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policy. Fluoride is medicine. This may seem either like a revelation or just a simple fact, all depending on your knowledge of how sodium fluoride works and its use in municipal water supplies. Medicine is defined as “any drug or remedy for use in treating, preventing, or alleviating the symptoms of disease.” Sodium fluoride is not an essential nutrient, nor should it be considered as such. This compound is not to be confused with calcium fluoride, a naturally occurring and relatively benign compound occurring in limestone rock beds such as in Plainfield’s six ground wells. Because sodium fluoride is a medicine in its chemical structure and effect, there are several important topics to consider including ethics as well as effects on health and socioeconomics standards. Ethical Considerations The first consideration is whether the mass medication of the population with sodium fluoride follows ethical standards for providing medical care; this is known as “informed consent”. In informed consent, the patient (the public in this instance) would be informed of the benefits and known side effects of the treatment. If the patient makes an informed decision that the benefits outweigh the perceived risks involved, then the patient consents to treatment. Since Plainfield’s Department of Public Works never informs the recipients of the risks of this treatment, it is impossible for the patient (the public) to consent to treatment. By not providing literature showing the risks and benefits of treatment, the public utility, like many others in the United States, is therefore unethical in its course of treatment as defined by the American Medical Association.i Before discussing the health effects of sodium fluoride, it’s important to understand the target group. Sodium fluoride is added to the water supply to prevent cavities in children whose caregivers do not take an active role in their dental care, or who do not have the means for regular dental checkups. By assuming that the 5% of Plainfield residents who fall under the poverty line are in a nuclear family structure, we will assume they have children who receive no dental care whatsoever. This leaves the program serving roughly 2% of Plainfield’s population, or a little over 500 residents. Health Effects These 500 residents of the population will also be the ones to suffer the most by the policies of water fluoridation, as they will most likely not have the means to afford bottled water or to purchase expensive fluoride filters which range in excess of over $1,000 with a yearly maintenance cost of $250. In children ages 9-13, the recommended daily dosage of sodium fluoride set forth by the American Dental Association is roughly 2mgs per day, but due to the preparation of food using municipal water supplies and in the water troughs of cattle, it has been found that a typical school lunch already exceeds the 2mgs of fluoride intake as recommended by the ADA.ii A study published in the peer-review Journal of Public Health Dentistry in the fall of
2008 examined the long-term efficacy of fluoride use as a topical agent versus its internal use. The study’s author, Carole Clinch, found that “the benefits of fluoride are mostly topical, while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake.” Based on her findings, the study’s author paraphrased her fellow researchers by stating “they don’t recommend that any government agency affirm fluoride concentration in water anymore… it’s simply a bad idea.”iii The 1944 New York State Department of Public Health’s Newburgh-Kingston study found a positive correlation between fluoride consumption and an early onset of pubertyiv in girls at only ¼ of the 4 milligram intake that is now commonplace in fluoridated communities due to its presence in foods and dermal absorption through bathing. Also, within this young population, sodium fluoride is able to penetrate the still-forming blood-brain barrier, carrying with it fluoride-attracted metals such as lead and aluminum, causing widespread neurological problems. It should be of no surprise that with the introduction of this neurotoxin, the United States has the highest incidences of neurological and mental disorders in the world. In a rat study titled “Neurotoxicity of Fluoride”, published in 1996, chief author Phyllis Mullenix found that sodium fluoride creates “a generic behavioral pattern disruption… indicative of a potential for motor dysfunction, IQ deficits and/or learning disabilities in humans."v Rats are typically used in these types of studies as their blood-brain barrier is comparable to that of humans. Since fluoride cannot be metered person-to-person, it is impossible to prevent accidental overdoses. Sodium fluoride itself may not cause immediate death or medical problems, but since its effects are biocumulative, meaning constantly accumulating in the body, its harm may not be seen for a number of years. With water fluoridation, a large segment of Plainfield’s population, those 65 years of age and older, may be at higher risk of hip fractures due to skeletal fluorosis even at 1ppm, according to findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.vi This is due to sodium fluoride’s bond to calcium, which can inhibit the reuptake of calcium in the bones. The Pineal Gland Shockingly, up until the 1990’s the effect of sodium fluoride on the pineal gland in humans wasn’t known. What is now known is that the pineal gland is the largest soft tissue deposit area of sodium fluoride within humans. Sodium fluoride calcifies the pineal gland, limiting its function in the elimination of cancer-causing free radicals in the body and the essential production of melatonin. Lower melatonin levels, though possibly not a causal relationship, have long been associated with breast and prostate cancer. It is possible that lowered melatonin levels are only an indicator of a loss in the gland’s ability to destroy free radicals. This relationship appears to be supported by the University of Maryland Medical Center.vii Iceland actually holds the top spot for breast cancer, possibly due to the high concentrations of fluoride in volcanic ash, which runs through the food and water supplies. viii Hundreds of studies have also found a causal relationship between chronic fluoride intake and a reduction in IQ, the intelligence quotient.ix
Personally, I began looking at the relationship between melatonin and fluoridebased medicines when working as a sub-contracted researcher for an Indianapolisbased pharmaceutical company, analyzing and documenting concominant side effects of fluoxetine medications. These case documents, of which I analyzed hundreds, also showed a direct correlation between melatonin supplementation and a decreased efficacy of fluoxetine, as well as a decrease in natural melatonin production in the presence of fluoxetine-based medicines. These links provided me the insight to further investigate the link between fluoride and its effects on the pineal gland. Hypothyroidism Another adverse side effect of sodium fluoride-based medicines is its effect on the thyroid. Sodium fluoride has been used to treat hyperthyroidism in patients at levels of just 4mgs per day. It is safe to assume that a normal population ingesting 4mgs of sodium fluoride per day, such as ours, runs a serious risk of developing hypothyroidism, or a decrease in thyroid function, creating weight gain and hormonal imbalances.x The FDA has never approved sodium fluoride for public consumption, with even its past president, Dr. Charles Gordon Heyd, stating “I am appalled at the prospect of using water as a vehicle for drugs. Fluoride is a corrosive poison that will produce serious effects on a long range basis. Any attempt to use water this way is deplorable.” Whether fluoridated or not, rates of tooth decay have steadily declined in the United States and Europe, with Europe actually having less dental caries all the while not fluoridating the water supply. A University of Zurich study examining the 50-year decline of dental caries ascribed the success to daily topical sodium fluoride use, and not that of water fluoridation.xi In conclusion, it is my firm belief that fluoridation of Plainfield’s water supply is not in the public’s health interest, especially when its use has shown such detrimental side effects and without the public’s knowledge or consent. As a resident of Plainfield and a recipient of this misguided public health policy, I move the town council to reject the use of sodium fluoride within the municipal water supply and reallocate those funds to subsidize better dental health practices within our public school system. Thank you, Ian Osborne
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