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UK Against Fluoridation

Monday, December 21, 2015

FluorideAlert Newsletter

 Looking back on 2015, part 1:  More Evidence of Harm From Fluoridation
Scientific reports continue to show the potential for significant adverse effects from the obsolete practice of water fluoridation.  The scientific, medical, and ethical case against fluoridation is already very strong.  And just when you thought the evidence against the practice couldn’t get any more damning, several new studies and reviews were published in 2015 that ought to bring us significantly closer to consigning fluoridation to the history books once and for all.
1. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
A new study--the first to systemically look at the relationship between a behavioral disorder and fluoridation--was published in February linking fluoridation to ADHD in the United States.  The study entitled, “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association,” was published in the journal Environmental Health.  The authors, psychologists Christine Till and Ashley Malin at Toronto’s York University, discovered that states with a higher rate of artificially fluoridated water had a higher prevalence of ADHD.  According to the authors:
“State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.
A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011. Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined.
Conclusions: Parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water supplies." 
2. Hypothyroidism
Also in February, a major new fluoridation study was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health--a British Medical Journal publication.  The study, entitled “Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England?  A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water,” is the first study to ever look at fluoridation and hypothyroidism in a large population (in this case, England).
It found a relatively strong and statistically significant effect, with General Practice (GP) areas being 62% more likely to have high rates of diagnosed hypothyroidism if their drinking water fluoride levels were above 0.7ppm compared to areas with fluoride levels below 0.3ppm.  This was after researchers had accounted for key confounders, which are other factors that influence hypothyroid rates.
In an additional comparison of two large metropolitan regions, one that is artificially fluoridated at a level of about 1.0 ppm (greater Birmingham area), and the other which is nearby and similar demographics but is not artificially fluoridated (greater Manchester), the study found a 94% greater probability that GPs in fluoridated Birmingham would have high hypothyroidism rates compared to Manchester.
For all of England, the prevalence rate of hypothyroidism was almost 10% greater in those GPs with higher fluoride levels compared to those with lowest levels.
The findings led to the researchers calling for a “rethink of public health policy to fluoridate the water supply,” adding “consideration needs to be given to reducing fluoride exposure, and public dental health interventions should stop [those] reliant on ingested fluoride and switch to topical fluoride-based and non-fluoride-based interventions.”
According to FAN’s Science Director, Chris Neurath, “Scientific and medical research stretching back to the 1920s has shown that fluoride can affect the thyroid.  The levels of fluoride exposure known to lower thyroid function overlap with the levels of exposure known to occur in some people drinking artificially fluoridated water.  Hypothyroidism is a very common disorder in the U.S.  It can have serious adverse health effects.  Reduced thyroid function in pregnant women is linked to reduced IQ in their children.  There is accumulating evidence that fluoride, at levels within the range fluoridated populations are exposed to, is associated with lowered IQ.  Fluoride's effect on thyroid function might be the mechanism by which it lowers IQ.”
The article notes that "thyroid dysfunction is a common endocrine disorder..."  The first time fluoride was labeled an endocrine disrupter was in the 2006 landmark report of the National Research Council of the National Academies. According to the National Institutes of Health, “Research shows that endocrine disruptors may pose the greatest risk during prenatal and early postnatal development when organ and neural systems are forming.” As far as we know, promoters pushing fluoridation have never referred to this ominous label.
For more information, please also see: 
3. New IQ Study Links Fluorosis to Neurotoxicity
There are over 100 animal experiments linking fluoride consumption to a decrease in IQ.  There are also 31 animal experiments out of 33 that investigated animal behavior that showed learning and memory problems associated with fluoride consumption, and 49out of 56 human studies have shown that modest levels of fluoride negatively affect IQ.  A team from Harvard School of Public Health recently reviewed 27 of these studies.  26 of these studies showed a decrease in IQ (an average drop of 7 points), and the average fluoride level in the water for 20 of these studies was only 3.2 ppm, which is lower than the current safe drinking standard in the U.S. for fluoride of 4.0ppm.  Knowing this, it should come as no surprise that a new study on fluoride’s impact on IQ further proves the neurotoxicity of the drinking water additive.
This new pilot study in China, Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study, (by Choi AL, et al. 2015) published in Neurotoxicology and Teratology was carried out at fluoride levels, which overlap levels used in U.S. fluoridation programs. They didn’t measure IQ specifically in this study but reported the results of a very simple test: the child’s ability to repeat a sequence of numbers both forwards and backwards. Even children with very mild dental fluorosis performed poorer on this specific mental development test, than children without fluorosis. One of the experts involved in this study was Dr. David Bellinger who is world famous for his studies on lead’s neurotoxicity.
Another co-author was Dr. Philippe Grandjean and in an editorial on his website “Chemical Brain Drain” he used this study to counteract the claim from proponents that the IQ findings were not relevant to the fluoride levels used in water fluoridation. For the children in this study, Grandjean writes:
“Their lifetime exposures to fluoride from drinking water covered the full range allowed in the US. Among the findings, children with fluoride-induced mottling of their teeth – even the mildest forms that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests. This observation runs contrary to popular wisdom that the enamel effects represent a cosmetic problem only and not a sign of toxicity. At least one of five American children has some degree of mottling of their teeth…Prevention of chemical brain drain should be considered at least as important as protection against caries.” (my emphasis, PC).
For more information, please also see FAN’s webpage on Fluoride & IQ.
4. HHS Admits Overexposing Americans to Fluoride
In May, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) admitted that the fluoride levels, which they promoted and encouraged as safe, has damaged children’s teeth.  Because of the huge increase in dental fluorosis (white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth) on the teeth of at least 41% of young teenagers, HHS says that water fluoride levels should be lowered to 0.7 mg/L (formerly most communities used 1 mg/L while the guideline was 0.7 – 1.2 mg/L) and in ten years they’ll check children’s teeth to see if they were right about this new level.
HSS did not address the fact that infants who receive formula made with fluoridated water at the new guideline level will receive 175 times more fluoride than the breast-fed infant.  David Kennedy DDS, a member of FAN’s Board of Directors, noted: “The HHS continues its long term support for a policy that grossly overdoses bottle-fed infants and others in our communities with fluoride.”
According to the HSS, the good news is that “the new recommendation will lead to a reduction of approximately 25% (range: 12%–42%) in fluoride intake from drinking water alone and a reduction of approximately 14% (range: 5%–29%) in total fluoride intake.”
HSS said that at least 96% of the 19,300 comments submitted during their review of fluoridation were opposed to adding fluoride to drinking water. They mentioned Fluoride Action Network indirectly when they said that 18,500 comments came from “an organization opposing community water fluoridation.”
5. The Evidence Keeps Piling Up
As if the government admitting to overexposing 41+% of our children to fluoride, increasing rates of ADHD, increasing rates of hypothyroidism, and lowering IQ wasn’t damning enough, 2015 also brought us:
  • UK Cochrane Group could find no quality research proving fluoridation reduces tooth decay, but did find that 40% of children in fluoridated areas have dental fluorosis. (FAN’s Media Director, Carol Kopf, will provide more information about the Cochrane review in an upcoming bulletin)
  • An American Journal of Public Health article (Carstairs, 2015) reports fluoridation was adopted prematurely without harms and risks fully explored.
  • In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, FAN uncovered documents showing that since 1962 officials at the U.S. Public Health Service knew that black Americans were disproportionately harmed by fluoride with significantly higher rates of dental fluorosis (permanent damage to the enamel) rates compared to white Americans. But for over 40 years they hid this information from communities of color.
What will 2016 bring? A lot more if we can continue to get the generous support from our supporters.
Stuart Cooper
Campaign Manager


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