Recently, a city and county meeting assembled in Albuquerque to discuss the fluoridation of the community’s water supply. Though heavily protested by doctors, dentists, and parents, the city has decided to continue poisoning people by dumping fluoride into the municipal water, delaying a vote to ban fluoride which should happen this Spring. Was the hour of public discussion held to really gain public opinion on the subject, or was it merely a way to placate the masses on this controversial topic? The heated debate will likely only grow more inflamed come April at a planned meeting.
Meanwhile, another US city has quietly minimized the fluoridation of its water to match upcoming federal regulations which suggest lowering fluoride levels in drinking water to .7 parts per million. Santa Fe has been successful after years of proposals and amendments, without ever changing the city code.
The fight has been a sobering one, though. City Councilor Chris Calvert wanted to end supplementation of fluoride in city water altogether, but was met with a backlash from supposed medical experts that persuaded him to give up his fight.
The old argument that people without access to regular dental care need to have their water fluoridated as a means to improve dental health was one of the most commonly quoted among ‘experts.’
However, these arguments are without scientific credibility, since many countries throughout the world that have banned fluoride see no difference in overall levels of dental health. Rudy Blea, the director of the Office of Oral Health at the state level is convinced that fluoride is necessary, though.
“Those who may not need it will never know the difference,” he says, “but if you pull fluoride, you’ll see the incidence of tooth decay increase.”
Others against fluoridation of water state that it is their right to decide what is in their water, and not the city or state’s and that the tax dollars used to fluoridate city water supplies could be better utilized by teaching better oral hygiene to the poor and under-serviced. Santa Fe spends more than $30,000 a year to fluoridate their water and Albuquerque will spend $100,000. The American Dental Association states that every tax dollar spent on fluoridation helps save $38 in dental costs.
Albuquerque once halted the addition of fluoride to their water supply in 2011, but after recommendations from the US Department of Health and Human Services, a water board member, and Bernalillo County Commissioner, Maggie Hart Stebbins, they added it back in.
But is .7 PPM really a safe level of fluoride in our water supply?
Stebbins is convinced it is.
“There’s 60 years worth of data showing .7 is a safe level,” she said. “I have tried to read absolutely everything that has been sent to me, and the factor that keeps coming up in my mind is the concerns that are raised about fluoride. Are they talking about the .7 level, or are they talking about a much higher level? What would give me pause is if I saw a study that showed that .7 causes injury somehow.”
Meanwhile, 97% of European countries don’t fluoridate their water, and there is good reason. The FDA classifies fluoride as a drug – so why should we be drugging our public? Over 70% of US water supplies are currently medicated with fluoride. The dose cannot be controlled within any range, including an arbitrary .7 PPM. Plus, all ages receive the same dosage, even though the AMA has admitted that a small child can die from ingesting fluoride present in a single tube of toothpaste.
There is fluoride in mother’s milk – but it is at an incredibly low level – just .004 parts per million. We already know that adult kidneys cannot process the amount of fluoride they are exposed to daily, so how can a developing child’s kidneys process all that fluoride?
There is also a growing body of evidence that fluoride is impairing the neurological functioning of children. One researcher states, “Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain.”
So, why would we even consider putting it in the water? Hopefully the debate will continue in places like Santa Fe, and other cities around the country until all fluoride is removed from our municipalities.