January 7, 2011

Oh, no! Fluoride in the water!

The government finally acknowledges the harm it has done — vindicating all those nuts who've been freaking out about it since the 50s....


You know that's the way your hard core commie works:
Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water? Well, do you know what it is?...  Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face?... Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridated water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mandrake. Children's ice cream?... You know when fluoridation first began?...  Nineteen hundred and forty six. Nineteen fortysix, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your postwar commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice.

37 comments:

TML said...

"mental hygiene, etc." Et Cetera? Weak stew, that...

miller said...

So explain to me the voices in my head.

Quayle said...

Not an expert, pretty uninformed, too lazy to Google it, but I'm guessing that teeth sealants for kids have rendered fluoride pretty much unnecessary.

Ann Althouse said...

" too lazy to Google it"

The hell! Click on the link. It's there for a reason.

Ron said...

Best stick to Gen. Ripper's advice and drink only grain alcohol...


I wonder if President Muffley has weighed in...

chickelit said...

There is no reason at all to ingest it. Fluoride does prevent caries, but should be only be applied to the teeth if at all (with toothpaste) and then spat out.

Another more modern issue is the growing amount of organofluorine compounds in pharmaceuticals.

HDHouse said...

Honest to God Ann, the wind froze your brain...."acknowledges the good it does" and "recommends setting at the lowest levels"...

it no way vindicates the nuts. not in the least.

If this was tongue in cheek, the only possible explanation, you missed.

chickelit said...

Ron said...
Best stick to Gen. Ripper's advice and drink only grain alcohol...


Preferably gin from potatoes.

Coketown said...

No, no. Fluoride in the water is causing autism. I mean, vaccines are causing fluoride in the water. No, hark, spotted teeth cause autism. Do you see why the Mad Moms of America have to have meetings to frequently? The threats to our country are everywhere.

I'd be more concerned about the ballooning waistlines of our nation's youth rather than their spotted teeth. Holy shit, I passed a playground a couple days ago and it was like an army of teletubbies waddling around the asphalt and taking time-outs every forty seconds during a spirited game of foursquare.

Leo Ladenson said...

I can no longer sit back and allow communist infiltration, communist indoctrination, communist subversion, and the international communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

Ron said...

I think General Ripper was stopping a mutiny of preverts!

Quayle said...

"The hell! Click on the link. It's there for a reason.

I clicked on your link. It was only about fluoride.

I was too lazy to look up the details about sealants and their effectiveness as a replacement for fluoride.

Turns out that sealants are an effective part of the reduction of tooth decay on back teeth, but are not a replacement for fluoride.

But I really didn't want to click and read that during happy hour.

Tibore said...

Yes, nutcases will view this as vindication. But that's because they'll be wlling to obscure or totally ignore facts. Such as the fact that part of the driving force behind the recommendation is, as the article noted, the ubiquity of fluoride in other dental hygiene products, thus necessitating a reduction in municiple supplies.

It has zero to do with any of the supposed dangers the nutcases trumpet.

But again, that's the way these pseudoscience "woo" advocates work: They ignore reality. It'll be just like when the Vaccine Court was established: Too many anti vaccination advocates viewed that as vindication and validation for their pseudoscientific notions on how vaccines supposedly cause autism or other injury (obviously, I'm not talking about anaphylaxis, which is a verifiable, documented (in other words, real)) risk, but the more outlandish "woo" narratives). They ignore the complex truth behind things.

But, they're just like Henry Ford before he saw the light on a particular work of literature. Ford, of this work, said "It (fits) in with what is going on now". That work was The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The only question is whether they, like Ford in later years, will recognize their mistaken understanding and recant, or continue their misapprehensions so they can continue to bear their mantles of prophet and savior.

Ann Althouse said...

@Quayle If you read the link, then you shouldn't be talking about the issue being that fluoride is "pretty much unnecessary" because of sealants. Your "guess" is off-point, but not as dumb as HD. Jeez!

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron said...

Quayle! 404 at your link!

Rex said...

Here in Ithaca the water is still not fluoridated.

Quayle said...

Look, Ann, I'm not saying kids wouldn't get their teeth mussed with out fluoride. But I do say no more than ten to twenty million kids with severe cavities, tops. Uh, depending on the breaks.

Tibore said...

(Yeech, what happened to my first comment? I swear, I thought it posted. Oh well, take two, from scratch...)

Of course nutcases will view this as vindication. It'd be just like the Vaccination Court creation, with all the antivaccination advocates saying that it validated and vindicated their pet theories about vaccines causing autism, or just being "dangerous" (not in causing anaphalaxis, which is a known and real risk, but in other ways... supposed mercury toxicity, for example). Who cares what the actual story is? The article noted that the ubiquity of fluorine in other products necessitated a reduction in recommendations for municipal doses, not because of any salesmanship of supposed dangers from those believers in "woo".

But what other validations will the nutcases have for their ideas? They won't see the light and realize that the recommendations are still to have some level of fluorination. They won't get to don the cloak of prophet and savior if they acknowledge those pesky facts.

virgil xenophon said...

Circa 1974-75 I noticed the cover of a public-health pub on the periodicals rack at Tulane's Howard-Tilton Lib. had a full-cover pic of Gen. Ripper w. the title: "Was Gen Ripper Right?" Art. inside pointed out that the US was almost alone among nations in advocating such high levels of fluoride in the water supply that we do. The old Soviet Union, for one, was--and Russia still is-- EXTREMELY wary of the toxic effects of fluoride in the water supply.

The Crack Emcee said...

Crack bait.

raf said...

HDH: I have always found that if the thought "You must be joking!" ever enters my mind, it is best to assume that it is a joke until definitively proven otherwise. This helps to prevent hypertrophy of the outrage gland.

jimspice said...

Yes, that's it. The Birch Society and its progeny were concerned with spotted teeth.

AST said...

That "You know that's the way your hard core commie works" doesn't mean they didn't sow harm in this country, or that big-government, centralized solutions haven't threatening us.

I think all the time that our emphasis on freedom has confused us about independence, which is really what we should focus on. The mockability of conspiracy theorists shouldn't lull us into believing that there aren't people with dangerous agenda.

Tibore said...

"There is no reason at all to ingest it. Fluoride does prevent caries, but should be only be applied to the teeth if at all (with toothpaste) and then spat out"

"... he US was almost alone among nations in advocating such high levels of fluoride in the water supply that we do.

Oh good grief, people. Some science facts:

"Based on a review of the doses involved in the four fatalities, three of which involved young children, the "probably toxic dose" of fluoride has been set at 5 mg F/kg body weight. "

Source: "Acute and Chronic Fluoride Toxicity", Journal of Dental Research, May 1992

Using that as a guide, do a calculation: 5mg per kilo of body weight. I'm roughly 74.8kg (~165 pounds). That translates into needing to consume 374mg to reach the "probably toxic" level. At the previous high of 1.2mg/L concentration, I'd need to guzzle 374 liters of water!!

And that's presuming I'm as sensitive to fluoride toxicity as a child would be. If anything, an adult should be less vulnerable, therefore I should have to chug more water.

Can we put to rest this stupid thought that the level of fluoridation of water presents any risk? 374 liters is just under 99 gallons. I'd practically be able to drown in it before I'd be able to poison myself from it!

"he US was almost alone among nations in advocating such high levels of fluoride in the water supply that we do... The old Soviet Union, for one, was--and Russia still is-- EXTREMELY wary of the toxic effects of fluoride in the water supply."

Although oddly enough, they're not so wary that they balk at fluoridizing milk (Source. Also, re: the World Health Organization collaboration project from 1994 referenced in the WHO publication "Milk fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries" from 2009) Huh. Imagine that. Yeah, they sound real wary, don't they?

chickelit said...

Tibore wrote:

Using that as a guide, do a calculation: 5mg per kilo of body weight. I'm roughly 74.8kg (~165 pounds). That translates into needing to consume 374mg to reach the "probably toxic" level. At the previous high of 1.2mg/L concentration, I'd need to guzzle 374 liters of water!!

Mark Twain wrote:

In the space of one hundred and seventy-six years the Lower Mississippi has shortened itself two hundred and forty-two miles. This is an average of a trifle over one mile and a third per year. Therefore, any calm person, who is not blind or idiotic, can see that in the Old Oolitic Silurian Period, just a million years ago next November, the Lower Mississippi River was upward of one million three hundred thousand miles long, and stuck out over the Gulf of Mexico like a fishing-rod. And by the same token any person can see that seven hundred and forty-two years from now the Lower Mississippi will be only a mile and three-quarters long, and Cairo and New Orleans will have joined their streets together, and be plodding comfortably along under a single mayor and a mutual board of aldermen. There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact.

~The Atlantic Monthly, 36, 193 (1875)

Sofa King said...

The hell I say! We're Americans! We should be using MORE fluoride! Gentlemen, we can not allow a fluoride gap!

Tibore said...

Yes, it was an absurd extrapolation. That was the point. To demonstrate how absurd it is to take the low levels of fluoridation in water supplies and assert some sort of toxic effect from it.

If you have any evidence that lower levels are indeed dangerous, feel free to provide. In the meanwhile, let me provide some reference materials:

"Fluoride in Drinking Water and Cancer Mortality in Taiwan", Environmental Research, March 10, 1998.

"Bone Cancer Incidence Rates in New York State: Time Trends and Fluoridated Drinking Water", American Journal of Public Health, April 1991, p. 475 (bone cancer from bioaccumulation is one of the risks commonly cited as a risk from fluoridation)

"Mortalityin Selected Cities with Fluoridated and Non-Fluoridated Water Supplies", New England Journal of Medicine, May 18, 1978.

... just for starters. There are, of course, many more.

And yes, I am also well aware of the Bassin dissertation, in case you wanted to offer that as an response. I'm also aware of the limitations Bassin herself noted, as well as the confounding issues her thesis advisor raises. If you or anyone else wants to make hay about that, feel free to address her and her professor's qualifications on the findings, and why they should still be used as an indication of a general danger from fluoridation.

Conservatives 4 Better Dental Hygiene said...

Everything in the world can be either only good or only bad!!! There are NO shades of gray and there are NO trade-offs, EVER! No excuses, no ifs and or buts!1!!1!!!!!! That is how reality is. Either/or. Neither/nor.

Yawn. Get a grip, Oldhouse.

traditionalguy said...

What great news for the demand for bottled water and for Dentists.

AllenS said...

There's no fluoride in my water, and look how I turned out.

Paco Wové said...

"Your "guess" is off-point, but not as dumb as HD."

Attention, everyone:

HDHouse is now the official metric of stupidity at Althouse.

That is all.

Calypso Facto said...

Just when I was getting used to the idea that bottled water was bad for kids because it didn't have ENOUGH fluoride. As Coke said, the nannies' edicts can be hard to keep up with.

c3 said...

Uhh Professor, did you read the linked article:

In the United States fluorosis is usually mild, seen as barely visible lacy white markings or spots on the enamel. The severe form of fluorosis, which causes staining and pitting of the tooth surface, is rare here, but is more common in places like China where the water has naturally occurring levels of fluoride.

My impression is that that because there a now so many other sources of flouride (i.e. toothpastes, sealants) its appropriate to adjust the recommended level downward.

If by harm you mean rare cases of stained teeth, I'd say your first sentence:

The government finally acknowledges the harm it has done

is over the top.

Tibore said...

C3, I fear you missed the fact that she was being sarcastic.

nyscof said...

More than 3,200 professionals (including over 290 dentists) urge the US Congress to stop water fluoridation citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See statement: http://www.fluorideaction.org/statement.august.2007.html

Also, eleven Environmental Protection Agency employee unions representing over 7000 environmental and public health professionals called for a moratorium on drinking water fluoridation programs across the country, and have asked EPA management to recognize fluoride as posing a serious risk of causing cancer in people. (b)

The CDC reports that 225 less communities adjusted for fluoride between 2006 and 2008. Approximately, 90 US communities rejected fluoridation since 2008. New York State communities that stopped or rejected fluoridation include: Levittown, Canton, Corning, Johnstown, Oneida, Carle Place, Rockland County, Suffolk County, Western Nassau County, Albany, Beacon, Poughkeepsie, Central Bridge Water District, Homer, Ithaca, and Amsterdam. New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr is introducing legislation to stop fluoridation in New York City.

The Fluoride Action Network is working with Dr. Mercola to educate legislators and the media about the health hazards associated with water fluoridation which isn't revealed to them by those lobbying in favor of fluoridation: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/07/03/paul-connett-interview.aspx

I'm guilty said...

The board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District (in California) held a public meeting March 22nd on water fluoridation. This summer they are scheduled to vote on whether or not to fluoridate the water supply. The board and their staff were given 20 copies of a 75-minute cd of doctors explaining the history, origin, and health hazards of this toxic waste. Doctors included John Lee, John Yiamouyannis, and Phyllis Mullenix. The audio is posted at the website www.MaeBrussell.com. Just go to the bottom of the homepage.

If people were to burn a cd of that audio and spread it around (especially to churches, schools, health food stores and health clubs) you might find it very effective in waking up the public in your area. Good luck.