Re: Town opts to stick with fluoride (Beacon Star, June 5), here are some basic facts that may not have been considered.
1. The chemicals used to fluoridate drinking water are impure. They are industrial waste liquids (usually hydrofluosillicic acid) collected from the smokestack scrubbers of the phosphate fertilizer industry and they are contaminated with trace amounts of cancer-causing elements such as arsenic. Dilution gets these contaminates down to permissible levels, but studies show they are still harmful even at those levels.
2. Fluoride, unlike chlorine, is added to treat people, not the water. It is, therefore, considered a drug. The dosage of this drug cannot be controlled. People who don’t’ want to consume it have not given informed consent. Even people who don’t’ want vaccinations can opt out. Fluoride has certain adverse health effects especially in susceptible people, like people with kidney disease. Unlike chlorine, which dissipates, fluoride concentrates when water is boiled.
When added to infant formula, fluoridated water causes dental fluorosis, irreversible spotting of the permanent teeth. One study showed that children with even mild fluorosis have lowered IQ.
3. Nowadays, fluoridation saves maybe 0.5 to 1.0 fillings over 40 years. Parry Sound will spend $5,000 a year in chemicals and who knows how much in upgrades/maintenance of equipment to save a maximum of 6,000 fillings. According to Dr. Chirico, $190,000 X 40 = $7.6 million in dental costs will be saved. But this represents more than $1,200 per filling. Clearly something is wrong with this math.
4. The cost of fluoridation never includes the cost of treating dental fluorosis or the cost of defending against lawsuits (see http://www.cambridgetimes.ca/news-story/4882028-woman-goes-to-court-over-fluoridation/). Councillors should be aware that by making the decision themselves to fluoridate instead of holding a referendum, they are opening themselves up personally to lawsuits.
5. Councillor Marshall fears that removing fluoride will cause an adverse health effect (presumably a significant increase in dental decay). All the recent literature does not support this.
6. Side effects from too much fluoride ingestion are not trivial. Councillor Marshall said people were basing their decisions on “pseudoscience and articles found on social media sites.”
There is a tremendous amount of good peer-reviewed science published on the toxicity of fluoride, including my own, which is not considered pseudoscience.
7. Dr. Chirico advises that a “selective review of the literature, (it) should never be used to inform decision-makers.” I agree. For 60 years public health has selective reviewed only the profluoridation literature.
Our committee of experts spent 3.5 years to look at the fluoride toxicity literature. I would suggest Parry Sound continue to learn more about fluoridation. The council can always change its mind.
Dr. Hardy Limeback, BSc, PhD, DDS
Professor Emeritus, and former health, Preventative Dentistry
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto
Past Member of the US National Research Council Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water