Are the professionals and countries which oppose fluoridation wrong? Is a petition the right way to make change?
By Bob Green Innes
Published March 25, 2011
Fluoridation is an unsuccessful attempt to reduce cavities via unethical mass medication using a fertilizer manufacturing scrubber waste (eg. KC Industries) called hydrofluorosilicic acid. There's no extra cost for contaminants since Hamilton says there aren't any.
After much rumination on my blog about its supposed benefits, the previous failed attempt to stop it, and the more recent successful efforts (Calgary, Waterloo), I thought I'd create an online petition to ease the burden of gathering support - better than tramping the streets all day.
But it's turning out to be harder than I thought. Shouldn't I just get my bottled water and forget about the city - and the environment where it all ends up? After sending an article to theHamiltonian, and posting the petition, I was a little shocked by getting so few comments / signatures.
This is moving backwards - an observant councillor would conclude that opposition is weak, so why rock the boat? Oops.
On reflection, the article wasn't designed to preach to the converted, and so was probably ignored. I should have anticipated that online readers would more likely be progressive on such matters. Most already know from their dentist, that brushing is far more effective than mere rinsing, and that most toothpaste contains plenty of fluoride, enough even to poison a child.
On the other hand, the online crowd, being generally younger, may not see any problem with fluoridation. Youth is invincible. Such a person might think: 'Even if fluoridation causes some people to suffer problems, it hasn't hurt me (yet), and it's supposed to help my teeth, so why should I object? There's so little put into the water, it's found in nature anyway, it will take decades to affect me, and I have too many other things to think about in the meantime.'
That might indeed be the case, even if one works in a high fluoride environment, such as with steelmaker's fluorspar. Damage to adult bones or brain may take decades. If one is not genetically susceptible, there may never be a problem, just like the odd centenarian smoker.
Even if one has young children (young emerging teeth are particularly vulnerable) and lives near a steelmaker, it would probably only take some relatively minor changes to avoid most of one's potential for developing fluorosis - fluorosis being the consequence of too much fluoride.
One could stop drinking tea and stop smoking, or switch your kids to a non-fluoridated toothpaste. Depending on habits, this could reduce fluoride intake very significantly - possibly even more than changing the water.
Depending on location, the next best step might be to reduce fluoride pollutants in the house, perhaps with air conditioning (windows closed), or doing more cleaning. It all depends on individual circumstances and habit; the big mistake is having always analysed averages instead of the margins.
Beyond that, one can only reduce fluoride ingestion further by switching to spring or reverse osmosis water and/or reducing fluoride inputs from certain foods, like grapes, pasta, cereals, baby formula and even beer. The fluoride can be natural or from sprays.
At this point, you can appreciate that not many twenty- or thirty-year-olds would take this seriously, other than green or activist types. Nor the poor and uneducated, who actually suffer the most from fluorosis (see item #9). The irony is cruel - they are the main justification for the idea.
If something like osteoporosis, Alzheimer's, senility, Down's syndrome, sudden infant death, kidney or thyroid problems do not run in one's family, then even an easy thing like signing a petition would be a painintheyouknowwhat.
The simple idea that folks susceptible to such conditions should not ingest any more fluoride, is of little concern to those who feel they are not susceptible (or, apparently, to those who promote fluoridation).
Older folks on the other hand, even those suffering from the above ailments, might figure that it's too late already: 'what's done is done, why bother'.
Then again, maybe it's the concern about submitting personal information to online petitioners and/or the sites that host them. I use strategies like pseudonyms and secondary email addresses to avoid or divert spam, but I'm wondering if others see this issue as a stopper.
I'll be happy to put links in the petition-blog to your answers.
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