Most toothpaste boxes have a portion that reads drug facts on the back. Underneath that it states sodium fluoride. Elsewhere on the box it states if you swallow more than used for brushing teeth, get medical help or contact Poison Control right away. According to the South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, New Haven has fluoridated water. However there are studies that raise concern over the safety of fluoride people’s tap water.
The reason why certain communities or countries fluoridate their public water is because they want to help prevent tooth decay. There are over three dozen scientific studies that correlate high fluoride exposure to low IQ levels in children. All of these studies were done in China, India, Mexico, and Iran.
“Correlation,” said SCSU professor, Jeffrey A. Webb, “is not causation.”.
Professor Webb, who has a doctorate in chemistry, viewed these studies for the first time. Afterwards the idea to fluoridate people’s tap water wasn’t completely sold. He believes there’s enough out there that it’s worth looking into.
“There should be a bigger study,” Webb said. “There might be something here.”
Based on a graph from the World Health Organization, tooth decay declined more in many non-fluoridated developed countries than in the United States. About 97 percent of Western Europe does not fluoridate their water.
“Based on these studies, I believe there might be a risk.” Said SCSU generalist in public health, Peggy Gallup.
Gallup holds a doctorate in public health. Her beliefs are about the same as Webb’s viewpoint on fluoridation of tap water. She accepts that some the studies show a negative effect on people’s health.
“A lot more population,” said Gallup, “based studies need to be done to make a definite link.”
Sophomore Brianna Alfaro doesn’t believe people in this country need to have their tap water fluoridated.
“I don’t think we need fluoride,” Alfaro said. “Not in the first world.”
Another study from an American scientific journal found that fluoride could do more damage to the human body besides the brain. Cancer Causes Control published a study called, ‘Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma.’ Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer. Their conclusion was that they found an association between fluoride exposure in drinking water during childhood and the frequency of osteosarcoma in males.
“It warrants further study,” Webb said. “It raises an eyebrow.”
“Those studies raise questions on the possible relationship of fluoride to cancer.” Gallup said.
The one study conducted on a possible link between fluoride and cancer may be harder to believe because it stands alone. Over three dozen studies have more strength for belief. In fact, Harvard School of Public Health conducted a review study on these foreign studies’ validity. HSPH and China Medical University in Shenyang combined 27 studies. They found strong signals that fluoride may negatively affect cognitive development in children.
“Maybe it does affect IQ.” Webb said.
Many adults drink tap water along with children in this country. Even though these studies were aimed at children, it raises suspicion on whether the fluoride can negatively impact adults’ brains and possibly males’ bones. These studies also give an uneasy feeling for pregnant women since everything they consume directly affect the embryos.
“I think,” said Alfaro, “there should be more studies.”