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UK Against Fluoridation

Thursday, November 03, 2016

USA - Ballot Measure Pits Dentists Against Activists On Fluoride

In a small California city, fluoride has riled up a big tap-water debate.
In the “charming tourist-destination town” of Healdsburg, located in Sonoma County, “a local ballot measure has pitted a tiny but dogged band of activists against an unusual enemy: dentists,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Healdsburg residents will vote on "Measure T" this month, asking them whether fluoride should be banned from the local tap water until more research is completed proving it safe.
The issue has sparked loud opinions on both sides. “The fluoride in our water comes from China!” reads one sign, featuring a frowning woman, per the report.
The anti-fluoride front is led by the nonprofit Clean Water Sonoma Marina, which says clean water is “fluoride free.” Advocates in this group say fluoride is linked to cancer, thyroid problems, diabetes, and reduced IQ, according to the report.
On the other side: the California Dental Association, which argues that the benefits of water fluoridation are already proven, encompassing disease reduction and dental treatment cost savings.
“Although Healdsburg is small, the state association of dentists has vigorously opposed the measure and poured $20,000 into the effort to defeat it. In its 4.4 square miles, Healdsburg has 12 dentist members of the California Dental Association,” the report said.
Their signs read: “No on T, Save Our Smiles.”
Healdsburg voters approved fluoridation in a similar measure two years ago, but activists fought to have the issue considered again.
Fluoride activists have not gone without some success in certain areas of the country.
“Wichita, KS, rejected fluoridation in 2012, and Portland, OR, voted it down in 2013. Fluoridation also became something of a cause celebre among Florida Tea Party activists in 2011,” the report said.
In Florida, activists connected fluoridation to “fears of forced government medicating,” the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The federal government decreased the maximum level of fluoride it recommends for tap water last year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a recommendation for "the optimal fluoride level in drinking water to prevent tooth decay." The department advocated that these levels not exceed 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water. That cuts the previous recommendation, issued in 1962, which stated that fluoride levels should be between 0.7 and 1.2 milligrams per liter.
The change had been several years in the making. The health department first proposed this change five years ago, "and most large cities have already lowered their fluoride levels accordingly," Newsweek reported.

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