Adding fluoride to drinking water in the U.S. began on January 25, 1945 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Its intended benefit is to reduce tooth decay on a mass scale in a cost effective manner. For any drug, chemical, or procedure that is recommended (be it conventional or alternative), the patient should ask two questions before consenting to its use. How effective is it, and what potential or known side effects does it have? The quite differing answers to these two questions are basically what this passionate controversy is all about!
The American Dental Association, the American Medical Association, the National Institute of Dental Research, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers of Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the National Academy of Sciences, Proctor and Gamble, dental schools, and others promote fluoridation.
Basically, the collective opinion is "Water fluoridation remains the safest, most effective, and most economical public health measure to reduce tooth decay, and there has not been any evidence that shows a relationship between fluoridation and other diseases in humans".
It is probably accurate to say that opponents of fluoridation are well intentioned but misinformed, and whose philosophy is extreme. For more detailed information, go to the website of the American Dental Association (www.ada.org).
Since the early studies of Dr. Cox, Dr. Armstrong, and Dr. Dean on which water fluoridation began, a review of legitimate scientific research done around the world (but not universally accepted) indicates a greater incidence of hip fractures, an increase in bone cancer in young males, an increase in kidney damage, an increase in skeletal fluorosis, an accelerated aging process, an increase in tooth mottling (weakened tooth structure), an increase in genetic damage to chromosomes, a decrease in fertility, an increase in the risk of genetic damage to a developing fetus, inhibition of important enzymes, tooth decay rates that are the same in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas, and numerous side-effects from drinking fluoridated water even at the recommended 1 PPM concentration.
Fluoride is introduced into the body through tap water, bottled water (some contain 8 PPM), foods and beverages that are prepared or grown in fluoridated areas (either as commercial products or in restaurants), some teas, toothpaste (many contain 1100 PPM), mouth rinses, vitamin tablets and drops, fluoride treatments in dental offices or schools (many contain 5000 PPM), some prescription medications, contamination by pesticides and even some ready-to-eat cereals (such as corn flakes and grape nuts). It should be noted that our government agencies do not agree on what the daily "tolerable" level of fluoride should be! Even if a certain amount of fluoride was beneficial, more doesn't make it better. Many countries have not allowed or stopped fluoridation (Belgium, West Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France, Italy, and Norway). Drinking water can be tested for fluoride. Please visit www.nofluoride.com for more information.