Reason #1: Fluoridation Is an Outdated Form of Mass Medication
Unlike all other water treatment processes, fluoridation does not treat the water itself, but the person consuming it. The Food & Drug Administration accepts that fluoride is a drug, not a nutrient, when used to prevent disease. By definition, therefore, fluoridating water is a form of medication. This is why most western European nations have rejected the practice — because, in their view, the public water supply is not an appropriate place to be adding drugs, particularly when fluoride is readily available for individual use in the form of toothpaste.
Reason #2: Fluoridation Is Unnecessary and Ineffective
The most obvious reason to end fluoridation is that it is now known that fluoride’s main benefit comes from topical contact with the teeth, not from ingestion. Even the CDC’s Oral Health Division now acknowledges this. There is simply no need, therefore, to swallow fluoride, whether in the water, toothpaste, or any other form. Further, despite early claims that fluoridated water would reduce cavities by 65%, modern large-scale studies show no consistent or meaningful difference in the cavity rates of fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.
Reason #3: Fluoridation Is Not a Safe Practice
The most important reason to end fluoridation is that it is simply not a safe practice, particularly for those who have health conditions that render them vulnerable to fluoride’s toxic effects.
First, there is no dispute that fluoridation is causing millions of children to develop dental fluorosis, a discoloration of the teeth that is caused by excessive fluoride intake. Scientists from the Centers for Disease Control have even acknowledged that fluoridation is causing “cosmetically objectionable” fluorosis on children’s front teeth–an effect that can cause children embarrassment and anxiety at an age when physical appearance is the single most important predictor of self-esteem.
Second, it is known that fluoridated water caused severe bone disease in dialysis patients up until the late 1970s (prior to dialysis units filtering fluoride). While dialysis units now filter out the fluoride, research shows that current fluoride exposures are still resulting in dangerously high bone fluoride levels in dialysis patients and patients with other advanced forms of kidney disease. It is unethical to compromise the health of some members in a population to obtain a purported benefit for another — particularly in the absence of these vulnerable members’ knowing consent.
And, finally, a growing body of evidence reasonably indicates that fluoridated water, in addition to other sources of daily fluoride exposure, can cause or contribute to a range of serious effects, including arthritis, damage to the developing brain, reduced thyroid function, and possibly osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in adolescent males.
“Toxic fluorides have never been added to the public water supplies in Austria.”
SOURCE: M. Eisenhut, Head of Water Department, Osterreichische Yereinigung fur das Gas-und Wasserfach Schubertring 14, A-1015 Wien, Austria, February 17, 2000.
“This water treatment has never been of use in Belgium and will never be (we hope so) into the future. The main reason for that is the fundamental position of the drinking water sector that it is not its task to deliver medicinal treatment to people. This is the sole responsibility of health services.”
SOURCE: Chr. Legros, Directeur, Belgaqua, Brussels, Belgium, February 28, 2000.
“We are pleased to inform you that according to the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy, toxic fluorides have never been added to the public water supplies. Consequently, no Danish city has ever been fluoridated.”
SOURCE: Klaus Werner, Royal Danish Embassy, Washington DC, December 22, 1999.
To read the Danish Ministry of the Environment’s reasons for banning fluoridation, click here.
“We do not favor or recommend fluoridation of drinking water. There are better ways of providing the fluoride our teeth need.”
SOURCE: Paavo Poteri, Acting Managing Director, Helsinki Water, Finland, February 7, 2000.
“Artificial fluoridation of drinking water supplies has been practiced in Finland only in one town, Kuopio, situated in eastern Finland and with a population of about 80,000 people (1.6% of the Finnish population). Fluoridation started in 1959 and finished in 1992 as a result of the resistance of local population. The most usual grounds for the resistance presented in this context were an individual’s right to drinking water without additional chemicals used for the medication of limited population groups. A concept of “force-feeding” was also mentioned.
Drinking water fluoridation is not prohibited in Finland but no municipalities have turned out to be willing to practice it. Water suppliers, naturally, have always been against dosing of fluoride chemicals into water.”
SOURCE: Leena Hiisvirta, M.Sc., Chief Engineer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland, January 12, 1996.
“Fluoride chemicals are not included in the list [of ‘chemicals for drinking water treatment’]. This is due to ethical as well as medical considerations.”
SOURCE: Louis Sanchez, Directeur de la Protection de l’Environment, August 25, 2000.
“Generally, in Germany fluoridation of drinking water is forbidden. The relevant German law allows exceptions to the fluoridation ban on application. The argumentation of the Federal Ministry of Health against a general permission of fluoridation of drinking water is the problematic nature of compuls[ory] medication.”
SOURCE: Gerda Hankel-Khan, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, September 16, 1999.
“Fluoride has never been added to the public water supplies in Luxembourg. In our views, the drinking water isn’t the suitable way for medicinal treatment and that people needing an addition of fluoride can decide by their own to use the most appropriate way, like the intake of fluoride tablets, to cover their [daily] needs.”
SOURCE: Jean-Marie RIES, Head, Water Department, Administration De L’Environment, May 3, 2000.
“From the end of the 1960s until the beginning of the 1970s drinking water in various places in the Netherlands was fluoridated to prevent caries. However, in its judgement of 22 June 1973 in case No. 10683 (Budding and co. versus the City of Amsterdam) the Supreme Court (Hoge Raad) ruled there was no legal basis for fluoridation. After that judgement, amendment to the Water Supply Act was prepared to provide a legal basis for fluoridation. During the process it became clear that there was not enough support from Parlement [sic] for this amendment and the proposal was withdrawn.”
SOURCE: Wilfred Reinhold, Legal Advisor, Directorate Drinking Water, Netherlands, January 15, 2000.
“The water supply in Northern Ireland has never been artificially fluoridated except in 2 small localities where fluoride was added to the water for about 30 years up to last year. Fluoridation ceased at these locations for operational reasons. At this time, there are no plans to commence fluoridation of water supplies in Northern Ireland.”
SOURCE: C.J. Grimes, Department for Regional Development, Belfast, November 6, 2000.
“In Norway we had a rather intense discussion on this subject some 20 years ago, and the conclusion was that drinking water should not be fluoridated.”
SOURCE: Truls Krogh & Toril Hofshagen, Folkehelsa Statens institutt for folkeheise (National Institute of Public Health) Oslo, Norway, March 1, 2000.
“Drinking water fluoridation is not allowed in Sweden…New scientific documentation or changes in dental health situation that could alter the conclusions of the Commission have not been shown.”
SOURCE: Gunnar Guzikowski, Chief Government Inspector, Livsmedels Verket — National Food Administration Drinking Water Division, Sweden, February 28, 2000.
See statement by Dr. Arvid Carlsson, the Nobel Laureate in Medicine, who helped lead the campaign to prevent fluoridation in Sweden in the late 1970s.
“Since 1993, drinking water has not been treated with fluoride in public water supplies throughout the Czech Republic. Although fluoridation of drinking water has not actually been proscribed it is not under consideration because this form of supplementation is considered:
- uneconomical (only 0.54% of water suitable for drinking is used as such; the remainder is employed for hygiene etc. Furthermore, an increasing amount of consumers (particularly children) are using bottled water for drinking (underground water usually with fluor)
- unecological (environmental load by a foreign substance)
- unethical (“forced medication”)
- toxicologically and physiologically debateable (fluoridation represents an untargeted form of supplementation which disregards actual individual intake and requirements and may lead to excessive health-threatening intake in certain population groups; [and] complexation of fluor in water into non biological active forms of fluor.”
SOURCE: Dr. B. Havlik, Ministerstvo Zdravotnictvi Ceske Republiky, October 14, 1999.