Portland voters soundly rejected fluoridation of the city’s water, reversing a 2012 mandate by the city council. Anti-fluoride forces are calling the vote a victory for modern science, which has identified excessive fluoride exposures as contributing to thyroid disease, bone damage and lower IQs among children.
A new study of the compound used to fluoridate most city water systems in the U.S. has found that it contains significant levels of arsenic, raising concerns among fluoride opponents that this industrial-grade chemical raises health risks.
New York City Council member Peter F. Vallone,Jr has called a “Speak Out Against Fluoridation” Rally to be held at 11 a.m. on May 15, on the steps of City Hall.
Fluoride chemicals are added to NYC’s water in a failed effort to treat tap-water drinkers against tooth decay, according to Vallone and the two groups that oppose fluoridation and are supporting the rally, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc and Fluoride Action Network.
Last week the federal government announced a plan to reduce the safe upper limit for fluoride in drinking water, to help protect children from the disfiguring marks or mottling of teeth that occurs with overexposure to the mineral.
Fluoride has been added to public drinking supplies in the U.S. for decades, at the behest of dental experts who claim it helps reduce cavities.
But opponents of fluoridation — which now affects about 70 percent of the U.S. population — say its risks outweigh any possible benefits. In addition, recent science shows that topical fluoride treatments work best to strengthen tooth enamel, rendering fluoridation unnecessary.
Following last week’s announcement, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) issued a statement saying the new proposed fluoride levels were neither protective of teeth, nor safe for developing brains. FAN argued that more than 100 studies have shown that fluoride damages animal brains, and 24 studies show an association between moderate to high fluoride ingestion and lowered IQs in children.