ACSH associate director Jeff Stier appears on NPR’s Talk of the Nation show to discuss health rumors, Dec. 7, 2005 at 3:20pm Eastern — with the audio available online thereafter. Below is an excerpt from the show transcript:…
NEIL CONAN (HOST): Here’s an e-mail we got from Jackson in Basalt, Colorado. `Who started the rumor that fluoride in drinking water is bad for people? My local community has banned the use of fluoride in drinking water. I know of several dentists who are quite happy that they have more work to do compared to communities that do have fluoride in their water. How has this been such a persistent and pernicious rumor that’s even gone on to change community decisions? Web site that I looked at have no decent scientific rationale for supporting the bans and yet they continue.’
Mr. STIER: Well, that’s such an important question because one of the greatest public health advances we made in the last century is adding fluoride to water. Now when you tell people, if you were to take a poll right now and say, `Would you like the government to add a chemical to the public water supply supposedly to make you healthier?’ most people understandably might say no. But at the levels at which the fluoride is added, it’s quite beneficial to our dental health. So people hear things that the government is doing to improve your health and I could understand why they get skeptical.