March 6, 2001
Dr. Paul Connett
with assistance from:
50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation
is not an essential nutrient. No disease has ever been linked to a
fluoride deficiency. Humans can have perfectly good teeth without
Where fluoridation has been discontinued
in communities from Canada, the former East Germany, Cuba and Finland,
dental decay has not increased but has actually decreased (Maupome
et al, 2001; Kunzel and Fischer,1997,2000; Kunzel et al, 2000 and
Seppa et al, 2000).
14) Fluoride has been shown to be mutagenic, cause chromosome damage and interfere with the enzymes involved with DNA repair in a variety of insect, tissue culture and animal studies (DHSS, 1991, Mihashi and Tsutsui, 1996).
15) Fluoride administered to animals at high doses wreaks havoc on the reproductive system - it renders sperm non-functional and increases the rate of infertility (Chinoy, et al, 1995; Kumar & Susheela, 1994; Chinoy & Narayana, 1994; Chinoy & Sequeira, 1989). A recent study from the US found increased rates of infertility among women living in areas with 3 or more ppm fluoride in the water. According to this latter study, which was published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, "Most regions showed an association of decreasing TFR [Total Fertility Rate] with increasing fluoride levels" (Freni 1994).
16) Fluoride forms complexes with a large number of metals, which include metals which are needed in the body (like calcium and magnesium) and metals (like lead and aluminum) which are toxic to the body. This can cause a variety of problems. For example, fluoride interferes with enzymes where magnesium is an important co-factor, and it can help facilitate the uptake of aluminum into tissues where the aluminum wouldn't otherwise go.
Rats fed for one year with 1 ppm fluoride in doubly distilled and
de-ionized water, using either sodium fluoride or aluminum fluoride,
had morphological changes to their kidneys and brains and had an
increased level of aluminum present in their brain (Varner et al,
1998). Aluminum in the brain is associated with Alzheimers disease.
experiments show that fluoride exposure alters mental behavior (Mullenix
et al, 1995). Rats dosed prenatally demonstrated hyperactive behavior.
Those dosed postnatally demonstrated hypoactivity (i.e. under activity
or "couch potato" syndrome).
22) Three studies from China show a lowering of IQ in children associated with fluoride exposure (Li et al, 1995; Zhao et al, 1996 and Lu et al, 2000). Another study (Lin et al, 1991) indicates that even just moderate levels of fluoride exposure (e.g. 0.9 ppm in the water) can exacerbate the neurological defects of iodine deficiency, which include decreased IQ and retardation. (According to the CDC, iodine deficiency has nearly quadrupled in the US since the 1970's, with nearly 12% of the population now iodine deficient.)
Earlier in the 20th century, fluoride was prescribed by a number of
European doctors to reduce the activity of the thyroid gland for those
suffering from hyperthyroidism (over active thyroid) (Merck Index,
1960, p. 952; Waldbott, et al., 1978, p. 163). With water
fluoridation, we are forcing people to drink a thyroid-depressing
medication which could serve to promote higher levels of
hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) in the population, and all the
subsequent problems related to this disorder. Such problems include
depression, fatigue, weight gain, muscle and joint pains, increased
cholesterol levels, and heart disease.
some studies, when high doses of fluoride were used in trials to treat
patients with osteoporosis in an effort to harden their bones and
reduce fracture rates, it actually led to a HIGHER number of hip
fractures (Hedlund and Gallagher, 1989; Riggs et al, 1990).
27) One animal study (National Toxicology Program, 1990) shows a dose-related increase in osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in male rats. The initial finding of this study was of "clear evidence of carcinogenicity" a finding which was soon conspicuously downgraded to "equivocal evidence" (Marcus, 1990). EPA Professional Headquarters Union has requested that Congress establish an independent review of this study's results (Hirzy 2000).
28) Two epidemiological studies show a possible association (which some have discounted: Hoover, 1990 and 1991) between osteosarcoma in young men and living in fluoridated areas (National Cancer Institute, 1989 and Cohn, 1992). Other studies have not found this association.
29) Fluoridation is unethical because individuals are not being asked for their informed consent prior to medication. This is standard practice for all medication.
30) While referenda are preferential to imposed policies from central government, it still leaves the problem of individual rights versus majority rule. Put another way -- does a voter have the right to require that their neighbor ingest a certain medication (even if it's against that neighbor's will)?
people appear to be highly sensitive to fluoride as shown by case
studies and double blind studies (Waldbott, 1978 and Moolenburg,
1987). This may relate to fluoride interfering with their hormone
levels including those produced by their thyroid gland. Can we as a
society force these people to drink fluoride?
33) Also vulnerable are those who suffer from malnutrition (e.g. calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin D and iodide deficiencies and protein poor diets). Those most likely to suffer from poor nutrition are the poor, who are precisely the people being targeted by new fluoridation proposals (Oral Health in America, May 2000). While being at heightened risk, poor families are less able to afford avoidance measures (e.g. bottled water or removal equipment).
34) Since dental decay is most concentrated in poor communities, we should be spending our efforts trying to increase the access to dental care for poor families. The real "Oral Health Crisis" that exists today in the United States, is not a lack of fluoride but poverty and lack of dental insurance.
has been found to be ineffective at preventing one of the most serious
oral health problems facing poor children, namely, baby bottle tooth
decay, otherwise known as early childhood caries (Jones,
As one doctor has aptly stated, "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."
39) The US Public Health Service first endorsed fluoridation in 1950, before one single trial had been completed (McClure, 1970)! It may not be coincidental that in the same year of the US PHS endorsement, the Sugar Research Foundation, Inc. (supported by 130 corporations) expressed its aim in dental research as, "To discover effective means of controlling tooth decay by methods other than restricting carbohydrate (sugar) intake" (Waldbott, 1965, p.131).
The fluoridation program has been very poorly monitored.
There has never been a comprehensive analysis of the fluoride levels
in the bones of the American people. US Health authorities have no
idea how close we are getting to levels which will cause subtle or
even serious bone and joint damage!
hazardous wastes have not been tested comprehensively. The chemical
usually tested in animal studies is pharmaceutical grade sodium
fluoride, not industrial grade fluorosilicic acid. The assumption
being made is that by the time this waste product has been diluted
down, all the fluorosilicic acid will have been converted into free
fluoride ion, and the other toxics and radioactive isotopes will be so
dilute that they will not cause any harm, even with lifetime exposure.
These assumptions have not been examined carefully by scientists,
independent of the fluoridation program.
Last year's (2000) recipient of the Noble Prize
for Medicine and Physiology, was Dr. Arvid Carlsson of Sweden. Dr.
Carlsson was one of the leading opponents of fluoridation in Sweden.
He was part of the panel that recommended that the Swedish government
reject the practice, which they did in 1971. In her book "The
Fluoride Question: Panacea or Poison" Anne-lise Gotzsche quotes
Carlsson as follows: "It is not worthwhile to conceal the fact
that it is a question of applying a pharmacologically active substance
to an entire population" (p.69).
When it comes to controversies surrounding toxic chemicals, invested
interests traditionally do their very best to discount animal studies
and quibble with epidemiological findings. In the past, political
pressures have led government agencies to drag their feet on
regulating asbestos, benzene, DDT, PCBs, tetraethyl lead, tobacco and
dioxins. With fluoridation we have had a fifty year delay.
Unfortunately, because government officials have put so much of their
credibility on the line defending fluoridation, and because of the
huge liabilities waiting in the wings if they admit that fluoridation
has caused an increase in hip fracture, arthritis, bone cancer, brain
disorders or thyroid problems, it will be very difficult for them to
speak honestly and openly about the issue. But they must, not only to
protect millions of people from unnecessary harm, but to protect the
notion that, at its core, public health policy must be based on sound
science not political pressure. They have a tool with which to do
this: it's called the Precautionary Principle. Simply put, this says:
if in doubt leave it out. This is what most European countries have
done and their children's teeth have not suffered, while their
public's trust has been strengthened.
APPENDIX 1. World Health Organization Data
Table: DMFT Status (Decayed, Missing & Filled Teeth) for 12 year olds. Organized by Country.
Data from: WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme Department of Noncommunicable Diseases Surveillance/Oral Health WHO Collaborating Centre, Malm÷ University, Sweden http://www.whocollab.od.mah.se/euro.html
Statements on fluoridation by governmental officials from several countries:
"Generally, in Germany fluoridation of drinking water is forbidden. The relevant German law allows exceptions to the fluoridation ban on application. The argumentation of the Federal Ministry of Health against a general permission of fluoridation of drinking water is the problematic nature of compuls[ory] medication." (Gerda Hankel-Khan, Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany, September 16, 1999). www.fluoridealert.org/germany.jpeg
"Fluoride chemicals are not included in the list [of 'chemicals for drinking water treatment']. This is due to ethical as well as medical considerations." (Louis Sanchez, Directeur de la Protection de l'Environment, August 25, 2000). www.fluoridealert.org/france.jpeg
"Fluoride has never been added to the public water supplies in Luxembourg. In our views, the drinking water isn't the suitable way for medicinal treatment and that people needing an addition of fluoride can decide by their own to use the most appropriate way, like the intake of fluoride tablets, to cover their [daily] needs." (Jean-Marie RIES, Head, Water Department, Administration De L'Environment, May 3, 2000). www.fluoridealert.org/luxembourg.jpeg
"We do not favor or recommend fluoridation of drinking water. There are better ways of providing the fluoride our teeth need." (Paavo Poteri, Acting Managing Director, Helsinki Water, Finland, February 7, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-finland.htm
"Artificial fluoridation of drinking water supplies has been practiced in Finland only in one town, Kuopio, situated in eastern Finland and with a population of about 80,000 people (1.6% of the Finnish population). Fluoridation started in 1959 and finished in 1992 as a result of the resistance of local population. The most usual grounds for the resistance presented in this context were an individual's right to drinking water without additional chemicals used for the medication of limited population groups. A concept of "force-feeding" was also mentioned.
Drinking water fluoridation is not prohibited in Finland but no municipalities have turned out to be willing to practice it. Water suppliers, naturally, have always been against dosing of fluoride chemicals into water." (Leena Hiisvirta, M.Sc., Chief Engineer, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finland, January 12, 1996.) www.fluoridealert.org/finland.jpeg
"We are pleased to inform you that
according to the Danish Ministry of Environment and Energy, toxic
fluorides have never been added to the public water supplies.
Consequently, no Danish city has ever been fluoridated." (Klaus
Werner, Royal Danish Embassy, Washington DC, December 22, 1999). www.fluoridation.com/c-denmark.htm
"In Norway we had a rather intense
discussion on this subject some 20 years ago, and the conclusion was
that drinking water should not be fluoridated." (Truls Krogh
& Toril Hofshagen, Folkehelsa Statens institutt for folkeheise
(National Institute of Public Health) Oslo, Norway, March 1, 2000).
"Drinking water fluoridation is not allowed in Sweden...New scientific documentation or changes in dental health situation that could alter the conclusions of the Commission have not been shown." (Gunnar Guzikowski, Chief Government Inspector, Livsmedels Verket -- National Food Administration Drinking Water Division, Sweden, February 28, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-sweden.htm
"From the end of the 1960s until the beginning of the 1970s drinking water in various places in the Netherlands was fluoridated to prevent caries. However, in its judgement of 22 June 1973 in case No. 10683 (Budding and co. versus the City of Amsterdam) the Supreme Court (Hoge Road) ruled there was no legal basis for fluoridation. After that judgement, amendment to the Water Supply Act was prepared to provide a legal basis for fluoridation. During the process it became clear that there was not enough support from Parlement [sic] for this amendment and the proposal was withdrawn." (Wilfred Reinhold, Legal Advisor, Directorate Drinking Water, Netherlands, January 15, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-netherlands.htm
"The water supply in Northern Ireland has never been artificially fluoridated except in 2 small localities where fluoride was added to the water for about 30 years up to last year. Fluoridation ceased at these locations for operational reasons. At this time, there are no plans to commence fluoridation of water supplies in Northern Ireland." (C.J. Grimes, Department for Regional Development, Belfast, November 6, 2000). www.fluoridealert.org/Northern-Ireland.jpeg
"Toxic fluorides have never been added to the public water supplies in Austria." (M. Eisenhut, Head of Water Department, Osterreichische Yereinigung fur das Gas-und Wasserfach Schubertring 14, A-1015 Wien, Austria, February 17, 2000). www.fluoridation.com/c-austria.htm
"Since 1993, drinking water has not been treated with fluoride in public water supplies throughout the Czech Republic. Although fluoridation of drinking water has not actually been proscribed it is not under consideration because this form of supplementation is considered:
Statement of Douglas Carnall,
Associate Editor of the British Medical Journal, published on the BMJ
website ( http://www.bmj.com ) on the day that they published the York
Review on Fluoridation.
See this review on the web at http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/321/7265/904/a
British Medical Journal
October 7, 2000
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Chinoy NJ, et al. (1995). Microdose vasal injection of sodium fluoride in the rat. Reprod Toxicol. 5(6): 505-12.
Chinoy NJ, Narayana MV. (1994). In vitro fluoride toxicity in human spermatozoa. Reprod Toxicol. 8(2):155-9.
Chinoy NJ, et al. (1994). Transient and reversible fluoride toxicity in some soft tissues of female mice. Fluoride. 27:205-214.
Chinoy NJ, Sequeira E. (1989). Effects of fluoride on the histoarchitecture of reproductive organs of the male mouse. Reprod Toxicol. 3(4):261-7.
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THE 19 STUDIES ON THE POSSIBLE ASSOCIATION OF HIP FRACTURE AND FLUORIDATED-WATER.
a) Studies Reporting an Association between fluoridated water (1 ppm fluoride) & hip fracture.
b) Studies reporting an association between water-fluoride levels higher than fluoridated water (2 to 4 ppm) & hip fracture.
Li Y, et al. (2001). Effect of long-term exposure to fluoride in drinking water on risks of bone fractures. J Bone Miner Res.16(5):932-9.
c) Studies Reporting No Association between water fluoride & hip fracture:
(Note that in 4 of these 8 studies, an association was actually found between fluoride and some form of fracture - distal forearm, wrist, even hip. See notes and quotes below.)
REFERENCES for TOPICAL VS. SYSTEMIC EFFECTS OF FLUORIDE
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c) CDC. (2001). Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States. Mortality and Morbidity Weekly Review. August 17, 50(RR14):1-42.
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j) Limeback H. (1999). A re-examination of the pre-eruptive and post-eruptive mechanism of the anti-caries effects of fluoride: is there any caries benefit from swallowing fluoride? Community Dent Oral Epidemiol. 27: 62-71.