Fluoride may do more harm than good


To the Editor:

No science exists to prove fluoridation is safe for everyone. For instance, babies routinely fed infant formula mixed with fluoridated water are at high risk for developing fluoride-damaged teeth — dental fluorosis (white-spotted, yellow, brown, and/or pitted teeth) without benefit of less tooth decay.

Too many dentists publicly claim that mild dental fluorosis is no problem, and in fact some say fluorosed teeth are prettier than normal teeth. But that doesn’t stop dentists from advertising their services to cover the unsightly teeth.

All children’s dental fluorosis rates surged, according to CDC’s 2011-2012 NHANES survey. Fifty-eight percent of all children (6- to 19-year-olds) now have fluorosis, with a staggering 21 percent of children displaying moderate fluorosis on at least two teeth

A recent U.S. study links prenatal fluoride exposure to offspring’s lower IQ. This adds to the 300-plus studies linking fluoride to neurotoxic effects — 51 human; 27 at water fluoride levels EPA condones in U.S. water supplies.

Fluoride, even at low levels added to the public’s water, has also been shown to harm thyroid and kidney patients, the malnourished, and those allergic or intolerant to fluoride.

There is no dispute between those for and against fluoridation that too much ingested fluoride is bad for bones and developing teeth. Fluoride is in virtually all foods and beverages, especially high in tea and ocean fish, is in some medicines, and is inhaled from ocean mist and absorbed from dental products. It’s up to those instigating fluoridation to prove that children in Edgartown aren’t already fluoride-overdosed from those sources.

Carol Kopf
Levittown, N.Y.



  1. For the purpose of disclosure, it must be noted that Carol Kopf is the “Media Relations Director” for the New York antifluoridationist faction, “FAN’. As is the norm for Kopf and her group, what she dishonestly provides here is nothing more than false claims, misleading information and half-truths.

    1. There is no science which proves that any substance known to man is 100% safe for everyone. All substances are toxic at improper levels, including plain water. What can be stated is that optimally fluoridated water is as safe as can reasonably be expected of any substance, whatsoever. In the 72 year history of fluoridation, there have been no proven adverse effects. This is in spite of the best efforts of antifluoridationists through the decades to find anything, anything at all, they could credibly claim to be an adverse effect of this initiative. Zero.

    2. Babies “routinely fed infant formula mixed with fluoridated water” are not at risk for developing “fluoride damaged teeth”, unless they are chronically exposed to abnormally high levels of fluoride from other sources. Due to the existing fluoride content of powdered infant formula, the use of optimally fluoridated water to reconstitute it chances the development of mild to very mild dental fluorosis in the developing teeth of infants fed exclusively with this formula. This level of dental fluorosis is barely detectable and causes no adversity on cosmetics, form, function, or health of teeth. As peer-reviewed science has demonstrated mildly fluorosed teeth to be more decay resistant, many consider this effect to not even be undesirable, much less adverse.

    The only level of dental fluorosis considered to be an adverse effect is severe. Severe dental fluorosis is rare in the 74.5% fluoridated US and, as clearly noted by the 2006 NRC Committee on Fluoride in Drinking water, does not occur in communities with a water fluoride content below 2.0 mg/L. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 mg/L, one third that threshold level.

    Any “unsightly teeth” from fluorosis are severely fluorosed teeth. Given that Kopf and her group have been repeatedly made aware of the different levels of dental fluorosis, her implication that mildly fluorosed teeth which may be associated with optimally fluoridated water are “unsightly” and require treatment is a glaring example of their dishonesty and willingness to intentionally mislead the public in their self-serving quest to impose onto the entire population their skewed ideology against fluoridation. Mild dental fluorosis is barely detectable in a dental chair by an educated and trained dental professional. It requires no treatment.

    3. The “Fifty-eight percent of all children (6- to 19-year-olds) now have fluorosis, with a staggering 21 percent of children displaying moderate fluorosis on at least two teeth” Kopf claims, is not according to the 2011-2012 NHANES survey. It is according to an interpretation of the data of that survey by staff members of Kopf’s “FAN” who have no qualifications to render any credible assessment or interpretation of scientific data.

    4. The “recent US study” Kopf notes is a reference to Bashash, et al. This was a study of prenatal fluoride exposure on IQ level of children in Mexico. The subjects were pregnant women residing in unfluoridated Mexico, with urinary fluoride content being the proxy for fluoride exposure. As noted within the study itself, there were several strict limitations of this study. Among these was the fact that due to Mexico not keeping records of water fluoride levels there was no way to determine what proportion of the urinary fluoride content was from the water and what was from other sources of fluoride exposure. Another was the fact that there is no reliable data on urinary fluoride content of pregnant women residing in fluoridated areas to compare with the urinary fluoride levels of the pregnant Mexican women. Yet another was the suggestion that there was no impact associated with urinary fluoride concentration below 0.8 ppm. Yet another was the unknown impact on urinary fluoride levels from iodine in the salt from the fluoridated salt fluoridation program utilized in Mexico. Thus, this study has no current relevance to optimally fluoridated water in the US.

    In a September, 2017 email to American Fluoridation Society President, Dr. Johnny Johnson, Jr, Dr. Angeles Mier Martinez, one of the lead researchers in the Bashash, et al. study, relayed:

    “As an individual, I am happy to go on the record to say that I continue to support water fluoridation”

    “If I were pregnant today I would consume fluoridated water, and that if I lived in Mexico I would limit my salt intake.”

     “I am involved in this research because I am committed to contribute to the science to ensure fluoridation is safe for all.”
    E. Angeles Martinez Mier, DDS, MSD, PhD
    Cariology, Operative Dentistry and Dental Public Health
    Indiana University School of Dentistry
    415 Lansing Street
    Indianapolis IN 46202


    5. In regard to Kopf’s “300 plus studies”, one only has to read the recent EPA rejection of the latest meritless “FAN” petition in order to understand the fallacy of these studies. In the 40 page rejection document, EPA reviewers cited facts and evidence to systematically dismantle all of the arguments of the petitioners. This included detailed explanations of the invalidity, irrelevance, and misrepresentation by petitioners, of these “300 plus studies” presented as “evidence” to support the claims of the petitioners.

    This EPA document may be viewed in entirety on the Federal Register of the US government:


    6. There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence of any adverse effect of optimally fluoridated water on the thyroid, kidneys, or any other bodily systems……as evidence by Kopf’s inability to produce any such evidence.

    7. There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence of any adverse effect on “the malnourished”. ……as evidenced by Kopf’s inability to to produce any such evidence.

    8. There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence of any allergy or intolerance to fluoride at the optimal level at which water is fluoridated……..as evidenced by Kopf’s inability to produce any such evidence.

    9. “There is no dispute” that too much of any ingested substance is toxic and “bad for” the human body…….including plain water. Kopf’s attempt to make this appear to be unique to fluoride is yet another example of her dishonesty.

    10. Antifluoridationists such as Kopf and her group are requesting the sudden cessation of a public health initiative which has provided a very valuable disease-prevention benefit to hundreds of millions of people of all ages over the past 72 years, with no proven adverse effects. As such it is their responsibility to provide valid evidence to support their request, not the other way around. So far, all they have provided is false information, unsubstantiated claims, misrepresented science, and utter nonsense.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS
    Communications Officer
    American Fluoridation Society

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