The Continuing Saga Of Fluoride – Is There An End In Sight?
For several years now there has been a great deal of debate over the use of fluoride in the United States. Many people aren’t aware of the fact that the argument over whether or not fluoride is safe goes much deeper than just toothpaste and municipal drinking water. It not only is in the water we drink but in the dental products we use, the Teflon pans we cook with and even in mechanically deboned meats!
It is an additive in pharmaceuticals as well as the sources mentioned above and you can even be exposed to fluoride in the workplace. With so many activists lobbying to discontinue such widespread use of a chemical many consider to be dangerous, is there an end to the debate in sight? The line has been drawn, so before choosing sides, take time to look at some key facts that might influence your decision.
Officials Claim Fluoridation Is A Major Achievement In Public Health
For almost 70 years much of the U.S. has been adding fluoride to municipal drinking water pumped into homes around the country that are not on wells. It is an additive that is thought to prevent or delay tooth decay. As a nation, most cities still fluoridate their water source but other countries around the world do not add fluoride to their water. In fact, in all of Europe only 4 countries add this chemical and the rate of tooth decay is no higher there than it is in the USA.
Fluoride Action Network Says Levels Are Toxic
According to the Fluoride Action Network, the United States has gone overboard in adding fluoride through so many sources, and that’s why they recommend we stop using fluoride products and switch to a natural toothpaste. All the excess of this chemical has brought it to a point of toxicity, as well as a condition called dental fluorosis, a defect in the teeth.
Are We Adding Too Much Fluoride?
So then, are we adding too much fluoride, rather than just enough to prevent tooth decay? The Fluoride Action Network asserts that this is, indeed, the case. To authenticate their assertion, they have provided a chart published by the National Research Council in 2010. There was an increase in dental fluorosis of 31% over the span from 1950 to 2004. Unfortunately, this is just one of many sources that make similar if not the same assertions.
In 2011, Pinellas County, Florida voted to stop adding fluoride to water, and since then a number of other communities have followed suit. In fact, the news has even spread to the UK where the Royal Society of Chemistry cited a new United States ruling that lowered the amounts recommended from 1.2mg per liter of water to .7mg per liter. If even the Federal government is recognizing a problem with fluoride toxicity, there must be something to all the claims being leveled against the practice of fluoridating water. Still the saga continues, but the end may be in sight.
Delicia Warren is a freelance writer, passionate about the environment, organic farming and food production. Advocate for a holistic approach to the world’s problems, she has a particular interest in the small changes individuals can make to their lifestyle to minimize their environmental footprint.