The Fluoride Debate

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

HISTORY/
ENVIRONMENT

CENSORSHIP

THE FLUORIDE
DEBATE

BENEFITS
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Question 4
Question 5
Question 6
Question 7
Question 8

ALTERNATIVES
Question 9
Question 10
Question 11
Question 12


SAFETY
Question 13
Question 14

OVERDOSE
Question 15
Question 16
Question 17

DISEASES
Question 18
Question 19
Question 20
Question 21
Question 22
Question 23
Question 24
Question 25
Question 26
Question 27
Question 28
Question 29
Question 30
Question 31
Question 32
Question 33

PUBLIC
POLICY

Question 34
Question 35
Question 36
Question 37
Question 38
Question 39
Question 40

COST
EFFECTIVENESS
Question 41
Question 42
Question 43

CONCLUSION

BENEFITS

Question 2.
What is water fluoridation?

ADA's Fluoridation Facts Short Answer
Water fluoridation is the adjustment of the natural fluoride concentration of fluoride-deficient water to the level recommended for optimal dental health.

ADA's Fluoridation Facts Long Answer
Based on extensive research, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) established the optimum concentration for fluoride in the water in the United States in the range of 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. This range effectively reduces tooth decay while minimizing the occurrence of dental fluorosis. The optimum level is dependent on the annual average of the maximum daily air temperature in the geographic area.
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One milligram per liter (mg/L) is identical to one part per million (ppm). At 1 ppm, one part of fluoride is diluted in a million parts of water. Large numbers such as a million can be difficult to visualize. While not exact, the following comparisons can be of assistance in comprehending one part per million:

  • 1 inch in 16 miles
  • 1 minute in 2 year
  • 1 cent in $10,000

Repeat of Question 2.
What is water fluoridation?

Opposition's Response

Water fluoridation is the process of adding siliocofluorides, or sodium fluoride, to our drinking water. The toxicity chart shows that sodium fluoride is more toxic than lead, and almost as toxic as arsenic. July of 1987, the maximum contaminant level (MCL) allowed in U.S. drinking water for arsenic was 50 parts per billion (ppb), lead was 15 ppb (as of 12/92) and fluoride was recently changed to 4,000 ppb, which is equal to 4ppm. (See 2-1: Is the 1 part per million /L fluoride suggested for water a small amount?, LD50 data., R. E. Gosselin et al, Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products. 5th ed., 1984. Also,"EPA/NSF Standard 60," U.S. EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL), July 1987).

On December 7, 1992, the new Environment Protection Agency Lead and Copper Rule went into effect. It sets the MCL for lead at 0.015 ppm, with a goal of 0.0 ppm. Fluoride falls into the same high toxicity range as lead, and, like lead, fluoride is an accumulative poison. Nevertheless, the MCL currently set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (management, not their scientists) for fluoride is now 4.0 ppm — 267 times the permissible lead level. It was changed from 2.0 ppm to 4.0 ppm without any new evidence showing it to be safe at that level. This allowed some water districts to use water supplies that would otherwise be considered too toxic, and allowed fluoridators to claim a greater margin of safety. The ADA states that the "optimum fluoride level" is 1.0 ppm. Even that is 67 times the MCL of lead, and fluoride is the more toxic of the two elements. How could that be considered "a small amount" — or safe?

On May 24, 2000, the EPA proposed stricter rules for arsenic. They wanted to lower the limit on arsenic from 50 ppb to 5 ppb, and environmentalists advocate 3 ppb, saying the agency was accepting unusually high cancer risks if they set it at 5 ppb. (See 2-2: "EPA proposes stricter rules for arsenic levels in water supplies," San Diego Union Tribune.)

On Jan. 17, 2001, the EPA ordered that allowable levels of arsenic be reduced by 80%. They had proposed 5 ppb, but settled for 10 ppb. (See 2-3: "EPA Orders Sharp Reduction in Arsenic Levels in Drinking Water," H. Josef Hebert, Associated Press). The EPA's Maximum Contaminant Level Official Goal (MCLG), however, is now 0 ppm for arsenic as well as lead, yet silicofluorides (industrial waste) which contain some of both are still being added to our water supply.

As Michael Connett stated:


"Based upon the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF International) testing data, we can now expect that certain batches of fluoridation chemicals will have arsenic levels that exceed the Maximum Allowable Level of arsenic that a water supplier can add to the water. The NSF admitted as much in its letter to the Florida Department of Health. In its letter, the NSF stated that if the MCL for arsenic was lowered, 'future tests of fluoridation chemicals may result in increased product failures.' As noted above, the NSF has already found samples of fluosilicic acid which add 1.66 parts per billion of arsenic to the water. These samples will now be what the NSF termed 'product failures', i.e., they have too much arsenic in them to add to water."

"The question we now need to ask is: can we rely on the NSF and water treatment companies to detect the "product failures" before they are dumped into our water?"

"The answer: Most likely not."

Since 1992, the NSF has done relatively little testing of fluoridation chemicals. In its letter to the Department of Health, the NSF stated that 'the exact number of laboratory tests performed is not readily available, but these products have been tested more than 100 times.' More than 100 times, however, is barely adequate when considering the hundreds of thousands of barrels of fluosilicic acid which have been dumped into the water over the past 8 years. (See "Fluoridation & Arsenic: Implications of EPA's New Regulations," Michael Connett, Jan. 19, 2000, www.fluoridealert.org.

Former Head of EPA's Headquarters Union, Dr. Robert Carton, had this to say about the arsenic/fluoridation issue: "I think the real question is: can anyone knowingly add ANY amount of a carcinogen (to the water supply). The MCL is meant to reduce the amount already existing in the water supply, not to allow more to be added."

The FDA says there is no proof that fluoride is safe or effective, and that it is a drug, not a mineral nutrient. Therefore, water cannot be "fluoride-deficient," as the ADA statement above claims.

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