Friday, July 07, 2006

Fluoride vs. Choice

Eric points out on his blog that the latest issue of the Arcata Eye's Issue Scrutinizer deals with fluoridation of public water systems. The issue being on the ballot in Arcata this November.

One thing I find troubling with the proponents arguments for fluoridization is they dismiss personal choice so easily. I'm sure proponents will point out that those who prefer water without fluorine added can always buy bottled water. Seems to me it should be the other way around: Whoever wants water with something extra in it should have to pay for it, just like anything else.


At 12:16 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Does that include Chlorine?

At 12:44 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Good question, as it seems to me I'd heard people question the use of chlorine in water years ago. I'd say no, just because we want potable water and chlorine does a fair job of ensuring that.

Interestingly enough, the Multi- Pure water filter we use in our house removes chlorine. The wife says her coffee tastes better dechlorinated.

I believe I read that the filter doesn't remove fluoride, which is a mineral(?). I'm not all that worried about the health effects of fluoride myself since, I've been told, we consume far more fluoride in our daily diet than we get from drinking water.

Nonetheless, some people worry about the fluoride in their water. I respect their concerns. Without fluoride, water is still safe to drink. Without chlorine, we'd be less likely to be sure it was, although chlorine by itself doesn't ensure that either.

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Health & Saf. Code, § 116410, requires fluoridation of public water systems having at least 10,000 service connections and authorizes the California State Department of Health Services to adopt regulations to implement that requirement. Health & Saf. Code, § 116410, subd. (a); Cal. Code Regs., tit. 22, § 64433. Health & Saf. Code, § 116415, provides that a public water system is not required to fluoridate if sufficient funding is not available from an outside source. Health & Saf. Code, § 116415, subd. (a)(1)(A). Outside sources may include federal block grants or donations from private foundations. Health & Saf. Code, § 116415, subd. (e). Outside sources do not include a system's ratepayers or local taxpayers. Health & Saf. Code, § 116415, subd. (a)(1)(A).

In essence - by law if a municipal water company services 10k hookups it must by state law use fluoride. Santa Cruz tried to preempt state law and lost in City of Watsonville v. State Dept. of Health Services, 133 Cal. App. 4th 875 (Cal. Ct. App. 2005)

At 1:57 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

Interesting anon 1:11. Thanx for the heads-up.

What's Arcata's population? Assuming an average of 3 per household, does Arcata have 30 thousand residents?

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Fred said...

1:11 wrote: "by law if a municipal water company services 10k hookups it must by state law use fluoride".

Just because it's law doesn't make it right. What if it was something else that you DID'T like being put into your water?

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred: I also forgot an earlier case. In Coshow v. City of Escondido, 132 Cal. App. 4th 687 (Cal. Ct. App. 2005) fluoridation was a found to be a reasonable and proper exercise of the police power in the interest of public health. Any challenge to the propriety of using HFSA should have been made at the administrative level. The court also rejected the residents' substantive due process claims under U.S. Const. amends. IX, XIV and Cal. Const. art. I, § 7. There was no fundamental constitutional right to fluoride-free water, the use of fluoride was not forced medication because the residents were not forced to drink the water, and the rational basis test was met.

Now if you take both of those cases together - the thing here is that if you want to pass a law in Arcata that says no fluoride it will be challenged and thrown out so it is a complete waste of time. If you don't want fluoride than you must change that on a state level.

Eric - the population is over 17,000.

And Fred - its not about liking or not liking fluoride to me. I was just pointing out the futility of making everything in Arcata about a local vote. The fact is that some things are pre-empted on either a state or national level.

But as for fluoride - do you have any idea about the dental epidemic in Humboldt with our children. The numbers of kids who have lost their teeth or have to have overwhelming work on them due to hygene is unbelievable. The local Rotary clubs are trying to help and so is St. Josephs hospital. You should look into it a bit.

At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do any od you have jobs? The reason I ask is that I am home sick today and thus have the time to check in on the best local blogs. Yes Fred, I think yours is one of the best.)

At 3:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there's so much bad dental health locally, then the flouride additive must not be working very well. Or is the argument that as bad as it is, dental health would be even worse without flouride? That would sound fishy to me.

How much does it cost the city to flouridate, could that money be used in better ways to promote dental health? And since there's a notorious lack of young children living in Arcata, what number are actually being helped? My understanding is that adults who use toothpaste already get all the benefits available from flouride.

My guess is that since the flouride chemical added is a by-product of uranium refining, its objectionable to those who oppose any local support of nuclear industry.

At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Li' Sally Dumdum said...

I don't understand why everyone is up in arms about the city wanting to put a little acid in the water?

At 7:33 PM, Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

This is all so amusing to us old farts. Back in the 60's the Birchers were all up in arms over the fluoride issue claiming it was a "communist plot" to poison the citizens of the "free world" in order to defeat those opposed to a soviet takeover of the world. In 1987 ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ visited Sweden and had occasion to meet an official of the Swedish Communist party who complained that the capitalist warmongers were attempting to add fluoride to the world's water supplies and tooth paste in order to subvert the will of the proletariat. Go figure.

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

they don't have flouride in McKinleyville, so my kids had problems, and we had to supplement with it, sometimes with vitamins, and sometimes with a paint on treatment, if I remember correctly, it's been a while. I wished we'd had it.

At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred, I'm out of town, and it is amazing, all the Arcata crap doesn't exist out here. It's nice.

In Eugene there's a bit of it, the Mayor and a group of protestors shut down a highway improvement project - after 12 years of studies and trying to work it out the DOT is saying sayonara, pull the plug on the project, and the mayor says she just wants more studies. She'd fit right in in Hum. Co. But for the rest of the trip, i haven't seen anything like Arcata, and the other uber left wing whackaloons.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger nyscof said...

Actually, no American is fluoride deficient. Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor essential for healthy teeth.
Tooth decay crises are occurring in most, if not all, large U.S. fluoridated cities.

So it would be a waste of time and money to start adding fluoride chemicals into your water supply. In fact, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences' review of the scientific literature shows that just a little too much fluoride can damage bones and teeth. How do you monitor a person's daily fluoride intake when it's in the water supply?

Boiling fluoridated water condenses the concentration, unlike chlorine which dissipates. Fluoride is in virtually all foods - especially high in grape juices, infant baby foods, tea and ocean fish such as tuna.

Scientists warn that infant formual and foods should never be mixed with fluoridated water.

Populations in Africa, for example, live without fluoridated water, fluoridated toothpaste, tooth brushes and dentists. Yet have better dental health than Americans.

The chemical most used by over 91$ of U.S. fluoridated cities is silicofluorides - impure and non-pharmaceutical-grade waste product of the phosphate fertilizer industry.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports ingested fluoride confers no benefits and that fluoride is absorbed into tooth enamel topically only.

New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.

Fluoridation News Releases

Fluoride News Tracker

Fluoride Action Network

At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guess on this one is tooth decay is mostly caused by poor diets and the lack of access to dentist and hygienist for those without dental insurance.


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