The debate about fluoride got me thinking about other dangerous chemicals in our modern world.
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Sodium chloride, one of the world's oldest and most effective pesticides, is an all-too-common additive in prepared foods. A poisonous solution can be made by dissolving 35 grams of sodium chloride in each liter of water (a 3.5 percent solution).
Over-consumption of disaccharide, one of the most common of all additives to food and drink products, is linked to numerous adverse health conditions. Were it not for disaccharides, we almost certainly would not be having this debate about fluoride.
Sodium chloride is sold under the generic brand name of "table salt." Sea water contains about 3.5 percent salt in solution. Disaccharide is another name for sugar.
Obviously, many good things taken in excess can have adverse health effects. If fluoride in small amounts were bad for us, the uncontestable truth would be obvious where it occurs naturally in the water, yet the only certainty is that people who grew up drinking such water have strong teeth. Those of us who grew up in Juneau before the water was fluoridated keep the dentists busy.