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What about fluoride?

Park Rapids adds very little fluoride to the water supply in the plant. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

By Sarah Smith

A conundrum is brewing over municipal water systems.

Park Rapids, like most American cities, is mandated by law to add fluoride to its water. Seventy percent of all water supplies in the U.S. have fluoride added.

But study after study is now revealing that fluoride isn’t necessarily good for people and downright harmful in large doses.

Park Rapids Public Works Director Scott Burlingame said he’s aware of the growing controversy over fluoride, but Park Rapids adds “very, very, very little” to its drinking water – just enough to stay within the mandate. Park Rapids uses .2 ppm (parts per million), but many cities use much more.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends .7 ppm of fluoride per liter of water, which was downgraded from past standards, so Park Rapids water is under that recommendation.

Park Rapids dentist Jay Jorgenson has some reservations about fluorinating water, a practice that dates back to 1945 by the U.S. Public Health Service.

He passes out a leaflet that says adding fluoride to drinking water “has never been scientifically proven to prevent tooth decay nor been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for systemic use.” The leaflet is put out by the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology, of which Jorgenson is a member.

Ingesting fluorinated water “has little to no beneficial effect on the teeth,” yet can cause discoloration and increased blood lead levels in children.

The IAOMT even words its warning without equivocation: “Based on the overwhelming scientific evidence conducted over the past two decades… water fluoridation constitutes a form of medication imposed on all citizens in uncontrollable doses without informed consent,” the agency stated.

A recent Harvard study links increasing incidents of autism and ADHD to fluoridated water, which the study said causes cognitive and behavioral disorders.

“The fact is that fluoride, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, radioactive isotopes, GMO foods, and weather warfare chemicals are creating a neurological-toxic mix that is unprecedented in human history,” the study indicated.

“Eventually, as the body tries to protect itself from these unwanted substances, the substances make it into the bones and the organs, causing cancer, cognitive abnormalities, and even birth defects in unborn children,” the study added.

Jorgenson differentiates the type of fluoride added to water from that applied topically in dental offices and in toothpaste, which is a pharmaceutical grade of fluoride. The fluoride in city waters is “silicofluoride,” which are “highly contaminated hazardous waste by-products,” the IAOMT states.

The fluoridation of water is said to prevent tooth decay and is considered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

Several foods contain fluoride, including black tea, raisins, table wine, lamb and carrots. Sodium fluoride has been used in a variety of treatments but have a variety of gastric side effects, leg pains and osteoporosis.

The biggest new threat is that overexposure to fluoride can cause developmental problems in growing brains, so new parents are carrying the torch of caution.

Jorgenson says fluoride shouldn’t be used as a panacea.

Fluoride was instituted in the days when folks weren’t as health conscious.

“If you have decaying teeth, change your diet,” Jorgenson suggests bluntly. “Don’t eat the same crappy diet of processed hydrofluorides.”

Burlingame says he will follow the law unless he’s told differently.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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