Fluoride Action Network

Letter: Water district superintendent speaks out on fluoridation

Source: Journal Tribune | Letters to the Editor | September 6th, 2016 | By Norm Labbe, PE
Location: United States, Maine

This letter is in response to a letter to the editor from Dianne Smallidge published on Aug. 31, in which she was critical of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District’s position to stop its current practice of adding fluoride to the water it serves its customers. Also, her characterization of distributing “misinformation” is severely off the mark.

It doesn’t take a dental professional to read and understand plain English documents published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA) and others to see that the logic supporting the 70-year-old pro-water fluoridation dogma is ripe with half-truths, out-dated statistics and misinformation.

For example, it is now a known fact by the regulatory agencies and throughout the scientific world that the primary method fluoride acts upon teeth for the reduction of cavities is through topical (surface) application and not through ingestion. What this means is that brushing teeth with fluoridated toothpaste and using fluoridated rinses are by far more effective than swallowing fluoride. This has been clearly stated in published documents by the CDC and the ADA. So the question is, why swallow it?

Also, with respect to half-truths and misinformation, if you read Ms. Smallidge’s letter to the editor, please note that neither this writer nor the water district has ever purported that fluoridation of drinking water will “… cause destruction of the human endocrine system.”

The water district and its representatives are fully justified in expressing an opinion about a chemical it is forced to add to its water; the only chemical it adds that has nothing to do with improving water quality. The water district’s position on water fluoridation is clearly stated and justified on its website, kkw.org and on the website rethinkingfluoride.com (a local website developed by concerned customers with the assistance of the water district). On the latter website, direct quotes, with sources, from the CDC, the ADA and others clearly substantiate all of the district’s statements. In reading this information it became obvious to me that we all owe it to ourselves to study this largely misunderstood topic relating to the ingestion of fluoride and to make an informed decision when we are given that opportunity at a general election.

Fortunately, on Nov. 8 the voters of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells, Ogunquit, Arundel, coastal Biddeford and the Bald Head Cliff area of York will have the opportunity to make an informed decision. If the majority of them vote no, the district will immediately stop annually adding 20,000 lbs. of fluoride (hydrofluorosilicic acid) to its customers’ drinking water.

In the interest of providing the voting public a balanced discussion of the pros and cons of this polarizing topic, we look forward to a civil discourse and to allow the facts to prevail. After all, we all want what is best for those we serve.

Norm Labbe, PE
Kennebunk, Kennebunkport &
Wells Water District