Fluoridating water strips freedom of choice

Posted: Tuesday, August 07, 2007

There are many unanswered questions surrounding the health concerns of fluoride in our drinking water. For every study that says it is beneficial, there is one to contradict it. Clearly, there is more to be learned about this much debated topic.

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While the evidence about health and fluoride may not be conclusive, there is one thing that is unarguably true: Adding fluoride to the drinking water of an entire population removes that people's freedom to make their own choice. It may be argued that a person has the right to purchase and drink bottled, unfluoridated water, and that is true. That option, however, excludes that percentage of the population from accessing and taking advantage of municipal running water - one of the oldest and most significant advantages of living in an organized civic society.

Conversely, to leave fluoride out of the municipal water supply leaves this fundamental and important resource accessible to every single member of the community. In this case, those who desire fluoride treatment are free to seek it through a dentist or physician. The point is often raised that many people do not have enough money to visit a dentist for fluoride treatment. Perhaps the money used for water fluoridation can fund a program to make free or low-cost fluoride treatments available for those who need them.

Links between fluoride and bone cancer in boys, or ties between pro-fluoride "medical" studies and the toothpaste industry, or the fact that nearly all of Western Europe has stopped water fluoridation and have experienced a decline in tooth decay have contributed to my personal choice to eliminate fluoride from my diet. That decision is my own that I am free to make. By adding fluoride to the drinking water of the entire population, Juneau lawmakers are stripping every single one of us of that freedom of choice.

Andrew Heist

Juneau



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