Fluoride Action Network


Source: Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water | July 21st, 2002
Location: United States, Oregon

To All Safe Water Advocates,

Proponents’ efforts to fluoridate the Beaverton/Cornelius/Hillsboro area are in full swing, and, so far, our requests to Beaverton City Council members for an opportunity to present our documentation (either one-on-one or in a work session format) have been denied.

The Oregonian, however, is currently soliciting public opinion, which gives all of us a way to make our very critical messages public. Time is of the essence. The Oregonian will publish the messages on Thursday – so try to get them in no later than Wednesday morning.

Please take just a few minutes to help! We’ve made it easy. Following are:

1) The Oregonian’s message soliciting opinions & link
2) Their instructions on how to participate either by voice mail or email (we prefer email)
3) A review of our most important messages. Please put your message, if possibly you can, in your own words. Obviously, they’re not going to reprint the exact same message more than once.

Oregonian’s Message:

THE NEXT QUESTION: Should water supplies be fluoridated?

For years, many communities have added fluoride to drinking water to improve the dental health of children. The practice, however, has been controversial. In the 1950s and 60s, people feared fluoridation was an international communist conspiracy. Today, many are adamant that nothing be added to our drinking water.

Many in Beaverton already are drinking fluoridated water from the Tualatin Valley District, but those who get their water from the city do not. At the urging of Mayor Rob Drake, Beaverton is considering adding fluoride to its water.

What do you think? Should it be done to provide a degree of protection against tooth decay? Or should government not be in the business of medicating the population?

How to Participate:

The Oregonian says: We’d like to publish your response. To respond by e-mail, write to west@news.oregonian.com. To use The Oregonian’s Inside Line, a free service inside the local calling area, dial 503-225-5555 from a touch-tone telephone, then enter category number 6689. Responses will be published in next Thursday’s Washington County Weekly.

Our Key Messages (please put these messages into your own words):

1) A congressional investigation into fluoridation (106th Congress) permanently altered the debate on this issue.  In response to questioning by the U.S. House Committee on Science, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defined fluoride, when taken internally for tooth decay, as a drug. FDA confirmed that no fluoride product intended for ingestion has ever been approved by the agency. (See http://www.keepers-of-the-well.org/on_point.html .)

2) A congressional investigation into fluoridation (106th Congress) permanently altered the debate on this issue. In response to questioning by the U.S. House Committee on Science, the EPA confirmed they could locate no studies whatsoever on hydrofluorosilicic acid (FSA) and sodium fluorosilicate (SFS). According to CDC’s most recent fluoridation census, these two chemicals are being consumed by over 90 percent of Americans drinking artificially fluoridated water. Verify the absolute lack of studies on these chemicals as cavity fighters by searching them at the National Library of Medicine’s search engine, PUBMED: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi

3) Hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluorosilicate, the two fluoride compounds used almost exclusively in the U.S. for fluoridation, are hazardous waste byproducts of phosphate fertilizer production. These products are so toxic -from the fluoride alone they could not be dumped on land or in the ocean, discharged into rivers, or released into the atmosphere. Yet industry is allowed to sell their toxic waste to municipalities as a low cost source of fluoridating chemicals. These products are sold ‘as is’ contaminated with a host of other industrial toxins, including lead and arsenic, for which EPA has established public health goals of zero. (See http://www.keepers-of-the-well.org/on_point.html ).

4) Fluoridation is a 1945 concept that is completely outdated in 2002. Dentists focus on teeth, ignoring the fact that people consume less than 2 percent of fluoride-medicated water. The rest returns to the ecosystem, mostly via our rivers. Fluoride is a persistent, bioaccumulative pollutant, which can negatively affect a variety of plant, animal and aquatic life. Of particular concern in the Northwest are peer-reviewed studies showing that low-level fluoride is toxic to salmon in fresh water above 0.2 parts per million (ppm). This is only one-fifth the 1.0 ppm fluoride added to drinking water in Oregon.

5) Fluoride exposure is excessive and out of control. For years, now, as fluoride has been added to public drinking water, it has increasingly contaminated the processed food supply. Further, significant contamination comes from the residue of commonly used fluoride-based pesticides on fresh produce. Other sources include dental products and treatments, pharmaceuticals, and industrial emissions. Government reports (DHHS 1991, 1993) show that Americans in non-fluoridated areas are already getting the goal dose of 1 milligram per day from sources other than drinking water. Those in fluoridated communities are estimated to be receiving up to 6.6 times that amount.

6) The result of overexposure to fluoride in the U.S.? Massive increases in dental fluorosis, which a medical dictionary defines as “chronic fluorine poisoning.” The only national survey conducted on fluorosis showed that of children in “optimally” fluoridated areas, 36.5 percent had developed fluorosis on one tooth, and another 29.9 percent had fluorosis on two or more teeth. These percentages are more than double those for children drinking non-fluoridated water (http://www.keepers-of-the-well.org/diligence_pdfs/Heller_and_Eklund..pdf ). The cost of repairing these fluoride-damaged teeth is not factored into the alleged ãcost savingsä of fluoridation, yet fluorosis is expensive to repair and is not covered by insurance.

7) In recent congressional investigation documentation, FDA confirmed that fluoride taken internally for tooth decay is a (non-approved) drug. Now that there is no ambiguity about what fluoride is, we must ask if Oregonians have the right to choose whether or not to take this drug, as they are able to choose with all other drugs? Should citizens be forced to forego the protection provided by a medical exam, which is standard medical procedure in the prescription of all other drugs? A medical exam considers age, medical conditions, susceptibilities, current levels of exposure, need (some people have no teeth), and, unlike fluoridation, provides the patient with the protection of a specifically prescribed dose. Fluoridation violates this very basic human right to medical choice.

8) The dental community and Centers for Disease Control now agree that fluoride’s mechanism is “primarily topical” not systemic. That means direct contact on teeth may have benefit, but swallowing fluoride does not.  This is such a turnaround from what was previously believed that the Journal of the American Dental Association in July 2000, reiterated this new understanding of how fluoride works and does not work in their cover story.  (See the article and explanation: http://www.keepers-of-the-well.org/product_pdfs/JADA_Featherstone2.pdf .)

Thank you for participating. More on the Beaverton situation to come.

Best regards,

Lynne Campbell,
Executive Director

Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water
PO Box 1045
Lake Oswego, OR 97034