Fluoride in drinking water

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Online cheryl j

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Fluoride in drinking water
« on: 02/10/2014 03:37:29 »
Fluoride in drinking water as been apart of a number of wacky conspiracy theories, and Wikipedia (and my dentist) says "The fluoridation of water is known to prevent tooth decay[12][13] and is considered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as "one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century"

But in attempting to convince someone that the controversy was bogus, I actually did find a lot of contradictory information about from seemingly legit sources. Who's right?

Some  examples:

pro - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18584000

con - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930/

« Last Edit: 02/10/2014 03:39:31 by cheryl j »


Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Fluoride in drinking water
« Reply #1 on: 02/10/2014 21:27:13 »
The reports are not really contradictory.
For example, this report
says that there is a tiny effect of fluoride on IQ
"The standardized weighted mean difference in IQ score between exposed and reference populations was 0.45 (95% confidence interval: 0.56, 0.35) "
in children in China, but it goes on to say
"Such circumstances are difficult to find in many industrialized countries, because fluoride concentrations in community water are usually no higher than 1 mg/L,..."
"studies of developmental fluoride neurotoxicity were conducted in China because of the high fluoride concentrations that are substantially above 1 mg/L in well water in many rural communities,"
So, what they are saying is that in some places like poor areas of China where the fluoride levels in water are naturally much higher than would be permitted in the West, there's a small effect on measured intelligence.
Well, so what?
It has nothing to do with the fluoridation debate because nobody is suggesting that we add that much fluoride to water.

Similarly, this report
says that high levels of fluoride can cause problems with teeth and bones.
Again, so what?
Nobody is planning to add that much to the water.
The problems due to very high fluoride levels were known about before anyone noticed the effect on tooth decay.
They knew how much was "too much" before they considered adding it to the water supply.

This is not really different from pointing out that eating too much is bad for you.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't eat at all.

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