Fluoridation: The uncalculated gamble

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Another Source of Water Pollution?

Those of us concerned with the health of millions of people heartily applauded fluoridation at first. We trusted health authorities, especially the United States Public Health Service (U.S.P.H.S.) to look after our best interests, and we sat back to await the Golden Age, when dentists would have more important duties than filling cavities. But years have passed, and the Millenium has not arrived: tooth decay is still a major disease ravaging civilization. Supporters of fluoridation have been very successful in selling their dream, probably because they have always emphasized the potential good to the exclusion of negative signs of danger in the scientific literature.

Cancer is but one of the large assemblage of subjects connected with the fluoridation story. The overall adverse health effects many of us experience during everyday living -- headaches, arthritis, colitis --are of pressing interest to everyone, as are other potential problems.

As expected, provocative questions have arisen. Is fluoridation really only a glowing promise that has never been kept? Is it a dental myth built out of misleading and unreliable statistics? Is it a revealing example of Man's best intentions degenerated into folly?

Many nations have already abandoned water fluoridation. Hungary, for example, discontinued fluoridating water supplies because of deleterious effects.

Few toxic agents are as widely distributed in the air, in water, and in food which affect as many organs of the body and also damage plants and organisms -- as is fluorine, an element that is now being widely added as inorganic fluorides to municipal water supplies. This important question, whether fluoride is a poison or a panacea, has created one of the greatest dilemmas of the 20th century.

Throughout the early part of the 20th century, fluorine compounds were products of industrial processes, such as manufacture of aluminum and other metals, superphosphate fertilizers and ceramics. Commercially, their only outlets were insectides and rodenticides.

With the development of new fluorine compounds, their usefulness increased when they began to be utilized as refrigerants, aerosols, lubricants and plastics.

Excerpted from Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma By George L. Waldbott, M.D. Published by Coronado Press. Lawrence, Kansas 66044

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