Plan to resume fluoride in local water sparks protests

By Jay Siebold

In late August, members of Fluoride Free Chapel Hill/Carrboro protested outside the Chapel Hill Town Hall where the OWASA board holds its meetings. (Photo by Corey Sturmer)

Water in Chapel Hill and Carrboro has been without fluoride for more than half a year. Now the Orange Water and Sewer Authority is expected to add it back into the supply this month.

Dental experts say it’s good for our teeth, but some community groups aren’t convinced.

Jay Siebold reports

1 Comment

  1. Alex White is talking through his hat. The “fluoride in the mouth” that supports resistance to the tooth breakdown caused by acid is fluoride applied topically by the universal method of toothpaste or other common methods such as mouthwash or fluoride “varnish” applied by dental and medical professionals. All of those methods carry the FDA warning “Do Not Swallow”. The amount of fluoride in a dab of toothpaste is of the same order of magnitude as the amount in a glass of fluoridated water. Four glasses of water (or cans of fizzy drink or cups of coffee or bottles of beer) = four dabs fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride in the stomach and fluoride absorbed into the bloodstream and circulating throughout the body does not confer decay resistance, as was meticulously studied by dental researchers several decades ago. Neither fluoride incorporated into tooth enamel as a result of elevated blood fluoride between gestation and age eight, nor traces of elevated fluoride in saliva due to elevated blood fluoride throughout a lifetime, has been shown to have any clinically significant effect. Both US and international population studies comparing fluoridated cities to non-fluoridated ones show marginal to no benefit from fluoridation and suffer from flaws in study design that make any claim of marginal benefit highly questionable. Having not seen Mr. White’s study I cannot comment on it, but if it shows any statistically significant benefit from fluoridation according to generally accepted standards of scientific proof, it is certainly an exception to many decades of failed attempts to demonstrate such an effect.

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