I am amazed at the amount of money being spent by opponents of Proposition A and the level of pseudoscience displayed on the fluoridation question. Decisions about public health should be based on what is healthy for the entire community and not on the fears of a few individuals who, although sincere, have extreme opinions about their drinking water.
A few observations:
- The assertion that hydrofluorosilicic acid is industrial waste is false. It is a scare tactic based on the perception of the compound’s name. The acid is used because it is more easily handled than other possible sources such as calcium fluoride.
- The claim that fluoridation will introduce heavy metals into the water is also false. The acid is purified to meet safety standards and even if it were not, Buda’s water is alkaline so that the concentration of metals would be very low.
- Some glibly say that water fluoridation is not necessary because of the availability of fluoride toothpastes, mouthwashes and fluoride treatments at dentists. The fact is, though, that fluoridation is the most effective and inexpensive way to minimize dental problems particularly among children.
- Some state that they want to determine what they ingest. That’s fine but to be consistent such individuals should drink only distilled water, use only uniodidized salt and drink only raw milk. We add niacin to milk, iodine to salt and we chlorinate water. Indeed if you are concerned about the safety of your water you should monitor the level of halohydrocarbons formed by reaction of the chlorine with organics. Buda’s water is very safe and the halo compounds are easily removed by using activated carbon filters.
- It is claimed that other countries don’t fluoridate their water but this is true only where a large number of water sources are used. People in Great Britain, Spain and Ireland drink fluoridated water. In other countries they use salt or milk for fluoridation.
Water fluoridation is a safe, effective and inexpensive way to promote dental health. It is endorsed by numerous professional organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Dental Association. The Center for Disease Control considers it to be one of the ten greatest health achievements of the 20th century. You may claim that these claims are just part of a conspiracy but I don’t know many dentists who are members of secret conspiracy groups.
I hope that you will adopt the position that benefits the overwhelming majority of the citizens and approve the fluoridation of the Buda’s water.
Professor of Chemistry