By Chris Love
My family and I have lived in Healdsburg for 36 years, and in the area for 42 total. Our daughter and her family also live here. I understand fluoride occurs naturally in most water supplies. I grew up with fluoridated water, along with my three sisters.
Our dad had great teeth, mom’s were not so great. Three of us have not so great teeth, one has great teeth. We all drank the same water for the first 18 years of our lives. I personally think that genetics has more to do with good teeth and bad teeth, not fluoride.
Our daughter, and two of her children have developed dental fluorosis, which is overexposure to fluoride during the first eight years of life. This gives a mottled appearance to the teeth. But, this fluorosis can also affect the skeletal bones. We don’t know yet if it has affected our daughter’s or grandchildren’s bones. Every body is different, and processes chemicals differently. No two are alike. So here are my points to think about, please.
A study was done, not that long ago, that showed that Healdsburg teeth were no better than the rest of the county. You know we are the only city to add fluoride to our community water. If fluoride is working so well, why are Healdsburg teeth not the best in the county?
Some folks have said that the minor amount of fluoride added is safe for everyone. Really? Well, obviously not safe for some of my family. I wonder how many other families may have a member or two with this condition. How many would it take for you to say, well, maybe it isn’t safe for everyone. If it was your family member, would you still feel that way?
Our family has had to purchase very expensive water filters for our homes to filter out the fluoride. What about the families that cannot afford a filter or to purchase bottled water? What are they supposed to do? Continue to essentially poison their family members because one cannot do without water?
There was a recent article in the Tribune about fluoride, what it is, where it comes from, how much and how it is put in our water. The one part of the article that bothered me was that it comes from China. We all have read about or even been involved in items that have been recalled, made in China, that were found to have dangerous chemicals in them; children’s jewelry, creams, toys and many other items over the years. China does not have the same safeguards or regulations regarding products they make and export. And we are trusting something from them every single one of us in Healdsburg ingests on a daily basis? Did you know that because of studies done in China they do not fluoridate their own water? But they are selling it to us to put it in ours?
Children can still get toothpaste with fluoride (most of them have it), and get fluoride treatments from their dentist. Not all experts agree that drinking fluoride is beneficial to teeth. Fluoride put on the teeth, yes, but not in the stomach. Since fluoride is so cheap, maybe the city could donate the cost of the fluoride we put in the water to a fund for all the dentists in town to give free fluoride treatments to those who cannot afford it.
Measure T is asking for a moratorium on adding fluoride to our water supply until such time as the city can certify that the sodium fluoride put in our water is safe for all human consumption. The city of Healdsburg says that is impossible.
How safe do you think it is? If your family was having health problems, or your neighbor’s family, would you still insist we keep adding fluoride to our water when a study showed it was not making a difference? How many people must be sick, or have bad reactions, for us to say stop, no more forcing our entire population to drink something that is making some of us sick.
I am not trying to scare anyone, but to ask you as reasonable people, to think about this. I’m sure there are more people in town, like my family, who have problems but are unable or afraid to come forward.
Chris Love is a Healdsburg resident