Streams

Get the Fluoride Out, Pol Begs City

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A City Council member wants New Yorkers to brush their teeth – and not rely on the public water system to provide fluoride – for healthy teeth.

The city has fluoridated its water supply for nearly 50 years, and for the last 18 months Queens Democrat Peter Vallone has been trying to stop the practice ,which he believes can have adverse health effects.

“This toxic chemical is in everything you eat and almost everything you drink,” Vallone told a group of school children and other supporters on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, when the government says it’s good for you, everyone says, ‘It must be okay.’ Well, it’s not okay.”

City, state and federal health authorities have widely dismissed efforts like Vallone’s, which have waxed and waned since fluoridation was introduced in the 1940s. They say many elements are “toxic” in undiluted form, but fluoride in the water system is measured in the parts per million and is harmless.

“Whenever a public-level intervention is recommended to improve the health of the entire public, concerns are raised about independence, about opting in or opting out, about the role of government itself,” said Dr. Burton Edelstein,  a professor of dentistry and public health at Columbia University. “But this is one of those things in science and public health, well grounded in science and well-established in history that does not need to be raised in doubt.”

Edelstein said fluoride is “almost magical” in its ability to prevent tooth decay, without any significant downside.

“It not only strengthens the teeth, so that they become more resistant to decay,” he said. “But it inhibits the acid production of the bacteria that leads to cavity formation, and it balances out the deleterious effects of sugar consumption.”

About three-fourths of Americans live in areas that fluoridate water. The New York Times recently reported that 200 jurisdictions across the country have stopped fluoridating water in the last four years.

Vallone said he only has the backing of five out of 51 council members to fluoride out of the city’s water system.

Denise Blostein contributed reporting.

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Comments [6]

Marjorie S from Ma.

Long Island water is not fluoridated. How does the dental health of the millions of children on LI compare to those across the river? It is my understanding that LI compares quite favorably and in fact exhibits less tooth decay.

There is scientific evidence that fluoride is a toxic and especially so to babies. How can we add a toxic substance to our water that is known to cause harm to the most vulnerable. It is no longer a secret that fluoride is a toxic and adding it to our water in no way inhances our health. To keep adding fluoride to our drinking water and continuing along this path of ignorance is criminal.

Feb. 24 2013 02:16 PM
Judy

In 1998, when my town was considering fluoridation, I phoned the Chicago headquarters of the ADA and they connected me to their science person. He was selling me all the benefits of fluoride when he added “Mother’s milk has little or negligible fluoride levels as mothers’ breasts filter out fluoride.” This bombshell fact astonished me. I asked him where did he get this information and he told me La Leche League. So I verified breastmilk to contain 5-17 mcgs/L—100 times lower than fluoride 1ppm water. I asked him “Do you realize the importance of this fact? God or nature, whoever we wish to give credit to, is protecting newborn brains and kidneys.” There was a long pause on both our parts and he then told me solemnly “Go vote against it.”

May. 24 2012 12:47 PM
G from USA

When did bucket medication become scientific? You can't control the dose. Furthermore you can't determine the amount of fluoride in the human body by counting cavities. This is also unscientific. Fluoride must be measured in the body using hair, blood, or urine. It cannot be done by counting cavities. What is the ideal level of fluoride in the body? Fluoride levels in the targeted population need to be determined before ever implementing water fluoridation. Then again afterwards. When was this ever done? Since less than 50% of ingested fluoride can be excreted by an adult (less than 15% in an infant), fluoride levels in the body need to be measured in infants, children, adults, and the elderly before implementing water fluoridation. Fluoride accumulated in your body over your lifetime just like lead and arsenic. Fluoride isn't only in water. It is found in the soil, in air pollution, in pesticides on our food, etc. If it isn't measured in the human body, how can you say it is based on science? It doesn't evaporate and you can't cook it out. Fluoride also causes dental fluorosis. This is actually dental damage that causes mottled, pitted, and brittle teeth. Dental veneers are expensive to cover this damage. With brittle teeth, dental fillings will need to replaced often, as they will not hold well in brittle teeth. Over time, only an expensive dental crown will work. It is all good business for the dental industry, so why don't we let the fox guard the hen-house? Let's just ask a dentist what he thinks. A human body also comes attached to those teeth. Fluoride will eventually cause hypothyroidism (with elevated cholesterol levels) and may even destroy the thyroid gland entirely. At any rate, it will eventually require medication for the rest of your life. In the past when iodine was added to water, it caused HYPERthyroidism in people. This was treated by having patients drink fluoridated water and/or having them bathe in fluoridated water. Although it helped these patients initially, it was later found to cause hypothyroidism and even to destroy the thyroid gland. The halogen fluoride competes with iodine (another halogen) in the body but fluoride always wins, leaving your thyroid gland and body deficient in iodine. Is it any wonder we now have so many people on thyroid medications? Eighty percent of children living in fluoridated areas now have dental fluorosis, aka dental damage. It is a sign of overexposure to fluoride. When was the last time a doctor, or dentist, checked the fluoride levels in your body, (i.e. hair, blood, urine)? When was the first time? And you actually have the nerve to claim this is all based on science? There was NO science used at all. It was all made up propaganda. The non-pharmaceutical-grade toxic waste they call fluoride, and add to our tap water, sells at a 20,000% markup.

May. 21 2012 01:52 AM

Water fluoridation is responsible for this current epidemic of dental fluorosis we are seeing in children. It is evidence of chronic fluoride overexposure and toxicity, even at levels measured in parts per million, ppm. This is the reasoning behind the CDC, HHS and EPA's recent decision to lower fluoride in tap water to 0.7ppm, but we need to do more than that and get it out of the water, because it only works topically, not when swallowed. We also bathe with fluoridated tap water and skin absorption studies have not been done. We don't have safeguards in place to screen nor monitor for toxicity, and individual health risk assessments are not done.

Babies are harmed most by fluoride, because they are receiving the greatest dose due to their small body size and their underdeveloped kidneys being unable to filter fluoride in the urine efficiently so it gets reabsorbed back into their bloodstream, where it bioaccumulates. Babies who drink formula mixed with fluoridated water receiving a dose so high, it exceeds the EPA's Reference Dose for toxicity.

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a Policy Statement against babies under 6 months old receiving fluoride. Despite which, there are no health, safety or advisory warnings. These pediatric recommendations must be taken into account when implementing these health policies because parents need to know and they need access to fluoride-free water. I've seen dental fluorosis in babies as young as 6 months old and I diagnose it at least 5 times a day. Fluoride also affects bones, and can cause hypothyroidism, low IQ and interfere with other brain functions, and turn the pineal gland into brain sand. The many health risks heavily outweigh the benefit.

If NYC doesn't end water fluoridation now, you will continue to put children, the unborn child, pregnant women, seniors, those with underlying health conditions, minority groups, the poor at risk. How can the average person afford to purchase a high end water filtration system to remove the fluoride? The money saved by ending water fluoridation can be used to improve access to dental care and provide nutrients to build strong teeth and bones like multivitamins including vitamin D, and also calcium and magnesium. Even exercise helps. Safe healthy alternatives exist, water fluoridation is not the answer. GET YOUR CITY COUNCILMEMBER TO SUPPORT COUNCILMEMBER VALLONE'S BILL TO END WATER FLUORIDATON.

The kids at the rally were phenomenal and awesome, and said it best "No Fluoridation Without Representation"

Yolanda Whyte, MD
Pediatrician

May. 17 2012 11:11 AM
Paul Connett,PhD from Canton, NY

Dr. Burton Edelstein, a professor of dentistry and public health at Columbia University. says that fluoridation “is well grounded in science and well-established in history." After studying the issue for 16 years I say it is neither. Most industrial countries in the world do not fluoridate their water and according to WHO figures their children's teeth are as good if not better than countries that do. May I respectfully suggest to Dr. Edelstein that he read the book I co-authored with two other retired science professors, "The Case Against Fluoride" (Chelsea Green 2010) . Every argument we make is backed up with citations to the scientific literature, in all there are 80 pages of references. If after reading our book Dr. Edelstein still feels the science is on his side then perhaps we can hold a public debate at his university.

May. 16 2012 06:37 AM
nyscof from New York

The only thing "magic" about fluoride are the words elicited by Dr. Edelstein that changes industrial waste (hydrofluosilicic acid) into a water-based drug therapy for every New Yorker. Fluoride starts as toxic air emissions, gets captured in smokestack scrubbers picking up a little arsenic, lead or mercury, then travels into your community as hazardous waste. Here's where the magic happens - water employees dump it into your drinking water unpurified and, poof, now it's magically beneficial. And they don't even need a magic wand.

Fluoridation protectors continue to spew magic words But evidence shows fluoridation fails New Yorkers.

NYC's Chinese-American 2-to-11-year-olds, living Chinatown have much more primary tooth decay when compared to white and other minority groups nationally (NYS Dental Journal 2011)

“Bleeding gums, impacted teeth and rotting teeth are routine matters for children..... Children live for months with pain that grown-ups would find unendurable. …I have seen children with teeth that look like brownish, broken sticks. I have seen teenagers who were missing half their teeth....,” writes Jonathan Kozol about life in the fluoridated South Bronx in his 1991 book, Savage Inequalities.

More NYC children required cavity-related hospitalizations, proportionately, than two of New York State's largest non-fluoridated counties, Suffolk and Nassau whether payment was made by Medicaid or privately.

One NYC hospital charged from $900 to $12,000 to treat 96 children with severely decayed teeth, excluding the dentist and anesthesiologist fees. Children needed extensive work including stainless steel crowns, extractions, root canal therapy, fillings, other restorations, periodontal procedures, surgeries and/or more.

NYU’s School of Dentistry reports, "The need for dental care is especially acute among impoverished (NYC) children, who have 60 percent more untreated cavities than their peers at higher socioeconomic levels."

Lack of oral health care for adults in Harlem is a hidden crisis, (American Journal of Public Health)

"Adolescents in northern Manhattan have higher caries prevalence than their national counterparts,” (Journal of Public Health Dentistry)

Latinos and African American seniors suffer high rates of tooth decay and tooth loss in Northern Manhattan (Journal of Community Health)

A higher prevalence of dental decay is found in NYC African Americans, aged 18 - 64, than found nationally, reports Dental Clinics of North America.

Dental caries, among disadvantaged 3 to 4-year-old children in northern Manhattan, are higher than the national average, according to Pediatric Dentistry.

"Poor oral health was identified as the number one complaint in a population-based survey of Central Harlem conducted in 1992-1994."

References: http://www.freewebs.com/fluoridation/fluoridationfailsnewyork.htm

There is NO Doubt - Get Fluoride OUT of NYC's water.

May. 16 2012 05:29 AM

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