Fluoride in the Water




Water fluoridation is the adding of chemical fluoride to public water supplies, for the sole purpose of reducing cavities and tooth decay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), two-thirds of American water sources have fluoride in the water.

Fluoride

Fluoride is an ionic compound which contains fluorine, a naturally occurring chemical found in rocks. According to the CDC, 90 percent of the fluoride added to public water comes from silicofluorides, which are chemicals produced as byproducts from the manufacturer of phosphate fertilizers. Fluorine is added to public water supplies at an average concentration of 1 part per million (1 ppm). Fluorine is found naturally in surface waters depending on the location, but are generally low to about 0.3 ppm.

Tooth enamel is primarily made up of hydroxylapatite, which is a crystal composed of calcium, phosphorus, hydrogen, and oxygen. By replacing the hydroxyl molecule on hydroxylapatite, fluoride binds to the tooth enamel and makes the tooth more resistant to acid attacks caused by bacteria. It’s not completely clear as to exactly how much fluoride protects teeth.

Tooth decay, when left untreated can lead to serious health problems such as infections which can spread to the jaw. It is interesting to note, that tooth decay has declined in the United States since fluoridation began. However, it has also declined in other countries which do not fluoridate their water as well. The water fluoridation process is listed as one of the top 10 most important public health measures of the 20th century, and is endorsed by the American Medical Association, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Dental Association.

Water fluoridation was introduced in the early 1940s, and since then it has been under tremendous scrutiny from opponents. While pro-fluoridation supporters say that the process is “safe and effective” for reducing tooth decay, mostly for poor children. During the 1950s and 1960s, the opposition suggested that fluoridation of the water was a communist plot to undermine public health. Also, stating that by putting fluoride in the water denotes an unethical form of mass medication, without each individuals consent or knowledge. Fluoride opposition have cited studies showing that with just low levels of fluoride, cases have been linked to numerous health problems like thyroid disorders, bone fractures, and impaired brain development and function.

The most evident health effect of excessive fluoride exposure is dental fluorosis, which is the alteration of the appearance of the tooth. Mild exposure includes white streaks on the tooth enamel, and severe exposure can include brown stains, pits, and broken enamel. According to numbers from the CDC, 41 percent of kids aged 12 to 15 had some form of dental fluorosis. In 2007, the British Medical Journal stated that “there have been no randomized trials of water fluoridation”, which is a standard for all drugs administered to the public.

Fluoride is without a doubt toxic at certain levels, but the CDC states that the concentration which is currently added to water, around 1ppm, is safe. A study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal found a correlation between high fluoride levels found in drinking water in China, and children with lower IQs. The paper observed results of 27 different studies, 26 of which found a link between high-fluoride drinking water and lower IQ. There was a 7-point IQ difference between high and low fluoride exposure areas.

There are many questions regarding the disbursing of fluoride to the populace in the public water supply as a means of reducing tooth decay. While fluoride may appear to offer some positive attributes, is it enough to overlook the negative aspects? Perhaps the lower IQ, and weakened health of the public would be a significant factor in attaining the communist takeover of America.