Most people are familiar with the fluoridated goop at the dentist and the painstaking sixty seconds leaning over a sink, fighting the urge to swallow. This is followed by a thorough rinse as the dentist ensures none of the paste is accidently consumed. Not swallowing is a common trend for just about all products containing fluoride; toothpaste and mouthwash being no exception.
So why is it water, the most fundamental necessity to humans, is being contaminated with fluoride and ingested every day?
For nearly 50 years, Hamilton has added fluoride to their drinking water, claiming that it is essential in preventing tooth decay.
Recent studies prove otherwise.
One of the most compelling arguments to continue water fluoridation is the decline in tooth decay since its origin. This is persuasive, but misleading. The World Health Organization has found that developed countries across the world have shown a decrease in tooth decay, whether they were fluoridated or not.
This contrasting study does not appear on the City of Hamilton’s Public Services website. Instead, all the information is given as a bias to continue fluoridation, creating a monopoly of knowledge that has suppressed the voice of Hamilton residents.
A community can only overpower this monopoly if it bands together and creates awareness.
The City of Hamilton also states that fluoride is naturally occurring, and almost everyone would agree that natural is healthier. Yet, there are many dangerous compounds found “naturally” on earth. An example is arsenic, one of the most poisonous chemicals known to humans.
The same can be argued about fluoride, which may as well pose serious health problems. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health states there are strong indications that fluoride is linked to declined neural development. Senior author and professor of environmental health at Harvard, Philippe Grandjean, explains, “Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain.”
There are some benefits to fluoride, obviously. Most dentists agree that as a topical agent, fluoride rebuilds and repairs tooth enamel. These benefits are most prevalent if applied directly, not ingested. Therefore, if the average person isn’t rinsing their mouth with fluoridated water before swallowing it, the benefits are minimal.
But there can be too much fluoride.
Fluorosis is a condition the WHO says is caused by ingestion of excess fluoride. Fluorosis is a defect in tooth enamel, shown by white spots and occasionally brown streaks.
With these studies, it seems odd that over 90 dental and health organizations support fluoridation. The City of Hamilton’s website gives links to 14 of these. Of the first six of these links, four led to “sorry, we cannot find the page you requested,” one had no scientific proof and the other was dated ten years ago.
The municipal government makes decisions regarding drinking water, and with outdated information like this, it is inevitable change will not occur. Awareness is the only option.
According to The City of Hamilton, fluoridation is an attempt to provide everyone with access to oral hygiene products. Economically speaking, there are much deeper issues in Hamilton if that many people cannot afford toothpaste and a toothbrush.
The average cost to fluoridate Hamilton’s drinking water each year is $2.50 per household; money that could easily be used to help provide oral hygiene products for those in need. Poverty is clearly the issue Hamilton needs to address, not oral hygiene.
It is barbaric to unwillingly expose Hamilton residents to this chemical. The people should have a right to choose what they are consuming, and more importantly, understand the health risks associated with it. An older generation’s idea is currently being used as a quick-fix approach to solving oral hygiene problems. It is time for the city to abandon this preconceived view and attack the root of the problem.
Citizens of Hamilton will be exposed to this water for many upcoming years, whether they approve or not.
As of right now, there is no choice.