Fluoride Action Network

Guest column: It’s wrong in many ways for Windsor to add fluoride

Source: Windsor Star | December 29th, 2018 | By Donna Jean Mayne, Fluoride-Free Windsor Essex
Location: Canada, Ontario

Windsor City Council failed to consider the core concern when they recently voted to resume artificial fluoridation: Might the delivery agent, hydrofluorosilicic acid, trigger unintended health consequences?

If the answer were known, one would think Health Canada would have it. But, no.

On May 26, 2014, the nation’s leading health advocacy organization responded to an inquiry filed through the Access to Information Act. It was asked to identify all “reports, studies, toxicology and clinical tests relating to hydrofluorosilicic acid in Canadian tap water.”

Health Canada’s answer: “After a thorough search for the requested information, no records were located which respond to your request.”

No “double-blind study done by Canada or any province showing dental efficacy and human safety.” No such study from “anywhere in the world.”

Nevertheless, having heard the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit vouch for its safety, we are on the verge of witnessing the reintroduction of this untested chemical agent to drinking water used by Windsor, LaSalle and Tecumseh.

Let those words sink in — untested chemical agent, and drinking water. So much for the health unit’s celebrated adherence to scientific discipline.

Disturbingly, the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Public Health Branch has known for 20 years that artificial fluoridation is an unnecessary risk. It commissioned a review on the benefits and risks of water fluoridation that states, “Canadian studies do not provide systematic evidence that water fluoridation is effective in reducing decay in contemporary child populations. The few studies of communities where fluoridation has been withdrawn do not suggest significant increases in dental caries as a result.”

There is no dispute that fluoride comes from a variety of sources and its toxicity is rated higher than lead. An obstetrician informed me decades ago that about half of all fluoride consumed is stored in the body where it adds no value.

Proponents of artificial fluoridation recklessly say dilution will somehow make it safe to ingest. Don’t grains of sand eventually make a beach?

And what of the arsenic that is found in every batch of HFSA? A 2014 cost-benefit analysis in the journal Environmental Science & Policy concluded the U.S. would save $1 billion to $5 billion annually in cancer treatment costs if artificial fluoridation was achieved using sodium fluoride.

The downside? Sodium fluoride is 12 times the cost of HFSA. If Windsor made the switch, the cost of the delivery agent alone would increase to $1.2 million annually, from the $105,000 price tag of (untested) HFSA.

And don’t forget, 98 per cent of it all goes down the drain. Much of it without ever passing over our teeth and gums.

In addition, the health unit claimed — based on a survey repeatedly parroted by proponents of artificial fluoridation — that four out of five area residents support the practice. The survey asked, “Do you support or oppose adding fluoride to public drinking water when the natural amount is too low to help prevent tooth decay?”

Respondents were given three choices — support, oppose, and “don’t know.” Of the 1,427 adults surveyed, 1,289 responded; of these, 64 per cent expressed support, 18 per cent did not, and another 18 per cent checked “don’t know.”

That’s 825 people who support artificial fluoridation, or three out of five.

I sincerely hope council doesn’t consider this informed consent! Informed consent would be worded more honestly, “Do you support adding an untested, synthetic agent to deliver a substance classified as a developmental neurotoxin to your drinking water for the purpose of saving, at best, one cavity over a lifetime of consumption?”

Decision-makers need to remember, we aren’t taking fluoride away from those who want it. There are still low levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the water, while brushing with dollar-store toothpaste will increase salivary fluoride levels for several hours.

For those who believe artificial fluoridation is a social justice issue, they could not be more wrong. Artificial fluoridation poses risks to those who are most vulnerable — residents with compromised immune systems, or impaired thyroid and kidney function, as well as infants and the developing fetus.

Now more than ever, it is the most fiscally, ethically and scientifically inappropriate time to consider the reintroduction of artificial fluoridation.

Not only are there legal challenges in Canada and the U.S., the latest science about neurological harm alone should stop this antiquated practice in its tracks.

Donna Jean Mayne, Fluoride-Free Windsor Essex

*Original article online at https://windsorstar.com/opinion/columnists/guest-column-its-wrong-in-many-ways-for-windsor-to-add-fluoride