Re: The fluoride debate: ‘I know what I saw,’ by Anne Jarvis, March 1.

As an environmentalist, organic farmer and believer of informed consent, I have several reasons for opposing fluoridation chemicals in drinking water but after reading Anne Jarvis’ opinion piece about dental anecdotes I thought it important that the public know the reality for people like me, who suffer kidney disease.

I have polycystic kidney disease. This is an inherited disease that results in compromised kidney function. Fluoride is a toxin and drinking water with added fluoride puts a strain on my kidneys. When kidney disease patients swallow fluoride, it accumulates in our bodies more so than someone with kidneys that work properly. Ingesting fluoride means it will build up in my bones and make them more brittle as I age, increasing my risk for hip fractures and more.

Fluoride is easy to find and cheap to buy in toothpaste for those who want it. It doesn’t make sense to add something to the drinking water so that it becomes unsafe for some members of the community.

Bottled water is not affordable and not environmentally friendly. I already pay for municipal drinking water from my tap — though I and others needing to avoid fluoride should not be burdened with finding and paying for an alternative source of drinking water.

One in 10 people suffer kidney disease, according to the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Kidney disease sufferers are encouraged to drink large amounts of water.

It is ironic, this public health policy of fluoridating a water supply to target a group of people that can’t afford dental health care, while ignoring another group of people who will be harmed. This segment of society deserves the same equitable access to safe drinking water as everyone else, without the harm to their kidneys and overall health. Water is needed for life, fluoride is not.

Lesley Labbe, Ruthven

*Original letter online at