Aug. Fail

Fluoride Fears: Factual or Flimflam?

According to azcentral.com, the Phoenix City Council is set to reconsider adding fluoride to the city water supply coming up at the September 11th meeting. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the America Dental Association say fluoridating the water is not only safe but beneficial. “Cities that fluoridate their water reduce cavities by 20 to 40 percent, according to the national association.” In fact the CDC named fluoridation as one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.

But some residents are opposed to fluoridation, like Jody Clute. Clute, who was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, believes that fluoridated water will affect her condition. After her diagnosis, Clute read “every book she could get her hands on” about the thyroid, and they all said to stay away from fluoride. I would be very interested in finding out the books that she read because my research did not lead to any credible sources that can show that the levels of fluoride in drinking water can effect the thyroid.

The Environmental Protection Agency performed a scientific review of fluoridation in 2006. According to the study, fluoride can affect the endocrine system, but in the cases sited this occurred when the fluoridation was beyond recommended limits or when it coincided with an iodine deficiency. You can read the full scientific review here. Ultimately, the EPA determined to lower the recommended levels of fluoride to 1 mg/L based on the best available science.

Hopefully, the Phoenix City Council will also make their decision on the best available science. Of course they have other considerations to take into account, such as economics. The CDC also offers help with that decision which can be found here.

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