February 9, 2018

Archives for March 2015

MPP Bob Delaney’s plan for mandatory water fluoridation

COF-COF News FindBy: Heather Gingerich, Two Rows Times, Hagersville, Ontario 18-Mar-2015 – A fifth major study linking artificial water fluoridation to serious childhood health problems has been released and is getting mainstream attention. Newsweek magazine ran a story on March 10th [2015] linking Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the US with prenatal and early childhood exposure to fluoridation rates within each state in the US.

But will it be enough to encourage colonial decision-makers to realize the importance of consulting with Onkwehon people whenever proposing major changes to land, water or air?

Unfortunately, the message doesn’t seem to have gotten through to Mississauga-Streetsville MPP Bob Delaney. He is working with the professional lobby group of for-profit dentists (the Ontario Dental Association) to make water fluoridation mandatory across Ontario.

Newsweek’s story was based on the February 27, 2015 research of Ashley Malin and Christine Till that appeared in the scientific journal, Environmental Health. Their article is entitled, “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association”.

Hopefully for Mother Earth, future generations and turtles everywhere, this will be the end of disfigured smiles, brittle bones, thyroid disorders, lost IQ points and Terry Fox-type bone cancer that that is characteristic of children living in areas of high fluoride exposure as described in the scientific literature. Although the language is typically loaded with technical terms, you can read the science for yourself at the Fluoride Action Network’s (FAN) free on-line public library at http://fluoridealert.org.

Unlike their counterparts in large colonial settlements like the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area, London, Ottawa, Belleville, Parry Sound, Sudbury and North Bay, most Onkwehon water treatment plant operators do not add fluoridation chemicals to their local water supplies. However, they can’t take them out when they’re added upstream either. They are also prevented from measuring for and reporting on fluoride derived from contact with metals, minerals or carbon-based contaminants from polluting industries.

Even though only 1% gets consumed by humans, 100% of the water in fluoridating communities gets boosted to a level of about 0.7 milligrams per litre (mg/L) by adding fluoride-rich industrial waste products at a cost of $1000 per ton to taxpayers. Disposing of this waste correctly would cost industry $7000 per ton and is very dangerous for workers to handle.

Read original press article.


Water Fluoridation Linked to Higher ADHD Rates

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By Douglas Main, Newsweek.com, United States 10-Mar-2015 – New research shows there is a strong correlation between water fluoridation and the prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, in the United States.

It’s the first time that scientists have systematically studied the relationship between the behavioral disorder and fluoridation, the process wherein fluoride is added to water to prevent cavities.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, found that states with a higher portion of artificially fluoridated water had a higher prevalence of ADHD. This relationship held up across six different years examined. The authors, psychologists Christine Till and Ashley Malin at Toronto’s York University, looked at the prevalence of fluoridation by state in 1992 and rates of ADHD diagnoses in subsequent years.

“States in which a greater proportion of people received artificially-fluoridated water in 1992 tended to have a greater proportion of children and adolescents who received ADHD diagnoses [in later years], after controlling for socioeconomic status,” Malin says. Wealth is important to take into account because the poor are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD, she says. After income was adjusted for, though, the link held up.

Take Delaware and Iowa, for instance. Both states have relatively low poverty rates but are heavily fluoridated; they also have high levels of ADHD, with more than one in eight kids (or 14 percent) between the ages of four and 17 diagnosed.

In the study, the scientists produced a predictive model which calculated that every one percent increase in the portion of the U.S. population drinking fluoridated water in 1992 was associated with 67,000 additional cases of ADHD 11 years later, and an additional 131,000 cases by 2011, after controlling for socioeconomic status.

“The results are plausible, and indeed meaningful,” says Dr. Philippe Grandjean, a physician and epidemiologist at Harvard University. This and other recent studies suggest that we should “reconsider the need to add fluoride to drinking water at current levels,” he adds.

Thomas Zoeller, a scientist at UMass-Amherst who studies endocrine disruptors—chemicals that interfere with the activity of the body’s hormones, something fluoride has been shown to do—says that this is “an important observation in part because it is a first-of-a-kind. Given the number of children in the U.S. exposed to fluoridation, it is important to follow this up.” Since 1992, the percentage of the U.S. population that drinks fluoridated water has increased from 56 percent to 67 percent, during which time the percentage of children with an ADHD diagnosis has increased from around seven percent to more than 11 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Others felt more strongly. “The numbers of extra cases associated with a one percent increase in the 1992 artificial fluoridation [figures] are huge,” says William Hirzy, an American University researcher and former risk assessment scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, who is also a vocal opponent of fluoridation. “In short, it clearly shows that as artificial water fluoridation increases, so does the incidence of ADHD.”

But scientists were quick to point out that this is just one study, and doesn’t prove that there is necessarily a causal link between fluoridation and ADHD. They also noted a number of important limitations: Individual fluoride exposures weren’t measured, ADHD diagnoses weren’t independently verified and there may be other unknown confounding factors that explain the link.

Dr. Benedetto Vitiello, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health, says that the link between the two may not be a causal one and could be explained by regional or cultural factors. Charles Poole, an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina, says that this research suggests fluoride should be more carefully studied, but doesn’t show much of anything by itself. “I think the authors were quite cautious in their interpretation… and [accurate] in their statement of the study’s limitations,” he says. “So it would be ludicrous to draw a strong conclusion based on this study alone.”

Nevertheless, previous research has suggested that there may be several mechanisms by which fluoride could interfere in brain development and play a role in ADHD, says Dr. Caroline Martinez, a pediatrician and researcher at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital.

Animal studies in the 1990s by researcher Phyllis Mullenix, at the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Research Institute, showed that rats exposed to fluoride in the womb were much more likely to behave in a hyperactive manner later in life. This could be due to direct damage or alteration to the development of the brain. (Mullenix’s adviser told her she was “jeopardizing the financial support” of her institution by “going against what dentists and everybody have been publishing for fifty years, that [fluoride] is safe and effective,” and she was fired shortly after one of her seminal papers was accepted for publication, according to Grandjean and a book by investigative journalist Christopher Bryson called The Fluoride Deception.

Multiple studies also suggest that kids with moderate and severe fluorosis—a  staining and occasional mottling of the teeth caused by fluoride—score lower on measures of cognitive skills and IQ. According to a 2010 CDC report, a total of 41 percent of American youths ages 12 to 15 had some form of fluorosis. Another study showed structural abnormalities in aborted fetuses from women in an area of China with high naturally occurring levels of fluoride.

There have also been about 40 studies showing that children born in areas home to water with elevated levels of this chemical (higher than the concentrations used in U.S. water fluoridation) have lower-than-normal IQs. Grandjean and colleagues reviewed 27 such studies that were available in 2012, concluding that all but one of them showed a significant link; children in high fluoride areas had IQs that were, on average, seven points below those of children from areas with low concentrations of the substance.

One recent small study of fewer than 1,000 people in New Zealand suggested that water fluoridation didn’t decrease IQ. But that study had some serious errors, according to Grandjean, who writes that “a loss of 2-3 IQ points could not be excluded by their findings.” And only a small percentage of people in the study actually lived all their lives in areas without fluoridation, and even less didn’t use fluoride toothpaste, severely limiting the validity and relevance of the findings, he says.

About 90 percent of the fluoride that is added to the water takes the form not of pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride but of a chemical called fluorosilicic acid (or a salt formed using the acid). This material is a byproduct of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing, according to the CDC. Several studies have suggested that this form of fluoride can leach lead from pipes, says Steve Patch, at UNC-Asheville. Other work shows that children in fluoridated areas have elevated blood lead levels, and fluoride may also increase the absorption of lead into the body, says Bruce Lanphear, an epidemiologist at Simon Fraser University. Lead itself is a potent neurotoxin and has been shown to play a role in ADHD, Lanphear adds.

There is also good evidence the fluoride impairs the activity of the thyroid gland, which is important for proper brain development, says Kathleen Thiessen, a senior scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis, which does human health risk assessments for a variety of environmental contaminants. This could indirectly explain how the chemical could impair attentional abilities, she says.

Just last month, a study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, which found that there were nine percent more cases of hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid, in fluoridated versus non-fluoridated locations in England.

“Fluoride appears to fit in with a pattern of other trace elements such as lead, methylmercury, arsenic, cadmium and manganese—adverse effects of these have been documented over time at exposures previously thought to be ‘low’ and ‘safe,’” Martinez says.

Grandjean concurs, citing a 2014 study he co-authored with researcher Philip Landrigan in The Lancet that characterizes fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin. Others, like Lanphear, prefer to call the chemical a “suspected developmental neurotoxin.” One problem, he says, is that there is no formal process for determining whether or not something is toxic to the brain.

The CDC declined to comment on the study, but maintains the fluoridation is “safe and effective,” and calls fluoridation one of the “ten great public health achievements” of the twentieth century for its role in preventing tooth decay. The American Dentistry Association says that the process reduces decay rates by 25 percent. It should be noted, though, that in recent decades rates of cavities have declined by similar amounts in countries with and without fluoridation—and the United States is one of the few Western countries besides Ireland and Australia that fluoridate the water of a majority of the populace.

Limitations aside, the study suggests that there is a pressing need to do more research on the neurotoxicity of fluoride, Lanphear says. In fact, every single researcher contacted said that fluoridation should be better studied to understand its toxicity and low-dose effects on the brain. Some deemed the lack of research on the chemical concerning and surprising, given how long it’s been around—fluoride was first added to water supplies beginning after World War II.

Regarding whether or not fluoridation is a sound public health practice, he says that he “can’t make that decision for the public, but I’d certainly recommend that more studies are done, in an urgent fashion.”

Rates of cavities have declined by similar amounts in countries with and without fluoridation - KK Cheng et al - BMJhttp://www.newsweek.com/water-fluoridation-linked-higher-adhd-rates-312748


York professor leads study that could help answer fluoride safety questions

Something in the Water – Does adding fluoride put you at risk?

Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities, Scientific Review Shows

Fluoride in tap water associated with ADHD in children, researchers find

Malin and Till, Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association, Environmental Health

Fluoride in tap water associated with ADHD in children, researchers find

COF-COF Special News Find 300 x 300By: Sandra McLean – Deputy Editor, YFile, York University, Toronto, Ontario 10-Mar-2015 – Fluoride in tap water is associated with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents, according to new research out of York University that looked at exposure to fluoridated water and rates of ADHD in the United States.

“Our findings showed that artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 predicted ADHD prevalence in 2003, 2007 and 2011 among children and adolescents in the United States, and that was after controlling for median household income,” says Ashley Malin, a York clinical psychology doctoral student. Fluoride also can occur naturally in the water.

Malin is first author on the paper “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association,” with psychology Professor Christine Till, published in the journal Environmental Health.

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood, say the authors. And, it can persist into adulthood. Till says the high prevalence of the disorder is a public health concern as it can seriously affect learning and social skills and have long-term consequences.

The researchers looked at state-based ADHD prevalence in children from four to 17 years of age that was collected as part of the National Survey of Children’s Health in 2003, 2007 and 2011, as well as the prevalence of fluoride in tap water between 1992 and 2008 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S.

What they found was that the prevalence of artificial fluoride in tap water was significant in predicting the prevalence of ADHD even after they controlled for socioeconomic status. Each one per cent increase in artificial water fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with an additional 67,000 to 131,000 cases of ADHD depending on the year examined.

“In states where a greater proportion of people received artificially fluoridated water from public water systems, there tended to be a greater proportion of children and adolescents who were diagnosed with ADHD, according to parent-reported, health-care provider diagnoses,” says Malin.

They also looked at other years and found the correlation with fluoride, whether artificial or naturally occurring, and ADHD continued. A greater proportion of parents reported their children had ADHD in those states where a greater proportion of people were exposed to fluoridated public water.

“We found significant positive associations again with fluoridation prevalence in all subsequent years examined, so 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008, and ADHD prevalence in 2003, 2007 and 2011,” says Malin. “I think the magnitude and consistency of these relationships over time is pretty compelling and it suggests that exposure to fluoridated water may be an environmental risk factor for ADHD.”

Although many parts of Canada don’t add fluoridation chemicals to water, Toronto and Mississauga, two of the largest cities in Canada, do. Most developed countries and 97 per cent of the western European population do not fluoridate drinking water.

Water in a glass“The study provides a compelling addition to the current debate about the safety of water fluoridation,” says Till. “We should be asking whether it is safe for many cities in Canada, including Toronto, to continue to fluoridate the water we consume. It is especially important to consider the impact of fluoride on the developing brain and we should be examining sensitive endpoints, like behaviour, for determining fluoride toxicity. ”

As Malin says, “As citizens of Toronto, living in an artificially fluoridated community, I think we need to ask ourselves whether this is still a worthwhile practice.”

Fluoride is considered a developmental neurotoxin. Artificial fluoride, a byproduct of fertilizer production, is supplied in the form of one of three chemicals, hydrofluorosilicic acid being the most common, followed by sodium fluorosilicate and sodium fluoride. These chemicals have been found to cross the placenta and end up in the infant brain.

“Several mechanisms can explain how fluoridated water can contribute to the disorder,” says Malin. “These include hydrofluorosilicic acid and its sodium salt’s ability to leach lead from water delivery pipes, and fluoride’s effect on increasing risk of hypothyroidism, both of which are pathways linked with ADHD.”

There are not many studies conducted in humans related to the effects of low-level fluoride in water on neurodevelopmental outcomes. Studies that examine the more subtle effects of a neurotoxin are often the more sensitive studies. “The current study is important for informing water fluoridation policy, though additional studies examining this relationship are needed,” says Till. “This study serves an important first step in evaluating one potential risk of water fluoridation.”



York professor leads study that could help answer fluoride safety questions

Something in the Water – Does adding fluoride put you at risk?

Fluoridation May Not Prevent Cavities, Scientific Review Shows

Water Fluoridation Linked to Higher ADHD Rates

Malin and Till, Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association, Environmental Health