The debate is heating up over Dallas’s water fluoridation program and concerns local activists and some in the scientific community have regarding possible negative health effects associated with adding fluoride to public water. Several readers of our recent article have shared their differing points of views on this issue. We have referenced a few here but visit the original story and the recent Guest Op-Ed by Regina Imburgia to read their opinions.
Much of the criticism centers around the use of hydrofluorosilicic acid, one of the chemical agents commonly used in the fluoridation process as an alternative to the generally more expensive pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride.
“Hydrofluorosilicic Acid is the additive the City of Dallas uses in the drinking water. It is a diluted version of fluorosilicic acid not to be confused with naturally occurring calcium fluoride,” commented David Norsworthy.
“Deliberately contaminating the public water supply in Dallas with Hydrofluorosilicic Acid is a terrible idea…Its also a deadly poison,” commented Steve Madison.
Claims of the chemical’s toxicity are widely accepted and considered credible before it fully dissociates (mixes) in water; however, after it undergoes the complex treatment process, it is considered by governmental health agencies to be safe.
Despite organizations such as the Center for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the American Dental Association touting evidence that the small concentrations water is often treated with can help prevent tooth decay (specifically in communities that often don’t receive other forms of dental health care), some are concerned that impoverished areas are the most vulnerable to possible negative health outcomes.
“Fluoride discriminates. Dallas residents who live in impoverished areas of the City have older pipes which contain lead,” J.S. Gentry commented. “The Fluorocilicic Acid the City uses in their mix to supplement the naturally-occurring fluoride in our water supply leaches lead out of the old pipes into the water the disadvantaged drink.”
Not everyone, however, is convinced the bulk of public health agencies and North Texas municipalities have it wrong on fluoride and public water fluoridation treatments.
“There is no legitimate evidence of short or long term harm from drinking optimally fluoridated water,” commented Randy Johnson. “That is the reason the scientific consensus of relevant experts that fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure to reduce dental decay and related health issues in a community.”
The debate surrounding the issue extends to health concerns and contradicting studies and highlights the deep divide between public trust of government agencies, especially in light of the recent public water crisis in Flint, Michigan. With the top brass of most public health organizations in the United States publicly endorsing fluoridation and those against the practice continuing their campaign to end it, there’s no question this debate will continue as the Dallas City Council prepares to decide which side it will choose in the fluoride fight.