With regard to fluoridation ( Enid Reiman letter of 11/ 14), the real “dead horse” is the public water fluoridation program itself, not discussion of the issue. Fluoridation is an obsolete and ethically flawed program whose scientific foundation is ever more doubtful.
In demanding evidence of fluoride’ s harm, the writer ignores a host of readily available studies and news articles that provide just the evidence she seeks.
Deaths due to fluoride in the water? There have been deaths due to water-borne fluoride ( Hooper Bay, Alaska, 1992; dialysis fatali- ties), but the real issue is fluoridated water’s long-term toxicity, not its immediate effects. By focusing on the dropdead scenario, Reiman demands a response to a non-issue.
Thyroid disfunction? Fluoride was once used to treat an overactive thyroid, so the suspicion that it might hurt a normal thyroid gland is reasonable. Studies like the one by Prof. Stephen Peckham of the University of Kent in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in 2015 provide proof that the issue is very much alive.
Diminished intellectual capacity? Again, there are plenty of studies, such as the one in the September issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, a U.S. government journal, by Bashash and others, that should concern us. The studies are easily found online.
Dental fluorosis? The writer asks how many people have it. Well, according to the U. S. government, about 41 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds. And while most of that mottling and discoloration of the teeth is “mild” or “very mild,” 3.6 percent of those children have a “moderate” or “severe” case. That’s one in 28 actual children surveyed.
Fluoride defenders seem to say that if you can’t prove fluoridation harmful in court, then it’s fine. But fluoride is medicine being put in everyone’s water without informed consent.