Why Are We Still Adding Fluoride To Water?
Let's Talk About This Controversial Additive In Public Drinking Water.
Let’s face it. Water fluoridation is nothing to smile about.
I don’t talk about fluoride as often as other water issues here, because frankly, there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to toxic substances polluting our water.
But… a little story over the weekend caught my eye, and I thought now would be a good time to review my position on the matter.
Did you catch the headline?
Town employee quietly lowered fluoride in water for years
The opening line of this AP story reads:
Residents of a small community in Vermont were blindsided last month by news that one official in their water department quietly lowered fluoride levels nearly four years ago, giving rise to worries about their children’s dental health and transparent government—and highlighting the enduring misinformation around water fluoridation.
You can read the full story here.
First of all, I applaud this water operator.
His name is Kendall Chamberlin, and he is Richmond, Vermont’s water and wastewater superintendent. He told the Water and Sewer Commission in his town that he reduced the fluoride level because of his concerns about changes to its sourcing and the recommended levels.
“My duty is to take reasonable care and judgment for the protection of public health, safety and the environment of my customers,” he said, adding that “to err on the side of caution is not a bad position to be in.”
Yes, that’s how water operators should be looking at their job, as protectors of public health!
Let me be clear about my position on fluoride. For years, I’ve said that I don’t believe a public drinking water system should be used to distribute any substance for the purpose of achieving a medical result.
It’s just wrong. How can we possibly control the dose for every American and get it right?
I am opposed to the continued policy and practice of drinking water fluoridation; I believe this harmful practice must be ended immediately. Public drinking water is a basic human right; and its systematic use as a dispensary of a substance for medical purposes is deplorable.
If we really wanted to dose our water with vitamins, why not add vitamin C or D? To say that we are adding fluoride to the water as a public health intervention is just wild.
You can watch me and Bob Bowcock, my go-to partner in water investigations, talking about this issue at a town hall meeting in Florida back in 2018. Bob is a water treatment professional, and he’s been a licensed California Grade V water treatment operator since 1985.
In the video, Bob makes a great point. Why do we work so hard to clean the water just to add something to it? It doesn’t make sense.
I support drinking water utility professionals, who question this practice and work to make their community safe. We must continue to look at this practice and ask why after years and years of dental advancements are we still relying on an artificial form of fluoride to help fight tooth decay?
Wanna find out if your water has fluoride in it?
The best way to find the fluoride level of your local public water system is to contact your water utility provider. The U.S. EPA requires that all community water systems provide each customer with an annual report on water quality, including the fluoride content. If you live in one of the states that participate in CDC’s My Water’s Fluoride program, you can find information on the fluoridation status of your water system online at My Water’s Fluoride.
What are your thoughts on water fluoridation? Let us know in the comments below!