by Alison Jolicoeur
February 9, 2011
In the mainstream, fluoride has been touted as a cavity fighter, but those in the natural health world have long argued its toxic effects. Last month, for the first time in 50 years, government officials recommended the amount of flouride in municipal water supplies be lowered from 1.2 milligrams per liter to 0.7 milligrams per liter, citing recent studies that children are exposed to too much flouride, and that two out of five children have spots on their teeth due to dental flourosis.
Even at the new recommended level, the Fluoride Action Network warns parents that infants drinking formula reconstituted with fluoridated tap water could be exposed to 175 times more flouride than a breast-fed baby. The Centers for Disease Control warns this could lead to a greater risk of fluorosis. According the the CDC website:
"Recent evidence suggests that mixing powdered or liquid infant formula concentrate with fluoridated water on a regular basis may increase the chance of a child developing ... enamel fluorosis."
This, however, is the tip of the iceberg. While both the CDC as well as The American Dental Association claims that fluorosis is the only concern, other agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency have brought other more startling health concerns to light. According to Yahoo News:
"The Environmental Protection Agency released two new reviews of research on fluoride Friday. One of the studies found that prolonged, high intake of fluoride can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures and crippling bone abnormalities."
In a study released last December and pre-published in the Journal of Hazardous Material, the authors concluded that exposure to even low-levels of fluoride in drinking water had a negative effect on intelligence and confirmed the "dose-response" relationship between fluoride levels in urine and IQ scores.
While the risk of fluoride exposure is becoming more evident, are there any real benefits? It seems even that is questionable. In a recent study that appears in the American Chemical Society's interdisciplinary journal Langmuir, fluoride's protective shield is said to be 100 times thinner than previously believed. The scientists are questioning its benefit, considering that at 6 nonometers thick it would take 10,000 layers to be the width of a human hair.
After all, flouride, or fluorosilicic acid, is a byproduct from the mining of phosfate rock. After flouride emissions from these industrial plants were discovered to be causing the death of nearby cattle and crops, wet scrubbers were utilized at the plants to prevent the fumes from escaping into the air.
Fluoride is toxic waste, and in my opinion has no place in the water supply, or the human body for that matter. It is about time government agencies re-evaluate its use. To let your voice be heard on the issue of water fluoridation, submit your comments to the DHHS by February 14th by clicking here: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2477/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=5734
In more local news, New York City's council member Peter Vallone introduced new legislation on January 18th to end the flouridation of New York City's water supply. If it passes, New York will lead the way for other cities to do the same. His words sum it up, "This amounts to forced medication by the government. What's next? They decide we're depressed and add Prozac to our drinking water?" To contact the New York Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF), email NYSCOF@aol.com.