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August 24 • 04:55 AM
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County’s water flouridation should continue


Dear Editor,

Community water flouridation is an effective, safe and inexpensive way to prevent tooth decay. Flouridation has been used successfully to benefit both children and adults in the United States for more than 50 years. Community water flouridation is the adjustment of the natural level of flouride in the drinking water system and is one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century. The St. Clair County Health Dept. urges that water supplies continue to be flouridated.

Claims that flouridated water supplies are linked to thyroid disorders and cancer and other health concerns have not been substantiated by solid evidence. Research overwhelmingly suports the fact that complications of excessive flouride exposure are far outweighed by significant reductions in tooth decay. Community water flouridation has been studied more thoroughly than any other public health measure.

Flouride works by stopping or even reversing the decay process. It keeps tooth enamel strong and solid. Data from the US and other countries shows that flouridated drinking systems result in 15-40 percent less tooth decay among the population.

Prevention of disease is often the most cost effective form of disease management, and with dental decay this is certainly true. It's difficult to put a price on pain and suffering caused by bad teeth, but our community deserves the best that public health has to offer. The few dollars a day it costs to flouridate our water is well worth it.

Sue Amato, Director of Health Education and Planning, St. Clair County Health Dept.
March 26, 2008

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