By Dr. Mercola
In a country where fluoride is added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies to supposedly aid in the prevention of cavities, Portland, Oregon stands out from the crowd.
Portland is the largest city in the United States that has yet to add fluoride to its water supply, a stance that was set to change thanks to a unanimous city council vote in September 2012.
However, Portland residents were not content to sit still while a proven neurotoxin was added to their drinking water … so, in a move that may inspire other cities around the U.S. to follow suit, they did something about it.
Resident Signatures Set to Block Portland's Upcoming Fluoride Plan
In Portland, referendums that challenge a City Council ordinance are granted if supporters collect signatures from at least 6 percent of registered voters, which must be done in just 30 days. To put a halt to the fluoride plan, this meant collecting 19,858 valid signatures by the deadline.
Clean Water Portland, which opposes the water fluoridation plan, succeeded in collecting more than 43,000 signatures – and they did it a day ahead of schedule.
Assuming the signatures are valid, plans to fluoridate Portland's drinking water will stop until the City Council either decides to repeal the ordinance or, more likely, add the potential ordinance to an upcoming ballot (most likely in May 2014) to let the voters decide.
Portland Voters Will Now Have a Say in What's in Their Water …
What makes Clean Water Portland's accomplishment of securing the water fluoridation issue a spot on the ballot card even more important is the undemocratic process the Portland City Council used to establish the fluoride plan in the first place.
It received nationwide media coverage, and for good reason. So far, citizens had already voted 'no' on water fluoridation for Portland on three separate occasions, clearly demonstrating the public will on this subject. Most recently, more than 275 residents testified at the public hearing, according to The New York Times,1 with more than 60 percent of them speaking out against the practice. The pro-fluoride lobby were unfairly given a full hour to present their case before the council, while those in opposition were given no time.
Meanwhile, while Portland City Council members met with fluoride lobbyists on multiple occasions in the months leading up to the plan, they posted only one meeting on public calendars, even though they're required by law to publically post any activities related to city business.2
The meetings must have paid off for the fluoride lobbyists, because in the end, on September 12, the council stuck to their announced game plan and approved the plan to add fluoride to Portland's water supplies by March 2014, despite the strong opposition from residents, who asked for a referendum. Their message: "Public Water, Public Vote."
Fortunately, Clean Water Portland was successful in collecting signatures to ensure this public vote takes place, and in the meantime will force an immediate freeze on Portland's plan to fluoridate their citizens.
Why are So Many in Portland Adamant About Keeping Fluoride Out of Their Water?
That's a very good question, and if you're new to the fluoride issue you may have simply heard that it's "good for your teeth" – but not much else. But even promoters of fluoridation now admit that fluoride's predominant action is topical, on the surface of the tooth (although even this is now being questioned), and not from inside your body – so why are so many Americans still being forced to swallow it when swallowing fluoride provides little or no benefit to your teeth?
Fluoride compounds like fluorosilicic acid are toxic industrial waste products, which can also be contaminated with lead, arsenic, radionucleotides, aluminum and other industrial contaminants. There are so many scientific studies showing the direct, toxic effects of fluoride on your body, it's truly remarkable that it's NOT considered a scientific consensus by now.
For example, 34 different studies3 support the contention that water fluoridation lowers IQ in children. Other studies have focused on its impact on thyroid, bones and joints, and your brain, while many refuse to consider the skyrocketing increase of cognitive decline in adults (Alzheimer's and various dementia's), and behavioral issues in children (ADD, ADHD, depression and learning disabilities of all kinds) and the possible link to fluoride. In reality, studies have shown that fluoride toxicity can lead to a wide variety of health problems, including:
Increased lead absorption Disrupts synthesis of collagen Hyperactivity and/or lethargy Muscle disorders Thyroid disease Arthritis Dementia Bone fractures Lowered thyroid function Bone cancer (osteosarcoma) Inactivates 62 enzymes and inhibits more than 100 Inhibited formation of antibodies Genetic damage and cell death Increased tumor and cancer rate Disrupted immune system Damaged sperm and increased infertility
And then there is the central issue of FREEDOM. Fluoride is not a nutrient. The fluoride put into drinking water is not a prescription drug, but an industrial waste product. However, it is put into the water as a "drug" to help oral health, and it is done without the consent of those receiving it. Even if you accepted the premise that it works systemically, there is no justification to force it on people under the guise of slightly lowering tooth decay, as everyone has the option of using it topically as a toothpaste if they so choose.
Water Fluoridation 101: Did You Know …. ?
The infographic below sums up some of the most important facts you should know about fluoride in drinking water.
Did You Know Water Fluoridation is Dangerous to the Environment?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that three companies would be working to ensure that toxic waste from a nearly 3-acre industrial complex in West Virginia would not leak out and contaminate surrounding soil and groundwater. The site, which sits about 900 feet from the Ohio River, was originally part of a Kaiser Aluminum plant, and now is loaded with cyanide and fluoride toxic waste. You see, fluoride is classified as a hazardous waste product by the EPA … so how did it come to be added to your drinking water?
Very shrewdly… Water fluoridation could easily qualify as one of the grandest public health frauds and toxic cover-ups in U.S. history. Now declassified files of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Energy Commission show that the toxicology department at the University of Rochester -- which was under the direction of Harold Hodge -- was asked to produce medical information about fluoride that could help defend the government against lawsuits were they to be charged with fluoride pollution.
It is now clear that if water fluoridation were declared harmful to human health, the U.S. nuclear bomb program, as well as many other fluoride-polluting industries such as aluminum plants and fertilizer manufacturers, would have been left open to massive litigation.
Declare fluoride not only safe, but beneficial, and sell the troublesome waste to municipalities across the US…
You might be surprised to learn that Kaiser Aluminum, which owned the original West Virginia plant site that is now a hazardous waste site, is among the fluoride-polluting industry-heavyweights that helped fund research for the Kettering report on the health benefits of fluoride -- a massive bibliography of abstracts on the soundness of communal water fluoridation, and fluoride's (beneficial) role in public health.
But this "healthful" fluoride is a hazardous waste product that is so toxic it can't legally be put in oceans, rivers or lakes, or added to soil – but it can be sold to be added to commercial water supplies! As the Fluoride Action Network reports:4
"Fluoride is a major industrial pollutant, one which has caused widespread damage to fluoride-exposed workers and downwind communities. During the Cold War, fluoride was responsible for more litigation against U.S. industry than all other air pollutants combined.
Although the development of modern pollution control technology has resulted in significant reductions in fluoride emissions, millions of workers around the world remain at risk for respiratory, neurological, and bone diseases from fluoride exposure, and downwind communities remain at risk in countries with weak environmental regulation."
The Water Fluoridation Debate is Heating Up Across the Globe
The fluoride debate has recently ignited in Canada and New Zealand as well as other areas around the United States.
- New Zealand: In June last year, the Ruapehu-Taumarunui District Council confirmed their decision to stop fluoridating their water. The town has fluoridated their water supplies for the past 30 years, and their decision came after they had heard from Dr. Paul Connett (recognized worldwide as a leader in the movement to eliminate fluoride from the municipal water supplies, and I'm pleased to be working with him to achieve this goal) and consulted proponents for their views.
Around the same time, the Upper Hutt City council also resolved to lobby Wellington Regional to stop fluoridation, and the council in New Plymouth voted to end their water fluoridation program.
- Canada: City councilors in Cornwall, Canada recently heard from local citizens who want the city to quit putting fluoride in their drinking water, and pointed out that the fluoride studied by health agencies is different form what is actually used in drinking water.
The issue of what kind of fluoride is actually added to your water is a point of major importance, as many people still do not realize that when scientists study fluoride's toxicity to humans, they study pharmaceutical grade fluoride (same stuff used in antidepressant drugs), but NOT the fluoride compounds actually used for water fluoridation, which include the far more toxic waste materials generated from the fertilizer industry. So, in essence, their already detrimental results may in fact be FAR GREATER than currently perceived.
- Phoenix, Arizona: Citizens in Phoenix, Arizona are also stepping up to the plate on this issue and were recently told a council subcommittee would finally, after 23 years, accept expert testimony on water fluoridation.
- Florida: Both the Greater Pine Island Water Association, and The Ormond Beach City Commission, will be voting on whether to continue on with water fluoridation. In the latter case, a referendum will be added for the first time since 1957 so that voters can decide whether they want fluoridated water.
Momentum is Growing: Four More Communities are Now Fluoride-Free
Since 2010, more than 70 U.S. communities have voted to end water fluoridation. Most recently added to this list are:5
- O'Fallon, Missouri: This town of 80,000 has decided to discontinue water fluoridation after a citizen activist brought its dangers to the attention of city employees. The change is not only slated to save the city $18,000 a year, it's also expected to "reduce the hazard for the operators in that they do not have to handle the dangerous chemical on a regular basis."
- Rosetown, Saskatchewan: After a fluoride feed-pump broke, this small community of 2,300 decided not to continue water fluoridation in the future.
- Lake View, Iowa: The city council voted to discontinue fluoridation based on its high cost and lack of positive economic benefit.
- Cassadaga, New York: Citizen opposition influenced Village Board members to vote to reject water fluoridation. In a town survey, 78 percent of water customers said they opposed the practice.
Do You Agree that Fluoride Use Should be a Choice, Not a Mandate?
The research speaks for itself that fluoride should not be ingested. At least when it comes to topical application, you have a choice. You can easily buy fluoride-free toothpaste and mouthwash, if you so choose. But you're stuck with whatever your community puts in the water, and it's very difficult to filter out of your water once it's added. Plus, many do not have the resources or the knowledge to do so.
The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network6 (FAN) has a game plan to END water fluoridation in both Canada and the United States.
I urge you to join the anti-fluoride movement in Canada and United States by contacting the representative for your area below.
Contact Information for Canadian Communities:
Contact Information for American Communities:
We're also going to address three U.S. communities: Portland, Wichita, and Phoenix:
- Portland, Oregon: If you live in the Portland area, please contact FAN's Oregon point person, Kimberly Kaminski. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Portland residents will be battling a very well financed campaign by the ADA, Delta Dental and the PEW Charitable Trust. Please consider making a donation to Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water.
- Witchita, Kansas: The pro-fluoride lobby has also targeted Wichita for forced fluoridation. If you live in Kansas and would like to help protect the safety of the city's drinking water, please contact Fluoride Free Kansas at fluoridefreekansas.org/contact-us
- Phoenix, Arizona -- The city council is reassessing their fluoridation program. The issue was raised by Councilman Tom Simplot and local fluoride-free campaigners. The city currently spends more than $500,000 annually on fluoridation, and joins only nine other Arizona communities in fluoridating their water. If you live in the Phoenix area and would like to get involved, please contact FAN's Phoenix coordinator.