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why I voted for fluoride

This year Wichita has a measure on the ballot to add fluoride to its water supply. I did a little reading, I was sort of in the middle, then I voted for it.

Wichita is the first city that I've lived in that didn't add fluoride, and this might be a coincidence but it's the first city I ever had cavities in.

Also, my dentist recommended the measure. They had lots of voter guides at their office when I went in for my annual cleaning.

There's been a lot of arguing about it, but honestly I feel like the anti-fluoride side is the same people telling me that the government is reading our minds if you don't wear a foil hat. Or that if I have my baby in a hospital they'll c-section me just to make to the golf course on time. Or that vaccines will give my child autism and ruin her immune system. It's the "don't trust scientists" side. And I'm kind of a scientist, so I relate much better to their side.

The local news stations just kept running fact-checking stories on the stuff the anti-fluoride side said, and found it all to be bunk. It wasn't industrial waste, it wasn't giving us cancer, or lowering our IQ.

The whole idea that we're voting on it kinda reminds me of this presentation I saw from a marketing guy once, where we'd surveyed customers about different wing shapes for our airplanes and asked the customers which one they perceived would be more fuel efficient. Uh... what? We are ENGINEERING, I explained to him, if a certain wing shape is more fuel efficient we'll do the math and testing and tell the customers that, why on earth would we ask customers how they FELT about something that could be proved with numbers?

I told him that if I was a customer, I'd read that question and think he was nuts.

Well, now I've learned that it happens all the time. Odds are, some customer probably thinks we're in with the fuel company and that I get a cut every time we make a shitty wing that takes more thrust to make lift.

So I'm just learning to shake my head and not be too shocked when we put stuff like this up for a public vote. Lots of people just think they're more qualified to make these decisions than people who study the stuff for years, and they like having conspiracy theories about EVERYTHING, so fine, whatever. If it doesn't pass, I don't really care either way.


( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
Man, I wish they'd put fluoride in OUR water. This is the first place I've ever lived where they didn't, and it's a pain in the butt to have to feed fluoride supplements to two kids. I don't think it helps adults though.
Nov. 5th, 2012 09:20 am (UTC)
Here in Germany, the water is fluoridated, as far as I know. Instead they put fluoride in the table salt (along with iodine).
Nov. 4th, 2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, there ARE doctors out there who will require a C-section for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with your best interest, including convenience around their schedules. Of course, this is generally with practitioners who think that C-sections are safer anyway. In their thought process, they're simply delivering their patients into the best option for labor and delivery, so arranging it on their time doesn't seem like a big deal. It's just interesting, and awfully convenient, how many of those C-sections tend to coincide with holidays and other events.
Nov. 5th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
Yeah, some of the "conspiracy theories" do have a grain of truth... or, I think, the science just doesn't know about some of them...
Nov. 4th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)

you don't have fluoride? I thought everyone had fluoride if they were in a city.

that takes more thrust to make lift.
I am wholly unapologetic that my brain thinks that sounds dirty.
Nov. 5th, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
It's funny. I wish we had flouride too yet I would feel weird voting for it like I'd be imposing my beliefs on everyon eelse...
Nov. 5th, 2012 03:22 am (UTC)
But then wouldn't that be true for anything you vote for (or against)?
Nov. 5th, 2012 03:24 am (UTC)
Being from a small town, I had to take the tablets when I was a kid. We also had to swish with the nasty liquid stuff once a week in gym class until ... third grade or so? BLECH. I hated that crap.

Living in cities with fluoride in the water supply since I started college, and I don't notice it at all (though here in Baltimore area the water is super gross. I think they over chlorinate or something). Tap water in both Boston and Dallas was tasty with no filtering at all. Here I use a filter due to the nasty taste.
Nov. 5th, 2012 08:14 am (UTC)
The bit about customer surveys is the most depressing thing I've seen all month. It's a good thing I didn't have any faith left in humanity anyway.
Nov. 6th, 2012 02:51 am (UTC)
Same deal with me, but I don't get to vote on it
Go fluoride! My dentist had to prescribe trays and fluoride for me because the decay was so bad (I also hadn't seen a dentist in at least 7 years, which was probably part of the problem), but I think I had maybe one small cavity before moving here? Now I need a crown. However, I live in Andover. Even though we use Wichita water, we don't get to vote on the issue.
Nys Cof
Nov. 20th, 2012 11:26 am (UTC)
Science says Fluoridation Ineffective, Harmful and Wa$teful,
Fluoridation Opposition is Scientific, Respectable & Growing

More than 4,393 professionals (including 343 dentists and 538 MD’s) urge that fluoridation be stopped citing scientific evidence that ingesting fluoride is ineffective at reducing tooth decay and has serious health risks. See statement: http://www.fluoridealert.org/researchers/professionals-statement/text/

"How Safe is Fluoride in Your Water?" ABC-TV investigative report uncovers evidence linking US studies to fluoride and health dangers aired 11/15/2012

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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