fluorosis from the Fluoride Action Network.

“Excessive ingestion of fluoride during the early childhood years may damage the tooth-forming cells, leading to a defect in the enamel known as dental fluorosis. Teeth impacted by fluorosis have visible discoloration, ranging from white spots to brown and black stains.

Teeth with fluorosis also have an increased porosity of the enamel. In the milder forms, the porosity is mostly limited to the sub-surface enamel, whereas in the more advanced forms, the porosity impacts the surface enamel as well, resulting in extensive pitting, chipping, fracturing, and decay of the teeth.”

Do a google search for Dental Fluorosis and you’ll see lots of nasty images.

Here is what the ADA says about Dental Fluorosis

“Enamel fluorosis is not a disease but rather affects the way that teeth look. In the vast majority of cases, enamel fluorosis appears as barely noticeable faint white lines or streaks on tooth enamel and does not affect the function or health of the teeth. In fact, in many cases, the effect is so subtle that, usually only a dental expert would notice it during an examination. Enamel fluorosis occurs only when baby and permanent teeth are forming under the gums. Once teeth break through the gums, they cannot develop enamel fluorosis.”

The ADA sure makes it sound like it’s no big deal. I think I would like to choose what defect(s) I consider no big deal. Mandatory water fluoridation doesn’t give anyone a choice.

Here are some quotes from a position paper written by John Colquhoun, D.D.S., Ph.D. You can read the entire text here. He was a former, very vocal and powerful advocate of water fluoridation. After years of strongly promoting fluoridation he changed his position based on information from many studies and a world tour that he did to gather data about tooth decay and water fluoridation.

“when similar fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas were compared, child dental health continued to be slightly better in the non-fluoridated areas.”

“25 percent of children had dental fluorosis in fluoridated Auckland and around 3 percent had the severer (discolored or pitted) degree of the condition [33]. At first the authorities vigorously denied that fluoride was causing this unsightly mottling. However, the following year another Auckland study, intended to discount my finding, reported almost identical prevalences and severity, and recommended lowering the water fluoride level to below 1 ppm [34]. Others in New Zealand and the United States have reported similar findings. All these studies were reviewed in the journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research [35].

On January 7, 2011 the ADA posted a press release on their website applauding the Health and Human Services recommendation to set the level for optimally fluoridated water at 0.7 parts per million.

“Common sense should tell us that if a poison circulating in a child’s body can damage the tooth-forming cells, then other harm also is likely. We had always admitted that fluoride in excess can damage bones, as well as teeth.”

There is much more evidence that tooth mottling is not the only harm caused by fluoridated water. Polish researchers, using a new computerized method of X-ray diagnosis, reported that boys with dental fluorosis also exhibit bone structure disturbances [64]. Even more chilling is the evidence from China that children with dental fluorosis have on average lower intelligence scores [65, 66].

Based on what I’ve read there doesn’t seem to be any good evidence to support adding fluoride to our water supply while at the same time there seems to be lots of reasons why we shouldn’t. The town I grew up in did not add fluoride to the water. It still doesn’t. The town I currently live in does. It’s hard to get away from. As stated on the ADA website, “72.4% of the U.S. population served by public water systems receive the benefit of optimally fluoridated water.”

I’ll finish with one more link. This is to a letter written in 1999 from John R. Lee MD to Senator Arlen Specter. I enjoyed the letter and thought the information was interesting. Basically, Dr. Lee is noting “inadequacies and inconsistencies” in a “disingenuous” reply the senator received regarding questions about the inclusion of fluoride in the 1997 Food and Nutrition report. If you have the time and interest give it a read.

Feel Good, Have Fun!

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3 Responses to Water Fluoridation

  1. amy d says:

    Thanks – great info. I am going to share it.
    I remember one dentist in particular asking me if I drank a lot of coffee/tea or smoked because of the brown stains on my teeth. Sad that HE didn’t know it was fluoride (I didn’t either, of course). This is another reason to avoid bottled juices & such; I even wonder about my frozen veggies – is that fluoridated water they’ve been prepared in???
    Very similar issues with mercury fillings. Have you seen any of Hal Higgins stuff? Very good (though scary). I will never have another root canal again!

  2. amy says:

    Thanks for sharing. I can’t believe the dentist didn’t know what the stains were from. I haven’t seen/read any of Hal Higgins stuff. I will look him up. Thanks for passing his name along.

    • amyd says:

      AMy – I think I have a couple of extra books around here. I will send them to you if you like. I’ve had them awhile & prayed about who to send them to. I htink you might be the one. One is Hal Huggins & the other, I can’t recall. Can you send me a private e-mail & we can discuss further?

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