The Fluoride Wars: How a Modest Public Health Measure Became America's Longest-Running Political Melodrama

The Fluoride Wars: How a Modest Public Health Measure Became America's Longest-Running Political Melodrama

by R. Allan Freeze, Jay H. Lehr, Freeze
     
 

A lively account of fluoridation and its discontents

Since its first implementation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945, public drinking water fluoridation and its attendant conflicts, controversies, and conspiracy theories serve as an object lesson in American science, public health, and policymaking. In addition to the arguments on the issue still raging today,

Overview

A lively account of fluoridation and its discontents

Since its first implementation in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1945, public drinking water fluoridation and its attendant conflicts, controversies, and conspiracy theories serve as an object lesson in American science, public health, and policymaking. In addition to the arguments on the issue still raging today, the tale of fluoridation and its discontents also resonates with such present concerns as genetically modified foods, global warming response, nuclear power, and environmental regulation.

Offering the best current thinking on the issue, The Fluoride Wars presents a witty and detailed social history of the fluoridation debate in America, illuminating the intersection of science and politics in our recent past. This reader-friendly assessment explores the pro- and anti-fluoridation movements, key players, and important events. Full of amusing and vivid anecdotes and examples, this accessible recounting includes:

  • A careful and non-condescending look at the hard science, popular science, pseudo-science, and junk science involved

  • A look at fluoride issues including dosage, cost, financial and funding interests, fluorosis, and problems of risk-cost-benefit analysis

  • The back-and-forth drama between pro- and anti-fluoridation factions, with all its claims, counterclaims, insults, acrimony, and lawsuits

  • Case studies of various cities and their experiences with municipal water fluoridation initiatives

  • Fluorophobia and popular conspiracy theories involving fluoride

  • The colorful characters in the debate including activists, scientists, magicians, and politicians

A richly and considerately told tale of American science and public life, The Fluoride Wars offers an engrossing history to both interested general readers and specialists in public health, dentistry, policymaking, and related fields.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The authors have put an enormous effort into acquiring the data in this book and... it is a very interesting and stimulating read." (Chromatographia, June 2010)

“The authors should be commended for providing all of the facts of the controversy in one place. Their call for both sides to get together to study the health issues with reason and respect is also a worthwhile goal because, as they point out; perhaps then ‘this long-standing and somewhat silly dispute could finally he laid to rest.’” (Chemical and Engineering News, September 2009)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470448335
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
04/20/2009
Pages:
383
Sales rank:
1,018,977
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

R. Allan Freeze is one of North America's leading researchers in the field of environmental water quality, and has acted as the consulting engineer on drinking water quality at a number of sites across North America. He was a member of the University of British Columbia's engineering faculty in Vancouver for twenty years and is the author of over 150 technical articles and the coauthor of several books.

Jay H. Lehr is Senior Scientist with The Heartland Institute and Chief Scientist for EarthWater Global, an international water supply company. A graduate of Princeton University, he developed the first PhD program in hydrology at the University of Arizona and was on the faculty at The Ohio State University. Lehr has authored or coauthored over twenty books, hundreds of journal and magazine articles, and is an internationally renowned expert who speaks worldwide on environmental topics.

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