Local Citizen's Statements Against Fluoridation

(Small sample of statements against fluoridation)

Dentist No Longer Supports Fluoridation

Dear Watchers:

Experts do not agree on the benefits or risks of fluoride. Many studies find fluoride reduces decay and many find fluoride increases decay. Some claim fluoride is safe, others claim fluoride is a poison. Confused?

As a dentist who promoted water fluoridation for 20 years, wrote many fluoride prescriptions and gave samples and fluoride treatments, I no longer support water fluoridation.

My nutrition education places fluoride as a drug, not a nutrient like vitamins. The absence of fluoride does not cause any disease. The FDA regulates systemic (swallowed) fluoride as a prescription drug (requiring a narcotics license) and topical fluoride with warnings such as, “do not swallow,” “if more than a pea size is swallowed, contact a poison control center.”

A “pea size” of toothpaste contains 0.5mg of fluoride ion, the same amount of fluoride found in two glasses of fluoridated water. If the FDA regulated water, the FDA would probably require a warning “do not swallow this water.”

We are already getting too much fluoride. Even without water fluoridation, too much fluoride is common, as seen in dental fluorosis the white or brown spots on teeth. Look in the mirror, you may have fluorosis. Where is the fluoride coming from and who pays for damaged teeth?

Grapes, tea, mechanically de-boned beef, and processed potatoes are examples of foods high in fluoride. Recent EPA increases in pesticides (7 mg/Kg increased to 180 mg/Kg) and new (’04 increased ‘05) post-harvest fluoride fumigants, (up from 0 ppm to as high as 900 ppm) places fluoride in almost all foods far higher than 1 ppm in water.

We all agree mother’s milk contains the right amount of fluoride for an infant, usually under 0.01 ppm. The breast “filters out fluoride.” Formula mixed with fluoridated water provides dangerous levels 100 to 200 times mother’s milk. If the water is fluoridated, who will pay for bottled water for infant formula and educating young families?

Who will monitor fluoride intake ensuring total intake is not too much? What is the process for stopping fluoridation?

Fluoridation is not “safe.” Do a “google” search for words such as fluoride, fluoride and cancer, fluoride and obesity, fluoride and thyroid, fluoride and kidney, fluoride and enzymes, fluoride and increase of dental decay, fluoride and retardation, fluoride and intelligence.

We are already getting too much fluoride and higher concentrations are coming in foods. If you personally want more fluoride: get a prescription, eat foods high in fluoride, but please do not swallow toothpaste or fluoridated water.

Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH
Aesthetic Dentistry of Washington
Aesthetic Dentistry of Lake Oswego
Director, ICDS

(Online Voting Guide - Whatcom County Auditor)




Bellingham residents should reject adding hydrofluorosilicic acid (fluoride) to the city water supply.   This compound is a by-product of the phosphate-fertilizer industry and contains contaminants such as lead and arsenic.


Ongoing annual costs are estimated at $50,000/year.   The proposal will also impose unnecessary and uncontrolled costs on Bellingham residents for cost of training hazardous waste specialist.   Cost overruns will be tax-payers' responsibility.


On August 5, 2005, EPA unions representing 7,000 scientists have called on Congress to institute a national moratorium on water fluoridation .


Washington Dentists such as Debra Hopkins oppose water fluoridation: “[t]here are studies linking water fluoridation to increased hip fracture in the elderly, bone cancer in young males, increased lead uptake in children, thyroid disease, …. arthritis and harm to our environment.”  


The FDA has never approved fluoride compounds as being safe and effective for ingestion.   Fluoride is a chemical, not an essential nutrient.  


The Individual has the right to determine what medications or supplements to ingest, not the government.


Because there are significant health risks, keep fluoride compounds out of our gardens, streams, pets' water dishes, and especially out of our bodies.


Submitted by:   Citizen's Against Forced Fluoride


This summer I was contacted by a Seattle company, National Ballot Access, which offered to pay me to gather signatures necessary to put the fluoride issue on the ballot. Much money was paid to signature-gatherers.
I was curious about fluoride. Besides air, water is the most precious necessity for survival.
After much research, my conclusions are:
1) Fluoridated toothpastes are toxic when swallowed, therefore fluoride-free toothpastes were developed.
2) Fluoride weakens bone structure and can causing brittle bones that fracture easily.
3) Fluoride causes fluorosis - teeth look diseased.
4) Some studies indicate fluoridated water doesn't prevent tooth decay. Free fluoride tablets could be available for those concerned.
5) Heat concentrates fluoride levels, ex: boiled noodles, potatoes, rice, coffee, tea - anything steamed or boiled.
6) In Kevin Trudeau's bestseller, "Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You To Know About," he concludes fluoride is: "One of the most poisonous and disease causing agents you can put in your body," and discusses how harmful showering in fluoridated water is.
7) Fluoridated water traveling through pipes, especially in older homes, can "pull" metal out into the water, officials told me. Meanwhile explosive rates of autism are being linked to heavy metal concentrations in the body.
8) Fluoride is costly.
Each individual should have the right to choose!
Elizabeth Hines



Listening to the pro-fluoride ads on local radio stations, we are told that 68 percent of third graders show an increase of dental caries. According to the Bellingham School District, Bellingham third graders total 740 - multiplied by 68 percent equals 503 students, and of those, 22 percent (110) have five or more caries.
There are approximately 82,000 or more citizens using Bellingham water, and for this select group we should fluoride the water? Sounds like parental responsibility would be the appropriate answer. Do you think any of these kids are going to drink more water? Let's see, a can of soda, a glass of Kool-aid? I wonder!
These ads state the majority of dentists and physicians herald fluoride as a panacea and proclaim its safety. These are the same people that gave us Vioxx, Celebrex, swine flu vaccine and numerous other drugs that have been found to cause severe adverse health problems and even death.
It will take 10-15 years before the actual ramifications of forced fluoride are revealed. Should we wait and hope they're right? Dentists should start accepting DSHS coupons if they truly want to help the poor and downtrodden, instead of forcing these people to seek treatment in the Everett area. Education, not medication!
Pat Ferry



I will be voting against the proposal to add fluorosilic acid "fluoride" to the water supply on Nov. 8.
As a member of the Bellingham City Council, on Sept. 15, 1997, I voted with City Council members Gene Knutson, Bob Ryan, Arne Hanna, Pat Rowe and Bruce Ayers enacting Resolution 42-97 "recognizing the impropriety of the use of the public water system to dispense fluoride treatment." We did so after hearing from many Bellingham residents, considering expert testimony and considering earlier 1,100 Bellingham residents' pledges against fluoridation.
Since 1997, the case against fluoridation is much stronger. Eleven separate EPA Scientist Unions have called for a moratorium on fluoridation. A doctoral study at Harvard University linked water fluoridation with cancer in young boys.
Finally, I'm also very concerned that a Seattle-based special interest group is attempting to take this choice away from Bellingham by spending $150,000, more than any campaign in Bellingham's history. Much of this has been for a political consultant in California.
I am pleased my opponents in the race this year and many candidates for public office in Bellingham oppose fluoridation as well.
Join me in voting for clean and safe drinking water on Nov. 8 and vote "no" on Bellingham Initiative 1.
Louise Bjornson

Dear Watchers

Fluoridation Is a Health Threat

Dear Watchers:

Many communities, elected officials and water agencies are under tremendous pressure to fluoridate their water supplies, with medical and corporate interests funding the proposals and staff time to attempt to “sell” fluoridation to the public. Fluoride is a toxin, not a nutrient. It is regulated as a drug by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and as a contaminant by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The addition of fluoride, which has been linked to a long list of health issues, to our water supply is an insane idea that puts our health and safety at risk. These proposals to fluoridate do not provide each citizen with a choice about whether or not s/he would like to ingest a drug whose safety has been called into question by the results of many peer-reviewed research studies.

Fluoride has been linked repeatedly to increased bone fractures and bone cancers in academic peer-reviewed journal articles. Fluoride has also been linked to a long list of other health issues impacting multiple organ systems. Many countries, including most of Europe and Japan, have outlawed the use of fluoride in water supplies due to health risks.

There are many existing sources of fluoride contamination in our bodies—from toothpaste to industrial pollution, Gore-Tex to Prozac, and from fertilizers to treated wood, rat poison and nuclear weapons. In 1936, the Journal of the American Dental Association stated: “Flouride at the 1 PPM concentration is as toxic as arsenic and lead.... There is an increasing volume of evidence of the injurious effect of fluorine, especially the chronic intoxication resulting from the ingestion of minute amounts of fluorine over long periods of time.”

Water fluoridation has not been shown to decrease tooth decay in a number of reports and research studies in many countries, including the U.S. Data from the World Health Organization showing the same declines in tooth decay in countries with and without fluoridated water since the 1960s. In a study done in Australia in 2004, pro-fluoridation dental researchers were unable to show any difference in the permanent teeth of children who had lived all their lives on fluoridated water versus those who had drunk rain or bottled water.

The Union of EPA Scientists, as well as many other medical professionals and organizations, supported by a multitude of research studies from around the world, have come out against fluoridating drinking water. Dr William Hirzy, EPA Union Scientist Vice-President, stated, “We hold that fluoride is an unreasonable risk. The toxicity of fluoride is so great and the purported benefits associated with it are so small—if there are any at all—that requiring every man, woman and child in America to ingest it borders on criminal behavior on the part of local governments.”

Fluoride is a component of industrial waste, generated by the fertilizer, aluminum, glass, steel and nuclear weapon industries—and is expensive to dispose of—thus industry is motivated to find “good” uses for it. The fluoride compounds that are typically used to fluoridate water supplies often contain lead, arsenic and other heavy metals and toxic compounds.

According to several research studies, including the Sept. 2004 issue of the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, fluoride can be toxic to other animals, including fish and aquatic organisms. As with other toxic chemicals, it is very likely that additional negative impacts to other organisms, including humans, will be discovered with time.

I believe that if people want access to fluoride because of a belief that it reduces dental cavities (although research does not support this belief) then it should be provided on an individual basis through topical treatments or by prescription, not by medicating the entire population with uncontrolled dosing. By uncontrolled dosing I’m referring to the fact that the person who drinks four glasses of fluoridated water each day gets four times the dose of a person who drinks one glass of water a day. This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense when you’re talking about a substance that is regulated as a drug.

Fluoride is a toxin that all of us should be seeking to avoid, and at the very least, this toxin should not be forced upon the population as a whole. For me, the issue is choice. If others want to use fluoridated toothpaste, get topical fluoride treatments at their dentist’s office, or prescription fluoride tablets from their dentist—go right ahead. I simply believe that we all should have a choice.

Additionally, and I feel sort of silly stating the obvious, but no drug (or magic bullet of any kind) will ever take the place of good dental hygiene (tooth brushing, flossing) and a healthy diet (i.e. a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods and sugar). If the concern is for dental health then we should be focusing on the aforementioned, not some quick, easy fix. Unfortunately, dental hygiene and a healthy diet require a lot more attention and care than simply drugging the populace—but they also offer much in the way of wide ranging health benefits.

While in Whatcom County, the issue of water fluoridation is being put to a vote, in Skagit County, the County Commissioners, under pressure from the Washington Dental Services Foundation and Washington State Dental Association, are contemplating mandating that the Skagit Public Utilities District (PUD) fluoridate the water without a public vote. Now tell me—are dentists and their associations/foundations really interested in reducing cavities, and thus their income, or are there other forces in play here?

There are a number of excellent articles and Web sites where you can learn more about this important issue, including the following:

Nan Laney



The fiendish fluoridators are at work here in Bellingham! Please, don't let them fool you. The manufacturing and chemical industries make big money as they take the scrubbings from smoke-stack-industry and reprocess it from waste to something to put into our public water systems. I wonder how much money these industrialists "donate" to fluoridation campaigns and dental groups?
The Bellingham Herald's opinion favors fluoridation. Some of our journalists stated, with different wording but the same meaning, that "there is no scientific evidence of harm coming from fluoridated water systems." Perhaps they read about that one doctor who said fluoride is "safe" who was later found to be in the pockets of the pro-fluoridators?
Otherwise, over 7,000 employees of the EPA, most of them scientists, have looked at the same data and have asked their bosses and Congress to eliminated all fluoride use in public water systems. Gee, do you think the scientists may have a better clue than the journalists?
If you want fluoride, then you can get it to put into your own water. Why not use the funds to give out fluoride drops to people who want them? And please let me keep the fluoride out of my cup.
Ken Cox



Upon receiving my ballot, I've become frustrated and disappointed to find that the fluoride initiative is nowhere to be found. When I called the Auditor's Office, I was informed that since I live in the county, it doesn't even matter that I pay for city water; I will not be able to vote on this.
Without a vote, I must try to help the voters make an informed choice. Your ballot title does not state what is truly in the fluoride. It is not the high-quality sodium fluoride in your toothpaste. It is hydrofluorosilicic acid that can contain lead, arsenic and other carcinogens. This fluoride is obtained as a waste product from the fertilizer industry. The library's reference desk has a large folder containing excellent information both for and against fluoridation to help you decide.
If this measure passes and you do not wish to drink the water, you can get water purified through the most effective method, reverse-osmosis, 10 gallons at a time at Public Works. However, at best only 70 percent of fluoride is removed.
I think everyone needs to look at all the facts before voting. Remember, you are voting for some of us in the county, too!
Andrea Wallace



Do you want fluoride added to your water? Should we stop debating it and just let the voters decide?
Well, which voters should decide? Everyone who receives Bellingham's water or just those whose homes lie within the city limits?
If you live outside of the city limits and receive city water, you will no doubt have noticed by now that your ballot does not have the fluoride initiative on it. A quick call to the Auditors Office asking for a new ballot because they forgot to put Initiative 1 on it will reveal that, no, there is nothing wrong with your ballot; you simply don't get to vote on this.
No matter if you are for or against this measure, do you not believe that every registered voter who receives Bellingham's water should be able to vote on whether or not additional fluoride is good for them and their families? Over 4,000 people cannot be ignored just because of the location of their homes. I urge anyone concerned about this to contact the mayor or the City Council.
And all of us should be concerned about this very undemocratic process. It brings new meaning to the term "disenfranchised voter."
Eli Thompson

Pierce County Dentist Speaks Out Against Fluoridation

by Debra Hopkins, DDS

Debra Hopkins, a Tacoma dentist, is a member of the Pierce County Dental Society, the Washington State Dental Society, the American Dental Association and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

I am a member of the Pierce County Dental Society, the Washington State Dental Society (WSDA) and the American Dental Association (ADA). I am also a member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.

As a dentist who works in Pierce County, Washington, I must take exception to the view of organized dentistry that water fluoridation is good for all and without controversy. I oppose water fluoridation. I know many dentists and physicians who agree with me, but they fear a backlash from their colleagues if they speak out. I am very concerned about the welfare and the health of my patients. I care very deeply about the children and the elderly in my community. I should. My own family makes up part of that community. Proponents of fluoridation and those who oppose it agree that there is a tooth decay crisis among poor children. We agree that there is a link between oral disease and the health of the body as a whole. Our differences lie in the solution to dental decay and the devastating effects it can have on our health.

The ADA and WSDA support fluoridation as the solution. They are currently leading and financing a campaign, beginning in Bellingham, to fluoridate the water of every citizen in Washington. The majority of dentists seem to buy into this position without ever questioning the scientific validity of that position. Studies linking water fluoridation to increased hip fracture in the elderly, bone cancer in young males, increased lead uptake in children, thyroid disease, hormonal disturbances, arthritis and harm to our environment are ignored. Recent studies showing no difference in decay rates between fluoridated and un-fluoridated cities are swept aside as they push forward with a relentless fervor that is more akin to religious dogma than a scientific viewpoint.

Pierce County recently was an excellent case to this point. According to data collected by the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department, Tacoma’s school children have significantly higher decay rates than children in un-fluoridated areas of Pierce County. Tacoma has been fluoridated for over 10 years. The health department continued to try to push for mandatory fluoridation even though no benefit was seen for the teeth of Tacoma’s children. Their attempt failed at the Supreme Court level.

An article in the July 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that fluoride’s benefit comes from direct topical action on the teeth, not from ingesting or swallowing it.

Another article, in the March 2004 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, documents a significant decrease in tooth decay among children who eat breakfast, and eat several helpings of fruits and vegetables daily. Tooth decay is a disease of nutritional deficiency. It is not a disease of fluoride deficiency. What we need to do is rethink our fast food, “better living through chemistry” philosophies and eat right, not try for a quick fix with another medication that will poison us all in the long run.

Dental Fluorosis Is First Sign of Poisoning

Even the organizations that promote water fluoridation don’t argue that dental fluorosis, the first sign of fluoride poisoning in the body, will increase. Fluorosis is a condition where the enamel of the forming tooth is damaged by too much fluoride. Because fluoride is now so prevalent in other sources besides water, fluorosis is increasing in the United States, even in areas that are not fluoridated. The condition can be disfiguring and require costly cosmetic dentistry to correct, which is not offered to the poor on state assistance. Children with protein and calcium deficient diets are most vulnerable to dental fluorosis. Water fluoridation will adversely affect the poor children that the proponents claim it will help.

Citizens need to be aware that the ADA and the WSDA conduct no research of their own. Dental trade organizations are neither responsible for, nor qualified to study the adverse health effects of water fluoridation. These studies need to be done and reviewed by medical researchers, epidemiologists and toxicologists.

Fluoride for ingestion is a prescription medication. The FDA has never approved as safe or effective any fluoride designed for ingestion. The fluoride used in 90 percent of the fluoridated cities has never been tested on humans. The only FDA approved fluoride is for topical application, such as toothpaste. There is a slim margin of safety with fluoride. People have died in Maryland and Alaska when equipment malfunctions allowed an overdose of fluoride to enter the public water supply. There is a “Warning” on your tube of toothpaste that states: “Keep out of reach of children under six years of age. In case of accidental ingestion, seek professional assistance or contact a Poison Control Center immediately.”

Fluoride is a prescription medication that should be dispensed by licensed medical/dental professionals, not dumped into our water supply by a city worker in a white protective suit. The ADA Web site states that infants should not receive any fluoride. Who is going to be in charge and make sure that parents are not making baby formula with fluoridated tap water? Who will provide poor families with bottled water for this purpose? Increasing the fluoride intake of the population without regard to established risk factors such as age, weight, kidney function, total water consumption and fluoride intake from other sources is hardly a health benefit. It is medical negligence.

There are also environmental concerns about fluoride. People consume only 1 percent of the fluoridated water. Only half of that, or 0.5 percent of fluoridated water, is retained in the body. The rest goes down the toilet, waters our lawns, washes our cars and ends up in our environment. This is why a group of prominent EPA scientists has spoken out against this uncontrolled dumping of fluoride into our environment.

Mass Medication of Citizens

With a little research, it is easy to see that fluoride is not really as safe and cost effective as we are being led to believe. But beyond this is another aspect of the issue that deserves the attention of every citizen. Local governments, encouraged by organized dentistry, are attempting to mandate mass medication of citizens against their will. Such an attempt failed in Pierce County. The issue has been “softened” for the residents of Bellingham with a ballot initiative allowing a majority vote for or against fluoridating your water supply. This is not an election for a government official or an initiative to decide how your tax dollars are spent. This is an initiative that could force you to swallow a medication via your water supply whether you want to or not.

The big question here is whether citizens willing to partake of this mass medication have the right to force other citizens to do the same, even if it is by a majority vote. Whether it is tyranny by the masses, as in a majority vote, or tyranny by a few, as with the mandate in Pierce County, it is still tyranny. Do not we as citizens have a right to determine what medications we and our children will take? Is it not reasonable for citizens to expect that their governments will protect them, and not subject them to untested medications that have questionable benefit?

There are those in the dental profession who have made a career out of promoting fluoridation and they aren’t about to change the status quo. There is the industrial element that reaps huge profits by selling cities fluoride products to put in their water. To them human life is cheap if it improves their bottom line.

We must remain vigilant of our rights as citizens. We must inform our government officials of the valid scientific studies that exist that should be raising red flags concerning the possible health risks of water fluoridation. We must explore other methods to help reduce tooth decay, especially in poor children. Decay is still a problem in cities that have been fluoridated for decades. We can no longer proceed solely on the basis that this has been a “medical tradition” for the last 50 years. Medical traditions have been proved wrong in the past. This surely will be the case for water fluoridation. §

Debra Hopkins, a Tacoma dentist, is a member of the Pierce County Dental Society, the Washington State Dental Society, the American Dental Association and the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.



The substance being proposed being added to Bellingham's water supply is fluorosilic acid. This substance can contain contaminants such as mercury, lead and arsenic.
Therefore, I will be voting against the proposal to add this substance to the water supply.
There are currently 14 Nobel Prize winners who have studied the matter and come out against water fluoridation, including Dr. Arvid Carrlson, who received a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2000.
Why would anyone seriously consider fluoridation when 11 different groups of EPA unions have called for a moratorium on water fluoridation?
Most European countries have now rejected or removed fluoride from their water supply and permit people to make their own decision on the issue. Two-thirds of cities faced with a decision to fluoridate their water supply have rejected fluoride.
The city of Bellingham Public Works should focus on delivering clean and safe water to Bellingham residents, not attempting to force us to ingest a substance that many of us obviously oppose.
As a recent Time magazine article pointed out, 32 percent of children in fluoridated communities are afflicted with dental fluorosis, a condition exclusively caused by excessive fluoride, resulting in skeletal fluorosis.
Please vote "no" on the fluoridation issue in November.
Marie Bjornson
How much water does someone need to drink to consume the right amount of fluoride to achieve the positive or negative effects of fluoride?
A Bellingham pharmacist told me that ingesting fluoride is beneficial from 6 months to early adolescence when teeth are developing, but that adults do not need fluoride at all. A prescription is required to buy fluoride, to know what the correct dose is for the age of the child. Too much fluoride causes fluorosis, a brown mottling of teeth. He felt it was unnecessary to fluoridate Bellingham's water.
An Oct. 24, 2005, article from Time magazine said that the Environmental Protection Agency union representatives have called upon EPA administrator Stephen Johnson to issue a moratorium on fluoridation and to set a goal of zero fluoride in tap water. The Centers for Disease Control announced that 32 percent of American children now have some form of dental fluorosis. A 2001 Harvard University thesis showed a sevenfold increased risk of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in preadolescent boys from fluoridated water.
Why add fluorosilicic acid that contains arsenic, lead and mercury to our water supply and pay extra taxes for it?
Merilee Erchinger
I own property in Bellingham and believe that Bellingham Initiative No. 1 should be turned down.
1. There is evidence that fluoride not only makes the enamel harder, but also makes bones brittle and more prone to being broken in a fall. (See www. johnleemd.com/store/prevent_osteporosis.html for one article.) Why take a chance?
2. Fluoride is readily available to all that want it. Putting it in everyone's water takes away any choice in the matter.
3. The dental group that is putting up the initial funds could make a greater impact on the community by inviting those that can't afford the fluoride treatment to one or more clinics each month to give fluoride treatments.
4. There is filtering that can be used to get rid of it, but it is expensive and we would be charged for putting it in and taking it out. Such a deal.
Eugene Kurz
How Can We Provide Fluoride to Children Without Medicating an Entire Population?

Dear Watchers:

I find the upcoming vote on whether to add fluoride to Bellingham’s water supply a powerful example of the polarization of America. Like many, I was surprised our water didn’t already have fluoride added and originally saw those opposed as alarmists. Having taken the time to do some reading, however, I now understand why medicating an entire population through our water supply is probably not the best system of delivery and should not be encouraged, even with the best of intentions. The real issue, in my opinion, is how each side is so determined they are right, so bent on repeating their views over and over again, that any discussions which might provide fluoride for children, the main goal of proponents, is lost in the sound and fury.

Surely there must be other options, alternatives that will address the main problems (including excessive use of soda pop and other dietary problems contributing to childhood cavities) and not resort to putting something in everyone’s water. The democratic process should provide forums for such discussions, but too often in America today, there seems little hope for compromise and sane solutions.

I’m asking Bellinghamsters to imagine what is possible if we talk together sensibly. I’d like to see some group (like those informed through the pages of Whatcom Watch) schedule conversations to work toward solutions which can be embraced by everyone. I’m still optimistic we can agree on common ground and combine the science on both sides of this debate to craft a workable, cavity-free future for us all.

Barbara Hudson
According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants younger than 6 months should be restricted to 0.0 mg of fluoride, while children younger than 3 should receive less than 0.25 mg per day "when all other sources are deficient." Why?
According to the various public health trusts and professional associations that Bellingham Families for Fluoride like to list for support, the reasons for the change in recent years to reduce fluoride dosages for this age group was due to the significant increase in the incidence of dental fluorosis, damage done to the teeth.
Since the implementation of water fluoridation 60 years ago, fluoride is pervasive as a contaminant in our food supply. If you consider the foods eaten by most Americans, rich and poor alike, we are not "deficient" in our other sources of fluoride. Review the USDA National Fluoride Database (www. nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/Data/Fluoride/Fluo ride.html) to see what your likely intake of fluoride is from the contamination in foods you eat every day without ever drinking a drop of fluoridated water.
Deanna Kent



I am a water treatment plant operator for the city of Bellingham. I want to urge you to vote against water fluoridation. This is my personal opinion and does not necessarily represent the view of the city.
Fluorosilicic acid from phosphate fertilizer plants in Florida is the primary source of fluoride used in water treatment plants. This is a very toxic and reactive acid and it reacts particularly violently with calcium. It attacks concrete and bone. Because it is so highly reactive, the tank trucks that haul this material are known by emergency managers and homeland security authorities as possible terrorist targets. I understand from Christopher Bryson's book, "The Fluoride Deception," that authorities during the 9/11 attacks were on the lookout for these trucks.
It seems to me we can reduce our vulnerability to terrorism and accidents by not causing this dangerous cargo to be shipped all the way across the country. I also want you to think about whether you want to have thousands of gallons of this chemical stored at the water treatment plant within 100 feet or so of the site of the Olympic Pipe Line explosion. It's your call, voters.
Keith Fredrikson
Maple Falls
Concerning the issue over fluoride: Most of us, including children, do not drink our tap water. It is a very common sight to see people carrying their bottled water in one hand and cell phone in the other.
I do, however, bathe in tap water, so does my body need fluoride?
I love my dentist! He gives me a prescription toothpaste containing fluoride.
Jeri Lamont

Dr. Mark Steinburg’s expresses his concern about the proposal to force all of Bellingham’s resident’s with fluoride as follows:

"Ten years ago Bellingham residents soundly rejected the proposal to mass-medicate every man woman and child in the city with fluoride through the drinking water supply.

"Many prominent scientist have come out against adding fluoride in the water supply such as Dr. Arvid Carlsson, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine (2000). Many physicians at the American Medical Association and the EPA have warned against the dangers of fluoride as well."

"There is also the acute danger that a fluoride delivery system poses. Should the fluoride delivery system malfunction, as has happened in some cites such as in Hoper Bay Alaska in 1992, serious sickness or death can occur."

"No one person or group should be in a position to force their preferred medication on the rest of the community no matter how strongly felt. The city water supply should focus on being as clean as it can be."

"Fluorinating the water is also quite expensive. The initial equipment would cost around $750,000 and cost tens of thousands of dollars to maintain each year. There will be no alternative water supply for Bellingham residents to obtain clean water."

"I urge everyone in Bellingham to read the statements and studies against fluoride of many dentists and medical doctors from the EPA, American Medical Association and other groups:

http://www.nofluoride.com/ http://www.fluoridealert.org/ http://www.fluoridation.com/"

"Many communities have rejected forcibly fluorinating the water supply as Bellingham did 10 years ago. Bellingham residents should again reject the proposal to implement a mass medication system of its residents with a hazardous substance."

Dr. Mark Steinburg


Fluoride in our water? A very emotional issue. This is not just about whether it is healthy or not, safe or not, but it is a vote for or against freedom of choice.
We must not vote to do something that will force everyone to ingest a chemical/mineral that seems too controversial. It should be up to everyone to decide for themselves or their children whether or not they want this.
Bottom line: Freedom of choice.
Carolyn McGlothlin
If the fluoride proposition passes, only those who voted "yes" on the proposition should have to pay for it.
Moreover, public funds, generated from those "yes" voters, should be set aside to enable removal of fluoride for those residents who consider it to be an unwanted contaminant. While addition of fluoride may be expensive, we can expect fluoride removal to be much more costly.
Carl Formoso
As a commissioner at Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District, I consider it my paramount job to ensure we deliver the most pure water we possibly can.
This goal drives all other considerations. Putting fluoride in the water we distribute would contradict that goal.
I believe that public production and distribution is the most efficient, economical, safe and reliable means to supply water and also gives citizens the most oversight and voice in that process. But it also means that we are the sole supplier.
As such, I believe it is our duty to keep to our mission - to provide the best possible water to our customers. For me, and I believe most people, purity is the primary characteristic of "best" when it comes to water.
Using the public water supply as a conduit of public health policy is government over-reaching, and too clearly contradicts the overriding goal of distributing clean, pure water. Even if there were no debate about the hazards of fluoride, there is still the element of choice that should not get drowned out.
These comments are my own and do not represent the views of other commissioners or of the district.
Todd Citron

Dr. Terry Poth
1728 Iowa Street
Bellingham, WA, 98229


Dear City Council Members : Louise Bjornson, Terry Bornemann, Grant Deger, Gene Knutson, Barbara Ryan, Bob Ryan, John Watts

Bellingham City Mayor: Mark Asmundson

Re: Open Letter to City of Bellingham City Council and Mayor

In 1997, the Bellingham City Council took a strong position for clean water and passed a resolution keeping foreign substances such as fluoride out of Bellingham’s drinking water.

Over a thousand Bellingham residents submitted their signature in support of clean water free of Fluoride. Before the resolution was passed, the council heard from a great many citizens, medical experts and soundly defeated the attempt to add Fluoride in the water supply.

We urge the city to once again take a strong position in support of clean water from the time it travels from the Lake Whatcom watershed to when it comes out of the tap.

In the last 10 years, the public interest has moved toward protecting our water supply and obtaining clean water from Lake Whatcom. Thus, this issue is more important than ever.

This public includes protecting the lake and water supply from chemicals such as Benzene, Phosphorus and Fluoride. What good does it do to protect the watershed and water supply if it is later contaminated before it comes out of the tap?

There are hundreds of possible chemicals and minerals that could be added to the water supply that one special interest group or another could favor. However, it is the duty of the City of Bellingham to provide clean water to every resident. Residents can then decide what they would like to add to their water and to their children’s water.

The right to decide the medication one ingests is fundamental. Neither the City of Bellingham nor the paid signature gatherers in Bellingham should be able to force the entire populous to take a particular medication. Forcing medication on an entire populous is morally and medically unethical. This issue is not overstated as any medical professional would lose their license to practice medicine if they gave a patient medicine without their express consent.

The City of Bellingham should reject the $140,000 per year Fluoride tax

The City of Lakewood, Washington, having a population of around 60,000, determined that the cost of fluorinating the water would be $800,000 plus $140,000 per year. Thus, Bellingham should expect to pay at least $140,000 per year to run a Fluoride delivery system. This proposed Fluoride tax would cause water rates to increase approximately 6 percent. If dental care for children is really the issue, the city could pay dental care for a great many children for this sum without forcibly medicating the entire populace.

Attempting to force Fluoride on Bellingham residents would cause many to buy bottled water or install an expensive water filtration system in their houses. This could cause additional expenses of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to Bellingham residents collectively.

The Health Risks of Fluoride Are Significant Especially Known Dangers of Dental and Skeletal Fluorosis

Dental and Skeletal Fluorosis are well documented debilitative conditions caused from excess fluoride. See http://www.fluoridation.com/

The health concerns of fluoride are real. As Dr. Carlsson states, a Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine:

"I would advise against fluoridation.. Side-effects cannot be excluded .. In

Sweden, the emphasis nowadays is to keep the environment as clean as possible with regard to pharmacologically active and, thus, potentially toxic substances."
Dr. Arvid Carlsson, co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine (2000)

The former president of the American Medical Association states:

"I am appalled at the prospect of using water as a vehicle for drugs.

Fluoride is a corrosive poison that will produce serious effects on a
long range basis.
Any attempt to use water this way is deplorable."
- Dr. Charles Gordon Heyd, Past President of the American Medical Association.

(see http://www. nofluoride.com)

Thus, there are a great many leading scientists, doctors and dentists who oppose adding fluoride to the public water supply. The above Nobel Prize winner and former head of the American Medical Association have far greater credentials than the proponents of the fluoride initiative.

Special Interest Initiative Should Be Rejected

The Bellingham City Council and city residents simply cannot ignore the fact that the signature gathering effort concerning fluoride was paid for and conducted by special interests outside the city. The funds to collect signatures was obtained almost exclusively from a state group. Even the petition gatherers were from outside the state and city coming from Pennsylvania and California. Through their efforts, the paid signature gatherers have only shown that with enough money, any measure can be placed on the ballot.

Many US Cities and European Counties Have Now Removed Fluoride

from Their Water Supply

European countries which have rejected water fluoridation include: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Fluoridation & Medical Ethics

  • Based on recent letters from European health & water authorities, it is apparent that a key reason why these latter countries rejected water fluoridation is the belief that it violates medical ethics.

. . .

European Views on Fluoridation

Concerns about the medical ethics of water fluoridation were voiced quite strongly by the recent Nobel Prize Recipient for Medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson of Sweden. Carlsson, who helped lead the successful campaign to stop water fluoridation in Sweden, argued that public water supplies were not an appropriate vehicle with which to deliver "pharmacologically active" drugs to the entire population. According to Carlsson:

"I am quite convinced that water fluoridation, in a not-too-distant future, will be consigned to medical history... The addition of drugs to the drinking water means exactly the opposite of an individualized therapy. Not only in that the dose cannot be adapted to individual requirements. It is, in addition, based on a completely irrelevant factor, namely consumption of drinking water, which varies greatly between individuals and is, moreover, very poorly surveyed."

Carlsson's views are quite similar to those recently expressed by various European health authorities. For example:

According to the chief water authority in Belgium:

"[it] is the fundamental position of the drinking water sector that it is not its task to deliver medicinal treatment to people. This is the sole responsibility of health services."

According to the chief water authority in Luxembourg:

"In our views, the drinking water isn't the suitable way for medicinal treatment and that people needing an addition of fluoride can decide by their own to use the most appropriate way."

According to a representative from the German government:

"The argumentation of the Federal Ministry of Health against a general permission of fluoridation of drinking water is the problematic nature of compuls[ory] medication."

According to the head of Environmental Protection in France:

"Fluoride chemicals are not included in the list [of 'chemicals for drinking water treatment']. This is due to ethical as well as medical considerations."

(Exerpted from http://www. fluoridealert.org/basel.htm. Complete cites are available)

Thus, there is no reason that Bellingham should implement a medical delivery scheme that is being rejected around the world.

An Alternative Initiative Should be Submitted to the Voters

Should the fluoride petition gather enough signatures to be placed on the ballot, the city should place an alternative initiative on the ballot in favor of clean water. Section 10.07 of the city Charter specifically permits the City Council to take this action:

In case the City Council shall, after rejection of the initiative bill, have passed an alternative bill dealing with the same subject, the alternative bill shall be submitted at the same election with the initiative bill. The ballot titles of both bills shall be printed on the official ballots so that a voter can express separately by making one cross (X) for each two preferences; first, as between either measure and neither, and secondly, as between one and the other. Only if a majority of all votes cast favor either bill in the first proposition, shall one of the bills so proposed be adopted. The measure adopted shall be the measure receiving the greater number of votes of the alternative measures. (amended November 3, 1981.)

Bellingham City Charter Section 10.07. The alternative initiative should permit Bellingham residents to choose clean water without the addition of hazardous substantives modeled after the legislation passed in Hawaii. See the enclosure.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Please let me know if you have any questions.

I look forward to your response.


Dr. Terry Poth
Citizens Against Forced Fluoride
cc: Bellingham Herald, Whatcom Independent, Bellingham Weekly and other media.

Bellingham, a dental crisis of epic proportions! Possibly. From lack of fluoride in the water? Hardly. Look at the dinner tables of our families - where there used to be glasses of milk or water there are now glasses of sugary soft drinks or sweetened juice.
Whether it be fluoride, lead paint, cigarettes, asbestos, Phen-Fen or Celebrex, there has always been "science for hire" to maintain the safety of any of the products I have mentioned. I believe the fertilizer and aluminum industries can't afford to properly dispose of their toxic waste byproducts (which contain a form of fluoride), so they have bamboozled our nation's cities with hired science and talked them into putting these toxic waste products into our water.
The biggest problem I have with this issue is that, although I drink, bathe and swim in water from the city water supply, I live outside of the city limits, so I don't get a vote - fluoridation without representation, so to speak. So, if you live inside Bellingham city limits, and don't care one way or the other about this issue, please cast your vote for me, and vote "no" on forced fluoride.
Christina Thomsen-Park
If fluoridation of city water goes through, I shall have to buy a whole house water filter system to keep from drinking fluoride and absorbing it through my skinin showers and laundering of clothes.
It's an expense I don't need. I wish the proponents of fluoridation wouldrespect my viewsand not forcefluoride onto me. Iask thattheylook into this old science and learn of the real dangers ofinflicting this waste product of industry onto an entire population.
Ann Haffner
The difference between drinking water and sewage is 6-10 inches. That's the distance between your sink tap and your drain.
No one would argue that the bulk of our domestic water consumption is not used for drinking. Instead, we use most of our water for showering, toilet flushing, dishwashing, doing laundry, growing plants, washing cars, fighting fires, etc.
Of all of the water piped into a typical city home, perhaps only 10 percent is actually used for drinking and consumed by humans in food.
Of that 10 percent, perhaps a further one-tenth is actually consumed by growing children, whose teeth might receive some benefit from fluoridated water. The amount remaining is now 1 percent of all of the water treated with fluoride-containing compounds.
How can the proponents of this treatment plan justify 1 percent efficiency and 99 percent waste?
I am left wondering if the real motive here is fluoride delivery, or fluoride disposal.
Perhaps the solution to pollution is dilution after all.
Ric Lieberman

Peer-reviewed studies link fluoride accumulation in the body to bone cancer in boys and hip fractures in the elderly, among other health problems: reason enough not to add it to our drinking water.

Let's at least postpone fluoridation until the National Academy of Sciences reports its recommendations following its review of current studies next spring.

Mary B. Stanton (Bellingham Herald)
September 29, 2005

I have learned that the most likely chemical to be placed into Bellingham’s water supply is Fluorosilicic acid

Because this product is an industrial waste product from various chemical industries, the product has significant amounts of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury, all of which have significant health risks.

Bellingham resident Rainy Fackler-Adams
September 13, 2005

"The drive is sponsored by a group called Bellingham Families for Fluoride, which has filed documents with the city to begin collecting signatures to put the question on November’s ballot. Oddly, most of the money and interest backing these “Bellingham Families” originates out of Seattle." 

Bellingham Weekly
June 2, 2005




According to the 2000 Washington Smile Survey, tooth decay has been increasing statewide among children. No mention is made in that survey of any correlation between increasing decay and lack of fluoridated water. In fact, unlike the 2005 Smile Survey, there's no recommendation to lessen tooth decay by treating our water.
What the 2000 Smile Survey concludes is that topical fluoride applications and sealants, plus general oral hygiene awareness and practices, are the hope for future oral health for our children. The report stressed that although 80 percent of the children in our state have dental insurance, many of the families under the state/federal Medicaid program have difficulty finding a dentist who will accept Medicare.
The Washington State Children's Dental Health Survey (University of Washington Clinical Dental Research Center, 1995) found that higher rates of tooth decay were significantly related to poverty and to Hispanic origin, but not to fluoridation.
In light of my research (as against that of my good Bellingham dentist, who admits he has never looked into the fluoride issue), I conclude the factors attributing to decay in our children's teeth are much more complicated than a lack of fluoride in their water. I would hope we spend our energies and money addressing the real issues.
Sue Mattix
I am writing to encourage my friends and neighbors to vote "no" on the fluoride proposition.
Besides the fact that drinking fluoride is controversial at best, there is a much larger issue at stake here. The issue is our fundamental freedom to choose for ourselves.
America was built upon the principles of freedom and personal responsibility. Voting to include fluoride in a region's water supply immediately removes the right of free choice from those who don't want it. It's wrong enough when those affected have a voice in the issue, but the situation in this case is actually worse. I was recently shocked to discover that I and thousands of others who live outside city limits and receive Bellingham water will not be able to vote on the fluoride issue at all. Yet, if passed, we will get the fluoride plus the tax for this program, like it or not.
This is taxation without representation and forced medication. Further, there's no need for it. Those who wish to ingest this chemical can easily take the responsibility to get it for themselves. For these reasons alone, I ask that you vote "no" on Proposition 1. Respect our neighbor's right to choose.
Jo Baner



We all know that fluoride prevents tooth decay, but we also know that fluoride is toxic. The question seems to be should Bellingham fluoridate its drinking water - many parts of our country praise fluoride's success in reducing tooth decay.
My main concern is that there are also parts of this country that don't fluoridate but have seen a similar reduction in tooth decay. Also, parts of Europe that don't fluoridate have experienced this reduction. Some believe fluoridated toothpaste may be the reason.
The big advantage of fluoridated toothpaste is that it is not ingested, at least not on purpose, while fluoridated water is. If drinking fluoridated water turns out to be harmful, it may be too late for many individuals to correct damage.
I believe Bellingham should hold off on the fluoridation decision until the next voting opportunity when there may be more conclusive evidence on whether or not it is necessary.
Yono Mork

Ms. Joan Hoisington
City of Bellingham
City Attorney
210 Lottie Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

Re: The Bellingham Fluoride Initiative

Dear Ms. Hoisington,

I am writing to you on behalf of Bellingham Citizens Against Forced Fluoride regarding the proposed initiative that attempts to mandate the addition of fluoride to Bellingham's drinking water supply.

My practice has involved municipal law in Bellingham and I have been fortunate to have a number of clients in the past dealing specifically with Washington State Law as it involves citizen initiatives and issues involving the Bellingham City Charter and Bellingham Municipal Code specifically. After researching the matter, I believe that the proposed initiative ordinance is in violation of applicable state law and of the Bellingham City Charter.


The body of the proposed ordinance consists of four sections or paragraphs. Section 4 reads in part,

Initial capital cost outlays necessary to implement this ordinance ("capital cost")

are estimated to be Six Hundred Thousand Dollars ($600,000.00). This capital cost shall be funded by a grant from the Washington Dental Service Foundation.

This language is misleading and is beyond the power of the electorate to enact.

While Section 1 seems to require that the city "begin operations in a timely manner" after the ordinance becomes effective, Section 4 provides otherwise. That section makes the effective date contingent on funding which "shall" be provided from a grant provided by the Washington Dental Service Foundation.

The Washington Dental Service Foundation is a private, for profit (v. non-profit) corporation. Its main offices are located in Seattle. It is thus beyond the jurisdiction of a city of Bellingham ordinance. The basic rule is that the electorate (acting legislatively) is limited to the geographical area of the city. Generally, legislative enactments apply only to persons or entities within the territory over which the enacting legislature exercises jurisdiction.

1 Sutherland Statutory Construction #2.02. Thus even though the ordinance states that the grant "shall" be provided, it is probably unenforceable. This also conflicts with the language of the initiative which mandates fluoridation with no mention that the mandate is contingent on receipt of private funds.

The foundation, according to its website, requires all potential grant recipients to complete a nine-page application which must be submitted to the foundation by either April 1 or October 1 for consideration. If (in the foundation's discretion) an application is approved, the applicant must sign a grant agreement presumably dictating the terms on which the grant money may be used.

A law may be enacted to take effect or go into operation upon the happening of a future event (e.g., on its approval by a mayor or in the case of an improvement ordinance, on deposit with the city treasurer of a specified sum). However, as stated in 5 McQuillin, Municipal Corporations #15.41, "…provisions of an ordinance which condition its effectiveness on subsequent execution of a contract with private parties as to matters within the police power of the city may invalidate the ordinance." Clearly the city of Bellingham has the police power to provide and regulate a system of water supply (RCW 35.22.280[14]). The Washington Dental Service Foundation is a private party, over which the city also has no apparent jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the initiative in its preamble grossly underestimates the revenue necessary to pay for the yearly costs of operating the fluoride delivery system which will likely be around $140,000 based on the City of Lakewood Water District analysis. The initiative attempts to minimize the revenue-generating requirement and pass the task to the City Council.

A portion of the funds raised for the capital outlay by the initiative are from a discretionary private grant. The requirement of Charter Sect. 10.03 that "provision be specifically made therein for new or additional sources of revenue" to pay for "a new activity or purpose" is not met by a source (Washington Dental Service Foundation) over which the city has no jurisdiction or enforcement capability. Typically, an initiative would also give the voter a choice of whether they wished to impose an additional utility charge to pay for the additional services.

An initiative ordinance may only relate to the City's legislative, as distinguished from its administrative, powers.

A second concern relates to a restriction in The Charter of the City of Bellingham Section 10.02. That section states in part with respect to initiatives, "the registered electors of the City may propose any ordinance…relating to matters within the legislative, as distinguished from administrative, power of the City as a corporate entity."

The city has for many years operated a water utility. As part of that function, it has treated water chemically to ensure its potability (e.g. chlorine to disinfect drinking water). All this was done under the oversight of the state board of health. No local legislation was necessary and, to my knowledge, no local ordinance exists dealing with the chemical treatment of city water. Authorized Public Works employees have followed state regulations over the years.

The state board of health is empowered to regulate the design and construction of all public water facilities. It also has the jurisdiction to adopt all "rules necessary to assure safe and reliable public drinking water and to protect the public health" and to enforce the same. (RCW 43.20.050) The operation of a public water system, while a local function, is a matter of statewide concern and statewide regulation.

WAC 246-290-460 was adopted by the state board of health to regulate local fluoridation of drinking water and provides that "Purveyors" shall obtain written department approval of fluoridation treatment facilities before putting them in service. A purveyor is any agency or entity operating a public water supply including "authorized agents of such entities". This would seem to include the appropriate personnel in the Department of Public Works.

As stated in 5 McQuillin Municipal Corporations #16.55 with respect to initiatives,

…if the subject is one of statewide concern in which the legislature hasdelegated decision-making power, not to the local electors, but to the local council or board as the state's designated agent for implementation of state policy, the action receives an "administrative" characterization, hence is outside the scope of the initiative and referendum.

Further, the Washington Supreme Court in Durocher v. King County, 80 Wn.2d 139, 152, 492 P.2d 547 (1972) restates one test of what is legislative and what is an administrative proposition with respect to initiative and referendum as follows:

…whether the proposition is one to make new law or to execute law already inexistence. The power to be exercised is legislative in its nature if it prescribes a new policy or plan; whereas, it is administrative in its nature if it merely pursuesa plan already adopted by the legislative body itself, or some power superior to it.

In reviewing the administrative history of WAC 246-290-460, the process of local fluoridation has been controlled by the state board of health through its rule making authority since at least 1983.

The preferable time to challenge the legality of an initiative is before an election.

Charter Sect. 10.03 states:

No initiative bill requiring the expenditure of additional funds for an existing activity, or of any funds for a new activity or purpose, shall be filed or submitted to a vote unless provision be specifically made therein for new or additional sources of revenue for all such additional funds required thereby. (emphasis added)

While an ordinance which is legally flawed may be challenged at any time, the above language clearly states the intention of the Freeholders who drafted the Charter. They relate that the harm from an initiative such as the one here in question begins when it is filed. They also make it very clear that the flawed initiative should not be submitted to a vote.

It would be in the best interests of the taxpaying public and would be consistent with the Charter to file an action for declaratory relief before ballots are printed and the expense of an unnecessary election are incurred.

Please contact me if I can clarify any portion of this letter or if I can be of assistance in any way in challenging this defective initiative. I am certainly willing to appear before the city council and discuss the matter further.

Very truly yours,

Rolf Beckhusen

Cc: Bellingham City Council Members: Louise Bjornson, Terry Bornemann, Grant Deger, Gene Knutson, Barbara Ryan, Bob Ryan, John Watts

Mark Asmundson, Mayor Bellingham

Putting flouride in Bellingham's water is unhealthy

BY KIRA FREED (Western Front)

May 27, 2005

Bellingham residents soon may turn on the kitchen faucet to get a glass of water and watch the glass under the tap fill with industrial toxic waste.

According to a May 8 Bellingham Herald article, this might happen next year if a measure on the November ballot passes and the city of Bellingham begins fluoridating its water.

The city should not put fluoride -- a poison -- into Bellingham residents' drinking water.

According to the Bellingham Herald article, a petition by a group of Bellingham residents to place a measure on the November election ballot to fluoridate the city's water began after Bellingham dentists reported higher instances of tooth decay in Bellingham's elementary- school-age children. Some children even had what dentists call rampant tooth decay, which is seven or more teeth containing cavities.

Some cities have been fluoridating water for more than 50 years as a way to prevent cavities and tooth decay and improve oral health in residents, according to a 2001 article on The Natural Choice Directory, a Web site that lists environmentally friendly and health-conscious businesses and services, and information about environmental concerns in the Puget Sound area.

Two-thirds of U.S. cities have fluoridated drinking water, according to the directory's Web site, and fifty percent of Washington cities have fluoridated water. Every use of the faucet unnecessarily exposes people to poisonous fluoride.

Fluoride is a waste product of industries that produce products including pesticides, fertilizers, aluminum, iron, steel, copper, lead, uranium, brick, cement and glass, according to the directory's Web site.

Fluoride is more toxic than lead, and slightly less toxic than arsenic, according to the Web site. Lead and arsenic are not safe for humans to ingest -- and neither is fluoride.

Some researchers have indicated fluoride as a cause of health disorders. Fluoride is a carcinogen, a neurotoxin, a bone-weakening agent and a cause of decreased fertility in women, according to the directory's Web site.

Researchers have released six studies since 1994 linking fluoride intake to cancer, decreased IQ, attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder, kidney damage and early sexual maturation in young males and females, according to a speech Dr. J. William Hirzy, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientist, delivered in 2000 to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Wildlife, Fisheries and Drinking Water in 2000 and published on the fluoridation.com Web site.

The city of Bellingham should not fluoridate the water and put residents at risk for these adverse health effects.

Evidence is unclear whether adding fluoride to water actually prevents cavities. A 30-year study of 400,000 children in India showed tooth decay increased as fluoride intake increased, and the causes of tooth decay were a lack of calcium and an excess of fluoride, according to the directory's Web site.

According to Hirzy's speech, a 50-year water-fluoridation experiment in Kingston and Newburg, N.Y., in which Kingston fluoridated the city water and Newburg did not fluoridate city water, revealed no significant differences in rates of dental decay in children in the two cities.

Fluoride is not essential for preventing cavities and maintaining good oral health. Water without fluoride, however, is essential to overall health.

Proponents of adding fluoride to Bellingham drinking water said fluoridation will lead to better oral health for children. They said water fluoridation is a safe and easy solution to reducing cavities in children, and major science, health and medical associations, including the American Medical Association, the U.S. Public Health Service and the World Health Organization, also support fluoridation.

But fluoride is not safe for anyone and is not necessary for healthy teeth. Diets lower in sugar, better education about dental care such as brushing and flossing, and supervision from parents will also lead to children having fewer cavities.

Fluoride is a poisonous chemical that is unsafe, and no city should add it to residents' drinking water -- Bellingham is no exception.

Post Election Statements

Anyone in Bellingham can see what a divisive topic the issue of proposed water fluoridation is.

There would be no proposal to add a fluoride chemical compound unless $150,000 had been spent largely by out of town special interests and political consultants from California with slick fliers and models in medical garb.

This amount of money from outside Bellingham perverts our local democracy. The decision should be left to Bellingham residents alone. The paid signature gatherers flown into Bellingham will not have to live with the consequences of dental fluorosis or other health maladies which result from water fluoridation.

Its one thing to believe something is good for you. Its quite another to try to force it on your neighbor without their permission. Given the health risks of fluoridation and the objections of many to ingesting the substance, I can see why people are up in arms on this issue. Who wants to be forced to ingest something by the government? No one should be required to ingest fluorosilicic acid which contains contaminants such as lead and mercury. No one.

Let’s leave medication issues to the individual where they belong. Please vote no on the fluoridation issue in November.


Jerry Swann

I find Curt Smith's comment, "Better-educatedvoters were in favor of this,"at the end of your article titled "Fluoride Issue Splits City," in poor taste.
I see the failure of the fluoridation initiative as a perfect demonstration of a democratic government, where regardless of your supposed affluence or education your vote counts.
This is exactly what the forefathers of our great country risked all to provide for us.
The fact that almost all of the water in a homeis not consumed simply shows how wasteful the fluoridation initiative is.
Perhaps theinsinuated lesser-educatedvoters that live in these less affluent precincts are just makinga better choice in keeping this wasteful proposal from happening. Or could it be they took the time to read the back of their fluoridated toothpaste, where it clearly states that it is harmful and dangerousto ingest?
I challenge those who are genuinely interested in helping to check with the people in these less affluent precincts. They may have a better alternative idea to save the teeth of thechildren inthis community.
Chris Keller
It seems the results of Bellingham's recent fluoride vote points to the opposite conclusion reached by Bellingham Herald writers and fluoridation proponents.
Better-educated voters do their own research instead of accepting the voices of authority who used to say smoking or hormone replacement therapy is OK.
The better educated were more likely to notice: tooth decay in the industrialized nations dropped at the same rates for the past 50 years regardless of fluoridation; cities like Boston - fluoridated for over a generation - experience the same tooth decay rates as Bellingham.
In an increasingly toxic world, it's not a good idea to add more toxins to our body's burden; fluoride poisoning (fluorosis) is most likely to afflict those with poor nutrition and the main proponents now admit fluoride's purported effectiveness comes from topical application.
Are some Edgemoor residents really more affluent, or more afflicted with affluenza? Maybe they should start using natural health care and additive-free foods.
There's a growing pile of peer-reviewed scientific evidence showing more linkages between fluoride and health hazards. It takes an educated mind to perform the critical analysis required by this debate, and it looks like the citizens of Bellingham were up to the challenge.
Dave Ewoldt
As a property owner in Bellingham, I have been interested in the fluoride vote. I was glad to see that it is losing.
I read the "Fluoride issues splits city" article. Professor Todd Donovan is actually handing a compliment to those that voted against fluoridation, since many have studied about "good nutrition" and its effects on their health and teeth. We have found that food additives aren't good for us. Would you take a tablespoon and put in some of these additives and swallow them?
People with life threatening disease should never take foods with additives.
The comment aimed at those eating natural foods as being outside the norm should rather suggest looking at its benefits seriously, because our bodies were made to eat natural foods. Processed foods don't have much to offer if you want good health.
The last quote in the article: "Better educated voters were in favor of this." Better education doesn't mean more common sense.
Fluoride is readily available for those who want it.
Eugene Kurz
I am responding to the Sunday headlines proclaiming how the fluoride debate has "divided Bellingham." With your typical sensationalistic brand of journalism, the paper makes it seem that the measure barely got rejected. I think that 6 percent is a clear and decisive margin of victory.
Secondly, the overall tone of this article, along with your "objective" reporting of the entire campaign, gives one the impression that The Bellingham Herald is in support of fluoridization. Giving Curt Smith, the co-chair of Families for Fluoride, the last word ("Better educated voters were in favor of this."), leaves me to wonder if his completely ignorant, nonsensical statement somehow echoes The Herald's sentiment.
People are slowly becoming aware of how big money and corporations have a vested interest in controlling all forms of media. This specific article was a perfect example of your paper's typically sly, agenda-driven journalism. By pitting both sides against one another and through the use of strategic paraphrasing and quotes, we see a not so subtle design taking shape: divide, manipulate, control.
By slanting the objective truth and leading readers to a corporate/ industry blessed conclusion, your paper might as well continue under the slogan, "Let us do the thinking for you."
Jason Keedy