By Margaret Emenegger
Ah, fluoride. Your tap water and that clean, clear glass that contains it has nothing to do with the worn-out bromide “transparency.” It was really more of a case, I suspect, of national brainwashing or omitting reading the fine print or keeping up-to-date with scientific studies past the 1970s.
Seriously, is there anyone who doesn’t know that fluoride is deliberately added to our drinking water? I wonder whether anyone realizes that to add fluoride — deliberately or not — to our rivers, oceans, lakes, streams, hatcheries, etc. as runoff from industries is a serious, punishable crime? It is viewed as toxic waste, a toxin, poison. When it’s runoff from the aluminum industry, it’s called hexafluorosilicic acid. There are also other versions from the phosphate/fertilizer industry. When you drink it in city tap water, it’s called the more folksy fluoride. Note that hex syllable in hexafluorosilicic. You know that doesn’t sound good.
All four cities served by the Beaver Water District — Fayetteville, Springdale, Bentonville and Rogers — have requested to receive fluoridated water from BWD.
Smaller communities like Benton County Rural Development Authority No. 4, Bethel Heights, Cave Springs, Elkins, Elm Springs, Farmington, Greenland, Goshen, Johnson, Lowell, Mount Olive Rural Water Association, Tontitown, Wheeler, Washington Water Authority and West Fork, buy their water from one of these four cities, so these water consumers also receive fluoridated water.
Question: If dumping that stuff into our waterways is a serious crime, it’s puzzling that there’s no legal barrier to freely dump it into our drinking water.
Is it just me or is this quite odd? Oh yes, that’s right, somewhat diluted (or is it deluded?), fluoride in our water is said to prevent dental caries, a high-class term for tooth decay. The implication must be that if you are a diligent drinker of this water you’re home free, no cavities. Guzzle away.
How did Fayetteville get fluoride into its water and when?
Fayetteville City Clerk Sondra Smith consulted microfilm records and discovered that in the 1970s a local dentist, Frank C. Grammer, recommended fluoridation on behalf of the Fayetteville Dental Study Club. In 1978 a letter was sent to the Fayetteville Board of Directors to fluoridate “because it is of major importance in combating that most common, painful and costly of diseases, dental caries … effective in caries prevention … economical and safe.” A public vote that same year approved the addition of fluoride to our city water.
Smith provided an additional 45 pages spelling out the fluoride specifications of the 1978 era. The mayor at that time, Ernest E. Lancaster, accepted the fluoridation proposal with the admonition that the fluoride infusion should not exceed 1.2 parts per million.
BWD currently distributes fluoride at a level of 1 ppm, as dictated by the Arkansas Department of Health.
The Rogers City Council approved fluoridation in 1994 after voters initially approved fluoridation in 1992. Springdale previously had approved fluoridation and in the 1990s, Bentonville approved fluoridation.
Here is the surprise. Oddly enough, old and recent surveys clearly show that adding fluoride to drinking water to alleviate tooth decay is an idea based on a false premise. No proof exists at all, because it only works topically, not systemically. The various scientific studies were not even complete before fluoridation began in the United States.
Yet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized water fluoridation as one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
The Environmental Protection Agency has back-peddled since its original recommendation not to exceed 4 ppm and has adjusted its opinion about adding fluoride to our drinking water.
The EPA objects to the one-size-fits-all approach to a strong medicine like fluoride. If Jack drinks 10 glasses of fluoridated water to Jill’s 1 glass, he is getting 10 times more of a dose then clever Jill. Neither Jack nor Jill ever agreed to drink it anyway.
OK, there are natural fluorides that occur here and there. There are two types: sodium fluoride and calcium fluoride. Texas seems to have a lot of natural fluoride, but natural or not, the kids who drink this water get a condition called, “Texas teeth,” pitted brown spots, recognized as fluorosis (toxicity).
The industrially produced fluoride that comes from the aluminum industry and others was graciously offered to a desperate cavity-ridden public to prevent tooth decay, but it does much more than that.
It often creates unwanted side effects like pitted brown spots, white spots or stripes on teeth. Whether brown spots or white stripes, both kinds indicate fluorosis, signs of toxicity. The damage is considered permanent.
Now let’s consider fluoride in our daily domestic lives. Think of adding hexafluorisilicic acid to your baby’s formula and serving it to your family and pets. The U.S. has noted a decline in our kids’ I.Q.s. Of course, we know the schools couldn’t have anything to do with this and yes, they, too, serve fluoridated water to kids at school, but the EPA blames fluoride, not the schools.
China has discovered the same thing with their kids. This was noticed and reported in 1983. Ireland, which is said to be the most fluoridated country in Europe, recently has become very vocal on the fluoride issue. The Irish public is up in arms. What happened to the luck of the Irish?
So, what does fluoride do?
Fluoride slowly attacks your immune system primarily through the gut, home of the immune system. It inhibits function of the thyroid gland especially in women. Without sufficient iodine, provided by the thyroid gland, you will die sooner. Many conditions are exacerbated by the presence of fluoride such as fibromyalgia, arthritis and asthma.
No final report has come forward that insists that fluoride (the hex type from the aluminum industry) is responsible for the dramatic rise in Alzheimer’s disease, but it will. It’s predicted that in 10 years one in three of us will suffer from it. Fluoride is a mutagen, a sort of cellular multitasker that can cause certain cells to wildly proliferate, like cancer cells.
Fasten your seat belts. There’s more.
This will upset the animal rights people, but recently we’ve heard disturbing stories about Southern California racehorses breaking their bones for no good reason, or so it was assumed. The go aod reason is a bad reason: The horses are getting their water (not just in southern California) from two sources: city water or well water. The well water is fluoride calcium and 30 percent less toxic than the aluminum industry kind. After only six months of drinking city water, X-rays revealed disturbing bone changes in the horses, bone thickening and porosity. On an average of nine years, the horses died or had to be put down. Before that they developed skin problems, broken bones and, get this, crumbling teeth and hooves. All hoofed animals drinking city water are suffering and even big animals like performing elephants (who drink 60 gallons of water a day), had serious enough problems that they could no longer perform and were given to game preserves.
The racehorses were drinking the same water as their trainers, but it was not realized that the water was getting a double dose because aluminum ion was also being added to clarify the water.
Paul Sauerheber, a chemistry professor at Palomar College in California has stated: “No one wants to admit to this.”
Concerned, scientifically qualified citizens were writing letters to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to take fluoride out of the water. There’s a California mandate that requires all of their cities of specified populations to add fluoride to the water.
My favorite doctor reporter is Dr. William Campbell Douglass from Georgia who thinks the whole fluoride issue is greed driven. It appears that the aluminum industry had an expensive problem with hexafluorosilic acid and all they could come up with was rat poison and some pesticides. They decided that with a little more creativity maybe they could profit more from their problem. Right! Put it into public drinking water. They don’t give it to us for free, we pay for it big time. Think of it — millions upon millions of gallons.
Dr. Douglass brings up the story of Basel, Switzerland, one of the last European cities to fluoridate their drinking water. They suddenly stopped the practice. Why? Basel kept records and discovered that their kids got more cavities than before fluoridation, while non-fluoridated European cities were showing a decline in cavities. Dr. Douglass has said “If you can’t dispose of a toxin, just delude health authorities into believing it’s healthy and … presto …. Fluoridated water doesn’t prevent cavities, but it can definitely prevent a long healthy life. ”
Here is a quote from another doctor, Dr. Peter Mansfield of the U.K., who has said, “No physician in his right senses would prescribe for a person he has never met, whose medical history he does not know, a substance which is intended to create bodily change with the advice, take as much as you like, but you will take it for the rest of your life because some children suffer from tooth decay. It is a preposterous notion.”
Chemistry professor Dr. Paul Connett has said, “to simplify things, it helps to separate the ethical from the scientific. The ethical group says that it is simple to resolve. It is not ethical to force medication on people without their informed consent … not very influential in Washington arguments that convincingly show that fluoridation is neither safe and effective nor necessary.”
Fluoridation is unethical because:
1. It violates the individuals’ right to object to medication.
2. Municipalities cannot control patient dose.
3. Municipalities cannot track individual (physical) response.
4. It ignores different levels to fluoride toxicity.
5. It violates Nuremberg Code for human experimentation. The first occurrence of fluoridated drinking water was found in Germany’s Nazi prison camps.
Only 2 percent of Europe has ever used fluoridation, yet Europe has as good or better cavity record than the U.S. The World Health Organization, very fluoride keen, in a 1978 report admitted that “cavity rates have come down fast or faster in nonfluoridated areas in the U. S. When fluoride infusion was stopped, the decay statistics continued to go down.” Fluoridation is simply not effective.
Dr. Connett also stated, “The various additives to municipal drinking water are for the purposes to improve quality and safety, which fluoride does not do. This is the true reason that most of Europe rejects fluoridation.” Germany’s objection was “the problematic nature of compulsive medication. ”
Dr. Connett has stated that “Contrary to previous beliefs, fluoride is of minimal value when swallowed. Any benefit comes from direct application to the outside of teeth. There is absolutely no need to expose other tissues by swallowing it.”
Aside from all these convincing objections, one needs to recognize that 90 percent of fluoridated water is used for nonhuman consumption, such as watering lawns and gardens, laundry, flushing toilets and car washing, with only 1 percent used for cavity prevention.
The risk to the brain with doses as low as 0.9 ppm in nutrient-deficient children has an adverse effect in mental acuity, risk to the thyroid, risk to kidneys, risk of depression and weight gain. The greatest risk is to the bones, which attract fluoride. Fluoride lowers pineal gland production of melatonin, essential to hormone activity (as in the case of the thyroid gland). It damages tooth enamel in 30 percent to 50 percent of children in poor or minority neighborhoods.
This article is intended to inform the reader of the many dangers of fluoride presently in our water. Concerned citizens in many American cities want fluoride out of their city water. I’m challenging you to contact your City Council members and let them know that fluoridated water is unacceptable. To inspire you, I offer my favorite quote (from Margaret Meade): “Never doubt that a group of thoughtful concerned citizens can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
Commentaries are the opinion of the author and not the opinion of the Free Weekly.