By: Dr. James Winter, Windsor Independent, Windsor, Ontario 17-Jun-2016 – The Ontario government may soon require municipalities to fluoridate water — a contentious move that would reverse a direction Windsor took three years ago.
This would move decision-making away from local voters, and overturn many recent municipal government decisions to keep fluoride out of the water.
What happens if one examines this issue, not with the eyes of someone with an undergraduate degree in medicine (MD), or as a dentist who profits from applying topical fluoride treatments, but as someone trained as a social scientist, to conduct, evaluate, and teach research, with a research doctorate?
Since 2010, more than 150 North American communities have rejected water fluoridation, as many western European countries did much earlier.
Earlier this month, the city of Wakefield, England, banned fluoride. Last month it was Cornwall, Ontario.
Mainstream media and the usual powers-that-be, such as Health Departments, continue to tell us that fluoride prevents cavities and is safe to use.
They’re so committed to this idea that they’ve been medicating us with fluoride for decades, by adding it to our drinking and bathing water without our permission.
As a social scientist, it’s unclear to me what their motivations are, given the research that exists, which I have carefully examined.
Below, I will review some recent studies into the effects of fluoridation. What is very clear is that numerous studies document the serious, harmful effects of fluoride, for anyone with an open mind to see and weigh for themselves. Not all studies indicate harmful effects, but this is the way of scientific research. We base our recommendations upon the bulk of evidence.
What politicians need to know is that fluoride harms people, and as such, it is foolish and dangerous to add it to our drinking and bathing water. If people want to use fluoride, they can of their own volition use almost any toothpaste and apply it directly to their own teeth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ranked fluoridation as one of the top 10 health achievements of the 20th century, and numerous very early studies indicated that fluoridation prevents tooth decay. The National Cancer Institute states on its Web site: “Many studies, in both humans and animals, have shown no association between fluoridated water and risk for cancer.”
Earlier this year the Toronto Star reported that: “There is little scientific evidence that fluoridation poses a risk to people’s health.”
The Windsor Star suggested that those opposed to fluoridation are a bunch of grassroots militants without credentials. The Calgary Herald said those opposed to fluoride are “a persistent rabble of internet-educated health ‘experts.’” Ontario Liberal MPP Bob Delaney writes on his webpage, “There is a vocal group of nutheads and fanatics that use junk science, myth, paranoia and downright misinformation to suggest that fluoride is harmful.”
I guess that one of these “nutheads” is the Nobel Prize winner in medicine, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, who noted in an interview in 2005, that “…fluoridation is against all modern principles of pharmacology. It’s obsolete. I don’t think anybody in Sweden, not a single dentist, would bring up this question anymore.”
Despite the corporate media perspectives, the World Health Organization has warned that “….excessive exposure to fluoride in drinking-water, or in combination with exposure to fluoride from other sources, can give rise to a number of adverse effects. These range from mild dental fluorosis to crippling skeletal fluorosis as the level and period of exposure increases.”
We first have to realize that the so-called “fluoride” added to our water is actually hexafluorosilicic acid, or silicofluorides, a toxic waste by-product collected from the smokestack scrubbers of the phosphate fertiliser industry. It is NOT naturally-occurring fluoride.
As Dr. Hardy Limeback, whom I’ll discuss below, says, “I find it absurd that industrial toxic waste is shipped to the water treatment plants in large tanker trucks and trickled into the drinking water of major cities in North America…. if a major spill should occur…. people’s lives would be at stake.”
Now, if the authorities were medicating us with a neutral or harmless product, that would be one thing. But as mentioned, even in small amounts, fluorosilicic acid is toxic. How do we—the so-called “nutheads”—know this? Because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation classifies it as severely carcinogenic and hazardous, and as a cause of fluoride poisoning. It’s classified as hazardous waste.
In the last few decades, at least 23 studies have established statistically significant links between fluoride exposure and lower IQs in children. A study conducted by the Center for Endemic Disease Control in China found that each additional milligram of fluoride detected in every litre of a child’s urine was associated with a 0.59 point decrease in their IQ score. Another study found that fluoride exposure slashed the number of children achieving “high IQs” by more than 70 percent.
Harvard University researchers reviewed the literature in what’s called a “meta-analysis,” or an overview of the research, in 2012. Working with Chinese counterparts, Drs. Anna Choi and Phillipe Grandjean found strong indications that fluoride adversely affects cognitive development in children. The authors looked at 24 studies, and only one of these failed to find an adverse effect of fluoride.
The average loss in measured intelligence was reported as seven IQ points. Some studies suggested that even slightly increased fluoride exposure could be toxic to the brain. Thus, children in high-fluoride areas had significantly lower IQ scores than those who lived in low-fluoride areas.
“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain,” Dr. Grandjean says. “The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious, especially because the brain power of the next generation is crucial to all of us.”
The authors published a follow-up study two years later, in which they studied 51 Chinese school children. They again concluded that, “Elevated fluoride concentrations in drinking water may be neurotoxic.”
Two Indian scholars also studied the research on fluoride in 2012 and reported that:
“Fluoride is a neurotoxin and it makes a serious adverse impact on the developing brain. Impaired mental functions are observed among children in endemic fluorosis areas and in experimental animals with fluoride-induced neurotoxicity.”
Despite these studies and more, in January, 2012, Windsor’s then-Medical Officer of Health MD Allen Heimann said, “there is no credible evidence that adding fluoride to drinking water is harmful or contributes to the concentration of fluoride in the waterways.”
It’s unclear what Dr. Heimann thinks happens to the added fluoride. Does it just vanish? It would behoove Dr. Heimann, or his successor MD Gary Kirk, to investigate this matter. Apparently, Heimann is also unaware of The U.S. National Research Council (NRC) report on fluoride, which in 2006 reviewed all of the published literature, and lists hundreds of references, encompassing 56 pages of scientific references.
The NRC documented numerous negative effects of fluoride on many organ systems including increased potential risk for bone fractures (the well-characterized disease of skeletal fluorosis) possible increased risk of osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, reduced IQ, thyroid dysfunction, endocrine dysfunction and more.
The NRC says exposure at 4 mg/L “clearly puts children at risk of developing severe enamel fluorosis,” which causes structural damage to the teeth.
“…fluoride can weaken bones and increase the risk of fractures…” the NRC says.
The NRC also says, “The chief endocrine effects of fluoride exposures in experimental animals and in humans include decreased thyroid function, increased calcitonin activity, increased parathyroid hormone activity, secondary hyperparathyroidism, impaired glucose tolerance, and possible effects on timing of sexual maturity.”
In his published review of the lengthy NRC study, Dr. Robert Cartona noted:
“…the following are all adverse health effects: moderate dental fluorosis, stage I skeletal fluorosis (arthritis with joint pain and stiffness), decreased thyroid function, and detrimental effects on the brain, especially in conjunction with aluminum. The amount of fluoride necessary to cause these effects to susceptible members of the population is at or below the dose received from current levels of fluoride recommended for water fluoridation. The recommended Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) for fluoride in drinking water should be zero.”
In 2001, Dr. Elise Bassin published a Ph.D. dissertation at Harvard University that concluded: “Among males, exposure to fluoride at or above the target level was associated with an increased risk of developing osteosarcoma (bone cancer).” These findings appear to have been suppressed. Her study was finally published in 2006.
Has this drug called ‘fluoride’ ever received Health Canada approval as a drug? Have the individual members of the population been individually assessed for their need for such a drug? Have medication doses and drug interactions been considered? Has anyone even written a prescription for this drug?
Former American Medical Association President Charles Gordon Heyd is a leading anti-fluoridation voice. “I’m appalled at the prospect of using water as a vehicle for drugs,” he says. “Fluoride is a corrosive poison that will produce serious effects on a long term basis.”
Want a Canadian expert? I would suggest Dr. Hardy Limeback, a professor of dentistry at the University of Toronto. Dr. Limeback also holds a Ph.D. He wrote to the City of Windsor, Ontario, in 2012, when Windsor was considering removing fluoride from its water, which it subsequently did.
Dr. Limeback served for 3 ½ years on the U.S. National Academies of Science Subcommittee on Fluoride in Drinking Water. The NAS sets up unbiased or balanced committees to review scientific issues of concern to Americans. His committee looked at the health effects of fluoride in drinking water. As a result of the report by Dr. Limeback’s committee, the U.S. EPA lowered its recommendation for levels of fluoride in drinking water to 0.7 mg/L (ppm) from 1.4 mg/L.
The American Dental Association and the Center for Disease Control in the U.S. both agree that fluoridated tap water should not be used to make up infant formula, as that increases the risk of dental fluorosis. “To me, dental fluorosis is a biomarker for fluoride poisoning,” Dr. Limeback says.
Dr. Limeback has personally conducted studies looking at fluoride’s impact for years. In one 2010 study, he compared the hip bones of residents of Toronto, which has added fluoride to its water since 1963, to residents of Montreal, which has never added fluoride. Dr. Limeback says, “Studies like ours indicate that not only does extra fluoride in the water cause defective enamel (that is VERY expensive to treat) but also defective bones.”
Dr. Limeback concludes that, “Fluoride has NOT been shown to be safe and effective. In fact…it has become clear to me that the pendulum is certainly shifting to ‘Not safe, and no longer effective.’”
Dr. Limeback rejects fluoridation of water supplies for four reasons. First, fluoridation is no longer effective, as research studies show no difference in cavities between communities with and without fluoridation. Second, fluoridation is the main cause of dental fluorosis, which is a biomarker for fluoride poisoning. Third, the chemicals used in fluoridation haven’t been tested for safety. For example, most cities use hexafluorosilicic acid, a toxin. Finally, there are serious health risks from fluoridation, including: bone cancer; bone fracture; detrimental effects on the endocrine system, especially the thyroid; and adverse neurological effects such as lowered IQ.
Do you have thyroid troubles? One in every eight U.S. women do, and 23 million Americans in total. And in 2015 a British medical journal article reported that people in fluoridated communities are nearly twice as likely to have hypothyroidism.
The deciding factor in this fluoride debate may turn out to be class action lawsuits against municipal governments for the damages caused by fluoride, and the unauthorized dispensation of drugs. Lawsuits are currently underway in Clallam County, Washington, Gallatin, Tennessee, and the Southern District of California. In 2014, the city of Prince George, B.C. was sued. Another U.S. federal court case has been filed against Nestle U.S.A. and Gerber Product Company for selling fluoridated bottled water and allegedly causing fluorosis.
Natural News has an animated film called The Fluoride Deception at this link: http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=42652E035A1B1BAAAE1F340B54694975
According to Natural News, roughly 99 percent of the municipal water pumped through any given city never ends up in the mouths of the people. Most water is used for showering, washing dishes, washing clothes, watering yards and filling pools. Almost none of the fluoride dripped into the water supply comes into contact with human teeth.
It does, however, end up downstream, says Natural News, where it contaminates rivers, streams and ultimately the oceans of our world. In this way, water fluoridation policies have become a convenient loophole through which the phosphate mining industry can dump its toxic waste by-products into the environment without adhering to any EPA regulations whatsoever. Phosphate mining companies even turn a profit by selling their hazardous waste to cities, then labeling it “fluoride” even though this name is scientifically inaccurate.
It is apparent even from this small sample of the evidence I’ve studied that it is foolhardy and irresponsible to add hexafluorosilicic acid to the water we drink.
Dr. James Winter is a professor at the University of Windsor, who has taught research methods to graduate students, and has published many scholarly articles and books.