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Opinion: Should NJ Mandate Fluoride in Your Water?

Not all of Holmdel, nor New Jersey, gets fluoridated water year-round. Would you be willing to pay more for it?

As a resident of Holmdel for more than 20 years, and having a dental practice in Lincroft, I was satisfied to know that the tap water in my family and patients' homes was optimally fluoridated because we are served by the New Jersey American Water company. Their fluoride level is maintained at 0.7 parts per million.

This week I learned not all of Holmdel has year-round fluoridation in their tap water. The northern section of Holmdel, starting at Crawfords Corner Road, is served by Shorelands Water Company headquartered in Hazlet. It provides the township New Jersey American Water fluoridated water from mid-October through April, according to CEO Eric Olsen. The rest of the year Shorelands provides water from its own treatment plants, which is not fluoridated.

American cities and water companies have been adding fluoride to drinking water since the early 1960s, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called fluoridation of drinking water “one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

This, even though, on average, residents ingest only one percent of the water they use in a day, according to New Jersey American Water spokesman Peter Eschbach.

Despite the touted dental benefits, New Jersey utilities have largely resisted fluoridating their water supplies. The Garden State ranks as the second least-fluoridated state in the nation, with only about 13 percent of its population served by water systems with fluoridated water, according to the CDC. Only Hawaii ranks lower, with 10.8 percent.

Even though my children get fluoridated water from the home faucet (filtered) and school drinking fountain (unfiltered) I gave them fluoride supplements every day until age 12.

I assumed they were getting some fluoride from water, so I gave them half of the recommended supplemental dose. Fluoride supplements are available by prescription; just ask your pediatrician or dentist (Flintstone’s vitamins do not have fluoride). All three of my children have escaped from dental decay and it’s not because their father is a dentist, it’s because their parents are informed.

In my dental practice I still see children with dental decay. Maybe they are drinking only bottled water or much worse, high sugar and acidic drinks. Many of them live in poor socio-economic circumstances. Others have parents that don’t even consider dental health until their child can’t sleep due to mouth pain. Some never look in their child’s mouth for obvious problems (clue: teeth should not have dark spots or holes in them).

A bill is currently under consideration in the New Jersey Legislature to mandate the addition of fluoride to the public water supply. Lawmakers describe the measure as an important step to promote dental health. A Senate committee approved S-959 last week, while an Assembly committee passed A-3709 on January 30.

The question is, would you accept a 5% increase in your water bill to fund this proposal statewide?

Comments are welcome.

Mitchel L. Friedman, DDS

jwillie6 March 10, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Fluoridation is a Waste of Tax Money As a Civil Engineer, I know how wasteful fluoridation is. For every $1000 of fluoride chemical added to water, $995 would be directly wasted down the drain in toilets, showers, dishwashers, etc., $5 would be consumed in water by the people, and less than $0.50 (fifty cents) would be consumed by children, the target group for this outdated practice. That would be comparable to buying one gallon of milk, using six-and-one-half drops of it, and pouring the rest of the gallon in the sink. Fluoridation surely is in contention as the most wasteful government program. Giving away fluoride tablets free to anyone who wants them would be far cheaper and certainly more ethical, because then we would have the freedom to choose which prescription drug we take. It is pure propaganda for the dental groups to claim savings of $38 for each $1 invested in fluoridation.
Gayle Casas March 10, 2012 at 09:55 PM
I am against mandated water fluoridation, too. 1. Studies have shown a statistically significant relationship between water fluoridation and osteosarcoma among males under 20 years old. One study was done by the New Jersey Department of Health in 1992 and it involved seven counties in New Jersey. 2. The CDC does not recommend water fluoridation for infants due to the risk of their ingestion of excess fluoride, if they are fed powdered infant formula that must be mixed with water. 3. Water fluoridation is not a precise science whereby the level of fluoride is constant, and equipment malfunctions and human error mistakes have occurred in the past. A man died from such a mistake in Hooper Bay, Alaska in 1992. 4. Water fluoridation may cause hip fractures, especially in men. 5. A water fluoridation system may cost NJ water suppliers $5,000,000,000 (!) in start-up costs and $1,000,000,000 annually thereafter. 6. Fluoride, a known neurotoxic byproduct of the aluminum and phosphate industries, contains mercury, lead, arsenic, and radionucleotides, and has been linked with reduced IQ in children in studies from China and Iran. 7. The NJ Assembly and the NJ Senate have bypassed the Appropriations Committee by not sending their fluoridation bills to this committee for review, which is against their rules. Why should they be allowed to ignore their rules when it will cost the taxpayer an astronomical amount of money to institute water fluoridation in New Jersey?
Gayle Casas March 10, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Oh, and two more things- I don’t understand the argument from water fluoridation proponents that ingestion of fluoride will decrease dental caries in those who cannot afford proper dental care. If a person does not brush or floss his teeth and never goes to a dentist, there is nothing that can be done to improve his dental health. Drinking and bathing in fluoridated water doesn’t remove dental plaque or tartar buildup, nor does it prevent such buildup from occurring. Finally, there is the big problem of dosing. One person may drink 12 cups of water a day versus another who may drink only one cup per day. Does it make sense to mandate fluoride, a medicine, without giving any thought to the proper dosage, or the potential to cause an overdose? I don’t think so. Similarly, should a NJ resident be mandated to swallow 12 aspirins/day if the recommended amount is only one aspirin per day? I would hope not, yet these water fluoridation bills will set such a dangerous, mandated medicine precedent. Please call your Assembly and State Senate representatives on Monday 3/12/12, if you live in New Jersey. The Senate Bill S959, and Assembly Bill A1811 are going to be voted on this Thursday in Trenton. Let's tell our elected representatives that we don't want mandated fluoride in our water.
Peter W Bennett March 11, 2012 at 12:32 AM
This is a no brainer! NO Do your own research about the truth behind fluoride. My 11 year old daughter has never had a cavity!
Mary March 11, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Nope, I stopped giving my kids the fluoride vitamins at age 2 and neither has ever had a cavity. I do, however, floss their teeth every day in addition to brushing.
Martin B. Brilliant March 11, 2012 at 03:04 AM
I don't understand the intensity of the opposition to fluoridation of water. Petitions are not evidence. Studies selected to prove a point are not evidence. You need to take the totality of evidence, and carefully consider the reliability and the relevance of each study. For example, if a study fails to show that fluoridation reduces cavities in children under 5, it's most likely because children under 5 don't have enough cavities to make the study statistically reliable. The Centers for Disease Control says: "Two published studies conducted by CDC reaffirm the benefits of community water fluoridation.... [F]or larger communities of more than 20,000 people where it costs about 50 cents per person to fluoridate the water, every $1 invested in this preventive measure yields approximately $38 savings in dental treatment costs.... The analysis takes into account the costs of installing and maintaining necessary equipment and operating water plants ..." (http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/fact_sheets/cost.htm). As for infant safety, the CDC says "Yes, you can use fluoridated water for preparing infant formula. However ... there may be an increased chance for mild dental fluorosis" (http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/infant_formula.htm). That said, It's probably no longer necessary to have fluoride in the water because fluoridated toothpaste is so widely available. So if there are any doubts, don't do it.
Martin B. Brilliant March 11, 2012 at 03:33 AM
1. Granted. There is credible evidence that fluoridation is associated with osteosarcoma. 2. The CDC (see my comment below) says you can use fluoridated water to mix infant formula. There is a chance of mild dental fluorosis. The effect is cosmetic and the affected teeth are not permanent. 3. Mistakes happen. If you think one death is decisive you should ban all guns, cars, airplanes, and school and professional sports. Live with it. 4. It may, or it may not. 5. On the other hand, it may cost a lot less than that. 6. Fluoride does not contain mercury, lead, etc. Industrial waste can contain all that and more, but fluoride added to water does not. Most of our water contains trace amounts of toxic substances whether or not it's fluoridated. Live with it. 7. So sue them. There are plenty of bad reasons to oppose fluoridation, but as I wrote below, I think there are also enough good reasons. There's no need to exaggerate.
Martin B. Brilliant March 11, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Let me try to explain how fluoridation "decreases dental caries" in everyone who uses it. The development of a cavity depends on a balance between demineralization and remineralization of tooth enamel. Demineralization can result from many different causes and eventually will punch through the enamel. Fluoride promotes remineralization, which can delay the final perforation of the enamel even if it doesn't prevent it.
jwillie6 March 11, 2012 at 06:16 AM
One would think that the proponents of fluoridation would insist on using only a clean pharmaceutical grade fluoride with no contaminants. Actually, the fluoride used is an industrial toxic waste fluoride (Hexafluorosilicic acid) which cures nothing and heals nothing and has never been tested or approved by FDA (in the USA) as safe and effective for human ingestion. It contains contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, radium, and much more. It is no wonder it reduces IQ in children and damages health. The company CEO would be arrested immediately if this waste were dumped in a river. The only way they can dump it legally is to run it through the community drinking water system first. It is the defintion of insanity. If fluoride were "proven," there should be evidence of its success in the U.S.state, Kentucky, which has been 100% fluoridated for over 40 years. However, government records show that Kentucky leads the nation in the number of dental cavities in children, and in the number of completely toothless adults. The same ineffectiveness is evident in many states and cities.
Martin B. Brilliant March 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM
A $1 billion estimate of annual operating cost is not credible. The CDC cited a study saying that under favorable circumstances, fluoridation would cost about $0.50 cents per person per year including amortized startup costs. Wikipedia estimates $1 per person per year overall. Taking the larger figure and assuming it includes only operating costs, that would come to $300 million a year for the whole U.S. To suggest that it could cost over three times that much just to fluoridate the rest of New Jersey is absurd.
Peter W Bennett March 11, 2012 at 02:57 PM
Why would anyone trust the CDC or anyone from the government about a study? An excellent example is chlorine in water or how about vaccinations? If you want to be slowly poisioned, drink up!
Martin B. Brilliant March 11, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I'd rather trust the government than almost anybody else. Most amateurs are misinformed, and professionals all have a financial interest in misinforming everybody.
Martin B. Brilliant March 11, 2012 at 10:34 PM
What's the source of the information that fluoride for fluoridation comes from toxic waste? The CDC (more trustworthy than someone with no credentials at all) says "Most fluoride additives used in the United States are produced from phosphorite rock.... Phosphorite contains calcium phosphate mixed with limestone (calcium carbonates) minerals and apatite—a mineral with high phosphate and fluoride content. It is refluxed (heated) with sulfuric acid to produce a phosphoric acid-gypsum (calcium sulfate-CaSO4) slurry. The heating process releases hydrogen fluoride (HF) and silicon tetrafluoride (SiF4) gases which are captured by vacuum evaporators. These gases are then condensed to a water-based solution of 23% FSA with the remainder as water." In other words, the fluoride is purified by distillation. The Kentucky example is a good example of bad use of statistics. As has been noted here, fluoridation delays dental decay but does not prevent it. If Kentucky has bad food, bad dentists and a toothbrush shortage, fluoride can't help much.
jwillie6 March 11, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Mr Brillant should realize that all of the profits are made selling this toxic waste fluoride to communities. There is no profit opposing fluoridation. He doesn't like the example of fluoridation falure in Kentucky aftrer using it over 40 years. There are many more example of absolute failure after 30 or more years of fluoridation, such as Washington D.C., Detroit, Boston, and most places using fluoride. Most of the world has wised up and rejected fluoridation. The World Health Organization studied 16 countries and showed fluoride is of no value for teeth. Most countries like China, India, and Japan has rejected it. Europe has rejected it and is 98% fluoride free. Many other large scientific studies in several countries show the same ineffectiveness.
Martin B. Brilliant March 12, 2012 at 12:52 AM
I know about the profit motive, but I fail to see where the CDC gets any profit from lying about how fluoride is processed. Mr. jwillie6 still hasn't quoted a source for his allegations. Furthermore, bad studies prove nothing no matter how many you have. I might point out that the whole idea of fluoridated water came from an observation that a community with severe fluorosis (mottled teeth) had few cavities. If you like bad science you could take that as proof of efficacy; it's just as good as the Kentucky, Washington, etc. examples to the contrary. Furthermore I didn't say we should expand fluoridation. I said we should reject fluoridation for the right reasons. I strongly suspect that most of the rest of the world has rejected fluoridated water because they can get fluoridated toothpaste. We might do well to follow their example. Oh, and, Mr. jwillie6, if you use my name, spell it right.
Gayle Casas March 12, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Jwillie6, I found many links which support what you have written about the origin of the fluoride: http://www.fluoridealert.org/phosphate/denzinger.htm http://desline.com/articoli/6572.pdf http://www.fertilizer.org/ifa/HomePage/LIBRARY/Publication-database.html/Recovery-of-Fluorine-as-a-By-Product-of-Phosphoric-Acid-Manufacture.html http://www.npwa.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=61%3Aqits-pollution-stupidq&catid=35%3Afluoride-articles&Itemid=92 http://cpcbenvis.nic.in/newsletter/technologyoct1999/oct1999intro2.htm It is clear that the fertilizer industry profits from the sale of this byproduct from their industry.
Martin B. Brilliant March 12, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Gayle, those articles do not support the allegation that fluoride itself contains contaminants. Fluoride, like many other substances, is a contaminant in the wrong place and a useful material in the right place. Those articles show only that there's more fluoride byproduct than can be recovered usefully or disposed of safely. They don't support any criticism of the fluoride that's recovered and added to the water supply.
Peter W Bennett March 12, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Need I say more about Gayle's post? Ok, just a little as I have work to do. We have a reverse osmosis water filtering system to remove fluoride and other stuff. Check out the disgusting color of water after only 90 days at http://activerain.com/blogs/afullhouse
Peter W Bennett March 12, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Take off the blinders, pull your head out of the sand and follow the money trail folks. Every read the back of a tube of toothpaste with fluoride. Swallow more than a pea size, and one is to call the CDC poison hotline.
jwillie6 March 12, 2012 at 05:30 AM
Mr. Brilliant: I apologize for misspelling your name. I meant no disrespect. We are all searching for the truth. You and everyone should read the book “The Case against Fluoride,” published last year by Dr. Paul Connett (Ph.D. in Chemistry) and two other scientists (M.D., and Ph.D.). It contains over 1200 research references to show that fluoridation is ineffective for teeth and dangerous to health. It lists the 25 research studies that show that fluoride reduces IQ in children, and others to show health damage to adults in thyroid glands, bones, brain, kidneys, as well as likely causing cancer. The companies profiting from selling this toxic waste all have lobbyists who influence the various government agencies, including the CDC. Just like tobacco, which had doctors and dentists appearing in ads to recommend it in early years, fluoridation will disappear as more and more people learn the truth. Good ridance.
Gayle Casas March 12, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Peter, what you have written above is my favorite argument against water fluoridation. Just look at the back of a tube of toothpaste. It's all there in plain view: "Keep out of reach of children. If more than used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away." Fluoride is a poison, and there is no way to control the "dosage" if it is in the water supply. Have any studies ever been done to show it is safe to shower and bathe in, considering this? How much fluoride is absorbed through the skin during a five minute shower, a ten minute shower, a twenty minute shower? How much fluoride does a child's skin absorb during a five, ten or 20 minute bath, considering they are sitting in it? At what point should Poison Control be contacted if a person or child takes a longer than recommended shower or bath? I have no idea, but I do have many questions.
Christine March 12, 2012 at 11:36 AM
This is terrible... I cannot believe we are considering adding fluoride in 2012 to water. I don't want to drink chemicals... NJ, please reject this!
Gayle Casas March 12, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Hi, Jwillie6. I found this from the journal published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info%3Adoi%2F10.1289%2Fehp.114-a49 It corroborates the fact that silicofluoride compounds such as sodium silicofluoride, and hydrofluosilicic acid are used for water fluoridation purposes, and it seeks to debunk prior studies which found an association between water fluoridation and increased blood lead concentrations in children. The hypothesis was that the fluoride compounds leached lead from pipes and increased the absorption of lead in the water. Interesting reading for sure.
Martin B. Brilliant March 12, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I'm sure the authors of "The Case against Fluoride" profit from the book -- if not from the book itself, then indirectly from the publicity. I don't have to buy it. There's plenty of information available free on the web if you care to hunt for it, and the results of a careful hunt are less likely to be biased. I don't object to good reasons to avoid fluoridation, but I'm repelled by uncritical hysteria. Toxic! Poison! Yuk factor! Waste product! CHEMICALS! (Table salt is a chemical.) I'm also beginning to be repelled by the arguments in favor of fluoridation. It does have side effects. Everything has side effects. The studies in favor of it compare the cost of adding fluoride with the benefit of reduced tooth decay, without factoring in the side effects. It is irrelevant that the fluoride is a byproduct, salvaged and purified from what would otherwise be a waste product. It is irrelevant that fluoride is lethal in very large doses. It is relevant that the safe limit for fluoride in drinking water set by the US EPA (4 parts per million) is four times the level (1 ppm) recommended by the World Health Organization. That could explain why other countries don't fluoridate their water. Dr. John Ioannidis says half the published medical studies are wrong -- but we don't know which half. We now know that a lot what we used to know was wrong. Without good science, we should not be adding fluoride to the water. And as a reminder, I never said we should.
Gayle Casas March 12, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Here are the studies from Roger D. Masters and Myron J. Coplan: Massachusetts Study involving 280,000 children: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207239908711215 Another gem from Myron J. Coplan: http://www.fluoridealert.org/APHA-silicofluorides.htm Carole Clinch, BA, BPHE has done her research on the hazardous waste aspect of the fluoride compounds used: http://ffo-olf.org/files/review2009omissions.pdf Here is more from Roger D. Masters, explaining the history of fluoride- page 64-66 is of particular interest: http://www.northeastern.edu/nepsa/journal/archives/the_new_england/documents/Science_Bureaucracy_and_Public_Policy[1].pdf This article discusses the neurotoxicity of fluoride in combination with aluminum: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Fluoridation%3a+medicating+our+water+part+3.-a0246017457 Why would anyone want fluoride in their water after reading this? The safety of ingested fluoride should be a concern over its alleged efficacy. Clearly, the fluoride compounds have not been researched nearly enough to prove they are safe to add to our water supply. Why would anyone want to mandate fluoride in our drinking water?
jack March 13, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Some advocates believe that the truth about fluoride does not reach the public easily because fluoride, produced as a toxic waste byproduct of many types of heavy industry - such as aluminum, steel, fertilizer, glass, cement and other industries -- must be disposed of somewhere. If it's not used as an additive to water, manufacturers would have to pay millions of dollars to dispose of it properly, so the pressure to keep fluoride listed as a healthy additive to water-and not as an environmental toxin that requires costly disposal - is great and political pressures to keep fluoride in the drinking water is strong. http://thyroid.about.com/cs/toxicchemicalsan/a/flouride.htm
jack March 13, 2012 at 09:24 PM
sign the petition, don;t jsut type comments! http://www.change.org/petitions/new-jersey-legislature-stop-the-addition-of-fluoride-to-our-drinking-water
jack March 13, 2012 at 09:31 PM
This is a good FB group working to voice concerns. We need all of you posters to like this page!! http://www.facebook.com/NFNJM
Mitchel Friedman March 14, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Thank you for everyone's comments. I would suggest to NJ residents who's water supplier does not currently add Fluoride, to contact your representatives in the NJ legislature if feel so strongly about fluoridation.
Karen August 11, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Prove to Anyone That Fluoride is BAD for You…. and Dumbing Society Down! http://wakeup-world.com/2011/05/27/fluoride-is-bad-for-you/

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