May 18, 2013 |
PORTLAND, Ore. - Proponents of fluoridating Portland's water supply had no trouble getting the local Urban League on board. Here in the biggest city in the country that still doesn't treat its water to prevent tooth decay, studies show that low-income children and kids of color have been hit hardest by untreated cavities. "Do we really want our children to be suffering from something we could prevent? Why would we not want to be involved?" said Jerome Brooks, an Urban League advocacy contractor who has helped marshal the civil rights group behind a fluoridation measure on Tuesday's municipal ballot.
March 22, 2013 |
You can never be too rich or too thin, perhaps, but you certainly can drink too much tea. That's the bottom line of an unusual case report published in this week's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. Doctors at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit treated a 47-year-old woman who had suffered from pain in her lower back, hips, legs and arms. She was also missing all of her teeth because they had become brittle. Something was wrong with her bones. Sure enough, X-rays revealed that the vertebrae in her spine showed signs of a painful condition called skeletal fluorosis. Doctors gave her a blood test to measure the concentration of flouride in her system.
September 12, 2012 |
The City Council of Portland, Ore., on Wednesday approved putting fluoride in the municipal water, ending the city's official resistance to using the additive to fight tooth decay. The ordinance, which passed 5-0, calls for city water to be fluoridated by 2014, a spokeswoman for the city said by telephone. Portland is the largest city in the United States that does not add fluoride to its water. Despite the council's action, opponents of the ordinance have insisted that they will continue to fight fluoridation, and some said they plan to force a referendum.
September 6, 2012 |
Cities have wrestled with the notion of fluoridating water supplies to improve dental health for more than half a century. In the early days, naysayers warned that fluoride was conceived as a secret Communist weapon to pacify unruly populations. Advocates have pleaded that parents are losing the war on cavities and need community backup. The latest battleground is Portland, Ore., the largest U.S. city that doesn't put fluoride in its municipal water supply. That appears about to change: A majority of the City Council has signaled a willingness to vote next week in favor of an ordinance to inject low levels of fluoride into drinking water, heading off a promised ballot initiative seeking to prevent it. The debate in free-thinking Portland has been a contest between the overwhelming weight of mainstream medical organizations -- which have weighed in on fluoridation as a safe and effective way of promoting dental health -- and concerns of some critics about possible links to lower IQ and bone cancer at high doses, as well as citizens' right to choose what is in their water.
February 6, 2012 |
Fluoride is a natural mineral with an unnatural ability to stir controversy. On the Internet, the cavity fighter is often portrayed as a grave threat to health. Various sites call it "a deadly poison" and "an invisible killer" - the sort of thing you'd want to avoid if you had any choice. Most toothpastes contain fluoride, but people who prefer to brush without the additive have plenty of options. Tom's of Maine, a health and beauty company based in Kennebunk, sells several varieties of fluoride-free pastes.
November 22, 2011
A slap on the wrist Re "Two Davis officers put on leave; UC president 'appalled' by tactics," Nov. 21 UC President Mark G. Yudof was appalled by the tactics of two UC Davis campus police officers who used pepper spray on students. The powers that be promptly responded by placing the officers on paid leave. So let me get this straight: These two officers who appalled Yudof are being punished with paid time off? I hope that when I make mistakes at work, my superiors will give me a paid vacation, and a long one at that.