Monday, September 24, 2012

Book Review: The Fluoride Wars

By Rich Kozlovich
I have been reading a great deal lately, but because I was so busy I wasn’t reading books, so when my friend Jay Lehr sent me a copy of his book, The Fluoride Wars, some time back, I took quite some time to get into it.   I actually had a number of reasons for my reticence; first, with all that I am involved in I haven't had the time to sit and read….and actually study a book, as would be required in this kind of reading.  Secondly, fluoride wasn’t an issue that I was all that interested in and besides; I already knew what Jay thought.  Well….I was wrong on two counts. 
The fluoride issue is almost as foundational to the mythology of environmentalism as DDT because the arguments against fluoride and agents of doom are much the same in their approach as you would expect regarding genetically modified foods, global warming, energy production, the EPA, and environmental regulations as a whole; so if one is interested in these other things then the fluoridation of drinking water should be of interest.  
As I said, I was sure what Jay’s views were, so it came as quite a shock when I started reading.  He and his co-author R. Allan Freeze were far more unbiased and balanced than I would have thought possible.   I was convinced at one point that they just might be In favor of eliminating fluoride in drinking water.  I was at least 40% through the book before I had a firm grasp on their views. And then they took me right back through the same level of consternation and back again.  Why is that important?  It is important because it shows how they took great pains to explain the history of fluoridation in drinking water in America, outlining the views of all parties; even with a certain level of understanding and justification. 
It is my belief that it is impossible to understand any issue properly unless you understand the history.  The history of the fluoridation of American’s drinking water is presented with balance, understanding and unvarnished facts in this book.  For anyone interested in understand this issue I recommend reading The Fluoride Wars.  You will not only get a deeper understanding of the chemistry behind this issue you will get a deeper understanding of the emotions driving both sides, especially since this is a battle that is still enflaming so many.   You will also find the end conclusion interesting.  A conclusion that will leave you feeling that you have been given a balanced and science based solution. 
You may also wish to read this review of The Fluoride Wars.
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