I have no expertise in the medical or public health arena, but my late mother did. She held three master's degrees: chemistry, nursing and public health. She was pretty much a geek - albeit an outspoken, force-of-nature geek - who spent her life educating people about and advocating for public health issues. She was an advocate for fluoridation of public water systems, and I know she would have expected me to speak out on the issue.
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The life expectancy in the United States has increased by about 20 years just in my lifetime. I do not think that happened by accident. Polio, smallpox and malaria, to name a few, are all killer diseases of the past in our country. Juvenile rickets, goiter, dental disease and a host of intestinal ailments are no longer the very common threats to our health they once were thanks to Vitamin D in milk, iodine in salt and fluoride and chlorine in water. It appears to me that the public health model in the United States has been and is a great success. One may not have good feelings about some of the methodologies used, but it is hard to argue with success.
Water filters that take the fluoride out of water are available on the market - a fine alternative for those so inclined, and a great deal less drastic than changing the public health picture by ceasing to fluoridate our public water supply.
My mother would want you to know that public health cannot be taken for granted and that it must be our No. 1 concern.
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