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The city is dosing us all

Dear Editor:

If the Aspen City Council is still making New Year’s resolutions, it would be nice if they would consider not mass-medicating the residents and guests of Aspen. This would especially be good since there is no monitoring that is done regarding the dosing of fluoride that is given to people.

Many consider fluoride to be a toxin with serious side effects. Since the only source of fluoride that is put into the drinking water is an industrial-grade source from China, it should raise serious concerns about ingesting fluoride.

Here are some other facts about fluoride from the Fluoride Action Network that people might not be aware of.

Fluoridation’s role in the decline of tooth decay is in serious doubt. The largest survey ever conducted in the U.S. (more than 39,000 children from 84 communities) by the National Institute of Dental Research showed little difference in tooth decay among children in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities (Hileman, 1989).

The survey found an average difference of only 0.6 decayed, missing and filled surfaces in the permanent teeth of children ages 5 to 17 residing their entire lives in either fluoridated or unfluoridated areas (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990). This difference is less than one tooth surface and less than 1 percent of the 100-plus tooth surfaces available in a child’s mouth. Large surveys from three Australian states have found even less of a benefit, with decay reductions ranging from 0 to 0.3 of one permanent tooth surface (Spencer, 1996; Armfield and Spencer, 2004).

A National Institutes of Health-funded study on individual fluoride ingestion and tooth decay failed to find a significant correlation. A multimillion-dollar, U.S. National Institutes of Health-funded study (Warren, 2009) found no relation between tooth decay and the amount of fluoride ingested by children. This is the first time that tooth decay has been investigated as a function of individual exposure as opposed to mere residence in a fluoridated community.

Tooth decay is high in low-income communities that have been fluoridated for years. Despite some claims to the contrary, water fluoridation cannot prevent the oral-health crises that result from rampant poverty, inadequate nutrition and lack of access to dental care. There have been numerous reports of severe dental crises in low-income neighborhoods of U.S. cities that have been fluoridated for more 20 years. In addition, fluoridation has been repeatedly found to be ineffective at preventing the most serious oral-health problem facing poor children, namely “baby-bottle tooth decay,” otherwise known as early-childhood caries (Barnes, 1992; Shiboski, 2003).

Putting a controversial substance into our water is incongruent and deceptive with Aspen’s image of being a health-conscious community. This issue really comes down to an individual’s right to have the choice of what is put in their own bodies.

Tom Lankering

Basalt


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