Who Opposes Fluoridation?
#1: Most of the Developed World
Proponents of water fluoridation often present a long list of medical and dental organizations that officially endorse the fluoridation of water. What proponents fail to mention, however, is that very few developed countries have been convinced by this laundry list. In fact, over half of the world’s population that drinks fluoridated water now lives in the United States. In western Europe, over 97 percent of the population drinks non-fluoridated water (and yet, their tooth decay rates are generally lower than the tooth decay rates in the U.S.).
- Statements by European Officials on Why Europe Does Not Fluoridate
- Water Fluoridation Status in Western Europe
- Water Fluoridation Status of OECD Nations
- Complete List of Countries That Fluoridate Water
#2: Nobel Prize-Winning Scientists
Proponents of fluoridation like to claim that no one who opposes fluoridation is credible. A number of prominent Nobel Prize-winning scientists, however, have opposed the practice. One such scientist, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine/Physiology in 2000 for his research on neurotransmitters in the brain. In a 2005 interview, Dr. Arvid Carlsson noted that “fluoridation is against all modern principles of pharmacology. It’s obsolete. I don’t think anybody in Sweden, not a single dentist, would bring up this question anymore.”
#3: Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Union of Scientists and Professionals at EPA’s Headquarters Office, which represents over 1,500 scientists at EPA, has gone on record as opposing water fluoridation due to concerns about fluoride’s health effects. According to the Union, “In summary, we hold that fluoridation is an unreasonable risk.”
- Why EPA’s Headquarters Professionals Union Opposes Fluoridation
- FAN.tv: Dr. William Hirzy’s Testimony Before Congress
#4: Thousands of Medical and Scientific Professionals
Over 531 medical doctors, 494 PhD scientists (including three co-authors of the National Research Council’s landmark review on fluoride toxicity), 341 dentists, 573 chiropractors, 718 registered nurses, and 89 pharmacists have gone on record since 2007 as opposing water fluoridation by signing FAN’s Professionals Statement to End Water Fluoridation.
#5: Key Leaders in the Environmental Health Community
Key figures in the environmental health community have also gone on record as supporting an end to water fluoridation. This includes the following environmental health leaders who have added their name to FAN’s Professionals Statement:
- Rosalie Bertell, PhD, Regent of the Board, International Physicians for Humanitarian Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland,
- Theo Colborn, PhD, co-author, Our Stolen Future
- Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group
- Pat Costner, retired Senior Scientist, Greenpeace International
- Ron Cummins, Director, Organic Consumers Association
- Ingrid Eckerman, MD, MPH, President, Swedish Doctors for the Environment (LFM), Stockholm, Sweden
- Sam Epstein, MD, author, “Politics of Cancer” and Chairman,Cancer Prevention Coalition
- Jay Feldman, Executive Director, Beyond Pesticides
- Lois Gibbs, Executive Director, Center for Health, Environment, and Justice
- Andy Harris, MD, Former National President, Physicians for Social Responsibility
- Vyvyan Howard, MD, PhD, Past President, International Society of Doctors for the Environment
- Stephen Lester, Science Director, Center for Health, Environment, and Justice
- Peter Montague, PhD, Director of Environmental Health Foundation
- Ted Schettler, MD, Science Director, Science and Environmental Health Network
- FIVE Goldman Prize winners (2006, 2003, 1997,1995, 1990)
#6: Civil Rights Leaders
In light of evidence showing that fluoridation disproportionately harms low-income communities and communities of color, civil rights organizations and leaders have begun adding their support to ending fluoridation. This includes:
- LULAC, the largest Hispanic civil rights organization;
- Andrew Young, the former Mayor of Atlanta and Ambassador to the United Nations;
- Dr. Gerald L. Durley, a clinical psychologist, environmentalist, and Pastor of the Providence Baptist Church in Atlanta;
- Reverend Bernice King (the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King).
See also: Environmental Justice
#7: The Ultimate Consumer Advocate, Ralph Nader
No one has done more to protect the American consumer over the past 50 years than Ralph Nader. It should be of little surprise, therefore, that Nader opposes mandatory fluoridation laws.
#8: The Majority of Communities in North America
When given the opportunity to decide, the majority of communities have consistently rejected water fluoridation. As Dr. Edward Groth noted in his PhD dissertation for Stanford University:
“The fact that nearly 3 out of every 5 communities which vote on the issue have rejected fluoridation, year after year, does in all likelihood represent a collective judgment on the part of the public that, when all things are considered, fluoridation is not an acceptable public health measure.”
Although Groth wrote that back in 1973, the trend has largely remained the same. Fluoridation spread rapidly through the United States, not by public demand, but by the executive actions of government bodies. As noted by Dr. James Dunning, of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, ”The big cities in the United States were mostly fluoridated by executive action in such a way as to avoid public referenda.”
#9: Over 50 Communities Since 2010
Since 2010, over 50 North American communities, with approximately 2 million residents, have rejected water fluoridation, with over 30 of these communities voting to END longstanding water fluoridation programs. This includes:
- Albuquerque, New Mexico (pop. 500,000)
- Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (pop. 140,000)
- College Station, Texas (pop. 100,000)
- Fairbanks, Alaska (pop. 80,000)
As the New York Times recently described:
“For decades, the issue of fluoridated water remained on the fringes. . . . But as more places, like Fairbanks and parts of Canada, take up the issue in a more measured way, it is shifting away from conspiracy and toward the mainstream. The conclusion among these communities is that with fluoride now so widely available in toothpaste and mouthwash, there is less need to add it to water, which already has naturally occurring fluoride. Putting it in tap water, they say, is an imprecise way of distributing fluoride; how much fluoride a person gets depends on body weight and water consumed.”
Fluoridation proponents like to say that “nature thought of fluoridation first.” To support this, they note that some water supplies naturally contain fluoride at the levels that are added to water in artificial fluoridation programs. What proponents fail to appreciate, however, is that although fluorine is the 13th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, the vast majority of fresh surface water, and the vast majority of plants (e.g., fresh fruit, grains, and vegetables), eggs, and milk, contain very low levels of fluoride. Most tellingly, human breast milk — which provides all of the nutrients a rapidly growing baby needs for healthy growth and development – specifically excludes fluoride, so that breast-fed infants have virtually no exposure to fluoride.
So, yes, nature did think of fluoridation first: it thought about it and, like the majority of humans today, decided that exposing living tissues to a compound with no essential role in human, animal, or plant nutrition, is a pointless, unnecessary risk.
- Fluoride Is Not an Essential Nutrient
- Fluoride & Breast Milk
- Fluoride and Biochemistry
- FAN’s Grocery Store Guide
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Fluoridation of Water: Questions about health risks and benefits remain after more than 40 years
Chemical & Engineering News' infamous and thorough review of the science underlying water fluoridation.
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Skeletal Fluorosis in India & its Relevance to the West
While the elevated consumption of water in warm climates such as India along with the increased incidence of malnutrition make direct comparisons of the Indian experience to the "West" difficult, it is striking to observe how narrow the margin is between the doses which cause advanced fluorosis in India and the doses that people are now regularly receiving in fluoridated communities.
Case Reports of Hypersensitivity to Ingested Fluorides
In the 1950s, the renowned allergist George Waldbott discovered that some individuals are hypersensitive to ingested fluoride. In a series of case reports and double-blind studies, Waldbott and other doctors found relatively small doses of ingested fluoride, including the consumption of fluoridated water, could induce side effects that would quickly
Studies on Tooth Decay Rates After Water Fluoridation Is Stopped
For decades, the American Dental Association (ADA) has long warned that if communities end their water fluoridation programs, the rate of tooth decay will increase. In it's "Fluoridation Facts" brochure, the ADA states: "Dental decay can be expected to increase if water fluoridation in a community is discontinued for one year
Acute Fluoride Poisoning Associated with an On-Site Fluoridator in a Vermont Elementary School
On August 30, 1980, an outbreak of minor illnesses consisting of nausea and vomiting affected 22 individuals attending a farmers market at a school. Illness was associated with the consumption of beverages made from school water, analysis of the water showed high levels of fluoride. The most likely source of the contamination was the school fluoridator, which had accidentally been left on continuous operation.
Fluoride Content of Bottled Water
As with other fresh water supplies (e.g., spring water, lake water, river water), bottled waters have low levels of fluoride. Fresh surface water contains an average of just 0.05 ppm. To put this in perspective, artificially fluoridated water (using industrial-grade fluoride chemicals) contains 0.7 to 1.2 ppm fluoride, which is 14 to
Fluoridation vs. Democracy
Over 185 million Americans now drink fluoridated water, a figure that exceeds the number of people in the rest of the world combined that do so. The massive scale of the U.S. fluoridation program is the result, not of popular demand, but of executive fiat. As Dr. James Dunning, of
Water Fluoridation Status in OECD Nations
Quick Facts: Most developed nations, including 97% of western Europe, do not fluoridate their drinking water. Of the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), only 10 have water fluoridation programs. Four of the 10 OECD countries with water fluoridation programs have less than 15% of their population drinking
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