This 5-minute video provides a good introduction to the issue of water fluoridation.
How was water fluoridation sold to the public? In this interview, journalist Chris Bryson explains the history of water fluoridation in the US.
Dr. William Hirzy & EPA Union on Fluoridation
Please send questions and comments to dan <at> fluoridefreenrv.org
DESCRIPTION: This brochure is now being distributed in Blacksburg . It provides a good introduction to the main issues.
DESCRIPTION: Water fluoridation is compulsory medication, and therefore violates a well-established and universally accepted principle of medical ethics: the principle of informed consent. Additionally, water fluoridation violates the Nuremberg Code, which prohibits medical experimentation without informed consent. Water fluoridation is illegal in the European Union for these reasons.
QUOTE: "Medical ethics unequivocally demands that the wishes of the individual must take precedence over actions imposed by the state, unless there is a valid and wider public health concern. A state’s interest may legitimately override an individual’s wishes if a person with a potentially life-threatening and contagious disease such as measles or Lassa fever refuses to accept treatment and/or quarantine. Obviously tooth decay does not qualify as such a disease." (emphasis added).
QUOTE: "The use of fluoridation as a prophylactic medical intervention without the fully informed consent of the public violates numerous articles of international conventions aimed at the protection of human rights with respect to state-sponsored medical interventions and health care, and undoubtedly constitutes medical malpractice."
The "York Report", British Medical Journal 2000:
DESCRIPTION: The York report is one of the most important scientific documents in the fluoride debate. The document above is a short summary of the full 258-page report. The York report was created by the Center for Reviews and Dissemination, an academic institution at the University of York in the UK. This institution specializes in "systematic reviews evaluating the research evidence on health and public health questions of national and international importance". Their website is HERE.
Frustrated by misrepresentations of the York study results by water fluoridation proponents, the University of York released a statement in 2003, stating:
"We are concerned about the continuing misinterpretations of the evidence and think it is important that decision makers are aware of what the review really found. As such, we urge interested parties to read the review conclusions in full. We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide. What evidence we found suggested that water fluoridation was likely to have a beneficial effect, but that the range could be anywhere from a substantial benefit to a slight disbenefit to children's teeth." (emphasis added)
In other words, the York report found that water fluoridation is not proven to be effective. The range of uncertainty includes no effect.
The full statement from the University of York is HERE.
QUOTE: "Given the level of interest surrounding the issue of public water fluoridation, it is surprising to find that little high quality research has been undertaken."
QUOTE: "Many studies did not present an analysis at all, while others did not attempt to control for potentially confounding factors. Age, sex, social class, ethnicity, country, tooth type (primary or permanent), mean daily regional temperature, use of fluoride, total fluoride consumption, method of measurement (clinical exam or radiographs, or both), and training of examiners are all possible confounding factors in the assessment of development of dental caries."
QUOTE: "Three of the 33 studies found significant effects (adverse effects-FFNRV)...One found a significant negative effect of water fluoridation on Alzheimers disease (increased incidence)...A third study found that the combination of low iodine and high fluoride concentrations was associated with goitre and learning difficulties."
FFNRV comment: A lot of fluoride advocates use this paper as justification for water fluoridation, so its pretty funny that the York report, and the institution that wrote it, both say that the research is so poor, and that its not proven to be effective.
DESCRIPTION: The National Research Council (NRC) is the nations primary scientific advisory body. In 2003 the EPA hired the NRC to create a comprehensive review of fluoride toxicology. Dozens of scientists worked on the project. The result was a comprehensive, 500-page report: "Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards".
The above document is the summary from the chapter on endocrine effects of fluoride. This chapter is important because endocrine effects occur at very low fluoride dosages.
The NRC report concludes that the dosages of fluoride received from fluoridated water have adverse health effects (e.g. diabetes and thyroid impairment).
You can download for free the entire NRC review HERE.
QUOTE: "Fluoride is therefore an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function or response..." (page 266)
QUOTE: ""In humans, effects on thyroid function were associated with fluoride exposures of 0.05-0.13 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was adequate and 0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was inadequate." (page 263) FFNRV NOTE: These dosage levels are easily reached by drinking fluoridated water. According to the NRC, babies can receive as much as 0.168 mg/kg/day from fluoridated water alone (NRC, page 433).
QUOTE: "The conclusion from the available studies is that sufficient fluoride exposure appears to bring about increases in blood glucose or impaired glucose tolerance in some individuals and to increase the severity of some types of diabetes...diabetic individuals will often have higher than normal water intake, and consequently, will have higher than normal fluoride intake for a given concentration of fluoride in drinking water. An estimated 16-20 million people in the U.S. have diabetes mellitus; therefore, any role of fluoride exposure in the development of impaired glucose metabolism or diabetes is potentially significant....Impaired glucose tolerance in humans has been reported in separate studies at fluoride intakes of 0.07-0.4 mg/kg/day." (pages 260 & 264) FFNRV NOTE: These dosages are equal to what some children receive from fluoridated water alone.
The NRC report "should be a wake-up call"--NRC panel member Dr. Robert Isaacson, a distinguished professor of neurobehavioral science at the State University of New York in Binghamton.
NEW! (August 1 2012)
DESCRIPTION: In this meta-analysis, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed 27 studies on the association between fluoride exposure in children and low intelligence. The analysis shows that the evidence consistently implicates fluoride as a neurotoxin that can cause impaired intelligence and brain damage in children. 26 of the 27 studies found that fluoride exposure is associated with low intelligence.
QUOTE: "The results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults (Grandjean 1982). For neurotoxicants, such as lead and methylmercury, adverse effects are associated with blood concentrations as low as 10 nmol/L. Serum-fluoride concentrations associated with high intakes from drinking-water may exceed 1 mg/L, or 50 μmol/L, thus more than 1000-times the levels of some other neurotoxicants that cause neurodevelopmental damage. Supporting the plausibility of our findings, rats exposed to 1 ppm (50 μmol/L) of water-fluoride for one year showed morphological alterations in the brain and increased levels of aluminum in brain tissue compared with controls (Varner et al. 1998)."
QUOTE:"Although the studies were generally of insufficient quality, the consistency of their findings adds support to existing evidence of fluoride-associated cognitive deficits, and suggests that potential developmental neurotoxicity of fluoride should be a high research priority. "
QUOTE: " In conclusion, our results support the possibility of adverse effects of fluoride exposures on children’s neurodevelopment. "
Statement from one of the study authors:
“Fluoride seems to fit in with lead, mercury, and other poisons that cause chemical brain drain. The effect of each toxicant may seem small, but the combined damage on a population scale can be serious.” --Dr P Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard School of Public Health, and co-author of the above paper.
DESCRIPTION: Fluoridated water causes thyroid impairment, and these thyroid effects can cause permanent intellectual impairment (or mental retardation). Disturbance of thyroid function during brain development (in utero or in infants) causes permanent brain damage. Thyroid effects occur at dosages received from fluoridated water.
DESCRIPTION: The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is an international professional organization of over 600 dentists and doctors. The IAOMT was established in 1984 and was the first professional medical organization to warn the public about mercury amalgam tooth fillings. History has proven the IAOMT correct about mercury fillings. Now, the IAOMT is warning the public about water fluoridation.
QUOTE: "This current policy position by IAOMT confirms...that there is no discernible health benefit derived from ingested fluoride and that the preponderance of evidence shows that ingested fluoride in dosages now prevalent in public exposures aggravates existing illnesses, and causes a greater incidence of adverse health effects. Ingested fluoride is hereby recognized as unsafe, and ineffective for the purposes of reducing tooth decay."
QUOTE: "It is the position of this Academy that from a toxicological point of view fluoride poses unacceptable health risks. IAOMT has determined that fluoride is not an approved dental material and should not be taken internally."
DESCRIPTION: The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) is a professional organization of doctors specializing in environmental illnesses (e.g. toxic metal exposure, pesticide exposure, occupational illnesses, mold exposure and the like). This is the AAEM's policy statement on water fluoridation.
QUOTE: "fluoride is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen even at the levels added to public water supplies..."
This is a good review and introduction to the science. Dr Thiessen is an expert on toxicology and risk analysis, and was a co-author of the 2006 National Research Council fluoride review. In this paper, Dr Thiessen describes the evidence showing that water fluoridation is ineffective, harmful and unethical.
Dr. Thiessen's Fluoride Lecture
Slides from a lecture by Dr Thiessen. If you like charts, this is for you.
Dr Hardy Limeback letter
DESCRIPTION: Dr Hardy Limeback is a retired Professor of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto. Dr Limeback used to be a vocal proponent of fluoridation, but he changed his mind after reading the primary scientific literature for himself (instead of official opinions about the literature). Dr Limeback is an expert on fluoride toxicity; he reviews papers for the scientific journal Fluoride and was a panel member for the 2006 NRC review on fluoride toxicity. In this statement Dr Limeback explains in simple terms why he is opposed to water fluoridation.
DESCRIPTION: The BMJ is one of the worlds most influential and respected medical journals. In this review paper, Cheng et al. describe the absurdities and bad science used to justify fluoridation.
QUOTE: "Given the certainty with which water fluoridation has been promoted and opposed, and the large number (around 3200) of research papers identified, the reviewers were surprised by the poor quality of the evidence and the uncertainty surrounding the beneficial and adverse effects of fluoridation."
QUOTE: "...evidence on the potential benefits and harms of adding fluoride to water is relatively poor."
QUOTE: "There have been no randomized trials of water fluoridation."
Figure below is from Cheng et al. It shows that both fluoridated and non-fluoridated countries experienced the same decline in cavities since the 1970s. In the US, fluoridation proponents claim that they deserve credit for the large cavity reduction since the 1970s. but countries without fluoridation enjoyed the same improvement. Its most likely due to increased use of fluoridated toothpaste, not water fluoridation.
Komarek Paper, 2005
DESCRIPTION: Fluoride causes delayed tooth eruption. This creates a false observation of reduced cavities, since a delay in tooth eruption merely reduces the "time at risk" for exposed teeth. This paper from the journal Biostatistics explored the delayed-tooth-eruption effect using sophisticated statistical analysis. This is the first paper to explore this effect quantitatively. Komarek found that the effect of delayed tooth eruption explains the entire false observation of reduced cavities.
QUOTE:(conclusion section, page 153): "The results show that the protective effect of fluoride-ingestion is not convincing."
DESCRIPTION: This paper by Harvard researchers shows a strong association (relative risk=5.46 for males) between osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and fluoride. This study was the first to look at age-specific exposures. The fluoride cancer risk was highest for the ages 6-8, when bone is growing rapidly. This result is biologically plausible because fluoride uptake in bone is highest when the bones are growing, and males have a higher fluoride dosage per unit body weight (mg/kg). This study confirms other reports of a bone cancer association for males under age 20. Osteosarcoma often requires limb amputation and of course can be deadly.
QUOTE: "Fluoride level in drinking water was the primary exposure of interest".
QUOTE: "The evaluation of age-specific effects distinguishes our study from the other investigations."
QUOTE: "It is biologically plausible that fluoride affects the incidence rate of osteosarcoma, and that this effect would be strongest during periods of growth, particularly in males."
DESCRIPTION: This study is one of over 30 epidemiological studies that have found significant associations between fluoride exposure and low intelligence. The association is particularly pronounced in those with iodine deficiency. This paper is one of the 27 used in the above-provided metaanalysis by Grandjean et al.
Description of this study from the NRC review: "This study compared the intelligence of 512 children (ages 8-13) living in two villages with different fluoride concentrations in the water. The IQ test was administered in a double-blind manner. The populations studied had comparable iodine and creatinine concentrations, family incomes, family educational levels, and other factors. The average intelligence quotient (IQ) of the children in Wamiao was found to be significantly lower (92.2 ± 13.00; range, 54-126) than that in Xinhuai (100.41 ± 13.21; range, 60-128)."
QUOTE: "Higher drinking water fluoride levels were significantly associated with higher rates of mental retardation (IQ <70) and borderline intelligence (IQ 70–79)."
Comment from the NRC Review, page 263:"the inverse correlation between asymptomatic hypothyroidism in pregnant mothers and the IQ of the offspring (Klein et al. 2001) is a cause for concern. The recent decline in iodine intake in the United States (CDC 2002d; Larsen et al. 2002) could contribute to increased toxicity of fluoride for some individuals."
FFNRV Comment: That fluoride may cause lower intelligence is not surprising. Fluoride impairs thyroid function, and thyroid hormone is critical for intellectual development. Even very small disturbances in thyroid function during brain development cause permanent brain damage. See our document above: "Fluoride: A Cause of Thyroid and Intellectual Impairment".
Shames 2006 letter
DESCRIPTION: A short letter by Dr Shames MD, a Harvard-educated physician and fluoridation opponent from San Rafael CA, explains why fluoridated water can be expected to adversely affect the thyroid in those with iodine deficiency.
How common is iodine deficiency? Consider:
"According to a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) evaluation of The National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) 2001-2002, approximately 36 percent of women of childbearing age in the United States may receive insufficient dietary iodine. Iodine insufficiency was defined by urine iodine levels below 100 mcg/L and assessed from single samples, the cutoff for iodine insufficiency defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and diagnostic of mild iodine deficiency. The WHO found that in populations with mean values below this level the prevalence of goiter increases significantly. Fifteen percent of the same sample of women from NHANES 2001-2002 had urinary iodine levels less than 50 mcg/L, a level at which thyroid hormone secretion is considered inadequate and is considered by the WHO to be an indication of moderate-to-severe deficiency. Public health officials voice concern over this data because of its implications for maternal/child health." Alt Med Rev, June 2008 13(2).
More recently, the NHANES from 2005-06 and 2007-08 found that 9.8% and 8.8% of the population, respectively, had urinary iodine concentrations less than 50 mcg/L, a moderate/severe level of deficiency. The NHANES survey from 2004 found that 15% of pregnant women have moderate or severe iodine deficiency, which puts their unborn children at increased risk of brain damage. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21323596 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19014327
DESCRIPTION: This is a comprehensive 2008 review of research on fluoride supplements in the Journal of the American Dental Association. The evidence supporting the use of fluoride ingestion for cavity prevention is weak. Fluoride works topically, not by ingestion. Studies of fluoride supplements show that the supplements work when the fluoride is chewed in the mouth, which of course applies fluoride topically. Even the studies on fluoride supplements do not demonstrate that fluoride works when ingested.
QUOTE: "In this systematic review, we found that the evidence supporting the effectiveness of supplements in caries prevention in primary teeth is weak."
QUOTE:"It is our opinion that the increasing prevalence of fluorosis, even in its mildest forms, in the United States, should not be dismissed; rather, the dental community should develop programs to reduce children's multiple exposures to fluoride products during the first three years of life."
QUOTE: "The evidence supports the effectiveness of fluoride tablets in preventing caries when used in school-aged children (primarily providing a topical effect)."
QUOTE: "Children who chewed and swallowed 1-mg fluoride tabliets daily on school days had significantly lower caries experience...fluoride tablets, when chewed and swallowed, had significant preventive benefit..."
Fluoride Poisoning of Horses, 2006
This paper by Dr L Krook of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine describes fluoride poisoning of horses by fluoridated tap water. Damage to the horses was caused by artificially fluoridated water with 0.35-1.3ppm fluoride. The horses had no other sources of fluoride.