Re: Letter to the editor, Monday, Dec. 26, 2010 [sic] UTM weighs in on debate on fluoride.

Dr. Sigal, I, too, reside in Halton, and I agree with you that the fluoridation debate is all about the health of the future children of Halton and its communities.

Fluoride has the capacity to injure children, in ways immediate, and in subtle ways that can damage the body over decades.

As you indicate, the public should be able to place its trust in the academic community. You imply, however, that the whole of the academic community is supportive of fluoridation. That is not the case.

There are many skillful academics who have conducted, and continue to conduct, studies examining the effects of fluoride exposure, and those academics loudly warn of the hazards of fluoridation.

A recognizable body of these other academics would be the 12 selected scientists who were assembled by the National Academy of Sciences to review all of the existing literature on fluoride safety.

After more than three years of painstaking analysis, they produced the 2006 NAS report, Toxicological Risk of Fluoride in Drinking Water.

Their report was very skeptical of the claims that fluoridation is both ‘safe and effective’.

Those academics warned of serious issues with fluoride safety, citing concerns about fluoride’s links to bone and soft tissue cancers, hypothyroidism, Alzheimer-like symptoms, and IQ deficits just to mention the short list.

Their report urged that more research get underway quickly to closely explore all of those apparent risks.

You wrote of “… experts in the field strongly in support of water fluoridation ….”

Let’s examine who qualifies as an ‘expert in the field’ by first identifying the field in question.

The ‘field’ is the examination of possible biological effects if you swallow fluoride.

Whose area of expertise includes that study? No Faculty of Dentistry has in its curriculum the study of biological effects of ingested fluoride. Many dentists have independently sought that knowledge, and several have become pre-eminent authorities on the effects of fluoride. Those dentists would be ‘experts in this field’.

Getting back to trust in the academic community, we encourage that esteemed body to help unveil one toxicological study that would prove the chemicals being added to your water are, in fact, safe for use.

Many have the impression that water fluoridation is accomplished using a natural product (calcium fluoride). The academic community should help clarify that Halton residents are being ‘protected’ instead by a remarkably toxic industrial waste byproduct called hydrofluorosilicic acid.

In the 60-plus years this chemical has been added to drinking water, no government or health authority on either side of the border has conducted a legitimate toxicological test to prove it safe.

And we risk the use of this chemical to save our children, statistically, six tenths of one cavity in their lifetime. We, who oppose fluoridation, are worried about bodily injuries far worse than a non-critical cavity.

We are not worried about any sudden spike in cavities when fluoridation ends. Many communities that have ended fluoridation report a continued downward trend in cavities, the result of generally better oral hygiene.

When fluoridation ends, so ends the cause of much of the dental fluorosis that places Halton children into dentist chairs for expensive veneers.