Tuesday, October 21, 2014


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Pubic water supply should be fluoride-free

12/18/2013

The League of United Latin Americans of Iowa is calling on Des Moines Water Works to eliminate fluoride from the public drinking water supply (“Troubled Water?” Dec. 5). The public water supply system should not be used as a method to deliver fluoride. This is a matter of choice and should not be a mandatory thing. It amounts to forced medication on the public without its consent, making it a civil rights violation.

In 2011, National LULAC passed a resolution against the use of fluoride in public drinking water, saying: “The purpose of a public water supply is to supply water to the entire community, which is composed of people with varying health conditions, in varying stages of life, and of varying economic status; not to forcibly mass medicate the population, which is a civil rights violation.”

While proponents of fluoride have praised its use for a decrease in tooth decay, studies have shown potential ill effects from the use of fluoride over time. Dental fluorosis, which is a discoloration or pitting of the surface of teeth, has shown to occur from excess fluoride exposure. Other studies have shown the potential for neurotoxic effects and an increased risk in types of bone cancer. Fluoride deposits in bones and teeth.

Even though the levels of fluoride added to public drinking water have decreased within the past few years, there is obviously more that needs to be studied in terms of its long-term use. Other U.S. cities and many countries have realized the potential harmful effects of fluoride, thus eliminating it from their public drinking water.

Des Moines Water Works in 2010 released a report saying that residents who do not want to be exposed to fluoride, even those who are low income, can purchase water from retail stores or install a point-of-use treatment system on their home faucet. This is not acceptable for those who do not want fluoride exposure. Almost 33 percent of the state’s Latino population lived in poverty in 2011, according to the State Data Center of Iowa. The statewide poverty rate was 12.8 percent for 2011. Why should Latinos or anyone else have to purchase additional water beyond what they already pay to Des Moines Water Works?

DM Art Center

The debate needs to continue so the issue can be adequately examined from all sides, and so that all scientific studies can be taken into account, not just those touted by national governmental agencies.

–Joe Enriquez Henry
Des Moines

 

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