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Interesting Reading - Nutrition and Health
Fluoride has been widely marketed as a means of preventing tooth decay. Here are some of the pros and cons. In the commercially used form of Sodium Fluoride 5g (a teaspoon) is enough to kill a 70kg man. In fact, fluoride is used as a component in insecticides. The much smaller quantities used in toothpastes, water etc have to date not been conclusively proven to be harmful or harmless. There are two sharply divided camps on the issue. One advocates that the chemical harms human health while the other claims it is a major preventative to tooth decay. Long –term effects are not known.

Sources:

Fluoride is the reduced form of fluorine. The most important fluoride mineral is fluorite. Fluoride can be directly produced, but due to economic logistics it is usually a waste-product of other industrial goods. These goods can be as diverse as glass, uranium and aluminium. This is another cause for concern as the end product may be contaminated.

International Status

The South African department of Oral Health is considering fluoridating South Africa’s water. Due to its controversial nature and perhaps having better alternatives, many other nations refuse to do so or have stopped doing so.

  1. America: The Food and Drug Administration requires warning labels on all fluoridated toothpastes and dental care products. It admits that no conclusive proof exists that fluoridated toothpastes or water prevent tooth decay.
  2. Austria: No Fluoridation.
  3. Belgium: No Fluoridation.
  4. Denmark: Fluoridation prohibited by law.
  5. Egypt: US pressure to fluoridate (surprisingly) rejected.
  6. Finland: Less than 10% of population serviced by fluoridated water.
  7. France: Fluoride never considered essential for good health.
  8. Germany: Discontinued in 1971 after 18 years of experiments.
  9. Greece: No Fluoridation.
  10. Italy: No Fluoridation.
  11. Luxembourg: No Fluoridation.
  12. Portugal: Less than 10% of population serviced by fluoridated water.
  13. Spain: Fluoridation forbidden by law.
  14. Sweden: Discontinued in 1969. When the World Health organisation failed to produce evidence to its claim that Fluoride is safe, the Swedish parliament banned fluoride in 1971.
  15. Switzerland: Abandoned in 1975.

As it is evident that strong doubts exist regarding the safety of fluoride, it would be advisable for our government to seek alternatives to dental hygiene. Consumers should petition the authorities in this matter.

sk/2008-04-14 11:52:42

 
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