Top 5 Reasons

Putting Oregon’s Clean Water At Risk From Water Fluoridation Doesn’t Make Sense 

1. Fluoridation Chemicals are Byproducts of Industrial Fertilizer Production… Really

Hard as it is to believe, the three chemicals used to “fluoridate” drinking water are all industrial byproducts of fertilizer production, not the same fluoride as in your toothpaste, and this is openly admitted even by leading fluoridation promoters such as the Center for Disease Control. 

As the CDC’s chief fluoridation engineer has explained: “All of the fluoride chemicals used in the U.S. for water fluoridation, sodium fluoride, sodium fluorosilicate, and fluorosilicic acid, are byproducts of the phosphate fertilizer industry.[i]  


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2.  Significant New Scientific Evidence Shows That the Health Risks of Fluoridation are Substantial

As is true for many chemicals once declared “safe,” there is a fast-growing body of scientific literature supporting that there are real risks related to consuming fluoridation chemicals in drinking water. 

Last year, for example, the federal government reduced the maximum allowable fluoride concentrations in drinking water by 40%, its first change in 50 years.[iii] The reduction came after a more than 500-page study titled “Fluoride in Drinking Water” published by an expert panel of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences (NRC Study) and data showing 41% of U.S. children were receiving too much fluoride and had visible signs of excessive fluoride intake – ie. “fluorosis.” [iv], [v] 

The NRC Study also reviewed a body of scientific evidence raising significant questions about the link between fluoride exposure and potential health effects ranging from neurologic impacts to thyroid damage.[vi]   

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3.  Fluoride is a Drug that Every Individual Should Have the Right to Choose for Themselves Whether or Not to Consume

Fluoride meets every legal and medical definition of a drug and is the only drug that is added to the water supply to affect human health- ie. dental cavities.  

This raises major ethical and moral issues, as many people either do not want fluoridation chemicals in their water or cannot tolerate fluoride in their water because of health conditions such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes. Typical water filters will not work to remove fluoridation chemicals.

Because people drink very different levels of water (athletes or construction workers, for example, consume much more water than a typical office worker) water fluoridation means people can get wildly different fluoride exposures from drinking the same water source. 

The 2006 National Academy of Sciences report, for example, found infants that consumed formula mixed with fluoridated water consumed fluoride levels far in excess of the maximum recommended levels. 

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4.  There Are Far More Effective Alternatives to Promote Kids’ Dental Health

The way fluoridation promoters talk about fluoridation as one of the world’s “Top 10 Public Health Benefits” you would think its benefits were well established and substantial. 

But scratch the surface and the reality is far different. For decades, water fluoridation was promoted with the argument that swallowing fluoride provided a “systemic benefit” and that fluoride would concentrate in teeth and be excreted through salivary glands.

But by 2001, this theory was rejected even by fluoridation supporters like the CDC, after scientific studies found fluoride did not work systemically, only topically. [xii] 

There is not a single double-blind study (the modern standard for showing scientific effectiveness) showing that fluoridated drinking water reduces cavities. 

The epidemiological studies that supporters point to as supporting fluoridation show—at best—about a half cavity difference between childhood cavity rates in communities that are fluoridated and communities that are not. [xiii] 

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5.  Fluoridation Chemicals Contain Arsenic, Lead and Other Toxics

Again, it's hard to believe, but fluoridation chemicals are well-documented to contain contaminants such as arsenic and lead that have known human health risks.  

Even the CDC openly cites to data from the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) which admits that 43% of fluoridation chemicals test positive for arsenic.[xiv] 

The maximum level of arsenic documented was 0.6 ppb which is about 6% of EPA’s Maximum Contaminant Level (legal limit) of 10 ppb for arsenic, but above EPA’s health-based Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for arsenic, which is zero.[xv] 

Fluoridation promoters typically dismiss the levels of arsenic, lead and other toxics that are added to drinking water when it is fluoridated as “too low to matter.” But this ignores the reality that we should not be knowingly adding more toxics to our drinking water, but instead, should be doing everything possible to reduce our exposure to toxics, especially in our drinking water.

[i] Thomas Reeves, National Fluoridation Engineer, U.S. Center for Disease Control. The Manufacture of The Fluoride Chemicals, Refer: FL-143 (see online: www.cdphe.state.co.us/pp/oralhealth/fluoridation/fl-143.pdf)

[ii] NAS Study at 15.

[iii]  Douglas Main, Government Recommends Lower Level of Fluoride in Water, Newsweek, April,  27, 2015, Online at: http://www.newsweek.com/us-government-recommends-lower-level-fluoride-water-325760; See also U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Federal Panel on Community Water Fluoridation, Public Health Reports, Vol. 130, July–August 2015. 

[iv] Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council of the National Academies (2006). Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards. The National Academies Press, Wash. D.C.  Available on-line: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11571/fluoride-in-drinking-water-a-scientific-review-of-epas-standards        

[v] Beltrán-Aguilar ED, Barker L, Dye BA. Prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in the United States, 1999–2004. NCHS Data Brief No. 53. Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2010

[vi]   See footnote 2.

[vii] Grandjean P, Landrigan PJ. 2014. Neurobehavioural Effects of Developmental Toxicity. Lancet Neurol. 13(3):330-8 On-line: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laneur/article/PIIS1474-4422%2813%2970278-3/abstract

[viii] Choi L., Sun G, Zhang Y, and Grandjean P. 2012. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis; Environmental Health Perspectives Vol. 120(10).

[ix] http://www.fluoridation.com/epa2.htm

[xi]  US CDC, Overview: Infant Formula and Fluorosis, at: http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/infant_formula.htm.

[xii]  U.S. Public Health Service Recommendation for Fluoride Concentration in Drinking Water for the Prevention of Dental Caries Public Health Reports, Vol. 130 at 2-3 (2015).

[xiii] J Brunelle JA1, Carlos JP. 1990.  Recent trends in dental caries in U.S. children and the effect of water fluoridation. Dent Res. 69 Spec No:723-7; discussion 820-3.

[xiv] The NSF sets standards for fluoridation chemicals and other water additives. See CDC link to NSF study results and fact sheet at http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/factsheets/engineering/wfadditives.htm 

[xv] U.S. EPA Drinking Water Contaminants – Standards and Regulations, online: http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/arsenic.cfm

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