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Water Fluoridation: Why It’s Not Safe

Posted by Tara Burner 0 comments

Water Fluoridation: Why It’s Not Safe
by Daniel G. Stockin, MPH

Of late we’ve once again learned that health officials sometimes
change their minds about what is considered healthy and safe. The
recent warnings from FDA about previously-FDA-approved pain
medications and over-the-counter diet aids and cough suppressants
demonstrate this.

Have you ever wondered what medications and health practices we
accept today will later be known to have harmed us, rather than
helped us? Here is one practice whose reversal is just around the
corner: fluoridating our drinking water to prevent cavities. We’ve
said for fifty-plus years that fluoride is safe, effective, and
necessary. But now information is pouring in from around the world
and the U.S. that shows that fluoridated drinking water may actually
be causing many of the diseases we’ve come to call “diseases of
aging.” Included are hip fractures, thyroid disease, and joint pain,
as well as several other disorders that affect persons of all ages.

Consider this: it has now come out that most of the fluoride we’ve
been injecting into our drinking water is silicofluoride, a substance
that has never been tested or approved by any federal agency. And
where does it come from? It is a fluoride-containing air pollutant
emission captured by smokestack “scrubber” equipment at phosphate
fertilizer factories. If it is emitted into the air it is a
pollutant; if it is discharged into a lake or river, it is a
pollutant; it is regulated by EPA as a water “contaminant;” but if it
is placed in our drinking water and we ingest it into our bodies, it
is somehow called a “nutrient.” Because of the industrial processes
and raw material used as its source, the fluoride also comes
contaminated with radioactive uranium decay compounds, arsenic, lead,
and mercury.

People hearing this are shocked. “Why weren’t we told this?” they
ask. Well, we were … but not really. Buried in many water agencies’
water quality reports amongst a dizzying list of chemical names is a
little-observed statement that the source of the “contaminant”
fluoride is “discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories.”

The pro-fluoride people tell us that the toxic fluoride, arsenic, and
radioactive compounds are diluted in the water, therefore they pose
no harm. But what we haven’t been told is that these compounds are
cumulative poisons. The small amounts we ingest accumulate in our
bodies, and can cause bone cancer, thyroid disease, kidney damage,
and joint pain. If your kidneys work well, approximately half of the
fluoride you ingest goes out in your urine, but the remaining half is
stored — cumulatively and potentially harmfully — in your body.

How do you feel that your body and the bodies of your loved ones are
being used as the final resting place of the toxic discharges of
industry? As a public health professional with a background in
hazardous materials management and assessment, I can tell you that I
am now firmly against fluoridation. And a growing number of other
medical, dental, and public health professionals are also calling for
a halt to fluoridation, including eleven EPA employee unions
representing 7,000 EPA scientists, lab workers, and other employees
across the U.S.

There is more disturbing news. It turns out that in 2000, dentists
admitted that fluoride helps prevent cavities primarily topically,
while in the mouth — not by your body’s systemic absorption of the
chemical. So then the logical question is: why continue drinking a
toxic chemical throughout your whole body, over your entire lifetime,
if its main action against cavities occurs when it touches your teeth
in the mouth? The in-mouth topical action voids the whole reason we
originally put fluoride in water in the first place — we were told
it needed to be systemically absorbed.

To continue supporting the drinking of primarily-topically-acting
fluoride would be like your doctor handing you a bottle of liquid
sunscreen and telling you, “Drink this to prevent sunburn.”

You and your family also receive fluoride in foods — in your cereal,
bread, baby food, canned foods, tea, sodas, pasta, and frozen foods
(because they’re made with fluoridated water), as well as from
toothpaste and antibiotics. A number of government agencies are
re-looking at the safety of fluoridation, and the fact that we absorb
it cumulatively from so many unmonitored sources is one of the
reasons for their doing so.

Large numbers of cities and countries around the world reject water
fluoridation, and many of them that do not have any form of
fluoridation have lower cavity rates than our fluoridated cities. The
entire island of Long Island, with more than 40 water districts
serving 3 million people, has stopped water fluoridation. Other
cities and water districts in many states are now re-looking at
fluoridation’s safety. The dental industry and public health agencies
are fearful and defensive, and one can understand why. It is
projected that the health effects and lawsuit costs from fluoridation
will dwarf those of tobacco.

In late October and early November of 2005, six of seven U.S.
communities voting on fluoridation rejected it. Some voters and city
councils have looked closely at the disturbing links between fluoride
and specific diseases, but one of the main reasons for the opposition
to fluoride is that an increasing number of Americans believe that an
individual does not need to be a scientist or doctor to understand
the dangers of fluoridation. They feel that any average citizen knows
better than to intentionally add to drinking water an untested
industrial discharge that is a cumulative poison. It flies in the
face of common sense, they say. They do what many who read this
article may want to do: contact their water district and governing
officials and tell them, “Stop the fluoride!”

Daniel G. Stockin, MPH, is a 17-year public health professional. He
was manager of EPA’s Western Regional Lead Training Center and worked
with hazardous materials at two large universities. He is now Senior
Operations Officer at The Lillie Center, Inc., a public health and
environmental health services firm based in Brentwood, Tennessee. He
may be reached at 615-370-5788, or by email at: dan@thelilliecenter.com.

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