Fluorine is the 13th most common element in the earth’s crust. Fluoride is a negatively charged atom (ion) of fluorine. This ion has always existed in water. Fluoridation is simply a process that raises the level of this fluoride up to that concentration where maximum dental disease prevention will occur, with no adverse effects on anyone. The fluoride ions added are identical to those which already exist in water. We all drink fluoride in our water anyway. Fluoridation just ensures that we obtain maximum benefit while so doing.
Those opposing fluoridation have argued that the practice is an illegal act of forced mass medication. A significant body of U.S case law has uniformly upheld fluoridation based on the following principles and findings:
- Fluoride is naturally present in water
- Fluoride concentration adjustment is analogous to such food fortification as bread with vitamin D, and salt with iodine
- No one is forced to drink tap water. There are alternate sources of water readily available to everyone.
- Citizens have no absolute right to be wholly freed from fluoride, or to have fluoride-free water piped directly into their homes or other dwellings
- The common good justifies fluoridation
- Fluoridation is specifically within government’s normal oversight and responsibilities
- There is no constitutional right for anyone to personally specify the composition of water from his or her tap
- Water systems have the right and obligation to specify the composition of their product
- There is nothing added to tap water from fluoridation which is not already in that water
People have a wide range of tolerance to many natural substances such as table salt, water, and calcium. This is true also for fluoride in drinking water as well as chlorine and the myriad other substances routinely added to public water supplies. Concerns about “dosage” are unwarranted. When the maximum amount of a substance which can be ingested falls below the level of adverse effects for that substance, then dose is of no concern in relation to adverse effects. Before the level of adverse effects of fluoride could be attained from drinking fluoridated water in addition to all other normal sources of fluoride intake, water toxicity would be the concern, not fluoride.
For these reasons, no court of last resort has ever upheld the antifluoridation argument of “forced medication”. Attempting to suddenly proclaim that an ion which has been present in water forever is “medication” is a tactic which has no merit.