Editor’s note: On May 27, the Cape Breton Post published a column by Sydney resident Marlene Kane which called for a ban on water fluoridation. On June 6, the Post published a letter from Juliet Guichon, an assistant professor at the University of Calgary, who called the ban fear mongering. This prompted a response from many parts of the country…
Letter from Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH
For my first 25 years as a dentist with a Masters Degree in Public Health, I promoted water fluoridation or fluoride supplements, as taught in school.
But reading the science myself over the next 17 years has been like a knee in the gut. Both my professions of dentistry and public health have been wrong, but we are changing.
A few reasons why dentistry and public health are reconsidering their support of fluoridation:
1. Too many are ingesting too much fluoride. Most children in the United States now have dental fluorosis, a biomarker of too much fluoride. Excess fluoride is harming many.
2. If a person wants more fluoride for their children, other sources of fluoride are available such as non-organic foods, fluoride toothpastes, fluoride medications, tea, grapes, fluoride supplements and more. Adding even more fluoride for everyone – those without teeth, those who have had too much fluoride, or those with chemical sensitivities – makes NO public health sense. Dental caries treatment is elective treatment, not a highly contagious life threatening disease.
3. The dosage of fluoride is not controlled. Not everyone drinks the same amount of water or ingests the same amount of fluoride from other sources.
4. We have no high quality studies of fluoridation’s effectiveness, safety or cost effectiveness. The research is mixed and controversial.
5. Current studies raise serious concerns for adverse effects and we have not even begun to seriously look at synergistic effects of different chemicals either for benefit or risk.
Good scientists do not simply trust other scientists. Circular referencing of our like-minded friends is more like gossip than science. Fluoridation is a house of cards, public health’s darkest hour and like most developed countries will soon be stopped.
Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH