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Fluoridation does more harm than good


Readers’ Letters

Like most of you, I’m not a doctor or scientist. And like all of you, I don’t have time to research every subject I need to make a decision about. We typically look to the opinions of individuals and organizations we know and trust and act accordingly.
I’m the former chief executive officer of the Oregon American Cancer Society and, until I retired last year, the founder and director for the Campaign for Safe Food, a program of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility.
I once supported water fluoridation. The federal government had approved it, and many organizations whose members I worked with, such as the American Medical Association and American Dental Association, had endorsed it.
But then a few people I respected, knowing I’ve worked on health issues most of my life, asked me five years ago to research fluoridation. When I did, I was amazed and chagrined.
First, it was abundantly clear that there is no consensus fluoridation is safe for human health. On the contrary, there are hundreds of recent, peer-reviewed human and animal studies that raise red flags.
Many of them were reviewed in the landmark 2006 report Fluoride in Drinking Water by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, considered the gold standard of scientific inquiry. This 507-page volume is chock full of scientific data expressing concern over fluoride’s harmful effects, including fluorosis in teeth, bone fractures, possible bone cancer, kidney and thyroid disease and neurotoxic effects, including the lowering of intelligence.
Lower IQ? Whoa, indeed.
Most countries in the world have either not started fluoridation or stopped it. Only 27 of 196 nations have fluoridated water, and only 11 have more than 50 percent of their population drinking it.
Most nations in Europe won’t fluoridate. A French official stated that fluoridation wasn’t allowed “due to ethical as well as medical considerations.”
To me, the National Academies of Science report’s most disturbing section showed high-fluoride areas in China lowering the IQ scores of kids by seven to 10 points.
Fluoride levels were higher than in the United States and each study had weaknesses, but the National Academies of Science nevertheless concluded “the consistency of the collective results warrants additional research on the effects of fluoride on intelligence.”
Then, just weeks ago, a Harvard meta- analysis funded by the National Institutes of Health examined 27 studies, 25 of which also showed children in high-fluoride areas having lower IQ scores, further confirming the National Academies of Science’s findings. The institute reported that the effects of fluoride lowering intelligence should be a “high research priority.”
Look at just a partial list of substances once declared safe, only to be found harmful upon further research — lead, asbestos, tobacco, DES, DDT, thalidomide. The prevailing science is going down the very same road for water fluoridation.
Please urge all City Council members to vote against a practice that we, our children and grandchildren may pay dearly for.
Our mothers’ words never rang so true: “Better safe than sorry.”
Rick North
Durham

Oregon kids deserve healthy teeth

Portland is the largest city in the country without fluoridated water, and only 22.6 percent of Oregonians receive fluoridated water. The Oregonian estimates that the cost of setting up water fluoridation for residents of Portland, Tualatin, Gresham and Tigard will be around $5 million, but the Centers for Disease Control states that cities can save $38 in dental costs for every $1 invested in water fluoridation.

Industry, not citizens, supports fluoridation

As of this date, there is a large number (57) of local associations and coalitions in favor of fluoridation of our public water supply. Many of them I have never heard of, while some are well-known health agencies.
Are these groups composed of committees or does their general membership know of their actions?

Help low-income children’s health

Well stated, Dr. (Arthur) Jaffe (Give childrebactheir smiles, health, Aug. 29).  Fluoridation is the foundation of a sound public dental health policy.

Fluoridation violates right to informed consent

Regardless of whether fluoridation has been proven effective or not, the act of fluoridating the public water is a form of mass-medication and violates our right to informed consent: our right to refuse or accept medication (Don’t contaminate our world-class water, Aug. 29).

Fluoridation is safe, effective

Fluoridation is a proven safe and effective practice to reduce tooth decay, and I am very disappointed with the gross inaccuracies in this opinion piece (Don’tcontaminatouworld-class water, Aug. 29).

Spend $5 million on dental care

Portland, say NO to fluoride (Don’t contaminate our world-class water, Aug. 29).
I don’t want it, my cats don’t want it, my birds don’t want it. My pet fish cringe at the thought of it, considering they live in water and can never escape it.
And all my veggies and flowers are not thrilled. Do not poison me.
If you have $5 million to spend as initial setup, then $600,000 a year to keep it up, you can help feed people proper, healthy diets and get them some dental care instead of poisioning them and hurting their IQs!

Council is not representing citizens

Regarding “Brewers keep their spirits up in midst of fluoridation debate” (Aug. 29), here is a problem: the fact that Portlanders have voted against fluoridation in the past, but now five individuals who aren’t even that favored in office are going to vote on this, AGAIN, with their own pocket-lined opinions.
And … where is the published evidence that Portland is in need of fluoridated water?
 Please go to the link to read the rest, not to mention the insightful  comments

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