There’s been some back and forth about fluoride conspiracies on the comments of my vaccines page. There seems to be a common theme between antivaccine parents and fluoride haters. They are both convinced that the government can’t be trusted to protect our health, and that the substances they oppose are toxic and deadly. Some take the argument against fluoride to an absurd level. Check out this video if you want your brain to hurt…
Nazis! It’s an easy way to manipulate an argument to compare your opponent to the horrible genocides in Hitler’s Germany. Anybody can make such arguments – including Ben Stein – but this type of poisoning the well argument only diminishes the credibility of the person making it.
What if our own government were trying to kill us with tap water? I would say that they are failing because I see a lot of folks drinking water, and I don’t see any correlation with them dying, unless you grant the fact that everybody dies and most everybody in America drinks fluoridated tap water. If dying and drinking fluoridated water were related, most of us would be dead by now. It seems obvious that NOT drinking any source of water will give you a 100% chance of dying, right?
Fluoride is a main ingredient in rat poison? Not exactly, and not anymore. Hexafluorosilicic acid is now used to make the calcium fluoride in drinking water. Opponents of fluoride refer to a time when sodium fluoride was more commonly used than it is today, but even so, the dose makes the poison.
I’m not sure where the “600%” figure comes from quoted in the movie, so I would be interested to see where that originated. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but the rat studies on aluminum absorption were done with sodium fluoride and not calcium fluoride. The link between alzheimer’s and aluminum is not set in stone, by the way. The evidence for a correlation between aluminum and alzheimers is tentative and weak.
Does fluoridated water cause bone cancer? One doctoral research paper showed that a subset of children seemed to have a higher correlation of osteosarcoma in a location that was fluoridated compared to an area that was not. Each year, only 400 children are diagnosed with osteosarcoma, but nearly every child encounters fluoride in their tap water. In order for this student to find this correlation, she had to isolate a subset of people in her paper. When the entire data was shown, the correlation disappeared. Experts, and the original author, agree that the one study is not enough from which to draw conclusions, and besides it was not a peer reviewed research paper published in any journal.
Why would this chemical be in our drinking water? Well, I’m glad I was asked because I know the answer. Fluoride is a natural ingredient in drinking water any way. In fact, some facilities remove fluoride because there is too much in the water. In any case, the dose makes the poison. I hardly think that one part fluoride per million is hurting the population.
The video finishes with a disgusting display of Godwin’s Law, images of Hitler and George W. Bush superimposed on each other. Rubbish!
I know that this is low-hanging fruit, and that there is genuine debate on fluoridated water, but I think this video shows what can happen when conspiracy theorists corrupt science to suit their agenda. I would be inclined to agree with the notion that fluoridation has outlived it’s usefulness, but I respectfully reject claims that the amount added to water is toxic or a form of mind control.
To me, it all boils down to one very important fact. Fluoride is in nearly everyone’s tap water. If it had a negative effect on the hypothalmus, the skeleton, the kidneys, we would be seeing skyrocketing incidences of these problems. There is no explanation for the gap between the claims of fluoride haters and the lack of evidence for those claims. [Edited to Add: I have not seen proof of the claim that the fluoride levels in drinking water put children at risk of ADHD, but I have seen a study that shows the opposite. Children with ADHD are more likely to have dental caries (decay). If the theory that fluoride caused ADHD were true, then children with healthy teeth would be more likely to have ADHD, and not the other way around.]
This is a very tangled topic, but I feel confident in the safety of fluoride based on that logic alone.
I will assume that there will be comments on this post by those who oppose fluoride. I encourage fluoride haters to give me good reason to believe that the amount of fluoride in US tap water is dangerous. We’ve had fluoride in the water for fifty years. There has been plenty of time to show concrete evidence that it is harming the population.