To the editor:
An eight-page article by Dan Fagin in the January 2008 "Scientific American" voiced concerns about fluoride. He wrote that the report by the National Research Council panel in 2006 (chaired by John Doull, professor emeritus of pharmacology and toxicology at the Kansas University Medical Center) advocated that the Environmental Protection Agency should lower the current limit of 4 mg/L of fluoride in drinking water because of health risks to children and adults.
The Iowa fluoride study also cautioned that children are getting more fluoride than they should. The NRC panel said that fluoride may trigger more serious health problems such as bone cancer, bone fracture, joint stiffening, and damage both to the brain and the thyroid gland.
Fagin, as well as Christopher Bryson in "The Fluoride Deception," pointed out that most nations outside the United States do not add fluoride to water. Yet their rates of tooth decay have plunged similar to this country's.
The last time that I saw the risks of fluoride mentioned in your paper was Aug. 11, 2007, when an article said that Albert W. Burgstahler, professor emeritus of chemistry, along with 600 professionals (physicians, dentists, and scientists) called on Congress to stop water fluoridation because of its health risks.
I would recommend that people read both the "Scientific American" article and Bryson's book. Notice the warning on your tube of toothpaste with fluoride states that if more toothpaste than is used for brushing is swallowed, contact a poison control center right away.