Commentary: Pro-Fluoridation Forces Shoot Down Alternative Proposal

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In the last several weeks, we have laid out some reasons we think it is unlikely the Davis City Council will ultimately go forward with fluoridation and why we believe any such effort will result in an effort to put the matter on the ballot and ultimately lead to the defeat of the proposal –  if not the entire water project.

In July, Councilmember Brett Lee put forward a compromise on fluoridation, while Dan Wolk got behind it completely.  Last week, Barbara West put forward her own alternative, arguing that “it would benefit the dental health of low-income children in Yolo County if the money proposed to be spent on water fluoridation was instead spent on an outreach/home visiting program.”

She writes, “The cost of hiring a few public health workers would be well under the annual recurring cost of fluoridation (approximately $228,000).”  She said she was concerned that “the costs and effort of creating administrative oversight for this program might be prohibitive,” however, she believes that “we already have such a structure in place in our county!”

“The Step by Step/Paso a Paso program of the Yolo Children’s Alliance has already done all the hard work of creating infrastructure. Since March of 2009, they have been providing home visiting services to families of young children who are facing socioeconomic challenges – a population with similar demographics to those at risk for insufficient dental care,” she writes.

She adds, “This collaboration between the Yolo County Department of Social Services, the Health Department and Yolo Family Resource Center has recently been awarded accreditation by Healthy Families America, a nationwide evidence-based program that takes a holistic view of preventing child abuse that includes helping families connect to regular medical and dental care.”

However, on Tuesday, Julie Gallelo, Executive Director of First 5 Yolo;  Katie Villegas, Executive Director of Yolo County Children’s Alliance; and Don Saylor, Chair of First 5 Yolo and Yolo County Children’s Alliance, wrote a joint letter arguing, “Barbara West’s letter of Aug. 27 was well-intended and her concern for low-income children should be commended. However, she missed the mark on why community water fluoridation is the best strategy to improve the oral health of Davis residents.”

“The home visitation strategy she recommends as an alternative to water fluoridation would be costly and many families would not welcome a visitor into their homes on a regular basis to evaluate their child’s fluoride use,” they write.

They add, “Additionally, her solution would only focus on low income kids – a small segment of the population who would otherwise benefit from water fluoridation.”

“Families, regardless of income, have challenges in ensuring that their children use fluoride on a daily basis. Local dentists see many kids from mid- and upper-income-level families who also require fillings, caps and extractions,” they argue.  “And, while children’s dental health is of concern, so is that of all Davis residents, including our seniors. Community water fluoridation could improve dental outcomes for the entire city.”

They make an interesting argument.  However, I still struggle with several factors involved in fluoridation.

First, I continue to question how much exposure low-income children, who might not be the only target of fluoridated water but have to be considered a major factor in its need, will receive.

In response to a similar concern, one of our posters acknowledged, “I agree that this is a possibility, but it is speculation as we just plain don’t know that this is the case now, or that it will be in the future.”

But if we do not know if the most targeted group will be helped, why implement the system?

She goes on to argue, “I would say that our county, and many health care systems, and individual providers are now making substantial efforts to educate our students and patients about the hazards of sweetened beverages and the advantages of water. It is important to me that no one interprets my support for fluoridation as an isolated step. I see it rather as part of a comprehensive strategy to inform, educate, and provide healthier choices for all of our population.”

Which is fair enough, but the anti-fluoridation folks, and some on the fence like myself, might argue those other steps are far more needed.

On the other hand, I remain concerned that, without a fluoridation program, those children of low-income households might not get the other treatments needed to prevent tooth decay.

I remain mindful of the comparative statistics that show little difference in the tooth decay rates for communities with fluoridated water and those without.

For that reason, the idea of mobile dental labs such as Councilmember Lee has put forward, or in-home visits such as Barbara West has put forward are intriguing.  One of their arguments that Ms. West puts forward is that the infrastructure might already be in place.

The stats Ms. West cites are instructive: “At least 96 percent of children are current with immunizations. At least 88 percent are attending the recommended number of well-baby visits. Eighty-five percent of mothers initiated breast-feeding, with 51 percent breast-feeding exclusively the first few months. Fifty-one percent of families are reading to their babies every day.”

However, she notes, “Unfortunately, despite their success rates, Step By Step/Paso a Paso has only recently grown to be able to serve 70 families at a time. Soon they hope to increase that to 100. Their total annual budget for this intensive paraprofessional program, which starts with weekly postpartum visits, is a mere $310,000, including the large administrative costs incurred during the recent two-year-long accreditation process. All their funding comes from the First 5 Yolo program.”

But this kind of program may work with the types of funding mechanisms that Brett Lee is looking into creating.

But, moreover, the program appears to be attempting to educate to teach children about the need to drink water.

“One aspect of the program is particularly relevant to the question of how we might best deliver fluoride to those in need,” Ms. West writes. “First 5 Yolo has collaborated with First 5 Santa Clara to create a delightful paperback for children titled ‘Potter the Otter: A Tale About Water.’ “

She continues, “The colorful pages of the bilingual story tell how Potter, who loves to drink water, meets friends who prefer other beverages: Toada is drinking soda, Goose and Moose are drinking juice (including Sunny Delight, a sugared ‘juice drink’), Skunks are drinking punch and the baby kangaroos are sipping from juice pouches.”

“Potter convinces them all to ‘Drink water for thirst, And you should know, Water is healthy, It helps you grow!’ ” she writes.  “The last page of the book encourages parents and caregivers to ‘Be a role model by … drinking water … serving water’ and other health-promoting activities. There is even a pledge card included to encourage us to ‘Commit to drinking water!’ “

She continues, “The need for education about drinking water instead of sugary beverages was confirmed for me when I recently visited WinCo in Vacaville, a discount grocery store with no membership requirement. As I walked through the front doors, I was greeted with massive displays of one-gallon jugs of Sunny Delight for 98 cents apiece. I saw them in many of the carts at checkout. It strikes me that if Davis opts for water fluoridation, the fluoride may not reach its target.”

In our view, this type of program gets right to the core as to why fluoridation will not work.

Ms. West writes, “Imagine what the Yolo Children’s Alliance might be able to accomplish with an extra $228,000 per year! They’ve got the infrastructure already set up and paid for. How many more families could they reach? Could they hire a dental hygienist to apply fluoride varnish? Could their multilingual paraprofessionals be trained to do this? What other social and health benefits might accrue from increased funding for this program?”

Unfortunately, the very groups that are supporting the program, she cites, fail to see the possibilities as a means to get fluoride to the children’s teeth who most need it.  They dismiss it outright as even a possibility.  That is too bad.

It is too bad because it is a creative and innovative solution and it is too bad because their preferred alternative appears doomed, at least in the city of Davis.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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62 thoughts on “Commentary: Pro-Fluoridation Forces Shoot Down Alternative Proposal”

  1. medwoman

    David

    Some thoughts on your interpretation as presented above:

    1) What Brett Lee is offering is in no way a “compromise”. It is an alternative for which he also is not offering’
    a demonstrated means of funding. And for which he does not have the support of the groups who would
    be administering his proposal. Unlike the proponents of fluoridation, it is his responsibility as a council
    member to propose and institute means of funding of his proposal. What he has offered is a “maybe this will
    work if there is enough good will”.
    2) The proponents are not “shooting down the alternative proposal to be contrary. They are suggesting that it
    will not be effective for a number of reasons. 1) is unlikely to benefit a large number of intended
    beneficiaries since many parents do not allow home visits. 2) Will not affect many who might also benefit,
    but do not meet the economic cut off. 3) Requires funding beyond what the agencies themselves feel is
    necessary to meet the need. 4) Ignores the fact that virtually all of the individuals most involved in this type
    of program and the involved medical professions believe that at this time, fluoridation is the better plan.

    [quote]fail to see the possibilities as a means to get fluoride to the children’s teeth who most need it. They
    dismiss it outright as even a possibility.[/quote]

    No one is “dismissing possibilities outright”. What Ms. West is missing is that people who work in public
    health have seen “possibilities” come and go through many years of experience with funding appearing and
    then disappearing with economic swings and swings in political priorities. Where is the guarantee that
    such funding will continue even if Mr. Lee was successful in securing it for year ? Brett Lee’s response to this
    question was a shrug. We have seen school nurse programs completely gutted with the downturn. Do we
    suppose this would be different ?

  2. medwoman

    [quote]The stats Ms. West sites are instructive, “At least 96 percent of children are current with immunizations. At least 88 percent are attending the recommended number of well-baby visits. Eighty-five percent of mothers initiated breast-feeding, with 51 percent breast-feeding exclusively the first few months. Fifty-one percent of families are reading to their babies every day.”[/quote]

    I agree with you that Ms.West’s stats are instructive. I interpret the “lesson” differently from you.

    – 96 % of children are current with immunizations – most likely because this is mandated for school, not
    because parents are so on top of it as the rapid drop off in the remaining statistics attest since only 88%
    are meeting the number of well-baby visits and those are most likely the one’s where immunizations are
    given.
    – Please note the even more rapid drop off in breast feeding. The 85% reflects mothers who left the hospital
    breast feeding. Please note that we are down to 51 percent even meeting the first “few months”, when
    exclusive breast feeding for the first six months with continuation up to one year is usually recommended.
    My point is that optimal health behaviors drop off rapidly even with the best intentions and amongst the
    best educated. As one pediatrician noted, the parents get the first prescribed drops, and then just don’t
    get the refills. And how many of you religiously take a prescribed medication every single dose through
    the entire course regardless of how you are feeling…..or do you maybe just drop out of compliance once
    better.

    Public health measures work best when they are simple, require minimal change from current habits, do not involve a lot of administrative oversight, and are applied with a “nudge” as opposed to a mandate. Now I suppose one could mandate that children have certain dental procedures performed prior to entering school and you might get the kind of compliance that immunizations have achieved. But if one were to propose this, can you even imagine the response from some posters such as Frankly who is opposed to “forced medication”
    even where no such argument can possibly be sustained ! I can see the capital letters flying now !

  3. medwoman

    [quote]First, I continue to question how much exposure low income children, who might not be the only target of fluoridated water, but have to be considered a major factor in its need, will receive.

    In response to a similar concern, one of our poster acknowledged, “I agree that this is a possibility, but it is speculation as we just plain don’t know that this is the case now, or that it will be in the future.”

    But if we do not know if the most targeted group will be helped, why implement the system?

    [/quote]

    I felt the need to address this point since it is me you are quoting. My statement was with regard to the lack of knowledge about how much city water any given child might ingest, which is unknowable as stated. It is a huge and unwarranted leap from that rather modest statement to the conclusion that “we do not know if the most targeted group will be helped”. What we do know is that many people will choose to drink the city water, and thus will receive the benefits whenever they do so. This is the classic opt out, rather than opt in, strategy that proves valuable in many aspects of life. People who have an objection to fluoride in their water can simply chose not to drink the city water. People who want the fluoride, or simply don’t care to think about the issue, can receive the benefits without any special effort on their part regardless of their economic status and without any elaborate means testing or administration, or dependence on any program that may or may not be funded to adequate levels depending upon the economic or political trends of the time.

  4. Matt Williams

    medwoman said . . .

    [i]”I agree with you that Ms.West’s stats are instructive. I interpret the “lesson” differently from you.

    – 96 % of children are current with immunizations – [i]most likely because this is mandated for school[/i], not
    because parents are so on top of it as the rapid drop off in the remaining statistics attest since only 88%
    are meeting the number of well-baby visits and those are most likely the one’s where immunizations are
    given.”[/i]

    Is there a germ of a solution in medwoman’s words above? Would the intrusiveness of home visits be mitigated if the mobile dental labs went to the schools and provided the topical treatment of the children at school?

    Are in-school programs for immunizations currently provided?

  5. medwoman

    Matt

    [quote]Would the intrusiveness of home visits be mitigated if the mobile dental labs went to the schools and provided the topical treatment of the children at school?
    [/quote]

    I agree that this might address the “intrusive” nature of the problem. And, If it were made an opt out, instead of an opt in program, it might also address getting the treatment to all children whose parents did not actively object rather than just those “poor” enough to qualify. It would also address the concern of some that fluoride is only beneficial if applied topically . However, this would of course raise the cost and the
    “how to pay” issue has again not been settled.

    Any thoughts that you have about this issue that are more realistic than hoping that enough folks will voluntarily check a donation box ?

  6. GreenandGolden

    As per usual, Medwoman is right on about health and children.
    I would ask, do we have a Yolo or Solano County problem with nitrate in well water among rural residents?
    Nitrate is a fairly big problem down the Central Valley.

  7. medwoman

    GreenandGolden

    [quote]do we have a Yolo or Solano County problem with nitrate in well water among rural residents?
    Nitrate is a fairly big problem down the Central Valley. [/quote]

    Good question to which I do not have an answer. I can bring this up to the members of the Health Council and get back with you.

  8. Matt Williams

    medwoman

    [i]”Any thoughts that you have about this issue that are more realistic than hoping that enough folks will voluntarily check a donation box?”[/i]

    Good question. As you know from our personal discussions on this subject I feel that water distribution-based solution that includes capital expense at seven sites (six deep aquiver wells plus the surface water source) is approximately seven times more expensive than it would be if we could treat a single source (the surface water). It is also seven times more operationally complex to maintain and run and I imagine seven times more operationally expensive to maintain and run.

    So one possibility could be to get a specific estimate of the capital cost and annual O&M costs of a single source system and then convert those costs into a City of Davis occupancy fee or school attendance fee, and then funnel those funds into the in-school topical fluoridation (and immunization?) program.

  9. medwoman

    Matt

    Now there is some creative thinking for you.
    As with GreenandGolden, I will forward your question about immunization and see what response I get.
    I will also float this idea to the fluoridation proponents as a group as a potential Plan B.

  10. Frankly

    [i]They add, “Additionally, her solution would only focus on low income kids – a small segment of the population who would otherwise benefit from water fluoridation.”[/i]

    This is telling. And it proves the Orwellian impulses of some of our politicians and city leaders.

    So, if low income kids are only “a small segment”, who else do all these social justice do-gooders think they must save by putting drugs in the water and forcing the entire population to ingest them?

    There is a big “S” stamped on the foreheads of people still pushing water fluoridation… and it does not stand for “Superman”.

    As Ms. West and others have proposed, there are several better ideas for getting fluoride to the kids that need it.

    But, a major root cause of tooth decay in this country and other countries is the consumption of sugary drinks. Not only is it a source of tooth decay, but obesity and diabetes. We would be much better served by a comprehensive program to educate people on the ills of drinking sugary drinks while also educating them on the ills of not brushing their teeth.

    One more point. If you poison the drinking water with fluoride, some people might refuse to drink it and will drink soda instead… thereby causing more of the very problem fluoride in the water is claimed (not proved) to address.

    Keep the water fresh, clear and good-tasting, and more people will drink it instead of crappy sugary drinks.

  11. Matt Williams

    SODA, I looked into that a while ago, and according to Heb Niederberger that approach would result in “sub-optimal” fluoridation according to the national standards, and in situations where sub-optimal fluoridation exists, the jurisdiction has to notify in writing all the affected parties that the sub-optimal fluoridation is taking place. Herb characterized that notification process as cumbersome and expensive and potentially legally risky.

  12. medwoman

    Franklly

    “forcing the entire population to ingest them? “

    Repeating something does not make it true. If you honestly believe there is any “force” here, please tel is which government agency you believe wl be charged with enforcement ? Will they make home visits or just take your word ion surveys ? Will it be house by house orbit census tract ?
    If you see these as ridiculous questions as I do, then you might want to consider deleting this equally ridiculous claim from your posts.

  13. medwoman

    “One more point. If you poison the drinking water with fluoride, some people might refuse to drink it and will drink soda instead… thereby causing more of the very problem fluoride in the water is claimed (not proved) to address. “

    Based on your previous posts in which you recommended alternative means of providing fluoride to children, and your lack of demand for removal of the naturally occurring fluoride from our drinking water, I
    Find it difficult to believe that you honestly consider fluoride to be poisonous, unless of course you are a much more devious and sinister character than portrayed by your posts.

  14. Frankly

    “forcing” comes in many shapes and forms. A city that “forces” people to ride a bike. A city that “forces” people to have to travel further to shop due to fewer shopping choices. A city that “forces” people to struggle more with water transportation options from plastic bag bans, and demonization of plastic water bottles.

    Yes, the word “force” is a appropriate here.

    And you know that they basis of the motivation to put fluoride in the drinking water backs my point… there would be four types of people:

    – Those that know about fluoride in the water and have the resources to purchase alternative drinking water.

    – Those that know about fluoride in the water but don’t have the resources to purchase alternative water.

    – Those that like fluoride in their water and drink it from the tap.

    – Those that don’t have a clue and drink the water from the tap.

    In 100% of these cases, EVERYONE will be forced to ingest some of the fluoride that is put in the drinking water because there is no easy way to prevent it from cleaning, swimming, bathing and cooking.

  15. Frankly

    [i]Find it difficult to believe that you honestly consider fluoride to be poisonous, unless of course you are a much more devious and sinister character than portrayed by your posts.[/i]

    Posted on every tube of fluoride toothpaste:

    [quote]“If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately”[/quote]

    So, if you think I am sinister, I guess you must have the opinion that your government is also sinister (and I would agree with you on the latter point).

  16. alanpryor

    All of Medwoman’s proposals presuppose that ingestion of fluoridated drinking water actually works to prevent cavities in children. That is simply false and antiquated thinking based on 40 and 50-year old flawed studies. The larger and more up-to-date meta-studies conclusively show that that fluoridation of drinking water has a minimal, if any, benefit and a host of risk factors.

    There is a reason the vast majority of the world avoids fluoridated drinking water like a plague. There is a reason that many other governments that previously mandated fluoridating their drinking water have discontinued the practice or are moving away in droves (e.g. the provinces of Ontario, Canada and Queensland Australia and the nation of Israel in the last 2 months to two years to name a few).

    The reason is simply that ingestion of fluoride does not work to reduce cavity rates because the beneficial effect of fluoride are topical…that’s why they put it into toothpastes, mouthwashes, and dental sealants.

    Plus the whole idea of putting 12 tons of toxic fluoride into Davis’ potable water every year when only 76 lbs (0.3% !!) of the added chemicals would be actually drunk by Davisites (the rest being dumped on our lawns and sent through our sewers to the wetlands) is perhaps the most inefficient health care delivery mechanism ever devised in the world’s history.

  17. alanpryor

    [u]Water Use in Davis[/u] = 160 gal per capita per day (gpcd) x 68,500 people in Davis = 11.508 million gallons of water per day (mgd).

    [u]Fluoride Used to Treat Water[/u] = 11.508 mgd x 8.34 lb/gal x .0000007 (0.7 ppm) = 67.2 lb fluoride/day x 365 days/year = 24,522 lbs of fluoride/year injected into water (approximately 12 tons)

    [u]Amount of Fluoride Ingested by Humans[/u] = 2 qts water/person/day (0.5 gal) / 160 gpcd = 0.31 % x 24,522 lb fluoride/year = 76 lb/year

    [u]Amount of Fluoride Released into the Environment[/u] = 24,522 lb/year Injected– 76 lb/year = 24,446 lb/year (99.69% of fluoride used) = Greater than 12 tons/year!

  18. Growth Izzue

    Though I don’t often agree with Mr. Pryor I have to say he’s knocked it out of the park on this issue. NO TO FLUORIDATION.

    Once again to all of you who are trying to figure out how to get fluoride to the underprivileged, Obamacare offers it for free. Problem solved. Move on.

  19. Steve Hayes

    The pro-fluoride forces appear to have “shot-down” Barbara West’s alternative proposal because:

    (1) it was insightful, collaborative, and original,

    (2) they [u]know[/u] what is best for us; and,

    (3) they don’t need people “worrying their pretty little heads” (sarcasm mine) about this problem. Sorry Barbara!

    Heavy-handed, closed-minded top-dowm management should be on the way out

  20. medwoman

    No, because your statement ignores the importance of both amount ingested and the lack of demonstration of harm. If you were being consistent, you should be adamantly opposing anything that puts proven dangerous substances such as CO2 and particulates into our air. Unlike city water which one can choose not to consume in significant quantities, no one can choose not to breath the air. And yet I have seen no postings from you opposing activities such as word burning or advocating for less use of cars .

  21. Matt Williams

    Frankly, those are compelling pictures that show moderate fluorosis in the upper two pictures and severe fluorosis in the lower two pictures.

    At what mg/liter concentrations have the scientific studies shown moderate fluorosis occurs, and at what mg/liter concentrations have the scientific studies shown severe fluorosis occurs?

    What is the proposed mg/liter concentration proposed in Davis?

    Can you post pictures of mild fluorosis?

  22. medwoman

    Alan

    [quote]There is a reason the vast majority of the world avoids fluoridated drinking water.[/quote]

    Yes, and we happen to disagree on what that reason is. The vast majority of the developed world has adopted alternative effect strategies for the provision of fluoride. We have not chosen to do so. You keep neglecting that part which from personal discussion, I know you know to be the case.

  23. Growth Izzue

    [quote]The vast majority of the developed world has adopted alternative effect strategies for the provision of fluoride. [/quote]

    And so have we, Obamacare and Medical provide free fluoride for those who can’t afford it.

  24. bviner

    [b]First Five[/b] has a history of misinformation on this issue; [url]http://fluoridefreesacramento.org/html/first_five_of_sac.html[/url]
    I would rather trust professional who have actually studied the facts on this;
    [b]FLUORIDEGATE[/b] is a new documentary that reveals the tragedy of how government, industry and trade associations protect and promote a policy known to cause harm to our country and especially to small children who suffer more than any other segment of the population.
    [url]http://www.fluoridegate.org/the-film/[/url]

  25. medwoman

    Frankly

    I am challenged and so cannot post a commensurate picture of dental decay . Maybe someone else, in the interest of intellectual honest would be willing to post a picture of severe dental decay which is by anyone’s estimation far more prevalent than is anything beyond mild fluorosis. Maybe we should discuss the costs of short term repair of individual cavities and the long term consequences of tooth loss and gingival disease and ultimately loss of bony structure with the need for orthodontic and periodontal surgery when these more mild conditions go untreated too long.

    Any takers for that discussion ?

  26. alanpryor

    To medwoman – [quote]The vast majority of the developed world has adopted alternative effect strategies for the provision of fluoride. [/quote]

    True – The effective strategies are called fluoridated toothpaste and mounthwashes which we also use in the US. If you are otherwise referring to fluoride in salt and milk, that is practiced by only a few countries in Europe and is not universal within those countries. Plus people opposed to ingestion of fluoride have a choice not to use it and have cheaper alternatives. Not so with fluoridating all municipal water supplies where people must otherwise buy bottled water to avoid fluoride in their drinking water.

    Plus 100% of the fluoride used in salt and milk is actually ingested. In the proposal to fluoridate drinking water, only 0.3% is ingested and the rest becomes an environmental contaminant. If you want to put pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride in salt and milk and label it as such, have at it. At least then people have a choice and it does not become such a contaminated environmental blight such a when industrial grade hexafluorosilicic is used as proposed for Davis

  27. lilypads

    My reading of many books and articles over the past year has persuaded me that fluoride does nothing to reduce tooth decay. The most convincing article I read was this one, by the former Principal Dental Officer of Auckland, New Zealand, an avid fluoridation promoter, who changed his mind after carefully studying the statistics. [url]http://www.slweb.org/colquhoun.html[/url]

    To read more about this controversial issue, please visit [url]https://www.facebook.com/CleanWaterSonomaMarin[/url]

  28. ebowler

    [quote]If you want to put pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride in salt and milk and label it as such, have at it. At least then people have a choice and it does not become such a contaminated environmental blight such a when industrial grade hexafluorosilicic is used as proposed for Davis [/quote]

    Excellent suggestion, alanpryor.

    It seems to me that the fluoride proponents already have many sources of fluoride including fluoride pills and drops and fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash. The fluoride opponents, on the other hand, cannot avoid exposure to fluoride once it is added to the municipal water supply due to exposure not only from drinking the water, but also from consuming foods prepared in fluoridated water as well as showering and bathing in it. The ONLY way for fluoride opponents to avoid exposure from a fluoridated municipal water supply is to install a reverse osmosis filter at the household water source. Doing so not only removes fluoride, but all minerals from the water including many beneficial ones such as calcium, magnesium and potassium. It is very costly to install such a system and I am told that an RO system is very hard on the plumbing.

    It seems to me that the fluoridated salt and milk options would be good for people who, for whatever reason, choose not to use fluoride pills, drops, toothpaste or mouthwash.

  29. Frankly

    [i]I am challenged and so cannot post a commensurate picture of dental decay[/i]

    The difference is that we know that excess fluoride causes fluorosis. However, dental decay is caused by a number of factors including diet, poor hygiene, smoking, genetics, other health factors. So, images of dental decay are not really relevant unless the decay is directly attributable to an absence of fluoride in the drinking water.

    And since that is impossible to pin down, we should instead just rely on studies for dental carries for areas where fluoride has been added to the water, and areas where it has not.

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscfrank/toothdecaytrends.jpg[/img]

    Based on this graph all countries have moved to similar levels of dental carries with or without fluoride.

    But fluorosis has been on the rise…

    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscfrank/fluorosistrends.jpg[/img]

    We simply will not improve outcomes for dental carries by putting fluoride in the water. Instead we should work on fixing the root causes of dental decay.

    Conversely, if we continue to fluoridate our water, the rate of fluorosis will increase.

  30. lilypads

    [b]The Iowa Fluoride Study: Fluoride, Teeth, and Developing Bone
    Fluoride Action Network [/b]| August 2012 | By Michael Connett (Part 1)

    In the early 1990s, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a large grant to University of Iowa researchers to investigate the relationship between total daily fluoride intake (from all sources) and several health outcomes of interest, namely: tooth decay, dental fluorosis, and bone health.

    Known as the “Iowa Fluoride Study,” the researchers monitored the fluoride intake of over 600 Iowan children from birth to adolescence, while conducting periodic exams of the children’s dental and bone health. Thus far, the study — which remains an ongoing one — paints a picture of fluoride’s risk/benefits that is at stark odds with the quasi-mythical narrative that U.S. health authorities have long peddled.

    [i][b]1. Effect of Total Fluoride Ingestion on Teeth[/b][/i]

    In 2009, the Iowa researchers published the long-awaited data on the effect of total fluoride exposure on tooth health after 9 years of the children’s life. Much to the disappointment of fluoridation advocates, fluoride intake was found to be significantly associated with dental fluorosis, but not tooth decay.

    The lack of effect between fluoride intake and tooth decay can be visually seen in a figure that the authors published, which shows that children with no cavities have ingested almost identical amounts of fluoride at each year of life as children with cavities. According to the authors:

    “These findings suggest that achieving a caries-free status may have relatively little to do with fluoride intake, while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake.” (Warren 2009)

    Based on these findings, the Iowa researchers note that the long-held idea of an “optimal fluoride intake” is “problematic” and “perhaps it is time that the term optimal fluoride intake be dropped from common usage.”
    Not exactly the kind of statements you’d hear from your dentist.

    [i][b]2. Effect of Water Fluoride Level on Teeth[/b][/i]

    Another unflattering result from the Iowa study is the repeated finding in several published analyses that tooth decay is not significantly related to the fluoride level in the children’s water supply, but dental fluorosis is.

    The authors first reported this in 2006 at the annual conference of the International Association of Dental Research, where they reported the results of their first two dental exams (the first at age 5 and the second at age 9). To quote:

    “This study assessed the relationship between dental caries and fluorosis at varying fluoride levels in drinking water. 420 study subjects received dental examinations at age 5 on primary teeth and at age 9 on early-erupting permanent teeth… Conclusions: Fluorosis prevalence increased significantly with higher water fluoride levels; however, caries prevalence did not decline significantly.” (Hong 2006a)

    In 2011, the Iowa team published the results of a third dental exam, which was conducted when the children reached the age of 13. As with the first two dental exams, the authors reported that the water fluoride level did not have a significant effect on tooth decay, including overt tooth decay (“cavitated caries”) and early decay (“non-cavitated caries”). To quote:

    “Greater toothbrushing frequently was significantly associated with fewer new non-cavitated caries, while gender, exam variable, and composite water level were not significantly associated with new non-cavitated caries. . . . Gender, SES, tooth brushing frequency, and composite water fluoride level were not significantly associated with new cavitated caries.” (Chankanka 2011a)

    In a separate study, also published in 2011, the authors looked at whether the fluoride level in the children’s water between the ages of 5 and 9 had any bearing on the development of new tooth decay during these years. While fluoride in water during these years was associated with a slight reduction in new decay among the girls, it was associated with a slight increase in tooth decay among the boys. (Chankanka 2011a)
    Consistent with these results, the Iowa team reported that the subset of children in its study who drink bottled water (which has low levels of fluoride) do not have an increased rate of tooth decay. As the researchers noted:

    “Presumably, such reduced exposure to fluoride [from drinking bottled water] would result in increased caries occurrence. However, the present study did not find any significant differences in caries prevalence or incidence between bottled water users and those who did not use much bottled water.” (Broffit 2007)

    While the researchers cautioned that the number of children in the bottled water analysis was small, their findings are consistent with the previous findings of a large-scale Australian study.

  31. lilypads

    [b]The Iowa Fluoride Study:
    Fluoride, Teeth, and Developing Bone
    Fluoride Action Network | August 2012 | By Michael Connett (Part 2)[/b]

    [b][i]3. Effect of Fluoride Exposure During Infancy[/i][/b]

    When dental fluorosis is present on a child’s front teeth, it can cause significant embarrassment and anxiety for a child. The Centers for Disease Control has defined even “mild” forms of fluorosis as “cosmetically objectionable” when present on the front teeth. (Griffin 2002). It was significant, therefore, when the Iowa team reported that infants who consumed fluoridated water had a significantly greater risk of developing fluorosis on their front teeth. (Hong 2006b; Marshall 2004).

    In the past, some dental researchers had claimed that fluoride exposure during infancy was unlikely to cause dental fluorosis on the front teeth. (Evans & Darwell 1995). The Iowa team found, however, that infant exposure was a stronger predictor of front-tooth fluorosis than exposures from ages 1 to 4. (Hong 2006b)

    Based on these findings, the Iowa researchers stated that an effective way of reducing fluorosis risk would be to encourage parents to breast-feed their child instead of using fluoridated formula. To quote:
    “Our results suggest that the fluoride contribution of water used to reconstitute formulas increases risk of fluorosis and could be an area for intervention… Supporting long-term lactation could be an important strategy to decrease fluorosis risk of primary teeth and early developing permanent teeth.” (Marshall 2004).
    [i][b]
    4. Effect of Water Fluoride Level on Bone[/b][/i]

    In 2009, the Iowa team published their first analyses on the association between fluoride intake and bone health. To determine fluoride’s impact on developing bone tissue, the researchers periodically examined the bone mineral content and bone density of various bones in the children’s skeleton. The 2009 study reported on the results of the exams from birth through age 11. (Levy 2009).

    Although the authors did not find a statistically significant relationship, their data shows that – at all ages – the highest-exposed girls had lower bone mineral content and density than girls from the lowest exposed group. At 8.5 years of age, the highest-exposed girls had 6.4% less bone mineral content in their hips (p = 0.01) and 4% less bone mineral content in their whole body (p = 0.02). At 11 years of age, the highest-exposed girls continued to have lower mineral content, with 5.7% less mineral content in their hip and 4.3% less mineral content in their whole body (p = 0.02).

    By contrast, fluoride intake was generally associated with higher mineral content and density in the boys, although the association was not as strong as the negative association detected in girls. The spine was the bone site that showed the greatest increase in bone mineral content and density in the boys. At age 11, for example, the spines of the boys with the highest fluoride exposure had 4.5% more bone mineral content (p = 0.07) and 4.4% more bone mineral density (p = 0.05).
    Importantly, the pattern of bone mineral changes identified by the Iowa researchers is roughly similar to the pattern seen with high-fluoride exposures. Specifically, the trabecular-rich spine was the bone site in boys with the strongest upward trend in mineral content, and was the only bone site in girls that did not have a declining trend in mineral content.

    These findings suggest that fluoride’s differential effect on bone density can be discerned among highly exposed children in fluoridated communities, which is particularly significant when considering that reductions in cortical bone density are a key mechanism by which fluoride can increase fracture rates.
    [i][b]
    Conclusion:[/b][/i]

    The findings of the Iowa Fluoride Study have helped to clarify our understanding of the relationship between total fluoride intake, bones, and teeth. To the surprise of many fluoridation advocates, the study has found that fluoride intake has (1) little relationship to cavity prevention, (2) a significant relationship to dental fluorosis, and (3) a potentially far more significant relationship to bone health than the authors have thus far acknowledged.
    [i][b]

    References can be found at [url]http://www.fluoriealert.org/ifs[/url]

  32. Frankly

    [i]Frankly is a good egg. I’m sure he will post those pictures too.

    With the above said, there are times when he is a bit hard boiled.[/i]

    LOL. I just saw this.

    I agree. I am always working on perfecting that soft boiled state!

  33. B. Nice

    “If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately”

    I’ve seen much worse warning signs then these at school and parks all over town where actual poisons are being applied.

  34. Ernesto

    Matt Williams asked

    [quote]What is the proposed mg/liter concentration proposed in Davis? [/quote]

    Matt, the mg/liter statistic is misleading without knowing the distribution of daily water consumption per kg of body weight.

    With fluoridation having a target population of 2-3% of the Davis population we need to know what the average daily consumption of fluoride in mg will be for a similarly sized slice of the population. I suspect the top 2-3% of tap water consumers on a per kg body weight basis will be exposed to a dangerous amount of fluoride.

    The average 22 year old student probably doesn’t drink that much tap water on a per kg body weight basis, a 75 year old diabetic on SS probably drinks a lot. Is it fair to expose that person to a large dose of flouride to protect hypothetical poor children who may not even drink a lot of tap water?

  35. ebowler

    a very interesting connection between water fluoridation chemicals and sarin gas!

    [url]http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/revealed-uk-government-let-british-company-export-nerve-gas-chemicals-to-syria-8793642.html[/url]

  36. Matt Williams

    Ernesto, it actually is not misleading, because the same conundrum of varying water consumption levels existed in the fluorosis studies, so while your point that the apple has a hole in it is correct in isolation, for the purposes of comparing the proposed Davis situation to the situations in the scientific studies of fluorosis we are indeed comparing apples to apples . . . apples with holes to be sure, but apples nonetheless.

  37. Yellow

    I’m glad that the issue of fluorosis is being addressed seriously as it seemed to be marginalized in earlier discussions. I had a friend in college who grew up near Boston in the 1970’s and had suffered moderate-to-severe fluorosis as a result of excessive fluoride in the municipal water supply. The mottling of his teeth gave the appearance that they were covered in plaque and tartar, suggesting to anyone unaware of his fluorosis condition that he didn’t practice proper oral hygiene. He expressed discontent that it affected his social outlook and had pursued cosmetic dental intervention but unfortunately it was cost prohibitive. The worst part of all is that I believe it impacted his ability to gain meaningful employment. My point being, don’t marginalize the risk of fluorosis in the current debate since it can have serious lifestyle consequences.

  38. Matt Williams

    Yellow, thank you for that personal insight into the lifestyle consequences of moderate-to-severe fluorosis. I’ve brought forward the image that Frankly posted earlier. it shows graphically what your friend had to deal with.
    [img]http://www.cscdc.org/miscfrank/fluorosis.jpg[/img]

    One of the many things we have learned as a society since the 1970’s is that “excessive fluoride” in municipal ware supplies does damage. As a result the recommended concentration has been reduced to a level where even mild fluorosis is extremely rare and the kind of moderate-to severe fluorosis your friend experienced is non-existant.

  39. ebowler

    [quote]…don’t marginalize the risk of fluorosis in the current debate since it can have serious lifestyle consequences. [/quote]

    Excellent point, Yellow.

    It would be one thing to subject people to this serious side effect if there were definitive benefits of doing so, but as Frankly’s graphs clearly indicate, there is no difference in the rates of tooth decay between fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries, even taking into account all sources of fluoride including salt and milk.

    Closer to home, we have the Kentucky experience to ponder. Kentucky has the highest rate of fluoridation in the nation at 99.8%, and simultaneously one of the highest rates of tooth decay. And rather than decreasing, the rates of dental decay in Kentucky have been increasing to the point that there is now a serious dental crisis in that state.

    [url]http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130510/OPINION01/305100037/Editorial-Dental-decay-public-health-crisis?gcheck=1&nclick_check=1[/url]

    It is time to admit that water fluoridation has been a failure and to begin to address the real cause of tooth decay and other associated health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. The Standard American Diet.

  40. Barbara King

    Matt wrote, ” the recommended concentration has been reduced to a level where even mild fluorosis is extremely rare and the kind of moderate-to severe fluorosis your friend experienced is non-existant.” Your source for the low and non-existent levels of fluorosis? The latest I have goes up to 2002, which I think is before the new, lower concentrations were proposed. And, the last I looked, implementation of the lower proposed concentrations was slow or non-existent. Last, remember that dose = concentration per liter x liters consumed. You cannot control the dose.

  41. medwoman

    GreenandGolden

    I got the response to your question as follows from the Director of Environmental Health of Yolo County:

    “The answer is yes, we do find levels of nitrates in the ground water that are elevated or exceed the maximum contaminant level. There are areas of the county that are impacted more than others and there are certain aquifers that have higher levels of contamination. “

    If you are interested in the specific areas involved, she has offered to provide me with more specific information.

  42. medwoman

    [quote]It is time to admit that water fluoridation has been a failure and to begin to address the real cause of tooth decay and other associated health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. The Standard American Diet.[/quote]

    What is eluding me in this discussion is why this needs to be an either/or proposal. All of us in the medical community are well aware that dental health, like all health is multifactorial. No one denies that a major culprit in the health problems noted above have the “standard American diet” as a major contributing factor. What I believe is needed is a comprehensive approach which deals with life style factors, exercise ( including getting people our of their cars), a healthy environment, a universal single party payer, integrated health care system.
    However, since none of this is going to happen overnight I fail to see why these considerations should preclude us doing what is possible in the present to improve the health of our community.

    Pretending that the appropriate amount of fluoride is not preventative of cavities is to be blind to a large body of scientific evidence. Those societies that are not choosing the strategy of fluoridating their water are doing so because they have adopted some other form of provision, either through another substance or through the granted more desirable universal application by a trained dental health worker. I have yet to see a single, implementable alternative put forward by any of the opponents. Ironically, enough, it is Matt Williams who appears to me to have the most credible suggestion with kudos also going to Brett Lee for being willing to propose an alternative. For the most part those who are in opposition are content to repeat the exact same canned comments that are found on the FAN site, hardly a source of objective scientific information.

  43. lilypads

    Medwoman, It appears that you have not looked at the growing body of evidence that fluoride does not reduce tooth decay. If the evidence was sufficient to persuade John Colquhoun and Hardy Limeback, both prominent dentists who were longtime fluoridation promoters, and who changed their positions after STUDYING the evidence, it might persuade you, if you opened your mind to the possibility.

    Someone above posted the World Health Organization chart showing tooth decay dropping just as fast or faster in unfluoridated countries as in fluoridated ones. I posted a summary of the Iowa Fluoride Study. If you aren’t willing to accept Michael Connett’s summary, you could always read the various published peer-reviewed studies upon which he based his summary. If you find that he misinterpreted the studies, please let us know.

    “There is a general consensus among experts on both sides of the fluoride issue that swallowing fluoride does nothing to prevent tooth decay. In fact, the only proven effect that swallowing fluoride has on teeth is to poison the ameloblasts and odontoblasts, resulting in dental fluorosis, the formation of imperfect or damaged enamel or dentine, respectively, and slowing down the eruption rate of deciduous
    teeth.”

    —John Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D.,
    1/19/1999
    From [url]http://www.fluoridation.com/fraud.htm

  44. ebowler

    There is science on both sides of this issue. One can cherry-pick the science to support either side. But to continue to claim that water fluoridation is effective is to ignore the increasing rates of dental disease in children in Kentucky despite nearly 100% water fluoridation in that state.

    If the Davis City Council is genuinely interested in improving the health of the city’s children, it will consider consulting with people like UCSF pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig MD, one of the leading authorities and researchers in the area of sugar, especially fructose, and its effects on children. He, along with growing numbers of other medical, dental and nutritional experts, believe that public policy will be required to stem the increasing rates of many childhood diseases. We have already used public policy to restrict sales of alcohol and tobacco to children, and it is now time to consider doing the same with sugar and fructose, which is not only more addicting than the other substances but arguably results in significantly more health problems. Dr. Lustig has some very interesting and innovative ideas in the area of public policy regarding sugar and fructose.

  45. ebowler

    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiMUNuXKNJ4&feature=em-uploademail[/url]

    interview with Dr. Connett of FAN on the recent anti-fluoridation victories around the world

  46. medwoman

    Illypads

    You are joining this discussion late and so I have no idea if you have read my previous posts with my regard to my thoughts about fluoride. I am frequently being portrayed here as a closed minded ( if I would just open my mind), zealot who is not considering the facts. When I first started looking at the fluoride issue, I was quite neutral, largely because I had not looked into the issue at all. So I did read, both summaries, meta analysis and a number of the original articles. I read both pro and anti articles. I read from At the end, I came to the following conclusions.

    1) Fluoride is effective in prevention of tooth decay.
    2) Fluoride is only one strategy for prevention.
    3) The countries that do not fluoride, and are seeing decline in decay provide comprehensive dental and medical care for their citizens
    4) Many of the countries that are seeing a dramatic decline in tooth decay have a much healthier diet and lifestyle than we adhere to in the United States
    5) Fluoride use should be seen not as a panacea but rather as a part of a comprehensive strategy for improving
    both dental and overall health.
    6) What I would see as ideal would be a single party payer system, integrated health care, emphasis on preventive strategies for both individual and public health including overall health, diet, exercise, immunization, mental and dental health.

    So why am I supporting fluoridation ?
    Because I simply do not believe that there is the will in our community at this time to take on what I would see as a far superior approach. Instead, I see people ( forgive me Matt and Brett, the exceptions) continuing to bash the idea of fluoridation without being willing to commit to some alternative strategy that they feel would be better.

    It is much easier to sit back and make critical comments than it is to propose and work towards some positive outcome. So what would be your recommendation for the implementation of a superior program for improvement of both individual and community dental health ? I think that you would find me very open minded with regard to positive alternative suggestions.

  47. lilypads

    Medwoman, I agree with all of the components of your ideal situation.

    But since neither you nor I have the power to implement those solutions to the health care crisis in Davis or any place else, we can only ask if fluoride in water is safe and effective.

    After reading 7 books and a huge number of articles on the subject, I have concluded that it’s neither. The best book I read is [i][b]Fluoridation: [/b][/i][b][i]The Great Dilemma[/i][/b], by George Waldbott, MD. It’s fully documented, and available as a free online download here: [url]http://www.whale.to/b/Waldbott_DILEMMA_ocr.pdf[/url] It’s such a good book that I read it twice. Dr. Waldbott treated some 500 patients who became seriously ill after their water supplies were fluoridated. One chapter of the book, “Illness from Artificially Fluoridated Water,” details some of their case histories (page 110).

    Dr. Waldbott also provides a detailed description of the suppression of information about fluoride dangers within the medical community. A well-known allergist and the author of 130 articles BEFORE he became interested in fluoride, Dr. Waldbott suddenly found, when he began to write about his patients poisoned by fluoride, that no US medical journal would publish his work. He had to go to European journals to get published and to Europe to hold meetings. In addition, he and others were smeared through the tireless efforts of John Small, a PR man who for 45 years worked first at the US Public Health Service and later at the CDC promoting fluoridation and doing everything possible to discredit those who opposed it. (I know about John Small from a friend who was personally targeted, not just from Dr. Waldbott’s book.)

    Ralph Nader called this “a witch hunt” on the part of the CDC. And it was a witch hunt carried on at taxpayers’ expense. If fluoridation was really a safe and effective practice, I don’t think the advocates would need to go to such lengths–the truth would be their best weapon. An article about this corruption of science can be found here: http://www.slweb.org/hileman4.html

    Dr. Waldbott also reviews the history of the corporations that promoted and benefited from fluoridation and the scientific enterprises they supported. His outline is filled in by Christopher Bryson in his book [i][b]The Fluoride Deception.[/b][/i] Though Bryson’s book is not of the same quality (Bryson is a journalist, not a medical doctor and scientist) the documents Bryson obtained using the Freedom of Information Act make it a page turner.

    When Dr. Waldbott published his book in 1978, the evidence for fluoride’s lack of effectiveness at reducing tooth decay was just beginning to come in. Now we have the work of John Colquhoun in New Zealand, Hardy Limeback in Toronto, the 2011 Iowa Fluoride study, the WHO data. In addition, the quality of the early studies done in Grand Rapids, Newburgh et al. has been thoroughly debunked. (See the work of Philip R.N. Sutton, who was both a dentist and a statistician, here: [url]www.whale.to/d/sutton_b.html‎[/url])

    Simultaneously, we’re learning about the effect of fluoride on the developing brain, on bone strength, on the thyroid, on glucose metabolism, on cancer, as a cause of arthritis and osteosarcoma. Declan Waugh’s excellent Power Point [url]http://news-beacon-ireland.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Health-impacts-of-Fluoride-case-study-Ireland-Apr-2013.pdf [/url]compares the fluoridated Republic of Ireland with unfluoridated Northern Ireland and the EU. It is is very disturbing. It was one of the factors that recently convinced the Supreme Court of Israel to halt fluoridation there, and it also influenced four Canadian cities to stop fluoridation. I believe that when fluoridation finally ends in the USA, and I’m confident it will, we will see a huge drop in health care costs.

  48. lilypads

    So now we get back to the low-income children whose dental health is the alleged object of the fluoridation promoters. Poor children are the ones likely to be most severely harmed by fluoridation. Albert Schatz, (who discovered streptomycin in 1943) studied fluoridation in Chile in the 1960s, comparing unfluoridated and fluoridated communties that were very poor. He found that children who were malnourished, especially those with mineral deficiencies, were the most damaged by fluoride. Because of his work, Chile halted fluoridation. Dr. Chinoy in India did studies more recently that reached the same conclusions.

    Former UN Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young asked the Georgia legislature to reverse the fluoridation mandate in that state. Ambassador Young (whose father was a dentist) wrote, “We have a cavity epidemic today in our inner cities that have been fluoridated for decades.” and he added: “I am most deeply concerned for poor families who have babies: if they cannot afford unfluoridated water for their babies’ milk formula, do their babies not count? Of course they do. This is an issue of fairness, civil rights, and compassion. We must find better ways to prevent cavities, such as helping those most at risk for cavities obtain access to the services of a dentist.”

    He was referring to the fact that babies whose formula is mixed with fluoridated water get as much as 200 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby–a toxic dose.This probably accounts in part for the high rate of dental fluorosis among teenagers, which the CDC estimates at 41%. In some areas it reaches 80%, among African-American youth. We know about fluorosis because it’s visible. But the invisible harm caused by fluoride has not been looked for (though diabetes and obesity may be partly caused by fluoride’s thyroid suppression and interference with glucose metabolism).

    LULAC, the oldest Latino organization in the US, passed a resolution opposing fluoridation, which you can find here: [url]http://lulac.org/advocacy/reso…rced_Medi
    cation/
    [/url]
    I understand that children’s dental care will once again be covered by MediCal beginning Jan.1. But of course for poor children to get care, dentists will have to accept MediCal. Many of them don’t. The paperwork is daunting and the pay is low. Some monies for dental care can also be obtained from First Five, the State agency funded by the cigarette tax. But someone has to apply for the grants. A good task for a group of people who want to improve children’s dental health would be to recruit dentists to accept MediCal and perhaps to solicit grant money to pay the dentists a stipend over and above what MediCal pays (though that would probably mean changing MediCal rules—another job that could be taken on by those concerned).

    Oral health education is a big step. Worldwide, the lowest levels of tooth decay are found in children from the families with the highest incomes. Short of providing a guaranteed income, like Brazil does, what can Davis and Woodland (and Sonoma and Marin counties) do to improve poor children’s teeth? Teach parents and children how to care for their teeth. Do it at Head Start and school. When I was a Head Start volunteer, it was happening. Every child had a toothbrush and a place to keep it, and every time they ate, they brushed their teeth. It was great to see! Do we really want children to have better teeth or do we want to help corporations dispose of hazardous waste at taxpayers expense? The money going to fluoridation and fluoridation promotion (the USPHS has spent tens of millions just on promotion) could instead be spent on dental care.

    In addition, the blood lead levels of children drinking fluoridated water are higher than those of children drinking fluoride-free water. ([url]http://www.fluoride-class-action.com/tacoma[/url]). Increasing children’s blood lead levels with a fluoride product would not be acceptable even if fluoride [i][b]did[/b][/i] reduce tooth decay.

    I am sufficiently convinced of the health dangers of fluoride that I would be opposed to adding it to the public water supply even if it did reduce tooth decay. But I have seen no evidence that it does. Medwoman, If you have some, I’d be very interested in reading it.

    Lauren Ayers’s diet suggestions, listed in today’s [b][i]Davis Enterprise[/i][/b], should also be implemented. That will take years of work at many levels–in the schools, at City Councils, within community organizations. The giant food companies promote junk food with resources health advocates don’t have: [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?ref=books[/url]

    Surely, the answer to children’s tooth decay can’t be poisoning them with fluoride–which only works topically, not systemically, as even the CDC concedes. It can’t be giving them dental fluorosis and a host of physical ailments with a substance that doesn’t reduce decay when ingested.

  49. lilypads

    Medwoman,

    [url]http://www.nofluoride.com/mullenix_bsa.cfm[/url] Here is a letter by a toxicologist who started out with, like you, no opinion about fluoride. After years of work, she now has an opinion, which she shares here with the U.S. Army Medical Command.

  50. Matt Williams

    lilypads said . . .

    [i]”Medwoman, http://www.nofluoride.com/mullenix_bsa.cfm Here is a letter by a toxicologist who started out with, like you, no opinion about fluoride. After years of work, she now has an opinion, which she shares here with the U.S. Army Medical Command.”[/i]

    lilypads, I opened the link to Dr. Mullinex’s letter and read it with great interest. Barbara King and Alan Pryor will attest to the fact that I have worked very hard to maintain an open mind to all information provided by both the pro-fluoride citizens and anti-fluoride citizens.

    I share the above because I have a question back for you that I sincerely need help with, and I’m asking you for that help. Specifically Dr. Mullinex says in her letter, [i]”Criticisms of our study by dentists say that our results in rats are not relevant to humans because the doses we used were too high (75-125 pprn NaF in drinking water). These criticisms are without merit because our doses in rats produce a level of fluoride in the plasma equivalent to that found in humans drinking 5- 10 ppm fluoride in water.”[/i]

    My question to you is, “Since the fluoride concentration proposed for Davis water is 0.7 ppm, how relevant is a scientific study performed at 5-10 ppm fluoride in water?”

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