An important discussion is going on in Portsmouth and it’s less about the science of whether fluoridation of the water is good or bad for our health and more about the choice of individual citizens of Portsmouth as to whether they want the fluoridation of their water imposed upon them.
I’ve read with interest the comments of several people who cite approval by the CDC or statistics about the percentage of folks here or there being fluoridated as if that were proof of its efficacy.
I could recite the very high percentage of people in most of Europe who are not fluoridating their water where the incidence of dental caries, or tooth decay, per 100,000 people is not significantly different than here in the USA.
This would suggest that there are many factors that contribute to the incidence of dental disease. It is very clear from the science that while fluoride applied directly to our teeth has proven value there are a growing number of well-designed studies showing adverse effects of ingested fluoride.
Additionally, the source of fluoride used by municipalities is of low grade (i.e., cheaper), not regulated by the FDA or EPA and most municipalities don’t even monitor the dose of fluoride in their drinking water. In regards to this last issue, a 2006 review by the National Academy of Sciences expressed deep concern over the potential of municipalities to over-fluoridate their waters and the potential for adverse effects, especially for children.
The report also said there is insufficient evidence that ingested fluoride causes cancer and described the evidence as “tentative at best,” with some studies showing a link and others showing no link.
That’s good enough for me to look into it!
Citizens have every right to be at least concerned about the potential for adverse effects. But most important, and the point of this contribution, is that every citizen in Portsmouth has the right of informed consent and a choice as to whether they want their water to contain fluoride or not.
The “filing” of the letter of concern by the Portsmouth City council is irresponsible and they should reverse their decision and obtain up-to-date information on the subject in order to make a more informed decision.
Or in other words — do your job!