I read (with mixed feelings of interest, angst and concern) the article in the Oct. 299 edition of The Sun Chronicle entitled “The Fluoride fumble in North."
The American Heritage Dictionary defines fluoride as “a combination of fluorine and another element." While it does not identify the “other element," fluorine is further defined as “a highly corrosive, poisonous element used in a wide variety of industrial compounds."
Perhaps it’s just me but I have difficulty believing that introducing fluoride into our bodies, given the previously stated definition, can possibly have any beneficial effect so I chose to seek out additional information before ultimately finalizing my opinion regarding fluoride.
There are numerous online sites that contain enormous amounts of information (supported by studies/test results) regarding fluoride, and just one of the sites I explored described the dangers of fluoride exposure in a concise, easy to understand manner. The information I was able to glean from this particular site is as follows:
-While proponents of fluoride cite that fluoride encourages oral health, there are no definitive studies/tests that conclusively show that fluoride prevents harmful oral bacteria. What is known is that fluoride is toxic and that long-term ingestion is harmful to the brain, digestive system, heart, bones ... even the tooth enamel it’s supposed to help.
-Studies have shown that the liver is unable to process fluoride, thus it passes directly into the bloodstream where it combines with calcium that’s been “leeched” from the skeletal system and the result is that one is left with weakened bones (known as skeletal fluorosis).
-Fluoride is known to cause arthritis and is highly toxic to the thyroid. For decades, fluoride was used to reduce thyroid function in individuals suffering from an over-active thyroid. The percentage of fluoride prescribed for usage in water fluoridation today generally equals the levels that were typically used to reduce an over-active thyroid function. This means that if your thyroid is normal, ingestion of fluoride can reduce/diminish a healthy thyroid function.
-A direct link exists between male/female fertility rates and fluoridated water. Females can experience reduced reproductive hormones while males can experience lower testosterone levels.
-Fluoride is toxic to the kidneys and even low dosages of fluoride can cause renal damage in children. Additionally, the ingestion of fluoride can cause cardiovascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.
-The Fluoride Action Network reports that, as of May 2013, 43 studies have examined the effect of fluoride on the human intelligence/brain function. The results show that fluoride can negatively impact children’s neural development.
Given the above information, try to imagine the effect fluoride in our water might have had on the residents of North Attleboro if over the past decade, we had been over-fluoridated instead of under-fluoridated. With all due respect to the proponents of water fluoridation, it’s my opinion that this issue deserves further study before it is decided to continue introducing fluoride into our water supply.