Blue-Ribbon Scientific Panel Exposes Fluoridation’s Serious Health Risks
New York – September 2006 — Fluoride jeopardizes health – even at low levels deliberately added to public water supplies, according to data presented in a recent National Academy of Sciences’ (NAS) National Research Council (NRC) report. Fluoride poses risks to the thyroid gland, diabetics, kidney patients, high water drinkers and others and can severely damage children’s teeth. (1) At least three panel members advise avoiding fluoridated water.
Panel members took several years to read, understand and discuss hundreds of studies about fluoride’s adverse health effects. “Unfortunately, many fluoridationists are dismissing this voluminous report as “only one study.” It isn’t. Many fluoridation promoters also mistakenly believe this report has nothing to do with water fluoridation at 1 ppm. However, it does according to several panel members,” says Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF).
An Oregon newspaper reports, “NAS panel member Kathy Thiessen, PhD a former scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory who has studied fluoride for the EPA, said the report showed ‘the potential is there’ that water fluoridation is unhealthy. As for the studies finding that higher levels damage children’s IQ, she said it’s possible water fluoridation levels may have a similar, albeit reduced effect… the research suggests ‘most people should minimize their fluoride intake’ — which includes avoiding fluoridated water.”
“NAS panel member Robert Isaacson, PhD a distinguished professor of neurobehavioral science at the State University of New York in Binghamton, agreed, saying that the possible effects on endocrines and hormones from water-fluoridation are ‘something that I wouldn’t want to happen to me…,'” reports the Portland Tribune.
NAS panel member Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD associate professor of dentistry and head of the preventive dentistry program at the University of Toronto writes, “In my opinion, the evidence that fluoridation is more harmful than beneficial is now overwhelming and policy makers who avoid thoroughly reviewing recent data before introducing new fluoridation schemes do so at risk of future litigation.”
Drs. Isaacson & Limeback advocate a Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) of zero. Dr. Theissen says the MCLG should be well below 1 ppm. (7)
The 12-member NRC fluoride committee unanimously decided that fluoride’s 4 milligrams per liter (4 mg/L) maximum-contaminant-level (MCL) must be lowered. They concluded that healthy average adults consuming 8 milligrams fluoride daily, via two liters of 4mg/L fluoridated water, risk weakened bones, fractures, and stage II skeletal fluorosis (pain, joint stiffness, pelvis and spine osteosclerosis).
However, some high-water drinkers consume 8 milligrams fluoride daily when only 1 mg/L is added to their water supplies, according to the report.
“The adult daily dosage is equivalent to a 2.28 mg a day dose for a child,” says Chemistry Professor Emeritus, Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director, Fluoride Action Network.
Fluoride is also in food, beverages, pharmaceuticals, dental products, pesticide residues, cigarette smoke and air emissions. The EPA is allowing additional fluoride in foods via sulfuryl fluoride pesticide residues. New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer wrote the EPA that, “”…the tolerances established by EPA are not sufficiently protective against adverse health effects,” (5)
About 2/3 of U.S. water suppliers deliberately add fluoride chemicals (mostly industrial waste silicofluorides) to reach 0.7 to 1.2 mg/L, so-called optimal, in a failed effort to prevent tooth decay (6). But, “fluoride is a water contaminant over 1.3 mg/L,” the NRC reports.
“This report is misleading by suggesting that the problem has to be studied to death before decisions can be made,” says retired EPA scientist, Robert Carton, PhD. “The safe drinking water act requires the federal government to act if there is any indication of possible or anticipated adverse health effects in order to protect the most vulnerable subsets of the population,” says Carton
“Fluoride has detrimental effects on the thyroid gland of healthy males at 3.5 mg a day.With iodine deficiency, the effect level drops to 0.7 milligrams/day for an average male, according to the report,” says Carton.
Furthermore, studies linking fluoride to cancer and lowered IQ are plausible, reports the NRC.
Eleven unions representing over 7,000 EPA scientists, engineers, lawyers and others ask for a moratorium on fluoridation.(8)
The Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) of any substance in the water
supply is the unenforceable level by which no one is harmed. The MCLG is purely based on science; while the MCL is a political number based on ability to reduce fluoride levels.
“Based on the science reported by the NRC, the MCLG for fluoride should be close to zero,” says Carton.
This is why the MCLG for fluoride should be set near zero and/or fluoridation stopped. According to the NRC report:
A) Babies under one year consume over their adequate intake (to avoid
moderate fluorosis) from the water supply alone at the so-called
optimal concentrations (0.7 – 1.2 mg/L).
B) Some athletes, workers and/or military personnel already consume up
to 10 milligrams fluoride from optimally fluoridated water, alone.
C) “…severe renal insufficiency appears to increase bone fluoride
concentrations, perhaps as much as twofold.”
D) “The elderly are at increased risk of high bone fluoride
concentrations due to accumulation over time…”
E) “There are medical conditions that can make people more susceptible
to the effects of fluoride.”
F) “…several lines of information indicate an effect of fluoride
exposure on thyroid function…it is difficult to predict exactly what
effects on thyroid function are likely at what concentration of
fluoride exposure and under what circumstances.”
G) “…all children through 12 who take fluoride supplements (assuming
low water fluoride) will reach or exceed [optimal].”
“There is no evidence that any US child is fluoride-deficient; however The Centers for Disease Control reports that American schoolchildren are fluoride-overdosed with from 1/3 to 1/2 displaying dental fluorosis while tooth decay rates are climbing also. (5),” says Beeber
A Texarkana Gazette editorial reports, “While dentists still largely believe the benefits outweigh the risks, fluoridation is no longer beyond dispute. At the very least, the report indicates a need for caution….Virtues and vices sometimes come in the same package. What’s good for the teeth looks more and more like it’s bad for other body parts. That’s not a slam dunk, that’s a trade off.” (3)
1) “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards,” Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water, Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. March 2006
2) “Fluoride foes get validation – Scientists: Substance less safe than presumed: more research needed,” by Nick Budnick, March 24, 2005, Portland Tribune
4) “GUEST VIEW: The evidence that fluoride is harmful is overwhelming,” http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/05-06/05-14-06/02opinion.htm
7) The 2nd Citizens’ Conference on Fluoride: A Summary, Fluoride Action Network
8) “EPA Unions Call for Nationwide Moratorium on Fluoridation, Congressional Hearing on Adverse Effects, Youth Cancer Cover Up ,” August 2005
New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.
PO Box 263
Old Bethpage, NY 11804
Fluoridation News Releases
Tooth Decay Crises in Fluoridated Areas
Fluoride Action Network