Fluoride Action Network

Hernando: Florida County Votes Down Fluoridation

Source: Australian Popular Science | February 28th, 2014 | By Douglas Main
Location: United States, Florida

Well it had to happen somewhere eventually, right? The decision was made after a hearing in which commissioners listened to comments from local residents, as stated by the Tampa Bay Times:

They described health risks they believed to be associated with fluoride, ranging from a tooth condition called fluorosis to renal failure and bone problems. They called the substance poison and quoted various medical studies that attributed low intelligence to fluoridated water.

A dentist made arguments in favor of fluoride:

Later in the meeting, a presentation on the merits of fluoridation was made by pediatric dentist Johnny Johnson of Palm Harbor. Johnson, who has led efforts to fluoridate public water supplies in other Florida communities, talked about how serious tooth decay can be.

He maintained that fluoride in the water cuts tooth decay by 25 percent, and that while in a perfect world everyone would care for their and their children’s teeth, “sadly, this is not a perfect world.”

However, the county health department offers a program to give dental care to low-income residents, said Jim Intzen, an opponent of fluoridation, so “it is a fallacy that low-income people don’t have access to affordable care,” as noted in Hernando Today.

Almost all health groups, including the CDC – which calls fluoridation one of the top 10 public health interventions of the 20th century – are pro-fluoridation. But there seems to be growing opposition to the practice. It was recently rejected in communities as diverse as Portland, Ore., Wichita, Kan., and Davis, Calif., for example. It was also voted out of the water last month in Wellington, Fla.

Some opponents cite dubious and/or crazy claims for their position, such as the person who in this case said that “Adolf Hitler used fluoride to poison Jews in concentration camps.”

But most opponents at least claim to root their position in science. Many cite a 2012 study in Environmental Health Perspectives which found that on average, children growing up in areas with high fluoride concentrations (mostly in China) had IQs that were seven points lower than those in low fluoride areas. One of the researchers in that study just co-authored a new study published online this month in Lancet Neurology which argues that fluoride (amongst five other chemicals) should be classified as a developmental neurotoxin.