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Dental Journal Article Admits That Dentists Know Little About The Science Of Fluoridation But Urges Them To Promote The Practice Anyway

NEW YORK, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In an article in the January issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) authors Armfield and Melbye indicate that "Studies of dentists' attitudes about water fluoridation suggest that a lack of knowledge and preparedness are barriers to discussing the topic ... more than one-half of the respondents believed they needed more information and training on the issue," reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).

Fluoridation, touted as a decay-preventive, is the addition of fluoride compounds (mainly hydrofluosilicic acid derived from the phosphate fertilizer industry) to public water supplies.

Despite dentists' lack of knowledge, these authors urge them to promote fluoridation, anyway.

According to Paul Connett, PhD, FAN director and lead author of the book The Case Against Fluoride ( Chelsea Green, 2010), "It is reckless to urge dentists to tell the public that fluoridation is safe when they are not on top of the literature. Their qualifications pertain to teeth. They are not qualified to assess what damage ingesting fluoride may cause to the rest of the body."

Armfield and Melbye encourage dentists to promote the safety of fluoridation based upon this misleading assurance:

"There are no known harmful effects from ingestion of water that has had fluoride added to it at or about 0.7-1.2 milligrams/liter. No systematic reviews of the literature have shown any negative health effects from ingestion of water fluoridated in or near this therapeutic range."

Connett says, This assertion is dangerously misleading because it:

a) Confuses the difference between concentration and dose. Harm has been found at doses that are commonly experienced in populations drinking artificially fluoridated water. For example, a child drinking 2 liters of water at 1 ppm (the average level used in fluoridation) will get a higher dose than a child drinking one liter of water at 1.9 ppm, the threshold for lowering of IQ in one published study.

b) Ignores that most basic health studies have not been conducted in countries practicing fluoridation. The absence of study is not the same as absence of harm.

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