Top College News Subscribe to the Newsletter

Fluoride concerns are exaggerated

Published: Sunday, October 9, 2011

Updated: Monday, October 10, 2011 01:10

Pinellas County voted to discontinue fluoridating its water supply last week. The addition of fluoride to public water systems was adopted by the U.S. Public Health Service as an official policy in 1950 to reduce cavities and promote oral health.

The U.S. largely has been fluoridating water for the past six decades, though many cities and counties have either discontinued the practice or never adopted to begin with. According to the Fluoride Action Network, Pinellas is not the only Florida locale where there is no fluoridation — Palm Beach County, Martin County, Pasco County, Largo, Clearwater, North Redington Beach, Winter Springs, and Boca Raton also don't fluoridate their water. However, the practice is a good one because it provides benefits to oral care, even in rich countries, and concerns about its safety are exaggerated.

Pinellas County's decision to stop water fluoridation ended a seven-year experiment. The result was decided in a 4-3 vote by the Pinellas County Commission, according to the St. Petersburg Times. When it was last brought up in 2003, the commission voted 6-1 for fluoridation. This time around, one commissioner, John Morroni, changed his mind and voted against. According to the Times, other commissioners are hoping Morroni votes for the status quo when the issue is revisited Tuesday.

It is unfortunate that the commission voted against renewing fluoridation. According to the Fluoride Information Network, fluoridated water has been shown to reduce tooth decay in children by 30 to 40 percent. It also provides benefits during development, as well as promoting healthier teeth in the elderly and those who neglect to brush their teeth regularly.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that "for larger communities of more than 20,000 people where it costs about 50 cents per person to fluoridate the water, every $1 invested in this preventive measure yields approximately $38 savings in dental treatment costs."

For some, this is not enough. Concerns of personal freedom, dental fluorosis in children (white spots on teeth) and putting "toxic substances" in drinking water are reasons for ending fluoridation, according to the Fluoride Action Network.

The Fluoride Information Network, supporting fluoride, dismisses this evidence because the studies involved have "exposure levels way above that possible at 1.0 ppm (parts per million) dilution of fluoridated water," as well as "not (being) from reputable peer-reviewed journals and (the studies) are not obtainable through a medical or dental library."

The level of fluoride in water varies across the country, but rarely is it above 1.0 ppm unless there is additional chemical pollution. Fluoride in high levels can be toxic, but that is why fluoride concentration is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The concerns about fluoridating water are largely exaggerated. Only when it is implemented poorly or there are mitigating environmental concerns do problems occur, and Pinellas County is mistaken in abandoning it.

Recommended: Articles that may interest you


Sun Aug 11 2013 14:27
Oh by the way, the type of fluoride added to our water are collectively known as "silicofluorides" which obviously are not naturally occuring substances (fluoride, as it's present on the periodic table of elements, is not present by itself. Rather it occurs as a chemical compound, bonded with another element). These are up to 85 times more toxic than naturally occuring calcium flouride, so you can imagine (maybe not) the effects it will have on your body. Most people would do well to read peer-reviewed research on the toxic nature of silicofluorides and their bogus health claims. Fluoride opponents are not conspiracy theorists.
Sun Aug 11 2013 14:19
This article is idiotic. Completely misinformed, whoever wrote it should read some peer-reviewed research papers and if it were up to me, they'd be fired for spreading disinformation. The fluoride that is being pumped into America's and the rest of the world's water supply is actually a highly toxic and carcinogenic chemical known as sodium fluoride which is a waste product from the sulfur mining industry in China. They arrive in drum-fulls. Due to the high cost of disposing the waste properly in a fashion that would be considered environmentally-friendly, they found a much easier way. After some pursuasion, formulation of false claims, and a lot of money, we've now had it in our water supply since the 50's. This is much different from the naturally-occuring calcium fluoride, which is present in such miniscule amounts and is actually beneficial.

Sodium fluoride is in rat poison. It is also in your toothpaste, ever wonder why there's a poison control hotline number in case you swallow any? It's been proven time and again that there is absolutely no correlation between water fluoridation and decrease in cavities. In fact, just the opposite is true. Heavily fluoridated water actually contributes to "fluorosis" which happens when the enamel of your teeth (the protective outer layer) starts to weaken, which leads to (you guessed it) more cavities; keeping your run-of-the-mill dentists in business.

Another fun history fact, fluoride was also used in the concentration camp water supplies when the Nazis were in power to keep the prisoners docile and non-aggressive. Just because the ADA and the TV tells you it helps strengthen your teeth doesn't mean it's true.We have the internet for a reason, people. Do your own research and get educated. Australia was (until recently) one major offender of heavy fluoridation, and you can see one of the results in the curiously high trend of tooth fluorosis. And the less than logical politicians but God knows they're probably drinking ultra-premium filtered bottled water.

Thu Feb 9 2012 15:46
Whoever wrote this article should do more research. Sodium Flouride is poison. Do the research!

log out