By Daniel Downs
During the last meeting, Council President Dennis Propes proposed an ordinance that would authorize the city manager to fluoridate Xenia’s drinking water. Most council members still remember the community voting down this proposal three times in the past. So why reintroduce it?
In the past, city officials sold water fluoridation as a convenient way to lower the cost of treating water, prevent tooth decay, and build stronger bones. It also is true that fluoride is a natural trace element. Medical studies have supported the belief that consuming water supplemented with fluoride does result in increased bone density or stronger bones. Besides all of those benefits, most, if not all, of neighboring cities and regions fluoridate their water.
In a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, J.V. Kumar of the New York Health Department reported that the state spent nearly $24 million on water fluoridation with no statistically significant reduction in the rate of tooth decay among children 7 to 17 years of age. His comparative study examined whether children in communities with different levels of water fluoridation demonstrated any differences in levels of cavities. At all levels, including no fluoridation and the optimal level of 1.2 milligrams/ Liter, there was a 2 percent or less difference All of which means the state of New York has been wasting millions of taxpayer dollars.
Wasting a taxpayers’ hard earned money is bad enough, but jeopardizing their health is unconscionable.
In 2005, a majority of EPA scientists by union proxy asked the head of the EPA to place fluoride on its list of carcinogenic chemicals.
In 2006, National Research Council (NRC) published the results of their study of fluoride in drinking water entitled “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standard.” They reviewed all relevant research on the health impacts of fluoride on both animal and humans. At press conference, John Doull, chair of the research team, summarized the NRC’s findings. He began by identifying fluoride as an EPA regulated contaminate of drinking water and not as a beneficial trace element. He proceeded to define the EPA’s 40-year-old two-tier standard of acceptable fluoride levels. The EPA set tier one at a maximum of 4 milligrams of fluoride to 1 liter of water below which no adverse health risk was expected, and tier two level is a maximum of 2 milligrams of fluoride in 1 liter of drinking water below which no discoloration or other damage of tooth enamel (fluorosis) was expected. He continued by briefly summarizing several important conclusions of their 530-page review:
- Drinking water is the main source of fluoride. Seventy-two (72%) to ninety-four percent (94%) of fluoride intake is through drinking water fluoridated at EPA levels.
- Lifelong consumption of fluoride in drinking water results in increased bone fractures.
The study uncovered a number of other health risks resulting from fluoride consumption. One of risks includes skeletal fluorosis, which involves increased bone density and pitting of bones. It also causes joint stiffness, pain, and sometime impairment. Fluoride consumption also adversely affects thyroid function when the iodine levels are too low. Because fluoride consumption produces greater glucose intolerance, fluoridating drinking water will exacerbate the health problems of citizens with diabetes. Fluoride consumption is known to weaken the immune system thus putting citizens already with compromised immune systems at greater risk.
NRC also suspects fluoride is an important factor in liver, kidney, intestinal, and mental diseases, but previous research was inconclusive requiring more research.
Some of the research reviewed did show links between fluoride consumption and mental diseases like Alzheimer and dementia. Other studies conducted in China concluded that fluoride also diminishes intellectual abilities like problem solving.
Another study published in 2006 discovered strong links between water fluoridation and bone cancer in young boys. The findings of Harvard medical study led by Dr. Bassin, and referenced by the EPA scientists above, showed that with the consumption of fluoridated water, the risk of osteosarcoma in boys increased sevenfold. Some readers may remember hearing about this study from all of the mainstream news media.
According to some reports, osteosarcoma is the second most common type of bone cancer. It accounts for 20 percent of all bone malignancies, and 50 percent of all cases occur around the knee.
With the widely increasing knowledge about the harmful effects of treating water with fluoride, it is surprising that city officials could agree to further discussion let alone a vote, which they plan to do on December 10. Do they really want to jeopardize further the health of the community’s children and at-risk members? Maybe some do; but citizens have an opportunity to tell them to stop–stop placing our health and welfare at risk.
To do so, visit to the Council website at http://www.ci.xenia.oh.us where each council member’s email address and telephone number may be obtain.