Henderson, Kentucky’s new water plant is on line now, with the addition of fluoride to begin soon. This article (click here) is a recounting of the history of fluoridation in that community. They are certainly free to decide to add it, but the wisdom of this decision is now questionable, certainly if based on the points made in this article.
Note that the city began fluoridation in 1962, when the push for the government-provided great (utopian) society was in full swing. It was certainly a political decision then to add fluoride, and continues to be one today. The initiative for adding fluoride came from the state in 1959.
While working at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in the 1990s, my files at that time contained affidavits testifying to the fact that addition of fluoride to US drinking water was part of a communist plot. Indeed, there is evidence supporting this claim. Fluoridation was required in East Germany under the communist government. When the country was reunified in 1990, fluoridation stopped. It is prohibited in Germany now……but even if a communist plot, it was a stupid idea, unless of course, fluoride could be added at a high enough concentration to be harmfull…
The toxic dose of sodium fluoride is now estimated to be between 5 and 10 mg/kg. Sodium fluoride is used as a rat poison.
ATSDR reports the following case in their toxicological profile (click here):
“More recent information includes the case report of a 3-year-old boy who swallowed 200 sodium fluoride tablets (1 mg fluoride each) for a dose of 16 mg fluoride/kg body weight (Eichler et al. 1982). Immediately after ingestion, he vomited and appeared to recover, but he collapsed 4 hours later. The boy died 7 hours after fluoride ingestion. Upon autopsy, hemorrhagic edema of the lungs, hemorrhagic gastritis, and massive cerebral edema were observed. The hemorrhagic edema observed in the lungs was probably due to aspiration of the gastric contents. Cloudy swelling was observed in the cells of the liver, heart, and kidney. In another case, a 27-month-old child died 5 days after ingesting about 100 fluoride tablets, for a dose of about 8 mg fluoride/kg body weight (Whitford 1990). Based on this case and weight tables for 3-year-old boys, Whitford (1990) calculated a probable toxic dose of about 5 mg fluoride/kg body weight.”
Of course, trying to poison a water supply by adding enough sodium fluoride is unrealistic if not impossible…..at such a high concentration tons of chemical would be needed for a community, and even if it could be dissolved, the water would not be palatable — no one would drink it anyway. (At low concentrations, thousands of gallons of water would have to be consumed in a short period of time to reach a toxic fluoride intake, and the person would probably die from hyponatremia long before reaching a toxic dose of fluoride.)
Today, the fact that there is evidence that adding fluoride to drinking water was part of a communist plot…is used to ridicule citizens as well as experts who raise concerns about the health risks of water fluoridation. The implied argument goes like this: “Based on what we know today, the idea of a communist plot was rediculous then, and so, it is rediculous for anyone now to oppose fluoridation.”
In toxicology, the dose makes the poison. At low exposures, fluoride is assumed to be safe, since no adverse effects are observed. Unlike the 1940s and 1950s, today there are other sources of fluoride intake. And much is known about the toxic effects of fluoride.
Since the late 1950s and 1960s, states such as Kentucky have passed laws requiring the addition of fluoride to water systems that serve more than 3,000 people. State control of fluoride addition is usually based on its perceived effects for preventing dental caries, but the harmfull effects of too much fluoride are usually not considered by communities considering water fluoridation.