P.S. I earned my 1st degree in Child Development and spent 20 years working with young children, both here in Portland and elsewhere, most of them lower-income.
I NEVER saw (or have seen since) the sort of rampant, ER-requiring dental decay so emotionally described by the pro-fluoridation camp.
The only case of anything like that I ever saw was in my nephew from a heavily fluoridated area of Texas (now a 23 year old Marine) who was allowed to suck on a bottle full of apple juice (re-consitituted with fluoridated tap water) until the age of 4. His front teeth rotted down to the gum and he required extensive treatment to remove them and install a bridge so his adult teeth would come in properly.
I'm sure such cases do occur, but it is NOT due to lack of fluoride in the water. It is due to poor nutrition, poor dental care habits, and lack of access/utilization of routine dental care (which again, is FREE to all lower-income children in Portland!)
The idea seems to be that we can't trust poor parents (or ANY parents) to be responsible and ensure their kids do what REALLY prevents decay...so we should medicate everyone en mass with a known neurotoxin. Sweet.
Re' the Harvard study (which I have actually READ, thank you very much, and so know that the pro-fluoride team is LYING when they claim that the anti-fluoride team is LYING about its findings) a few quotes from the AUTHORS might clear things up...
"Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and OTHER POISONS (emphasis mine) that cause brain drain." Philippe Grandjean, senior author, noting that fluoride is a known neurotoxin which readily crosses the placenta, potentially placing developing brains at significant risk.
Indeed, fluoride falls between lead and arsenic on the federal government's own toxicity tables.
And the union representing scientists at the EPA has, for years, included among their demands that they be provided fluoride-free water at work. These are the folks who have READ, WRITTEN and UNDERSTAND the studies, folks! They don't want to drink the shit!
The Harvard study itself, even though examining mostly data from high fluoride areas, DID conclude an average IQ decline of 7 points for children in fluoridated areas, and specifically noted that this effect was found even in populations exposed to "optimal" levels, though to a lesser but still concerning extent.
In a statement issued 3 months after the initial release of the study, the authors, under fire for reviewing mostly studies of high-fluoride areas of China (they lamented the paucity of U.S. studies to anaylize) stated:
"These results do not allow us to make any judgment regarding possible levels of risk at levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation in the U.S.
ON THE OTHER HAND (emphasis mine), neither can it be concluded that no
risk is present. We therefore recommend further research to clarify
what role fluoride exposure levels may play in possible
adverse effects on brain development, so that future risk assessments can properly take into regard this possible hazard."
The overall gist of the study (and I DO know how to interpret these things...finishing up my 2nd degree at the moment and have done extensive research in medical/scientific journals both for school and work) is that there IS a significant IQ lowering effect from fluoride exposure, even at lower levels (though of course more pronounced at higher exposures, as with ANY poison/neurotoxin) and that much more research should be done on the effects on human fetuses/infants/children (as opposed to the numerous animal studies which support significant harm to the developing brain from even moderate exposure levels).
I do not appreciate being lied to and manipulated, as I have been by the pro-fluoride dogs in this fight, who parrot all the same tired, distorted sound-bites as predicatably as any fringe internet conspiracy site. Have you READ your voter's pamplet yet? UGGHH! (though it DOES, interestingly, contain an argument in opposition from one of the authors of a study the pro-fluoride team has repeatedly mischaracterized...but I guess she doesn't really understand what the study she co-authored MEANS;)
Even less do I appreciate being condescended to (esp. by the local weekly rag's news team and celebrity gossip columnist...Ann, I love you, but you are testing my loyalty!).
I resent the hell out of the way this matter has been bullied through without the usual citizen input or review period (gee, wonder WHY the pending report on the DECLINING rate of cavities among Portland children is not being released until after the vote? or WHY there has been virtually no formal review of the scientific and medical literature surrounding the issue? WHY is it being rushed to a vote under the threat that the city will go ahead and approve millions in spending for it regardless?)
I'll be voting a big fat HELL NO on this one! As will my 21 year old son (who has excellent teeth "despite" being born and raised in Portland with no fluoride in his water OR toothpaste OR in any other intentionally administered form.)
Same for his 13 year old sister, but she's too young to vote.
And BTW, both have qualified for (and GOTTEN) FREE dental care through OHP from birth through age 18. Like ALL lower-income kids in Portland. Spare me the "poor kids" shit.
Cut back on the hyperbole for two seconds and maybe, just maybe, you won't sound like a loon
August.g, to an authoritarian, left or right, ethical arguments are immaterial.
rainfade: your cognitive dissonance is astounding.
Of all the straw men to pick on, the Mercury picked a good one. Yes, part of the fluoridation debate is about how much crock and pseudo-science each side can chuck out. Ok, another element is how all that bullshit snowballs and some wingnuts get tossed in. The anti-fluoridation side seems to be chock full of irrational arguments and morons.
The little part of the brain that your straw man is missing is the one great, big, whopping, and important argument that medication without consent is unethical.
Thank you for pointing that out - but I think that is the cost of the fluoride itself, not the cost of the "7.6 million dollar fluoridation plant" and all the other city add-ons.
Unfortunately, we will not know until we get our quarterly ever-increasing bill in the mail.
@altogetherPDX - It says in the article above - an average of $3 per household per year (AKA less than a tube of toothpaste). No one is hiding that information.
Why was this rushed through? The citizens who placed this on the ballot acted in good faith, using the democratic process. It was supposed to be voted on in May 2014, after a reasonable scientific and financial review. We don't even know how much this is going to raise our water bills. I would guess a lot more than a family's year supply of fluoride toothpaste.
All else aside, a "yes" vote on this is a yes vote for graft and corruption.
Spindles - How many polio or smallpox epidemics have there been in the United States in recent history?
My father clearly remembers the last polio epidemic before the Sabin and Salk vaccines came about. If you think some people are scared of fluoride, think about the chance to catch a deadly or disabling communicable disease just by being out in public.
It's because of anti-vaxers like you that measles and whooping cough are making comebacks in the United States; you are destroying the herd immunity that protects people who cannot be vaccinated because of infancy or allergy, or who have compromised immune systems (people with AIDS, organ transplant recipients).
"a little variation in patterns/grasping at straws/crazy might make you distinguishable"
I'm sorry, tcraighenry, that posting links to scientific papers at the National Institute of Health, showing links between fluoride exposure and lowered intelligence in children makes you think that I'm crazy.
But, perhaps there's some other way for you to satisfy your inner self-righteousness than by risking my 8 month old daughter?
Also, does anyone know whether it's safe to garden with fluoridated water, or are there vegetables that concentrate the fluoride to unsafe levels?
Wow Pridge Wesse, digging deep for that one. That's not totally creepy at all. And you're right, vaccines are better than mothers milk, they're all created equal, and there's never any profiteering ...
@Tom Servo1 - Iodized salt has been a huge contributor to the drop in goiter and cretinism. Fluoridation of salt could be practiced here, like it is in most of Europe, to reduce dental caries.
Why isn't fluoridated salt used instead of water?
1) It would not be in our water. Good for fish and water supply.
2) In Europe (sans Ireland) they use salt because they believe that fluoride in water is an outdated process, overkill, and expensive.
3) Fluoridating salt is cheaper than 6-8 million to put it into our water supply.
I hope the Mercury reads and responds to the option of Fluoridating Salt. Cause this makes sense for both sides of the issue.
The 2010 Water Quality Report, also showing zero arsenic, is here - http://tinyurl.com/c4jcmce
Philomath water does not have 46.5 mg/L of arsenic in it. That would be 46.5 ppm, when the EPA limit for arsenic in drinking water is 10 ppb.
Did you actually test the Philomath *water* for arsenic from the taps? You tested the undiluted supplements, which would be highly diluted when put into the water supply.
Here is the City of Philomath 2011 Water Quality Report - showing ZERO arsenic. http://tinyurl.com/cjyvwr5
Homer - then why are so many on the anti-side so conspiracy minded? For instance, the water-guzzling Spindles has said things about vaccinations that would find themselves at home with the things that are being said here. For instance:
"[V]ax-heads really show their true colors on threads like these. They are aggressively willing to stand by big government and the nakedly corrupt pharmaceutical industry with such a fervor and blind faith. Progressive indeed."
Portland Mercury, I am disgusted and ashamed that you call yourselves Portland's best alternative weekly.
This article is insane. It is a load of misinformed opinions, based on nothing but propaganda. Do your research before you print such obvious falsities. .
Want to actually be informed? Go to fluoridealert.org to find well researched evidence of why fluoridating drinking water doesn't actually work to lower cavity rates.
This is an industrial byproduct waste that we are talking about, not a pharmaceutical grade "safe" addition to water. It is a fact that fluorosilicic acid is regulated by the EPA as a toxic waste. Anyone go to middle school? Remember the Precautionary Principle, err on the side of intelligence and don't dump something in our water that may really be bad for us. It doesn't matter that there are studies that show that in safe doses it may be ok for us. There is a mountain of evidence that points towards doubt as to the effectiveness of fluoride in our water, and there is a mountain of evidence that points towards serious health risks of ingesting it. The CDC even says that the best and most effective use is topical.
I thought we lived in a democratic city, where people can choose what medication they take. If you vote yes, you are agreeing to install a compulsory medication program. Just because so many other cities in the countries do it does not make it right. Portland can be an example of a more sane way to live.
Kids need less chemicals in their bodies, not more. We need less chemicals in our watersheds, not more.
Thus begins my boycott of the Mercury. Goodbye and thank you for nothing.
Well written, well researched. CWP: the truth hurts, doesn't it?
This is for you Yinzer V!
If you want to see the Philomath water analysis showing 46.5 mg. of arsenic per liter of water (the same concentration that will be added to Portland's water) I got a copy, scanned it, and posted it to my personal blog. You are more than welcome to check it out. http://inarasart.blogspot.com/2013/05/anti…
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