Sapping Our Precious Bodily Fluids?
Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that fluoride in drinking water may cause loss of essence. No, wait, that was General Jack D. Ripper in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove, fulminating on “the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face.”
Instead, the agencies concluded that too much fluoride causes spots on some kids' teeth, a condition called fluorosis. So HHS has proposed lowering the recommended levels for fluoride in water supplies for the first time since 1962, from 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter of water to 0.7 milligrams per liter. At the same time, the EPA will review whether the current maximum cutoff of 4 milligrams per liter is too high. That follows a 2006 report by the National Academy of Sciences recommending a lower maximum standard for fluoride, and a warning that a lifetime of drinking water with high levels of fluoride could raise the risk of broken bones.
Today’s predicament may follow from Americans’ obsession with having teeth as blindingly white as those of their local television newscaster. Fluoride is now found in drinking water, toothpaste, mouth rinses, tooth whiteners, and dental supplements, which increases the chance we’ll consume too much fluoride.
Sierra recently solicited eco-friendly toothpaste recommendations from a handful of dentists. Plenty of vigorous gum-flapping ensued, so be sure to read the article’s comments section.