This film attempts to persuade people who are opposed to the fluoridation of drinking water that they are mistaken in thinking that fluoride, in minute quantities, is toxic, may cause cancer or heart or kidney disease, leads to bone fractures, or is unconstitutional. The film emphasizes the low cost of fluoridation and the very great benefits it bestows in the marked reduction of dental caries. A town meeting is shown in which angry, upset people raise their objections to fluoridation. To the man who says that fluoridation is against the laws of nature, that it is a poison, Dr. Benjamin Spock, a noted pediatrician, replies that the fluoride that occurs naturally in drinking water in some areas of the country haslong prevented tooth decay in the people living in those areas. He also says that water to which fluoride is added is no different than water in which fluoride occurs naturally. Both kinds of water prevent tooth decay, and he supports any measure that furthers the health of children. To the man who claims that fluoride attacks the heart and kidneys and increases the risk of cancer, Dr. Paul Dudley White, a famous cardiologist, replies that there is no evidence to suggest thatfluoride in any way affects or causes these diseases. To the man who claims that fluoridation is an infringement of human rights and a communist conspiracy, Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago replies that it is within the responsibility of democratic governments to provide health measures for the good of all its people. In the five years that the city of Chicago has had fluoridated water, Daley says no ill effects from it have been discovered. At the film's conclusion, the viewer is asked what he will say when he has an opportunity to talk about the adoption of fluoridation in his community. Will he resist spending ten cents per year per child; will he deny protection from dental caries to forty million children; will he refuse to allow one part of fluoride per million parts of water for this public benefit? Spock, White, and Daley do not appear at the staged town meeting. Spock and White appear to have been filmed in their offices. Daley has been filmed outside of a Chicago municipal building. Shots include: gushing and dripping water faucets; a baby drinking a bottle of water; a little boy eating an ice cream cone.
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Benjamin Spock, Paul Dudley White, Richard J. Daley.
Received: Aug. 19, 1986 as a donation from the American Dental Association.