Dr. STEVEN LIVINGSTON
I’ve been trying to read all the opinions about adding fluoride back to our drinking water. I feel I must stress two major issues to our city council. Before forming your opinion and making a decision that will ultimately affect everyone, including our children, please get properly informed! There is an abundance of easy to find information concerning the pros and cons of fluoridated water.
Fluoride does have its benefits, but like most foreign or manmade chemicals it also has potentially adverse effects on the human body as well. The benefits are easy to understand, preventing cavities. I really like my dentist, but there is nothing I hate worse then having a cavity drilled and filled. I would do almost anything to prevent it, except giving up sugar! But, do I feel completely safe about putting fluoride in my drinking water?
In 2006, Dr. Limeback, an associate professor of dentistry at the University of Toronto, helped complete a study titled: “Fluoride in Drinking Water, A Scientific Review of the EPA’s Standards.” This report would be a good starting point for anyone seeking information. Briefly, this report concludes that there could be possible links of fluoride and many health risks including: cancer, adverse thyroid function, adverse neurological effects and fluorosis. Other studies have linked fluoride to Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and chronic joint pain. Another study claims fluoride could reduce the levels of melatonin, a sleep hormone, which is related to insomnia. Insomnia, as some of you are well aware, is a symptom associated with the diseases Depression and Fibromyalgia.
According to the World Health Organization website, the United States has the highest cancer rate of anywhere in the world, which listed California for the highest rate of breast cancer, and Louisiana for the highest prostrate cancer rates. This is scary considering we have what we believe to be the best medical system anywhere in the world! Until we are better able to determine the exact cause of some of these mystery diseases such as: Cancer, Fibromyalgia and Alzheimer’s, I’m skeptical about adding any foreign chemical to my food or water, particularly a toxic industrial by-product!
Anyone who knows me knows I exercise a lot. Because of that I drink a lot of water. I’ve backed off drinking as much bottle water since learning the plastic was leaching synthetic chemicals such as BPA (Bisphenol A) into the water. When I learned a year ago that Lebanon was not putting fluoride into the drinking water, I began drinking filtered tap water again, bringing me to my final important point. Most inexpensive water filtration systems DO NOT REMOVE FLOURIDE. The least expensive system I have found to remove some fluoride was around $600, and it only claims to remove a percentage, not all of it. Personally, I would rather get my fluoride from toothpaste and mouthwash, not my drinking water where it ends up in my stomach and affects other parts of my body.
Proponents of fluoride in drinking water have said that the amount of fluoride is so miniscule that it can’t harm the body. Well if that’s true, then is it even enough to actually help our teeth? And if it is indeed strong enough to be beneficial to our teeth, what else could it be doing to the rest of our bodies? I urge each council member to consider the facts and make an informed decision. The public’s health is at stake. Your choice will affect us all. Many European countries have already stopped putting fluoride in their tap water, so perhaps this is something Lebanon needs to consider.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Steven Livingston is with Livingston Chiropractic Family Practice in Lebanon.