Why is the small group called Spenardians Against Fluoride organizing to stop the Municipality of Anchorage from putting fluoride in the drinking water?

“If the purpose of fluoride in toothpaste is to prevent dental decay, then it is classified as a medicine – its purpose is to treat something,” said Jason Agre, the group founder and long-time Spenard resident. “Mass medicating an entire public by adding fluoride to the public water is unethical because you can’t control the dosage given to the individual, you can’t track adverse reactions to the medicine and the individual can’t remove it at the tap, so it violates personal choice and informed consent.”

Friday, Feb. 19, Spenardians Against Fluoride held a protest in front of the Anchorage Water and Wastewater utility building. According to Agre, the protest was a success and they plan to hold another one.

Canada, Japan and practically all of Western Europe once had fluoride added to their water. Since the 1970s, however, these countries banned the practice due to the very serious concerns Agre raises. Interestingly, according to Worth Health Organization data, dental decay rates among these countries in the past 50 years are equal to the United States, so is fluoride really effective at reducing dental decay?

Some argue that fluoridating the public water is the most cost-effective way to prevent dental decay in a community. But, the American Dental Association admits that brushing your teeth and flossing are the best ways to prevent dental decay, not drinking fluoridated water.

When a small group of citizens in Juneau with a budget of $5,000 organized to put the question of removing fluoride from the water to the voters, the American Dental Association paid $200,000 to lobby the Juneau legislature to keep fluoride in the water.

It seems like the money could have been better spent giving out free toothpaste and floss to all the residents in Juneau if the ADA’s purpose was truly altruistic.

Even the Centers for Disease Control has admitted that fluoride’s benefits are derived when applied to the teeth only, not ingested, and the Journal of Public Health Dentistry admits that people already consume enough fluoride from fluoridated toothpaste.

So what if some people don’t like fluoride in the water, if it helps some, what is the harm?

Well, The American Dental Association seems to think there is some harm to infants. In 2006 they released a little-advertised press release to mothers of infants which warned them not use fluoridated water in baby formula because of the risk of dental fluorosis – commonly seen as white speckling of the teeth in mild forms and mottled teeth similar to osteoporoses in the bones in more extreme cases.

Some believe that whatever amount of fluoride you ingest is flushed out of your system, but according to a ground-breaking report compiled in 2006 by the National Research Council (NRC) on behalf of the EPA, at least half of all fluoride stays in your system, most by bonding to calcium in bones. Over time, fluoride accumulates and studies now show a link to osteoporoses in the elderly.

The research also shows it enters the brain. This is alarming considering the EPA has put fluoride on a “high health research priority” due to its “known neurotoxicity.”

The NRC report lists five studies conducted in China that show a lowering of IQ in children associated with fluoride when compared to a control group. One of these studies indicates that lowered IQ occurred in children with 0.9 parts per million of fluoride in the public water. The Anchorage Municipality adds 1.2 parts per million to the public water today.

According to the NRC report, fluoride in drinking water at levels prescribed by the Municipality of Anchorage has been found to reduce thyroid activity in research subjects. Researchers found that fluoride acts as an endocrine disrupter, which can lead to weight gain.

The first application of fluoride in the water supply was noted in the book The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremburg Code, where it was revealed that Nazis added fluoride to the water supply in concentration camps because it had calming effects on the prisoners.

A cursory glance at the source of the fluoride added to our public water reveals why, unlike France, Germany and Canada (to name a few), fluoride is still added to our water today in the U.S. Pharmaceutical-grade fluoride is too expensive to produce on a scale needed for the countries water supply; instead the primary source of fluoride is the phosphate fertilizer industry, which produces fluoride as its by-product.

Today it is bottled up, unrefined, for addition to the water supply. This convenient arrangement ensures an artificially cheap supply of fluoride to the nation and inhibits the government and endorsing supporters – such as the ADA – from having an honest debate about water fluoridation that puts individual rights and health concerns first.