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Thread: Water Fluoridation

  1. #1 Water Fluoridation 
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    I see this all the time, albeit usually from the conspiracy theory nutjobs, that water shouldn't be fluoridated and that it's "poison." Obviously if you ingest large amounts of it (oh, you know, just like literally anything I can think of) it can be poisonous, but those concentrations aren't found in our water systems to my knowledge. I've read plenty of research displaying its effectiveness in preventing dental caries, but haven't seen much addressing health concerns. What evidence is there of adverse effects as a result of controlled water fluoridation other than mild dental fluorosis? I'm doubting there's too much supporting evidence seeing as the people making these claims can't even provide the research themselves (what else is new, lol).


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Harmful effects of fluoride are dose dependent and individual. The amount used in municipal water supplies, if added with care, should harm no one. However, for the most sensitive people, even a relatively minor overdose can have negative consequences. Careful dose management is the key.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Harmful effects of fluoride are dose dependent and individual. The amount used in municipal water supplies, if added with care, should harm no one. However, for the most sensitive people, even a relatively minor overdose can have negative consequences. Careful dose management is the key.
    I figured that much. So you aren't aware of any evidence indicating water fluoridation should be stopped?
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  5. #4  
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    The only places it should be stopped are those where people haven't checked up on changes in the natural fluoride loads in the water supply and it has increased. It really is a bad idea to have too much - bad effects on teeth and bones.
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  6. #5  
    AI's Have More Fun Bad Robot's Avatar
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    Portland, Ore., rejects adding fluoride to drinking water

    Not all communities are happy with fluoridation, but I still don't know if the risk amounts to much. For me it's been a non issue, because I either filter the water or buy bottled water for drinking.
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  7. #6  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    BR, you are the loser. A proper dose of fluoride is very beneficial. At least use fluoride toothpaste.
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Portland, Ore., rejects adding fluoride to drinking water

    Not all communities are happy with fluoridation, but I still don't know if the risk amounts to much. For me it's been a non issue, because I either filter the water or buy bottled water for drinking.
    Unfortunately the article didn't provide evidence for either side of the argument! I'm wondering just how informed those voters might have been.
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    BR, you are the loser. A proper dose of fluoride is very beneficial. At least use fluoride toothpaste.
    I do, and I'm not really trying to avoid fluoridation. Much of the time I just don't like the way tape water taste and I'd prefer not to drink any problem water. I've read to many water contamination stories and just feel better if I drink filtered water.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Robot View Post
    Portland, Ore., rejects adding fluoride to drinking water

    Not all communities are happy with fluoridation, but I still don't know if the risk amounts to much. For me it's been a non issue, because I either filter the water or buy bottled water for drinking.
    Unfortunately the article didn't provide evidence for either side of the argument! I'm wondering just how informed those voters might have been.
    Reading that article, it sounds like the city of Portland has been going back and forth on this issue for a number of years now.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    The voting against fluoride illustrates the main problem with democracy. Votes by the majority bring lots of good things, like mostly low levels of corruption in government. However, because most people are not terribly rational, and easily led, those votes can also be swayed away from what makes good sense scientifically.
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The voting against fluoride illustrates the main problem with democracy. Votes by the majority bring lots of good things, like mostly low levels of corruption in government. However, because most people are not terribly rational, and easily led, those votes can also be swayed away from what makes good sense scientifically.
    The issues with the flouridation are political more than scientific. We have a system of medical care which seeks to offer care to many people, but doesn't force it on any one...Its understood in all medical professions that individuals have the right to refuse care. Flouride can easily be thought of as an over-the-counter medical product, and as such mandatory flouridation of the water is tantamount to an involuntary medical treatment, which is avoided across all fields of medicine. The struggle is largely about what kind of precedent this sets. For instance, areas with lithium in the water have less violent crime:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1699579
    But lithium is a psyche med:
    Lithium (medication) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Should the population be recieving involtunary treatment with psyche meds to be more passive? That's big brother territory, but its unclear why its wrong if flouridation and other involuntary public health treatments are right.
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  13. #12  
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    Trident

    I understand your point. But I see this as a topping up of a missing nutrient, rather than forced medication. Natural waters often contain fluoride, and thus leads to better teeth. Fluoridation is no different in principle to the common practice of adding Vitamin D to milk. Good for the health of everyone.
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  14. #13  
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    just feel better if I drink filtered water
    Given where I live, getting a high flow, in-line water filter installed in the kitchen gives wonderful tasting water. Adelaide's tapwater used to be dreadful. It's not bad now, but it tastes much better filtered. And during drought years the smell (of chlorine) is sometimes as bad as a swimming club when the reservoirs are topped up or there's a sudden inflow from rain.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    just feel better if I drink filtered water
    Given where I live, getting a high flow, in-line water filter installed in the kitchen gives wonderful tasting water. Adelaide's tapwater used to be dreadful. It's not bad now, but it tastes much better filtered. And during drought years the smell (of chlorine) is sometimes as bad as a swimming club when the reservoirs are topped up or there's a sudden inflow from rain.
    I believe fluoridation is more for the sake of children, than adults, and the fact is, it did a very good job of reducing cavities in children. Just because I don't drink tap water, doesn't make me think fluoridation is a bad idea or that chlorination is a bad idea. Those are things that protect large segments of our population and have a proven track record. Maybe those people in Portland should vote against chlorination. But, apparently that's not even an issue with them. But why not? It's the same issue isn't it?
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  16. #15  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    I drink natural spring water at home but am at the whim of the restaurant when I go out. So I don't have any choices at times as to what I'm getting.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    I drink natural spring water at home but am at the whim of the restaurant when I go out. So I don't have any choices at times as to what I'm getting.
    You could ask if the water if filtered. But most of the time when I go out I order something to drink with the meal other than water.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    Water from restaurants is usually just tap water.
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    Ingestion of excessive amounts of fluoride has been empirically proven to damage the body, but the amounts in drinking water are safe.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by mat5592 View Post
    Water from restaurants is usually just tap water.
    True, but some restaurants have a filtered tap, usually in areas where the tap water has a strong taste or smell. Filtering your water is not a very expensive, so it never hurts to ask.
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  21. #20  
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    Maybe those people in Portland should vote against chlorination. ..... It's the same issue isn't it?
    Not at all. Fluoridation is about keeping your teeth for a long time. Chlorination is about keeping you alive for the next couple of weeks.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by adelady View Post
    Maybe those people in Portland should vote against chlorination. ..... It's the same issue isn't it?
    Not at all. Fluoridation is about keeping your teeth for a long time. Chlorination is about keeping you alive for the next couple of weeks.
    Well I admit that rotten teeth is not an urgent medical problem. But it is a health issue that affects millions of people, and the best and cheapest way to deal with it is fluoride in the drinking water. Let the few people that have a problem with that filter their water or drink bottled water.
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  23. #22  
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    I guess I'm going to conclude that there is no evidence that suggests we shouldn't be fluoridating our water.
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