To the editor:
There is a pending bill in the state Senate (S. 1226) that proposes to ban the fluoridation of drinking water in all of Massachusetts. To me this makes good sense for the following reasons:
The first is the questionable effectiveness of public water fluoridation. Most European countries from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean do not fluoridate their drinking water, but studies show their cavity incidence is not much different than ours. A World Health Organization study shows children’s teeth are in as good a condition in these countries as the teeth of our fluoridated children’s teeth are.
My second reason is ethical. Public drinking water is giving people a strong drug/medication without consideration for individual differences and without prior consent. Recently I met a woman who has a fluoride sensitivity. She gets inflammatory, arthritic-like symptoms when drinking fluoridated water.
Also, because of the pervasiveness of fluoride in our drinking water, all of us swallow some fluoride whether we want to or not. It abounds in our food system via the public drinking water. We not only drink it in our water but swallow it in canned soups, packaged juices and most U.S.-made beers. In other words, we are being administered an unknown dose of a powerful drug without our prior consent.
The third reason is more than enough current scientific evidence that shows very possible health risks in swallowing fluoride every day. More than 50 percent of our adolescents have dental fluorosis (flaky scaling of the enamel) because they are getting too much fluoride. Studies have shown that fluoridation is linked to higher rates of ADHD, hypothyroidism and osteoarthritis, just to name a few areas of risk.
Lastly, the warning found on every tube of fluoridated toothpaste reads: “Warning: Keep out of the reach of children under 6 years of age. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a poison control center right away.” Yes, swallowing too much fluoride can be poisonous. Like any powerful drug/medicine, dosage amounts must be set. Unfortunately fluoride stands outside ordinary sound medical practice in this regard.
The pending bill to ban fluoride is currently before the Joint Committee on Public Health. The committee can act any time before its deadline this Wednesday to pass or kill this bill.
My strong hope is that, for the sake of the public good, the bill is passed.