The Truth About
Fluoride and Drinking Water
Fluoride is deliberately added to
drinking water supplies in the hope that it will help reduce the incidence of
tooth decay. Many governments have announced their determination to add fluoride
to all drinking water.
The link between fluoride and tooth decay was
first established at the end of the nineteenth century and there is little doubt
that fluoride does help to protect the teeth by making tooth enamel - the hard
outside covering of teeth - tougher and more decay resistant. When tests done on
large numbers of people showed that tooth decay is slower in those parts of the
country where drinking water supplies naturally contain fluoride some scientists
and politicians suggested that putting fluoride into the drinking water supplies
might improve the dental health of the general population. The fluoridation of
water supplies began in America in 1945 and today the move towards fluoridation
is spreading all over the world. Politicians are enthusiastic about using
fluoride in this way because they have been convinced that the end result will
be a reduction in health costs. (There is nothing politicians love more than to
be able to cut the cost of looking after the people while at the same time
claiming that what they are doing is for the good of the electorate. It's a
double whammy for the modern, crooked politician.)
However, those who
oppose fluoridation are able to put forward several arguments in their
First, you do not, of course, have to add fluoride to drinking
water in order to protect teeth. You can get exactly the same effect by
persuading people to use fluoride toothpastes. And since many toothpastes now do
contain fluoride most people already get all the fluoride they need simply by
brushing their teeth.
Second, there is no doubt that putting fluoride
into drinking water supplies is a potentially dangerous business. The amount of
fluoride that you can put into drinking water has to be judged very accurately.
To get the best effect from the fluoride you need to add around one part per
million. However, if you get the sums wrong the consequences can be devastating.
Just two parts of fluoride per million can cause mottling of the teeth and if
the quantities are allowed to rise a little higher bone disorders and cancer may
be the result. Naturally, the scientists and politicians who are keen on putting
fluoride into our drinking water supplies claim that the methods used are
foolproof but I think that one would have to be a fool to believe that! Many
people have already been poisoned by accidental overdoses of chemicals and in
1986, the World Health Organization published a report in which concern was
expressed about the incidence of dental problems caused by there being too much
fluoride in public drinking water supplies. Needless to say getting unwanted,
excess fluoride out of the drinking water supplies can be extremely difficult.
To all this we must add the fact that since drinking water supplies already
contain a number of chemicals - some of which occur naturally in the supplies,
nitrates which accumulate because of the use of fertilizers, chlorine and
aluminium sulphate which are added deliberately and lead or copper from the
pipes which are used to supply the water to our homes - adding fluoride to the
mixture may increase the risk of a dangerous interaction between the various
chemicals in the water. Whenever chemicals exist in solution together there are
chemical reactions. I don't think anyone really knows what the consequences are
of putting all these chemicals into our drinking water.
anti-fluoridation argument is that a growing number of people seem to be
allergic to the chemicals which are being put into our drinking water. Many
people are allergic to fluoride and cannot drink fluoridated drinking
Finally, I am particularly worried by the fact that as the
pro-fluoridation argument is won in more and more parts of the world, scientists
and politicians are suggesting putting other chemicals into the drinking water
supplies. One scientist has, for example, already suggested that drinking water
should have antibiotics added to it (to reduce the incidence of infection and so
to reduce health costs). Another has recommended that tranquillisers be added to
drinking water supplies (in order to calm down the voters and allow the
politicians to get on with running the world the way they want to run it). A
third suggestion has been that contraceptives be added to the drinking water in
order to reduce the birth rate.
A surprising number of doctors and
politicians support the compulsory fluoridisation of water (it is difficult to
think of a more fascisst act than to force people to take medicine, regardless
of their need, whether they want it or not) and in much of the world it seems
that this battle is now lost. However, it isn't lost everywhere.
Switzerland (perhaps the only true democracy remaining in the world) the Swiss
Canton of Basel-Stadt recently repealed a resolution on fluoridation which had
been introduced in 1962. The Swiss stopped adding fluoride to their water after
over 40 years on the following grounds:
1. Although fluoridation has been
going on for many decades there are no studies proving that the fluoridation of
drinking water prevents tooth decay.
2. Dental caries in the area had
increased in children, despite the fluoridation of the drinking water (rather
suggesting that the added fluoride hadn't done any good and might be doing
3. The fluoridation of water might cause bone damage - and could
be a particular problem in young children and babies.
4. More than 99% of
water with added fluoride is used for washing, bathing, cleaning etc and so does
nothing for teeth but does pollute the environment.
from How To Stop Your Doctor Killing You by Vernon Coleman, published in
the UK by EMJ Books and available through the webshop on this site and through
all good bookshops everywhere.