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Catholic Northwest Progress
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March 8, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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March 8, 1963

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2--THE PROGRESS Friday, March 8, 1963 .luoridation s? No? Fluoridation Reduces Decay Fluoride and Common Sense By VANCE McCALLISTER, Educator 9. The USPHS in 1951 endorsed fluoridation. Ey F B, EXNER, M.D. water. Neither does it take a genius to see that the amount Seattle has one of the highest tooth decay rates in the United States. The tooth decay rate in Seattle is 14.80 decayed, missing or filled teeth per high school student at age 16. In cities in Washington and in other parts of our nation that have fluoride in their water supply in a concentration of 0.7 part fluoride or more in one million parts water, the to0th dcay rate is as low as 2 to 3 decayed, missing or filled teeth per high school student at age 16. The national average is slightly more than 7. Last year 895 school children were admitted to the Seattle school dental clinic supported the P-TA welfare fund. Among these children 428 per- manent teeth and 576 decidu- ous teeth were extracted. Fil- lings included 8,741 fillings to permanent teeth and 733 fil- lings to deciduous teeth. The 1960 Seattle census also indi- cates there are 23,000 children It has been approved by the World Health Organization, by pro- fessional and scientific associations in many foreign countries 'and by responsible health officials throughout the world. Locally, the King County Medical Society, the Seattle District Dental So- ciety, the Seattle Pediatric Society, the Seattle Nurses Associa- tion, and the Seattle-King County Healtk Deparment have ap- proved and endorsed fluoridation of community water supplies. "The Washington State Board of Health "highly recommends and encourages the addition of fluorides to all public water sup- plies in the State that are deficient in the same, for the control of dental decay where such a program complies with the stand- ards, rules and regulations of the board.'" Today more than 43 million people in the United States (or about I in every 3 persons provided water by community water supplies) are drinking water containing the minimum or higher level of fluoride recommended. Of course, 36 million are supplied water in which the fluoride level is controlled, and 7 million use water naturally containing 0.7 ppm or more fluoride. Since 1951, every major scientific and professional argent- Unfortunately, the proponents of fluoridation are ration having competence in the field has endorsed fluoridation. - more interested in gaining control of children's care Water engineers report that the addition of fluorides to in Seattle eligible for this serv- public water supplies is similar to chlorination and other pro- ice. How extensive, then, is the cedures widely employed in waterworks practice. Fluoridation unreeL need? presents no administrative, technical or industrial problems of Improving our dental health any consequence. Presently, five fluoride compounds are used: is a four-point program. It sodium fluoride, sodium silicofluoride, hydrofluorsilicic acid, means encouraging the prac- ammonium silicofluorides, and fluorspar. Cost of fluoridation VANCE McCALLISTER rice of good oral hygiene; vary according to the amount and kind of compound required, County Department of Health maintaining a good balanced but the average cost is 10 cents a year per person. diet; visiting a dentist for regular inspections; and increasing Cost Estimated the tooth's resistance to decay, accomplished when there is an adequate amount of fluoride in the diet. The Seattle Water Department has advised the maximum Mare Difficult For Acid Reoctlon cost may average 4 to 5c per water meter per month. As re- The enamel of our teeth is largely calcium phosphate. Tooth ported by the Seattle Times, Tuesday, March 5, the Water De- decay occurs when the calcium phosphate reacts with the acid partment may be able to absorb the entire cost and that con- produced in the mouth by certain acid-producing bacteria. If sumers may not experience any increase in water bills. the fluoride-ion is present in sufficient amount when the tooth Fluoridati,'a measures have been tested through the courts is formed, the fluoride combines with the calcium phosphate, in twelve states. In each instance in which fluoridation measures The calcium and phosphate is more firmly bound together. It have been attacked as arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable, or becomes more difficult for the acid to react with the calcium as a violation of State or Federal Constitutional safeguards, the or phosphate. The tooth is more resistant to decay, fluoridation measures have been sustained. There are several ways to mcrease the amount of fluoride in The Milwaukee County Circuit Court found that tooth decay our diet. It may be added to milk; or added to flour from which is "Man's most common defect", and that the effectiveness of bread is made; or added to salt. One may obtain a prescription fluoridation at one part per million in reducing decay is "un- and then buy fluoride from a druggist. A dentist may apply a disputed." fluoride solution directly to the teeth. Fluoridate tooth paste also The Cleveland, Ohio trial court found that "While dental has value. , decay is attacked primarily in the formative years of child life, However, when costs are compared, problems of safety tbe benefits derived as a result last through a substantial part considered, and tha number of persons actually reached are of adult life." counted, none of these methods begin to approach what can The Baltimore, Maryland Circuit Court ruled that "--there be accomplisheJ by adjusting the fluoride content of corn- is nothing in this proposed (fluoridation) program that would be munity water supplies, deleterious to the health of the people". The Court added: "I Fluoridation is an environmental problem. Water is part of do not find from the evidence that the addition of fluoride to our enviroment. By making a sl! adjustment in our water the water supply is a calculated risk of any kind." enviroment, an adjustment so slight it can be detected only by laboratory tests, persons who grow up in the changed enviro- Court Makes Statement ment will have fewer decayed teeth. The Supreme Court of Louisiana recognized the validity of The fluoride in the water, however, will not prevent all the evidence that fluorides added to water would have the same tooth decay and it will neither stop nor reverse the decay pro- effect as natural fluorides over long periods. The same court stated that tess once it sets in. There are more than 8,500 references reporting findings "--the addition of fluoride to the water was not medicating about the relation of fluorides to health, The research has in- it in the generally accepted sense, but was adding to tt one of the mineral properties found naturally in water in some sec- eluded the following steps: 1. Clinicians during the last quarter qf the 19th century tions o,  the country." noted less tooth decay accompanied brown staining of the teeth. On the question of alternative methods of achieving the 2. In 1916 Dr. Frederick McKay reported brown staining dental benefits of fluoride, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found was a water-bourne disease, that water fluoridation was the only safe and effective method 3. In 1931 brown staining was discovered to be caused by and the Milwaukee Circuit Court concluded that "--there are excessive amounts of fluorides, no practical alternatives to fluoridation of water in a city such 4. A hypothesis then evolved that trace amounts of fluoride as Milwaukee; that provisions for the intake thereof through might inhibit dental decay, tablets, .milk, salt or other means has serious disadvantages 5. Dr. Trendley Dean, UsPHS, instituted a series of studies peculiar to each; (and) that topical fluoride application directly in areas where fluorides occtlrred naturally in water supplies to teeth by skilled personnel cannot be applied universally as a and at various concentrations, public health measure--" 6. Dr. Dean found that when the fluoride concentration was The Baltimore Circuit Court concluded: "We must rely on approximately one part fluoride to one "million parts water scientists and doctors and dentists in technical affairs of this ,(1 ppm) the teeth were hard, attrnctive and experienced little kind, and when we have an honest opinion given after a careful decay, study,-I think it is entitled to great weight and should be 7. Numerous laboratory experiments using animals did not adopted." i find any harmful anatomical or physiological effects traceable to Benefits Not Noticed At Once fluorides when consumed in.water at the eoncenti'ation of 1 ppm. Tooth decay is not a dramatic, infectious, crippling, or killing i 8. Massive 10-year controlled fluoridation experiments were disease. Fluoridation cannot compare with the drama of the ; begun in 1945 by the USPHS independent!y in New York, Michi- wonder drugs, and the benefits to be derived from it cannot Can, Illinois and Texas. These experiments demonstrated that be observed until a number of years have intervened. Most ' drinking water containing i ppm florida (a) produced identical people have learned to livewith dental problems. However, if effects whether the fluoride occurred naturally or was dental decay were a direct cause of death, there would be little i added by mechanical meinSi (b) effectively, safely and ace- doubt of the widespread adoption of water flimridatioo, heroically prevented up to 85% of tooth decay; and (c) did not Vance McCallister, Educator, produce any brown stains. Seattle-King County Department of Public Health I Illll II Illl Illll Wins Award MONTE CARLO, M o n a c o (NC)- An American TV story about a blind Negro boy has won world honors at the con- gress of the international Asso- ciation for Radio and Television here. The story, entitled "Child of Light," was one of the "Direc- tions 63" programs produced by the National Council of Catho- lic Men on the ABC-TV network. ....... ........ U.S. TV Story ,' ,:,,, ,z, "..,',.,:.,,. ,':} .... ,, ' It was based on a photo essay by Charles Harbutt and was This disfigurement Was Caused bythe same amount of fluoride proposed for Seattle written by playwright Robert .1". Cream SAVE CHILDREN, FROM FLUORIDE e.ressions ef three blind chil- dren, "Child of Light" tells in allegory the story of the ad- vent of Christ into the world. The blind Negro boy becomes the figure of Christ as he brings happiness into the life of his blind white companions. Prince Rainier of Monaco, joined by Princess Grace, con- ferred the award, which was given in the documentary cate- gory. Other winners were: in reporting, "Simone Well" from separate issues.. Neither vote affects the other. Britain; in missions programs, ..... "White Serf-Black Cross" from " ON FLUORIDATION Germany; in the Vatican coun- VOTTEHE ..,....'NO 'TTEE cil category, programs from France and the Netherlands. A special critics' award was made CHILD PROTECTION COMM to the German production, 00otw00oo the Fronts." 7319 Latona Avenue N.E. There were 31 entries in the I III I 1P.I Adverthemtnt) II I I I J IIII world competition. r i, 5,000 Seattle children must expect such teeth, and 20,000 more expect less disfigurement for life, unless you VOTE NO on fluoridation Other and worse effects come later and affect adults also. Let those who want to take the chance take fluoride by the safer, more dependable methods cheaply available. REMEMBER: Fluoridation and the School Levy are than in providing them with proper care. I propose to show that putting fluoride in the water deprives all children of any chance to have fluoride as it should be used if used at all. I also plan to show that putting fluoride in the water is an unscientific and immoral way to give it; and you don't need to be a scientist or a profound student of morals to under- stand why. All you need do is apply common sense to matters of common knowledge. But you must think for yourselves, and not be intimi- dated by "experts" who are thoughtlessly parroting what they have heard. For exam- ple, the local medical and pediatric societies' "endorse- ments" of fluoridation may seem impressive until you look at what they said. Both say: "WHEREAS this degree of wa t er fluoridation has been proven by medical, pharmaceutical, and toxico- logical research to be harm- F. B. EXNER, M.D. less to all forms of animal Author-Expert on Fluoridation and plant life." The rest was equally false; but the quoted statement is so obviously impossible that no one who gives it any thought can possibly believe it true, We can only conclude that the hundred- odd learned doctors wbo voted that it is true, left their thinking- caps at home when they went to the meetings where this was voted. But even if the endorsements made sense, we should remem- ber that facts and matters of morals are not determined by voting. Someone has said that the silliest way to settle an argu- ment is by breaking heads, and the second silliest way is by counting them. Nor are moral questions settled by courts of law; nor are questions of fact except as decided for legal purposes as relating to the particular case at bar. Result Debatable The fluoride is intended to prevent decay. Perhaps it will. Perhaps it won't. But if it will, it will do so more safely and reliably if given in measured doses than if you put it in the water; and you don't have to be a doctor to understand why. If we want direct action of the fluoride on the teeth, like the action of fluoridated tooth-paste, we can use the fluoride as a mouth-wash and don't need to swallow it, nor fluoridate the water. The effects of swallowed fluoride come from fluoride car- ried to the tooth by the blood. The tooth enamel has no blood supply. It doesn't bleed when the dentist drills it. Swallowed fluoride cannot affect the erupted tooth, but only the developing tooth before it erupts. Enamel formation in the baby teeth is largely before birth. For the permanent teeth (28 if we ignore the wisdom teeth) the period is from birth up to age 8. After that, fluoride can cause neither benefit nor harm to the enamel, but other harm can go on indefinitely. Sufficient Amount Required During that time, fluoride brought by the blood is built into the tooth-enamel. We are told this makes the enamel more re- sistant to decay. There is reason to doubt this, but this need not concern us here. The point is that unless the blood brings enough fluoride, the promised benefit cannot result. Next, all fluorides are poisons. A teaspoonful of sodium flu- oride will kill you; but, again, this does not concern us. What does is that the tiniest doses accumulate in the body and may eventually interfere with vital body processes. In the ease of teeth, if the blood contains too much fluoride, the enamel forming cells are poisoned and the teeth show spots of imperfectly formed enamel when they erupt. According to Dr. H. Trendley Dean, former Director of the National Institute of Dental Research (of the U.S. Public Health Service): "The endemic hypoplasla of the permanent teeth known ns chronic endemic dental, fluorosis, or mottled enamel, is a disease associated with the ingestion of toxic amounts of flu- orides in the water used for cooking and drinking during the period of calcification of the affected teeth .... Normally cal- cified teeth erupt showing a smooth, glossy transparent struc- ture, usually of a pale creamy white color. Teeth affected with mottled enamel, on the contrary, erupt showing a dull, chalky white appearance which in many instances later take on a characteristic brown stain, the frequency of the stain increasing with age." Dean's investigations led the Public Health Service, in 1942, to set 1.0 ppm (part by weight of fluorine to each million parts of water) as the maximum tolerance for fluorine in a public water supply. If there was more there would be so much harm to so many people that the city must get a new water supply; and Dr. Dean wrote: "It is obvious that whatever effect the waters with rela. tlvely lligh fluoride content (over 2.0 ppm of F) have on dental caries (decay) is largely one of academic interest; the result- ing permanent disfigurement o| many of the users far out- weighs any advantage that might accrue from the standpoint of partial control of dental caries." But now the same Public Health Service tells us that the same work by the same Dr. Dean proves that the same 1.0 ppm is "perfectly safe." Something must have happened to the word "safe" in the interval. What hippened was that in 1942 they were talking about safety to the individual consumer; while now they are talking about safety to the population. Water is "safe" if it won't harm too many people too much; and the Public Health Service has said: "The criterion we have been using is that if there is some 10 to 20 per cent fluorosis (chronic fluorine poisoning) in the community that would not be objectionable, because in those places the degree of Intensity Is not greater than the accepted definition of 'mild'." By definition, in "mild" mottling: "The white, opaque areas involve at least half the tooth surface .... Light brown stains are sometimes apparent, gen- erally on the superior incisors (the upper front teeth)." and even in "very mild" mottling, small, pitted, white areas are frequently found, and brown stain, while rare, does occur and gets darker with age. In other words, both "mild" and "very raild', mottling are by definition disfiguring; and both are "endemic" (constantly present) wherever the water contains as much as 0.4 ppm of fluorine. Tooth Disfiguration Possible But to get back to our story; if there was not enough fluorine in the blood there will be less benefit; while if there is too much the toothbuds will be poisoned and the teeth disfigured. And if there was enough to poison the toothbuds, we may reasonably assume there was enough to interfere with other body processes. The Public Health Service has called mottled enamel "the dental sign" of chronic fluorine poisoning; and the American Medical Association calls it "the most delicate criterion of harm from fluorine ingestion." Now, it isn't hard to see that the amount of fluorine in the blood will depend on the total daily intake from all sources, water, food, and air; and not merely on the concentration in the taken in from water depends equally on the concentration in the water and the volume of water consumed--just as the distance driven depends equally on speed and time. Ten glasses of water with one ppm of fluorine have the same effect as one glass with ten ppm. In other words, the effects, either good or bad, depend on on the dose consumed and cannot be regulated by controlling the amount in the water. The recommended dose is one milligram per day, which is about the amount in one quart (actually 1.06 qt.) of water with one ppm, or one pint of water with 2 ppm. Obviously, since we are told that 2 ppm produces too much harm, children who drink twice as much water with one ppm will also get too much harm. Likewise, children who consume less than the intended one quart per day will fall to get the promised effect. It is common knowledge that children drink widely different amounts of water. Some take hardly any from the public supply, getting their fluids from other sources. Others drink it literally by the gallon. Fluoridated water can't possibly be effective for the child who drinks one glass per day, and at the same time safe for those who drink 20 glasses, not to mention the few who drink much more. Suggests Measured Doses If fluoride can be used both safely and effectively to prevent decay, it can't help but be infinitely safer and more dependable, if given individually, in measured doses, for the eight years when it is wanted, than if you add it to the water where every- one must consume it for a lifetime, where only those who con- sume one quart of water--no more and no less--get the intended amount, and where for all over age 8 it offers only continued hazard with no compensating hope of benefit. We should also note that neither the benefit nor the harm can be known until children who have used the water since birth reach at least 12-14 years of age. Teeth can neither decay nor show mottling 'til after they erupt. Only six of the 28 teeth erupt before age 7; and the rest straggle along 'til age 13. Only one such study has yet been published; and the results were not impressive. All the other claims are less than honest. Less Expensive As for cost, individual administration is not only safer and surer, it can also be cheaper; and the city can provide free fluoride tablets to all children for one-tenth the cost of fluorida- tion. Why, then do they want to fluoridate? They want to force the children of careless or reluctant parents to have fluoride; and to this end would sacrifice those who drink too much or too little water, and deprive all children of the chance to flare flu- oride in measured doses. I say the child's care should be the responsibility of the parents, and that parents can be educated to care properly for their children. I cite in evidence that rickets and scurvy which used to be so common disappeared practically overnight when parents were taught to give cod-liver oil and orange juice and, more recently, the vitamins in other ways. No compulsion was needed. And surely it is less trouble to give a daily pill than to make sure your child drinks just a quart of water each day. But to me, all this is secondary to the moral questions: Do we have the right to disfigure one child, and to subject him to the hazard of future harm, in order to benefit another child? Do we have the right to deprive all children of the tunity to have fluoride in measured doses in order to force it in uncontrolla" le doses on the children of reluctant parents? Is it right to transfer responsibility for children's care from their parents to the government, which cares only about "the child population" and denies any responsibility or concern for what happens to individual children. These are the questions you will answer on Tuesday. F. B. EXNER, M.D., F.A.C.R., co-author o "The American Fluoridation Experiment" author of "Fluoridation, its Moral and Political Aspects", "Economic Motives Behind Fluori, dorian", Etc. NOTES ACCIDENT TOOL--Vatican City, March 4 (NC)His Holiness Pope John XXIII told winners of a highway-safety contest in the schools of Milan that "it is a thought -provoking fact that lack of dis- cipline on the highways destroys more lives than war does." Speaki,ng at an audience for the II student win- ners March 2, the Pope remarked: "We are all on the road. The important thing is to be on the right road." SAYS CRUCIFIX IS A MICHELANGELO Florence, Italy, March 5 (NC)A German scholar has identified a crucifix hanging on the wall of a mon- astery here as a long-lost work of Michelangelo. Dr. Margaret Ltsmer says the crucifix which she noticed in the Monastery of the Holy Spirit is one whose whereabouts had been a mystery to the world of art for more than a century, The crucifix has gone to the workshops of the Florence Art Gallery for study and restoration. FEATURES PASSION PLAY  Canberra, tralia, March 5 (NC)Canberra's 50th jubilee cele- bration is featuring a two-and-a-half-hour Passion play with 200 volunteer actors. The play, sponsored by an inter-Church com- mittee, is being staged March 9 at Manuka Oval here which holds 12,000 people, It Is t'.-.rt of the official program of a week- long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the selection of Canberra as Australia's federal capital. The play, which was first produced in Australia in 1958 by Father F. Shortall at Iona College in Bris- bane, is based on the Passion play put on every 10 years in Oberammergau, Germany. FAST FOR RELIEF FUND  London, Mar. 6. (NC)The Bishops of England and Wales have fixed l March 8, Ember Friday, as this year's voluntary "Family Fast Day." All Catholics are being urged on that day to abstain from a principal meal and to pass on the money saved to relieve world hunger. The Bishops in announcing the setting up of the fund said it is not intended in any way to reduce Catholic support to the Freedom from Hunger Cam. paign itself.