Californians Battle To Stop Fluoride In Water

Photo: Jenny Downing (CC)

Photo: Jenny Downing (CC)

The Los Angeles Times is running a very angry editorial mocking Californian citizens who are resisting government attempts to place fluoride in their water supply. If I had a subscription to the LA Times, I’d cancel it now – check this out:

During the Middle Ages, pogroms throughout Europe were instigated by rumors that Jews were poisoning the wells. Then during the Cold War, when communists became the Western world’s boogeymen, conspiracy theorists believed fluoridated water was a Red plot to destroy our society. Today, with modern chemical testing and health studies, it might seem we’re in a position to leave this kind of water hysteria behind. But not in Watsonville.

A recent push to fluoridate the water in that Santa Cruz County agricultural city has prompted a public outcry and a threat by a key employer to leave town. City voters passed an initiative to block fluoridation in 2002, but courts later ruled that the mandate violated a 1995 state law dictating that cities fluoridate their water if there is an outside source of funding available to do so. In Watsonville, that source is a foundation allied with the California Dental Assn., which is willing to put up $1.5 million to help fight a local epidemic of tooth disease. One pediatrician treating the children of migrant farmworkers in Watsonville told The Times that she had “never seen such bad teeth outside Nicaragua.”

Watsonvillians, of course, aren’t the only people who fear fluoridation. Although studies have largely debunked claims that fluoridated water causes cancer or kidney failure, there are some legitimate questions about whether concentration thresholds could be exceeded in a handful of places where natural fluoride levels in tap water are already high.

Yet such minor concerns hardly justify the public fury in Watsonville, which is reminiscent of a similar flare-up that occurred when Los Angeles moved to fluoridate in the late 1990s. It doesn’t seem to matter that urban-dwellers have been drinking fluoridated water for decades with no ill effects. Or that it has been ruled safe by scientists and courts — including a California Court of Appeal, which ruled in a landmark 1973 decision that adding the chemical to water supplies is “a reasonable and proper exercise of the police power in the interest of public health.” The issue still has the power to rile.

We suspect what’s fueling today’s outrage is the same phenomenon that propels “tea party” rallies around the country: a profound distrust of government…

[continues in the Los Angeles Times]

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19 Responses to Californians Battle To Stop Fluoride In Water

  1. dethbunny March 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm #

    Why is that editorial enough to make you want to unsubscribe to the paper? I've seen FAR more inflammatory material on this site.

    What's the controversy with fluoride? I had generally assumed that all municipal water in the US was fluoridated. It's generally regarded as safe, and it's hard to argue with its success in reduced dental disease. When people argue against it, I get reminded of Ripper in Dr. Strangelove. As long as the fluoride is in reasonable and well-metered amounts, it is a net positive.

    • Peetr March 17, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

      Although it is a natural substance, fluoride is highly toxic to human beings, even more so than lead. If you were to injest a mere 2-5 grams of sodium fluoride (a common ingredient in toothpaste), you would probably die. The amount of fluoride in a typical tube of fluoride toothpaste is sufficient to kill a small child if it were consumed all at once. Fluoride toothpaste contains a much higher concentration of fluoride than what is found in nature.

      Is fluoride necessary for health?
      Not remotely. Unlike calcium or magnesium, fluoride is not an essential nutrient for your body. If you were to consume zero fluoride your entire life, you wouldn’t suffer for it. There’s no such thing as fluoride deficiency.

      What is fluoride’s purported role in tooth decay?
      Fluoride acts as an enzyme inhibitor. For this reason it is believed to help prevent cavities by literally poisoning the bacteria in your mouth. Unfortunately, because fluoride is so toxic, you’re taking a big risk by using it to try to prevent cavities. You not only poison the bacteria in your mouth but your other cells as well.

      “Fluoride inhibits enzymes that breed acid-producing oral bacteria whose acid eats away tooth enamel. This observation is valid, but some scientists now believe that the harmful impact of fluoride on other useful enzymes far outweighs the beneficial effect on caries prevention.”
      - UNICEF, Dec 1999

      • dethbunny March 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

        To a certain extent, the things you say are non-points. Sodium can be highly toxic, yet we buy it by the pound for cooking. Iodide/iodine is similarly toxic, but it is required by our bodies in small amount. Iron and most other elemental nutrients are necessary, but pose very real risks if overdone.

        Yes, fluoride is not a requirement for life – which does distinguish it from the above-listed minerals. But there are clear benefits to its use. Again I say, what's the trouble with it when it's at tightly controlled concentrations? Around 2-4 PPM is documented and proven as beneficial. Some areas have water that is naturally fluoridated; they don't need any extra. But some places have clear and present need for it.

        • Steve March 17, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

          Fluoride is beneficial for dictatorships, like how the Nazis and Russians used it in concentration camps for mind control and it is also used in drugs for mental illness. During the height of the troubles in Northern Ireland Mrs Thatcher then British Prime Minister tripled the Fluoride in the drinking water in Northern Ireland, I don't think this had anything to do with oral health. Even if Fluoride was safe is it right to medicate the whole population for the benefit of a few? what about chemotherapy drugs in the water supply for people with cancer, why bother giving anybody drugs just put all drugs in the water supply.

          • dethbunny March 17, 2010 at 11:32 pm #

            Also leeches were used to cure fevers. And LSD was researched for “mind control.” So…yeah. Fluoride has not been shown in any way to affect intelligence except in exceptionally high doses.

        • wtf March 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

          “Sodium can be highly toxic, yet we buy it by the pound for cooking.”

          You stupid stupid cunt.

          • dethbunny March 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm #

            Thank you for your reasonable, thoughtful reply.

    • Yuan March 17, 2010 at 7:28 pm #

      dethbunny, you are right.. Iodine is similarly toxic, but required by our body's in a small amount. The problem with Fluoride(along with Chlorine, and Bromine) is that Fluoride competes for the same receptors that our body's use to catch Iodine.

      Read the article below.. Fluoride is bad for your Thyroid

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/thyroi

      • dethbunny March 17, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

        That article doesn't do more than imply what you are specifically stating. It mentions that fluorine, chlorine, bromine, and iodine are in the same family. It then goes on to say that bromine competes with iodine. I'm interested to know more, but that article is very explicit in talking about bromine, while leaving chlorine and fluorine out of the discussion after initial exposition.

    • Majestic March 18, 2010 at 7:57 am #

      I suggest you watch this video:

      http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7319752

      In this video, Christopher Bryson, an award-winning journalist and former producer at the BBC, discusses the findings of his new book The Fluoride Deception. EARLY REVIEWS of The Fluoride Deception: “Bryson marshals an impressive amount of research to demonstrate fluoride's harmfulness, the ties between leading fluoride researchers and the corporations who funded and benefited from their research, and what he says is the duplicity with which fluoridation was sold to the people. The result is a compelling challenge to the reigning dental orthodoxy, which should provoke renewed scientific scrutiny and public debate.” — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

      <embed id=VideoPlayback src=http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=7319752042352089988&hl=en&fs=true style=width:400px;height:326px allowFullScreen=true allowScriptAccess=always type=application/x-shockwave-flash> </embed>

      • Zaprowsdower June 12, 2010 at 7:33 pm #

        I think it's great that toxic waste when diluted has such amazing benefits.

  2. Anonymous June 14, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    I totally agree with Peetr. Fluoride is toxic and apparently it doesn’t even help protect our teeth. My personal doctor from Phoenix dentists recommended I try toothpaste without fluoride. It can’t possible be that hard or expensive to filter out fluoride from the water system, the government is just being lazy in many ways and avoiding having to do it.

  3. revolution9 June 14, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    I totally agree with Peetr. Fluoride is toxic and apparently it doesn't even help protect our teeth. My personal doctor from Phoenix dentists recommended I try toothpaste without fluoride. It can't possible be that hard or expensive to filter out fluoride from the water system, the government is just being lazy in many ways and avoiding having to do it.

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  7. Michael Deabenderfer August 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    The Fluoride Fraud
    http://disinfo.com/2010/08/the-fluoride-fraud/
    “The chemical added to our water is a fluorine compound called hexafluorosilicic acid that is generated as a by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry.”
    Whether it causes cancer or kidney failure may be unclear from the statistics, but it has long been known to drastically reduce thyroid function.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=%2Bthyroid+%2Bfluoride&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C39&as_ylo=&as_vis=0
    Thyroid hormones deficiencies cause lethargy and overeating. Need I say more?

  8. Michael Deabenderfer August 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    The Fluoride Fraud
    http://disinfo.com/2010/08/the-fluoride-fraud/
    “The chemical added to our water is a fluorine compound called hexafluorosilicic acid that is generated as a by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry.”
    Whether it causes cancer or kidney failure may be unclear from the statistics, but it has long been known to drastically reduce thyroid function.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=%2Bthyroid+%2Bfluoride&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C39&as_ylo=&as_vis=0
    Thyroid hormones deficiencies cause lethargy and overeating. Need I say more?

  9. Michael Deabenderfer August 4, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    The Fluoride Fraud
    http://www.disinfo.com/2010/08/the-fluoride-fraud/
    “The chemical added to our water is a fluorine compound called hexafluorosilicic acid that is generated as a by-product from the phosphate fertilizer industry.”
    Whether it causes cancer or kidney failure may be unclear from the statistics, but it has long been known to drastically reduce thyroid function.
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=%2Bthyroid+%2Bfluoride&btnG=Search&as_sdt=0%2C39&as_ylo=&as_vis=0
    Thyroid hormones deficiencies cause lethargy and overeating. Need I say more?

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