It's most likely that my posting here is poorly timed and I'm sure there are people who will get offended at whatever I have to say (This is after all, the internet).
Firstly, I'd like to address poisoning of salmon. Overtly high levels of fluoride can do away with a salmon population because raised levels of fluoride can kill the fish. Here's the problem with that argument against fluoridated water: the fluoride doesn't go in the river itself.
In fact, the Mercury News Team assertion about the purifying processes of water (involving lye which is not as the authors said "toxic" but just highly basic to the point of being dangerous to touch, ammonia which if not removed from water can cause serious respiratory problems and chlorine, which is in fact toxic if not removed after the process) are true. And these are necessary! Without this, there's a very likely chance that nature will show you who's boss, delivering a water-born virus or bacteria straight to your body.
So what's my point? These chemicals would harm plenty of natural organisms if they were added in the source. But fluoride instead would be added in the same chemical plants that purify the water that leads to your faucets. Rather than going into the ecosystem that nourishes salmon, fluoride goes instead into your faucets at home. So if you wanted to kill salmon, then I guess you could turn your faucet on into a nearby fresh-water stream, though you'd have to pump an exorbitantly expensive quantity of water from your pipes.
The second argument, one that as a fan of not having the government impinge on rights seems contrary to that opinion, is the idea of "FORCED" fluoridation. What this argument consistently leaves out is that this is a measure is one chosen by the people. You can complain about the government's secret plans in your tin-foil hat, but it wouldn't change the fact that people ultimately decide their own fate in this scenario. So the government isn't FORCING fluoride onto you, your neighbors would be.
Which brings me to the third point. I don't live in Portland, which may bring some flack this way. In fact, I live in New Orleans (which is actually known for its notoriously corrupt governmental facilities which happens to include its rundown water-treatment plant) and before that I lived in San Diego. Both of these places fluoridate water and rates of bone cancer and mental retardation are no higher than in non-fluoridated Europe. What is better is the rate of tooth decay (severely decreased).
Moreso, the poisonous effects of fluoride are only from studies with high quantities. In fact, that's how lab studies mostly work. I have worked in a research lab for a few years now, and I can tell you that the majority of research uses unrealistic levels of chemicals to prove a point. This argument was lost on some of the commenters on this article. .7 ppm is not much more than you're already getting from your toothpaste. And your fluoridated mouthwash (if you're into the whole anticavity thing). It's a supplement to help your teeth.
So that's most of my argument. I'm not a Portland native, so maybe I am not so strongly against the typical fluoridation of water like most of the United States, but I think the health benefits outweigh the "correlations" in studies that people site.
Best of luck on your decision Portland.
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