As a physician, I usually try to stay politically neutral, but the potential consequences of water fluoridation are too significant for me to stay silent. I have reviewed a number of studies on water fluoridation and find that the potential dental benefit is questionable at best for a very limited population. And the potential toxic effects to the masses are both severe and real.
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Fluoride cumulates in bones and causes them to be more brittle and prone to fracture, especially in the hips. There is an increased possibility of developing osteogenic sarcoma - bone cancer - in boys who ingest fluoridated water.
There have been a number of studies that show deleterious effects on the brain and the thyroid. Hyperfluoridosis occurs in people who consume too much fluoride, leaving them with chalky-appearing, permanently discolored teeth.
Why subject all of us to the potential deleterious effects of fluoride when there are safer mechanisms - fluoride varnishes or rinses - for delivering the drug to those very few who may benefit from it?
Shoveling it into our water supply is a shotgun approach with broad, negative health-related consequences. Many children and adults consume much more than the assumed 2 liters of tap water that the Environmental Protection Agency bases its estimates of per-day fluoride consumption.
I urge you all to read the National Academies Review 2006 on fluoridated water. I believe that a large number of Juneau physicians who have endorsed fluoridated water would reconsider their position if they were fully aware of the systemic consequences of this drug. Please don't contaminate our clean water. Vote no on water fluoridation.