Fluoride, the naturally occurring chemical touted for its tooth decay preventing effects, has been met with a love it or hate it attitude by Americans since first being injected into municipal water systems in 1945.
"Community water fluoridation is an equitable, cost-effective, and cost-saving method of delivering fluoride to most people," said Dr. William Maas, director of CDC's Division of Oral Health, whose agency has a goal of seeing to it that 75 percent of U.S. residents get fluoride in their city drinking water by 2010.
"This common additive to your water supply, and ingredient in the toothpaste you and your children use may be contributing to the increased rates of hypothyroidism -- and other health concerns -- in the U.S. . . without improving dental health," says Mary Shomon, About Guide to thyroid disease.
While the CDC contends that fluoridation drove a major decline in the prevalence of tooth decay during the second half of the 20th century, several communities have now stopped spiking their drinking water with the chemical.
In 2006, the National Academies of Science concluded that the EPA maximum amount of fluoride allowed in drinking water does not protect against adverse health effects, and can place children at risk of developing dental problems including discoloration, enamel loss, and pitting of the teeth.
Fluoride in Water Not Protective, Finds National Academies
Hidden Danger in Your Drinking Water and Toothpaste (Thyroid Disease)
Why I Oppose Fluoridation of Public Drinking Water (Chemistry)