Think carefully about fluoride use in Red Deer

Fluoride is once again a hot topic. With community after community voting to remove this substance from their drinking water, and our own city council currently taking a close, hard look at this practice, I am writing this letter to offer some information surrounding the addition of hydroflurosilicic acid (aka fluoride) to our public water supply.

Fluoride is once again a hot topic.

With community after community voting to remove this substance from their drinking water, and our own city council currently taking a close, hard look at this practice, I am writing this letter to offer some information surrounding the addition of hydroflurosilicic acid (aka fluoride) to our public water supply.

Approximately 75 per cent of North American public drinking water systems are fluoridated. In Europe, where more objective scrutiny of this practice has taken place, it has almost unanimously been rejected. Yet according to statistics collected and published by the World Health Organization, their children’s teeth are just as good, if not better, than those of North American children.

An expert panel commissioned by Health Canada to study the risks of fluoride exposure recommends the government cut the acceptable amount of fluoride in drinking water, encourages the use of low-fluoride toothpaste by children, and calls for the reduction of fluroide levels in infant formula.

If indeed fluoride does prevent tooth decay, it has been stated repeatedly that the optimum method of delivery is topical, not systemic. This means that the best method of delivering fluoride to your teeth is externally, like toothpaste or fluoride treatments, coupled with a healthy dental regime. Ingesting this chemical forces our bodies to process an entirely non-nutritional substance with potentially dangerous side effects.

As noted by the Environmental Working Group, children who ingest too much fluoride are at risk of developing a condition known as dental fluorosis. In its milder forms, dental fluorosis produces cloudy spots and streaks on the teeth, while in its advanced forms fluorosis can weaken the enamel and cause it to crumble and break.

As fluoride accumulates within the tooth, it interferes with its normal mineralization process. Even more alarmingly, dental fluorosis represents a toxic red flag, raising the larger question of what other bones and tissues in the body may be similarly affected.

These important health issues stand hand-in-hand with an equally important ethical issue. It is not up to the City of Red Deer to administer any medication to its population, no matter how beneficial it is purported to be. People all have different genetic makeup, environment and habits. Individual dosage is therefore impossible to predict, and some constituents could be receiving toxic doses without their knowledge. Further, our constituents are not being informed of the compound make-up of hydrofluorosilicic acid or its possible side effects, which is standard practice for administering any medication.

Some will argue that removing fluoride from our water supply will target lower income families who cannot afford expensive dental treatments to supplement their fluoride intake. To be fair, those who oppose this practice also deserve equal treatment. Who is sponsoring those in the community who are trying to avoid this chemical in their water? We must also take into account the hundreds of taxpaying citizens who are purchasing expensive purification devices and external water dispensers.

I encourage every citizen of Red Deer to actively research this topic. Discover the pros and cons, look into exactly where this chemical comes from, and what it really is. After all, it affects you and your family.

If you are on facebook, I would like to personally invite you to join our group. Search for “Citizens United to Remove Fluoride from Red Deer’s Water Supply.”

Diane Hermary

Red Deer

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