August 31, 2010
It has been said that fluoride is a safe, healthy and necessary chemical for a human body. Many advocate that tooth decay could be prevented from increasing intake of fluoride in one’s diet. There is one article in the February 18th issue of the Rose Garden Resident which gave many positive reasons that fluoride should be put into the local water supply. This all seems fine unless the claims given in the article are found to be false. Some of them actually have been found to be false. The article mainly discusses a group called The Health Trust, and their mission to fluoridate San Jose’s water supply. The group’s chief argument is that San Jose, California is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation to not have a fluoridated water supply. There is a false dilemma here in saying that somehow because many other metropolitan cities have fluoridated water that this is reason enough to bring it to San Jose. Now, the main fallacy in this article to be refuted are the claims of Health Trust CEO, Frederick Ferrer, and his supporters saying fluoridating San Jose’s water will improve the health of the residents. Fluoride is a toxic compound that will not improve the health of anybody who consumes it.
This article, in a negative connotation, makes a brief mention of Fluoride Action Group, an opponent of fluoridating water and a corresponding local group, Citizens for Safe Drinking Water, who is headed by a woman named Maureen Jones. I had the chance to interview her on this issue. She happens to be the daughter of a former Mayor of San Jose, Clark Bradley, who also opposed the fluoridation of water. She adopted the idea from her dad that people need to be able to choose whether they want a chemical in their water that is made to affect the development of people. She continued saying, “Fluoride is the only people-treatment chemical added to public water. And that’s an ethical ‘no-no,’ no matter what. A third grader can think of ten reasons why that’s a bad idea.” Mr. Ferrer and his supporters apparently do not agree. In the article, he is quoted as saying, “We cannot drill our way out of this problem…The science is settled, the law is settled. For us it’s about the political will and the costs.” Maureen responded, “This is not a case of drilling your way out of it, it’s an education thing.”
The science of fluoride reveals quite an interesting history. There are four kinds of fluoride reported to exist in drinking water; they are calcium fluoride, sodium fluoride, sodium silico fluoride, and fluosilicic acid. Calcium fluoride comes from floor spar and is naturally occurring in water. The other three compounds come from a very different source, rock phosphate. Rock phosphate was used during the Cold War period for the extraction of uranium to make bombs. It is questionable as to why we would want to use this substance for consumption by humans. Maureen told me that all four compounds are toxic, but the fluosilicic acid, which is planned to be used in San Jose water, is much more toxic than the rest. She stated, “In small cities they often use the sodium fluoride, and more and more and more of the sodium fluoride is actually coming in from China and Mexico. It’s their toxic waste that some small cities are drinking."
In the 1930s an LD-50 study was conducted in France on fluoride. They tested rats with each of the four aforementioned compounds of fluoride. The results turned out to show calcium fluoride to be the least toxic, and the other four were at least 20 times more toxic. The article states, “Fluoride is naturally occurring at some level in all water.” The type of fluoride they are talking about is the much less toxic kind, calcium fluoride. This is a hasty generalization to say that it already exists in the water, when the article is mainly discussing the adding of fluosilicic acid to the water supply. It is important to note again that fluosolicic acid comes from a completely different source than calcium fluoride. Fluoride has been found in many more recent studies to be a neurotoxin; by attaching to aluminum, which already occurs in the water supply, it can pass through the blood-brain barrier and kill brain cells. It has also been found to cause many bone problems, such as joint fractures, by attracting to calcium and making the bones more brittle, as well as Osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. Fluoride also has been proven to cause Alzheimer’s disease. This is alarming information, especially when considering that many large cities across this country, approximately 70%, have fluoridated water.
Maureen Jones and many other people she knows have sent many studies and declassified documents to San Jose legislators, as well as Frederick Ferrer, which prove the toxicity of fluoride. They have simply ignored all of this convincing information. They have also been presented with an array of historical incidents where fluoride caused overwhelming health problems in other communities. Maureen sees no motivation for them to continue this pursuit for water fluoridation other than political or corporate gain. She would support The Health Trust if they were working towards the health of the community, but she simply does not believe that they are. She told me, “There’s all kinds of things The Health Trust could do if they had the political will to actually help poor kids.” There is overwhelming information that water fluoridation supporters are overlooking. When it comes down to education, San Jose legislation is not doing its part in looking at both sides of this issue. This is not just a friendly mistake, it is an immoral act of negligence. Maureen says it best, “It’s absolutely, in my opinion, flat-out criminal.”