Fluoridated Water ‘debate’ returns. Nothing new is said

Since moving to my adopted city of Kitchener, Ontario last month, I’ve come to love the park lands, downtown market, and rich German culture.  I love this city a great deal, but I’ve not had a lot of time to learn the political culture, and what level of pseudo-science is prevalent around here.  So I was a bit disappointed to learn that the decades old invented controversy of water fluoridation is alive and well, and will be the subject of an Oct 25 referendum asking, “Should the Region of Waterloo fluoridate your municipal water?

As always when dealing with pseudo science, the arguments are old, tiresome, and thin.  I’ll be addressing the most common ones in this article to hopefully restore a modicum of sanity to this banal issue.  Can we please take a moment and truly analyze some these arguments we’re hearing?

FLUORIDATED WATER WILL HURT YOU!

Pictured: "Discourse"

No, it won’t.  This has been one of the most well studied public health measures in the modern era, and the evidence of safety is well documented, both in the short and long-term.

The University of Toronto published this piece titled, The long-term effects of water fluoridation on the human skeleton, just one of several hundred studies that demonstrate long-term safety.  What I like about this paper is that the authors expected to find an effect where, “municipalities with and without fluoridated water would reveal a relationship between fluoride content and structural or mechanical properties of bone”. However, honest scientific rigour revealed that there appeared to be no causal link, and the variables are too numerous to be able to conclusively attribute to water fluoridation.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of studies that show how safe water fluoridation is.

FLUORIDE IN THE WATER DOESN’T HELP!

Yes it does.  Australian researchers published a recent study comparing municipal water supplies with and without fluoride. Accounting for age, geographical location, socioeconomic status (SES), the researchers found that incidence of caries (tooth decay) “was 28.7% and 31.6% higher, respectively, in low-fluoride areas compared with optimally fluoridated areas.” As with the safety issue, there are studies aplenty in support of fluoridation efficacy.

IT’S TOO EXPENSIVE!

The cost of fluoridating the water equals to roughly $0.94 per person annually (1, 2).  Compare that to the cost of a typical dentist visit, which can range from $40 for a filling, $200 for an extraction (3) to $1200 for a root canal (4).  Remember, the incidence of tooth decay drops by around 30% because of fluoridated water.

In addition, we know about countless other far more serious health issues directly related to tooth decay, such as heart disease, oral cancer, and diabetes.  Consider the cost that these diseases will incur on the health care system and affected families.  Fluoride in the water will not drastically cut back incidences of these diseases, but it will reduce them a little.  For $0.94 per person/year, that seems worth it to me.

IT INFRINGES ON MY RIGHTS!

The *ahem* ‘argument‘ goes like this: “Medicine should be a free choice that people undertake!  Forcing a medicinal treatment onto the masses is unethical”

Presumably, these same people who make this thin argument are also against vaccinations or jumping in a chlorinated swimming pool. I wonder if they’re also against the added iodine in our salt, the added niacin in our bread,  the added calcium in our milk and fruit juice, or any other fortified foodstuffs that are ubiquitous in our financially privileged country, but rare in most of the world.

Opponents of water fluoridation will move their goalpost a little further and say, “Why make everyone ingest the fluoride, when a trip to the dentist is much more effective anyway!”

Yes it is, and presumably these same people making the claim can also get their water from non-municipal sources just as easy. Water fluoridation is not intended to replace proper dental care (brushing, flossing, visits to the dentist), but to supplement it, and no health care professional or government official is suggesting that drinking fluoridated water is sufficient dental care.

If you’d like some actual information, and not wild speculations of conspiracy theories, mind control,  and an over powerful government acting outside its bounds, Health Canada has some helpful information about the facts of water fluoridation, as does the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  If you somehow are under the delusion that Health Canada and the CDC are under the thumb of “Big Dentist”, you can go straight to the source yourself, and do a search on PubMed, to look at the studies themselves.  It takes very little time, and the information is very clear.

Even if the motion gets defeated in the referendum, this issue will resurface in just a few years, and the arguments will be exactly the same.  Opponents of fluoridation will have learned nothing, and the only people that they will have helped would be….well, nobody.  I can’t think of anyone who would directly or indirectly benefit from fluoride being removed from our water.

In anticipation of what will doubtless be many critics of me and this post, you’re wrong.  I’m really just a shill for Big Periodic Table of Elements.


**UPDATE** Oct 26, 11:23 am EST**

The referendum answered “no” to the question, “Should the Region of Waterloo fluoridate your municipal water?” with a slim majority of 50.3%.  I’m unaware if the 30,000+ votes cast was enough to meet quorum (i.e.: did enough people vote for it to matter?) or if the majority was an acceptable majority determined beforehand (i.e.: what majority did the council agree was necessary to implement the motion), but I can tell you a few things about these sorts of referendums:

1) Usually, municipal elections have terribly low voter turnout, so I’m doubting they made quorum.

2) Even if they did, 50.3% is such a slim majority, I find it difficult to accept (but not impossible) that any councilor will act on the referendum results, because…

3) Referendums are not binding.  They are simply ways for the government to ask the people their opinion on a certain issue, and the government is under no obligation at all to respond to the referendum results.  They are different from elections, which are legally and constitutionally binding declarations from the population.

I would like to add one little tidbit I learned last night about three cities in this region:

Kitchener does not fluoridate their water.

Cambridge does not fluoridate, but has a little bit of naturally occurring fluoride already in the water supply.

Waterloo does fluoridate.

The rates of cavities for school children in the three cities are:

  1. Kitchener – 44%
  2. Cambridge – 33%
  3. Waterloo – 32 %

If that isn’t a plain statistic that can be communicated to the public, I’m not sure I can ever notice one.

42 Responses to “Fluoridated Water ‘debate’ returns. Nothing new is said”

  1. John says:

    Some people suffer from allergy to certain inorganic fluorides. any advice for them if these are added to their water supply?

    Also, which fluoride compound are you referring to? There are many, and your article, along with the studies it cites, make little sense without this distinction.

    Finally, inverse correlation between fluoridation and dental caries has been evasive in both the UK and the US. Does a single study in Australia justify adding a medication to your water supply?

    • Steve Thoms says:

      I cannot give medical advice…not qualified to. All I did here was relay the existing scientific consensus and the government regulations that they’re built upon. I’m unaware of allergies to “certain inorganic fluorides” (could you provide a link to PubMed in support of this claim, please?).

      As to which fluoride compound, yes, there are many. The maximum safe limit determined by studies hovers at around 7 ppm, but the maximum legal limit in Canada and the US 2-4 ppm. Most water supplies have fluoride in half of this concentration, and the studies focused on existing municipal water supplies, not experimenting with levels above safe limits.

      As for your charge that “as single study in Australia…”I specifically mentioned that there were hundreds of similar studies that can be found on PubMed that support efficacy. I chose this particular “single study” because it is new and thorough, and done in a wealthy, industrialized nation. I’m not bombarding this article with dozens and dozens of links that say more or less the same thing, and you can look at the medical literature yourself.

      (It is also important to note that in the UK, they do not fluoridate their water supply, but they DO fluoridate their salt supply, in doses commensurate with that of Canada/US, so they’re getting the same levels of fluoride we are)

      • James says:

        I have dental fluorosis and it damages my teeth, there’s also people with skeletal fluorosis, guess what it effects…

        …and I live in the UK, they’re fluoridating it now, I thought it was going on long before you posted that comment in 2010 though…

    • Fingus says:

      Actually, fluoride occurs naturally in drinking water and government fluoridation also involves defluorifation if the natural fluoride levels are too high. They aren’t only supplementing fluoride to the water, but rather regulate it to an optimal level.

      http://books.google.com/books?id=lJ75k1GXGX8C&lpg=PP1&dq=isbn%3A9781597450294&pg=PA314#v=onepage&q&f=false

  2. daijiyobu says:

    Studies too hint that lithium in a water supply reduces suicides:

    (see http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/05/lithium-in-drinking-water-has.html ).

    So, between fluoride and lithium, a motto maybe:

    ‘live longer with teeth for longer.’

    -r.c.

  3. Jeffrey Shallit says:

    Stick around, and you’ll find KW is a veritable fountain of woo. Anti-fluoridation is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Healing magnets, Holocaust denial, creationism – they’re all to be found in abundance.

    • Chris Lane says:

      You might find accounts of Nazis putting sodium fluoride in the populations drinking water to cause calcification of the pineal gland which apparently has the effect of reducing the general populations IQ and making them more docile and less likely to challenge authority. But that would be learning from history…

      BTW, what the heck is woo?

  4. nyscof says:

    You use a University of Toronto study as proof that fluoridation is safe. Yet Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD, a co-author of that study, is vehemently opposed to fluoridation. Find out why here: http://www.fluoridealert.org/limeback.htm

    More than 3100 professionals (including over 280 dentists) urge the US Congress to stop water fluoridation citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See statement: http://www.fluorideaction.org/statement.august.2007.html

    Also, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals called for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs across the country, and have asked EPA management to recognize fluoride as posing a serious risk of causing cancer in people.

    A recent review in The Lancet describes fluoride as “an emerging neurotoxic substance” that may damage the developing brain. The National Research Council has identified fluoride as an “endocrine disrupter” that may impair thyroid function. A recent Harvard University study links fluoride to bone cancer.

    This and other little-known adverse fluoride health effects led Paul Connett, PhD to co-author, “The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics that Keep it There,” with James Beck, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of medical physics, University of Alberta and Spedding Micklem, DPhil, professor emeritus at Edinburgh University.

    A new study confirms infants fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water are at greater risk of developing discolored teeth (dental fluorosis).

    Pediatrician Dr. Yolanda Whyte says, “Approximately half of the newborns and infants I see in practice are fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, which I find alarming since the blood-brain barrier is not even developed until 6 months of age, placing these young infants at risk for neurotoxic effects that can be severe and permanent. Parents should be warned not to give fluoridated water to babies and children, and they should know that fluoride is also present in juice and other water-reconstituted beverages. I diagnose dental fluorosis on average 5 times daily, but fluoride doesn’t only affect teeth, it can potentially affect the brain and nervous system, kidneys, bones, and other tissues in young children during their critical stages of organ development. A public awareness campaign is urgently needed.”

    Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, says, “Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It’s really obsolete.”

    • Steve Thoms says:

      “You use a University of Toronto study as proof that fluoridation is safe” No, I used the UofT study as ONE article….one among hundreds that I could have chosen. I specifically mentioned that there were hundreds, if not thousands of similar papers.

      “Yet Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD, a co-author of that study, is vehemently opposed to fluoridation” Look at the dates of the two pieces. The link you provided was 10 years ago. The study I linked to was published 4 weeks ago. It seems that Dr Limeback went into a study with a preconceived notion, and was proven wrong. I respect that honesty. Whether or not he remains anti-fluoridation in the long run remains to be seen.

      “More than 3100 professionals (including over 280 dentists) urge the US Congress to stop water fluoridation citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks”
      According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are over 150,000 licensed dentists in the United States. So your number of 280 is about 1 percent of all dentists in the United States. Not impressive.

      As for the rest of the signees, your “professionals” ammounted to some PhD (with no information what their doctorate is even in), some MDs, some nurses, some naturopaths, some chiropractors, and some homeopaths. This is laughably unimpressive.

      You have to provide better links than to an anti-fluoride activist page. No newspaper articles either. Point me to a convincing *body* of *scientific* evidence (PubMed would be a great start), or you’ve got no case. And lest you charge that you’re not going to do my “homework” for me (which I hear often by opponents of science that wander here in support of their pet cause), remember this: Water fluoridation is standard of care now. YOU have to provide the evidence that is making your claim.

      Also, appealing to the authority of a Nobel Prize winner is not an appropriate way to argue.

      • Jason Loxton says:

        Steve, actually, it five times is worse than that. Using your statistics, less than 1/5th of 1% (0.18%) of US dentists are signatories!!!

        And the rest?

        Well, the American Dental Association says this:

        “The American Dental Association continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association’s position since policy was first adopted in 1950. The ADA’s policies regarding community water fluoridation are based on the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed, credible scientific evidence. The ADA, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state and local agencies to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation.”

      • Jason Loxton says:

        Oh, and they have helpfully put together a 72 page resource on the subject, with 350 scientific citations! It is free, and here: http://www.ada.org/sections/professionalResources/pdfs/fluoridation_facts.pdf

        Note that dentists have a reverse profit incentive here: More cavities would equal more money for them! That they are still pro-fluoridation makes their position even more meaningful.

  5. Mike Macki says:

    When I lived there 20 years ago, Kitchener, and I am not kidding about this, had an anual L. Ron Hubbard day. Is this still happening?

  6. M says:

    During the 1980s, the elementary school that I attended participated in a fluoride treatment program. Each day, students were made to rinse their mouths with a cup of red fluid containing fluoride. The water in my community was also fluoridated. Today, I suffer from dental fluorosis. My teeth have been irreparably damaged by overexposure to fluoride.

    My opinion of water fluoridation is not based on any specific scientific studies, but on my personal experience with dental fluorosis, and on the opinions of the several medical and dental professionals who have diagnosed my condition.

    Reading this article made me furious. You are not a skeptic. Your beliefs regarding water fluoridation are clearly biased. While you do cite some research in support of your beliefs, your primary tool to discredit those who would disagree with you is ridicule. You portray your opponents as irrational conspiracy theorists. Sir, it is you whose irrationality is on display here.

    An unbiased and rational person would, after considering the facts, conclude that water fluoridation if not justifiable. While some level of fluoride exposure to the teeth has been shown to reduce the incidence of tooth decay, overexposure has been shown to cause permanent damage to the teeth and in fact has the opposite of the intended effect. The tooth decay preventing action of fluoride comes from contact with the surface area of the teeth. No benefit has been shown from the ingestion of fluoride, and it is far more likely that ingesting fluoride has a negative effect on the body than a positive or no effect. Finally, proper dental hygiene and a healthy diet is all that we need in order to maintain our dental health throughout our lifetime.

    Steve Thoms: “In anticipation of what will doubtless be many critics of me and this post, you’re wrong.”
    The above sentence perfectly illustrates your irrational bias. I urge you to research the meaning of skepticism.

    • Steve Thoms says:

      @ “M”

      I cite studies. You cite your personal experience. I fail to see how this makes me “biased” and you the exemplar of rational discussion.

      If you can conclusively demonstrate that your dental fluorosis is a) genuine and b) caused by the rinsing of fluoride (which I also took as a kid in the 80s’s), you might have a case. If you can reproduce your data several thousand times (or point me to several thousand studies to overturn the decades of studies showing safety, efficacy, and cost efficiency), I will happily write another piece updating the new data.

      You say that “My opinion of water fluoridation is not based on any specific scientific studies, but on my personal experience with dental fluorosis” And yet, I am the biased one here?

      I said time and time again in this post and the comment thread. There are thousands of studies that show that this is work, and the best people can counter with is personal stories and a small handful of experts that disagree.

      You need to do better then that.

    • Steve Thoms says:

      Forgot to mention…

      “While some level of fluoride exposure to the teeth has been shown to reduce the incidence of tooth decay, overexposure has been shown to cause permanent damage to the teeth and in fact has the opposite of the intended effect”

      Fine, but nowhere did I say that overexposure to fluoride is safe. The amount of fluoride in the water supply is very low (again, read the statistics, which I link you to in the article), and this part of your retort is a straw man.

      I address every single one of your arguments in my piece. I’m not certain that you actually read it, despite your insistence that it made you “furious”.

  7. Curious says:

    Weren’t mercury fillings considered safe in small amounts? History seems to have a nasty way of repeating itself. But like that I guess you think we should wait until people are dropping dead before acknowledging there’s an issue.

    • Steve Thoms says:

      Toothpaste was once also considered safe in small amounts, when used topically. And it still is. Historical examples are one thing, but chemistry and biology are another.

      So until you can show how mercury filings and the extremely low concentrations of fluoride in drinking water is *exactly* the same (ie, it does not bio accumulate in low doses), all you are doing is appealing to history, not science. I think we can do better then to say what it is ‘like’, and start saying what it ‘is.’

  8. Curious says:

    Doesn’t flouride like mercury also accumulate in the body?

  9. Ian Chadwick says:

    “More than 3100 professionals (including over 280 dentists) urge the US Congress to stop water fluoridation citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks.”

    Coming from a country where 40-50% of the populace still believes in creationism, I’m not surprised that fluoridation creates fear among some Americans. Science in general seems to do so, but fluoridation is still linked in the USA to red scare myths of the 1950s. If you support it, you must be a commie. A liberal! Or the worst of all, an Obama supporter! Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!

    Are 280 dentists out of tens of thousands a significant percentage? And what sort of “professionals” are the rest? My neighbour calls himself a “professional roofer.” TV ads talk about the “pros” at franchise hardware stores. Lawyers and my accountants have professions – but are they qualified to speak about health and science?

  10. MK says:

    It amazes me how people like to comfort themselves about the obvious betrayals by our government. You, sir, need to do more research. The movement to push fluoride on people started, according to some fairly smart scientists at the Oakridge facility in Tennessee, when the US was developing the atomic bomb. They used huge amounts of FREON (fluorine gas) to cool the reaction chambers. This gas vented and got into the local water and earth as fluoride. The government officials who did not want to have to pay huge damages to anybody began to publicize the idea that fluoride was GOOD FOR YOU…despite the fact that the NAZIs gave it to their camp inhabitants to shut down menstruation and induce indifference.

    If you do some searches, you will find that the government was sued by farmers whose cattle became sick and infertile from the fluoride/fluorine.

    Furthermore, the original “studies” were really more anecdotal accounts that over time have proven to be utter crap. FLUORIDE DOESN’T HELP THE TEETH, IT ACTUALLY WEAKENS THEM BY CAUSING CRYSTALLINE STRUCTURES TO FORM IN THEM. The fluoride used in drinking water is not even from “biological sources” such as rocks as the fluoride referenced in the original anecdotes was. It is a byproduct of either fertilizer or pesticide manufacture. It is a sodium fluoride as opposed the calcium admixtures of fluoride found in rocks.

    There are 18 news studies in India and China that demonstrate that fluoride in the water causes a variety of bad symptoms from thyroid and kidney problems to LOWERED IQs among children. Those studies have been repeated in Brazil and several European countries.

    LOOK AT YOUR TOOTHPASTE TUBE, CHUM, THE AMERICAN DENTAL ASSOCIATION HAS BEGUN SAYING NOT TO LET CHILDREN SWALLOW TOOTHPASTE WITH FLUORIDE. Pediatricians are beginning to say that babies should not be fed formula mixed with fluoridated tap water.

    MK

    • Art Tricque says:

      No mention anywhere of concentration or amounts of fluoride? No. No references backing up any of the assertions? No. Mandatory reference to scary things like nuclear programmes, government cover-ups, Nazis and pesticides? Yes.

    • Steve Thoms says:

      Yes…..swallowing fluoride is bad. No one denies that (even typing in all caps). But as with all toxins, toxicity is determined by dose, and in the extremely low concentrations that we find in drinking water, fluoride is perfectly harmless…even to children and the immuno-compromised.

      High levels of fluoride is dangerous. Low doses is harmless. You say that I need to do my research, and yet this article of mine is loaded with links to relevant (read: non-conspiratorial) studies. You might want to look at them.

      Thanks for the Nazi comment though. I usually can guess the level of discourse of my intellectual opponents when they bring up Nazis. And frequently type IN ALL CAPS.

    • So, MK, I’m sure you have actual references to the supposed Indian and Chinese studies you say exist? And the ones from Brazil and Europe, too? BTW, Steve didn’t link to anecdotes, he linked to actual studies with actual evidence..

      And you do realize that hydroxypatite, the major constituent of tooth enamel in non-fluoridated cases, is already a crystalline structure? Since you didn’t seem to know that, I’m guessing that you don’t know the mechanism by which fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.

      Further, it doesn’t matter where the fluoride ions in the drinking water come from. Whether it’s human-added sodium fluoride, fluorosilicic acid or sodium fluorosilicate, or dissolved from fluorite (CaF2), those fluoride ions are all the same. Given two units of water with the same fluoridation levels there’s no way you can tell where the fluoride came from.

      Oh, and rocks aren’t ‘”biological’ sources’. Volcanic processes are responsible for the deposits of fluorite which later dissolve.

      Even if we ignore the conspiracy theory elements of your post, it is still completely full of fail.

  11. E.L. O'Connell says:

    A music teacher? A bloody music teacher wants to tell me what he believes to be adequate research justifying the mass medication of every man, woman, and child by means of the 2nd deadliest neurotoxin known to man?
    For the love of Christ, bury your self righteous face between the lines of your treble clef where it belongs, and leave the dispensation of relevant facts to those qualified to do so.

    • Steve Thoms says:

      @E.L. O’Connell:
      Unless you are a dentist or an orthodontist, how is your comment different from my post, given your accusations that we stick to our expertise?

      My point, if you understood it, was not that I am qualified to understand/interpret the data, but merely to, as you say, “leave the dispensation of relevant facts to those qualified to do so”. This is why I link to countless studies and official statements by the professionals. Where are your links?

      Thanks for the ad hominem attack though. I’m a music teacher, so I guess I must not be able to understand these things. But I’m not sure about your “2nd deadliest neurotoxin known to man” comment. Here, let me help.

      Also, the treble clef does not have lines. Staves have lines. The treble clef is used to tell the musician what note is centered at the centre line (In treble clef, it’s “B”).

  12. Art Tricque says:

    Gosh, not another commenter who believes in imaginary deities, and who has such a poor grasp of logic and science? Who thinks that that a killer argument is to attack the person of someone holding a different view? And spouting such tired tropes as “mandatory X enforced by government” and “the Nth most adjective substance”?

  13. bip says:

    Two things I’d like to throw in here:
    1)dose – this is the lynch pin for the pro-fluoridation argument, or any argument involving the ingestion of a particular chemical. Yes the city sets the fluoride to a ‘safe’ level, but drinking water isn’t the only source of fluoride.
    Dan Fagin, Scientific American: “Fluoride is in many foods, beverages and dental products. The ubiquity of the cavity-fighting chemical can result in over-consumption, particularly among young children.”
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=second-thoughts-on-fluoride
    The issue of dosage has been questioned in the past. In particular, a report to Health Canada by David Locker cited concerns about dosage back in ’96. Check out p.56 in the section “Fluoride Intake: Recommended and Actual”. There is a huge discrepancy here, demonstrating overexposure across the board.
    http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/ministry_reports/fluoridation/fluor.pdf

    Locker went on to co-author a paper in 2001 questioning the ethics of fluoridation in light of a changing environment where fluoride exposure has increased.

    2)”type” of fluoride chemical added. In your article you don’t address the actual chemical used to fluoridate the water. From my own experience, most people (including myself at one time) assume it’s the same chemical found in toothpaste – sodium fluoride. Nope. It’s Hydrofluorosilacic Acid, a chemical waste product. It’s cheap and dirty. While it provides the required fluoride ion (silicofluoride), it comes with a host of other contaminants included mercury, lead, and arsenic.
    Again, dose is an issue here. How much mercury is safe to consume? Do you really want ANY mercury or lead in your diet?

    Some things to consider when advocating the “safe” process of fluoridation.

  14. distinctively says:

    While I would always encourage people to evaluate what goes on in our environment, I’m a little frustrated with the lack of quality information people are using in their comments. It seems fairly apparent that a lot of comments are being made without an understanding of what fluoride is.

    The above comment refers to Hydrofluorosilicic (spelled incorrectly) and presumes that what is placed in our water is harmful just because it is a “waste product”. Diesel is a waste product too. It doesn’t mean its bad. The water you pour out of a pot after cooking vegatable is also a waste product.

    Mercury, lead and arsenic are already in our water. Certain amounts are potentially harmful substances occur naturally in our water, even the bottled spring water that so many love. Even if the fluoridation adds an amount of harmful products, the amount would be microscopically insignificant compared to what is already there.

    My wife moved to Waterloo five years ago. Her teeth are all but “cured” compared to her previous difficulties with chipping.

    There is always a possibility that there could be harm coming from the fluoride. Hey, even pure water and oxygen can be toxic in massive doses. The studies both ways are always subject to revision given new information. At the same time, the people commenting who are so poorly educated in this field are making the case worse for themselves. In the end, they appear as fanatics.

  15. jonhpeterson says:

    You have a bad attitude mr flouride man blogger your all like Snob sdflkjsdflkjdsf ksdjfalksdjfkajdf

    jgjgjgjgjgj

  16. Composer99 says:

    I am shocked, Steve – shocked I tell you! – that you didn’t include a link to a video clip of General Ripper’s dissertation on fluoride from Dr Strangelove in the OP.

    I’m going to go faint on the couch & clutch some pearls. :)

  17. Jim says:

    Steve Thoms, you are one retarded Motherfucker. Enjoy your tap water douche.

  18. Paul says:

    What use could Steve ever have for a tap-water douche?

  19. corwin says:

    I love to drink water. I have a refrigerator with a filtered dispenser. When I’m on the go I grab a bottled water I keep in the fridge. I can’t remember the last time I saw anyone drink tap water – especially kids.

    I render this discussion moot, everyone go home.

    …now if you want to talk about the government plan to use microwave ovens to slowly kill off all the smart sperm then pop open a bottle of water and we’ll talk!

  20. Jack says:

    Steve you’re one brainwashed fool. You have no idea what you’re talking about and are contributing to nothing to humanity by writing such a ill-informed article.

    Fluoride is highly toxic, increases chances of cancer, lowers IQ and is not approved by any health body. It’s a by product of mining, simply poisoning the population to save on the profit shattering waste disposal that would be otherwise needed.

    Turn off fox news and stop being so easy to manipulate. Most of all stop spreading propaganda!

    • Steve Thoms says:

      That’s funny you accuse me of being influenced heavily by Fox News, when Fox News has advocated your same position on occasion. Fox News often takes two positions on this matter (also known as the “False Equivalency” logical fallacy), and its not hard to find the news network you accuse me of mindlessly following making your very same arguments.

      In this post, I’ve provided my sources, which includes links to actual studies. I’ve done my homework. To borrow internet parlance, when you say, “Fluoride is highly toxic, increases chances of cancer, lowers IQ and is not approved by any health body.”, I say “Citation required.”

      Toxicity is always in the dose. Because a lot of X is 100 bad, does not mean that a little of X is 5 bad.

      Increases chance of cancer? Citation? Which type of cancer?

      Lowers IQ? Citation?

      Not approved by any health body? I can think of one really big one: Health Canada.

      Remember: linking to news stories is inadmissible as a scientific citation.

      But forget all that. I have one request for you: Ask your dentist. See what they say on the subject.

      But since you started your comment with an insult, I’ll not expect much in the way of adult debate.

  21. Mike Hicks says:

    Why so passionate about adding F to the water? Is it for the kids with cavities? If we really care about our children’s health we should start by removing processed foods, soda, sugary beverages, adding a few more gym classes and push healthy delicious natural foods along with exercise and access to proper dental care. Eating right and brushing your teeth has gone a long way for a lot of people. Why subject the entire population to medicinal additives when a targeted approach works better. To save money?

    Many people live in non-fluoridated communities and have perfectly healthy teeth, why force fluoride on them? For the minority amount of people that it help in a supplemental way? You still need to brush your teeth and eat right to effectively reduce your risk of getting cavities even with fluoridation. Let’s focus our efforts on the real solutions here people. Fluoride may help some children but it’s not the answer for everyone.

  22. George Archers says:

    nonsense–dupont chemical bribed governments to get rid of fluoride being a waste product. German studies proved that this dangerous substance was mind control. Fact is the USA/Canada government are using it as dumb down the general public. Does not help in teeth cavity control. Another is chlorine additive–reason is put in, is because of the high lake water pollution. THe author needs a swift kick for being an ass

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  • Steve Thoms

    Steve is a professional music teacher living in Kitchener, Ontario. He studied recorded music production at Fanshawe College, and Political Studies/History at Trent University, where he specialized in political economy and global politics. He is an amateur astronomer, and an award-winning astro-photographer. Steve also runs the blog, Oot and Aboot with Some Canadian Skeptic." can can be followed on Twitter, @SomeCndnSkeptic.