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Have You Heard of Fluoridation, Mandrake?

Published: January 19, 2011

Putting fluoride in America’s drinking water is considered one of the greatest health successes of the 20th century, but it has had its detractors. Most, however, have been less vehement than General Jack D. Ripper, who’s suspected pollution of our “precious bodily fluids” led to a nuclear attack on the USSR in Stanley Kubrick’s classic black comedy Dr. Strangelove.

Critics of the practice got a boost this week when the US Department of Health and Human Services announced plans to lower the recommended level of fluoride after a scientific review. There is some concern at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the amount currently ingested is causing some tooth streaking or spottiness in about 2-5% of adolescents. Although this is considered only a mild cosmetic problem there are indications that it has increased in frequency over the past couple decades.

There seems to be no doubt that fluoridation of municipal water supplies has had a healthy affect on those adolescent teeth. It is estimated that decay in at least one tooth among teens dropped from 90% to 60% thanks to fluoride. The practice began after studies showed that people whose water supply had natural fluoride in it had better teeth too.

Fluoride is now present in toothpaste, mouthwash and other products, however, and could, in some instances be present in amounts that is a bit on the high side. The EPA has released studies showing that prolonged high intake can produce an increased risk of brittle bones, fractures, and bony abnormalities.

There is no doubt that with fluoride, like everything else, one can have too much of a good thing. The question is; what is optimal? Studies will continue on that. Meanwhile, I think it wise not to be overly concerned about the issue a la General Ripper who, noting that fluoridation began in 1946 asked, “How does THAT square with your post-war commie conspiracy?” before sending in 34 nuclear armed bombers.

And while we are talking about the CDC&P what FOOL in the federal bureaucracy decided that the name Centers for Disease Control needed to have “and Prevention” added on to it. Prevention is part of control is it not. Couldn’t we just type CDC and be done with it? Multiply the extra second lost every time the new name is cited and ask if the cumulative waste isn’t the dumbest thing you’ve heard of today.