I have been organizing and moderating monthly Science Cafe discussions for four years, including discussion of hot-button topics like climate change and vaccinations. But in all those years, only one session has gotten so heated that I had to tell people in the audience to cool it: Public fluoridation of water.
The other Science Cafe organizers, Dan Marcek and Sarah Eck, thought it would be a dud when I suggested it as a topic. But they hadn’t seen the emails you get after writing about the subject, so they didn’t know. I found out years ago that you state that fluoridated water is a conspiracy by the government and/or chemical companies to poison the world, you’ll get flamed.
So I wonder what NH Public Radio will hear today after this report on a survey which puts New Hampshire near the bottom of the country in terms of percentage of population with access to fluoridated water: “The survey says less than 390,000 New Hampshire residents — less than half of the 834,000 people on public water systems — have access to fluoridated water.” About half the state’s population, including me, is on private wells.
In case you’re wondering, I think public water fluoridation is a good idea – a fabulous return on investment for public health . Yes, I now all the counter arguments, technical and philosophical, and realize that it’s possible to do fluoridation badly, but the balance is definitely in favor of The Government Forcing Us To Take A Drug, as a certain subject of opponents put it. Please note: if “rat poison” is any part of your comment, the Delete key will instantly go into action.
Fluoridation is considered by some to be a conspiracy because for many that’s the only rational response to this irrational experiment.
While fluoridation goes against all principles of modern pharmacology, it’s promoters have to constantly discredit individuals and groups who oppose it and they have to discredit the over 2,000 animal studies that report adverse effects from low levels of exposure to fluoride. This has to be done to allay any doubts over the safety of fluoridation, even though the fluoridation “chemicals” thrown into the public water are hazardous waste byproducts from the phosphate fertilizer industry. It sound’s like science fiction, doesn’t it.
In the last ten years alone, fluoride was labelled an endocrine disruptor in a 2006 landmark report by the National Research Council of the National Academies; a developmental neurotoxicant by Grandjean and Landrigan in the Lancet Neurology in 2014; 35 more studies were published reporting a correlation between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ in children (for a total of 45 studies out of 53 published); and a correlation to hypothryoidism in a 2015 study by Peckham, Lowery, and Spencer.
Delivery of a substance using the public water systems to treat people is wrong and should end, whether it works or not.
Endocrine disruptor, http://www.nap.edu/read/11571/chapter/10#266
Peckham et al., http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/peckham-2015.pdf
Grandjean et al., http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/grandjean-20141.pdf
IQ studies, http://fluoridealert.org/studies/brain01/
David, You really put your foot in it when you state that, as a long-time science/tech reporter you’ve concluded that community water “fluoridation” is a good idea. The “science” concocted to justify fluoridaton is as legitimate as the pseudoscience behind tobacco, lead, asbestos, and denial of climate change. If you were really a science maven, sometime in your long career you would have evaluated some of the science used to promote fluoridation and would have seen that it’s nothing but intentional manipulation of preselected “evidence”. And then you would have taken the time to evaluate some of the science cited as evidence of risk to water consumers and the other body of science demonstating lack of any effect on tooth decay incidence.
And really your biggest faux pas is applauding the idea of imposing this non-consensual dental treatment on everyone, whether they want it or not, whether they should be treated or not. That indiscriminate treatment is the stupidest aspect of fluoridation. It turns any supporter of this violation of medical ethics and medical best practice into faker and a doofus. (Hint: concentration does not determine dose.)
It’s never too late to admit you were mistaken. If Hillary can do it, so can you.
Excellent points Janet Nagel
People all around the he world have learned the truth that fluoride tooth paste may help, but fluoride in drinking water is ineffective for teeth and dangerous to health.
In the US, 74 % fluoridated (more than the rest of the world combined).
In Europe, 3%.
In the world, 5%.
Also Israel banned fluoridation last year.
Over 200 communities have voted it out in the last five years.
Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the tooth decay rate in Europe with only 3% fluoridation is as good or better than any fluoridated country. This shows how ineffective swallowing fluoride is for teeth. As the CDC admitted in 1999, fluoride toothpaste is sufficient.
This is just an uneducated blogger regurgitating a NH Dental Association press release that was picked up by the AP and NHPR. What he fails to point out is that despite the low percentage drinking fluoridated water NH children have the 3rd lowest rate of dental decay in the nation. Vermont, which has very little fluoridation and is ranked 39th by the dental association because of it, has the 2nd lowest rate of dental decay in the nation. If only this pitiful blogger checked to see if fluoridation rates actually made any difference when it came to decay. If only. He would have found that NH and VT don’t need to inject an unnecessary chemical into the public water supply to reduce decay, we are already reducing decay with proper education, sealant programs, and increased access to dentists and hygienists.
Meanwhile, compare NH’s rate of children’s dental decay (35.4% in 2013, according to the CDC’s latest report on the “Percentage of Students with Caries Experience–treated or untreated tooth decay”) to the dental decay rates in the states with the greatest percentage of the population drinking fluoridated water:
1-Kentucky–99.9% fluoridated –59.6% with dental decay
2-Minnesota–98.8% fluoridated — 54.9% decay
3-Illinois–98.5% fluoridated — 52.4% decay
CDC decay rates: http://nccd.cdc.gov/OralHealthData/rdPage.aspx?rdReport=DOH_DATA.ExploreByTopic&islTopic=CHD&islYear=2013%E2%80%932014&go=GO
CDC % Fluoridated by State: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/statistics/2012stats.htm
I’ll take NH’s declining 34% decay rate any day over a 59% decay rate AND the addition of toxic chemicals into my drinking water.
Next time actually do some research and get your facts straight, Dave.
David Brooks. You push your ego over objective research, every chance you get. It probably pays well, too, with all the $$$ perks from the phophate fertilizer industry that sells fluoride to the water districts. PEW TRUST wants more fluoridation propagandist whores like you. Go join them.
I must admit I have never been called a “fluoridation propagandist whore” previously. Maybe I’ll add it my C.V.
How are you commenting a day ahead?
Ha! You did too – something’s messed up with our clock.