Letter to the Editor: Fluoridation

Fluoridation played a significant part of the increase in human life span over the last century.

The dark clouds of anti-science are gathering. The Nov. 21 Bulletin mentioned the harm caused by Dr. Wakefield’s flawed research that incorrectly blamed vaccines for causing autism. Untold numbers of children whose parents believed this nonsense have died or suffered as a result, and this myth still has traction.

In a letter to the editor Kevin Millership opposes fluoride addition to drinking water for cavity prevention. Millership cites the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) opposition to fluoridation as some sort of valid scientific authority. CAPE is an activist organization that anyone can join as long as membership fees are paid. CAPE opposes many of the same popular targets other Canadian environmental groups attack, targets such as coal-fired power plants, nuclear power, tar sands, pipelines and lawn pesticides. CAPE is not a scientific organization,  however their scientific sounding name is useful to people like Millership who need to quote a scientific sounding authority.

Spotting on teeth may or may not be caused by fluoride, medications and other causes. Flourine is an essential element of the human body and is present in the mineral hydroxyapatite that forms part of tooth enamel. Fluoride is added to drinking water to rebuild or renew this essential mineral component of tooth enamel. Many think this one item of public health policy has improved lives and increased average life spans in all communities where it has been implemented. Tooth spots are a small risk to take considering the benefits of this medical advance. Other adverse health claims attributed to fluoridation such as cancer or neurological problems have not been proven in this extensively investigated health issue.

One of the reasons human life span has increased dramatically in the last century can be attributed to modern dental care; fluoridation played a significant part of this advance.

Paul Ransom/Kimberley

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