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28 August 2009 @ 09:32 pm
Here is an interesting discussion topic; Water Flouridation-- do you think we should keep doing it?  

Water fluoridation has been a subject of some controversy for as long as most of us can remember.

Highly-respected agencies and scientific data suggests that for relatively small per-person costs, water fuoridation has helped reduce cavities in children-- particularly those that may not otherwise have good access to dental health services and fluoride treatments. On the other side of the argument, there are people who question the data in light of the fact that many developed countries do not fluoridate water, and have experienced improvements in dental health similar to the USA since 1970. And there are people who have sensitivities to fluoride, who have to drink bottled water to avoid stomach aches or other problems associated with fluoride in the water.

The City of Issaquah still does not fluoridate its water. Every time the officials move to do it, the public largely objects and shoots the idea down. They are once again asking for input right now. Click here to see their meeting announcement

We were chatting about this in the Corman household tonight as we pondered ways Renton could consider saving money. I have no strong opinion on this myself, although I know my daughter drinks bottled water to avoid too much fluoride because of sensitivities to it. I suspect it would save $100,000 to $200,000 a year to stop fluoridating our water, but I have never asked our staff for an estimate. If we stopped fluoridating, the savings would not help balance our general fund (it would not pay for police or fire) since the utility fund is separate; but any savings could off-set customer water rates.

Again, I am not advocating one way or the other, but I would be interested to hear your views on the topic.

Here is a pretty good article in Wikipedia, that covers a lot of aspects of this policy question.

What do you think Rentonites? Are you glad we fluoridate your water, or do you wish we would stop?
RentonBenrentonben on August 29th, 2009 09:54 am (UTC)
There are legitimate reasons to not like fluorinated water - If you're have a hypothyroid condition, it's been thought that the fluoride replaces the iodine and makes the condition worse.

That said, it's a low-cost method of helping a lot of Renton citizens who may not be brushing their teeth.

Randy, think about investing in a reverse osmoses filter - it'd be much cheaper that bottled water in the long run. If you get one that's marketed for aquariums, they're much cheaper:


Let's not forget that the commies want us to have it:

Sooo... I'm kinda with Randy - I really don't care one way or the other. The civil libertarian in me doesn't like it, but it is practical way of helping all of Renton's recent English immigrants.

(Anonymous) on August 29th, 2009 12:51 pm (UTC)
ha ha ... I enjoyed watching the clip from Dr. Strangelove. I have not seen the movie for a long time, but I can't forget the crazy general.

After watching Ben's clip, I had to go to youtube and rewatch the memorable scene starring Slim Pickens (aka Major Kong), in which the bomb bay doors have failed to open, so Major Kong has to get them open manually.

Councilman Randy Cormanrandycorman on August 29th, 2009 12:55 pm (UTC)
(that was me above)

By the way I will suggest to Katie that she look into the filter you suggest.
RentonBenrentonben on August 29th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Keep in mind reverse osmosis water tastes horridly bland - there's a surprising amount of minerals that we're used to having in our water.

Most aquarium filters are not "bypass" filters, so there is a bit of stuff that makes it through, but it's significantly reduced, and my hunch is that it's probably better than bottled water as the cheep plastic containers do leach into the water themselves.


(Anonymous) on August 29th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
"That said, it's a low-cost method of helping a lot of Renton citizens who may not be brushing their teeth."

People who are not brushing their teeth are reaping what they sow. Again, can't we provide toothbrushes at local foodbanks?
disneygirlkatiedisneygirlkatie on August 29th, 2009 11:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, that was me, katie, by the way :)
RentonBenrentonben on August 29th, 2009 10:17 am (UTC)
>>any developed countries do not fluoridate water

In Europe, a lot of places florinate their salt in the same way we put iodine in our salt.

In Switzerland for example, pretty much all the table salt has it - you can find non-fluorinated salt if you look hard in the crazy section of your local COOP.


(Anonymous) on August 29th, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
I don't know, Randy. You're risking that big contribution from the Dental lobby.
Freakazoid Freddy
Joikmjoikm on August 29th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
I can't speak to the health effects of fluoride, but if the commies want us to have it, then you have to wonder... ;-)

But I do like the savings angle. One complaint that I've always had about Renton in the water quality, mainly in the summer.


What about joining the City of Seattle's water system? Would that provide a long run cost savings?
RentonBenrentonben on August 29th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
not just commies.... Hard Core Commies:

I'm envious of Seattle aquifer - they land they pull their water from is really pristine.

If anyone is feeling really cheap - here's how to refill your disposable filter with really inexpensive bulk activated charcoal.


Joikmjoikm on August 29th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I know - Seattle had the foresight to take over the land that makes up the basin and hold on to it. I've heard it's only major city in the US that doesn't technically need to treat its water.

disneygirlkatiedisneygirlkatie on August 29th, 2009 11:09 pm (UTC)
I for one would LOVE to see fluoride removed from the water. Just like any supplement, if people want it they can take it separately. I realize that it is supposed to help the poorer population, that supposedly can't make it to the dentist, but wouldn't it be cheaper and more effective to offer that small percentage of the population that can't afford dental work free tubes of toothpaste? Drinking it to coat our teeth makes about as much sense as putting neosporin in the water in case people happen to have cuts. We water our plants with it, we bathe in it, and flush our toilets with it.

Taking into account fluoride hypersensitivity, you might also consider it is a little like putting peanut butter in the water. Granted, fluoride hypersensitivity won't kill you one the spot, but it can cause horrible stomach upset (I'll spare you the gory details, but it's embarrassing to say the least), and migraines.

The other thing people don't realize is how much fluoride we get from all of our food. Maybe, assuming fluoride is healthy to eat as a supplement, it would be good to put in the water. However, fruits and vegetables have large amounts in some cases because it is used as a pesticide, and most tea has more than our recommended daily amount in one cup!

If we're going to add fluoride to the water, we should also add vitamins, and anything else considered "necessary" for the general population.

Here's another interested case, close to home: Could be hereditary, but my family has had a horrible time with cavities - I probably have at least 20. I've been raised on fluoridated water. My husband and his family have their own well, with no fluoride in the water, and no dental insurance, and they have almost no cavities. I believe my husband has had one, and it was after he moved out of the house with the well.

I am happy to say I have not had a cavity since I switched to unfluoridated toothpaste, and my stomach upset is not as bad. I do usually drink tap water for the sake of the environment though.

RentonBenrentonben on August 30th, 2009 11:16 am (UTC)
You probably already know about this stuff, but just in case :)


It's a form of sugar that so close to real sugar that the bacteria in you mouth will pass it around to the deepest members of their biofilm - and then after they metabolize it, it poisons them. HA!

Another thought - you may want to consider if you're getting enough Vitamin D, as your body won't be able to re-enamel your teeth if it can't use the calcium in your diet.


Sorry for butting in, but I can't help it. It's one way I deal with all the voices in my head. :)


Councilman Randy Cormanrandycorman on August 30th, 2009 12:27 pm (UTC)
Hey Ben. Thanks for the info. The funny thing is I did not know about this, until you posted it here and Ron Sims posted on his Facebook at the same time! :-)

Here is Mr. Sim's Facebook post from 44 minutes ago:

Ron Sims: It's well known that fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. But you may not have heard about a natural sweetener called xylitol which also prevents cavities. A new study out of the University of Washington shows it could make a huge difference f...or low-income families, where babies are twice as likely to suffer from tooth decay.

Read MoreKPLU: Xylitol Prevents Baby Tooth Decay, Study Shows (2009-07-07)
Source: www.publicbroadcasting.net
- It's well known that fluoride can help prevent tooth decay. But you may not have heard about a natural sweetener called xylitol which also prevents cavities. A new study out of the University of Washington ...
44 minutes ago · Comment · Like / Unlike · Share · Report

RentonBenrentonben on August 30th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC)
Bit of trivia: Nobody has ever seen Ron Sims and Renton Ben in the same room at the same time.

Bwa ha hah ha!

disneygirlkatiedisneygirlkatie on August 29th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
Because I'm moving to Japan, I thought I'd quickly find out what their views on fluoridated water. I googled "Japan Fluoridated Water" and came up with this:

Japan With Kids - Forums: Fluoride
13 posts - 8 authors - Last post: Apr 14, 2008
The tap water in Japan is not fluoridated, because some dentists do not believe in fluoride, saying it may do harm to environment. ...

Keep in mind the Japanese population has one of the longest life expectancies in the world...
(Anonymous) on August 30th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Fluoride makes my hemorrhoids flair up.
RentonBenrentonben on August 31st, 2009 10:37 am (UTC)
Brushing your teeth.... you're doing it wrong.
(Anonymous) on September 3rd, 2009 06:28 am (UTC)
Fluoridation Ineffective & Harmful, studies show
Fluoridation Ineffective & Harmful, studies show

Opposition: Scientific, Respectable & Growing

Over 2,600 professionals urge the US Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted, citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See http://www.FluorideAction.Net

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.

Last election day, 53 US cities rejected fluoridation joining a growing list of communities saying "No," to fluoridation.

Since the professionals' statement was first issued (Aug 2007), the following occurred:

-- The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canada’s leading voice on environmental health issues, released a statement opposing fluoridation.

-- May 2009, Great Lakes United (GLU) supports the end of water fluoridation. GLU is made up organizations representing environmentalists, conservationists, hunters and anglers, labor unions, community groups, and citizens of the United States, Canada, and First Nations and Tribes.

-- The National Kidney Foundation dropped its fluoridation support replacing it with this caution: “Individuals with CKD [Chronic Kidney Disease] should be notified of the potential risk of fluoride exposure.”

-- Researchers reporting in the Oct 6 2007 British Medical Journal indicate that fluoridation never was proven safe or effective and may be unethical.

-- “A qualitative review of ...studies found a consistent and strong association between the exposure to fluoride and low IQ,” concluded Tang el al., in "Fluoride and Children’s Intelligence: A Meta-analysis” in Biological Trace Element Research

-- Scientific American editors wrote in January 2008, "Some recent studies suggest that over-consumption of fluoride can raise the risks of disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland"

-- A study in the Fall 2008 Journal of Public Health Dentistry reveals that cavity-free teeth have little to do with fluoride intake. Researchers report, "The benefits of fluoride are mostly topical…while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake."

-- Research published in Biological Trace Element Research (April 2009). indicates that blood fluoride levels were significantly higher in patients with osteosarcoma than in control groups. Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, occurs mostly in children and young adults

A Tennessee State legislator who is also an MD is urging all Tennessee Water Districts to stop fluoridation, reported a Tennessee newspaper on 11/29/08. At least 30 Tennessee water districts have already complied with his request.(6)

On 1/5/09, the Burlington Board of Health recommended that Burlington cease fluoridation because fluoridation can harm some people.

Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, says, “Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It's really obsolete.”

Fluoride jeopardizes health - even at low levels deliberately added to public water supplies, according to data presented in a 2006 National Academy of Sciences' (NAS) National Research Council (NRC) report. Fluoride poses risks to the thyroid gland, diabetics, kidney patients, high water drinkers and others and can severely damage children's teeth. (11) At least three panel members advise avoiding fluoridated water.
(Anonymous) on September 3rd, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
If it costs 200,000 per year - would we be better off giving away free fluoride tooth rinse, and getting rid of it in the water supply?

Everybody would be happy then.