Linda Young, professor of pediatrics at the UMass Medical School, published a commentary in the current issue of Worcester Medicine endorsing water fluoridation that is filled with half-truths, and misleading advice.
Most distressing, are her errors of omission. The main reason to reject fluoridation in 2021 is because fluoride has been found to be a developmental neurotoxicant that can reduce the IQ of children and increase rates of learning disabilities. Some of this research was even published in her own profession’s journal (see August 2019 issue of JAMA Pediatrics 173: 940). The U.S. National Toxicology Program wrote in 2020 that based on the strength and consistency of evidence from multiple sources fluoride “is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans.”
Instead, Dr. Young refers to water fluoridation as a “top public health achievement.” This half-truth ignores the fact that fluoridation has been deliberately rejected by almost all the countries of Europe and that there are tens of millions of people around the world who are desperately trying to remove fluoride from their drinking water because it sickens them at concentrations our Environmental Protection Agency claims is safe.
For the City of Worcester or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to mandate water fluoridation at this late date would be the height of irresponsibility and failed leadership.
Michael F. Dolan, PhD