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Portland Will Be Weird Whether They Put Fluoride in the Water or Not

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Posted on Sep 11, 2012
Photo by mira66 (CC-BY)

The chemical that helps prevent tooth decay can be found in the tap water of most Americans, but some residents of Portland, Ore., a city that may finally begin adding the stuff to its water supply, strongly oppose the plan.

Saying most Americans do things differently from Portland is not going to offend a city that, coincidentally like Austin, Texas, prides itself on keeping “weird.”

Still, although hundreds of millions of Americans have been drinking fluoridated water for decades, the issue is not yet settled and some cities are still holding out.

The Associated Press via Google:

Rick North, the former executive vice president of the American Cancer Society in Oregon, said he figured fluoride was OK until he started researching the issue several years ago and spotted many red flags. Supporters, he said, believe it is a “silver bullet” to fight cavities and won’t hurt anyone else.

“But you can’t put a drug into the water supply and expect that it’s not going to have side effects,” he said.

Commissioner Nick Fish, who co-sponsored the plan, said more than 200 million Americans drink water with added fluoride, and it doesn’t appear to have caused great harm. Most mainstream health organizations, such as the American Medical Association and American Dental Association, endorse it as safe.

“Over the last 50 years, as we have fluoridated more water, the overall IQ of Americans has gone up,” he said. “I don’t suggest a cause-and-effect, but I also think it shows the reverse isn’t true.”

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—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. Follow him on Twitter: @peesch.

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