General Debate 02/03/11

FOX News reports on an official reversal on fluoridation of water supplies-

For decades, fluoride has been marketed and heralded as essential for good dental hygiene and used in most toothpastes and mouthwashes. In addition, parents have been routinely encouraged to give their kids cavity-fighting fluoride treatments when they visit the dentist. [..] The “experts” and the government told us fluoride would strengthen tooth enamel, help prevent tooth decay and is, of course, perfectly safe. “Community water fluoridation is an equitable, cost-effective, and cost-saving method of delivering fluoride to most people,” noted Dr. William Maas, director of CDC’s Division of Oral Health.

But that was then and this is now.

In a surprising reversal, last month EPA’s announced that it intends to lower the maximum amount of fluoride in drinking water because of growing evidence supporting the chemical’s possible deleterious effects to children’s health. In 2006, the National Academy of Sciences report that found dental fluorosis – caused by too much fluoride – capable of putting children at risk of developing other dental problems including the breakdown of tooth enamel, discoloration and pitting.

January’s EPA recommendation reversal was made following a revised risk assessment study that found 2 out of 5 adolescents had tooth streaking or spottiness and some pitting as a result of excessive fluoride. In addition, other studies have found excessive ingestion of fluoride capable of increasing the risk of brittle bones leading to fractures and debilitating bone abnormalities.

There have always been fluoride critics who questioned the chemical’s safety and challenged the decision to use fluoride in municipal drinking water. According to the Los Angeles Times, back in 2005, “the heads of 11 EPA unions, including those representing the agency’s scientists, demanded that EPA reduce the permissible level of added fluoride in water to zero, citing research suggesting it can cause cancer. Other studies have pointed to neurotoxicity and hormone disruption from excessive fluoride”.

It has taken the government more than 60 years to recognize – some would argue admit – that American children have been overexposed to this toxic, potentially harmful chemical.

In response to the EPA’s sudden announcement, Jane Houlihan, senior vice-president of the Washington based non-profit Environmental Working Group, said, “this decision is another signal to the public to take care when it comes to exposures to industrial chemicals. What is considered safe today won’t necessarily be thought safe tomorrow.”



Categories: American Politics, Culture, General Debate, NZ Politics

2 replies

  1. Something all those in the front lines of water treatment have known for years!

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  2. UK toothpaste has really high flouride content – up to 1,500 ppm… It’s very dangerous in very single large doses and of course the main function of toothpaste is act as an abrasive to remove plague and food, so why it is needed in water that breifly passes the teeth – when we’re literally mashing it into or teeth and gums everyday – I’ll never know…

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