By Dr. Katia Meier
Denver Water (DW) hosted the first-ever informational panel to discuss the controversial practice of water fluoridation on Wednesday, July 29th. It appeared that much of the science behind water fluoridation was new to the DW board members as they have blindly followed the standard recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA) who has recommended adding fluoride to drinking water to help prevent tooth decay. DW has ordered the mass fluoridation of millions of Denver consumers since 1953.
The ADA recommends fluoride be used to “treat or prevent dental cavities” despite the fact that the FDA has never approved it for this purpose. This amounts to an unsubstantiated medical claim. Unapproved medical claims are illegal, however, the FDA seems to turn a blind eye when it comes to fluoride.
Yes, we have come to the point where this important health decision – which should only be between you and your doctor is up for popular vote by a non-medically trained board, influenced by our governor and government agencies with known ties to the industry.
Governor Hickenlooper was quick to announce that everyone should have fluoride in their water. “More than 70 years of research has proven that community water fluoridation is a safe, effective and inexpensive method of improving the oral health of all Coloradans.” He left us in the dark about what research he was referring to. There is not a single, randomized, controlled study that proves the safety nor the effectiveness of fluoride use as a systemic drug for the treatment or prevention of cavities! In recent studies, Fluoride was implicated in the prevalence of ADD and ADHD, learning difficulties, lowered IQ, and endocrine disruption. It has also been implicated in skeletal fluorosis, which is often misdiagnosed as arthritis.
The pro-fluoridation presentations were limited to the usual rhetoric, none of which was supported by facts. They merely parroted the consensus of organizations who had erroneously endorsed fluoridation without any scientific grounds. Remember that smoking was also once endorsed by the AMA?
Sodium Fluoride can’t be obtained over the counter as a supplement, but must be prescribed by a licensed health professional. It is present in small amounts in most toothpastes, but is required to have a warning label because ingesting an amount larger than a pea requires a call to a poison control center. Do you really want to put something in your child’s mouth that could be that dangerous?! However, what is being added to our water is NOT pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride, it is Hydrofluorosilicic acid (HFS), a waste byproduct of the fertilizer industry that is so corrosive, it burns a hole into concrete when it is spilled and requires full body Hazmat suits to handle it. HFS is also contaminated with other industrial waste such as lead, mercury and arsenic which can amount to as much as 10% of the HFS product added to water. Most of the “evidence” presented from the pro-fluoridation side was limited to hearsay and emotion-laden anecdotal stories of poor children missing school due to cavities. The State Dental Director, Katya Mauritson, showed her daughter’s baby picture and claimed she was filling her 4-month-old’s bottle with fluoridated tap water. Just because she is this irresponsible with her own daughter, should we be okay doing the same with our own children? In 2010, the CDC and the ADA issued warnings and recommended against using fluoridated water for infant baby formulas. In infants, the blood-brain barrier that protects their neurology from toxins is not fully developed and they are more susceptible to brain damage in their first six months than any other time in their life. A bottle-fed baby gets 250 times more fluoride dosage than a breast fed baby when fluoridated tap water is used. Even the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against using fluoride in infants younger than six months.
Fluoride was classified as a developmental neurotoxin in the March 2014 edition of The Lancet Neurology medical journal when Dr Grandjean published findings that show: “even the mildest forms (of fluorosis) that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests and suggests an average IQ decline of 7 points with exposure to fluoride.”
Dental fluorosis, a permanently disfiguring result of water fluoridation, presents as mottled discoloration of the teeth and affects 40% of American children living in fluoridated areas. The psychological and social impact for children was downplayed by the profluoridation panelists.
It was a debate where the anti-fluoride crowd had detailed questions, studies and information, but the profluoride side took the stance that “the ADA says we should do it and we’ve been doing it for years.” The pro-fluoride crowd had no real answers to the hundreds of studies that are showing fluoride to cause serious harm. I find some of my patients overestimate the protection of water fluoridation and present with numerous fillings as well as disfiguring dental fluorosis from fluoride toxicity. Dental fluorosis is a visible sign of total-body fluoride overload. Fluoride has been shown in animal studies to accumulate predominantly in the pineal gland, the hippocampus and the bones while over 40 studies show a correlation between low IQ and fluoride exposure, exposing these victims to far reaching negative social implications. The more affluent population can escape the social stigma by getting expensive veneers. While safer, topical fluoride treatments are not very lucrative, veneers generate significant revenue for labs and dentists that is not covered by insurance.
When fluoridation was established, dentists believed it was an essential nutrient. Modern science knows that there is not a single biochemical process in the body that requires it. Panelist Biochemist Jeremy Widmann, Ph.D. explains that fluoride is a highly reactive chemical which disrupts almost every natural biochemical process in the body and is essential for none. Fluoride inhibits 64 enzymes; disrupts G proteins; and destroys hydrogen bonds in the body resulting in a wide range of bio-toxic effects that can also trigger mutations – the beginning of cancer. Dr. Widmann bought an expensive water filtration system after he concluded his research on fluoride to protect him and his family.
Many of my patients who have moved here from areas where water fluoridation is not practiced, like Europe or Israel, notice a decline in their health once they are exposed to fluoridated water in America. The oral health of populations that do not fluoridate is better than in places where fluoridation is practiced due to the absence of fluorosis. A decline in caries and cavities in industrialized countries since the 1950’s has been equal regardless of whether the country fluoridates its water or not! Increased education regarding oral hygiene has led to this improvement while water fluoridation confers no additional benefit. Fluoride could be possibly the single most prevalent environmental toxin to which we are all exposed. It may contribute to the epidemic rise in chronic diseases including hypo-thyroidism, skeletal fluorosis, risk of fractures, arthritis and cancer. Many enlightened health professionals and dentists who reviewed the evidence are starting to recognize the dangers of fluoride and concur that water fluoridation is the biggest mistake of the century and it is past time for it to end!
See this article with references and photos at Natural Awakenings Magazine.