Overheard by a staff member on the bus one day: “Fluoride should be a four letter word!” – final punctuation to a long rant about drinking water being fluoridated without her consent. She was emotional, yet others around her nodded in agreement.
It’s an argument that makes more sense to more people every day. After all, fluoride is an industrial waste product, more toxic than arsenic. Should we be subjected to a proven poison in our water supply, even if put there with good intentions, ill-informed as they may be? Is it right that those who don’t want the fluoride have to spend extra on home filtering systems or bottled water – or just accept it and deal if they can’t afford the expense?
Water is a basic necessity of life. Do some people deserve purer, cleaner water than others?
The ADA, public health officials and others who favor fluoridation typically discount the scientific evidence showing the problems fluoridation can cause. Much of that evidence has since been gathered in an excellent report we recently ran across: Human Toxicity, Environmental Impact and Legal Implications of Water Fluoridation.
This study, undertaken to inform the Irish government and European Commission on the “health risks and environmental impacts of water fluoridation,” is, in a word, expansive.
Over two hundred and twenty separate peer-reviewed scientific publications covering every aspect of medicine and environmental assessment from dental health to biochemistry, toxicology, metabolism, the blood, bone research, the brain, metabolism, epidemiology, pharmacology, neurotoxicology, molecular neurobiology, dental health and environmental toxicology have been examined and reviewed. In total over twelve hundred scientific references are provided in this report allowing the health, legal and environmental impacts to be examined in some detail alongside associated risks that have not yet been previously examined elsewhere. All of the evidence is convergent and demonstrates that fluoride compounds should not be added to public water supplies. When examined collectively the evidence clearly demonstrates that fluoridation of drinking water supplies is both unsafe and having significant negative health implications for human health, society and the natural environment. [emphasis added]
This report is a valuable resource for anyone interested in knowing the facts about fluoridation and its impact on our lives and environment – the latter, an issue too seldom discussed in the ongoing fluoridation debates. Yet picture tap water running down the drain, and you quickly start to realize the problem. As fluoridated drinking water returns to the water table, it carries poison into our environment. Artificially high concentrations of fluoride are now found in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Many organisms in the wild now demonstrate elevated levels of fluoride. It is affecting the survival and growth rates of both plants and animals.
Until we stop adding fluoride to the ecosystem, these problems will continue to grow and worsen.
Two years ago, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended a sharp reduction in fluoride added to our water supply. Unfortunately, it’s the EPA that sets the legal standard, and their “maximum allowed” remains stuck at 4 parts per million; their secondary standard, at 2 ppm. (This is the level at which “contaminants” may cause cosmetic effects, like tooth discoloration, or make the water taste, look or smell odd.) The HHS recommendation? Less than 1 ppm (0.7, to be exact). Either way, it’s up to states or cities to decide whether and how much to fluoridate.
And that’s where your activism comes in.
You can download a complete copy of Human Toxicity, Environmental Impact and Legal Implications of Water Fluoridation here.
Image by Chris 73, via Wikimedia Commons