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Letter: The Case Against Fluoridation

To the Editor:

The editorial of Dec. 2 (“Bradford Regresses”) suggests that Bradford water commissioners took a step backward in deciding not to continue fluoridation of the town water supply. The Centers for Disease Control is cited, recognizing “water fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.” Bradford, however, has taken a step forward into the 21st century. Fluoride has long been established as an essential ingredient in toothpaste and other mouth-care products. Vermont, where a large proportion of the population use water from their own wells, provides regular fluoride treatment to schoolchildren. And health risks from systemic ingestion of fluoride are increasingly acknowledged, for example, by the American Academy of Family Physicians. That’s why we are warned against swallowing toothpaste and fluoride rinses. Last year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Environmental Protection Agency drastically lowered their recommended levels for water fluoridation. Most European countries do not fluoridate their water.

The American Academy of Family Physicians also notes that dental health in communities that don’t fluoridate their water has improved over the past decades as much as in those that do. Adding fluoride to the water is a crude approach to dental health compared to improved dental care.

Finally, the editorial attitude that the concerned minority “can opt out by buying bottled water” is arrogant and backward. The burden should be to “opt in” to systemic fluoride dosing. In fact, fluoridated salt is fairly popular in Europe, just as iodized salt is common here.

Eric Rosenbloom

Hartland

Related

Editorial: Bradford Regresses

Thursday, October 3, 2013

While the rest of the world is fretting about electromagnetic waves, genetically modified food and other perceived health threats associated with contemporary living, the town of Bradford, Vt., has taken a step back in time by rekindling a public health debate that we thought had been settled long ago — whether fluoride should be added to the municipal water supply …

Fluoride Debated in Bradford After Commission Ends Water Treatment 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bradford — Opponents and supporters of fluoridating the town’s water supply came out in force last night as commission members defended and explained their recent decision to no longer fluoridate the water. Supporters of the decision by the Bradford Water and Sewer Commission cited concerns over negative health effects and involuntary ingestion of a chemical added to the water supply. …