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Small doses can be safe

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I am forced to respond to Vaughn Robison's "A Toothpaste Proposal" (Readers' Forum, April 7). Using this logic, we should prove the safety of chlorine in swimming pool water by challenging someone to drink a glass of Clorox or to prove the safety of using salt in our food by challenging someone to eat a pound of salt.

It is clear that any chemical or medication, while safe in recommended amounts, could be toxic in excess. Yes, toothpaste manufacturers must warn about not allowing children below a certain age to have access to toothpaste because it may be appealing to a child who doesn't understand. This is true of any medication. Should we not have access to medication for that reason?

Convenience stores must now warn that hot drinks may burn you. That seems obvious to most of us. But there is a feeling in our society that anything not warned about is grounds for legal action. Don't take a warning as a reason to discard the value of something. More than 50 percent of the metropolitan United States has been fluoridated for over 50 years. I submit that, in the recommended doses, it is safe and effective as a health measure to prevent dental caries, an epidemic disease.

Brian L. Homer

Salt Lake City