Archive for Sunday, November 11, 2012

Wichita advocates to take anti-fluoride movement across state, nation

November 11, 2012


— Advocates who led the successful fight against adding fluoride to Wichita’s water say they will work to get their message out across the state and the nation.

Wichita voters on Tuesday rejected a proposal to add fluoride to the city’s water by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin. Although three-fourths of the country fluoridates its water, the anti-fluoride movement is gaining traction across the nation, Jonathan Hall, of Wichitans Against Fluoridation, said after the vote.

“We’re part of the upcoming wave of change,” he said.

Wichita pediatrician Larry Hund, one of the leading proponents of fluoridation, told The Wichita Eagle that he thought the vote would be closer. But he said the claim that fluoride is toxic played to people’s emotions rather than scientific reasoning.

“It’s easier to scare people than to teach them about the science involved,” he said.

Both Mark Gietzen, president of the Kansas Republican Assembly, and Hall said that the anti-fluoride forces plan to continue their efforts.

“We’re definitely going to take this statewide; we’re not going to quit,” Gietzen said.

The effort might include working for a state recommendation against fluoridation while still allowing communities to decide the issue locally.

“Since I am connected to the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. I’m going to try to make fluoride one of our core issues,” said Gietzen, who likened fluoride to lead and asbestos. “Things that we thought were right back then maybe were not such a good idea after all. That’s where we are with fluoride.”

Hund said the anti-fluoride advocates don’t realize what will happen because of the vote.

“We see a lot of children with really bad teeth and parents who don’t have insurance,” Hund said. “This will affect this generation and the next generations until we finally have the benefits” of fluoridation.


Amy Heeter 5 years, 7 months ago

In other news . The tools are busy chasing floride while the government.. oh Nevermind you're too confused.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 7 months ago

Gietzen is a Wichita anti-abortion wacko who has run for public office several times unsuccessfully. I would not be surprised if he was among the anti-evolution crowd. And I shudder to think about his views on vaccines.

CHKNLTL 5 years, 7 months ago

Fluoridation of water came about when the nuclear and atomic weapons project needed somewhere to dump all of the by product fluoride leftover from production. It is not pure fluoride that is used in water. It is not necessary for your health. With a little research, one can find that areas of this country that had high naturally occurring levels of fluoride in the water, were areas where people suffered severe tooth decay, where the bones were literally eaten away in their mouth. There is so much research that proves it is harmful and still they tell us all lies. Did you know that if a young child consumes too much fluoride, it will build up in the teeth and bones, causing visible changes to the skeletal structure that are permanent including bone cancer? See link And dental care for the poor? Not buying that excuse. Health departments offer fluoride treatments at cheap prices or even free for poor children and adults. I want to know how much money our city spends to fluoridate the water, where they are buying it from, and which rich republican is this state is lining their pockets while we fill our bellies with their poison.

DennisReynolds 5 years, 7 months ago

Wow! As a dentist I am appalled! There is so much misinformation in that post I don't even know where to start. It has been proven over and over by real scientific studies that children that are given the correct amount of systemic fluoride(fluoride in water) have a dramatically reduced rate of cavities. Topical fluoride (fluoride treatments) is helpful once teeth have come in, but does nothing for developing teeth that have not fully formed.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 7 months ago

I know that I don't have any question about the positive benefits of reduced dental caries that result from water supply fluoridation; I do think that there seems to be some legitimate concern about neurotoxicity side effects of TOO MUCH fluoride, as evidenced by this legitimate overview of the research in this area:

This, coupled with the information that the EPA and HHS is reviewing upper limits (see my post below) seems to be an area of legitimate discussion.

Maybe you have access to information that would answer my question below, i.e. what is the level of fluoridation (ppm) where benefits begin to show up in the form of reduced caries?

Janet FitzGerald 5 years, 7 months ago

Be appalled. Are you also advocating mercury amalgams?

Ken Lassman 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually, if you look at the research, fluoride can have a neurotoxic effect that has been documented to drop children's IQs in areas of high natural fluoride in the water, primarily documented in China. While these levels are typically way above the EPA limit of 4ppm, the research has spurred the EPA to review the upper limits and consider lowering the upper limits so that the benefits of lower caries will not risk exposing children to high enough levels that a neurotoxic side effect is likely. A secondary limit (i.e. recommended but not strictly enforceable) of 2ppm has been set for fluoride, but in the standards review put out by HHS and the EPA, they say say that the current recommendations are .7 to 1.2 ppm should be considered on the high side, and are considering looking at .7 as the upper limit:!OpenDocument

So it seems that there are some legitimate concerns about excessive fluoride in the water supply, tho it also seems that there is a middle ground where a town can accrue the benefits of fluoridation (reduced cavities) without the drawbacks (neurotoxicity in children)

The most recent posted water quality report for Lawrence

shows that our fluoride levels are 0,2-,0,97, which is at a level that falls within the lower range recommendations of the EPA/HHS (.7 to 1.2ppm) and mostly would fall below even the newer levels (below 0.7ppm) being considered. My guess is that if the recommendations are to drop it below 0.7, the current system could be tweaked to do that without too much trouble.

It would be interesting to see what the naturally occurring levels of fluoride are in Wichita.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 7 months ago

Found it:

Looks like the naturally occurring (or residual fluoride added from upstream towns) is .38ppm.

Anyone know at what level ppm does fluoride begin to have a significant beneficial response in terms of reducing dental caries?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Anyone know at what level ppm does fluoride begin to have a significant beneficial response in terms of reducing dental caries?"

I'd think this would vary depending on how much fluoride is otherwise applied through the use of fluoride toothpastes and other fluoride treatments.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 7 months ago

So the question remains: when (approx. ppm of fluoride) does a drop in dental caries begin to show up in a community? Wichita already has .38ppm--is that enough? If the EPA/HHS is considering an upper limit of .7ppm, it seems like it might be close. Also note that the range of fluoride in Lawrence is 0.2 to 0.97ppm....(see link to report above)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

See the EU link below. Their conclusion is that the beneficial effects of water fluoridation are mostly with kids of lower socioeconomic status-- kids that are less likely to receive regular dental care.

Ken Lassman 5 years, 7 months ago

That doesn't answer the question of how much, just answers who benefits the most: the poor and kids who don't receive regular dental care/topical fluoride treatments.

However, looking at the paper, they say that there was an approximate 20% reduction in caries when fluoride was at .125 to .25ppm, and an approximate 50% reduction at 1ppm or greater. They also mentioned that Canada is setting .7ppm as the ideal average just like the EPA/HHS is considering.

So it looks to me like Wichita is already getting at least 20% reduction in kid cavities from what's already in the water, but would benefit from a small addition to get it up to the .7ppm ideal, while Lawrence might consider stabilizing at .7ppm, which is a slight reduction of its current level--assuming that ends up being the EPA/HHS recommendations.

DennisReynolds 5 years, 7 months ago

Doug, that is a good question. I'm not sure, but most of the recommendations I've seen have been closer to .7 ppm.

DennisReynolds 5 years, 7 months ago

Bozo, do you swallow your toothpaste? That might explain a lot.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

No-- but my permanent teeth came in many decades ago, so fluoride in drinking water (as well as swallowing fluoride toothpaste) has no benefit for me.

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

“It’s easier to scare people than to teach them about the science involved,” he said.

That pretty much sums up everything, now doesn't it?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Seems that there is no consensus among various professional organizations on the use of fluoride in drinking water. The view generally seems dependent on the professional focus. Dental associations approve of it because their concern is dental health. Those with other focuses, such as kidney disease, are less than enamored of it.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

The inmates run the asylum, but this is Wichita, folks.

kef104 5 years, 7 months ago

And in further news, just wait until these same people see the evidence that drinking too much water leads to water poisoning and death. The sad thing is that intelligent folks in Wichita will move away. The sadder thing is that it will leave the crack pots behind with even more influence. I just realized where the term crack pot came from. I can imagine a time when pots were quite necessary, before running water. If one cracked, it was basically deemed worthless and no longer useful to anyone. My god, I sound like Sheldon this morning.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Here's a review of research done by the EU (where water fluoridation has largely been discontinued.)

"Conclusion Water fluoridation as well as topical fluoride applications (e.g. fluoridated toothpaste or varnish) appears to prevent caries, primarily on permanent dentition. No obvious advantage appears in favour of water fluoridation compared with topical prevention. The effect of continued systemic exposure of fluoride from whatever source is questionable once the permanent teeth have erupted. SCHER agrees that topical application of fluoride is most effective in preventing tooth decay. Topical fluoride sustains the fluoride levels in the oral cavity and helps to prevent caries, with reduced systemic availability. The efficacy of population-based policies, e.g. drinking water, milk or salt fluoridation, as regards the reduction of oral-health social disparities, remains insufficiently substantiated."

In other words, water fluoridation has no particular value for anyone who has their permanent teeth. So what's really needed is two water systems-- one for kids, and one for everyone else.

Here's a link to EPA's overview of fluoridation.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

It could be imputed causality, but many cavities have been prevented and there is little evidence of harm to the masses. Line up a million people and give each an aspirin. Some will sicken; others will die. Math/statistics are difficult for some. This politics, not science.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

One water system for kids and one for adults???

Who is going to pay for that? And will government be the ones enforcing that? Silly idea.

Terry Sexton 5 years, 7 months ago

Wichita Fails, Kansas.

New city name or declarative sentence?

Janet FitzGerald 5 years, 7 months ago

Stop eating processed foods that stick to the teeth, and may you see your health dramatically improve on all fronts.

Trumbull 5 years, 7 months ago

I don't consider myself a conspiracy person, but a while ago, I clicked on the advertising link "5 signs you will get Alzheimers disease" right here on the LJW. According to the link, fluoride can creat free radical toxicity in the brain.

Do I believe this? Probably not. But I will not entirely dismiss the possibilty. I definitely do make a point of rinsing better after using fluoride toothpaste though,

Patricia Davis 5 years, 7 months ago

And then rinsing with fluoridated water doesn't seem like an answer!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

I'd guess that the concentration of fluoride in tap water isn't high enough to have much effect when used topically (i.e., rinsing.)

Bob Forer 5 years, 7 months ago

Fluoridated water is, and has always been, a communist conspiracy.

riverdrifter 5 years, 7 months ago

It was mighty windy over the weekend and the tinfoil hats no doubt flew away.

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