Bans on Fluoride Spread Across The US Sparking Mixed Reactions

Source: Cleveland Water Department

Fluoride used in the water supply has apparently sparked mixed reactions throughout the United States. Some have praised and applauded the benefits of fluoride in water – such as dental health benefits. Others have blamed it and alleged it is more harmful than helpful.

North Carolina Retiree Describes Water As ‘Cloudy And Bubbly’

Regina Barrett, a 69-year-old retired North Carolina resident, has complained about the quality and appearance of her water. For instance, she described her water as “cloudy and bubbly.”

Source: Pixabay/Colin Behrens

She also stated that her water “looks milky.” Barrett blames fluoride for the issue, stating that she “don’t want fluoride in my nothing.”

County Commissioners Met To Discuss Yadkin River Water Treatment Plant

The Board of County Commissioners in Union County, North Carolina met to discuss the fluoride issue in February. The discussion specifically targeted the Yadkin River Water Treatment Plant.

Source: Pixabay/Kubinger

The Board reportedly voted 3-2 to stop adding fluoride to the supply of drinking water from the plant. The plant is apparently the only water source that is wholly operated and owned by the county.

County Official States His ‘Children Had The Blessing Of Growing Up’ With Fluoride

As shown by the narrow vote, there was clearly a mixed response within the Board of Commissioners regarding the fluoride issue. Commissioner Richard Helms, for instance, expressed his support for the fluoride addition before the vote.

Source: Pixabay/Petra

Helms stated that his “children had the blessing of growing up with fluoride in their water.” As a result, Helms believes that is why “they have very little dental issues.”

Another County Official Wanted To ‘Give People The Freedom To Choose’

Fellow Commissioner David Williams had a different opinion on the matter. He expressed the need to “stop putting something in the water that’s meant to treat us.”

Source: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann

He added that he believes that the county should “give people the freedom to choose.”

Hundreds Of Communities Have Met To Vote On Fluoride Issue In Recent Years

There have reportedly been hundreds of communities that have met to discuss the fluoride issue in recent years. The discussion has focused on whether to prevent the addition of fluoride into the water supply or stop adding it.

Source: Pixabay/Jeyaratnam Caniceus

Most of those that support the fluoride ban have argued that people should be allowed to have the freedom to choose.

Broad Availability Of Dental Products With Fluoride Factored Into Overall Debate

The broad availability of dental products with fluoride available for over-the-counter purchases has reportedly been factored into the overall debate. Quite a few people say that the dental product availability makes adding fluoride to the water supply unnecessary.

Source: Pixabay/Bruno

According to the Fluoride Action network, over 95% of toothpaste products currently contain fluoride. One study shows that a lot of children swallow more fluoride from toothpaste alone than the amount recommended for total daily ingestion.

Dental Benefits Enhanced When Added To Water, According To CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged that store-bought products with fluoride are effective at reducing tooth decay. However, that does not necessarily end the debate for the agency.

Source: Pixabay/Ri Butov

According to the CDC, the greatest level of protection comes from combining fluoride into the water supply. Based on that theory, combining the use of dental products with water fluoridation presents the most benefits to dental health.

‘Community Water Fluoridation Prevents Cavities’ In Neighboring Communities

One study that focused on the quantification of the diffused benefit from water fluoridation focused on the differences in tooth decay rates within 12-year-old children that lived in communities with at least 50% fluoridated water with the children that lived in communities that had less than 25%.

Source: Pixabay/Michal Jarmoluk

The study concluded that children living in the higher fluoridated states experienced less tooth decay annually than the children that lived in states with less common presence of water fluoridation. The study’s main author, Dr. Susan Griffin, stated that “widespread community water fluoridation prevents cavities even in neighboring communities that are not fluoridated.”

CDC Highlights Potential Cost Savings Of Dental Treatment With Water Fluoridation

The CDC continues to highlight the benefits of community water fluoridation. In addition to the dental health benefits, the agency has also emphasized the potential cost savings associated with keeping fluoride in the water supply.

Source: Pixabay/Nattanan Kanchanaprat

One study showed that community water fluoridation programs provide approximately $6.5 billion annually in net cost savings. This is reportedly accomplished by averting costs of direct dental treatments (such as extractions and tooth restorations) along with indirect costs.

Study Of Cost And Savings Supported Claim That Water Fluoridation Is ‘Cost-Effective’

There was a study conducted in 2016 that was titled “Costs and Savings Associated with Community Water Fluoridation in the United States,” according to the CDC. The study used documented program expenses to determine the expected effectiveness of community fluoridation in addition to the expenses associated with the installation and maintenance of the operating water plants and required equipment.

Source: Pixabay/Charles Thompson

The study proved to be consistent with prior analyses. It supported the overall finding that community water fluoridation is “one of the most cost-effective methods of delivering fluoride to all community members regardless of age, educational attainment, or income level.”

Public Health Officials Claim Fluoride Removal Could Harm Low-Income Families

Public health officials have tried to focus on the impact that removing water fluoridation could have on low-income families. These officials reportedly believe that the removal or ban of fluoride in water could become harmful to these households.

Source: Pixabay/S05ProdPresidente

According to the report, drinking water could be the only source of preventative dental care that a significant number of low-income households throughout the U.S. can access. One dentist, Myron Allukian Jr., was quoted as saying “if you have to go out and get care on your own, it’s a whole different ballgame.”

‘It’s Much Easier To Prevent A Disease Than To Treat It’

Allukian, who also once served as the president of the American Public Health Association, highlighted that millions of people throughout the country have lived with fluoridated water for decades. He added that “we’ve had no major health problems” caused by the fluoridation.

Source: Pixabay/Darko Stojanovic

Allukian continued by stating that “it’s much easier to prevent a disease than to treat it.”

National Institutes Of Health Highlights Side Effects Of Excessive Ingestion

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) acknowledged the harmful side of ingesting extremely large amounts of fluoride. The agency specifically focused on the fluoride that is found within dietary supplements or dental products with its report.

Source: Pixabay/Martin Budenbender

According to the NIH, excessive ingestion could cause such side effects as abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and bone pain. Extreme cases could reportedly lead to death.

Federal Case In California Could Force EPA To Create New Rule, Regulations

There is reportedly an ongoing federal case in California that directly involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The federal case could essentially force the EPA to create a rule regarding the fluoride debate.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

There is one scenario in which the rule could lead to the EPA regulating the use of fluoride in drinking water throughout the United States. Conversely, the EPA could decide to enforce a nationwide ban of fluoride in drinking water.

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Sally Reed

Written by Sally Reed

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