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Water Fluoridation - Reduce or Eliminate?

             by David Ball, D.D.S.

As a dentist in the Chillicothe area, I have become very concerned with the negative effects I have seen in many of my patients from ingesting too much fluoride. Dental fluorosis, one of the first visible signs of people suffering from a toxic amount of fluoride, characteristically shows up as white, brown, or chalky spots on the teeth.  Ingested fluoride becomes part of the developing teeth from 0-8 years old. These spots are unappealing and can be costly to correct, while also negatively affecting one’s self-esteem. Research states that ingesting too much fluoride can cause other more serious health problems as well.

Based on a comprehensive study published in 2006 on fluoride toxicity by the National Research Council (NRC), the U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) state that 41 percent of 12 to 15-year-olds have dental fluorosis, primarily from drinking fluoridated water. On January 7, 2010, the HHS, along with the American Dental Association (ADA), admitted that we are ingesting too much fluoride and that the amount added to drinking water should be lowered from the current average of 1 ppm to 0.7 ppm (a range of 0.4-0.9), ergo a 30 percent reduction. Currently, in Chillicothe, 11 years after the initial study, the local water company stated that they are still at the original value of 1 ppm, and that they ‘follow the guidelines given from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).’

One of the problems with fluoride is that once you convince people that a potentially toxic substance is safe, its use and exposure multiplies and sources of fluoride ingestion increase. Watch the new Cosmos series, Episode 7: “The Clean Room”, for an interesting parallel. I personally have not used or been a proponent of fluoride use since 1995, and I think it’s time to educate ourselves about our overall exposure to fluoride.

Is it wrong to be cautious about what chemicals we put into our drinking water, especially for our children? The Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has more information regarding its use for those wanting to look at both sides. Contact your state representative for change.

David Ball D.D.S

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