There are many reasons to oppose water fluoridation, including safety concerns and health risks.Reason #1 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Fluoridation is a violation of the individual\u2019s right to informed consent to medication.\u00a0 Within a community water supply, fluoride is being added to the water of everyone, even if some people do not want it and still others do not even know about the fluoride being added to the water or about its health risks.\u00a0 Informed consumer consent is needed for water fluoridation, especially because of the alarming lack of safety for this chemical and its health risks.Reason #2 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Fluoride is not an essential nutrient. Fluoride is not a required component for human growth and development. In fact, fluoride has been recognized as\u00a0one of 12 industrial chemicals known to cause developmental neurotoxicity in human beings. Researchers have repeatedly challenged the alleged safety and effectiveness of fluoride.Reason #3 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Hundreds of research articles published over the past several decades have demonstrated potential harm to humans from fluoride at various levels of exposure, including levels currently deemed as safe. Fluoride is known to impact the cardiovascular, central nervous, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary, renal, respiratory, and skeletal systems, and exposure to fluoride has been linked to Alzheimer\u2019s disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, infertility, and many other adverse health outcomes, including fluoride toxicity.Reason #4 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: People are now exposed to fluoride from an array of sources.\u00a0 Since water fluoridation began in 1940s, an array of products containing fluoride have been introduced to the average consumer including water, dental products, pesticides, fluoride supplements, other prescription drugs, and many other sources. There is no current accurate estimate of just how much fluoride people are taking in from all of these sources. However, dental fluorosis is recognized as the first visible sign of fluoride toxicity. It is likewise a warning signal of the human health risks associated with fluoride exposure. According to\u00a02010 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention\u00a0(CDC), 23% of Americans aged 6-49 and 41% of children aged 12-15 exhibit fluorosis to some degreeReason #5 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: A \u201cone dose fits all\u201d level is unacceptable.\u00a0 Susceptible populations with low body weights, such as infants and children, and individuals who consume increased amounts of water, such as athletes, military personnel, outdoor laborers, and those with diabetes or kidney dysfunction, can be more intensely effected by fluoride.\u00a0 Additionally, fluoride is also known to impact each individual differently based on allergies, nutrient deficiencies, genetic factors, and other variables. Notably, a bottle-fed baby in a fluoridated area gets up to 200 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby, resulting in an increased risk of dental fluorosis and other adverse effects.Reason #6 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: There is not a wide-spread understanding about how fluoride interacts with other chemicals.\u00a0 This issue is crucial to understanding risks of artificial water fluoridation, as the multiple chemicals to which we are exposed to can produce distinct reactions and interactions. For example, the fluoride added to many water supplies attracts lead, which can be found in certain plumbing pipes. Likely because of this affinity for lead, fluoride has been linked to higher blood lead levels in children.Reason #7 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Does it even work to prevent tooth decay?\u00a0 The trend of decreased decayed, missing, and filled teeth over\u00a0the past several decades has occurred both in countries with and without the systemic application of fluoridated water. This suggests that increased access to preventative hygiene services and\u00a0more awareness of the detrimental effects of sugar are responsible for these improvements in dental health. Research has also documented decreases of tooth decay in communities that have\u00a0discontinued water fluoridation.\u00a0 Even proponents of fluoride have suggested that fluoride primarily works to reduce tooth decay topically (i.e. scrubbing it directly onto to teeth with a toothbrush), as opposed to systemically (i.e. drinking or ingesting fluoride through water or other means).Reason #8 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Ethical questions have been raised in regard to the use of fluoride, especially\u00a0because of fluoride\u2019s ties to the phosphate fertilizer and dental industries. Furthermore, researchers have reported difficulties with getting articles published that are critical of fluoride, and an urgent\u00a0need for an appropriate application of the precautionary principle (i.e. first, do no harm) related to fluoride usage has emerged.Reason #9 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: Fluoridation discriminates against those with low incomes.\u00a0Research has indicated that fluoride does not aid in preventing pit and fissure decay (which is the most prevalent form of tooth decay in the U.S.) or in preventing baby bottle tooth decay (which is prevalent in poor communities). Also, research has suggested that in malnourished children and individuals of lower socio-economic status, fluoride can actually increase the risk of dental caries due to calcium depletion and other circumstances. Moreover, people on low incomes are least able to afford avoidance measures (reverse osmosis or bottled water) or medical and dental treatment for dental fluorosis and other fluoride-related ailments.Reason #10 to Oppose Water Fluoridation: It also poses threats to animals (pets and wildlife), as well as the environment at large.\u00a0 Animals are exposed to fluoride in the environment through pollution of air, water, soil, and food. It is important to consider their overall fluoride exposure as a result of each of these sources. Harmful effects of fluoride, including species vulnerability, have been reported in an array of wild animals. Even domestic pets have been subjects of reports raising concerns about fluoride exposure, especially through their water and food.Click here to learn more about fluoride from the IAOMT\u2019s fact sheets, including how to avoid fluoride and the IAOMT Position Paper against Fluoride.Click here for more reasons to oppose water fluoridation from the Fluoride Action Network.