For decades the concerns surrounding the fluoridation of our water supply have been derided as absurd. If you tried to claim that fluoride might not be an appropriate substance for maintaining dental health, you were called a quack. Or worse, if you tried to suggest that fluoridated water was actually harmful to overall human health, you were called a conspiracy theorist.
You really couldn’t broach the subject without being compared to General Ripper from Dr. Strangelove. If you think fluoride is bad for you, then surely you must think its presence in our water supply is part of a communist plot to sap your precious bodily fluids.
However, as time goes on and more studies are conducted on the subject, laymen and experts alike are beginning to realize that at the very least, this substance is completely useless for combating tooth decay. Even The Guardian recently published a piece that documents the evidence against its efficacy.
Health experts are calling for a moratorium on water fluoridation, claiming that the benefits of such schemes, as opposed to those of topical fluoride (directly applied to the teeth), are unproved.
Furthermore, critics cite studies claiming to have identified a number of possible negative associations of fluoridation, including bone cancer in boys, bladder cancer, hyperthyroidism, hip fractures and lower IQ in children.
Stephen Peckham, director and professor of health policy at Kent University’s centre for health service studies, said: “Water fluoridation was implemented before statistics had been compiled on its safety or effectiveness. It was the only cannon shot they had in their armoury. It gets rolled out, becomes – in England – policy and then you look for evidence to support it.
So this whole time they’ve been telling us that fluoridated water is good for us, there wasn’t any real evidence to support that assertion? And they dumped it into our water supply for what reason exactly? To wait and see what it does to our bodies? Lovely.
While the article falls short of calling fluoride an outright poison, it does go through many of the studies that claim it is healthy, and explains how they may be flawed. The author points out that earlier this year, a non-profit organization consisting of 14,000 academics reviewed the evidence for and against fluoridation, and couldn’t reach a consensus. So best case scenario, it is probably a giant waste of money.
Still, it’s pretty amazing to see this kind of opinion show up in such a mainstream source of information. If The Guardian is questioning the efficacy of fluoridation, then it’s safe to say that this debate is no longer relegated to the realm quackery for our culture.
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