Fluoride Action Network

Tennessee: Fluoride issue back on table?

Source: The Wilson Post | March 13th, 2013 | By Sabrina Garrett

District 57 State Rep. Susan Lynn says in a newsletter the public may have an opportunity to vote on the fluoridation of community water if an upcoming proposed bill passes – and after listing possible side effects from over-consuming fluoride – hopes those citizens will vote with caution if such a project is presented.

The Wilson Post reported in a January 2010 article that the City of Lebanon stopped fluoridating its water supply with powdered sodium silica fluoride in 2007; however, in an article from May 2012 it was reported that dentist Dr. Chad Williams was igniting a campaign to once again add fluoride to the local water supply. City of Lebanon officials in 2012 determined not to change its water filtration and purification process, which remains without any added fluoride.

Williams had stated that while he has been aware of the benefits of fluoride in the public water supply, he was reminded of the importance of the process in an article published by the American Dental Association. He said that the ADA pointed out that over the past few decades, tooth decay has been reduced dramatically and that fluoride was the key reason.

“Many people are misinformed about fluoride and fluoridation. Fluoride is like any other nutrient; it is safe and effective when used appropriately,” he said, in the article.

During an interview on Tuesday, Williams said he stands by the information he offered last year in the article.

“All the local dentists and pediatricians agree that there should be fluoridated drinking water in a community,” he said, adding that it gets topically applied to both children and adult teeth.

Williams sparked the campaign after seeing the increase in decay among many patients “who weren’t typically people who had decay – and I attribute it to the lack of fluoride in the drinking water.

“People who live outside of Lebanon had less decay. We have a third-world water system,” he said, tongue-in-cheek. “I can’t really prove that. It is more of a joke, but our water system is second rate compared to other cities. Seventy-six percent of all Americans have fluoridated water. Cities like Phoenix, Ariz., and Portland, Ore., have added fluoride to their water – and those are bigger cities with unlimited budgets to do research.”

In addition, other professional groups, such as the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, said community water fluoridation is an effective, safe and inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay.

Lynn noted in her newsletter that “anyone can understand that a one-dose-size-fills-all approach for any medication is irresponsible – and it is simply never done – except with fluoride.

“Fluoride is hazardous,” she warned. “Yet we add it to water and then consume as much or as little as we like, never considering if we are receiving too much. Water utilities, not doctors, do this without any authority or directive from the federal or state governments. Although they receive training on how to add the fluoride to the water – the utilities have no idea of the medical history of each individual drinking the water and no one is monitored for effects after consumption.”

Lynn noted that the public is already exposed to fluoride in food and drinks consumed, in skin care products and in fluoridated water “we bathe in every day. In short, there is simply no saying how much fluoride we are exposed to.”

She provided statistics gathered from the 1984 edition of the Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, which said that fluoride is “slightly less poisonous than arsenic, and it is more poisonous than lead.”

Health issues including fluorosis, arthritis and osteosarcoma were also listed as possible side effects related to the consumption of too much fluoride.

“The ADA and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) in 2006 issued a warning that baby formula should not be made with fluoridated water but many mothers do not know this – and even those that do can’t easily avoid it without expense. People undergoing kidney dialysis should not drink fluoridated water but many do not know or cannot obtain non-fluoridated water,” she added.

Lynn was unavailable for additional comment on Tuesday due to a committee meeting at the State Legislature – see the Friday, March 15, edition of The Wilson Post for an update.