Hunter Park Kindergarten

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Fluoridation Meeting Report

I attended the fluoridation meeting held last night in Waipukurau.

The current supply of powdered fluoride the town uses is becoming hard to source, meaning the town will have to switch to a different type of fluoride requiring different machinery to mix it with the water if we wish to continue fluoridating the water. Not everyone agrees fluoridation is a good thing, the council will therefore be taking the opportunity to survey residents to see if fluoridation should continue.

Points were made for and against fluoridation.

Both sides recognised fluoride can be helpful to preventing decay. Fluoride replaces an Ion (ca+?) on the teeth making teeth more resistant to acid.

Both sides recognised that at high concentration levels fluoride is toxic. (As are most things is life.)

Profluoridation spokes people pointed out their appears to be a definite correlation between fluoridation and less tooth decay. (Though results vary widely.)

This correlation is not consistent however, nor does fluoridation prevent all decay.

Both sides recognised that lack of fluoridated water likely is not the primary cause of tooth decay, suggesting sugary, acidic drink and food, and improper brushing are the main factors.

One problem raised with studies is how can we be sure that everyone is drinking the water, many indicated they won't drink town water due to taste.
It was counter-argued that if less people are drinking the water due to taste, (main taste is likely to be chlorine) this would mean the observed beneficial effects of fluoridated water would be decreased in the studies, so any observed benefits would actually be greater than studies indicate.

One (profluoridation) dentist indicated making a cup of tea with unfluoridated water would result in tea that has four times as much fluoride as normal fluoridated drinking water, as fluoride is found in other substances such as tea. Most of the fluoride we ingest in food and drink is excreted by our kidneys (along with other toxins.)

This raises the question how much are we getting already from other sources? Does this mean we don't need to add any extra to our water? Is there a clear pathway in the body for ingested fluoride to reach teeth, (as opposed to fluoride applied directly to teeth as a paste and spat out- as recommended.)

Anti fluoridation spokespeople pointed out it is unethical to medicate people without informed consent. Further unlike prescribed medicine there is no way to know how large a dose any individual is receiving or what the effects are on that person.

Both sides agreed fluoridation of water supply does lead to increased fluorosis of teeth, with the anti side indicating this was a sign of fluoride poisoning, but not explaining what harmful effects this would have, and the pro side indicating no conclusive evidence for harmful effects linked to fluorosis could be found.

Council was not able to indicate if fluoride levels at the tap (as opposed to at the source) vary from household to household, across town as this is not currently measured. Perhaps this needs to be investigated.

Concerns were raised of unknown environmental effects of putting fluoridated water back into river systems.

Council was asked would they provide fluoride filters for households choosing to opt out of fluoridated water. (Not all filters remove it.) This would have to be discussed at council.

Council was asked could they instead tax sugary, acidic drinks and use the money for dental health programmes, but this would probably be outside their scope.

It was not made clear why the recommended levels are the recommended levels.

Fluoride does occur naturally at various levels in water supplies world wide.

Boiling water does not remove fluoride but concentrates it.

Placing water to stand in a glass jug can help improve the taste. (Much like standing fish tank water to remove chlorine.)

More information can be found at the council site they would love to hear your feedback.

edit: Thankyou to those people who have commented on our report for parents.
I've read the information on why we shouldn't fluoridate you've provided, but can't publish it or the links here as it's not the kindergartens role to take sides in a political debate, or to act as a site for the debate to take place. Our role is to inform parents the debate is taking place and refer them to where they can participate.
I would encourage you to submit the information you've provided to the council site this post links too.
Parents who wish to see the comments can ask at kindy and I'll print off the links for you. One is an article on fluoride levels in tea, one is a link to a blog on why we shouldn't fluoridate, and another is a link to a website on why we shouldn't fluoridate.

I can publish this link however, which has fluoride levels in various foods.

1 comment:

David said...

Nicely rounded article. If you want to know more about Fluoride we have organised a Fact Section


If there is any real and up to date evividence that fluoride protects teeth in any way then many of us out here in the real world would like to see it. ...Just say no and rejoice that you can actually become involved in the fluoride debate. ....
(editor unsubstantiated claims removed
Brian Jackson
Friends of the Earth in the UK

Tea has naturally high fluoride levels. ...
Four cups, of 20 teas sampled, delivered 0.8 to 1.8 mg of fluoride,
when non-fluoridated water was used, reports Cao et al. in Food


A March 2008 Food and Chemical Toxicology study found up to 4.5, 1.8,
and 0.5 mg/L fluoride in black, green and white teas, respectively,
when brewed for 5 minutes (61 teas sampled).

Brewed teas could contain up to 6 mg/L fluoride depending on the
amount of dry tea used, the water fluoride concentration and the
brewing time, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

According to 1997 ADA data, 3 and 4 milligrams daily is adequate for
women and men, ....

Fluoride is in many foods as determined by the USDA

According to American Dental Association, the adequate intake of
fluoride to avoid moderate fluorosis (yellow teeth) is:

-- 0.01 mg/day for 0 to 6-month-olds
-- 0.5 mg/day for 7 through 12 months
-- 0.7 mg/day for 1 to 3-year-olds
-- 1.0 mg/day for 4 to 8-year-olds

Mild fluorosis is white spots, lines or blotches to the teeth and can
occur at levels lower than the above.

Both the ADA and CDC advise that infant formula should not be mixed
with fluoridated water.

Food Chemistry, "Safety evaluation on fluoride content in black tea,"
by Cao et al. (November 2004)

Food Chemical Toxicology, "Assessment of fluoride concentration and
daily intake by human from tea and herbal infusions," by Malinowska et
al. (March 2008)

Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, "Tea and fluorosis," by Juan Yi and Jin
Cao (February 2008)
(editors note, claims and various facts removed)

you should remove the comment box if you can. You are wasting alot of poples time.
Ged (in response to none publication)