Mark, to start with let me ease your worries - fluoridated water has been in use for a very long time, in fact people have been drinking it naturally since the dawn of man. Bringing water to .7mg/L is not a problem, since most drinking water is probably naturally somewhere just under or near that number anyway, and many natural sources are over that. One reason the many countries in Europe don't fluoridate water is that in higher countries the fluoride levels in water is already at that level, so it is not necessary, and while it is interesting to quote Belgaqua, it is actual not an governmental body (it is a commercial advocacy umbrella for the three largest water suppliers in Belgium, the way they can lobby the government in a very fractured political environment - and if the government mandated they should fluoridate the water, they would. The government has not, it simply has rendered the opinion that they may if they want to - why should they if it is an added expense for no return?), nor is it more than the opinion of one former director. I have no particular care about his opinion, since it is a political one, my concern is medical truth, and to date there is no hard evidence that fluoridation at the levels recommended in the US are in any way harmful. The reason Switzerland has no water fluoridation is that instead, like MANY European lands, we add fluoride to salt instead. In fact, it is a far worse way to distribute it, since there is no way to control the salt intake of the population, but a relatively easy way to do so for water - we know what most people will drink over a day and adjust for that, but people get salt in so many things, even when they don't realise it. So you see, the fluoridation of water is the safer of the two ways to distribute it. I might point out that not only do water companies add fluoride to water in the US, but where it is naturally occurring but over the recommended levels, they must, under state laws, reduce it to safe levels.
I am uncertain how a survey of 500 people out of 15 countries could be in any way a representative sampling of public opinion, so I would discount that little snippet if I were you. It is nonsense - most people here could not care less, and they do not object to fluoridated salt, which most do consume, and far too much of it. It is a cardiologist's nightmare.
The question of governmental mandate of aspirin consumption was actually mooted recently, but there are too many factors at work as to do so, it has to be doctor's discretion (in Switzerland, cardio aspirin is only under prescription, BTW, you cannot buy it over the counter (because of the danger of over consumption or inappropriate consumption, but I think we are being a bit controlling about that) because there is a cost/benefit analysis to do - the risks (intestinal bleeding, etc) against the possible gain). And it only makes sense after a certain age anyway - a 30 year old, if he is otherwise healthy, does not need it - a 60 year man might benefit from it for his heart, a woman against stroke (don't ask - it is complex and I went into it elsewhere once on this forum, explaining the mechanisms, etc, you can look it up there). At best, anyway, the government can recommend it, which it does, and provide guidelines for physicians to follow for diagnosis and dosing levels. In fact, the government NEVER mandates medication except where the public health as a whole could be adversely effected (as in pandemics, etc, where flu shots may be mandated as an emergency measure, and even then only in certain persons at risk).
Fluoridation is not a federal mandate in the US so far as I know, but controlled by individual states, with the EPA setting maximum safe levels of contamination, and other bodies agreeing on normal usage levels. Individual states choose what standards they will adhere to, and it is up to them to enforce safe practice. This is not a federal issue, they only advise on what is not safe, and have no enforcement powers one way or another, so far as I understand.
Several studies of aerosolised shower water were done over the years, including one by one of my students (here doctor means you have to do an academic thesis, and guess who has to read all of them - muggins, that's who
), and none showed any danger of increased ingestion of heavy metals or halogens from shower water mist. Not enough is ingested to make a difference. You would need to inhale litres of mist a day for years on years for it to make even a slight impact, and you don't inhale litres of mist per day. Plain and simple. You are talking about minute amounts of minute amounts (.7mg/L in normal water is heavily diluted again when aerosolised to the point that you are beginning to talk about homeopathic amounts - this is simply not a real problem in any way, it is jumping at shadows. No one is that sensitive to so little without a major allergy, and even then it is unheard of).
Dental caries remain a major public health concern in most industrialized nations, affecting 60–90% of schoolchildren and the vast majority of adults. While it is no longer so necessary to fluoridate water now as it was in 1940, due to better dental practice in industrialised nations, the health concern remains, and some regions do fluoridate water to deal with it. A doctor prescribing you to dose your water with fluoride as an adult would do nothing, as it is the minute amounts ingested over years upon years that has the actual protective effect, not a sudden adult dosage - it would take years for it to do anything.
Out of curiosity, since you live in Ohio, is your region using added fluoride or is there a naturally high level in the water? And why is this really an issue? From the medical side it is a non issue - no one has ever been able to demonstrate health problems from safe levels of fluoridation, and we now have some 120 years of data to go on, since this data has been gathered since the late 19th century, only from levels higher than the safe levels, and even then so far the only thing we see there is pitted teeth in children and brittle bones in the elderly. you are at slightly greater danger from the chlorine in the water, frankly, and immensely greater danger from air pollution and even greater danger from preprocessed foods and restaurant foods all of which add too much salt and sugar. This is simply, from a medical standpoint, a non-starter. From a political standpoint, well, that is an area I cannot debate. By nature of geography and country history, our political viewpoints are too far apart.