Fluoride: great public health victory or toxic waste?

Health Canada wants the levels in our tap water cut. Now the fight to ban it outright is back on.

by Katie Engelhart and Cathy Gulli

Fluoride is one of our great public health victories. Fluoride is toxic waste that does more harm than good.When it comes to fluoride in his community’s water, the mayor of Lambton Shores, Ont., Gord Minielly, has one thing to say: “Better out than in.” But he’s not the only one calling the shots. On the other side of the debate is Mike Bradley, mayor of nearby Sarnia, who is pro-fluoridation. The two communities share a water supply—which is fluoridated. And that’s where things get messy. “It’s been an issue every year since it was put in in the ’60s,” Bradley says.

Fluoride debates are old hat here. Sarnia was involved in Canada’s first-ever water fluoridation experiment. In 1945, the city paired with Brantford, Ont., to study the effects of adding fluoride to drinking water. Sarnia was the non-fluoridated control city for 11 years. When Brantford’s tooth decay rates dropped, Sarnia began fluoridating too. Today, Bradley says it’s time to “put it to the public”—to settle the issue with a referendum on water fluoridation, which would coincide with municipal elections in 2010. He’s not the only civic leader making that call.

More than 50 years after fluoride found its way into Canadian taps, the controversy has been resurrected. Battle lines are hardening as anti-fluoridation groups swell in size and municipal elections loom. What’s more, in some cities fluoridation equipment is on its last legs. As it breaks down, investment demands test local commitment to fluoride. In Gander, Nfld., the issue of funds for machinery inspired a paralyzing local confrontation that led to a two-year halt on fluoridation.

Quebec City voted last year to shut off its fluoride taps, while Dorval, Que., reintroduced fluoridated water after a five-year hiatus. Edmonton opted in July to lower fluoride levels; months earlier, Calgary rejected a motion to do away with the additive. In British Columbia, anti-fluoride activists in Prince George are ramping up their attacks, following the lead of Vancouver, which eschews fluoridation. And in Ontario, Waterloo has set the stage for a plebiscite in 2010 that threatens to make fluoride a high-priority election issue.

The issue was ignited last year, when Health Canada published a report from an expert panel that advised the federal agency to lower recommended fluoride levels—again. Falling targets have been a national trend. In the last 40 years, Health Canada’s optimum fluoride level has been almost halved. That’s partly because we are exposed to more fluoride now—in what we eat and drink, for example—than when water fluoridation was first conceived.

Still, fluoridation is backed by a veritable force of health authorities, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Dental Association and the World Health Organization. In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laud fluoridation as “one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” But no matter how fervently the chief dental officer of Canada, Dr. Peter Cooney, espouses the benefits of fluoridation, it’s up to each community to decide for itself whether or not to add fluoride to the local water supply. Even today, less than half of Canadians—about 45 per cent—drink fluoridated water.

One by one, communities of every size are re-weighing their options. Sometimes a shortage of fluoride itself can even tip the scales. A few years ago, the question of fluoridation was raised in Ottawa when shortages meant the city had to go fluoride-free for months. Certainly, how each place finally decides varies widely and is determined by a number of factors—from the cost of new fluoridation machines to political will to the strength of anti-fluoridation lobbies to which medical information sounds most convincing. In other words, all too often, decisions that have an impact on the health of millions of Canadians are up for grabs.

As the medical and political realities of water fluoridation collide, it’s clear the issue is as much a quagmire today as ever. In the 1960s, anti-fluoride advocacy was often relegated to the domain of grassroots extremists. But today, even the head of preventative dentistry at the University of Toronto, Dr. Hardy Limeback, has done an about-face on fluoridation. Until 10 years ago, he supported it. But “new evidence,” he told Maclean’s in a recent email, has “convinced [him] even more that a precautionary approach would be wise when considering launching new fluoridation programs.” Limeback has called for a moratorium on fluoridation “until there is better data on its benefits and safety.” The question now isn’t just how much fluoride is too much, but do we need it at all?

When it comes to water fluoridation, Cooney has heard it all. “There is really nothing that people haven’t said fluoride causes,” he muses. “Everything from Communist plots to nymphomania to cancers to AIDS.” That’s why, in January 2007, Health Canada asked a panel of six leading medical experts to examine fluoride in community drinking water, including intake levels, benefits and risks. There have been four such reviews since Health Canada started recommending optimum fluoride concentrations to the provinces in 1968. Then, the target was 1.2 mg/litre, but that number was lowered to 1 mg/litre just a decade later. In 1996, it was cut again, this time to a range of 0.8 to 1 mg/litre. The latest review was no exception; in the new recommendations, released publicly in April 2008, the panel concluded that Health Canada should set the optimum level at 0.7 mg/litre.

It’s this trend of falling targets that has some wondering if even this all-time low will be deemed too high the next time Health Canada undertakes a review. Health Canada acknowledges that could occur, as does Dr. Don Friedlander, president of the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). “But you know what? The science gets better and better. And the decision is made on a scientific basis.”

The basis for the panel’s recommendation is concern that we get too much fluoride from sources other than drinking water, ranging from toothpaste and dental treatments to common foods. Experts on either side of the debate agree on this point. The hotly contested issue is over what problems excess fluoride consumption may cause. One of the latest studies to spark a furor suggested that fluoride was linked to a rare form of cancer called osteosarcoma in young males. But this 2006 study has been criticized for its methodological limitations; even the author said it was hard to draw conclusions. Other contested studies suggest high levels of fluoride may be linked to lower IQ in children and suppression of the thyroid gland.

But most of these charges are not supported by medical and dental authorities. The main risk according to Health Canada is dental and skeletal fluorosis, which happens when we consume too much fluoride. In its mildest state, dental fluorosis discolours teeth. In more severe forms, it can damage tooth enamel, causing pain or chewing problems. Children are most susceptible as their teeth are developing. That’s why the CDA urges parents to use only a “pea-sized” amount of toothpaste for children under six, and a “smear” for those under three. Most recently, Health Canada’s panel took a further step, recommending that infant formula manufacturers cease adding fluoride to their products.

Health Canada also notes on its website that if high levels of fluoride are consumed for prolonged periods, skeletal fluorosis—a “progressive but not life-threatening disease in which bones increase in density and become more brittle”—can kick in. At best, this leads to stiff or sore joints; at worst, it causes deformed bones and mobility problems, making patients prone to fractures.

In Canada, Cooney says we’re seeing decreasing rates of moderate to severe fluorosis, but increasing occurence of mild fluorosis. That’s one reason our target levels were lowered. But Cooney doesn’t believe mild fluorosis is enough of a reason to stop fluoridation, given that its symptoms are largely cosmetic. Proponents of fluoride say there’s a “trade-off” between developing fluorosis and preventing a much more crippling menace: tooth decay, which dental professionals such as Cooney are keen to point out is “five times more common than asthma” and “seven times more common than hay fever.” Fluoride, they stress, cuts decay rates 20 to 40 per cent, meaning that the trade-off is worth it. Kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from fluoride, according to Cooney. In adults and the elderly, it prevents root cavities and reduces tooth decay by 27 per cent. Decay can lead to periodontal disease, which has been linked to heart disease.

Because in Canada fluoride decisions are made regionally, national fluorosis and decay rates are scarce. The best information compares non-fluoridated and fluoridated communities in close proximity to each other. A recent report by health units in Simcoe-Muskoka, a region of Ontario that is largely unfluoridated, found that its population had dramatically worse tooth decay than many other parts of the province. The health units believe the problem would be alleviated with optimum levels of fluoride in local water.

Simcoe-Muskoka stands out in Ontario because the province has the highest rate of water fluoridation in Canada: 75.9 per cent of Ontarians have access to fluoridated water, almost the same percentage as in Alberta (74.7 per cent). But fluoridation is almost unheard of in Quebec (6.4 per cent), British Columbia (3.7 per cent) and Newfoundland (1.5 per cent)—and it’s non-existent in Nunavut. So if water fluoridation is so good, why doesn’t every community have it?

That communities across Canada are wrangling over fluoride underscores a political disjoint: while federal and provincial governments and professional bodies widely endorse fluoridation, they have little influence over municipalities. While Cooney extols fluoride’s virtue, and bemoans the resistance of large urban centres like Vancouver and Montreal, he says Health Canada must “respect the federal-provincial-territorial dynamics of the country.” But in turn, those communities are increasingly at the mercy of local activists.

Marilyn Juds, a former teacher, became an activist after learning about fluoride from other residents in her town of Prince George, B.C. Like others, Juds has health concerns: namely, that fluoride causes cancer and lowers IQ. But her critiques are also philosophical in tone. She believes water fluoridation is akin to “mass medicating a whole society.” So she started the Safe Water Coalition and petitioned city council to end fluoridation.

But Mayor Dan Rogers says he’s “comfortable” with fluoride, and he chalks local opposition up to marginal chatter. “What we’re seeing is an international movement assisted by the Internet,” he explains. There may be something to his claim. When Juds had trouble finding support from local dentists, she looked online, and found YouTube videos of an Oregan dentist decrying water fluoridation. After exchanging emails, Juds’s fellow activists paid to fly the dentist in, putting him up in a hotel so that he could speak to officials on their behalf. “It was marvellous that we could get a dentist on our side,” Juds affirmed. “You can’t argue with his studies . . . thousands of hours of studies.” Mayor Rogers was tight-lipped when talking about the dentist’s presentation: “I believe the gentleman has been on the speaker’s circuit.”

Many city officials describe fluoride as an ever-present issue, one which activists are quick to bring to the fore when political space opens. That rang true after Montreal and surrounding cities amalgamated in 2001. A few years later, Dorval’s water equipment deteriorated to the point where fluoridation ceased. National assembly member François Ouimet explains that, at that time, the province agreed to foot the bill for a new plant. But he says that Montreal, which has never fluoridated, blocked the receipt of those funds: “It was an ongoing little war between the city of Montreal and the city of Dorval.”

Ouimet agrees that the fluoride fight was a way for politicians on both sides to flex political muscle and to test out their place in the megacity. Eventually, Loi 55 was passed, giving Dorval final control. But it took until last year for fluoride to be put back. The city held “a lovely press conference where we were drinking the new, drinkable, fluoridated water,” says Ouimet. “It’s been happy ever since.”

But even when the fluoride question is settled at the official level, the debate can persist. In July, Edmonton slashed its fluoride levels by 13 per cent to conform to the recommendations put forth by Health Canada’s expert panel. But then, local MP Peter Goldring reported that he was a victim of identity theft; allegedly, a stranger sent out mass emails under Goldring’s name—one of which stated: “Fluoride is a harmful toxin and the government puts it in your water.”

At a loss for what to do, some communities are turning to popular votes. Waterloo, Ont., will have a referendum in 2010. Fluoride is obviously a burning issue there.When Maclean’s spoke to Mayor Brenda Halloran, she had just returned from a lunch attended by activist Erin Brockovich, along with Robert Fleming, leader of the city’s main anti-fluoride network. Halloran insists that fluoride is backed by all but “a few aggressive activists.” She claims residents often “stop her on the street and say: don’t you dare take it out.” But Angela Vieth, a city councillor, has a different take. She was inspired to enter the fray while campaigning, because so many people asked her “about getting fluoride out.”

Despite the democratic veneer of a referendum, Robert Fleming isn’t pleased with the idea. “This referendum stinks from the get-go,” he says, “because it’s not legally binding.” Fleming argues that Ontario law leaves a grey area when it comes to cities like Waterloo, whose water facilities are shared by a larger region. He claims there is no legal basis for a local referendum on fluoridation. And he insists the mayor knows it—“because I just finished educating her over lunch.” Vieth agrees, saying a plebiscite would be nothing but a “public opinion poll.” But the mayor is categorical: “It is a binding referendum.” Back in Sarnia and Lambton Shores, another multi-tier system, it’s more of the same debate. Lambton Shores mayor Minielly rejects the idea of a referendum as “ridiculous.”

A number of cities admit that they’re floundering without direction. Sammy Forcillo, who is responsible for Montreal’s water management, argues that “it is not the responsibility of the city of Montreal to decide on scientific issues.” Forcillo says he’s asked the province to “assume its public health responsibilities and adopt legislation that will direct communities in this matter.” Clark Somerville, city councillor in Halton Hills, Ont., whose council is reconsidering fluoridation, agrees. “There’s no standard across the country,” he points out. “If fluoride was something that was that great, you’d think the federal government would mandate it.”

In the meantime, back in Sarnia, officials await an update to the technical guidelines document for drinking water from Health Canada—which Cooney says will “hang very closely” to the expert panel’s recommendations—with the hope that it will cast new light on the fluoride question. Some would rather get the ball rolling. But by Mayor Bradley’s calculation, the city has been debating fluoride for 75 years. So the issue can hold, officials say, for a few more months at least.

With Nicholas Köhler




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Fluoride: great public health victory or toxic waste?

  1. Ah, yes. Now where did I put my tinfoil hat?

  2. Regardless of dental benefits, what right does the state have to mandate fluoride use? It's not as though water would be unhealthy without it; rather it's additional medication. Therefore shouldn't its use be decided by the individuals who choose to drink it rather than government?

    The article does a fine job weighing the health aspects, but it would have been nice to see some consideration of the liberty-related issues in the article beyond the photo at the top.

    • The liberty related issues are simple. Don't like it? Don't live in a community that has it.

      • That works if the decisions are made by local communities, but not if they're mandated by the Province as several quoted sources recommend. The piece does not address the implications of this, and they are far from "simple".

        • Change provinces. Or find your own water supply. We have abundant rain.

      • Why should people have to move to avoid being drugged by fluoride. No doctor or dentist can force a person to take a drug against their will, yet fluoridation drugs everyone.
        Fluoride is legal, dentists can prescribe it and anyone may take it. It does not make good sense to add it to drinking water and force everyone to consume a toxic poison, industrial waste every day.

      • You can't move away from fluoride as many foods and beverages sold in non-fluoridated communities are made in fluoridated communities. Also, fluoride-containing pesticide residues remains on produce and grains. The evidence shows people are fluoride-overdosed. There is no evidence that any human is, or ever was, fluoride deficient.

        For people who believe in fluoride ingestion (and it is a belief; not science) taking fluoride supplements every day would cost themselves pennies instead of the millions of dollars wasted on water fluoridation schemes at the community level.

  3. I'm not sure what to make of a whole argument that is based on 4 ppm, when our naturally occurring fluoride maximum is 1.5 ppm, and apparently the fluoride added to water maxes out at 1 ppm. http://www.region.waterloo.on.ca/WEB/health.nsf/4

    • The issue isn't just concentration — it is dose. Engineers may be able to control the concentration but no one can control how much people drink! So the dosing is random and variable for a lifetime. Diabetics, outdoor workers, people with kidney problems, the very young and the frail are escpecially vulnerable to the toxic effects of fluoride ingestion. Also, all experts agree that fluoride primarily works topically so it makes no sense to drink it and have it affect the entire body when you can simply use the toothpaste (spit it out, though). Over 99% of the water supply is used for purposes other than drinking so start to consider the economic motives of fluoridating all public water supplies. The products used are hazardous contaminated waste products that come from the chimney scrubbers of phosphate fertilizer plants. If not used to fluoridate water, they would have to be disposed of as "toxic waste." The article should have explained that to the readers. Learn more at http://www.fluoridealert.org.

  4. Fluoride is legal, dentists can prescribe it and anyone may take it. It does not make good sense to add it to drinking water and force everyone to consume a toxic poison, industrial waste every day.
    Those promoting fluoridation simply refuse to read the current research showing it is ineffective and dangerous to health. Go to (http://www.fluoridealert.org) and read several articles.
    Read the letter from Dr. Hardy Limeback ( DDS, PhD Biochemistry) — Head, Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto entitled "Why I am now officially opposed to adding fluoride to drinking water"
    He was the principal research advisor to the Canadian Dental Asociation for over 10 years in promoting fluoridation. His letter is an apology to other dentists and the public.
    Over 140 Research studies listed, including:
    Increased risk of bone cancer — 13 studies
    Lead, arsenic, radium contaminants causing toxic water — 10 studies
    Link with fluoride and cancer — 12
    Fluoride causes birth defects — 5
    Fluoride affects the immune systems — 12
    Fluoride is neurotoxic (brain, nerves, lowering IQ) — 11

  5. I want to know if fluoride in toothpaste and other things is the naturally occurring kind, or was it added after we started fluoridating water? Because if we are adding it to toothpaste, why can't we just have "fluoride-free" toothpaste as well?

    • Fluoride-free toothpaste is available in health food stores.
      The fluoride used in dental offices and in toothpaste is a clean pharmaceutical grade chemical. It is outrageous that governments dump a toxic waste fluoride chemical, Hydrofluorosilicic Acid, in our water systems. It is collected from the smokestacks of various companies and sold to communities. It contains contaminants of lead, arsenic, mercury, radium and much more. Is it any wonder that it causes bone cancer and lowered IQ in children and brittle bones (& broken hips) and oral cancers in adults. It would be very expensive to process such waste, and it is illegal to dump it into our environment.
      How many extra deaths should we accept so those companies can continue to make a profit?

    • use Tom's brand for…everything.
      fluoride free toothpaste, & aluminum free deoderant, they work great.
      They've figured out that fluoride molecularly bonds with aluminum to cause altzeimers etc…

    • Jenn fluoride is bad in any state unless from mountainous spring water. get off of it

  6. Here's some historical perspective:

    Out of 195 nations in the world only 31 add fluoride to drinking water. Many nations in Europe that used to add fluoride stopped doing it many years ago. Only 2% of Europeans have fluoridated water. Yes, the big health organizations like the WHO support fluoridation, but it's a case of nations paying lip service to the United States, which has promoted fluoridation around the world for decades. These nations say fluoridation is fine for you, but we are not about to do it to our own people.

    Activist in Canada tell me that the number of people with fluoridation in Canada is going down. The number of people in the U.S. with fluoridation is going up, mainly due to state mandatory fluoridation laws, which take away public votes. In 2008 U.S. referendums the public rejected fluoridation 79% of the time. You do not have state mandatory laws in Canada, which is why you have many areas with little or no fluoridation.

    The author wrote: "Health Canada's panel took a further step, recommending that infant formula manufacturers cease adding fluoride to their products." In the U.S. infant formula manufacturers took fluoride out decades ago. I suspect the same happened in Canada. The problem in Canada is probably not infant formula. The problem is combining powdered formula with fluoridated tap water. Infants getting that type of fluoridated formula get a very large dose, way more than an adult on a body weight basis. The ironic thing is young infants have no erupted teeth, and thus get practically no benefit (according to mainstream dental science) but are at a much greater risk for fluorosis. According to the CDC, fluoride works in a topical manner, not after you swallow it. Why put infants at risk for an undefined, un-documented benefit? But that's what some public health dentists in the United States want to do.

  7. Health Canada's "expert" panel was clearly selectively chosen for the pro fluoridation record of the participants. This was not a fresh, unbiased look at the policy. Just as easily an anti fluoridation "expert" panel could have been chosen from the numerous scientists, doctors, and dentists, who decry this practise, and an entirely different conclusion would have been drawn. The "expert" panel members are listed here: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/20… If you google them you can confirm my assertion. The question is "who" chose this expert panel? Peter Cooney?
    Dr. Peter Cooney, with his references to nymphomania and Communist plotting, is denigrating the opposition. Peter Cooney on at least 2 other occasions (Halton, Nov 2008 and Dryden, April, 2008) has spoken of googling nymphomania and getting numerous hits. The people I know who are against water fluoridation have looked seriously at the science and found support lacking and health concerns real. Many are well known scientists and medical authorities. Over 2600 professionals have signed a statement requesting an end to water fluoridation worldwide. See http://www.fluoridealert.org/professionals.statem
    Halton Region's latest public health survey (2007) found the lowest number of cavities was in the least fluoridated community, Milton. The fluorosis rate in 9 and 12 year olds was over 48% in Oakville and over 34% in Halton Region as a whole. One cannot help but wonder what a lifetime of bioaccumulating fluoride will do to the body, if this is the affect already found in youngsters.
    Let people have the choice of using topically applied fluoridated toothpastes and dental treatments. Drinking water, which affects the whole body, should be fluoride free.

  8. So.

    - Either flouride is harmless, or
    - Almost every single public health doctor and nurse in Canada is in on some vast conspiracy to kill us all, or
    - The same educated people are incredibly stupid and have never done the intense, google research you've done.

    Which is it?

    • At (http://www.fluoridealert.org) you will find a petition signed by 2,639 Medical, Scientific, and Environmental Professionals Calling for End to Fluoridation. So not all dental personel support it. Some have actually read the recent research showing it is ineffective and dangerous to health.
      The following are included in this group opposing fluoridation.
      • 384 Nurses (RN, MSN, BSN, ARNP, APRN, LNC, RGON)
      • 367 PhD's – includes DSc (Doctor of Science); EdD (Doctor of Education); DrPH (Doctor of Public Health)
      •355 DC's (Doctor of Chiropractic, includes M Chiro)
      • 318 MD's (includes MBBS)
      • 257 Dentists (DDS, DMD, BDS)
      • 131 ND's (Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine)
      • 66 Lawyers (JD, LLB, Avvocato)

      • I say again; I don't see much value in an argument against fluoridation that is looking at 4 ppm, when Canada's maximum fluoride allowed in water is 1.5 ppm. It's the same argument as the one about wine or beer can be good for you. They don't mean three cases a day is good for you!

        • Jenn:
          No one above is discussing fluoridation at 4 ppm. The serious health damage occurs at 1 ppm, which is pretty much the standard used everywhere. 50% of all fluoride you swallow builds up in the body, particularly the bones and the brain. Interesting, the EPA has set the limit at 4 ppm. This caused 1500 professionals at EPA a few years ago to file a lawsuit and to cause a congressional hearing to try to change this policy. It remains at 4 ppm.
          In foreign countries like China and India, hundreds of thousands of people receive these larger doses. These people get increased severe arthritis, various cancers, brittle bones, skeletal fluorosis and more. They are bent over, walk on crushes, and if they fall their bones shatter like glass. They usually die before age 50.

          • Jenn:
            I meant to say crutches, not cruches. Sorry

          • Oh? I admit I hardly read the whole thing, but the beginning of that professionals speak .pdf certainly led me to conclude they were looking at 4 ppm. That is interesting that the EPA would set the limit at 4 ppm if everybody is fluoridating at 1 ppm. I gather someone somewhere is making a profit on this? Otherwise, why?

          • Also, jwillie…there are a lot of other factors that cause chronic disease in India and China. Things like drinking water with things far worse than flouride in it, lack of public health infrastructure, private pay health care, low incomes, poor education and lack of vaccination for childhood diseases.

      • Sure. And I can show you a petition signed by firefighters, doctors and ambulance folks that say 911 was an inside job.

        Mind you, even THEY don't let lawyers sign…

    • Neither.

      Remember when the same people told us to avoid butter in favor of margarine. Remember when the same people told us to avoid olive oil but now recommend it. Remember when the same people told us the swine flu vaccine was safe during President Ford's administration; but it turned out to be more deadly than the actual disease. Remember when the same people told women that Hormone Replacement Therapy was safe; but now we know it causes cancer. I do. Dentists also promoted cigarette smoking back in the day

      Even well-meaning people can be very very wrong. It took 75 years for surgeons to believe the published research that washng their hands would prevent surgical deaths. The scientific literature is screaming that fluoridation is unsafe and ineffective. You can just take someone else's word for fluoridation safety or you can take your head out of the sand and put it into some books that will tell you the truth about current fluoridatin science.

      • These are good points all. And I agree that the scientific community can be slow to embrace new studies and new ideas. But then again there are always also naysayers, who eventually prove to be as big a crackpots as people thought in the first place. So I don't know who or what to believe–thank goodness I'm not the one making these decisions! I live in a twin cities, one city has fluoride the other does not so I think I have the best of both worlds.

        Does fluoride occur naturally in nature? I mean, without the human effects on our environment. Is it possible to remove naturally occurring (with or without human environmental effects) fluoride in water? Why don't Crest and Colgate and the rest of them sell fluoride-free toothpaste alongside their fluoridated products?

    • i pick C!

  9. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (low thyroid activity or hypothyroidism) 2yrs ago and found it is caused by fluoride. Without medication I would be dead in around 10yrs. Now that I avoid fluoride and all products containing it my thyroid hormones are at normal levels and I am not taking any medication. A recent test showed my thyroid anti-bodies are still high and I was getting tired again. So I stopped bathing in fluoridated water and noticed a change after 5 days. Bathing in fluoridated water literally puts me to sleep. Having switched to carbon filtered rain water as our main source of water (we live in Melbourne in Australia) we are now considering another water tank and re plumbing the house to eliminate the town supply. I also look forward to the day when I can order a bowl of soup or a coffee with a friend when we go out. Funnily enough I am not against fluoride however I do believe each individual should have the right to choose whether or not to take it. If they stop fluoridation of water then people who believe it is good for them can take a tablet a day (in the same way we buy vitamin supplements) which would be far better as this means they can control the dose they receive.

    • No, you THINK your hypothyroidism was caused by flouride. Please don't state supposition as fact.

    • …What you said, plus there are so many people who don't need it. Like older people who don't even have teeth anymore and babies who don't have teeth, Why subject them to the poison! ARRGH! just keep trying to educate….thats all we can do. Here in America its mandated almost everywhere!

  10. Jenn – Yes it's complicated; but when it comes to your own health, you must do your own research. Even prescription drugs taken appropriately kill some people. So it's not really fair to force fluoride into those of us who have done the research and know to avoid fluoride. You wouldn't believe how many pro-fluoridation crackpots I've met. Many of them are nasty and insulting as well .

    Fluoride occurs naturally usually as calcium fluoride which is less toxic because calcium holds on to most of the fluoride. However, the fluoride chemicals used for artificial fluoridation are silicofluorides, scraped from the smokestacks of the phosphate fertilizer manufacuring plants, trucked has hazardous material and dumped unpurified into drinking water supplies. Laws allow the silicofluoride solution to deliver trace amounts lead, arsenic, mercury and other toxins and this brew.

    Unlike calcium fluoride which is more tightly bound, silicofluorides components fall apart in water and possibly one of their breakdown products causes the body to absorb more lead from the environment, according to resarch published by Masters and Coplan.

  11. Jenn – Industry has done such a great PR job of convincing us that we need fluoride (which we don't) that the way to make money is to put fluoride into toothpaste. And that's the only way to get the coveted American Dental Association's Seal of Approval.

    Even Tom's of Maine which used to only sell non-fluoridated toothpaste caved to the misguided demands of their customers and offer a fluoridated "natural" toothpaste for which the American Dental Association quickly gave its seal of approval.

    The ADA and fluoride toothpaste corporations have a synergistic relationship and each profits from the others activities – at the expense our our health but to the benefit of their pocketbooks.

    There is so much positive spin on fluoride in the advertisement-supported media that most people are unaware of the health hazards of fluoride. Hence, they don't know they should be avoiding it.

    When that happens, be assured that the big fluoride toothpaste giants will be offering fluoride-free toothpaste which is already being sold for toddlers in the U.S.

    • Toms of Maine changed hands – it was sold to a big cleaning/chemical company. I wonder if that has more to do with why they started adding flouride to toothpase or if it really was consumer demand. When they introduced it, the changes on the packaging were very slight (sneaky on purpose?) and i accidently bought a flouridated Tom's brand without realising it. i don't buy their products anymore.

      • Hi Diane,

        You're on the right track

  12. I grew up in Regina where the water had fluoride added. I've never had more than one cavity in my entire life, and my siblings also have perfect teeth. Can't say the same for our parents who grew up in cities without flouride….their teeth were terrible and broke constantly. I belive my generation is the poster child for the benefits of flouride.

    • Maybe you just took better care of your teeth than your parents did…

    • You probably have gingivitis, which is one of two bacteria that inhabit our mouth ….my dentist (who uses fluoride but does not force it on me because she respects my opinion) told me a person either has the "cavity causing bacteria" or the "gingivitis causing bacteria" It's sad to me that you believe that drinking fluoride (poison!) will prevent tooth decay. akin to drinking suntan lotion to prevent a sunburn! please look more closely at the science of it. It is not fair to mass medicate without regard for who doesn't need it!

    • I grew up in Regina also: the water has actually never been fluoridated. There were referendums about the issues in 1958 and 1965, but they were rejected. Saskatoon has had fluoridated water, however.

  13. Affecting over 1/3 of Americans, dental fluorosis is only caused by fluoride. The cells that produce the collagen matrix, which forms enamel, are poisoned to the point that they can no longer produce opalescent pearl-like enamel. Fluorotic enamel is irregular in texture, porous, chalky white to brown in color, and brittle. In severe cases, the enamel forms incompletely and corners easily break off the teeth. Many more restorative measures are necessary, such as crowns, laminates,bleaching, bonding, braces, and bridges. For the ADA, this condition is a real money-maker, because cosmetic dentistry is far more lucrative than cavity repair. In addition, there is an abundance of evidence indicating that fluoride causes a delay in the normal shedding of the "baby" teeth, and their replacement by permanent teeth. This delay has been shown to increase the number of children with malpositioned teeth. This video is a wake-up call to those who do no research but volunteer to be a poster child. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=731975204… Q3y8uwtxrHo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3y8uwtxrHo youtube]

  14. It has been known since 1964 that water flouridation pollutes and saps our precious bodily fluids.

    • Citations?

  15. 4 out 0f 5 Dentists can't be wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I wouldn't doubt some of the things that they say fluoride causes because it is a wide acting enzyme inhibitor, often used in the collection of blood samples. Also, there are conditions where kids do not have sufficient enzymes, and I suspect we all have varying amounts of the numerous biochemical enzymes in our bodies as we are all genetically different. I can believe any rational people would force others to take it by adding it to the water supplies

  17. I might add that fluoride prevents tooth decay. Do you know why? Because it inhibits all enzymes including the ones that decay your teeth. And here another quiz. Do you know where it sits in the periodic table. Have you ever heard of chlorine? They sit together. Do you know what that means? That's right, it has similar properties. Consider things like that, I can;t understand why anyone would add fluoride to drinking water. Why? Tell me the rationale, please. The only thing that I ever heard is to prevent tooth decay, but there are other things you can do for that. So that reason don't make sense. Now, do you know what chlorine does to minute amounts of protein in water? Have you ever heard of chloroamines or something like that that is believed to be carcinogenic. Now what about fluoroamines? They have never studied them, yet, but suppose to be the same as chloroamines. Tell me again why would any man add fluorine to the water?

  18. Fluoridation of drinking apparently started with Josef Stalin ….he came to realize that his concentration and prison inmates were considerably more placid and complacent when their water was fluoridated. The Nazis were quick to pick up on this little trick and apparently added copious amounts to the drinking water of their death camp inmates, etc….which may well explain why there were few if any revolts even when the numbers were well in favor of the inmates. Google it…

    If it doesn't prevent dental caries and it has all these toxic effects, including neurotoxicity, could there be another reason authorities want to keep our water fluoridated? Maybe to get us so placid and complacent we'll accept GMO foods our bodies can't possibly recognized as food or accept 12,800 additives in our so-called food without a whimper or crimes against humanity by drug companies (eg. H1N1 flu pandemic that was a fraud)??? Just thinking…

  19. Anything health connected should yes be mandated but at the end of the day it is still our decision whether we want to take impart on it or not. I just recently asked help from orthodontic-braces-perth.com.au for my braces, but I was told years years back to have one. I never did and in the end faced the consequence.

  20. My dentist from the dental clinic in myrtle beach was never in favor of the use of fluoride in maintaining a good dental care. For him, it’s still better to brush your teeth regularly, since it’s also more effective.

  21. Give memphis dental implants a try. I heard they are one of the best dental clinics in town. See for yourself.

  22. “The ADA owes no legal duty of care
    to protect the public from allegedly dangerous materials…..The ADA’s only alleged involvement in the product was to provide information
    regarding its use. Dissemination of
    information relating to the practice of dentistry does not create a duty of
    care to protect the public from injury.”

    Defense
    Position of the ADA In a Mercury Poisoning Lawsuit

    W.H.Tolhurst
    vs Johnson and Johnson, the American Dental Association, et al. , Superior
    Court of the State of California Case No.718228, 1995

    The ADA and its Canadian Counter Part the CDA are organizations that masquerade as public health organizations, allowing tonnes of toxic mercury and fluoride to enter the ecosystem and our bodies. And they have danced themselves into a corner on this… trillions in lawsuits so they admit… . “Dissemination ofinformation relating to the practice of dentistry does not create a duty of care to protect the public from injury.” In other word.. you can’t really trust the CDA to care protect you from injury, that is not what they are here for.. They are simply a money making enterprise.

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