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UK Against Fluoridation

Monday, October 31, 2016

Maine Voices: A ‘no’ vote against fluoride in water is a vote for better health

A mounting body of evidence suggests that overexposure to fluoride carries health risks.

Norm Labbe is a professional engineer and superintendent of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District.
KENNEBUNK — Most of us are exhausted by this political season, but of all the issues facing voters on Nov. 8, I feel that one of the more important involves our drinking water.
The Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District has taken a position to stop its current practice of adding fluoride to the drinking water of its customers in the southern coastal communities of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit and Arundel, as well as parts of Biddeford and York.The upcoming local referendum will give everyone living within the communities we serve – whether on a private well or on public water – an opportunity to end water fluoridation and regain control of what they ingest at home, at school or at work.
It should be made clear, however, that the state-mandated wording for the referendum question is a bit confusing. It is written as follows: “Shall fluoride be added to the public water supply for the intended purpose of reducing tooth decay?” In simple terms, the answer we at the water district support is “no.”
We have several reasons for our opposition to water fluoridation for our customers. In addition to the reasons and facts presented on our website at kkw.org and at rethinkingfluoride.com, we feel the following are important considerations:
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has clearly said that surface application of fluoride, not swallowing, is the way fluoride helps to protect teeth from cavities. The American Dental Association understands and agrees with this, as noted in an article by John D. Featherstone in the July 2000 Journal of the American Dental Association.
Some 70 years ago, when the push for water fluoridation began, we didn’t have the economical and convenient methods of applying fluoride topically to teeth – where it does the most good – like fluoridated toothpaste, fluoride rinses and fluoride applications by dentists. Back then, fluoridated water was thought to be the primary source of fluoride.
It is now known in all scientific circles that we are now ingesting fluoride from a variety of sources, to the point that dental fluorosis (white blotches on the teeth), an indicator of childhood overexposure to fluoride, has affected over 40 percent of American adolescents. We already have naturally occurring fluoride in our water supply, about one third of the optimal amount. With overexposure to fluoride being a proven fact, why add more?
A mounting body of evidence suggests that this overexposure to fluoride carries with it a variety of health-related consequences. More and more studies show fluoride as a concern in bone, endocrine, kidney and brain health.
In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency listed fluoride as a neurotoxin, with “substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity,” which is their highest rating. This may be why on all over-the-counter fluoridated toothpaste and fluoride rinses, there are clear instructions to immediately call the Poison Control Center if swallowed.
And what about choice? Shouldn’t the public choose, on an individual basis, whether they want to ingest fluoride? With the many economical options available for topical application (toothpaste and rinses), why force everyone to ingest fluoride while drinking water – the most critically important substance they need in their diet to sustain life?
The vast majority of fluoridated water makes its way into the environment. On average, around 1 percent of the water we produce gets consumed. That means that over 1 billion gallons of fluoridated water enters the environment (lakes, streams, rivers and groundwater) on an annual basis.
As your drinking water provider, licensed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services to operate your public water supply, and whose mission is to provide the safest possible drinking water to our customers, adding fluoride to your water seems to us to be unnecessary, unsafe and inappropriate.
Why? We are adding fluoride with an acute toxicity greater than lead and only slightly less than arsenic, which does nothing to improve the quality and safety of drinking water. Considering that our fluoridation chemical comes from the scrubbed smokestack residues of a phosphate fertilizer plant, we honestly believe we are negatively impacting the quality of our customers’ drinking water.
We are proud of our safety record and work hard to honor and maintain the trust our customers place in us. We cannot, in good conscience, stay silent on this issue any longer. For us, there’s obviously doubt in our minds as to the “safe and effective” dogma we have all been taught to believe.
If there’s any doubt, we say: Leave it out. Vote “no” on Nov. 8 and on the next day the fluoride – and the doubt – will be gone and everyone can have a choice.

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