Fighting Fluoride

by: Donald W. Miller, Jr., MD

The battle for and against fluoridation of the public water supply has entered a new phase. Three things have happened since I researched and wrote”Fluoride Follies” five years ago.

In their efforts to have all the community drinking water in the U.S. fluoridated, promoters of fluoridation are taking a different tact. Rather than grapple with community-level politics and local referendums on this matter, they are increasingly targeting state legislators and are pushing for statewide mandates to fluoridate the public water supply.

A second development has inflicted a chink in the Federal Government’s armor against antifluoridationists. The Office of Drinking Water in its Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) commissioned the government’s National Research Council (NRC) to examine the toxicology of fluoride. It was commissioned to assess the EPA’s 4 ppm (parts per million) maximum contaminant level goal, along with its 2 ppm secondary maximum contaminant level, a level set to keep children from having unsightly dental fluorosis, where white specks form on teeth, and with further fluoride exposure become confluent and turn brown. The council’s 506-page report was published in 2006. It unflinchingly faces up to the health-damaging effects of fluoride in public water.

The third development is the publication, in September 2010, of 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, PhD, the director of the Fluoride Action Network; James Beck, MD, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Medical Biophysics at the University of Calgary, Canada; and H. S. Micklem, DPhil, Professor Emeritus in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, UK. The Case Against Fluoride is well-written, which makes it easy to read; and it is comprehensive, citing more than 1700 references, pro and con, dealing with fluoridation of public water. This book is the ideal litigator’s brief for prosecuting the case against fluoride.

Most Americans, 269 million in a population of 304 million (88.5 %), get their water from public water systems, and 196 million (72.4 %) drink – and bathe and wash their clothes with – fluoridated water. Maryland is the most heavily fluoridated state, where 99.8% of people use fluoridated public water, followed by Kentucky (99.4%), Minnesota (98.8%), North Dakota (96.4%), Illinois (95.4%), and Indiana (94.5%) (The District of Columbia, appropriately enough, is 100 percent fluoridated.) Hawaii (at 10.8%), New Jersey (13.6%), Oregon (27.4%), and Louisiana (28.3%) are the least fluoridated states. These statistics are for 2008, the most recent ones available on fluoridation. That year, in Louisiana, the legislature approved and the governor signed into law an Act that requires all community water systems in Louisiana having 5,000 or more customers (some 110 systems serving 2 million) to fluoridate their water.

Promoters are pushing for mandatory statewide fluoridation in various states, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts among them. In Oregon, a bill (HB2025) is pending that will mandate statewide fluoridation. It would require all municipal water systems serving 10,000 or more customers to add fluoride to their water, for 2.4 million Oregonians, 66 percent of the state’s population. Legislators in California passed a state-mandated fluoridation law in 1995 that is contingent on municipalities obtaining an outside, non-state source of funds for it. State officials are putting increasing pressure on California cities, notably San Diego, that have not yet complied with the law. (In 2008, 58.8% of California’s public water was fluoridated.)

Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that shows fluoride damages health. The National Research Council (NRC) report published in 2006, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards (available free online HERE)is the first one in the 65-year history of fluoridation that examines fluoride in an open-minded and unbiased way.

Continue reading article

Reposted from