28 February 2011

Strangelove Environmental Reversal

It was flummoxing to learn the EPA is issuing a directive to lower the maximum level of flouride in drinking water for the children.

Starting in the late 1940s, the government encouraged municipal water authorities to add fluoride to community drinking water after an industry lead publicity campaign. Approximately 70% of American drinking water has fluoridation. There was concern in medical journals as late as 2005 which speculated that there would be an increase in tooth decay because of the popularity of people drinking bottled water that did not have fluoridation.

However the EPA is frowning on fluoridation based in part from a 2006 National Academy of Sciences report that dental fluoridation risked the breakdown of dental enamel and discoloration. The EPA’s revised risk study indicated that two out of five adolescents had spottiness, tooth streaking or pitting that is attributable to excessive fluoridation.

While a fluoride fixation was quite a laugh line from Stanley Kubrick’s dark comedy Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, it seems that General Ripper may not have been far off base about protecting his vital bodily fluids. But it was a difficult argument to win with Englishman during the Cold War.

It is sickening to think that a government that seems to be swayed by Big Science took sixty years to figure out that their well intended alchemy with community drinking water is actually hurting our children. It should make us all chary to totally cede our health care to the auspices of the Federal Government that is seduced by popular science.   The EPA reversal also makes a reverse osmosis water filtration system an attractive home improvement project as it is more risk than one ought to swallow.

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