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A Wake Up Call for the City of Sandpoint?

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A Wake Up Call for the City of Sandpoint?

A look at the fluoridation of city drinking water

Editor’s Note: I’m a bit of a public health nut, so when Scott Clawson told me he was writing his humor column in our last issue on fluoridating water, I was surprised. Scott, you see, is a very smart man and I thought opponents to fluoridation didn’t deserve that adjective. I believed that the public health use of fluoride was better than sliced bread. Scott’s concerns got me doing some research, which resulted in this article. Just following links from the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization (both of which endorse water fluoridation) led me to studies that raised some serious questions. Upon conclusion of my research, I believe that water fluoridation no longer presents benefits that outweigh the risks, and should no longer be undertaken by our communities. There’s my editorial disclosure—count me in with the kooks. TG

I could hear the buzzing of the black helicopters outside my window and, peeking through the curtains, I swear that Elvis was peeking back from the other side. I knew the next knock on my door would have to be from the Men in Black as I sat down at my computer to write about water fluoridation. After all, isn’t that the prevailing view of anyone who doesn’t buy the story that fluoridating water is the next best thing to winning the lottery? They’re crazy, right?

The chief toxicologist for the Environmental Protection Agency’s department of drinking water, Dr. William Marcus, would agree. Not that water fluoridation opponents are crazy, mind you, but that they’re marginalized by being considered so. That’s because Marcus was fired by the EPA after he refused to remain silent on the risk of young men developing cancer from fluoride-treated water. Marcus took the EPA to court for the firing, and then-Secretary of Labor Robert Reich ordered his reinstatement to the job, finding he’d been fired in retaliation for his views. (See here for links to the case files)

What does Marcus have to say about why the EPA fired him? “Well, as you well know fluoride is still recommended as a treatment for prevention of dental caries— tooth decay—and has been touted as such by the Public Health Service since 1953-54 and they ha[ve] a reputation to protect. It wouldn’t do for them to have been making this strong recommendation over the years and now to find out that they have been exposing the general public to a material known, now known, to be potentially carcinogenic in humans.” (See here for the complete interview.)

Marcus isn’t the only EPA employee with concerns about water fluoridation. Chapter 280 of the National Treasury Employees Union, representing approximately 1,500 scientists, lawyers, engineers and other professional employees at EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C, stated “Recent, peer-reviewed toxicity data, when applied to EPA’s standard method for controlling risks from toxic chemicals, require an immediate halt to the use of the nation’s drinking water reservoirs as disposal sites for the toxic waste of the phosphate fertilizer industry.” (See here for video of testimony before Congress. See here for their position statement.)

An immediate halt. Dr. Joey Hensley agrees. Hensley is a practicing physician and a U.S. Representative from the state of Tennessee. In December of 2006 he sent a letter to all Tennessee water districts recommending that fluoride should no longer be added to the water. (See upper right box for a PDF of his letter.)

Even the National Academy of Sciences  has weighed in, at least partially, on the side of the “kooks.” In 2006 they released a report finding that fluoride is less safe than previously thought, and that the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit on fluoride in water should be lowered.

The report found that the maximum contaminant level goal and the secondary maximum contaminant level goal of fluoride in drinking water currently allowed under federal water-safety rules can cause a harmful variety of dental fluorosis, a mottling of the tooth that in its more severe form might actually cause cavities. It also found persuasive evidence that fluoride in water increases bone fractures as well as stiffness in the joints of the elderly, and in addition it may be related to Alzheimer’s disease, marginally reduce IQ in children and alter the endocrine and hormonal levels that control most of the functions of the human body with unknown effects.

Robert Issacson, a professor of neurobehavioral science at the University of New York, Binghampton, and a member of the NAS panel, said possible effects on endocrines and hormones from water-fluoridation are “something that I wouldn’t want to happen to me if I had any say in the matter.” He also said the report “should be a wake-up call.”

If that’s the case, then the city of Sandpoint could be said to be sound asleep—not out of negligence, however, but because they haven’t heard an alarm clock ringing. “You know, things change over time, and if this is one of those things, and (fluoride) is something we need to get rid of, I’m all for it,” said councilman Michael Boge. “So far, however, I haven’t seen a concern in my community.”

Currently Sandpoint, one of the only municipalities in Bonner and Boundary counties to add fluoride to its water supplies, fluoridates to the level of 1.00mg/L (according to the CDC) at its Sand Creek water plant eight months out of the year. (The lake water treatment plant is not currently set up to fluoridate water.) Although long considered an ‘optimal’ level, the World Health Organization now seems to be calling that into question. They state, “The U.S. standard, adopted in 1962, is not appropriate for all parts of the world and is based on assumptions that have become obsolete with the rise of air conditioning and increased use of soft drinks, processed food, and other sources of fluorides.” In 1994 a World Health Organization expert committee on fluoride use stated that 1.0 mg/L should be an “absolute upper bound, even in cold climates, and that 0.5 mg/L may be an appropriate lower limit.” (Emphasis mine.) (See here for a PDF of the report)

Mary Baenen, a resident of Sandpoint, asked the Sandpoint City Council this February to drop the practice of fluoridating water. Official minutes from the meeting state “Councilman [Michael] Boge prefers to take no action and feels the city is going in the right direction with fluoridation.” The minutes also show “Councilman Reuter said his personal stance is there is no need to stop what the city is doing now, but feels the city should not spend money to include fluoridation at the LWTP [where they currently do not add fluoridation] at a cost of $10,000.” No action was taken, but Reuter recommended the city “provide the information presented... in the Public Works office.” (See upper right box for the minutes from the Feb. 4 meeting)

Boge explains his current position as one not just based on a lifetime of hearing of the benefits of fluoride, but on local support for it as well. “For example, I read in the Spokesman (Review) that it’s a ‘travesty’ that Spokane is not fluoridating their water. And local dentists support the process here.” Boge concurs with Reuter, however, in that they are both “open to considering new information.”

Kody Van Dyk, director of the city’s Public Works department, which administrates the water department, says “If the city requires fluoride, the water department will add it to the water based on the requirements of Idaho DEQ.”

With a growing body of evidence suggesting potential harm, why do communities continue to fluoridate their water supplies? In part, it’s because the CDC calls water fluoridation “one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century,” and states it “prevents tooth decay safely and effectively.” The American Dental Association states “[We have] endorsed fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay for more than 40 years. Fluoride is nature’s cavity fighter...”.  And the U.S. Public Health Service says, “Community water fluoridation continues to be the most cost-effective, equitable and safe means to provide protection from tooth decay in a community.”

In addition, there are studies that show a decrease in dental caries (cavities) of 10- to 40 percent in communities where naturally low-fluoridated water has been supplemented with artificial fluoride.

Dental caries (cavities) are not just a cosmetic problem—untreated cavities can lead to severe dental problems, up to and including death if a cavity becomes abscessed and goes untreated.

Can those organizations be wrong in their support of water fluoridation? The CDC also admits “[L]aboratory and epidemiologic research suggests that fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children.” The Journal of the American Dental Association has reported, “Fluoride incorporated during tooth development is insufficient to play a significant role in caries protection.” They also recommend that parents prepare baby formula with water that is not fluoridated, primarily because of a rapidly growing national problem with dental fluorosis. And it should be noted that the American Dental Association also stated in California Superior Court (The Superior Court of the State of California, Case No. 718228), regarding the potentially harmful use of mercury in amalgam fillings, “The American Dental Association owes no legal duty of care to protect the public...” The Journal of Public Health Dentistry reported, “The case is essentially a risk/benefit issue—fluoride has little pre-eruptive impact on caries prevention, but presents a clear risk of fluorosis.” The growing body of literature shows that fluoride benefits, if they exist, come from topical applications, not from ingestion. And some disturbing trends suggest that fluoride, even in the case of dental cavities, might now do more harm than good.

A national survey of children in 1986-’87 showed “little or no differences in tooth decay rates between fluoridated and non fluoridated places throughout America.” (Yiamouyiannis, J "Water Fluoridation and Tooth Decay: Results from the 1986-1987 National Survey of U.S. Schoolchildren" Fluoride, Journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research (Vol. 23, No. 2, April 1990, pp 55-67)

And more worrisome, a study in Tuscon, Ariz. of 26,000 schoolchildren found, “When we plotted the incidence of tooth decay versus fluoride content in a child’s neighborhood drinking water, a positive correlation was revealed. In other words, the more fluoride a child drank, the more cavities appeared in the teeth.”  (Steelik C., Fowler M, Osborn M et al. Findings and recommendations of subcommittee on fluoridation. City of Tuscon, AZ)

But what about all those studies that show fewer cavities after fluoride is added to the water? The mystery is that similar declines in childhood cavities have been shown through much of Western Europe, where few communities fluoridate water. The British Medical Journal reported “Although the prevalence of caries varies between countries, levels everywhere have fallen greatly in the past three decades, and national rates of caries are now universally low. This trend has occurred regardless of the concentration of fluoride in water or the use of fluoridated salt...”

How could this be? Fluoride occurs naturally in water, in levels that vary throughout the world and even within communities. Back in the 1930s, studies undertaken in areas with higher, naturally-fluoridated water and lower incidence of dental caries highlighted fluoride as a wonder-drug in the control of cavities.

Fast forward 80 years and it’s a new world. In addition to fluoridating water, zealous cavity fighters have seen fluoride added to toothpaste, the massive growth of a new health aide, fluoride rinses, and a growing dental practice of applying fluoride directly to children’s teeth. The result? According to a report in Clinical Oral Investigations, “... caries reduction directly attributable to water fluoridation has declined in the last decades as the use of topical fluoride had become more widespread, whereas enamel fluorosis has been reported as an emerging problem in fluoridated areas.”

Indeed, even the CDC acknowledges “Much of the research on the efficacy and effectiveness of individual fluoride modalities in preventing and controlling dental caries was conducted before 1980, when dental caries was more common and more severe.”

Fluoride is a drug, and as such is regulated by the FDA. They state on their website, “FDA regulates toothpastes as drugs or cosmetics, depending on their ingredients and purpose. Toothpastes are drugs if they contain fluoride, are intended to prevent or lessen diseases like tooth decay, or affect the structure of the body or how it functions.” In the case of topical fluoride treatments, as an over-the-counter drug it’s regulated under the auspices of a final monograph (Anti-Caries Drug Products for Over-the-Counter Use, published in the Federal Register 6 October 1995). In that report, The FDA accepts the requested findings from “two [toothpaste] manufacturing associations” regarding growing concerns with dental fluorosis. The report states that in a review of “relevant clinical and epidemiological literature” there was no ‘cause and effect’ relationship between toothpaste and fluorosis, and that fluoridated toothpaste is what should be credited as the “principal contributor to caries decline over the past 20 years.”

Toothpaste, not fluoridated water. And it’s not toothpaste, they say, that’s to blame for increasing rates of dental fluorosis, now said to be present in one out of three American children.

The FDA has never conducted clinical trials for fluoride as a drug. In 2006, however, in approving the claims on fluoridated bottled water that “Drinking fluoridated water may reduce the risk of [dental caries or tooth decay],” FDA cited the CDC, the U.S. Dept. of Public Health and the U.S. Surgeon General’s support of water fluoridation as adequate to support the claim of safe and efficacious caries reduction. That’s a concern for some who believe citizens have a right to ‘informed consent’ when being prescribed medication, including notification of potential risks. There’s also concern for those with existing conditions that make them, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, “unusually susceptible” to the “toxic effects” of fluoride. These include the elderly, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, and/or vitamin C, and people with cardiovascular and kidney problems, including diabetes.

“No physician in his right senses would prescribe for a person he has never met, whose medical history he does not know, a substance which is intended to create bodily change, with the advice: ‘Take as much as you like, but you will take it for the rest of your life because some children suffer from tooth decay.‘ It is a preposterous notion.”

That’s the opinion of Dr. Peter Mansfield, a physician from the UK and advisory board member of the 2000 UK government review of fluoridation.

Still, isn’t the chance that water fluoridation will improve the dental health of children worth a relatively small risk of side effects? The most widespread side-effect of water fluoridation appears to be dental fluorosis... an unsightly discoloring of the teeth that, in those concerned, “can be treated with [admittedly expensive] porcelain veneers.” Other risks, though rare, include allergies, bone cancer in young men, hip fractures in the elderly, and reduced brain function in children, among others.

Kody Van Dyk warns, “When the issue [of water fluoridation] comes up, local dentists want it to continue.”

Except for one, that is. Though not local anymore, Dr. Bill Osmunson (father of Kristy, the singing phenom who wowed Festival at Sandpoint attendees last year as part of Bomshel) practiced in Sandpoint for 18 years, even serving on the local school board. He introduced major dentistry advances, like laser dentistry, to the area, and holds a master’s degree in Public Health. And, currently based in Oregon, he has also become a major opponent of water fluoridation.

“We are already getting too much fluoride and higher concentrations are coming in foods,” he warns. “If you personally want more fluoride: get a prescription, eat foods high in fluoride, but please do not swallow toothpaste or fluoridated water.” To his fellow dental practitioners, he asks in a popular YouTube video. “Look once again at the science on fluoridation.”

It was looking at the science that changed Osmunson’s mind. For example, he said, “I can only find one published study comparing dental expenses, actual measured dental expenses, not estimates based on assumptions, in fluoridated versus non fluoridated communities and it found overall less than a half a percent cost reduction [for dental caries] and an actual increase in cost [for other] dental expenses for children.”

But it wasn’t just the money that concerned this dentist. “My biggest concern is the more than 20 published studies showing brain damage with the ingestion of fluoride. Tang, in a meta analysis, reviewed 16 studies and found a five-fold increase in mental retardation in areas of dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis has increased by 50 percent in the U.S. over a recent 10-year period. When comparing states which predominantly fluoridate with those which do not we find a doubling of mental retardation.”

And Osmunson, very familiar with fluoride-enriched toothpastes and mouth rinses, points out, “The warning on fluoridated toothpaste not to swallow refers to a quarter milligram of fluoride, the same as one glass of Sandpoint water. If the FDA says, “do not swallow” more than used for brushing, a pea size, and if you do to “contact the poison control center,” then why should the city force everyone to swallow more than what the FDA says you should not swallow?”

It would appear the question today isn’t whether fluoride is a benefit to dental health, but whether we’ve succeeded all too well. Yes, water fluoridation was a major public health accomplishment—so was the smallpox vaccine and the successful effort using it to eradicate smallpox (arguably the greatest public health achievement of all time). But do we still say today that everyone should get vaccinated for smallpox? 

Or as the journal Clinical Oral Investigations writes, “Several studies conducted in fluoridated and non fluoridated communities suggested that this method of delivering fluoride may be unnecessary for caries prevention, particularly in the industrialized countries where the caries level has became low.”

Now is the time for individual communities, like Sandpoint, to develop the cost/benefit analyses that determine whether their water should be artificially fluoridated—the same types of analyses recommended by the World Health Organization, which include data on a community’s rate of dental caries, rates of dental fluorosis, and information on other potential risk factors. They must include in those analyses the risks of severe consequences of fluoridation, from an increased risk of osteosarcoma to young men, to the agonies suffered by that small percentage of the population who are strongly allergic to the product, along with the community’s willingness to pay the costs incurred, via lawsuit if necessary, should the odds come to naught and the worst occurs to a resident who has been medicated without choice.

If you are concerned about water fluoridation in the city of Sandpoint (and by the way, you don’t have to be a resident—anyone who eats in Sandpoint restaurants is also exposed to the city’s fluoridation policy), get in touch with the Sandpoint City Council at 208-263-3317, or email them at the addresses located on the city’s website. Let them know how you feel.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture lists the fluoride content of many foods here. If you are the parent of an infant, please follow recommended guidelines and do NOT use fluoridated tap water to prepare infant formula.

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (14 posted)

Class Action Lawyers Are Waiting 09/18/2009 15:22:39
Here is a site that offers to file a class action lawsuit on city`s who fluoridate, http://dealmortgage.net/fluoride-class-action/fluoride-class-action This one is great-> http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com/case/fluoride.html
Steven Wilcox 09/11/2009 07:33:53
Great article,finally somebody knows what they are talking about on fluoride.A point I must add is that there is nothing good about fluoride and there never was.The other thing is that dentist refuse to discuss the science and typically call anyone a "kook" who has a issue with fluoride,I see it all the time. Check out this facebook site,it has a great photo collection with comments that explains a lot very quickly. http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=6404348583
Jim Schultz 09/11/2009 07:15:42
This is one of the best articles I have read. It covers both sides yet hits the really important newer science that clearly shows little if any ingested benefit. The dollar claims of benefit were just estimates on estimates with no real dollar savings for real life. That data does exist with computers but I can only assume we would see the proof of benefit if it really existed.
I have heard so many dentists claim they can tell so exactly why does data not exist? The Yoder K.M. 2007 study showed dentists when tested for current science knowledge on the new topical post eruptive theory got it wrong. Almost all still believe incorrectly the old theory which is the foundation of fluoridation that infants need ingested fluorides for strong healthy teeth. It seems the opposite is true in that dental fluorisis only happens when incorrectly children are exposed to ingested fluorides. Even the CDC and ADA have noted this but for infant formula but strangely have refused to actually inform the public. This has been hidden away on websites instead with most parents never learning of the risk until the damage is done.
Not a single infant formula maker will put a warning on the can or container.Nestle is the only one that will warn but only if you call and ask if fluoridated water should be used. Only then are you told no. This does not happen in the real world. WIC gives about half the formula used in the US to poor parents. They never warn to avoid using fluoridated water to mix. Nor does healthy start for babies. Only 3 states health departments will even admit this fact but also have no desire to inform parents.
The dentists and health departments do not want open debate as they only do well in controlled presentations with soft ball questions.
The time for real debate is now as people get the point if they get to her the facts. It often takes a while because of what they have been told to believe for so long. But when you start doing a search you are flooded with so much well presented current science showing little value but much risk never really disclosed or reported to the public. It certainly does exist in government data you paid for only to be ignored or hidden from those that paid for it.
The dentists have a huge conflict of interest as skyrocketing dental fluorisis is very profitable for dentists. Income has doubled from cosmetic repairs in the last decade in a report I just read. Reporting methods under report the true damage and in the Uk the York Review showed fluoridation tripled the damage. More then tripled actually from 15% before to become 48% with fluoridation and 12.5% ugly enough for cosmetic repairs. The huge cost of the repairs far exceeds any potential savings. How can this be ignored?
The biggest study ever was Teotia and Teotia and was on obver 400,000 kids at all levels of fluoride exposure with more cavities found at .6ppm and above especially when low on calcium. The study in japan showed more cavities at .4ppm and above on 20,000 kids.
So much of the risk is whole body cumulative toxic effects with the NRC 2006 review being 500 pages of concerns and risks proving fluoridation never proven safe ever. Claimed safe just never never a single study ever designed to be class A non bias. The York Review in 2000 looked at 3200 studies and could not find a single Class A bias unlikely. Never a controlled study looking at the variables and blinded.
Jim Schultz 09/10/2009 08:28:38
Beyond the fact that ingested fluorides have no measurable benefit the do produce many other risks. H2SiF6 or AWWA b703-06 is the standard for the product showing a material specification sheet with almost 20 contaminates with arsenic and lead followed by many radioactive decay products also. The same phosphate mines where the EPA ordered them to install smokestack pollution scrubbers to reduce environmental destruction downwind. The phosphate rock contains about 3.5% fluorides and 200ppm uranium.Now instead of spewing deadly toxins downwind they are collected and with no purification directly feed into our water supply as the fluoride of choice because it is easy and very cheap.
Florida did have 7 uranium recovery units at mines to extract and sell huge tonnage of yellowcake uranium wich was up to 75% of all the US needed for bombs and reactors until the last plant closed in Lake Wales Fl say AEC mine records online. All the huge tonnage or uranium and decay products are just stored in huge radioactive gypsum waste piles or sold unmentioned in the phosphoric acid and H2SiF6. Dentists do not know this science factoid.
It was again admitted by EPA management under question in 2000 Calvert hearings not one health or benefit chronic study has ever been done on this contaminated waste product. None are scheduled either. The FDA has never reviewed or approved any ingested fluoride product ever. It is still a new unapproved after 64 years of use and sort of grandfathered in claiming it was used prior to the 1938 law. They later admitted only rat poison use and insecticide use prior to 1945 which was close enough for government work.
H2SiF6 is excellent at leaching lead and corrosive even at 1ppm as put in our water. Washington DC from 2000-2004 had a lead disaster with lead hundreds and thousands of times over the limit of 15ppb but for almost 3 years hid this from the public letting them drink very toxic water . This violates the law. The information did leak and they blamed some lead pipes but did not mention 100,000 homes with no lead pipes had the same problem. Maas 2007 and Coplan 2007 document why this happens when chloramines for a new disinfectant are used after the EPA tried to make cities switch from chlorine. Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech documented the cause and as a leading expert estimated tens of billions of damage would be caused from pipe corrosion damage and the destruction by water, mildue from more leaks from this corrosion increase. More lead in the water is the other not so great benefit. Most cities only test every 3 years for lead. Ask your dentist if he or she knew that fluoridation is done with smokestack toxic waste from a phosphate/ Uranium mine. Colgate or Crest sounds safer to me if you insist on fluoride. Then at least it is topical and has potential of benefit and you know when you are getting it and how much. A pea sized dab is about the same .25mg dose as 8 ounces or cup of water. Except the toothpaste by law warns to not ingest and if you do call poison control. That notice is not on most taps. Informed consent does not exist unless you are informed and have a real choice.
Anita Knight 09/09/2009 19:08:31
Here in Central Florida are the phosphate fertilizer industries that are the source of fluoridation chemicals. Most often used is the liquid form; Fluorosilicic Acid. In my archaeological and paleontological book: "The Geology of Florida", 1997, University Press of Florida, page 143 notes: "In addition to uranium, fluorine is an economical byproduct of phosphoric-acid production. The fluorine from the rock reacts with silica to form SiF4 gas. During acid production this gas is recovered as fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) in wet scrubbers that are part of the environmental-protection equipment. Fluorosilicic acid is widely used in the preparation of chemical compounds and in the treatment of public drinking water."

Also, see the AWWA (American Water Works Association) Standard for Fluorosilicic Acid B703-06. The foreword gives the same data as above and includes an entire page of contaminants on page 13, ranging from heavy metals as arsenic, lead, mercury and more down to "Radionuclides" as uranium, radium 226-228, Alpha and Beta particles. Usually local utilities departments have this standard.
michael framson 09/09/2009 17:46:52
It is pretty clear from your well researched article on fluoridation, that fluoridation fits into medical dogma and the politics of this issue, and not good objective, uncorrupted, well-conducted science.

Based on the dental, public health, medical, and CDC support for this archaic, ineffective, unethical practice, I no longer trust those professions on anything.

Next thing you know, they'll be telling us it's "safe and effective" to put mercury fillings in your mouth and inject mercury into babies and pregnant women.
soubresauts 09/09/2009 16:32:08
Many thanks for all the work you put into this.

I have to correct you on two points here: "water fluoridation was a major public health accomplishment—so was the smallpox vaccine..."

Water fluoridation was a public health disaster from day one; nothing more than scientific fraud and deception.

As for the smallpox vaccine, see: http://tinyurl.com/ldayax
Trish Gannon 09/09/2009 14:04:58
Thank you Ms. Moore.
I would suggest that a lack of scientific understanding, unawareness of public health processes, and simple lack of time to do adequate research within our general community is reflected in both journalists and dentists as well. In all scientific issues there is a risk/benefit analysis to be done. It would appear that at least at one time, the benefit of fluoridating water outweighed the risk... the question is whether that's still the case. I hope people will take the time to research some of this information themselves and come to their own conclusions.
Deb Moore 09/09/2009 13:40:53
Ms. Gannon: It's gratifying (and rare) to see such a well-researched and comprehensive article on this subject by a journalist in mainstream media. Thank you for doing your homework and for your candor re your change of heart on this matter. The people of Sandpoint are lucky to have this information available to them. I wonder why most other investigative reporters don't bother to fully investigate this issue. As director of a non-profit that deals with fluoride poisoned individuals, I know too well about fluoride's toxic effects and about the rampant ignorance in the medical and scientific communties regarding how ill many people become from accumulation of fluoride from so many sources. Thanks again for doing such a great job and for arriving at your wise and informed conclusions!
Trish Gannon 09/09/2009 12:33:13
Thank you Mr. Cook
Jack Cook 09/09/2009 12:19:06
Dear Ms. Gannon, I usually write a lot of information concerning the adverse health effects of fluoride when I comment on the usual poorly researched fluoride stories I read in newspapers around the U. S. and Canada. Not so this time. You have really done your homework, and I strongly commend your efforts in bringing this information to the public's attention. Thank you! Someday soon, water fluoridation will become an extinct practice. But, not soon enough for me.
nyscof 09/09/2009 11:49:23
Many believe the CDC is the fluoridation expert; but the CDC does little, if any, original research and rely on others to do so. However, it's clear the CDC's oral health section doesn't actually read the fluoride reports they claim prove fluoridation is safe and effective. A CDC representative (dentist William Bailey) gave false information to the Fairbanks City Council
See: http://www.fluoridealert.org/bailey1.html

The same fluoridationist dentists are members of many different groups giving the illusion of broad support for fluoridation. One of these dentist/fluoridationists wrote the American Public Health Association's fluoridation position and made some of the same errors as the CDC's Bailey did and the APHA's statement is based on many documents that neither support nor evaluate fluoridation’s safety and/or effectiveness as it claims (1).

APHA asserts, “All of these reviews have found CWF [Community Water Fluoridation] to be safe and effective.” Here’s the truth about APHA’s “supportive” references:

National Research Council (2006)

This isn’t a fluoridation risk/benefit analysis. It found EPA’s current fluoride maximum-contaminant-level-goal for drinking water is not protective of health and must be lowered. (2) Three members of the NRC panel believe that level should be as close to zero as possible

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2003)

This report says "… subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds…the elderly, people with osteoporosis, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, and/or protein." (3)

University of York, UK (2000)

About this report, the Centre for Review and Dissemination writes “We were unable to discover any reliable good-quality evidence in the fluoridation literature world-wide.” (4)

Lewis and Banting, Canada (1994)

“The effectiveness of water fluoridation alone cannot now be determined,” they write. (5)

New York State Department of Health (1990)

The authors concluded: “… some individuals may experience hypersensitivity to fluoride-containing agents.” And, “…it is currently impossible to draw firm conclusions regarding the independent effect of fluoride in drinking water on caries prevalence using an ecologic study design.” (6)

World Health Organization (2006)

This report, not about fluoridation, documents high levels of natural fluoride causing human bone and teeth malformation in many countries. (7)

Medical Research Council, UK (2002)

This report, not a fluoridation risk/benefit analysis, identifies fluoridation health uncertainties such as total exposure and bone effects. (8)

Institute of Medicine (1999)

Since fluoride is not a nutrient, this report set the adequate intake from all sources to avoid children’s moderate dental fluorosis (yellow teeth) and, also, the upper limit to avoid crippling bone damage -- which the IOM admits “is too high for persons with certain illnesses…” (9)

While APHA says that fluoridation reduced the incidence and severity of tooth decay, ”No clear reasons for the caries decline have been identified,” according to dental textbook, Dentistry, Dental Practice, and the Community (Burt and Eklund).


1) American Public Health Association Oral Health Section Newsletter, Winter 2009


2) “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of

EPA's Standards,”

Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water, National

Research Council, Executive Summary, 2006


3) US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicological Profile for Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluordie, and Fluorine, (2003) http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp11.pdf

4) “What the 'York Review' on the fluoridation of drinking water really found,” October 28 2003,A statement from the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/fluoridnew.htm

5) Lewis DW, Banting DW. Water fluoridation: current effectiveness and dental fluorosis. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 1994;22:153–158 http://tinyurl.com/bhtlkq

6). Kaminsky LS, Mahoney MC, Leach J, Melius J, Miller MJ. Fluoride: benefits and risks of exposure. Crit Rev Oral Biol Med. 1990;1:261–281 http://crobm.iadrjournals.org/cgi/reprint/1/4/261

7) World Health Organization, “New WHO report tackles fluoride in drinking-water,” November 2006 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/new/2006/nw04/en/index.html
8). Medical Research Council. Medical Research Council Working Group Report: Water Fluoridation and Health. September 2002. www.mrc.ac.uk/Utilities/Documentrecord/index.htm?d=MRC002482

9) Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Fluoride: Background Information. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. Report of the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes. Washington, DC:http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309063507
jwillie6 09/08/2009 21:58:21
This is a wonderful article on the disadvantages of fluoridation.
Those promoting fluoridation simply refuse to read the current research showing it is ineffective and dangerous to health. Go to (www.fluoridealert.org) and read several articles.
Read the letter from Dr. Hardy Limeback ( DDS, PhD Biochemistry) --- Head, Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto entitled "Why I am now officially opposed to adding fluoride to drinking water"
He was the principal research advisor to the Canadian Dental Asociation for over 10 years in promoting fluoridation. His letter is an apology to other dentists and the public.
Over 140 Research studies listed, including:
Increased risk of bone cancer -- 13 studies
Lead, arsenic, radium contaminants causing toxic water -- 10
Link with fluoride and cancer -- 12
Fluoride causes birth defects -- 5
Fluoride affects the immune systems -- 12
Fluoride is neurotoxic (brain, nerves, lowering IQ) -- 11
Lesley McMillan 09/08/2009 17:09:32
Fluoride causes Hashimoto’s disease which results in hypothyroidism. Diagnosed in 2007 I now avoid fluoride and all products containing it. My thyroid is now functioning normally with no medication. I have my metabolism back and am no longer over weight. It is well documented that fluoride affects the thyroid (since 1930’s where it was prescribed by doctors to patients with over active thyroid - hyperthyroidism). It comes as no surprise that countries with obesity epidemics, high numbers of thyroid disorders, high hormonal cancer rates are all fluoridated. 6-10% of the population affected by thyroid disorders would be dead without medication so this is no trivial matter. Check out my story on www.fluoridefree.net
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Author info

Trish Gannon Trish Gannon Owner and publisher of the River Journal since 2001, Trish works out of Clark Fork on the east end of Bonner County, a place she calls, simply, "the best place in the world to live." Mother of three, grandmother of two and an inveterate volunteer, Trish is usually tired.

Tagged as:

Environment, public health, Sandpoint city council, water, fluoride, cavities, Dr. William Marcus, Michael Boge, Mary Baenen, John Reuter, Kody Van Dyk, public works, Dr. Bill Osmunson

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