On Saturday, a world-renowned biochemist flew in from New York City to speak to a group of people in Crowley about the pros and cons of water fluoridation.
It was initially surprising that the relatively small city of Crowley was able to attract Paul Connett, a prominent researcher and expert on fluoridation, to give a talk concerning one of its community health programs, but what was even more surprising was that the Crowley City Council and mayor, the people in charge of the city’s community health programs, didn’t even bother showing up.
Crowley started its water fluoridation program in May 2008 as an effort to reduce tooth decay in children, and although the program was celebrated by city officials in 2008, the most recent scientific research reveals water fluoridation as a potential threat to the health of communities.
Besides being linked to the lowering of IQ in children in more than 20 scientific studies and being linked to an increased likelihood of arthritis and hip fractures in the elderly, with supporting studies published in many American and international scientific journals, water fluoridation significantly contributes to a condition known as dental fluorosis, which is a pitting and staining of the teeth caused by an overexposure to fluoride. The CDC reported in 2005 that 32 percent of all American children actually have some form of dental fluorosis.
One of the problems is that once we put fluoride into the water supply, it is impossible to control who receives the treatment and in what doses they receive it. A person who drinks 10 glasses of fluoridated water will get five times as much fluoride exposure as someone who drinks two glasses of fluoridated water. It is against the basic ethics of medicine to administer a drug this way. A simple alternative to administering fluoride through the water supply would be to distribute individually packed fluoride supplements to those who want them. This solution would be cheaper and would solve the problem of excessive fluoride exposure.
It is important for our public representatives at the local and state levels to always be open to new evidence and information concerning the public’s well-being even if such evidence contradicts recently established community policy. Sure, some public credibility may be lost when public policies are reversed, but the real loss in credibility comes when our representatives ignore information regarding the well-being of the people of the community.
I’m sure the people of Crowley agree with me.