After reading your editorial calling for a fluoride debate, I want to stress the health benefits of fluoride in drinking water and assure those living in Peel Region that rumours about fluoride’s negative health impacts are false.
Fluoridation has been called a public health triumph because it improves the dental health of patients across the social spectrum.
Anyone who has had serious dental problems knows the health significance and pain they cause.
In this province, like many other places, there is a strict limit to the concentration of fluoride that can be added to municipal water systems.
That fluoride concentration standard is based on the maximum benefit to teeth, while at the same time preventing any ill effects.
Fluoridating water is especially beneficial to those who may not be able to find dental care elsewhere, including children, new immigrants and those in lower socio-economic groups.
These groups benefit greatly by the addition of fluoride to the drinking water and by other public health efforts to lessen certain health disparities.
Communities across Ontario benefit from the very small amount of fluoride added to the drinking water.
We hope residents and the Region of Peel will base any future decision on the medical research that is available.
Stewart Kennedy, MD
Ontario Medical Association
Response from Dr. Hardy Limeback BSc, PhD, DDS
I am concerned about Dr. Kennedy’s letter to the editor, especially since he represents the Ontario Medical Association. He says “ that rumours about fluoride’s negative health impacts are false.” They are not rumours. Medical doctors know little about chronic fluoride toxicity and almost nothing about the dental effects of fluoride. They are simply re-stating what dental organizations claim. In fact, there are numerous peer-reviewed published studies to show fluoridation increases the prevalence and severity dental fluorosis (tooth mottling). Approximately one in every 8th child seeks costly dental treatment for fluorosis. It is a side effect that causes psychological and emotional stress, not to mention stress on the family’s dental bills. What is Peel saving in terms of dental decay by fluoridating every single person? Maybe one filling for every 5th young adult. This after 20 years of fluoridation! It no longer makes financial sense to fluoridate. To compound matters, paediatricians continued to dole out fluoride supplements to young children in fluoridated cities and caused even more fluorosis than necessary. All this has been published but conveniently ignored by the medical profession that continues to support policy rather than present its own ‘medical research “ that Dr. Kennedy says is there. Please Dr. Kennedy, provide the ‘medical’ evidence.