Quantcast

«

»

Nov 15 2012

Everything Old is New Again — Fluoride? Seriously?

I somehow missed this result from last week’s election. The city of Wichita, Kansas actually passed an ordinance banning the use of fluoride in that city’s drinking water supply. And the organizers of the campaign to enact that ban say they’re now going to reproduce it in other cities and states around the country:

Advocates who led the successful fight against adding fluoride to Wichita’s water say they will work to get their message out across the state and the nation.

Wichita voters on Tuesday rejected a proposal to add fluoride to the city’s water by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. Although three-fourths of the country fluoridates its water, the anti-fluoride movement is gaining traction across the nation, Jonathan Hall, of Wichitans Against Fluoridation, said after the vote.

“We’re part of the upcoming wave of change,” he said…

Both Mark Gietzen, president of the Kansas Republican Assembly, and Hall said that the anti-fluoride forces plan to continue their efforts.

“We’re definitely going to take this statewide; we’re not going to quit,” Gietzen said.

The effort might include working for a state recommendation against fluoridation while still allowing communities to decide the issue locally.

“Since I am connected to the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. I’m going to try to make fluoride one of our core issues,” said Gietzen, who likened fluoride to lead and asbestos. “Things that we thought were right back then maybe were not such a good idea after all. That’s where we are with fluoride.”

We’ve apparently died and gone to 1956. Dr. Strangelove to the rescue:

75 comments

1 ping

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Brett McCoy

    John Birch Society involved in this again, we wonders?

  2. 2
    richardelguru

    But Fluoride gives my precious bodily fluids sharp little teeth…

  3. 3
    Gretchen

    For what it’s worth, I voted for the proposal to add it.

    You would not believe how many yard signs I’ve seen that say “Say No to Fluoride.” Far more than those supporting.

  4. 4
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Fluoride? It doesn’t even look like an American word! It looks kinda British with that “U” near the front.

  5. 5
    iknklast

    For what it’s worth, my city did that four years ago. They didn’t want to “add chemicals” to the water. WTF? Last I checked, water itself is a chemical.

  6. 6
    erichoug

    I’m not saying they are right. But if you look back on the long list of items that were supposedly benign, DDT and Asbestos spring to mind readily, then you can partly understand why people back in the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s may have been concerned. But, to the best of my knowledge, most of America and much of the world has been fluoridating their water for more than 60 years now and it has had quite the opposite effect.

    But then, may be it’s the Fluoride that’s causing all that Autism instead of the Vaccines.

  7. 7
    cry4turtles

    My 2 cents: I haven’t used fluoride in a decade, and I have well water. I’m 48 and have every adult tooth that erupted, no cavaties. Just sayin’.

  8. 8
    jayhawk

    OH MY IMAGINARY FRIEND IN THE SKY!!!

    I had not heard about this. Knowing this state, I will not be surprised if they do pass something statewide.

  9. 9
    michaelraymer

    While it’s not that big of a deal, I have actually wondered why we even bother with adding fluoride at all. It’s in such small amounts that not only is it not harmful, it’s not really that beneficial either. And simply ingesting it has less of a benefit than applying it directly to the tooth enamel. Some European countries do not add fluoride to their drinking water, yet they do not have greater incidents of tooth decay, though I will readily concede that might likely be due to more affordable access to dental care. Anyway, it seems like it’s not worth the effort, and if people want to have it removed, fine. They’ll still get plenty of it from their toothpaste, and at least that will be applied directly.

  10. 10
    Gregory in Seattle

    I think there are reasonable arguments against. Unfortunately, those arguments get drowned out by the fringe nutters screeching “OMG! The government is trying to poison us with mind-control drugs!”

    Most European countries have abandoned fluoridation, opting instead for socialized dentistry, education and dental check-ups as a routine part of public education. Alas, I doubt very much that such an enlightened view will ever come to this country, putting water fluoridation in the category of necessary evil.

  11. 11
    michaeld

    Can’t we just do both? Fluoride and socialized dentistry? :P

  12. 12
    jayhawk

    From Schiencebasedmedicine.org:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/antifluoridation-bad-science/

    The last 50 years of scientific research has only confirmed the safety and efficacy of fluoridation. A 2008 systematic review of this research concluded:

    Fluoridation of drinking water remains the most effective and socially equitable means of achieving community-wide exposure to the caries prevention effects of fluoride. It is recommended that water be fluoridated in the target range of 0.6-1.1 mg/l, depending on the climate, to balance reduction of dental caries and occurrence of dental fluorosis.

    My understanding is much like evolution, it is not a scientific controversy, but it is only a political one.

  13. 13
    Gregory in Seattle

    @erichoug #6 – While most first world countries started fluoridating their water 60 years ago, most have abandoned the practice. The United States remains one of the last hold-outs.

    @cry4turtles #7 – Good dental hygiene practices and regular check-ups and cleanings will do far, far more to prevent cavities than fluoridated water can. Unfortunately, these are nowhere near as common in the US as they should be.

  14. 14
    jayhawk

    Sorry, http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org

  15. 15
    flex

    cry4turtles says,

    My 2 cents: I haven’t used fluoride in a decade, and I have well water. I’m 48 and have every adult tooth that erupted, no cavaties. Just sayin’.

    First, many wells have natural fluorine in the water.

    Second, the biggest impact of fluoridation in water is to embed fluorine ions in the developing permanent teeth of children, which then protects their (and your) teeth for the rest of their lives. Even if you haven’t had fluoridated water for 10 years you are still protected by the fluorine in the water from your childhood.

    Rather than ‘Just sayin” why not spend 10 minutes on the internet looking things up.

  16. 16
    Reginald Selkirk

    iknklast #5: For what it’s worth, my city did that four years ago. They didn’t want to “add chemicals” to the water. WTF? Last I checked, water itself is a chemical.

    No time to lose! Start working on a petition to ban dihydrogen oxide from your water supply. I dare you.

  17. 17
    Reginald Selkirk

    Purity Of Essence.

  18. 18
    raven

    Next up is to remove chlorine from our water supply.

    Chlorine is a nasty chemical used as a war gas during WWI.

    The other big cause of the John Birchers, who are still around, and influential in the GOP is the impending UN takeover of the USA.

    This is by UN Agenda 21, a nonbinding resolution that favors “sustainable” economic development.

    Somehow in Bircher and Tea Party minds, “sustainable” means something like commie, tree hugging, Kenyan, Moslem, atheistic, EPA, FEMA concentration camps, Space Reptiles. The GOP is on it, passing a resolution in Tampa opposing the very idea of “sustainable development”.

    Hard to figure out what they really mean by UN Agenda 21. Probably that if you can’t mine, log off, and build condos in our National Parks, then the USA isn’t worth living in.

  19. 19
    jayhawk

    By the way, I might point out the study I link to above was conducted by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It was not a U.S. study for those saying this is a U.S. only thing.

  20. 20
    otocump

    You know what, lets let them. Then we’ll be able to do a reasonable comparative study on the effects of fluoride in the water supply. Thanks for volunteering your town to be the guinea pigs! But why do I have the suspicion that when the results come back that it’ll be ‘them damn scientists telling us whats gud for us dern it’ again? *sigh*

  21. 21
    baal

    Fluoride is vital to keep in the water supply. Without it, the HAARP pacification resonances are less effective. The FEDGOV needs to keep us for rising up and taking back our country!

    (eleventy).

    (Can we have national health care now with full dental? Please?)

  22. 22
    holytape

    I guess I have to add teeth to the list of stuff republicans what to fuck over.

  23. 23
    alanb

    Now, I recognize that correlation is not causation, but the level of political paranoia has reached pandemic proportions in the past 4 years. Maybe it’s the fluoride.

  24. 24
    ersea

    The British will now have a group to mock over dental care.

  25. 25
    frankathon

    Oh good my city still adds fluoride to our water! I’m so sick of hearing these nit wits! Fluoride is naturally occurring in ground water which is what we drink. Some cities take fluoride out other put some in, it depends on the levels. Fluoridation doesn’t necessarily mean adding fluoride.

    Besides look at the amount of research done over the last 60 years… all in favour.

    Also anecdotal: I lived in England for 2, never had a cavity before that.
    Haven’t had once since I got back.

  26. 26
    eric

    may be it’s the Fluoride that’s causing all that Autism instead of the Vaccines.

    Mmmm hmmm. It could also be the cause of the Reaver outbreak on Miranda.

  27. 27
    heathermighty-lambchop

    In case you were worried, fluoride panic and paranoia is alive and well in Oregon too. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/11/fluoride_referendum_qualifies.html

    Oregonians have some bad, bad teeth. Between the meth and non fluoridated water, the state has the British smiles of yore.

  28. 28
    some bastard on the internet

    eric #26

    Mmmm hmmm. It could also be the cause of the Reaver outbreak on Miranda.

    I nominate eric as the winner of the thread!

  29. 29
    Gregory in Seattle

    @raven #18 – Don’t forget dihydrogen monoxide. It is an industrial solvent and finds use as a fire retardant, can corrode metal and is commonly found in municipal water supplies. Dangerous stuff.

  30. 30
    cry4turtles

    Flex, I’ve spent more than 10 minutes looking this up and have read both pro and con research. I’ve always had well water and only had fluoride exposure in toothpaste or natural occurring. I guess my point is I like having a choice. When it’s dumped in the water there is no choice. What’s so wrong with people exercising their choice?

  31. 31
    emc2

    The banner ad is for a fluoride filter. “Say NO to flouride” $849? Oh, but free shipping.

    I already kind of miss the ‘Protect Marriage in Maryland’ ad I was getting for months.

  32. 32
    whheydt

    I want to see this guy try it in Deaf Smith County, TX…where the effect of Fluoride in the water for protecting teeth was discovered.

  33. 33
    Paul Neubauer

    @Gregory in Seattle #29:

    Not to mention that DHMO has permeated the environment so thoroughly that it is the primary component of acid rain. DHMO has been implicated in disasters ranging from common traffic accidents to Superstorm Sandy.

    In its liquid phase, it can also be lethal if inhaled. As a gas, it has been known to cause severe burns.

    Even in “sub-lethal” doses, it remains dangerous. It is so addictive that anyone who ever uses it, even once, will die if they stop using it, and it is the quintessential “gateway drug.” For anyone who uses any currently illegal drug, it is virtually certain that they used DHMO first.

    DHMO must be banned.

    (I don’t really need a /snark tag, do I?)

  34. 34
    frog

    What’s so wrong with people exercising their choice?

    What’s so wrong with people who are too poor to exercise that choice having the benefit handed to them easily, efficiently, and free?

  35. 35
    cry4turtles

    Fluoride tablets are handed out at schools for children of all incomes. Doctors and dentists regularly proscribe them. It’s in toothpaste (are they too poor to use toothpaste?). Putting it in water that is also used to cook, bathe, water plants and animals seems a bit like overkill, and nullifies my choice. IMHO

  36. 36
    eric

    I guess my point is I like having a choice. When it’s dumped in the water there is no choice. What’s so wrong with people exercising their choice?

    Did jack-booted men in black come and hold your head under a public faucet? Of course you have a choice. But public health is like public education: the state is going to do what it thinks best in the service of the people, and if you disagree, it is up to you to find your own option.

    Considering that many brands of bottled water don’t have flouride in them, the crushing government authoritarianism you are suffering under can be effectively fought off by going to the grocery store.

  37. 37
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    The fluoride thing has been long ongoing. It never really went away, and there is plenty of proposed legislation and activism from the last several years regarding anti-fluoridation.

  38. 38
    caseloweraz

    Brett McCoy wrote: “John Birch Society involved in this again, we wonders?”

    Or perhaps this is another element in the plutocrats’ campaign of distraction. Wichita is the home of Koch Industries, after all.

  39. 39
    tomh

    This battle was fought when I was growing up back east in the fifties, when it was all a Communist plot. Personally, I think the dentists are behind the anti-fluoride movement, since they lost a big part of their income as cavities disappeared where water fluoridation was instituted.

  40. 40
    busterggi

    Good gravy, they’ll try to execute Elvis next!

  41. 41
    andrewlephong

    Some of these people opposed to flouride in the water are also opposed to aspartame in soft drinks. They’re really going after teeth for some reason. Without aspartame, I’d drink sugary soft drinks and that’ll mess my teeth up.

  42. 42
    Reginald Selkirk

    Everything old is new again: Still live: Bob Dole’s 1996 election site

  43. 43
    Larry

    Less sugar, regular flossing, regular check-ups and fluorine in the water isn’t necessary.

    Of course, some nutter will start squealing about how Obummer wants to take away his god-given rights to have teeth like an englishman.

  44. 44
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    My concern is that the government is essentially forcing people to ingest something they may not want to ingest. It’s the flip-side of the Drug War, in which the government (often forcibly) tells us what we are and are not “allowed” to take in to our bodies of our own free will (*cough*marijuana*cough*).

    I oppose ANY act of government that strips away a person’s bodily autonomy (unless a person is a danger to hirself or others, or is unable to care for hirself and requires 24/7 care, obviously. Even then, I believe that the individual should have as much control over hir body as is reasonably possible.)

    In short, the choice to use or ingest fluoride should be the choice of the individual, and not mandated by the government.

  45. 45
    Infophile

    @44 WMDKitty: Good news! I just heard back from the government, and they’ve confirmed for me that you don’t have to ingest their fluoride. It’s simple: Don’t drink their water. If you don’t like what they’re putting in their water, don’t drink it.

    But wait, you need water to live? Well, you’re in luck! If you don’t want chemicals of any sort, you’re covered. Just go out to your local supermarket and buy a jug of distilled water, or one of many bottled water brands that has the exact composition you want in your water.

    You see, the government makes water easily available to everyone out of the public good, but no one’s forcing you to drink it. If you’re a little creeped out about having fluoride in the water the government provides for you cheaply, you can find your own source of water which doesn’t have any in it. As for the water the government supplies, they’re going to set it up to best serve the public good, and the science says that that includes including fluoride. It’s a ton cheaper to fluoridate water than it is to provide fluoride in any other manner.

  46. 46
    Chris from Europe

    @WMDKitty
    Who forces you to drink tap water? Do you oppose all food fortification?

    I don’t want to know what you think about vaccination.

  47. 47
    tomh

    WMDKitty wrote:
    It’s the flip-side of the Drug War, in which the government (often forcibly) tells us what we are and are not “allowed” to take in to our bodies of our own free will

    So you oppose requiring prescriptions for any type of medicine, I assume, or controlling such medicines at all. Let anyone and everyone take whatever medicine they want, which means, of course, whatever someone can convince them to buy.

    I oppose ANY act of government that strips away a person’s bodily autonomy (unless a person is a danger to hirself or others…)

    And just who decides whether a person is a danger to himself? You? The government? I’m sure the person would disagree with whoever is in charge of deciding. How would you implement such a policy?

  48. 48
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Adding fluoride to the water to prevent dental issues is like adding aspirin to the water to prevent heart attacks — some things really ought to be left to the individual, taking specific health needs into account.

    Also, vaccines protect those whose immune systems, for whatever reason, cannot protect themselves. This is 100% different to putting stuff in the water, man. As far as I’m concerned, if you want to be part of society, it is your civic goddamn DUTY to get vaccinated, because you WILL be putting others directly at risk of severe or even fatal illness if you don’t. Anti-vaxxers KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY put others at risk of death, and that is not acceptable.

  49. 49
    Infophile

    There are a few problems with leaving everything to the individual. First of all, not all individuals are in charge of their own medical choices. Children don’t have a choice of what care their given, and the government will punish parents who deliberately deny their children care (whether or not the parents agree it will help, such as in many faith healing cases). In these cases, the government simply can’t leave things to the individuals: Children have neither the education nor the ability to make decisions on these matters, and the government can’t allow parents to deny their children needed care.

    The second problem with individual choice is cost. Quite simply, it’s cheaper (a LOT cheaper) to fluoridate the water supply than it is to distribute fluorine tablets to everyone who might want them. Now, if there were a real benefit to this, or some real harm to fluoridation, then there might be a legitimate argument that this is a cost worth paying. But there isn’t. There’s just people being paranoid and people being squicked out about “chemicals.” But if we made public policy on the basis of purity, vaccines would be banned, homosexuality would still be illegal… hell, mixed-race marriage would still be illegal. Purity concerns simply aren’t a valid argument for public policy. They’re an artifact in human minds that helped us survive back before we learned what exactly germs were, and how to avoid them or even exploit them.

  50. 50
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    So, Infophile, you’re saying purity is always bad. Okay. Have fun with your intestinal parasites and gastrointestinal diseases, man.

    I’d rather the government ensure that clean water is available and abundant, thanks. And I’d really like it if my tap-water wasn’t stealth-medicated.

    I have not argued for getting rid of prescriptions, or for leaving pharmaceuticals completely unregulated, and feel that throwing that at me is dishonest and serves only to derail the conversation. Prescriptions serve a purpose, and yes, pharmaceuticals should be strictly regulated to ensure that the patient is getting both the required medication, but the correct dose, and that it isn’t contaminated with something gnarly. Why? Because lives are in the balance. The wrong drug, the wrong dose, not checking for interactions with other medications a person is on, all of that can be dangerous or even fatal for the patient and people around hir.

    Additionally, patients are informed of the benefits and risks of taking the drug versus not taking the drug, and give informed consent to the drug regimen. (Yes, there are exceptions to this, I’m just speaking generally.) The patient is part of hir own treatment, and can work with hir doctor and pharmacist to find a medication that works with a minimum of side effects.

    I am simply arguing for informed consent, something that is taken away when the water supply is fucking drugged — even with something as innocuous as fluoride.

  51. 51
    tomh

    I am simply arguing for informed consent

    Nonsense. You’re arguing that you “oppose ANY act of government that strips away a person’s bodily autonomy.” That certainly includes access to prescription drugs and other controlled substances. You even give an example of marijuana. Well, which is it? Do you oppose ANY act of government that strips away a person’s bodily autonomy, or do you want to pick and choose what the government can regulate? Because that’s the way it works now, courts decide what may be regulated, and courts have decided that the government may require vaccinations for people who want to attend public schools, and the government may fluoridate water for people who want to use public water.

    If you want to change the fluoride situation you need to convince the decision makers. Unfortunately for you, they decide on facts, and the facts are not on your side. Just emotion.

  52. 52
    cry4turtles

    Jack booted men in black…funny! I suppose you think that drinking is a persons’ only exposure to water? Again, cooking, bathing, watering vegetation, etc. Is it okay to injest unlimited amounts of this stuff? Does anyone know how much is injested daily? Logic tells me it is possible to have too much, even of a “good” thing. I remember when statins first came out, a doctor on some morning show saying it shoulld be added to water. Why not? It would be for the “public good”. Right?

  53. 53
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Hell, while we’re at it, let’s add aspirin to the water supply! Never mind that some people might have an adverse reaction, or that it might be contraindicated (again, taking the individual’s needs into account), it’s for the public good!

    Let’s ban alcohol! And tobacco! And car exhaust! And fast food! It’s all for the public good!

  54. 54
    dingojack

    Cry4Turtles – how much sodium fluoride (NaF) would a person ingest? Let’s see – at levels of about 0.6 to 1.1 mg per litre that’d be about 1.8 to 3.3 mg a day (assuming one drinks about 3 litres a day*). Due to NaF’s high solubility in water it is unlikely to build up in the body so long-term poisoning would be hard to achieve.
    DDT is fat-soluble so hangs around in the body for a long time. Asbestos is breathed deep into the lungs, again it stays in the body for a long time.
    Dingo
    —–
    * If you’re ingesting water while watering the garden I’d humbly suggest your technique needs some more practice.

  55. 55
    tomh

    I remember when statins first came out, a doctor on some morning show saying it shoulld be added to water.

    So what? Anybody can say anything. To make it public policy you have to have a convincing argument. You know, with facts. Many cities have been sued over fluoridation in the last 50 years and no connection between health problems and water fluoridation has been shown.

  56. 56
    dingojack

    WMDKitty – “Let’s ban alcohol! And tobacco! And car exhaust! And fast food! It’s all for the public good!”

    Well as long as we’re being sensible here! ;)

    Banning alcohol didn’t work, in part, because the law was poorly designed, perhaps we should ban idiots from getting into the House and Senate.
    In fact the ban of alcohol had such disastrous consequences the public evil outweighed any supposed public good. Since then, alcohol consumption has fallen fairly steadily (per capita), mostly due to public education campaigns and laws to lessen the harmful effects (DUI).
    Cigarettes are becoming more and more restricted, but again it’s public education that is reducing smoking rates (and improving public health). The slight increase in taxes to offset falling revenues from cigarettes sales is spread so widely I doubt the negatives effects are very great.
    It may have escaped your notice but vehicle emissions are already regulated. Improving technologies are reducing the harm all the time, mostly prompted because of car manufactures having to comply to government regulations.
    Fast food joints have improved their menus mainly due to the government forcing them to disclose the junk in their ‘food’ and partly due to customer pressure. Harm is being reduced but sloooowly.
    Oh and did you miss the bit about NaF being used for 60 years without harm?
    (Sorry this got all TL;DR on me).
    Dingo

  57. 57
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Dingo, dude, that last comment was 100% sarcasm (and taking the principle of “it’s for the public good” to the logical conclusion). In fact, let’s take it even further, and seal each and every person in their own plastic bubble, so nobody has to ever be at risk of doing, seeing, or ingesting anything harmful ever again!

    Some things are regulated for safety reasons. This includes pharmaceuticals, for which we have additional regulations (again, for safety reasons) governing who can dispense the drugs, who can prescribe them, and how much the patient can have at any one time. This system, though imperfect, does work.

    Again, my argument is that one should not be forcibly medicated when there is no indication that the medication is needed.

    With modern dental hygiene, it is simply not necessary to fluoridate the water. It’s also far more expensive in the long run, as people then depend on the fluoridated water and neglect their dental care, thus resulting in MORE dental work on these “healthy” “fluoridated” individuals.

    Why not just educate people about dental hygiene? (Oh. Right. That’s “too much work”, it’s just easier to drug everyone…)

  58. 58
    dingojack

    WMDKitty – your attempt at sarcasm kinda undermined your own argument by making you sound like a paranoid loon, clutching at a desperate conclusion no-one except you suggested (IMHO).
    Have you any evidence for your assertion that ‘It’s also far more expensive in the long run, as people then depend on the fluoridated water and neglect their dental care, thus resulting in MORE dental work on these “healthy” “fluoridated” individuals’.
    Or that NaF, at the levels described above, causes actual harm?
    What about NaI in products (or water) disagree with that too?
    Dingo
    —–
    While I can agree, except in special circumstances, one shouldn’t be medicated forcibly, this hardly falls into the ‘medication’ category.

  59. 59
    tomh

    It’s also far more expensive in the long run, as people then depend on the fluoridated water and neglect their dental care, thus resulting in MORE dental work on these “healthy” “fluoridated” individuals.

    There’s your problem right there. You just make stuff up and pretend it’s true. No wonder you can’t get anywhere with your case.

  60. 60
    Infophile

    So, Infophile, you’re saying purity is always bad. Okay. Have fun with your intestinal parasites and gastrointestinal diseases, man.

    There really needs to be an internet law that covers this. Something like, “When an arguer resorts to a misreading of an opponents argument so bad that it can’t be anything but intentional or indicative of a failure of the education system, that arguer has scored an ‘own goal’ and lost the argument.” But since there isn’t, let me make this clear to you. Look back at my post. Remember where I said, “They’re an artifact in human minds that helped us survive back before we learned what exactly germs were, and how to avoid them or even exploit them.”

    Let me zoom in on that for you:

    “…that helped us survive…”

    Huh. Almost sounds like I don’t believe purity is all bad. Interesting. Must be an illusion, though. After all, if I’d actually said that, no human being who’s graduated from middle school with a passing average would have missed it. Well, no honest human. You are an honest human being, aren’t you?

    (To anyone other than WMDKitty: As soon as I receive a strong indication that someone is arguing in bad faith, such as this response, I generally feel that there’s nothing further that can be gained from actual argumentation. Mockery, however, is another matter.)

  61. 61
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    @tomh — I’m not making it up at all, I’ve seen it in my own family.

    @dingojack — Again, I maintain that water fluoridation as a matter of policy denies the individual their right of informed consent. It also institutes a policy of blanket-medicating a community, instead of focusing on problem areas and educating the people about how to fix and prevent the problem.

    I believe that, instead of tampering with the water, we should instead emphasize dental and personal hygiene in schools, perhaps incorporating (age-appropriate) health units into each grade to teach children about various personal hygiene things that kids need to know. At the youngest, it’s pretty much “brush your teeth, wash your hands after using the loo/before eating, tell someone you trust if ANYONE does anything to you that feels wrong or weird,” and work up from there. That way, each individual is reached, and is able to work with their parent(s)/caregiver(s) and dentist to figure out and maintain a dental regimen that meets their needs. Of course that will cost more in the short term, but since when has the cost of something (War on Drugs, war in Iraq, war in Afghanistan, maintaining our bloated and inefficient military) ever stopped us?

    (Right. I forgot. The price tag only stops us when it’s something that would actually benefit women, children, or the poor…)

  62. 62
    tomh

    That way, each individual is reached, and is able to work with their parent(s)/caregiver(s) and dentist to figure out and maintain a dental regimen that meets their needs.

    It must be so cheery in that Pollyannish world you live in. You know, where every kid has loving caregivers and a dentist to call on. They probably all have medical care and all they can eat, too. What a swell place. Too bad it doesn’t look anything like America.

  63. 63
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Infophile, I am arguing in good faith, and you’re being a total douchenozzle about it. YOU are the one who said that the notion of “purity” was outdated. YOU are the one who insinuated that my desire for clean drinking water is somehow motivated by a “primitive” desire for “purity” based on a lack of understanding about disease.

    Purity concerns simply aren’t a valid argument for public policy. They’re an artifact in human minds that helped us survive back before we learned what exactly germs were, and how to avoid them or even exploit them.

    When it comes to the water supply, “purity concerns” are a perfectly fucking valid argument for public policy. That’s why we have standards for what constitutes potable water! If we didn’t have those standards, and government-run and maintained facilities for purifying and filtering our drinking water, we’d all be dying of fucking dysentery!

    My crack about “enjoy your parasites” was meant to point that out, but apparently you lack the faculties to actually understand sarcasm and mockery.

  64. 64
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    @tomh — Yeah, so let’s just add mood stabilizers and antipsychotics to the water, so we can reach the bipolar and schizophrenic people who either cannot or will not stay on meds! Brilliant! Medicate EVERYONE, just to catch the few that need help!

    You keep accusing me of living in a “Pollyanna” world. Sure, if by “Pollyannna world” you mean REALITY, where we actually DO take the individual’s medical needs into account, instead of forcing a one-size-fits-all policy that ends up neglecting EDUCATION in favor of mass medication.

  65. 65
    tomh

    I’m not making it up at all, I’ve seen it in my own family.

    So your family heard there was fluoride in the water so they quit brushing their teeth? Remarkable. And you wonder why no one takes your argument seriously.

  66. 66
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Not the whole family, no, but a couple of us kids (using that impeccable kid-logic) figured that if the fluoride was protecting our teeth, what were we brushing for? Like I said, dumb kid-logic that made perfect sense at the time, but makes zero sense when you look back on it.

  67. 67
    democommie

    “OMG! The government is trying to poison us with mind-control drugs!”

    “Personally, I think the dentists are behind the anti-fluoride movement, since they lost a big part of their income as cavities disappeared where water fluoridation was instituted.”

    Dentists like other free-market entrepeneurs have become quite adept at finding other sources of income. Filling a couple of cavities is small potatoes compared to orthodontia, implants and cosmetic dentistry.

    Chlorine in water is as accepted as the water itself by most of those hooked up to municipal water supplies. Most non-municipal water supplies are required by law to ensure the potability of the water they provide.

    I get my drinking water from Lake Ontario (a largish body of water about a mile from my house) but not until it takes a trip down a pipeline to Onondaga Water Authority treatment facilities and then returns here for distribution. Water quality is monitored by both the city and county on a continuous basis. There are many things besides chlorine and flouride being put into public water supplies. Both I and my roommate, Buddy The Wonderdog, drink it only after it’s been “Britta’d”. It’s not that I think it’s any safer (I don’t) but it does taste better.

    As for people being responsible for their own dental health–for a very large part of the population that is not a likelihood.

  68. 68
    Raging Bee

    What’s so wrong with people exercising their choice?

    If the water available to them doesn’t have flouride, and they can’t afford decent dental care, and/or maybe don’t get the education they need to do the right thing, then what “choice” do they have, moron?

  69. 69
    cry4turtles

    Now which one of you bloggers said that when your opponent calls you names, you’ve won the argument? Thanks Bee! Seriously, can we discuss without name-calling? This is an important topic to some of us. You’re not going to persuade me by referring to me as “Moron”. I never said my opinion was written in stone.

  70. 70
    JustaTech

    Where I grew up, eveyone was on well water. Every house, every school. So no one had flouride in their water. I remember having “swish-and-spit” days in kindergarten (yay government-issue mouthwash!), but I don’t remember doing it after that. (Public school) My mom tried to get me to take my flouride tablets, and brush my teeth, but even now both my brother and I have weak enamle and bad teeth.

    Am I certian that a lack of flouride in the water is to blame? No, but based on scientific evidence it seems likely.

    But here’s the real kicker. I’m well off now. I was well off as a kid. I can afford to go to the denist and use perscription toothpaste. Most of the kids I went to school with? Really poor. So they might not see a dentist every 6 months. And they might not get that topical application. And here’s the thing: bad teeth will follow them their whole lives; costing time and money to get fixed, and evenutally taking years off their lives. Why should children have to suffer for the rest of their lives because some other adult decided that flouride was a commie plot?

  71. 71
    cry4turtles

    I certainly don’t think it’s a commie plot. I never said fluoride was ineffective. I researched this a decade ago. For sure, pro-fluoride sites have lots of positive studies, and the con sites have lots of negative studies. Life experience tells me the truth probably lies somewhere in between (fluoride is good for some, but perhaps not necessary for individuals who have genetics and oral hygiene on her side.) I’m trying to reconcile this line of thought with the interesting stats provided by Dingo (thanks)! I’m only advocating for choice.

  72. 72
    bradleybetts

    @ZincAvenger

    “Fluoride? It doesn’t even look like an American word! It looks kinda British with that “U” near the front.”

    Maybe that’s why they don’t like it? Can’t have us bastard redcoats putting chemicals in your water now, can you? :)

    On a serious note, I was unaware that treatment of drinking water with fluoride had ever been accused of causing health problems of any sort.

  73. 73
    dingojack

    Holy shit. This is still going? Seriously?
    Dingo

  74. 74
    bradleybetts

    @WMDKitty

    “Adding fluoride to the water to prevent dental issues is like adding aspirin to the water to prevent heart attacks — some things really ought to be left to the individual, taking specific health needs into account.”

    Fluoride is added to the water to kill water-born pathogens. It’s not so kids don’t have to clean their teeth. Who the hell told you that? Because you should go and slap them.

  75. 75
    bradleybetts

    @Larry #43

    “Of course, some nutter will start squealing about how Obummer wants to take away his god-given rights to have teeth like an englishman.”

    Oi, no need for that. And that’ll be “Englishman” to you.

  1. 76
    I’m Not Saying Wichita, Kansas Jumped the Shark…. « Foster Disbelief

    [...] Via Dispatches from the Culture Wars, I bring you this fine example of Democracy Gone Wild!!! I somehow missed this result from last week’s election. The city of Wichita, Kansas actually passed an ordinance banning the use of fluoride in that city’s drinking water supply. And the organizers of the campaign to enact that ban say they’re now going to reproduce it in other cities and states around the country: [...]

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site