A recent disturbing study has shown 2 out of 5 (41%) U.S. adolescents have dental fluorosis (staining and pitting of teeth) caused from an overdose of fluoride. Threatened by lawsuits, the federal government announced last week a plan to lower the fluoride levels in public fluoridated drinking water. This is an outrage. The federal regulators have caused our children to be exposed to toxic doses of fluoride. Why did they ignore extensive scientific evidence showing the levels of fluoride being added to public drinking water were potentially dangerous and even unnecessary?
I recall some 10 years ago when Manchester debated the issue of adding fluoride to their public water supply. Gerhard Bedding and former State Representative Barbara Hagan led a courageous (but futile) effort to stop the plan. Hagan even took the issue to the courts. State and federal officials and the American Dental Association led the efforts to convince Manchester residents that fluoride was needed in their drinking water. Even a news conference by former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop took place in support of fluoridation. Bedding and Hagan appeared to be extremists against the public health professionals. Now, we see the only thing extreme about the concerns raised by Bedding and Hagan was that they were extremely right.
So, where do we go from here? A national scientific expert on fluoride toxicology, Dr. Kathleen Thiessen (see http://fluoridealert.org/content/thiessen-initial-comment-on-new-0-7-ppm-level/), states, “The best available studies in the U.S. show no benefit of water fluoridation on dental health.” In fact, the proposed new lower fluoride levels will still not protect at risk populations such as infants, diabetics, kidney disease patients and people who consume a lot of fluoridated tap water. Thiessen also cites several peer-reviewed studies showing correlations between the presence of dental fluorosis and “a higher risk of adverse health effects, including effects on thyroid function, decreased IQ, and increased risk of bone fracture.”
Children that have “pitted” teeth from excess fluoride are actually prone to cavities since food particles can accumulate in the pitted areas. The irony here is that this is exactly what the fluoride is supposed to be preventing!
The bottom line is we don’t need fluoride added to our drinking water at all.
Several major communities in New Hampshire are fluoridating their water. According to a NH DES 2010 fact sheet, Manchester, Concord, Portsmouth, Dover, Durham, Hanover, Lebanon, Laconia, Lancaster, and Rochester water systems are fluoridated water systems. The larger systems could have fluoridated water going to surrounding communities too.
Gov. John Lynch should issue a cease-and-desist order to stop all fluoridation of New Hampshire public drinking water systems, and New Hampshire’s congressional delegation should call for hearings on this important public health issue.
More information on fluoride issues can be seen at the website fluoridealert.org.
John Meinhold, OD
John Meinhold is an optometrist and former U.S. Public Health Service officer as well as a U.S. Air Force veteran.