Fluoride Action Network

Cape Ann. Letter: Pro-fluoride flyer’s claims don’t check out

Source: Gloucester Times | November 20th, 2014 | By Michael Foley (Gloucester) and Barbara Goll (Rockport)

The pro-fluoridation pamphlet titled “Common Facts About the Advantages of Community Water Fluoridation” contains what I believe are many errors and omissions, only some of which can be addressed in this space.

No name appears to take credit for the tract, but it seems to have been produced by the American Dental Association, and was distributed at Rockport Fall Town Meeting, also to citizen groups and town committees.

The first “fact” in the handout claims there’s a “2010 study” proving the efficacy of fluoridation. Yet the link to this supposed study leads us to an opinion piece, which quotes an article on another topic that mentions fluoridation only in passing.

Following links, we arrive at a 2010 Centers for Disease Control article titled “Top Ten Health Achievements, U.S., 2001-2010”. However, this 2010 report doesn’t mention fluoridation at all, not once, even in passing.

Did the CDC drop fluoridation from its “top ten” list while proponents weren’t looking? Proponents may have assumed this article would repeat a 1999 CDC report, which fueled the oft-quoted phrase by proponents. However, the CDC claim was never based on the efficacy of fluoridation, but rather on the CDC’s efficacy in fluoridating water supplies.

The pamphlet’s first “fact” goes on to claim that adjusted fluoride levels in water prevent tooth decay. Yet multiple studies since the 1980s have shown no difference in cavities between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities in the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, and others — some $3 million U.S. taxpayer dollars spent on a comparative study of over 39,000 children proved no such difference.

The first “fact” also states that fluoride exists naturally in nearly all water supplies. What proponents neglect to mention is that lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury also exist naturally in water. But we don’t “top off” those contaminants. Also, naturally occurring calcium fluoride is far less toxic than the artificially generated fluoride compounds added to our water, as well as having that very important calcium component.

In conclusion, I do not believe there is any “2010 study” supporting the ADA pamphlet’s claim that fluoride makes teeth stronger or decay resistant 40 or 50 years later, nor is there a study from any year supporting this false claim.

On the other hand, according to a CDC report, the most fluoridated state in the union (Kentucky) has the most tooth loss, and the least fluoridated state (Hawaii) has the least tooth loss. Canada has identified a similar inverse correlation comparing the least fluoridated British Columbia with other regions.

I’ve found that each “fact” researched in the pro-fluoridation pamphlet has proven to be similarly bogus.