To the Editor:
That’s what the residents of Edgartown get when they turn on a faucet. Cool, clean water without chemical additives. The Edgartown health department wants to add this hazardous byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry. That byproduct is fluoride. Fluoridating chemicals are largely obtained from the “wet scrubbing” of the inside of smokestacks at fertilizer factories. By law, this byproduct cannot be dumped into the sea.
Those who promote and sanction fluoridation in the United States and other countries lack the answers to very basic questions, yet it is still imposed on millions of people. If fluoridation is an ongoing experiment, it violates the Nuremberg Code (a set of 10 guidelines for experimentation on human subjects created in response to the horrific human experiments conducted by the Nazis). The code requires “informed consent” from each person being exposed to the treatment. Millions of people are being exposed, essentially being medicated without knowledge of the possible dangers from fluoridation. It is an ethical and also legal requirement for patients to have knowledge of all medications and procedures prior to application, spelled out in case law in all 50 states.
It is often argued by proponents of fluoridation that it is delinquent behavior for children to be denied exposure to a substance that is supposed to be beneficial to their healthy development. However, you are not depriving anyone by not medicating their drinking water. Fluoride is widely and inexpensively available in many forms, including tablets, toothpaste, and rinses. It is a far greater abuse and economic burden to put upon members of the public (including low-income families) who do not want this added exposure to a hazardous substance. By cities and towns fluoridating their drinking water, they are forcing them to choose between purchasing expensive and potentially cancerous BPA-ridden plastic bottled water, or installing costly filtration systems. It will also be almost impossible to avoid even if a household has a filtration system. It will be present in all food, tea, and coffee served in town. It will be used to water commercial and private agricultural crops. It will be used to bathe, shower, and swim in. Even with filtration, only 85 percent is removed.
Promoters of fluoridation say there is no debate. Some say that debates and public hearings give the vocal minority a forum to spread misinformation and fear. No scientific subject should ever be beyond debate. French writer Joseph Joubert wrote, “It is better to debate an issue without resolving it, than to resolve an issue without debating it.” In the mid-20th century, Edward Bernays, the original spin doctor, was hired by the fertilizer industry to promote a PR campaign that fluoride is good for you. He was quoted as saying, “You can get practically any idea accepted if doctors are in favor. The public is willing to accept that because a doctor is an authority to most people, regardless of how much he knows or doesn’t know.”
Here are just a few of the facts about fluoride. Promoters in the mid-20th century did recognize that ingesting of fluoride can cause dental fluorosis (increased porosity of the tooth enamel and spotting); however, they were willing to take the chance anyway. People with impaired kidney function are much more susceptible to the toxic effect on those tissues. There are higher incidences of osteosarcoma in boys who drink fluoridated water between the ages of 6 and 8. There have been recent studies that have shown a correlation between ingesting fluoride and higher instances of Type 2 diabetes within a population. Even the back of your toothpaste tube will tell you to call poison control if you ingest the product. If you are ingesting the fluoride in a caffeinated beverage, the caffeine will double the fluoride in your bloodstream. It has been shown to lower the function of the thyroid and pineal glands. Studies showing the dental benefits of topical fluoride show 18 percent reduction decay; that translates to one half of one tooth surface of a possible 128 [tooth surface areas] in the average mouth. Fluoride exposure has also been linked to lower IQ among children.
When you place your vote in Edgartown on April 12, let it be an informed and educated one. We, as Edgartown citizens, are so fortunate to have access to such pure water; please consider long and hard before you attempt to change that. Those who would like to do their own research can find some food for thought at fluoridealert.org, fluoride/history.de, and also keepers-of-the-well.org. Some of the information in this letter can be found in the book “The Case Against Fluoride” by Paul Connett, Ph.D., J. Beck, M.D., Ph.D., and W.S. Micklem. D.Phil.