Prevention’s fluoride article slanted and flawed


"The Danger in Your Water" tries to undermine the stellar, 60 year track record of community water fluoridation. In fact, water fluoridation was heralded by the CDC in 1999 as “one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century”.

All you need to see is the title of the article in the August edition of Prevention magazine to see what direction it is heading. The article, "The Danger in Your Water" tries to undermine the stellar, 60 year track record of community water fluoridation. In fact, water fluoridation was heralded by the CDC in 1999 as “one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 20th century”. Although the Prevention article made tepid references about fluoride’s safety, the following excerpt is typical of the slanted tenor of the article: “Poison? Indeed, some forms of fluoride are used in high concentrations to kill rats and crop-eating insects. Municipal employees who add fluoridation chemicals to public water systems must wear protective clothing and respirators”.

The truth is that fluoride is not “poison”, and originates from a naturally occurring element called fluorine. Fluoride compounds are contained in rocks and soil, and form fluoride ions when water passes over them. Fluoride is present to some degree in all water sources, foods and beverages. Fluoride helps to prevent cavities when used in two ways: topically and systemically. Topical (on the surface) application of fluoride occurs with the use of fluoride containing toothpaste, mouthrinses, professionally applied gels, foams, rinses, and from our own saliva. Topical use of fluoride helps to prevent cavities by strengthening the surface of the teeth (the enamel), and by re-mineralizing forming dental cavities.

Systemically (throughout the body), fluoride is obtained when ingested via water and other beverages, foods, drops, tablets, and other sources. A major function of fluoride taken systemically is the strengthening of developing teeth from infancy to adolescence. The main problem with the Prevention article is that it focuses on problems associated with excess consumption of fluoride, and then minimizes the value of the recommended amount. The article also drew fire from the American Dental Association (ADA): The Prevention article, the ADA leaders say, mischaracterizes a report released in March by the National Research Council (NRC). Prevention's story says an expert panel assembled by NRC "determined that the level of fluoride allowed in community drinking water in this country is too high." In fact, the ADA leaders note, the NRC report focused exclusively on the maximum level of "naturally occurring" fluoride in drinking water and not on community water fluoridation—the process of adding fluoride to water. (

Mass water fluoridation (addition of fluoride to community water supplies) is the most cost-effective measure available to reduce the incidence of tooth decay. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that the acceptable tap water concentration for fluoride is 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. Numerous studies and more than 100 organizations in the United States and around the world have proven that fluoridated water at these levels reduces the incidence of cavities in children and adults from 25-60% or more.


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New York - November 28 -- The American Dental Association (ADA) warned their members, but not the public, that fluoridated water must not be mixed into concentrated formula or foods intended for babies one year and younger, in a November 9th ADA e-mail alert.(1) The ADA joins the Food and Drug Administration in recommending only non-fluoridated water be used for reconstituting concentrated infant formulas.(1a)

A Nashville, Tennessee, TV station aired this information on November 25, 2006 ("Parents Warned Against Fluoride in water"
( )

The Minnesota Dental Association is the only dental group that sent out a news release concerning this new ADA fluoride advisory. (1e)

Ready to feed U.S. milk-based formulas already contain from 0.04 to 0.55 milligrams of fluoride per liter (mg/L) of formula. Soy-based formulas show a range of 0.04 to 0.47 mg/L fluoride (1b). Breast milk contains a low 0.005-0.01 mg/L fluoride (1c) And breastfed babies are less likely to get tooth decay. (1d)

The National Academies of Science Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board reports that six month and younger infants should not receive more than .01 mg/L fluoride per day to avoid moderate dental fluorosis.(1f)

“Who will alert parents,” asks lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF).

Two-thirds of U.S. public water suppliers add fluoride chemicals, based on a disproved theory that fluoride ingestion prevents cavities. And, some bottled waters with added fluoride are now sold with specific instructions to mix into infant formula.(2)

The ADA reports, “…infants could receive a greater than optimal amount of fluoride through liquid concentrate or powdered baby formula that has been mixed with water containing fluoride during a time that their developing teeth may be susceptible to enamel fluorosis.”(3) The ADA recommends using fluoride-free water.

Enamel or dental fluorosis is white spotting, yellow, brown and/or pitted permanent teeth. Pictures: Dental fluorosis is the outward sign of fluoride toxicity. Some studies indicate that bone damage is more common in children with dental fluorosis. (3a)

NYSCOF news releases in 2000 and 2004 (4,5) cited studies linking fluorosis to infant foods mixed with fluoridated water. Scientific evidence here:

Some scientists also tried in vain to get the word out sooner as described in “Suppression by Medical Journals of a Warning about Overdosing Formula-Fed Infants with Fluoride,” published in 1997 in the Journal Accountability in Research.(10)

It took until 2006 for the ADA’s alert, following the Food and Drug Administration’s October disapproval of fluoridated bottled water marketed to babies,(6) and after the recent National Research Council’s (NRC) fluoride report indicating babies are fluoride overdosed from “optimally” fluoridated water supplies.(7)

“The ADA claims the NRC report didn’t question the safety of fluoridation(8) but it did, as the ADA now admits,” says Beeber.

“The NRC also revealed fluoridation’s adverse effects to the thyroid gland, diabetics, kidney patients, high water drinkers and others,” says Beeber.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control reports that modern science shows that fluoride absorbs into enamel topically.(9) However, adverse effects occur upon ingestion. Further, the CDC admits enamel fluoride concentration is not inversely related to cavities.

The Environmental Protection Agency is required to consider the most vulnerable populations when setting allowable water fluoride levels. To protect babies, allowable water fluoride levels must be near zero.

The Environmental Working Group analyzed government data in March 2006 and found that babies are over-exposed to fluoride in most major U.S. cities.(11)

“This should end water fluoridation,” says Beeber. “Fluoridation is a failed concept that must be abandoned before more Americans are harmed,” says Beeber.

Paul Beeber, NYSCOF President



1a) US FDA, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements, October 14, 2006, “Health Claim Notification for Fluoridated Water and Reduced Risk of Dental Caries

1b) Pediatric Dentistry, "Water and Formula Fluoride Concentrations: Significance for Infants Fed Formula," Van Winkle et al.

1c) Fomon SJ, Ekstrand J, Ziegler EE. (2000). Fluoride intake and prevalence of dental fluorosis: trends in fluoride intake with special attention to infants. Journal of Public Health Dentistry 60(3):131-9.















New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.

PO Box 263

Old Bethpage, NY 11804

News Releases

Tooth Decay Crises in Fluoridated Areas from Lack of Dental Care
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Thank you for the great information you posted here, it is highly appriciated.

I would like to invite you to become a member here, on this site and have your own Blog to share your knowledge.

drkraver's picture

Is fluoride a poison? Yes. Should it be regulated in your diet? Yes. Then why in the world do I recommend it to my patients? Now that's the real question, isn't it. Fluoride ions replace hydroxide ions in calcium hydroxyapatite, Ca5[(PO4)3OH], in teeth, forming calcium fluoroapatite, Ca5[(PO4)3F], which is more chemically stable and dissolves at a pH of 4.5, compared to 5.5 pH for calcium hydroxyapatite. This is generally believed to lead to fewer cavities, since stronger acids are needed to attack the tooth enamel. In 1951, Joseph C. Muhler and Harry G. Day of Indiana University reported their research results on stannous fluoride as a tooth decay preventive and the university first sold the technology to Procter & Gamble to use in Crest toothpaste. Groups that have evaluated available studies and support water fluoridation include The American Dental Association (ADA), World Health Organization (WHO), and some other health organizations which recommend raising the fluoride level of municipal water supplies to a level between 0.7 and 1.2 ppm. The most widely accepted adverse effect of low concentration fluoridation at this time is fluorosis [4]. It is a condition caused by 'excessive' intake of fluorine compounds over an extended period of time, and can cause yellowing of teeth. The definition of 'excessive' in the context of fluorosis falls on the order of parts per million and is generally accepted to mean significantly higher than the 0.7 to 1.2 ppm amounts recommended for fluoridated water. However, dosage is crucial to adverse effects, and therefore, what concentration is problematic will depend on the amount of fluoride ingested, how much is absorbed, and the weight of the person ingesting it. For this reason, many doctors have advised against using fluoridated water to make up formula for infants. You see, I can cut and paste too! . So in a nut shell, it helps prevent dental caries and in controlled amounts does this quite nicely. Remember, too much water will kill you too! Cape Coral, FL Dentist Office.