Since the 1940s, it has been fashionable among right-thinking, scientifically inclined people of the left to point out a certain unseemly fascination among folks on the extreme right with fluoridation of the water supply.
As sensible people know, fluoride is certainly a dangerous chemical, but on the scale it's used in municipal water it's a positive health benefit, allowing Americans to enjoy nice smiles into ripe old age while our cousins in the Old World spit their rotted teeth into the denture glass. The joke reached its height with Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, in which the anticommunist General Jack D. Ripper attempted to destroy the world in order to save it from fluoride.
As it turns out General Ripper didn't commit suicide at all. He's alive and well, and working for the California Office of Environmental Health.
The CIC voted on May 29 to prioritize 38 more chemicals for possible listing as carcinogens. Nine were designated as high priority, and these include fluoride (yep, the stuff the dentists use, Crest puts in its toothpaste and many water districts add to the water)…
After sixty years, the dream of rightwing fluoride nuts has been realized, and to think it's going to be done by the public health ministry in Sacramento. Henceforth products containing fluoride, including toothpaste, will have to be labeled a carcinogenic health hazard. While there's no evidence that Californians will suffer less cancer as a result, human nature being what it is, we can predict they'll suffer a lot more cavities.
Open wide and smile, California.
Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White
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