Editor’s note: Recently, the Clipper talked to officials and residents of Brigham City as the closest location to Davis County with experience in water fluoridation. This is part two of the report.
LOGAN — “Junk science” and “garbage” is what a veteran health director, here, is calling so-called evidence against fluoride use.
Dr. John Bailey, who has led the Bear River Health Department for many years, said “they (fluoride opponents) publish results that they can’t reproduce” and use non-scientific methods to achieve their findings.
“The hallmark of science is if it’s reproducible,” he emphasized. “I one hundred percent endorse fluoride. That’s the role of the health department, to recognize (ways to combat) common causes of death and disability,” to seek for “positive health, well-being” for the populace, Bailey continued.
While lung cancer and heart disease are often more dramatic in their effect on people, he said the lack of fluoridation’s “seriousness is down the scale but if you multiply the seriousness plus the number of problems it has a greater impact” on more people.
In an interview with the Clipper/Clipper Today, he called allegations by foes of fluoridation “hare-brained notions,” such as concerns over bone cancer, osteoporosis or other supposed health maladies opponents say are caused by fluoride. Bailey said when anti-forces cite problems fluoridation can cause because of high dosages in water, that’s possible with anything.
“Why aren’t these same people concerned about iodine being placed in salt or Vitamin D in milk to improve the public health?” he asked.
“If you go to a place like Brigham City, why aren’t people up in arms (there)? Why don’t they have increased rates (of bone cancer, etc)? Why is it you consistently see better teeth in children” or in those raised when fluoride was in the water?” he added.
Former Brigham City mayor Olaf (Oly) Zundel, now a resident of Bountiful, was elected at the same time the fluoride issue went before the public, there, about 34 years ago.
“The Kiwanis Club, local dentists and doctors petitioned the city council in 1965 to put in fluoridation, which we (city council) voted to do,” Zundel recounted. “Immediately thereafter a petition came, a vote was taken (of the general population) in 1965, and it went in by a 54 percent vote.”
He noted that “after we put it in, for about five years, Channel 2 came in and did a street questionnaire with residents. They were really surprised to find people supported it 100 percent.
“People have really enjoyed it. They’ve had no problem with it. There has been no problem with it,” Zundel said.
Recalling the opposition points at the time, he said people claimed dogs and cats would die, lawn would burn up, among other possibilities. “If you wanted fluoridation you were called a communist. Brigham City is one of the most beautiful places in the world,” he added, 34 years after the introduction of fluoride.
If individuals are worried about government control, they can buy a water filter, purchase distilled water, and eat only home-canned and prepared foods, Bailey said.
“If 70-75 percent want fluoride, why don’t the others who don’t” do whatever they need to for keeping fluoride out of their water?” Bailey added.
But to leave fluoride use totally to individuals doesn’t work to any large degree, he said. “Doctors can’t even get patients to take a 10-day prescription,” he said as an example. The cost for private use is far higher than the “pennies” on the dollar a public program will cost, he added.