I am a registered dental hygienist, licensed in the state of Utah, and have been involved in the dental profession since 1970. I am vehemently opposed to the fluoridation of municipal water supply systems.

Fluoride is not an essential element so far as human nutrition is concerned, and it is not recognized as such by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In fact, the FDA classifies fluoride as an "unapproved new drug."Also, Environmental Protection Agency scientists, engineers and attorneys who assess the scientific data for Safe Drinking Water Act standards and other EPA regulations have gone on record against the practice of adding fluoride to public drinking water. However, the American Dental Association places their stamp of approval on fluoridated products even though fluoride has not received FDA approval or met EPA regulations.

Even if the amount of fluoride added to municipal water supply systems is 1 part fluoride per million parts of water, the fact still remains that fluoride is an "unapproved new drug" at any concentrated or diluted level. Both fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses have warning labels asking that you do not swallow the product.

Countless scientific publications state that there are no significant differences in decay rates of permanent teeth or the percentages of decay-free children in fluoridated, partially fluoridated or non-fluoridated areas.

All consumer products must meet government safety standards, and fluoride has yet to meet any government safety standard. The only promotion and recognition that fluoride receives is from dental organizations and dental product manufacturers, and I challenge anyone to prove it otherwise.

Rosemary G. Minervini, RDH, MS