Children’s dental health is improving in Wales with fewer children experiencing dental decay, says new report http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/childrens-dental-health-improving-wales-8588509
The Mail on line reports After fluoride, how LITHIUM could be put in tap water to beat depression
Lithium, prescribed as a mood-stabilising drug (a typical daily dose is 300 mg), mainly for bipolar disorder, and is thought to work by modifying certain chemicals in the brain., occurs naturally in many water sources in Scotland, leaching out from volcanic rock at very low concentration (providing a daily dose of about 2 mg per two litres of water).Now researchers at the University of Glasgow School of Medicine are investigating where there is a link between lithium in water and lower suicide rates
Chris Exley, professor of bioinorganic chemistry at Keele University, thinks it ‘unlikely’ that lithium will be added to water supplies soon. But he says that such low amounts are unlikely to cause harm or make any difference to mood anyway
Concerned residents in Hull have launched a petition against proposals to put fluoride in the city’s.water supply.
[ see picture] Congratulations to Mella McAuley of “Mella’s Fudge” in West Cork who has become the latest business to be awarded fluoride free status as part of The National Fluoride Free Towns Project.
Mella McAuley stated, “I’m delighted to be making my artisan fudge with fluoride free water and proud to be supporting the fluoride free campaign…using fluoride free water seems like an obvious and logical business move which I’m in no doubt will also benefit sales of our growing product range in Ireland and abroad”.
Cavan and Monaghan County Councils are among the latest councils to call for an end to fluoridation of Irish water, with both agreeing in the past month to write to the Government and Irish Water to express their concerns. The move by both councils comes on the back of a growing anti-fluoridation campaign in Ireland.
Sinn FéinSouth Dublin County Cllr Danny O Brien has today welcomed the decision of South Dublin County Council to remove fluoride from the public water supply-
A major new fluoridation study was published today in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health–a British Medical Journal (BMJ) publication. The full report will be available.via the SWIS resources page. This is the Newsweek article:
A large study that looked at data from nearly every general medical practice in England suggests that water fluoridation may increase the risk of developing hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. This condition, in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, is associated with symptoms such as fatigue, obesity and depression.
The study found that locations with fluoridated water supplies were more than 30 percent more likely to have high levels of hypothyroidism, compared to areas with low levels of the chemical in the water. Overall, there were 9 percent more cases of underactive thyroid in fluoridated places.
Fluoride is added to the water of about 10 percent of England’s population—and to the taps of about two-thirds of Americans—for the purpose of preventing cavities. It has proved controversial ever since being adopted by American public health authorities in the 1950s, and then spreading to some other countries; supporters say it is a boon for dental health, while critics say it may lead to a variety of health problems.
The paper, published today in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, also directly compared the fluoridated city of Birmingham with the city of Manchester, which doesn’t add the substance to the water. After controlling for factors such as sex and age (women are more likely than men to have the condition, and the elderly more likely than the young), the researchers concluded that doctor’s offices in Birmingham were nearly twice as likely to report high levels hypothyroidism, says study co-author Stephen Peckham, a researcher at the University of Kent.
“It raises a red flag,” says Dr. Philippe Grandjean, an environmental health researcher and physician at Harvard University, “that possible interference with thyroid function needs serious consideration when regulating fluoride levels in drinking water.”
The findings are all the more important since this is the “largest population ever studied in regard to adverse effects of elevated fluoride exposure,” says Grandjean, who wasn’t involved in the study. Data was collected from 99 percent of England’s 8,020 general medical practices, and the study found that a total of 3.2 percent of the population had hypothyroidism, a 14 percent increase from 2008.
“The study is an important one because it is large enough to detect differences of potential significance to the health of the population,” says Trevor Sheldon, a medical researcher and dean of the Hull York Medical School. Sheldon, who has authored numerous studies in this field, no longer thinks (as he once did) that the “case for general water fluoridation” is clear.
Considering the comprehensiveness of this study—it covered nearly the whole of England—regional differences in fluoride intake or other confounding factors are unlikely to have played a role in the striking results, says Kathleen Thiessen, a senior scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis, a company that does human health risk assessments for a variety of environmental contaminants.
But John Warren, a professor and researcher in the department of dentistry at the University of Iowa, disagrees. He points out that the study merely shows correlation, not causation. It also “assumes that since one group lives in a fluoridated community, they have higher exposure to [the substance] than those in the non-fluoridated area,” he says. This is significant flaw, he says—to draw a valid connection between fluoride and hypothyroidism, you’d have to measure individual exposure to the chemical and show that those with the condition had higher levels of exposure.
But other researchers interviewed for this story disagreed with this point, saying that such group studies are a valid way to begin to assess health effects of chemical exposure and make up the bulk of the scientific basis for fluoridation; this paper uses a much larger sample size than the vast majority of studies showing positive effects of fluoride, Thiessen says. Collecting individual data from tens of thousands of people is also not very feasible, they say.
“It’s unlikely that other sources of fluoride exposure—from tea, swallowed toothpaste, a few types of foods—would be distributed amongst the population of England in a way that would bias the results in one direction or another,” says Chris Neurath, senior scientist with the Fluoride Action Network, which opposes adding the substance to water.
Moreover, several other studies have suggested that fluoride in water accounts for a majority of an individual’s exposure to the chemical in the United States, and Peckham says this is also probably true in the United Kingdom. Thus it stands to reason that people in areas with higher levels in the water are generally exposed to more of it, Peckham says.
The connection between fluoridation and thyroid problems has not been widely studied, says Thiessen, who wasn’t involved in the paper. But the research that does exist shows that at a certain dose fluoride does indeed impair the activity of the thyroid gland, through an as-yet-unclear mechanism, she says.
In fact, fluoride was used to treat hyperthyroidism (or an overactive thyroid) in the 1950s. It may put a damper on the gland’s activities by suppressing the activity of various enzymes, causing physical damage or interfering with the absorption and use of iodine, a substance that is critical for thyroid health, Thiessen says.
In 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency convened a panel that recommended lowering the maximum allowable level of fluoride in water; Thiessen was amongst that group and helped write sections of the report regarding health effects on the thyroid. Nine years later, the EPA is still considering whether or not to revise its fluoride standards.
Grandjean’s work has shown that high levels of fluoride—above the concentrations found in most fluoridated water—are associated with reduced IQ measures in children in China and India. Based on that work, he and a co-author listed fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin in a 2014 study in The Lancet.
“We don’t know how fluoride may cause the decreases in IQs in children, but this new study suggests that thyroid toxicity could be a very relevant mechanism,” Grandjean says. The thyroid produces hormones that are vital for proper metabolism, growth and brain function, and children of mothers with thyroid problems can suffer deficits in these areas, he adds.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which lists fluoridation as one of the top 10 public health initiatives of the 20th century, declined to comment on the study. The Food and Drug Administration referred questions about the study to the EPA, which didn’t respond by publication time. Public Health England maintains that fluoridation is “ a safe and effective public health measure.”
But some researchers aren’t so sure. “This study illustrates that there are potential harms [with fluoridation] that need large scale studies to explore; at the same time it is not a reason for panic,” Sheldon says.
One might think the research is difficult to disprove, but the following is presumably meant to be a serious comment:
The New Zealand Dental Association has dismissed a recent study that claims fluoridation can lead to hypothyroidism, a condition that slows the body’s metabolism.
The study of underactive thyroid conditions diagnosed by family doctors in Britain found a correlation between higher levels of fluoridation and an underactive thyroid.
But the association’s chief executive, David Crum, said the paper failed to highlight that iodine deficiency was a major cause of hypothyroidism.
He said the research was flawed because fluoridated areas of Britain were also the areas with high iodine deficiency.
From FAN: Well-known consumer advocate and legal consultant Erin Brockovitch posted the following message on her Facebook account this past week expressing her opposition to fluoridation:
“Hey… Flint, Michigan. I have been conducting my initial review of your water treatment records. Clearly, we all know this mess you are in is economically driven and not a true water quality crisis. So, if its economics, why are you spending as much as $3.00 per person (person not connection) adding Fluoride to the drinking water? Last time I checked Water Treatment professionals weren’t pharmacists… so what’s up? This is an expense you don’t want or need… adding any drug to Drinking Water is a problem… Please spend your resources on cleaning up the Drinking Water and stop pumping out drugs.
More to follow.”
see also Australia
Georgia, HB129 has been introduced and co-sponsored by five representatives. The legislation would eliminate the requirement for petitioning 10% of voters and a mandatory referendum vote to opt-out of the statewide mandate, and instead gives local governing bodies (county commissioners, select boards, city councils, etc.) the ability to end fluoridation by passing a simple motion or resolution. Just last week the Fayette County Commission passed a resolution supporting this legislation, and the bill has already moved on to second reading, so support is needed ASAP.
Hawaii, legislation has been introduced to create a fluoridation mandate for all communities with 1,000 or more public water connections. Similar legislation has been introduced on an annual basis for years but fortunately has never gotten as far as having a public hearing or vote. In fact, in 2003 Honolulu–the state capitol and largest city–passed ordinance 66 prohibiting the use of the public water supply as a “means for delivery of chemicals for medical or dental purposes.” ).
Another significant piece of research linking fluoride to ADHD . The summary is reproduced below.
Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association
Epidemiological and animal-based studies have suggested that prenatal and postnatal fluoride exposure has adverse effects on neurodevelopment. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between exposure to fluoridated water and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States.
Methods: Data on ADHD prevalence among 4-17 year olds collected in 2003, 2007 and 2011 as part of the National Survey of Children’s Health, and state water fluoridation prevalence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected between 1992 and 2008 were utilized
. Results: State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status. A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011. Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined.
Conclusions: Parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water supplies. The relationship between fluoride exposure and ADHD warrants future study. Author: Ashley J MalinChristine Till Credits/Source: Environmental Health 2015, 14:17 Published on: 2015-02-27 http://7thspace.com/headlines/504443/exposure_to_fluoridated_water_and_attention_deficit_hyperactivity_disorder_prevalence_among_children_and_adolescents_in_the_united_states_an_ecological_association.html
Feb 16 Rich Kremer, Wisconsin Public Radio
The City of Rice Lake in northwestern Wisconsin is discussing whether to stop adding fluoride to its water supply.Rice Lake has been fluoridating its city water since 1952, but in the last three months a commission has been discussing whether to go without the tooth-strengthening chemical.
Rice Lake Utilities Manager Scott Reimer said “If folks do want fluoride, there’s plenty of different ways to get it.” According to the Department of Natural Resources, 22 municipalities have stopped using fluoride in the last 10 years. Overall, a majority of water systems in Wisconsin are fluoride-free.
The Sonoma City Council officials on Wednesday will consider whether to publicly oppose the county’s proposed plans to add fluoride to the water system. At the urging of anti-fluoridation crusader Dawna Gallagher-Stroeh, Mayor David Cook has requested that a letter of opposition come back before the council
After listening to numerous dentists, anti-fluoridation activists and residents on both sides of the issue, council members voted 3-2 to redraft a letter and bring it back for further discussion.
Councilwoman Rachel Hundley wanted the letter to outline more specifically some of the city’s concerns, such as the ones brought forward by Councilman Gary Edwards. “I’ve talked to doctors. I’ve talked to quite a few folks,” Edwards said during the meeting. “I don’t really want to have it in my food. I don’t really want it in my wine. I don’t want it in my meal.”
Recommendations are expected to go before the Sonoma County supervisors later this year.
Among other things, the new letter suggests that the fluoridation program may compromise the city’s groundwater-banking project.
Read more at http://www.sonomanews.com/home/3528447-181/council-may-bite-back-on#kPKL1EHa6jrf8uDA.99
EGG HARBOR CITY — Jerry Gleason has run the city’s water and sewer department more than 23 years, and said the idea to stop fluoridating city water is 100 percent his idea.
Ending fluoridation would simplify the running of the plant and the testing required, he said. He has been bothered by the waste for years, but said he was spurred to action now by having to think about ways to incorporate additional equipment into the city’s year-old water plant on Philadelphia Avenue.
Gleason said fluoridation is not part of the water-treatment process, but is an additive put in after the treatment is done, just before the water goes out to homes and businesses.
john Lyon Arkansas News Bureau firstname.lastname@example.org
LITTLE ROCK — A House committee on Tuesday endorsed a bill that would let local communities and water utilities decide whether to add fluoride to public water supplies.
House Bill 1355 by Rep. Jack Ladyman, R-Jonesboro, received a “do pass” recommendation from the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee and heads next to the House.
Under the bill, a city, county or company that controls a water system could decide whether to adjust the fluoride level in the water and would not be allowed to exceed the maximum level recommended by the state Health Department. There would be no minimum level, allowing the level to be set at zero if the controlling entity wishes.
Act 197 of 2011 currently requires any water system in the state serving 5,000 people or more to set a fluoride level within the minimum and maximum levels recommended by the Health Department. A water system does not have to comply unless private funds are available to cover fluoridation costs.
“I feel that the people who drink the water should vote on or decide what they put in the water,” Ladyman told the committee.
Health Department Director Dr. Nate Smith, and Dr. Lindy Bollen, director of the department’s Office of Oral Health, testified against the bill.
Fluoride “greatly reduces the incidents of decay, especially in our target populations where they don’t have the services,” Bollen said.
Rep. Deborah Ferguson, D-West Memphis, a dentist, said she had seen an appreciable difference between the oral health of children in West Memphis where the water was fluoridated and children in communities without fluoride in the water. Tooth problems are a common reason children miss school, she said.
“You can say this is about local control, but you weren’t for local control when you wanted cursive writing and discrimination,” Ferguson said, referring to bills approved by the Republican-controlled House to require the teaching of cursive in schools and prohibit cities and counties from passing anti-discrimination ordinances.
The panel endorsed the bill in an 11-5 vote.
Also Tuesday, the committee rejected HB 1311 by Rep. Mickey Gates, R-Hot Springs, which would end enrollment in the Medicaid expansion program known as the private option. The bill failed in a 7-11 vote.
Act 46 of 2015, approved earlier this session, calls for the private option to end Dec. 31, 2016, and for a legislative task force to look for an alternative model to replace it.
Feb 3 Arkansas
Fluoride To Flow In Greenwood Drinking Watergoogletag.display(‘ad160x600_above’);By Chad HunterTimes Record • email@example.comUsing a $124,000 grant, the city of Greenwood plans to fluoridate its drinking water soon as mandated by the state.Steve Ratterree, chairman of the city’s new water/wastewater commission, said the plan is to begin fluoridating the city’s drinking water by the first of April.“There’s probably a few people who won’t be happy about it,” Ratterree said. “But what we’re going to try to explain to them is it’s one of those things the state is mandating. We have no control over it
Girdwood’s water supply will have fluoride added once again starting in June. Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility stopped fluoridation in Girdwood’s water about 18 months ago due to some unreliable equipment. Once the new fluoridation equipment is purchased and passes initial tests, it will be installed in Girdwood.
Girdwood’s limited options for opting out of the fluoride ordinance were discussed, and the results are not promising in the near future for those opposed to fluoridation.Todd Sherwood, Anchorage Municipal Attorney, attended the meeting and confirmed the opinion that Girdwood cannot choose to opt out of the municipal fluoride ordinance.
Ballina, New South Wales
BALLINA Shire Council have defeated Councillor Jeff Johnson’s proposal to hold a community poll at the next local government election on whether the Ballina community wants to have its water fluoridated or not. The proposal was defeated 7-3 at yesterday’s council meeting.
“It appears that the majority of Ballina Councillors are confused as to the difference between simply informing the community and consulting the community,” Cr Johnson said. “I would like community polls to become a regular feature of local government elections, indeed all elections, to give the community the chance to vote on specific issues rather than simply voting for a politician to make all the decisions on their behalf.”
Feb 2 New South Wales
MidCoast Water will begin putting fluoride in to the Tea Gardens water supply on Tuesday, February 17.The decision to fluoridate the water supply was made in line with NSW Health and is part of a program to extend fluoridation across all NSW rural water supplies.
When customers were asked if they thought fluoridation of the water supply would benefit them and their family, the majority of responses were positive,’’ a MidCoast Water information leaflet said.
Councillor Jeff Johnson has a notice of motion going before council on Thursday to have a poll run at the next local government election in September 2016. to find out if residents support the addition of fluoride to their water supply. “A handful of councillors and a bureaucrat in Sydney have enforced fluoride on Ballina without any consultation or polling on what residents want… “
Ballina Council originally voted against fluoridation, but changed its position in 2006. The issue was revisited in 2013 when support for fluoride was reaffirmed by council, eight votes to two.
From SydneY Morning Heralad
Clean-water campaigner Erin Brockovich urges people to question water fluoridation while visiting Australia
Erin Brockovich, the internationally renowned clean-water campaigner who is visiting Australia to talk about water c ontamination, has urged her Facebook followers to question water fluoridation.
In several posts, the most recent of which was added on Thursday morning, Ms Brockovich posted anti-fluoride material and urged her followers to read research claiming that fluoride is dangerous.
“In Australia, she appeared as an ambassador for Shine Lawyers at a meeting in Oakey, Queensland, to talk about water contamination.
On Thursday morning, Ms Brockovich posted a new update detailing “why the United States’ Environmental protection Agency (EPA) Headquarters’ Union of Scientists Opposes Fluoridation”.The post says that most of its members had thought that fluoride’s only effects were beneficial – such as reductions in tooth decay – until recently.
Ms Brockovich’s posts have been seized upon by the Fluoride Action Network Australia, which has reposted and shared Ms Brockovich’s comments to its own members.
Her comments coincided with a renewed campaign by local anti-fluoride activists ahead of a forum on the topic by US anti-fluoride activist Paul Connett at the University of Technology, Sydney, on February 21.
Leading health and dental experts have refused to attend the forum, claiming the panel is stacked with those opposed to fluoride and biased.
Top NSW health and dental experts are boycotting an “open” forum organised by one of the most vocal anti-fluoride campaigners from the US, saying the anti-fluoride activists have as little scientific proof as the anti-vaccination campaigners.
A website promoting a February 21 forum with Professor Paul Connett, a US anti-fluoride activist, says he will hold an “open” panel in Australia – his first of this kind despite numerous previous visits – with pro-fluoridation advocates.
Professor Connett argues that fluoridation’s role in the decline of tooth decay is in doubt, even saying that where fluoridation of the water had been stopped tooth decay had decreased, something disputed by all public health associations.
His site also says representatives from the Australian Dental Association, Sydney University’s Dental Faculty and NSW Health have been invited to the meeting, which will be chaired by Sydney dentist Dr Ron Ehrlich, the founder of Sydney Holistic Dental Centre.
But the pro-fluoride advocates have either not received an invitation or have refused to attend. A spokesperson for NSW Health said “no one’s been invited and no one’s attending.”
On invitation from public health education and advocacy organisation Fluoride Free New Zealand, international fluoridation experts Professor Emeritus Paul Connett and Dr Bill Hirzy will be in New Zealand next week, 22nd to the 28th of February.
Both scientists are known throughout the world for their expertise on fluoridation. They will be giving public presentations in Taupo and Thames and speaking to politicians about fluoridation during this year’s tour.
Prof Connett visited New Zealand in 2011, 2013 and 2014. Each time there has been tremendous response to the information he has provided, and consequently, New Plymouth, Taumarunui and Waipukurau stopped fluoridation. After giving presentations, councils in Hamilton, Whakatane and Hastings decided to hold fluoridation referenda; Dunedin City Council lowered its fluoride level; and Upper Hutt City Council then voted to lobby Regional Council to stop fluoridation. Last year, Auckland City Councillors became very concerned after hearing Prof Connett’s presented information, which resulted in Professor Gluckman producing a report, attempting to quell concerns.
However, the Gluckman fluoridation report has been severely criticised and Professor Connett and Dr Hirzy are well placed to explain why.
Two councillors are pushing to get fluoride back in New Plymouth’s water supply but facing opposition.
Councillors Gordon Brown and Richard Handley have been campaigning behind closed council doors to get fluoride back on the agenda.
However, fellow councillor Shaun Biesiek said the pair were the only two pushing for it and it was unlikely it would be on the council table this term.
Fluoride was taken out of the city’s water in 2011 after a unanimous decision by councillors and has since caused ongoing and heated debate.
Brown said he and Handley, who is on the Taranaki District Health Board, were pushing hard for a second round of debates on the issue.