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Wake Up and Smell.....The Fluoride Springville Money Saver (NY) By: Mark M. You all know the Village of Springville adds sodium fluoride to the municipal water. Fluoride has been added to the water for quite some time in this community and in communities all across the country. We have been told that it is for our benefit, that it promotes healthy teeth. This is the entire basis of the addition of this bio-active chemical to our water at a cost to the community of thousands of dollars per year. I spoke with Mr. David Sullivan, who oversees the fluoridation program here and he is totally in favor of the continued dumping of sodium fluoride into our water believing with no hesitation that it provides a public health benefit. He and his team make sure the water is maintained with a 0.8 - 1.2 ppm concentration level in our water by adding the sodium fluoride crystals purchased by the Village directly into the water supply. Our Village leaders, those elected to represent our will in the Village, must also be comfortable and supportive of the continued use of fluoride in the water as it has not been questioned in any way by them. What you probably do not know is that many communities across North America have decided, through public pressure, to discontinue the practice of adding fluoride to their public water. 97% of Western European nations have chosen fluoride free water citing it as a public health hazard or at least ineffective in its claimed benefit to oral health. What you probably don't know is that there is a strong and informed and passionate movement dedicated to fighting the use of fluoride in public water. I have for many years questioned this practice and have become convinced that it is detrimental to our health and to the health of our eco system. I have come to the point, after much research that I must, in good conscience stand in opposition to the continued fluoridation of our precious water. The fluoride which is added to the water is not the kind of fluoride which occurs naturally in nature. It is the by-product of various industrial processes such as the mining of phosphates and the manufacture of aluminum. The Phosphate deposits found in nature have a fluoride contamination. The fluoride present in this material is undesirable in the final product so sulfuric acid is used to drive out the fluoride converting it into a gaseous form. Previously it was just blown out of the smokestacks of the processing plants but after realizing that the crops of nearby farms were being killed by the fallout - this practice was prohibited. In reaction, the companies developed and installed water scrubbing systems to "catch" the fluoride and remove it from their emissions. The crystalline fluoride recovered in this process is one of the sources of the commercial fluoride used by municipalities to "treat" their water. It is classified as "hazardous waste". It is a common ingredient in rat and cockroach poison. Hundreds of studies have been conducted in which fluoride has been shown to diminish I.Q. It is linked to bone cancer and thyroid gland problems. The National research council (NRC) has stated that fluoride can "damage the brain" It diminishes bone strength and increases the risk of bone fracture. It is represents a risk to the kidneys as it is very difficult to eliminate. The chemicals used to deliver fluoride into the water such as sodium fluoride are hazardous industrial waste products. It is documented that the Nazis added it to the water in concentration camps as it made the inmates more docile and thus fewer guards were needed to manage them. The benefits to dental health have been greatly exaggerated. There is no difference in tooth decay between fluoridated and unfluoridated countries and cavities do not increase when fluoridation stops. Fluoridated water is no longer recommended for babies. In 2006 even the ADA advised parents that they should avoid giving fluoride to babies. Other statements have now indicated that it should be avoided for any child under 6 years old. Babies exposed to fluoride have a high risk of developing dental fluorosis a devastating tooth disease. Other tissues are also adversely affected. According to a review published by the medical journal The Lancet, fluoride damages the developing brain causing learning deficits and reductions in intelligence. Did you know that fluoride is the only substance added to the water that has nothing to do with water quality? It is added to the water as a delivery mechanism to the bodies of people of a bio-active substance that is a known neurotoxin. It is forced medication - a medication not approved by the FDA and one that has not been prescribed to individuals who have been evaluated to determine if it is needed. Germany does not permit water fluoridation due to as their health ministry put it, "the problematic nature of compulsory medication". Most of the fluoride in the water never hits a human mouth anyhow. It goes down the drain after a washing clothes or dishes or showers or watering the lawn. Even if it really did benefit teeth, which is a very questionable postulation, is putting it in drinking water the best way to deliver it to teeth? Might the benefits be far outweighed by the risks to other body systems and tissues? If people want fluoride for their teeth they can administer it via toothpaste, fluoride rinses or even drink fluoridated water. Is it right to force it on everyone through the water whether they want it or not? Is this something we really want to pay for through our taxes? Don't take my word for any of this. Do your own research and form your own opinion. Just do a search on the internet for "fluoride in the water" or something similar. Check out www.fluoridealert.org. There are organizations of dentists, doctors and scientists now vehemently lashing out against water fluoridation. I know I won't let my daughter get anywhere near it. Doesn't it tell you something that with a recommended pea sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste, it reads right on the tube if swallowed call poison control? I think it's time we had a community discussion about this and see if we really want to continue with water fluoridation here in Springville. We're called Springville because of our beautiful abundance of spring water. If we desire change we can bring it about. I think the time has come to explore this issue in detail, inform ourselves completely and then democratically decide if we still want it rather than just continuing on year after year ignoring the potential risks and the disturbing nature of the practice of forced medication. Please join others in your community for an exploration into this topic on March 16th at 6:00 PM at the Springville Center for the Arts at 37 N. Buffalo St. where we will watch a documentary on the subject and hold an open town meeting type discussion afterwards. Maybe we will choose to join the now over 200 Jurisdictions from Alaska to California who have said NO to fluoride.