Does Fluoride Benefit Our Health or Pollute Our Bodies and Minds?
- Fluoride in water systems and dental products continues to divide scientific opinion
- Protagonists promote fluoride as a revolutionary panacea for dental diseases
- Critics point to a lack of supporting evidence and a plethora of damning indictments
Fluoridation on Trial — Why Fluoride in Tap Water and Dental Products Is a Scientific Hot Potato
Following scientific research conducted in the early 20th century, the U.S. became the first country to introduce widespread artificial fluoridation of its drinking water. The trend spread to other nations including Ireland, Australia and New Zealand with a further 40 million people across the globe having access to naturally fluoridated water. Indeed, some parts of the world even have naturally occurring levels of fluoride in excess of recommended levels including parts of Africa, China and India. To further complicate matters, a host of countries have discontinued artificial water fluoridation in the face of mounting public angst and emerging scientific studies. Countries that have abandoned artificial water fluoridation include Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. The map below shows levels of both natural and artificially fluoridated water received by populations around the world.
The crux of the argument for artificially adding fluoride to water supplies centres on the prevention of tooth decay. In Western nations where fluoride is added to water systems, it is widely believed that artificial fluoridation plays a significant role in dental health and hygiene by strengthening the enamel of teeth and preventing tooth decay, cavities and ultimately the loss of teeth. A secondary hotly disputed advantage that has been propounded suggests that fluoride can help build up bone density. Proponents of water fluoridation will also regularly highlight the fact that fluoride already occurs naturally in groundwater and oceans and is effortlessly excreted by the kidneys meaning that it doesn’t accumulate in the human body.
Fluoridation on Trial — Is Scientific and Public Trust in Fluoridation Being Gradually Eroded?
Putting aside outlandish conspiracy theories and links to Nazi mass mind control programmes, the evidence and concerns about the toxicity of fluoride and the dangers it poses to human health have begun to mount in recent times. As well as increasing scepticism about the credibility of dated scientific research touting the benefits of fluoride, a new wave of studies has implicated fluoride as a risk factor for a raft of illnesses and conditions including certain cancers, destruction of teeth and bones, loss of fertility, ADHD, hypothyroidism, and endocrine dysfunction. Aside from studies showing a correlation or definitive links to ailments and diseases, opponents also point out that governments shouldn’t possess the power to mass-medicate entire populations with a drug intentionally added to a national water supply.
To fluoridate or not to fluoridate: that is the question. It’s a debate that’s unlikely to go away or be resolved anytime soon. More research, scientific scrutiny and sensible discourse would seem to be the only way forward to truly unravel the myths and discover what’s best for future generations.