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Study fluoride and have a vote

Posted: Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I've been reading the two sides of the fluoride drinking water issue in our morning paper. One side from concerned citizens and the other from health professionals in the community. Who is right? Perhaps to some degree both sides are. One citizen suggests that he has faith in health professionals like Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and therefore we all should. Yet another item in this same edition tells us that CDC is not worried enough to tell doctors that mercury is being laced into the flu shots they endorse. Meanwhile professional whistleblowers in the Environmental Protection Agency are questioning fluoride use. Why?

I think the City and Borough of Juneau managers and Assembly's proposed task force approach to asking questions makes a lot of sense. Holding informational public meetings on this issue and ultimately holding a public vote is only the democratic way. Lots of other cities much larger than Juneau have done just that. The fluoride controversy has been around for a long time and various dental associations have much vested in promoting the use of fluoride, but using it should be voluntary.

The element fluorine occurs naturally in drinking water before any is added in and this varies from region to region. How much is there in Juneau's water? Does our CBJ water department know?

From a study done at Hong Kong University's Department of Children's Dentistry and Orthodontics, the natural fluoride in tea, when steeped in 0.7 ppm fluorinated water (the least amount being added to our drinking water) reached 1.05 mgs.

Lots of Juneauites are tea drinkers, not to mention the eight, 8-ounce glasses of water health professionals would prefer us to consume daily.

I think it is really past time for a thorough task force study of our drinking water and the fluoride-added issue.

Alan R. Munro

Juneau



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