Treading the Water Debate: Dare I Mention the"F" word?
Back in August when there was a rousing debate on fluoride on urbanMamas; I was pretty ambivalent about the issue. Like many, I drew on my own experience growing up with it to make my judgement. Drinking tap water and perhaps many other fluoridated beverages, showering and bathing in it daily for over several decades and not thinking much of it other than what I was told from my dentist - fluoride helps to prevent cavities and dental decay. And yet, I was still very surprised at the strong opposition to fluoride among friends and acquaintances here in Portland. I found myself unintentionally in the middle of the issue many times and was not able to respond to the many reasons why fluoride is bad.
When you read and hear about the case against fluoride it is alarming - industrial waste byproduct, toxic, causes cancer, infertility, lower IQ, doesn't help cavities, and the list goes on. It made me really wonder if I had been led astray all these years by my dentists, doctors and other public health professionals. But rather take the sound bites, tweets, Facebook posts at face value, I felt the need to check the sources. And what I continually found is that those snippets of "facts" that were shared so freely by anti-fluoride supporters weren't quite capturing the conclusions of the research studies.
After investing a lot of time (too much time!) reading up on article after article, it only reaffirmed to me that while fluoride is toxic in high quanitities (anything is, even drinking too much pristine Portland water can kill you), it doesn't mean that it shouldn't be used at all. Chlorine is toxic in high doses and yet it's in our water; and I don't know how much I've inadvertenly consumed over the years swimming. But just because it's toxic, doesn't mean it shouldn't be used at all. More than anything, the time spent on looking at the issues has been a really good lesson in being skeptical of the information that's shared and reading the articles that are re-posted on Facebook and Twitter to come to my own conclusions. I've personally reached my limit on information intake on this whole fluoride debate and I leave you with what I have found to be the most reasoned articles. Take a look. These folks have done more digging into the concerns with fluoride and why many fall short of their claims; and can clearly articulate it more eloquently than I can. Maybe you've already decided, but if you haven't, it may clarify some of the purported arguments against it. It certainly did for me.
- The Sanest Arguments Against Fluoride...And Why They're Still Wrong
- Does Fluoride Make Your Kids Dumb?
- Tampa Bay Times Pulitzer Winning Editorials on Fluoride
- Truth About Fluoride Doesn't Include Nazi's
Note: These views are my own and not of the entire urbanMamas community.