Reports and Resources
From Fair Warning
In the early 1900s, a young dentist named Frederick McKay moved to a Colorado town where the residents’ teeth — though in some cases stained chocolate brown — had far less decay than was typical back then. He and other researchers eventually linked the phenomenon to fluoride in the town’s drinking water – a eureka moment that would usher in what is often called one of the 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.
Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1945 became the first city to fluoridate its water supplies. Today, two out of every three Americans receive drinking water containing the chemical, and the federal government is pushing to raise the numbers further.
Yet few substances found in drinking water trigger as emotional and polarized a public reaction as fluoride. In the fevered imaginations of conspiracy theorists, including members of the John Birch Society, fluoridation was denounced as a Communist plot, a view satirized in the film “Dr. Strangelove.”
It turns out that, when it comes to fluoride, there is a risk of getting too much. Abundant evidence suggests that while a small dose of the chemical can help prevent cavities, some American children are being exposed to amounts of fluoride that could be harmful to their teeth – and, possibly, even damaging to their brain development. A key reason is that our daily exposure to fluoride has been increasing for years, with the chemical used in everyday items such as bottled drinks, processed foods, toothpastes and mouthwashes, along with pesticide residues and even the air, thanks to industrial emissions.
On top of that, millions of Americans rely on water supplies with what federal agencies consider more than the optimal level of the chemical. Water utility fluoridation practices often contribute to more-than-optimal concentrations but, for an estimated 5.7 million Americans, naturally occurring fluoride is to blame.
Health conditions linked to too much fluoride include:
Dental fluorosis: A condition stemming from fluoride overexposure among children typically up to about 8 years old, when teeth are developing and enamel is still forming. Dental fluorosis can vary in severity from mild tooth discoloration to severe staining, enamel erosion and pitting. Some academic experts believe that more than 5 million Americans suffer from moderate or severe dental fluorosis, with the highest rates believed to be among adolescents.
Skeletal fluorosis: A disease in which excessive fluoride accumulates in bone tissue. It can lead to problems like joint pain, fractures and osteosclerosis, which involves abnormal bone hardening and increased bone density. In worst case scenarios, skeletal fluorosis can lead to crippling deformities of the spine and joints. The more severe forms of skeletal fluorosis typically are associated with long-term exposure to particularly high levels of fluoride.
Neurological problems: Recently published research highlights these potential hazards. In September, a long-term study in Mexico came out that found a link between increased levels of prenatal fluoride exposure and lower IQ in children. In addition, a pair of 2015 studies by British and Canadian researchers suggested a link between fluoride overexposure and hypothyroidism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its parent agency, Health and Human Services, consider fluoride concentrations in water of 0.7 parts per million, or ppm, the sweet spot – a level high enough to prevent tooth decay but low enough to avoid mild dental fluorosis or more serious problems. In light of that, another HHS agency, the Food and Drug Administration, in April 2015 urged bottled water companies to avoid adding fluoride that would raise concentrations above that so-called optimal level.
Kathy Thiessen, an environmental toxicology expert at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis in Tennessee, said limiting fluoride in drinking water “is a very politicized issue.”
The CDC also suggests a variety of measures to protect children. They include a recommendation for families with youngsters under 8 to consider alternate sources of drinking water, or filtering their water, if they live in communities where fluoride occurs naturally at levels above 2 ppm. CDC officials estimate that nearly 900,000 Americans receive drinking water with fluoride above 2 ppm, which they say is high enough to erode tooth enamel.
Yet the Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates the nation’s water quality, is much less stringent. While it recommends keeping maximum fluoride concentrations below 2 ppm, its legal ceiling for water utilities is twice that high, at 4 ppm. A critical National Research Council report in 2006 called for reducing that limit, saying it raises the risk of problems such as bone fractures. “It’s just not protective, period,” said Kathy Thiessen, a contributor to the report and now an environmental toxicology expert at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis in Tennessee.
The EPA, which reevaluates drinking water standards every six years, twice decided against taking any action on the issue since the NRC published its findings in 2006. In fact, the last time the EPA changed the legal limit, in 1986, the agency boosted the ceiling to its current level, apparently to ease the financial burden on water utilities in areas where high fluoride levels occur naturally. In a statement to FairWarning, an EPA spokesperson said that a revision to its fluoride requirements would be “not appropriate” at this time, and that the agency will continue to “monitor the evolving science and will reevaluate the drinking water standard for fluoride in subsequent regulatory review processes.”
In the meantime, experts outside of government increasingly express concern about the health effects of fluoride, especially for especially pregnant women and small children. Even at concentrations simply above the optimal level of 0.7 ppm, “The concern is real that fluoride could be a neurotoxicant,” said Philippe Grandjean, an environmental epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and co-author of a 2012 review of scientific literature on the neurotoxicity of fluoride.
Thiessen agreed. “There is an increased risk of cognitive damage or other neurological damage with higher fluoride intake. The question is, is there a level below which it is safe? And I think probably not.” Thiessen said that while she is “disappointed” the EPA hasn’t tightened its limits, she isn’t surprised. “Unfortunately, it’s a very politicized issue.”
Philippe Grandjean, an environmental epidemiologist at Harvard University, said, “The concern is real that fluoride could be a neurotoxicant.” (Photo by Jacob Rosenvinge)
For its part, the American Dental Association downplays the consequences of high fluoride concentrations in some drinking water systems. An ADA spokesperson, for example, said in an email that the most common type of dental fluorosis in the U.S. is so mild that it has “no effect on tooth function and may make teeth more resistant to decay.” The association says it supports fluoridating water, but only up to the 0.7 ppm level.
“I don’t know anyone who would advocate for supplemental fluoridation of a water source above what we know to be safe,” explained Ben Hoffman, a fluoridation supporter who directs a safety center at the Oregon Health and Science University Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland.
Even so, some utilities continue to fluoridate water to above the 0.7 ppm level. No up-to-date government figures exist on the number of Americans exposed to drinking water fluoridated to above that point, but the advocacy and research organization Environmental Working Group estimates that, as of 2015, the figure was 28 million. However, federal authorities reduced the level they consider optimal that year to the current 0.7 ppm – previously, in some cases, it was as high as 1.2 ppm — and since then many water utilities are believed to have reduced their fluoridation.
That’s cold comfort for Jessica Trader, 31, who says she suffers from dental fluorosis that she attributes to the water she drank while growing up in various parts of North Carolina. At first, her fluorosis appeared as little white spots. As she got older, the stains darkened and now, she says, it looks like there’s lipstick permanently on her teeth. What’s more, Trader says her teeth are very fragile. “My teeth keep breaking,” she said, including one time recently when a tooth fractured while she was chewing candy.
Scientists have long recognized the strong link between excessive fluoride and dental problems. The 2006 report by the National Research Council found that 10 percent of children drinking water fluoridated to around 4 ppm suffer severe dental fluorosis.
The new Mexico study, however, underscored the point that fluoride may be harming children’s brains, too. In that study, researchers spent 12 years studying nearly 300 mothers and their children. They found a connection between high exposure of pregnant women to fluoride and lower intelligence test scores by their children later on, at age 4 and in the 6-to-12 age range. No similar investigation has been conducted in the U.S. but, in Canada, researchers are looking into the issue, using a sample size that is three times larger than in the Mexican study.
The tricky politics of fluoridation have played out in Portland, Oregon, the largest city in the U.S. not to fluoridate its water. In 2012, the Portland City Council approved the practice. Opponents fought back, getting the issue placed on the ballot the following year and, after a heated campaign, voters rejected fluoridation for the fourth time since 1956.
At the federal level, too, fluoride has had a contentious history.
In 1986, the EPA raised the legal limit for fluoride to the current 4 ppm. Supporters of the increase said the cost of filtering out fluoride would dramatically boost water bills, while some health experts argued that too little was known about the potential health effects from fluoride overexposure, especially among children. After the 1986 threshold increase, a group of former EPA scientists joined with the Natural Resources Defense Council to sue the agency, but they lost in court.
In the years since, scientific evidence about potential harm from too much exposure to fluoride has mounted. Last year, the National Toxicology Program, an arm of the National Institutes of Health, published a review of scientific literature that found a connection in animals between fluoride consumption and learning and memory defects.
For consumers, the options are limited. Home filtration systems can remove fluoride from tap water, but they don’t come cheap. Many of the most common technologies — such as reverse osmosis, deionization and activated alumina — cost in the hundreds of dollars.
Bottled water isn’t necessarily any better than public water supplies. The Food and Drug Administration has urged bottled water companies to avoid adding fluoride that would raise concentrations above the optimal 0.7 level. Even so, the agency allows those businesses to sell water with up to 2.4 ppm fluoride, if it was bottled in an area with high naturally occurring fluoride.
For Jessica Trader, the North Carolinia native who has suffered with dental fluorosis for years, the failure to take a tougher stand against high fluoride levels is maddening. Trader, who now lives in San Francisco, is involved with an environmental organization that joined with other groups this year to sue the EPA. They are waging a long-shot effort to force the agency to shut down water fluoridation programs around the country. Trader describes water fluoridation as a “reckless policy,” because some people are more sensitive than others to the chemical.
“Why haven’t we done anything about it sooner?” Trader said. “It’s affecting people’s lives in all these different ways, and they [federal officials] are just turning a blind eye to it
FAN comment We recommend that our supporters read this well-balanced article on fluoridation from the blog: FairWarning. Yes, there are things in this we disagree with (the CDC Oral Health claims on benefits) but this is dwarfed by exposing readers to the growing research which indicates harm. This includes neurotoxic effects most recently highlighted in the landmark Bashash et al, 2017 study on in utero exposure and lowered IQ in offspring. This study was funded by the U.S. agencies: National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the Environmental Protection Agency; as well as the National Institute of Public Health/Ministry of Health of Mexic
(This report also from FAN)
The Childsmile program in Scotland
Childsmile has become the model program for the prevention of dental caries in young children in Scotland. Implemented in 2001 to target children from deprived areas, it has proven to be far more effective than the fluoridation of public drinking water in the U.S. and other fluoridating countries. Unlike fluoridation, it does not force children to swallow fluoride. However, Childsmile does target children at greatest risk of caries for fluoride sealants and they do encourage the use of toothpaste with fluoride. There is a similarly successful program called the Nexø Program in Denmark that does not use fluoride toothpaste or sealants. We will discuss Nexø in another bulletin.
According to a BBC news report in 2013:
- It’s a program to encourage nursery children to brush their teeth
- It involves staff at all Scottish nurseries offering free supervised tooth-brushing every day.
- It also helps parents establish a healthy diet from the earliest stage.
- According to Public Health Minister Michael Matheson, “By this simple measure, NHS costs associated with the dental disease of five-year-old children have decreased dramatically.”
- Glasgow researchers found that the scheme had reduced the cost of treating dental disease in five-year-olds by more than half between 2001 and 2010.
- It costs about £1.8m a year.
- It has saved more than £6m in dental costs, according to a new study.
In a Scottish Government press release in September 2017:
“The Childsmile programme, with its emphasis on prevention, rather than treatment has resulted in significant improvements in children’s oral health across Scotland. Our aim is that every child has access to Childsmile.”
I think the success of Childsmile is because from the government down, the Scottish people want health equality and they are willing to collaborate to achieve it. Secondly, the target of the program is prevention, not treatment.
In 2000, the British Dental Health Foundation called upon the Scottish Executive to implement fluoridation of the public drinking water “to combat tooth decay problems afflicting thousands of children.”
Four years later, in November 2004, the BBC reported that the Scottish Executive decided not to fluoridate its public drinking water and “was instead planning a range of other measures to improve the dental health of children.”
Preceding this decision the opposition to fluoridation was “overwhelming.” According to The Scottish Herald, “Thousands have raised objections to any move by the Scottish Executive to introduce what has been described as mass medication…” A 2005 news article reported that “97% of responses from the public” opposed fluoridation.
In January 2002, the Scottish Consumer Council warned that pressing ahead with the proposals [to fluoridate] could expose the public to ‘adverse health effects’;
In November 2002, the Shadow Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon “rejected any plans to add fluoride to water supplies.”
In September 2003, the Green Party MSP [Member of the Scottish Parliament] Robin Harper stated “We [the Scottish Green Party] oppose water fluoridation on health and ethical grounds. Fluoridation breaches medical ethics and human rights by forcing people to take medication against their will, and has been linked to bone cancer and premature puberty.”
On the Ethical Aspects of Childsmile
There is a 2009 published full-text paper on the web (which was also published in Bioethics) titled Tackling socially determined dental inequalities: ethical aspects of Childsmile, the national child oral health demonstration programme in Scotland. It’s a refreshing academic exploration of Childsmile, such as the “programme’s twin aims of improving oral health and reducing health inequalities; … the rationale for making particular elements universal or targeted; … an examination of the political values and evidence base in relation to the programme’s development; … the area of cost-effectiveness of Childsmile and whether prevention should be prioritised over treatment”; … and the consideration of “how Childsmile ‘scores’ in terms of utility and justice…”
More on Childsmile
“Childsmile is the flagship national oral health improvement programme for Scotland. The overarching aims of Childsmile are to improve the oral health of children in Scotland and to reduce inequalities both in dental health and in access to dental services. There is also potential for other health impacts particularly with regard to diet and obesity. The Childsmile Programme is the main route to delivering the dental HEAT target.
“The Programme has three main arms:
- Childsmile Core is a Scotland-wide initiative involving universal supervised nursery school toothbrushing provision extended to Primary 1 and 2 classes in most deprived areas [4-6 and 5-7 years of age respectively]; in addition to the free distribution of toothpaste and toothbrushes, oral health improvement packs are distributed to every child in Scotland on at least six occasions during their first five years.
- Childsmile Practice targets children from birth and promotes oral health improvement and clinical caries prevention in dental practice, salaried primary care dental services and local community settings. This element has focused on reorientating dental practice to an anticipatory care and team approach to children’s dentistry, and integrating dental services with wider health services and community initiatives. There has been significant workforce development in creating Dental Health Support Worker roles within public health nursing teams, developing referral pathways, and training Dental Nurses ( DN) in clinical prevention including toothbrush demonstration, dietary advice and support, and as the child gets older the application of fluoride varnish.
- Childsmile Nursery and School targets the most deprived 20% of nurseries and schools by identifying the 20% of establishments with the highest proportion of children living in the most deprived local quintile, as defined using SIMD. These nurseries and schools receive additional preventive initiatives in the form of twice yearly fluoride varnish applications to children’s teeth by Childsmile teams. These teams comprise DNs and DHSWs. The Childsmile teams also deliver oral health promotion advice to parents and carers. In addition, the Childsmile Nursery and School programme contributes to the creation of a health-promoting environment within nurseries and primary schools and provides additional pathways of referral into dental services for those who have not yet accessed dental care…” Read more of this longer article here.
To access the Childsmile articles on the FAN website go to http://fluoridealert.org/news/?country=united-kingdom&sub=childsmile
Ireland: Declan Waugh’s latest campaign
In the last fortnight, in response to a tender being advertised by Irish Water for services in support of continuing mandatory fluoridation I wrote a letter for the Irish Authorities addressing significant issues surrounding lack of due diligence and duty of care by the Irish State regarding this highly controversial and discredited policy.
I am delighted to say that the letter was co-signed by many respected academics, scientists, medical doctors, midwives, neurologists, psychologists, biochemists, molecular and cell biologists, toxicologists, nutritionists, experts in paediatric medicine; as well as the cream of Irish songwriters, and musicians, in addition to composers, film directors and producers, educationalists, poets, actors, authors, historians, as well as some of Ireland’s leading food entrepreneurs and by citizens all across the length and breadth of Ireland, in addition to non-national residents, who have come to work or live in our country.
In our submission we are asking why pertinent studies have never been conducted in the past in Ireland and are seeking that biomonitoring studies of the population for fluoride exposure be undertaken as a matter of urgency and the information made publicly available.
We are also seeking answers to specific questions from the authorities in the interests of transparency and accountability that the State or its agencies has refused to address in the past.
We are further highlighting in our letter new evidence which demonstrates gross negligence and malpractice by the authorities on how this policy is governed in Ireland, as well as highlighting current research demonstrating a causal association between dietary fluoride intake and lower cognitive function.
It was principally through US influence and financial support that fluoridation commenced in Ireland in the 1960s, but the “experts” they sent here to persuade the Irish authorities neglected to mention that tea was a source of fluoride exposure despite the official journal of the U.S Surgeon General and the U.S Public Health Services reporting on this as far back as 1949. As far back as the 1950s when fluoridation was expanding in the USA dental experts in the UK observed that fluoridation was unnecessary due to the habitual consumption of tea among the British population. When Ireland commenced mandatory fluoridation of drinking water, per capita consumption was almost 5kg per person per year compared to 0.3 kg per person in the USA.
Unlike Ireland, when the US tried to influence fluoridation in mainland Europe it was soundly rejected by among others the Nobel Institute and the Pasteur Institute.
In Germany, it is forbidden by Federal Law to use water as a means of medication. In fact, the German authorities have clearly stated that the optimal fluoride concentration of fluoridated water is very close to the dose which long term detrimental effects in people cannot be excluded. In their opinion, it is not justifiable to fluoridate the water supply in view of different habits and therefore different consumption of drinking water and the uncontrolled intake of fluoride from other sources. Moreover, they state that the consumer cannot avoid fluoridated drinking water made available by public water supplies and that this mandatory intake of fluoride violates the basic right to bodily freedom from injury and free development provided by the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany. That opinion is as Germanic as you can get. Straight to the point and no nonsense. However, in saying this one must consider also that per capita consumption of tea in Germany (uncontrolled exposure to fluoride) is just a tenth of Ireland’s. To put our consumption of tea in context, per capita consumption of tea in Ireland is equal to that of the USA, Canada, USSR, Germany, France, Italy, China and India combined.
Since the late 1960s, over 100 studies have been published examining fluoride exposure from tea internationally but astonishingly none in Ireland. The Irish State are fully aware of this, but have steadfastly refused to monitor fluoride levels in tea because it would demonstrate that fluoridation is in fact contributing to chronic overexposure to fluoride among the population. It is for the same reason that there has been no bio-monitoring of the general population for fluoride exposure or no public health studies undertaken examining the relationship between chronic fluoride intake, morbidity and disease prevalence in Ireland. So rather than produce the evidence that fluoridation is safe, they repeat ad nausea that there is no evidence to suggest that fluoridation is contributing to disease in Ireland.
Meanwhile numerous peer reviewed published studies in reputable journals have shown an association between fluoride exposure from water fluoridation and increased risk a wide range of cancers, bone fractures, diabetes prevalence, endocrine disorders and developmental disorders such as ADHD.
There is robust evidence that fluoride also alters the genetic expression of genes in humans associated with cancer and evidence that chronic fluoride (exposure) may increase the risk of certain genetic disorders, which are highly prevalent in Ireland. In recent decades there have been multiple medical case reports of fluoride poisoning from tea consumption among habitual consumers in the USA, UK, France, the middle East and Asia but remarkably none ever recorded in Ireland, despite Ireland having the highest per capita consumption of tea in the world and mandatory water fluoridation. The reason for this is clear. Medical doctors in Ireland are not taught or informed about fluoride toxicity as part of their medical education.
The lack of training of physicians in Ireland on fluoride toxicity is simply astonishing, especially considering that fluoridation has been mandatory in this country for almost 60 years. Over the past number of year’s my experience has been that I have yet to meet a doctor in Ireland that was even aware tea was a source of fluoride. Considering the above, it is hardly surprising that medical physicians in Ireland are unaware of the symptoms of fluorosis (fluoride poisoning) or how it impacts on general health. Moreover, tea is never monitored for fluoride concentrations in Ireland and there is no labelling of tea products to inform consumers or medical physicians that tea contains highly significant concentrations of fluoride. In addition, as I mentioned previously as the Irish population have been the highest consumers of tea for over a century, it not immediately apparent to many physicians that patients may be suffering from effects chronic fluoride poisoning, as the general symptoms have been present for many generations, often misdiagnosed as arthritis, chronic pain disorders or metabolic/endocrine disorders.
Yet, remarkable as far back as the 1890s it was actually documented that the chronic and habitual consumption of tea among the poorest (and malnourished) in Ireland was associated with increased vulnerability to disease, anaemia, dyspepsia, gastric derangement, nervousness and psychological disturbance, mental depression and psychological decline Based on what we now know about the toxicity of fluoride, and the fluoride content in teas, evidence would suggest that the authors of these early studies were correct in reporting an association between chronic tea consumption (chronic fluoride exposure) and increased prevalence of disease.
At the end of the day, what we are witnessing In Ireland is that the democratic will of the people is being callously ignored by the institutions of the state. In recent years elected officials of the major city councils and local authorities voted to end fluoridation including Dublin City Council, Dublin South County Council, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Donegal County Council, Kerry County Council, Waterford County Council, Waterford City Council, Athlone City Council, Skibbereen Town council, Carrickmacross Town Council, Clonakilty Town Council, Kinsale Town Council, Wicklow Town Council, Laois County Council, Monaghan County Council, Cavan County Council, Galway County Council, Leitrim County Council and Wexford County Council.
Yet the Governments response is to ignore the democratic will of the people. It’s put up and shut up because fluoridation is mandatory in accordance with National legislation. However, what we are talking about here is not individual abuse, but the abuse of an entire population, beginning before a child is even born by exposing them to a developmental neurotoxin prenatally. It is medical negligence on a unprecedented scale.
For fluoridation to end we need more scientists, dentists, medical researchers and physicians to be knowledgeable about the toxicity of fluoride and to engage with their communities in Ireland, the UK, USA, Canada, Israel, Australia and New Zealand who are desperately trying to end this policy. I hope that our current submission will bring us one step closer to achieving this goal.
Scientist and Risk Management Consultant
Fluoridation, teeth and the atomic bomb
Scientific error and fraud
We hear nowadays about bribery, cheating and drug-taking in sport. We don’t hear so much about fraud in science.
Scientific fraud is usually the independent work of individuals. However, in some cases it’s institutional and then the result is that dissenters are often afraid to speak out, since those who do are likely to be denigrated, denied promotion or sacked. Dissenters are treated like whistleblowers in parts of the NHS where, according to an independent review in 2015, staff who blow the whistle on substandard and dangerous practices are ignored, bullied or even intimidated in a “climate of fear”.1
Dr Marcia Angell, editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, wrote in 2009: “It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines.”2
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, said in 2015: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”3
It is very unlikely that either editor was thinking of fluoridation, the story of which, however, is full of controversy, deception and fraud.
Early years of fluoridation
Fluoride is a word used loosely to mean a compound of the chemical element fluorine. “Fluoridation” usually refers to the addition of fluoride to public water supplies.
In 1928 it was reported that human teeth seemed to have less decay in areas where they were discoloured due to fluoride in the local water,4 and in 1939 a proposal was made to add fluoride to water supplies artificially.5
It isn’t practical to use calcium fluoride, the form that occurs naturally, because of its low solubility, so other fluorine compounds are used: sometimes sodium fluoride but more often alternatives such as fluorosilicic acid.
Fluoride can also be consumed in the form of tablets or drops. Alternatively, it is often added to dental varnishes, toothpaste and mouth rinses. The first five trials of water fluoridation started in 1945 in the USA and Canada.
In 1950, only five years later, the US Public Health Service endorsed fluoridation.6 The American Dental and Medical Associations soon followed. They were followed by many other organisations, keen to welcome progress, including the Boy Scouts of America.
The final report on one of the North American trials said: “The opposition stems from several sources, chiefly food faddists, cultists, chiropractors, misguided and misinformed persons who are ignorant of the scientific facts on the ingestion of water fluorides, and, strange as it may seem, even among a few uninformed physicians and dentists.”7
The spread of fluorudation
In 1999 the (US) Centers for Disease Control called water fluoridation one of the ten great public health achievements in the twentieth century.8
In the UK pilot schemes started in the mid-1950s in four areas: Andover (1955-58); part of Anglesey (1955-92); Kilmarnock (1956-62); Watford (1956-89).9 All have since ceased fluoridation.
Except for Andover, where a rebellion stopped the experiment, results were published 5 years and 11 years later, and substantial reductions were reported in tooth decay in children.
Fluoridation is widespread in a number of countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Republic of Ireland. About six and a half million people in the UK are supplied with fluoridated water, notably those in Birmingham. An increase in coverage to 50% of the population has been proposed and there are local battles over the issue. Not long ago Southampton avoided fluoridation after a long struggle. Bedford is among the areas now being targeted.
In 2004 the British Fluoridation Society, UK Public Health Association, British Dental Association and Faculty of Public Health confirmed the effectiveness of water fluoridation and said that no evidence of harm had been found. They said that, “There is an overwhelming mass of professional opinion in favour of fluoridation”.
Among those listed in support were the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health, UK Public Health Association, the General Dental Council, the British Dental and Medical Associations and also Help the Aged. MENCAP and the Patients Association.10
In 2014 Public Health England said fluoridation has significant benefits and that it had found no evidence of harm to health.
At this point, many people conclude that this is all they need to know, that science has spoken with authority, and that the case for fluoridation is beyond dispute. But is that true?
Fluoride as a poison
Three points need mentioning.
First, fluoridation differs from chlorination since chlorine, and often other chemicals, are added to treat the water, whereas fluoride is used to treat consumers.
Second, there is no good evidence that fluoride is necessary for human health, unlike calcium, iron, magnesium, various vitamins and so on.11
Third, that fluoride is a poison is not in question.
In the USA, the Food & Drug Administration requires fluoride toothpaste to bear the following warning: “If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a Poison Control Center right away”. In 2009, 378 people in the United States required emergency treatment.12
However, some substances are beneficial in small amounts but poisonous in larger amounts. Is that true of fluoride? Is it beneficial at the right level, like magnesium and vitamin D, or is it, like lead and arsenic, bad at almost any level?
Objections to fluoridation
There are various objections made to fluoridation, though here not all will be considered in detail.
1. The first objection is now out of date, though worth remembering. In Scotland, and almost certainly in the rest of Britain as well, fluoridation was illegal until 1985, 30 years after it started. Only then was a law passed to permit it.
2. It is unethical to use the water supply to bypass informed consent. Neither doctors nor dentists may force patients to accept treatment, except in special, rare circumstances. Treatment requires consent.
3. Every medicine and dose should suit each patient. Fluoridation is bad medically, since the dose is not matched to the individual. People receive different doses according to how much water they consume, and as this varies considerably, some people get much more, or less, fluoride than others. Diabetics, for example, tend to drink more than others.
Bottle-fed babies get very high doses in relation to body weight, and the American Dental Association eventually advised in 2006 that formula milk should be made with “low or no-fluoride water”.13
Even if everyone got the same dose, it would be bad, since some people are hypersensitive to fluoride and suffer adverse effects from amounts much smaller than those that affect the average person. Moreover, people with impaired kidney function retain much more fluoride than others,14 and so effectively get a larger dose over time. Fluoridation makes no allowance for factors like these, which correct medical treatment takes into account.
4. The margin of safety, if any, between a supposedly safe dose and a clearly unsafe one is much smaller than the margin that is normally considered prudent. Given the large variation in both the amount people drink, and individual sensitivity, there is no safety margin at all.
5. A considerable proportion of people get dental fluorosis or mottling of the teeth. Mild cases have fine white lines or chalky patches. In severe cases, which are much less common, the tooth’s enamel becomes pitted or discoloured. Dental fluorosis is the first visible sign of excessive fluoride intake.
A leading fluoridation pioneer, H. Trendley Dean, expected dental fluorosis to affect only about 10% of children, and then only in a very mild form.15 Now, with fluoride being widely used in various ways, about one in three American children have it, with about 10% of the total being more seriously affected than Dean had expected.16
A British report examined 88 studies on dental fluorosis and estimated that it is likely to affect some 48% of people drinking fluoridated water, with about 12% having fluorosis that they would find aesthetically concerning.17
When Watford’s water was fluoridated, a local dentist noted that children from Watford often had mottled teeth, but not those from nearby Kings Langley which was unfluoridated.18
6. Fluoride is, like lead, a cumulative poison. Normally about half of it stays in the body and accumulates there, most of it in the bones, though some in the pineal gland and the kidneys.19 Because of this gradual accumulation, some adverse effects can take years to be seen and, even then, they are easily misdiagnosed because many of the symptoms are non-specific.
7. Most water is not used for drinking or cooking, and about 99% of the fluoride contributes to environmental pollution.
8. Fluoridation is not based on good evidence of safety or effectiveness. It was pronounced safe and effective by the (US) Public Health Service before the first tests had even been completed.
The UK government’s Mission to North America had said that the pilot studies here should include “full medical and dental examinations at all ages”. However, in the event no medical examinations were done, and neither short-term nor long-term possible side-effects were explored.
As early as 1957, an article in New Scientist pointed out that the recently started British trials “are now officially described as demonstrations of the benefits of fluoridation, not experiments, so the results are a foregone conclusion” and the purpose was quite openly “promotional”. The writer added that these studies would gain enormously in value if those responsible were willing to submit them to impartial scientific assessment.20
Practically all of the apparently successful trials or demonstrations of fluoridation were open to bias. Moreover, we don’t know how many studies were never published, though it is known that there were some.
9. The belief that fluoridation significantly reduces tooth decay is not supported by good evidence. At least four modern studies, in Canada, Cuba, Finland and East Germany, found that tooth decay did not increase when fluoridation was stopped.21
Fluoridation’s claimed benefits are based on many poor-quality trials. There has never been a single “randomised controlled trial” with double-blind assessment of the results.22
In 2000 the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination at the University of York produced a major report, commissioned by the NHS. Its conclusion was that, despite many studies over 50 years, “We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide”. Even among the 26 better studies on fluoridation and tooth decay, not one was of high quality, with bias unlikely.23
In Britain we are told that fluoridation is without doubt beneficial, but many countries reject it, including Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, China, India and Japan. The Netherlands tried it but banned it in the 1970s. Israel tried it for 14 years but banned it in 2014.
Evidence against fluoridation
Let’s consider some of fluoridation’s critics and their evidence.
Dr Philip Sutton graduated in Australia with honours in Dental Science, and later got the highest dental research degree, Doctor of Dental Science. He was asked to examine the original trials of fluoridation and he found that they were full or errors and omissions. Intense pressure was put on Cambridge University Press, albeit unsuccessfully, to prevent distribution of his book in the USA.
Dr James Sumner won a Nobel prize for his work on enzymes. On fluoridation he was quoted as saying: “We ought to go slowly. Everybody knows fluorine and fluorides are very poisonous substances and we use them in enzyme chemistry to poison enzymes, those vital agents in the body”.24
Professor Hugh Sinclair, was a biochemist and director of Oxford University’s Laboratory of Human Nutrition. He warned in 1955 that “the Health Ministry’s plan to put chemicals called fluorides into drinking water may poison millions of people”.25
Dr Reuben Feltman studied the effects of fluoride tablets, with a daily dose of 1 mg – the equivalent of drinking only about one litre of fluoridated water – on pregnant women and young children. When early results showed that some patients reacted adversely, with symptoms such as eczema, urticaria, epigastric distress and headache, the US Public Health Service stopped funding the study. Feltman and another researcher managed to continue the study which was published in 1961. The symptoms disappeared with the use of placebo tablets, and reappeared when fluoride was again given, unknowingly to the patient.26
The usual reaction of the authorities to unfavourable results has not been to commission fresh research to confirm or negate them. Prof Paul Connett points out that, on the contrary, health agencies in fluoridated countries have never attempted to perform systematic studies.27
Dr George Waldbott was the first doctor to show that some people are sensitive to penicillin, and that tobacco cause lung damage. He then studied fluoride and found that – as is true similarly of many substances – some people are especially sensitive to fluoride. Double-blind tests showed clearly that fluoridated water was responsible. In 1956 he reported more than 50 cases of chronic fluoride toxicity.28 He had been renowned for his previous discoveries, but was shunned and vilified for his work on fluoride.
Dr John Colquhoun said that, as a dental student, “I had been taught and I believed, that there was really no scientific case against fluoride and that only misinformed lay people and a few crackpot professionals were foolish enough to oppose it”.
He became chairman of a committee to promote fluoridation in New Zealand. However, as Principal Dental Officer of Auckland, he found that fluoridation was actually harming children’s teeth. His reports were unwelcome, and he was sacked. He and a colleague used freedom of information to look into the trial of fluoridation in Hastings in New Zealand, quoted in text-books as a classic example of fluoride’s benefit, with tooth decay being reduced by at least half. What they found from seeing the original records was that the published result was fraudulent.
He compared the data for tooth decay in children aged 5 and 12 in New Zealand, and found that those in unfluoridated areas had teeth as good as those in fluoridated areas. Twenty years later, in 1998, Dr Betty de Liefde did a similar study on permanent teeth and also found practically no difference.29
Tooth decay in New Zealand had indeed fallen, but Colquhoun’s graph showed that the fall was well on its way before both the start of fluoridation, and the use of fluoridated toothpaste, neither of which obviously accelerated the decline.
Colquhoun also studied data from different countries, and found that, while tooth decay had fallen in those with fluoridation, it had fallen also, and by just as much, in countries without it.
Dr Dean Burk was head of cytochemistry at the (US) National Cancer Institute. He was co-discoverer of biotin, which is necessary for cell growth, developed techniques to distinguish between normal cells and those damaged by cancer, and wrote many scientific papers. He found the death rate from cancer to be about 18% higher in the 10 largest fluoridated US cities than in the 10 largest unfluoridated ones, and concluded that fluoridation probably increased deaths from cancer in the United States by about 33,000 a year.
Dr Albert Schatz was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Health and co-discoverer of streptomycin, the first effective drug for tuberculosis. During a period in Chile he found that infants there had very much higher death rates in fluoridated areas. In 1965 he sent a report about this discovery to the editor of the Journal of the American Dental Association, who refused to publish it or even to read it.30
Rudolf Ziegelbecker in Austria became interested in fluoride from his experience of industrial fluoride pollution. He studied the original fluoridation data carefully and found it did not show what had been claimed. Prof Erich Naumann, Director of the German Federal Health Office, said of him: “Your results have been accepted everywhere in Germany with the greatest interest and have increased the grave doubts against drinking water fluoridation …” Prof Naumann added: “It is regrettable that the existing data on water fluoridation had not been examined earlier using mathematical-statistical methods. Otherwise the myth of drinking water fluoridation would have already dissolved into air long ago.”31
Dr Hans Moolenburgh was a GP who found an increase in ailments among those of his patients who lived in a fluoridated area but not in those who did not. He and other Dutch doctors used double-blind tests to ascertain that the problems were not psychological or accidental but real.
Dr John Yiamouyannis asked for a copy of the data when the National Institute of Dental Research conducted its largest ever survey of tooth decay in the USA, covering more than 39,000 children in 84 areas. He was very reluctantly given the figures, from which found in 1990 no statistically significant difference in the tooth decay between fluoridated and non-fluoridated groups at any age from 5 to 17.32
Mark Diesendorf was a Professor of Environmental Science in Australia. In his article, “The mystery of declining tooth decay”, in 1986 in the journal Nature, he concluded that large reductions in tooth decay had occurred in both unfluoridated and fluoridated areas of at least eight developed countries.33
Dr Richard Foulkes was chairman of a committee that recommended fluoridation in British Columbia. Later he changed his mind after doing his own research. He commented: “My initial belief was based on information given to me by those in authority rather than on the basis of my examination of the facts”.34
Dr Arvid Carlsson is a Nobel Prizewinner in medicine who praised the wisdom of Sweden in rejecting fluoridation in the 1970s.
Dr William Marcus was Senior Science Advisor in the Office of Drinking Water in the US Environmental Protection Agency. He pointed out that research by the famous Battelle Institute indicated that in rats fluoride caused cancer of the bone and liver, and this was worrying. As a result, he was sacked.35
Dr Phyllis Mullenix was highly regarded for her medical research and in 1982 was appointed chief toxicologist at the prestigious Forsyth Dental Center. She and her colleagues discovered, to their great surprise, that fluoride has an adverse effect on the brain. Following publication, the head of the centre was threatened with loss of grants unless he got rid of her, and so she was duly sacked.36 Many studies have since confirmed what she had been the first to report.37
Dr Hardy Limeback, Head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto, and former President of the Canadian Association for Dental Research, apologised in 1999 for having promoted fluoridation. He said that he had unintentionally mislead his colleagues and his students because, for the previous 15 years, he had refused to study the toxicology information.
In 2001 Elise Bassin, as part of her doctorate at Harvard Dental School, found – to her surprise – that boys exposed to fluoride in their sixth to eighth years had a risk increased by about sixfold of getting osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer) by the age of twenty.38
A major toxicology report by the (US) National Research Council, published in 2006, said that fluoride exposure is plausibly associated with neurotoxicity, gastrointestinal problems, endocrine problems and other ailments. It was also unable to rule out an increased risk of cancer and of Down syndrome in children.39
A Harvard University review in 2012 concluded that children who live in areas with high-fluoride water have significantly lower IQ scores than those in low-fluoride areas.40 Of 50 studies on the relationship between fluoride and human intelligence, 43 found fluoride associated with reduced IQ. Of 34 animal studies 32 have found that fluoride impairs the learning and/or memory capacity of animals.41
Professor Stephen Peckham reported in February 2015 that fluoridated areas of England have higher rates of hypothyroidism, which produces debilitating symptoms such as tiredness and depression, than unfluoridated areas.42
In 2017 a team of experts from Chile – including doctors, biologists, a lawyer, a civil engineer, a toxicologist, an environmental expert, and a chemist – published a damning review of water fluoridation in Revista médica de Chile (Medical Journal of Chile). The review was financed by the Medical College of Chile.
Despite a long history of national support for the practice, the article – entitled “Consequences of Fluoridation of Drinking Water on Human Health” – concludes that artificial fluoridation of drinking water and milk has not only been ineffective at reducing dental decay in children, but is likely harmful to health.
The research team based their analysis on a review of all available studies that included control of confounding variables. They discuss fluoride’s ability to cause bone, thyroid, neurological, and skin damage. There is also in indepth analysis of WHO data that shows, “fluoridation of drinking water and salts have no incidence at all in reducing dental [decay]”.43
Support for fluoridation
In USA, the recommended maximum concentration of fluoride in drinking water was lowered in April 2015 by 30% to 0.7mg fluoride per litre of water, amid concerns people are getting too much now it is also in products such as toothpaste and mouthwash. It is just possible that, rather than abandoning fluoridation altogether, which would be embarrassing for those who have for decades said it is safe, the amount will continue to be gradually lowered.
The pro-fluoride establishment is not only unwilling to do research into possible side-effects of fluoridation, but has on various occasions been keen to stop others from doing such research. When the State of California in 2009 proposed a study of chemicals that might cause cancer, the American Dental Association gave the California Dental Association $200,000 to help it get fluoride off the list of chemicals to be studied.44
For many years successive governments have given public money to those that promote fluoridation, and none to those who oppose it, giving one side many advantages.
There are probably several reasons why fluoridation continues. A major one must be fear – fear of the loss of credibility that the establishment will suffer by admitting that it backed fluoridation when much research remained to be done, and therefore that its assurances of fluoridation’s efficacy and safety were premature.
We now know that one of fluoridation’s American proponents, Dr Frank Bull, told a confidential gathering of State Dental Directors as early as 1951: “We have already told the public that it works, we can’t go back on that”.45 This is perhaps one reason why the momentum became unstoppable. However, there was a more important reason which was not discovered until half a century after fluoridation began, and this is where the story takes a remarkable turn.
Christopher Bryson is an investigative reporter who worked for the BBC before moving to the USA. Asked about fluoridation, about which he knew almost nothing. Bryson made enquiries and met a medical writer, Joel Griffiths. Together, their investigations revealed an astonishing story, told by Bryson in his book, The fluoride deception.
Griffiths discovered that the background to fluoridation was as much industrial and environmental as medical.46
In 1937 a Danish scientist, Kaj Eli Roholm, wrote a book, Fluorine intoxication, a large study of fluoride pollution and poisoning.47 Roholm examined fluoride’s effect on teeth as well as on other organs. It had long been known that fluoride is deposited in teeth and bones, and speculated that it might be necessary for healthy teeth.
A team at Johns Hopkins University tested the theory in 1925, but found that it made rats’ teeth weaker. Roholm found the same thing among workers in a chemical works that used the fluorine mineral, cryolite. Moreover, the worst teeth had the most fluoride in them. He was the world’s leading expert on the the subject and said more than seventy years ago that fluoride is not only not necessary in healthy teeth but that it weakens the enamel.48
Already by the early 1930s there was much concern in the United States about the health risk from low-level fluoride exposure. In 1933 a senior toxicologist in the US Department of Agriculture said, “Only recently, that is within the last ten years, has the serious nature of fluorine toxicity been realized, particularly with regard to chronic intoxication”. Like Roholm, he singled out the aluminium industry.49
Alcoa was a large producer of aluminium and was worried about lawsuits from farmers whose cattle were harmed in the vicinity of its smelters. If fluoride were seen as beneficial, instead of harmful, the situation would be transformed. In 1935 Alcoa’s research director, Francis Frary, suggested to Gerald Cox of the Mellon Institute that fluoride might be good for teeth. And so the great makeover of fluoride’s image began.
Cox gave fluoride to laboratory rats, and in 1936 said it was what protects teeth. In 1938 Cox declared in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the case for fluoride “should be regarded as proved”.50
In 1936 Francis Frary of Alcoa had a meeting with Charles Kettering of General Motors and a delegation from the American Dental Association (ADA). Before long Kettering furnished $25,000 for the ADA which soon became very active in the promotion of fluoride. In 1939 Cox suggested adding fluoride to public water supplies.51
Fluoride, industry and the atomic bomb
The next element in the story involves the Manhattan Project, the secret endeavour to produce the first atomic bombs. It used large quantities of fluorine to make a gas, uranium hexafluoride, that was both dangerous and difficult to handle. At the K-25 plant, from June 1945 to October 1946, there were hundreds of chemical injuries, mostly from this gas, although this was not revealed until fifty years later.52
Dr Harold Hodge was in charge of testing the toxicity of chemicals used to produce the atomic bomb, but he also defended the nuclear programme against its greatest legal threat which was court action such as that in 1946 by farmers, near a Du Pont fluoride plant in New Jersey, whose cows were crippled. The farmers were blocked in their legal action by the government’s refusal to reveal how much hudrogen fluoride du Pont had vented into the atmosphere.53
Dr Hodge had the idea of calming the public’s fears by talking about the usefulness of fluorine in tooth health.54 He also secretly undertook experimental research into the health effects of fluoride.55 In January 1944, a secret conference on fluoride metabolism took place in New York. It was organised by President Roosevelt’s science adviser, James Conant, and documents from it are among the first that connect the atomic-bomb programme to water fluoridation.56
At the conference was Dr David B. Ast, chief dental officer of the New York State Health Department, who said there was confusion over what amounts of fluoride “may cause deleterious effects in adults”. So he suggested examining whether fluoride in drinking water was harmful to people, and thereby help to determine any risk it might have for workers in factories.57 So Newburgh in New York State had its water supply fluoridated.
In 1956 the final report on the Newburgh experiment concluded that the treatment was safe. Publicly the verdict boosted efforts to promote fluoridation. Privately it was helpful to the nuclear-weapons industry, according to the Manhatten Project’s medical director, Hymer L. Friedell. Workers alleging harmful exposure to fluoride would now find it more difficult to sue the government or its industrial contractors, he stated.58
A study on workers at the Harshaw Chemical Company in Cleveland, published in 1948, was important in promoting the idea that fluoride reduces tooth decay. It said that workers exposed to fluoride had fewer cavities than those unexposed to it. However, there was a secret version of the report which stated that most of the men had few or no teeth, and that corrosion affected such teeth as they had. The redacted public version helped to shift the medical debate over exposure to industrial fluoride.59
After the war, Dr Harold Hodge became the leading promoter of water fluoridation. He concealed what he knew about fluoride’s effects on the central nervous system, and gave inaccurate information on fluoride’s safety.60 Hodge was apparently not averse to experimenting on people. In the late 1940s he had hospital patients injected, without their knowledge, with uranium to find out how much would produce injury.61 Hodge died in 1990, but his archive remained closed.62
In 1950, with the experiment in Newburgh having apparently produced a 65 per cent reduction in dental cavities in local children, the (US) Public Health Service, which had opposed fluoridation, endorsed it, despite the study of its safety being only half complete.63
Concerns were raised, but Dr Harold Hodge claimed that it would take a massive dose of fluoride – between 20 and 80 milligrams consumed daily for 10 to 20 years – to produce injury. He insisted that water fluoridation was harmless.64 Some 25 years later, he quietly admitted in an obscure paper in 1979 that his safety figures had been wrong.65 However, by then fluoridation was widely promoted and practised and his correction was ignored. Eventually, in 1993, a major US report stated that crippling skeletal fluorosis might occur in people who have ingested 10-20 mg of fluoride per day for 10-20 years.66 The (US) Environmental Protection Association ignored this too.67
In the United States, Edward L. Bernays, often called the “father of public relations”, was particularly helpful in getting fluoridation accepted. Before the second world war, he had been a PR adviser to Alcoa, working from the same building as Alcoa’s lawyer, Oscar Ewing. In 1950 Ewing was the top government official to approve fluoridation.68
Bernays advised New York City’s Health Commissioner, Dr Leona Baumgartner, how to sell fluoridation to the public. He told her the challenge intrigued him as something that might be solved by what he called “the engineering of consent”. Bernays advised how to make fluoridation seem uncontroversial.69 Debate was to be avoided.
A Committee to Protect Our Children’s Teeth was formed. It had strong links to the military-industrial complex and to the efforts of relevant manufacturers to escape liability for fluoride pollution. In 1956 it published Our Children’s Teeth, a booklet that was promptly used in court by lawyers for the aluminium company Reynolds to indicate the harmlessness of small concentrations of fluoride. Many of the scientists listed in the booklet were associated with the atomic-weapons industry.
Damage to health
Years later, in 2000, when Reynolds Metals was taken to court by employees, water fluoridation was again used as a defence, by pouring scorn on the idea that workers could possibly have been harmed by something that is beneficial to the public including children.70
When a court awarded a farming family damages for the harm from emission of fluoride by Reynolds, the industry feared further litigation, especially from employees, and decided to investigate airborne fluoride’s health effects.71 In 1958 experiments started on beagles. They were divided into three groups, one getting no fluoride, one a small dose ,and one a large dose, of calcium fluoride dust in the air.72
Little or no injury was expected, and similar experiments on humans were envisaged but did not take place. Both low and high doses of fluoride injured the dogs, with wounds to their lungs and lymph nodes.73 Industry’s top lawyers received copies of the report, but the results were not published. About forty years later, Bryson discovered a copy in an old basement archive.74
Incidentally, air pollution in general causes the early deaths of an estimated sixty thousand people in the United States each year, with half being attributed to emissions from electric power plants, which contain fluoride. Many others suffer illnesses including heart attacks and lung cancer.75 In 1970 the US Department of Agriculture reported that “airborne fluorides have caused more worldwide damage to domestic animals than any other pollutant”.76
The hidden history shows how interconnected different strands of the fluoride story are, and the web of deception involved.
1 Denis Campbell and Matthew Weaver, NHS whistleblowers ignored, bullied and intimidated, inquiry finds, The Guardian, 11.2.15. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/feb/11/nhs-whistleblowers-ignored-bullied-and-intimidated-review-finds
2 Marcia Angell, Drug Companies & Doctors: A Story of Corruption. The New York Review of Books, 15.1.09. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2009/01/15/drug-companies-doctorsa-story-of-corruption/
3 Richard Horton, Offline: What is medicine’s 5 sigma? The Lancet, 11.4.15. http://www.thelancet.com/pdfs/journals/lancet/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2960696-1.pdf
4 Paul Connett, James Beck and H.S. Micklem. The case against fluoride: how hazardous waste ended up in our drinking water and the bad science and powerful politics that keep it there. Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010, p.69.
5 Paul Connett et al, op. cit. p.80.
6 Paul Connett et al, op. cit. p.227.
7 J. Land Use & Envtl., Spring 1999. http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/landuse/vol142/Graham-final2.pdf
8 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.38
9 Is fluoride a risk factor for bone cancer? Small area analysis of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma diagnosed among 0-49-year-olds in Great Britain, 1980-2005. Int. J. Epidemiol. (2014). http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/01/14/ije.dyt259.long
10 One in a Million: The facts about water fluoridation. 2nd edition, 2004.
11 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.??
12 Dental Products. Toothpastes. http://fluoridealert.org/issues/dental-products/toothpastes/
13 Paul Connett. 50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation. http://fluoridealert.org/articles/50-reasons/
14 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.196.
15 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.110.
16 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.11.
17 Marian S McDonagh et al, Systematic review of water fluoridation, British Medical Journal, BMJ 2000;321:855 – http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7265.855
18 Reported in The Sunday Times by its medical correspondent. (Date not recalled.)
19 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.78, 102, 165, 220.
20 Geoffrey Dobbs. The fluoridation wrangle, New Scientist, 31 October 1957. Image at https://books.google.co.uk
21 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.250.
22 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.25.
23 Marian S McDonagh et al, op.cit.
24 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.117.
25 Hugh Sinclair, British Medical Journal, 12 February, 1955. Quoted at https://fluoridationfreeottawa.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/fluoridation-evangelization-u-s-public-health-service/
26 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.129.
27 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.135.
28 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.126-7.
29 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.60.
30 Affidavit of Albert Schatz, Ph.D. http://www.fluorideinbeds.org/FIB/albertschatz.asp
31 Rudolf Ziegelbecker: Strength from Science 1924-2009. http://www.fluorideresearch.org/423/files/FJ2009_v42_n3_p162-166.pdf
32 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.58.
33 Diesendorf M. The mystery of declining tooth decay. Nature. 19 August 1986.
35 Interview with EPA’s Dr. William Marcus on NTP’s Fluoride/Cancer Study. http://fluoridealert.org/content/marcus-interview/
36 Fluoride & the Brain: An Interview with Dr. Phyllis Mullenix. http://fluoridealert.org/content/mullenix-interview/
37 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.150.
38 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.188-190.
39 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.143-145.
40 Joseph Mercola. Harvard Study Confirms Fluoride Reduces Children’s IQ. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mercola/fluoride_b_2479833.html
41 Fluoride & IQ: The 43 Studies. http://fluoridealert.org/studies/brain01/
42 Daily Mail, 25.2.15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2967791/Is-tap-water-poisoning-troubling-question-s-lips-scientists-war-fluoride-water-protect-teeth-spark-depression.html
44 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.192-3.
45 Paul Connett et al, op. cit., p.88.
46 Christopher Bryson, The fluoride deception. Seven Stories Press, 2006 (paperback edition), p.xii.
47 Bryson, op. cit., p.xxxiii.
48 Bryson, op. cit., p.32-33.
49 Bryson, op. cit., p.39.
50 Bryson, op. cit., p.39-40.
51 Bryson, op. cit., p.42-44.
52 Bryson, op. cit., p.58.
53 Bryson, op. cit., p.76.
54 Bryson, op. cit., p.72.
55 Bryson, op. cit., p.77.
56 Bryson, op. cit., p.80.
57 Bryson, op. cit., p.83.
58 Bryson, op. cit., p.84.
59 Bryson, op. cit., p.88-90.
60 Bryson, op. cit., p.91.
61 Bryson, op. cit., p.93.
62 Bryson, op. cit., p.95.
63 Bryson, op. cit., p.151.
64 Bryson, op. cit., p.156.
65 Bryson, op. cit., p.157.
66 Bryson, op. cit., p.220.
67 Bryson, op. cit., p.221-2.
68 Bryson, op. cit., p.158-160.
69 Bryson, op. cit., p.161.
70 Bryson, op. cit., p.208.
71 Bryson, op. cit., p.184-6.
72 Bryson, op. cit., p.188.
73 Bryson, op. cit., p.189.
74 Bryson, op. cit., p.190.
75 Bryson, op. cit., p.194-5.
76 Bryson, op. cit., p.197.
Copyright © fluoridelink.info
For a number of articles and links go to http://www.fluoridelink.info/
Rick North in an appeal for funds for FAN, asks what if FAN did not exist? How many or these can be provided in the UK by SWIS, UKFFFA and its associated organisations?
“If FAN didn’t exist, who would . . .”
- Provide such incredibly useful videos on their website, such as “Professional Perspectives on Water Fluoridation,” Jeremy Seifert’s “Our Daily Dose,” and Michael Connett’s “Ten Facts About Fluoride”
- Provide local campaigners with a basic toolkit of how-to’s – what to say and do to give yourself and your town the best chances to defeat fluoridation
- Provide local campaigners with personal, individualized mentoring for their particular situations
- Challenge fluoridationists in debates and media events all over the world
- Provide professionals – scientists, physicians, dentists and public health workers – with the most up-to-date scientific research on fluoride found anywhere in the world
- Translate critically important foreign research studies that don’t show up in U.S. publications because they’re not in English
- Hold national conferences bringing together the top scientific and activist leaders in the world
- Take the most complex, geeky, nerdy scientific information and put it into easy-to-understand language for the rest of us!
- Update everyone on the latest fluoridation news from everywhere
- Fight the good fight by organizing a coalition of other progressive organizations to petition the EPA to ban fluoridation – and when EPA refused, suing them for their continued denial of considering sound science – stay tuned!
What the Hell do you think you’re DOING?!? [Darren Nesbit 2015. a great video – 1st verse is about F, reports Lynne H.lLynne Habermacher
Good for our reputation? Probably not, but it’s good fun.
Kansas: How fluoridation was sold in 1952,unearthed by the City Star.
5 min film
32 minute video from the FAN conference
Dr. Paul Connett, former Director of the Fluoride Action Network, presents a detailed overview of fluoride’s toxicology at the 2017 FAN Conference, highlighting the proper way to account for and mitigate the effects of toxic chemicals in the environment
Toxicology 10: FANconference presentation by Paul Connett.
Additional reports available from links shown. If no links are shown ( as in information from FAN) or in case of any difficulty contact SWIS (email@example.com), quoting the reference number
From FAN.Paul Connett’s Summary of the ‘Calgary tactic’ of misinformation, adding that it is not new. Also click here for the SWIS September report
‘This was an especially egregious example of fluoridation proponents using rigged science to support their policy. The lead author, Lindsay McLaren, was advocating for fluoridation before she began this study. Canadian public health agencies, the primary proponents of fluoridation, provided the $1 million in funding. Much of that went to McLaren’s salary over 5 years time so it is not surprising she found what her sponsors wanted her to find The abstract of the critique of McLaren’s study by Neurath et al. is available here’
Brief reminder what it is like to care for a fluoride hypersensitive person ‘ Have you seen a grown man sob, then scream, from pain? I have—hundreds of times—especially before I discovered that Kyle is a “miner’s canary” in this fluoride-toxic world’.
Index of FAN articles by State,Country . Industry; list of Schools that provided drinking water to children with 4 – 4.5 ppm fluoride: states have Mandatory Fluoridation; By State: 4,790 Professionals who Signed Statement Opposing Fluoridation –
Dec 14 From FAN The EPA’s Shocking Timeline of Failure on Fluoride (1986-2017) (1000 words)
‘… the long sordid history of how the EPA Office of water has avoided living up to these requirements leaving the US population unprotected from fluoride exposure through the water supply’.
Dec 11 From FAN FAN’s attempt to deliver our concerns in person to the EPA about their (30 year) failure to take the threat of fluoride seriously are met with “utter disdain.” (2000)
“Common food items could contain more fluoride than tap water”
Dec 08. Ann Wills re-posted an item from Natural Society warning that non-organic food products may contain extreme levels of fluoride… Not only do the crops get watered with regular fluoridated water, but cryolite is used on them, which is actually sodium aluminium fluoride. This is used to kill bugs & is very sticky, making it extremely hard to get off.
The main source was ‘Anti-fluoride expert Jeff Green’, who died in May 2014. The article referred to is here:
Press Release: Making Sense of Fluoride Fluoridation is not linked to ADHD An article just published in the British Dental Journal by New Zealand researcher Dr Ken Perrott highlights flaws in a 2015 research paper, widely cited by fluoride opponents, that had reported a connection.
We have, of course, heard of Ken Perrott, who carried on a lengthy and ultimately futile debate with Paul Connett a couple of years ago. It seems very unllikey that his ‘reassurance’ will be less flawed than the original research. Hopefully, there will be a response.from the report’s authors
18 From Ann W
Scientists Find Fluoride Causes Hypothyroidism Leading To Depression, Weight Gain, and Worse… by JULIE WILSON (550) Sources
12 Nov 27
Another study that requires careful examination. American children and adolescents who do not drink tap water, which is typically fluoridated, are much more likely to have tooth decay, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. However, the study confirms that those who drink tap water are more likely to have elevated levels of lead in their blood
November 17, 2017. 1900 word Article by Susan Shmurak for ENSIA with a good summary of the arguments, coming down firmly against fluoridation
November 14, 2017
Rohan Sharma: List Of Bottled Drinking Waters That Secretly Contain Fluoride
This is a U.S. list. In the UK, fluoride content is usually clearly stated as part of the ‘typical composition’ list. IFluoride is never, as far as we are aware, added. However, check out San Pellegrino, that had 0.5 ppm according to a recent label. (It is an Italian company, owned by Nestle.
Researchers report impact of fluoride overdose on children’s teeth
Jan 24 Children are fluoride overdosed, from all sources, at levels once thought to protect against dental fluorosis (discolored teeth), researchers report in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, (December 2017), reports the Fluoride Action Network (FAN).
With quotes from Bill Osmunson,
From Kristie Lavelle
31 Dec 2017 — 500 words from Kristie Lavelle of the Moms against fluoride
Calgary subject of comment in Troy Media
Jan 28 By Dr. Bob Dickson and Dr. Hardy Limeback
Some teas contain more fluoride than EPA allows in public water supplies, which can do skeletal damage, according to research published in Environmental Pollution (Das, et al. 12/2017), reports the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF)
New York Shttps://www.news-medical.net/news/20180110/Excessive-fluoride-from-some-teas-can-damage-bones-and-cause-many-health-effects.aspxtate Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation