Our Daily Dose, a film by Jeremy Seifert
Our Daily Dose, a film by Jeremy Seifert
EPA Urged to Ban Brain Toxin
By Dr. Mercola
December 13, 2016
Fluoride Action Network (FAN) is among a coalition of environmental, medical and health groups urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the addition of fluoride to public drinking water supplies.
The EPA has been served with a petition that includes more than 2,500 pages of scientific documentation detailing the risks of water fluoridation to human health.
In particular, the petition notes, "the amount of fluoride now regularly consumed by millions of Americans in fluoridated areas exceeds the doses repeatedly linked to IQ loss and other neurotoxic effects."
The EPA is authorized, under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to prohibit the use of a chemical that poses an unreasonable risk to the general public or particularly vulnerable populations.
EPA’s Own Risk Assessment Shows Water Fluoridation Poses an Unreasonable Health Risk
The petition urges the EPA to exert their authority to prohibit fluoridation additives in drinking water, noting that their own Guidelines for Neurotoxicity Risk Assessment shows:1
Neurotoxicity is a hazard of fluoride exposure
The reference dose that would reasonably protect against neurotoxicity is “incompatible with the doses now ingested by millions of Americans in fluoridated areas”
“In fact,” the petition states, “the amount of fluoride now regularly consumed by many people in fluoridated areas exceeds the doses repeatedly linked to IQ loss and other neurotoxic effects; with certain subpopulations standing at elevated risk of harm, including infants, young children, elderly populations and those with dietary deficiencies, renal impairment and/or genetic predispositions.”2
As for fluoride’s effects on the brain, in 2014 Lancet Neurology released a study, authored by a Harvard doctor, among others, that classified fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin.3 It wasn’t the first time.
In 2012, a meta-analysis, also by Harvard researchers, clearly showed that children exposed to fluoride in drinking water had lower IQs, by an average of seven points, in areas with raised concentrations.4
Fluoride Warrants Assessment Priority, Per EPA’s ‘Gold Standard’
Fluoride’s neurotoxicity is an especially unreasonable risk, the petition notes, because fluoride’s predominant effect on tooth decay is related to topical application, not oral ingestion:5
“Since there is little benefit in swallowing fluoride, there is little justification in exposing the public to any risk of fluoride neurotoxicity, particularly via a source as essential to human sustenance as the public drinking water and the many processed foods and beverages made therefrom.”
Even the National Research Council reviewed the evidence, at the EPA’s request, and concluded in 2006 that fluoride has the ability to interfere with brain function.
Nearly 200 fluoride/brain studies have been conducted since, and research published in Lancet Neurology classified fluoride as one of 12 chemicals known to cause developmental neurotoxicity in humans (others include lead, mercury and PBCs).6
Chemicals known to be neurotoxic in humans are classified by the EPA as “gold standard” chemicals that should receive assessment priority.
“The existence of so many human studies on fluoride neurotoxicity highlights the urgent need for a diligent risk assessment, per EPA’s Guidelines, to ensure that the general public, and sensitive subpopulations, are not ingesting neurotoxic levels,” the petition explains.7
Even Low Doses of Fluoride May Be Toxic
Fluoride has repeatedly been linked to reduced IQ even at supposedly “safe” water fluoride levels of less than 4 mg/L (EPA’s “safe” level).
It’s often stated, and assumed by health agencies including the EPA, that dental fluorosis, a condition in which your tooth enamel becomes progressively discolored and mottled, is one of the most significant adverse effects of consuming too much fluoride.
But in reality, this is an outward sign that fluoride is damaging the body. Research has found impairment in cognitive abilities among children with fluorosis (even mild fluorosis) compared to children with no fluorosis.
Also noteworthy, reduced IQ has been seen in study participants with higher urinary fluoride concentrations, even when no dental fluorosis was present, which suggests that the doses of fluoride that impair cognitive ability are lower than those that cause severe dental fluorosis.8
The petition highlighted several other studies that also demonstrated “fluoride’s ability to cause neurotoxic effects at low levels,” including one that found just 0.5 uM of fluoride (.009 mg/L) caused lipid peroxidation after 48 hours of exposure.
“Most individuals living in fluoridated areas in the United States have fluoride levels in their blood that exceed this level,” they wrote.
At daily doses ranging from 0.7 to 2.3 mg/L day of fluoride, adverse effects including reduced IQ, behavioral alterations, neurochemical changes, hypothyroidism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have been demonstrated.
Did You Know That Most of Western Europe Has Rejected Water Fluoridation?
City of Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin's educational forum on fluoride
In contrast, in the U.S. 200 million Americans live in areas where water is fluoridated. From city to city, debates over whether to start or end water fluoridation rage on, including in Cortland, New York.
Earlier this year, city officials had planned to hold a public hearing to consider state grants to study adding fluoride to its water supply, but they’ve since backed away from the idea, in part because residents expressed concern that water fluoridation amounts to mediating the public without consent.10
In the video above, the city of Cortland hosted a forum to discuss the health effects of water fluoridation.
FAN's senior adviser, Paul Connett, Ph.D., and director Bill Osmunson, debated two pro-fluoridation dentists — Johnny Johnson and Steven Slott — during the forum. According to FAN (although you can watch for yourself in the video):11
“They’re both notorious for posting thousands of pro-fluoridation comments on anything fluoride-related on the internet. Meanwhile, in person they were less than impressive, unable to cite even a single primary study proving fluoridation’s safety or effectiveness.”
10 Million in India at Risk of Disability From High-Fluoride Water
If there were any doubt about fluoride’s toxicity, one need only look at what happens when people are exposed to high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in their drinking water. Fluoride is naturally occurring in some areas, leading to high levels in certain water supplies “naturally.”
Fluoridation advocates often use this to support its safety; however, naturally occurring substances are not automatically safe (think of arsenic, for instance).
Data from India’s Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry indicate that nearly 49 million people are living in areas where fluoride levels in water are above the permissible levels. Exposure to levels above 10 mg/L may cause crippling skeletal fluorosis, as well as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, seizures and muscle spasms.
It’s estimated that more than 10 million people in the area are at risk of disability due to high fluoride levels in the water.12 When levels in water are too high, the fluoride accumulates in bones, replacing calcium. In the early stages of skeletal fluorosis, pain occurs followed by changes to the bone structure that can hinder movement. It most often affects hands, legs, arms and the back.
Skeletal fluorosis goes through three stages, which makes sense since fluoride is a cumulative toxin. The more exposure you get, and the longer you get it, the worse your symptoms are likely to be. According to FAN, symptoms of early stage skeletal fluorosis include:
- Burning, prickling and tingling in your limbs
- Muscle weakness
- Chronic fatigue
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
The second clinical stage of skeletal fluorosis is characterized by:
- Stiff joints and/or constant pain in your bones; brittle bones; and osteosclerosis
- Calcification of tendons, or ligaments of ribs and pelvis
- Osteoporosis in the long bones
- Bony spurs may also appear on your limb bones, especially around your knee, elbow and on the surface of tibia and ulna
In advanced skeletal fluorosis (called crippling skeletal fluorosis), your extremities become weak and moving your joints difficult, and your vertebrae partially fuse together, effectively crippling you. If detected in its early stages, fluorosis can be treated via safe (low-fluoride) water and proper nutrition.
Prevention and Education Are Needed to Prevent Cavities
Recommendations released by the University of Calgary School of Public Policy championed the use of prevention and education to prevent early childhood cavities, noting water fluoridation wouldn’t be needed if such measures were effectively practiced.
The paper’s authors even pointed out that water fluoridation is not preventing tooth decay, as areas with water fluoridation still have a high rate of early childhood cavities. The recommendations call for increased education for parents on the importance of proper feeding and dental hygiene for infants, as well as for health care professionals to discuss these issues with patients. Co-author Jennifer Zwicker told 660 News:13
“We’re recommending that at baby visits ... and any kind of interface with public health nurses or pediatricians, just explaining to parents, you need to be cleaning their gums, you need to be brushing their teeth, just so you’re not ending up with children going to the emergency room needing surgery for dental pain.”
In the U.S., meanwhile, the petition urges the EPA to follow the lead of western Europe and reject water fluoridation. “The EPA is the one federal agency with the authority to make this happen here in the U.S. We urge EPA to act accordingly,” they wrote.14
Water Fluoridation Linked to Diabetes and Low IQ
By Dr. Mercola
September 06, 2016
THINKING GREEN Fluoride Special
This debate was 12 years in the making; it's taken that long to find someone willing to debate Connett and defend the controversial practice of water fluoridation. It's a pressing issue in the U.S. as well as in New Zealand, one of the few countries in the world where water fluoridation is still practiced.
At present, only about 52 percent of New Zealand's population receives fluoridated water, but proposed legislation could change this and essentially require mandatory water fluoridation for all of New Zealand.1
In order to support this introduction of mandatory water fluoridation, the New Zealand Ministry of Health recently called on an expert panel to review the data surrounding water fluoridation, and the panel, not surprisingly, concluded it is safe.
However, information provided by Connett in the debate should easily undermine the fluoridation mandate, as the practice has been linked to a number of health harms, including lowered IQ.
Fluoride Proponents Make Error in Reviewing IQ Study, Inaccurately Claim Fluoridation Is Safe
In 2014 Lancet Neurology released a study, authored by a Harvard doctor, among others, that classified fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin.2 It wasn't the first time.
In 2012, a meta-analysis, also by Harvard researchers, clearly showed that children exposed to fluoride in drinking water had lower IQ, by an average of seven points, in areas with raised concentrations.3
This study was used by the New Zealand fluoride panel to support fluoride safety, because the researchers mistakenly said the meta-analysis found the average lowering of IQ was less than one point.
Even after they corrected their mistake, they did not make it clear that the correction meant fluoride was harmful to children's neurodevelopment. According to FAN:4
"It was not a drop of half an IQ point but a drop of half of one standard deviation, which is the equivalent of [seven] IQ points. That is a very big difference!The [Sir Peter] Gluckman [Prime minister's chief scientific adviser] and [Sir David] Skegg [president of the Royal Society of New Zealand] team [who headed up the expert panel] 'corrected' this mistake in an updated version of their report.But they corrected their mistake in a way that would not be clear to the layperson but worse still made this change without changing the conclusion derived from the mistake.This conclusion — for anyone knowledgeable on the subject — is ridiculous, but unfortunately many will be deceived by this manipulation and conclude there is no problem with fluoride's neurotoxicity — and specifically its ability to lower IQ in children.… So we are left with a very uncomfortable question, did Gluckman and Skegg and their advisers simply make a clumsy mistake, or was this a deliberate attempt to deceive the public?"
Cherry-Picked Data and Another Flawed Review
Another issue with the panel's "expert" report had to do with their reliance on a 2015 study that found no IQ difference between a fluoridated and non-fluoridated community.5 This study was also cited by Berridge in support of fluoridation in the video above.
However, here, too, is a case of a flawed review, intentional or otherwise. As FAN reported, the study had virtually no controls.
It compared a fluoridated community of 900 children with a non-fluoridated community of less than 90, about half of which took fluoride supplements. So there was no way to accurately gauge any fluoride-related IQ differences.
The panel focused only on the aforementioned Harvard meta-analysis and this flawed IQ study — completely ignoring the more than 300 animal and human studies previously published that point to fluoride's role as a neurotoxin.6
New Study Looks Into Fluoride-Diabetes Connection
More than 9 percent of the U.S. population suffers from diabetes, more than a quarter of which remain undiagnosed.7 Diabetes rates have nearly quadrupled over the last three decades and they continue to rise.
While dietary factors and inactivity certainly play a role in the U.S. diabetes epidemic, research conducted by Kyle Fluegge, Ph.D., a health economist for New York City's health department who completed the research as a post-doctoral fellow at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, tested the hypothesis that water fluoridation may be involved.
Drinking Fluoridated Water May Increase Diabetes Risk
Fluegge's study used mathematical models to analyze data on fluoride levels in water and rates of diabetes in 22 U.S. states.8
The data revealed a 1 milligram (mg) increase in added fluoride was associated with a 0.17 percent increase in age-adjusted diabetes prevalence, even after adjusting for other diabetes risk factors like obesity and physical inactivity. There were also differences noted depending on which type of fluoride was found in the water.
Sodium fluoride was the first of the fluoride waste materials to be used for fluoridation, but now it is rarely used.
It's the most well known, as this is the compound used as pharmaceutical grade in toxicology studies and other research into the potential health dangers of fluoride. In the recent study, sodium fluoride was linked to an increased risk of diabetes, as was sodium fluorosilicate.
Is Arsenic Contamination in Fluoride to Blame?
For reasons that are unclear, another fluoride type, fluorosilicic acid, was associated with decreases in diabetes, as was naturally occurring fluoride. As noted by Fluoride Action Network (FAN), each of these fluoride varieties is a byproduct of the fertilizer industry and subject to contamination with arsenic.9
"In the process of converting phosphate rock into soluble fertilizer, two very toxic fluoride gases are released: hydrogen fluoride and silicon tetrafluoride … Eventually, as a result of both litigation and regulation, the phosphate industry installed 'wet scrubbers' to trap the fluoride gases.The collected liquid in these scrubbers (hydrofluoroslicic acid) is entered into storage tanks and shipped to water departments throughout the country … After being captured in the scrubbing system, the fluorosilicic acid is either shipped as is (an acidic liquid), or is converted into dry powders (sodium fluorosilicate and sodium fluoride).Whether shipped in its original liquid form, or converted into powder, the fluorosilicic acid does not undergo purification procedures. As a result, fluorosilicic acid has been found to contain various contaminants, particularly arsenic."
Although this is speculative, it's worth noting that chronic arsenic exposure may be linked to an increased risk of diabetes.10 FAN continued:11
"The level of arsenic found in fluoridation chemicals is not trivial. According to a review in the American Water Works Association's publication Opflow, the amount of arsenic that fluoridation adds to finished water 'is hardly a minimal amount.' The arsenic problem is unique to fluoridation chemicals as no other water treatment chemical has a problem with arsenic contamination."
Tooth Decay Rampant in Low-Income Children Despite Widespread Fluoridation
African American and Mexican American children have significantly higher rates of dental fluorosis, and many low-income urban communities also have severe oral health crises, despite decades of water fluoridation.
The New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc. (NYSCOF) reported that rates of tooth decay among low-income children are on the rise even though record numbers of these children are exposed to fluoridated water (as well as fluoride from other sources, including dental products and medications).
Data set to be presented at an American Public Health Association (APHA) Meeting in November 2016 revealed 40 percent of 3- to 5-year-olds living 100 percent below the federal poverty level have tooth decay, along with 69 percent of 6- to 9-year-olds and 74 percent of 13- to 15-year-olds.
Rates of dental fluorosis also rose among this population, with 58 percent of low-income children affected by this condition.12 Paul Beeber, NYSCOF president, said in a news release:13
"Claims that poor children need fluoride are without merit or evidence … It's the dental care delivery system that needs fixing. Low-income Americans need dental care not fluoride."
The Risks of Water Fluoridation Are Scientifically Proven
In 2015, the Cochrane Collaboration released a comprehensive review with points that are nearly impossible to dispute. Fluoride doesn't work to prevent cavities and it's proven to cause harm in the form of dental fluorosis.
The Cochrane Collaboration is considered to be the gold standard in evidence-based reviews, and only three studies conducted since 1975 had enough merit to be included. None showed that swallowing fluoride prevents cavities while it was clear that it causes harm (dental fluorosis).
Dental fluorosis, a condition referring to changes in the appearance of tooth enamel caused by long-term ingestion of fluoride, is not purely aesthetic. It can lead to crumbling of tooth enamel in its advanced stages, and consuming excess fluoride is also linked to learning problems, thyroid disease and bone problems.
Worse still, even the "best" studies identified by the Cochrane Collaboration were not considered to be high-quality and nearly all were flawed, for instance, failing to control for other contributing factors, such as dietary sources of fluoride aside from tap water, diet and ethnicity.
Fluoride's Toxic Effects Are Cumulative
It's important to understand that the effects of fluoride are cumulative, which means consuming it via your tap water, daily for a lifetime, may lead to increasingly worsening symptoms of fluoride poisoning (although children are also at an increased risk of harm).
Research, for instance, has linked fluoridated water consumption to thyroid dysfunction, weight gain, and depression. Your pineal gland also tends to accumulate significant amounts of fluoride, which eventually causes it to calcify. This may lead to ADHD-like symptoms and may also play a role in Alzheimer's and bipolar disease. Considering its effect on neurotransmitters, it's also quite conceivable that it might promote depression and other neurological disorders.14
Further, according to one 500-page scientific review, fluoride is an endocrine disruptor that can also affect your bones, brain and even your blood sugar levels.15 There are more than 100 published studies illustrating fluoride's harm to the brain alone, plus 43 more that directly link fluoride exposure to reduced IQ in children. Studies have also demonstrated that fluoride toxicity, caused by overexposure, can lead to:
Increased lead absorption
Disrupted synthesis of collagen
Hyperactivity and/or lethargy
Bone cancer (osteosarcoma)
Increased tumor and cancer rate
Skeletal fluorosis and bone fractures
Genetic damage and cell death
Damaged sperm and increased infertility
Inactivation of 62 enzymes and inhibition of more than 100
Inhibited formation of antibodies, and immune system disruptions
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No More Fluoride in the Water - Portland, Oregon
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More Information on Water Fluoridation!
25 April 2012
Why is Fluoride in Our Water?
09 January 2011
No More Fluoride in the Water - Waterloo, Ontario
08 November 2010