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UK Against Fluoridation

Friday, August 28, 2015

Letter: Data doesn't support fluoride psh


The fluoride added to the water supply discussion is beginning to penetrate my thick skull, such that I decided to stop ignoring it and try to figure out what is going on here. We have voluminous barrages from dentists defending the practice vociferously. We have insistent input from members of the public saying that the stuff is harmful, and in some cases makes them ill.
The data presented by the dentists does not seem to support their position terribly well. It seems that other countries have managed comparable improvements in dental health due to better hygiene and dental care without adding fluorides to their water supplies. Moreover, the attacks by what appears to be an organized fluoridation lobby on anyone who questions their positions raises my suspicion that they may be protecting an industry rather than offering objective advice.
When I look at input from other disciplines, for example chemistry, I see criticism of the practice of adding fluorides to water supplies. A 1988 article in Chemical and Engineering News, for example, outlines questions about the practice. It can be found here on the Web: http://www.slweb.org/hileman.html.
Looking at all this and remembering as a former resident of the Netherlands that their fluoridation policy was halted while I was there due to questions about its safety and concerns about its legality, I have to wonder if our choice to continue the practice is correct. There is evidence that some people are harmed. If they have to stick to bottled water should the city be buying it for them? Have they no legal recourse?
Looking at the broadsides from the dental lobby, I have to think that if physicists were that defensive about our beliefs Einstein and Planck would have gotten nowhere. My own first research work involved determination of nuclear magnetic moments of bromine, also a halogen, in the spectroscopy lab at MIT. It was stressed by the health physics staff that any work with halogens would have to be reviewed carefully for safety. Fluorine is the most active halogen and makes toxic compounds easily. For this reason it is important to know just what ions halogens in the water are found with. For example NaCl, sodium chloride or table salt or NaF, sodium fluoride, do not set off alarms in water at low concentrations. However fluorides are easily found with more sinister metals on the left and some studies find that metals such as arsenic or cadmium are found in fluorides added to water supplies.
I think the city has made a good move by backing off on the concentration of fluorides in the water supply and suggest that legally and scientifically, caution in their use is advisable. It is one thing if you choose to use fluoridated toothpaste. (I noticed that someone in my family is buying bottles of Poland Spring with added fluoride. Bottled water irritates me enough without the fluorides.) It is quite another when the chemical is added to your water supply against your wishes and possibly does you harm.
Damon E. Cummings, Ph.D.

Gloucester

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