Nov. 8 — To the Editor:
Thank you for printing Mr. Horowitz’s concern about fluoride. It is a perfect example of the misinformation that periodically creeps into the press and the minds of citizens looking for accurate information about health. I am pleased that Mr. Horowitz seems open to dialogue when he states, “the next logical step for the city would be to form a study group with experts who are able to argue both sides of the issue.”
To make a few brief points:
There are hundreds of articles supporting the benefits of fluoride.
Fluoride has had increasing use in U.S. water supplies since Jan. 25, 1945, when it was introduced in the Grand Rapids, Mich., water supply.
42 of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. use fluoridated water.
74 percent of the U.S. public water supply is fluoridated.
99.8 percent of the public water supply in Maryland is fluoridated.
79.7 percent of Maine’s public water supply is fluoridated.
New Hampshire ranks near the bottom (43rd) with 42 percent of the public water supply being fluoridated.
In 2002, 170 million people in the U.S. (two-thirds of the population at the time) were served by fluoridated water.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rank fluoridation as one of the “Ten Great Public Health Achievements.”
The American Cancer Society states, “Scientific studies show no connection between cancer rates in humans and adding fluoride to drinking water.”
Negative health claims are usually based on excessive use of fluoride. Excessive use of nearly anything such as vitamins, oxygen, chlorine and water itself can have negative effects on the body.
Support for fluoridation comes from more than 125 national and international organizations promoting health, including: the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, the Alzheimer’s Association, the National Cancer Institute, the American Academy of Preventive Medicine, National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health Organization.
Hopefully your article will result in Mr. Horowitz and the citizens of our state becoming informed about the valid science behind the well-documented benefits, safety and cost-effectiveness of water fluoridation.
New Hampshire has a serious problem with access to dental care, and to see that we rank near the bottom of all states in having fluoridated water is tragic. Fluoridation is one of the most economical public health initiatives ever and can go a long way to improving the dental health of our citizens.
I strongly urge an expansion of fluoridation in our state, and to make this the beginning of an all-out effort to educate our citizens and reduce the incidence, pain and cost of dental disease.
Neil S. Hiltunen, DMD