Is our water supply being poisoned with the addition of fluoride?
Fluoridation, the practise of adding fluoride compounds to water with the intended purpose of reducing tooth decay, is set to become widespread in the UK.
The Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, will later this week request the addition of fluoride to the water supply in areas suffering high rates of tooth decay.
Mr Johnson believes that fluoridation is required in certain areas to help prevent tooth decay among poorer children, many of whom may not own a toothbrush. He states:
"I want the NHS to do much more to prevent rather than just treat disease."
"Fluoridation is an effective and relatively easy way to help address health inequalities - giving children from poorer backgrounds a dental health boost that can last a lifetime, reducing tooth decay and thereby cutting down on the amount of dental work they need in the future."
"We have a duty to help the areas with the worst records on tooth decay to discuss this issue and take the necessary steps to improve their dental health."
However, is fluoridation as effective as once believed and is it even safe?
The National Pure Water Association says: "By presenting fluoridation as a means of preventing tooth decay, Alan Johnson confirms the practise is medication. Fluoridation is carried out by water companies in violation of their customers’ human right to refuse consent to any medical intervention."
"Fluoride is only being added to prevent tooth decay among a relatively small proportion of the population, mostly children in deprived areas who do not brush their teeth. These children are already being identified and treated in more effective ways."
Fluoridation was first introduced to England in Birmingham during the 1960s. Many areas of England are now receiving water sources containing fluoride and you can find out if you're in a fluoride region at uk-water-filters.co.uk.
Alarmingly, fluoridation uses chemicals (often sodium hexafluorosilicate or hexafluorosilicic acid) that originate as side products of the fertiliser industry. Toothpastes containing similar forms of fluoride often carry labels warning users not to swallow as it could indeed be poisonous.
Following growing usage of fluoridation across the globe (the U.S. for example now has water containing fluoride in all of its big cities), increasing concerns have led to further studies into the risks associated with the process. Many believe that a distinct lack of quality research has allowed an ongoing use of what many professionals now call an outdated an ineffective measure.
In 2005, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was asked by thousands to recognise fluoride as a potential cause of cancer, particularly bone cancer in men. In August 2007, over 1000 health professionals (including dentists and doctors) signed an online petition asking the U.S. Congress to bring an end to water fluoridation.
The Fluoride Action Network, provides the following video to highlight its concerns on fluoridation:
In addition, the Fluoride Action Network also provides these 10 facts about Fluoride:
- 97% of western Europe has chosen fluoride-free water.
- Fluoride is the only chemical added to drinking water for the purpose of medication (to prevent tooth decay).
- Contrary to previous belief, fluoride has minimal benefit when swallowed.
- Fluoridated water is no longer recommended for babies.
- There are better ways of delivering fluoride than adding it to water.
- Ingestion of fluoride has little benefit, but many risks.
- The industrial chemicals used to fluoridate water may present unique health risks not found with naturally-occurring fluoride complexes.
- Water fluoridation’s benefits to teeth have been exaggerated.
- Fluoridation poses added burden and risk to low-income communities.
- Due to other sources, many people are being over-exposed to fluoride.
With such compelling data opposing fluoridation available via a simple online search, how do you feel about the Health Secretary's plans to add fluoride to more areas in the UK? Personally, I oppose fluoridation. I believe that medication shouldn't be forced upon any individual and that the risks associated with fluoridation are clearly unknown quantities that require further research. Share your thoughts on fluoridation in the HEXUS community.