The City of Toronto has been ‘selling’ the drug Fluoride to its residents (by means of providing treated warter to each residence and charging a fee to the owner) without a drug number, as is required by federal law. This is a proposal for an ‘information insert’ to be issued with every City of Toronto water bill. All statements made below are based on current scientific evidence.
Fluoride is a drug. If it is added to any consumer product with the claim that it prevents dental decay. Health Canada requires safety studies before issuing a drug number. If it is added to the water to mass medicate the populace, you cannot control the dose and susceptible people will be harmed unless they avoid its use. Toronto is ‘selling’ residents a drug without a drug number from Health Canada. At a minimum, every water bill sent to residents of Toronto should contain the message clearly and prominently on the bill itself or as a special informational insert. The following should be included:
The City of Toronto has added the anti-tooth decay drug fluoride at one part per million (1.0 ppm) to the water supplied to your residence. The concentration has been determined through research to provide maximum benefits with minimal side effects. The city is now required by law to warn you about the benefits and risks of drinking this water and using it to prepare other liquids and foods.
EXPECTED BENEFITS. This water will have little effect on 80% of the population in Toronto, which is already cavity free. This water is meant to protect people who do not use toothpaste or are more susceptible to dental decay than average. You don’t have to swallow this water to prevent tooth decay. You can get maximum protection if you simply swish and spit out the water a few times a day.
EXPECTED SIDE EFFECTS. This water may be harmful if ingested over many years, especially if there is ingestion of fluoride from other sources. Excess ingestion will lead to an increased risk for bone fractures. Do not use this water if you are pregnant, have kidney impairment or if you require large amounts of liquid intake during the day. Children whose permanent teeth are developing will get a mild form of dental fluorosis ingesting this water. Do not use this water to make baby formula from powder or concentrate as this practice increases the risk for dental fluorosis. Use with caution in children under three years of age since this age group cannot ‘swish and spit’. Dental fluorosis is made worse with increasing intake of fluoridated water or fluoride from other sources, such as toothpaste. Dental fluorosis is identified by white spots or streaks on the front teeth. Children with dental fluorosis also tend to have darker looking teeth once the dental fluorosis is treated. Most cases of dental fluorosis can be safely treated at the dental office. Reversal of the harmful effects of excess fluoride ingestion on the skeletal system, however, has not been studied.