I’ve been writing about water issues for a long time now, and was so relieved when, about a year ago, I determined that I could finally quit harping on the fluoridation issue. Many states and municipalities finally listened to consumers and the many scientists who argued that ingesting fluoride is not only pointless, but dangerous and expensive, and stopped adding the chemical to water. In fact, since 1990, more than 300 North American communities, including 43 cities serving at least 3 million residents hav voted to end fluoridation programs. Whew, one down! BUT WAIT, now I’ve seen several news reports the last couple of months that fluoride is coming back!
Just last month, The Wall Street Journal announced that New Jersey is being threatened with mandatory water fluoridation. The state’s Senate Bill S-959 and Assembly Bill 1811 will require cities to add what the article calls “unnecessary, untested, health-robbing fluoride chemicals” into the public water supplies – all to the tune of $5 billion in start-up costs and $1 billion each year to maintain the practice.
Research shows that there is quite a long list of reasons why we should not want fluoride in drinking water:
- Fluoridation chemicals, often purchased from Mexico, China, and Japan, are hazardous waste byproducts of the phosphate fertilizer industry that are typically contaminated with arsenic, lead, and radionuclides.
- More than 40% of adolescents already have dental fluorosis – a visible sign of fluoride toxicity.
- Government, health, and dental organizations advise that infant formula should not be mixed with fluoridated water. Many families have to scrape together money for formula, without having to purchase special water with which to mix it.
- Low-income children have a greater risk of suffering from all forms of fluoride toxicity since poor diet exacerbates fluoride’s negative effects.
- There have been 25 studies showing that fluoride can lower the IQ of children.
- Fluoride works topically – and is much more effective when applied in toothpaste or mouth rinse form.
What I found most disturbing was that the Wall Street article indicated that most New Jersey residents did not even know about this bill that’s up for vote! So, keep your hears open and your eyes sharp – the question can arise in other states too!
Already stuck with fluoridation? Here’s what to do – purchase a home drinking water filter. But, when you do, ask the right questions. How much fluoride is left in the filtered water? What percentage does the drinking water system remove? Reverse osmosis or an ion exchange system are the most successful filtration systems. What won’t work? Many faucet-mount filters, many pitcher filters, boiling the water, and freezing the water.