My turn: The facts against fluoride

Posted: Monday, July 30, 2007

Some have claimed there is no scientific basis for the anti-fluoridation campaign. Other than the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council's 530-page review, commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, put together by a panel of the top scientists in the nation ... besides that, a quick Google search can get you more scientific studies than you will ever comprehend. I recommend that if you really want to understand this debate, get a copy of the NRC report. Here are some quotes from the NRC panel and from a few studies out there.

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The (NRC) report "should be a wake-up call," said Dr. Robert Isaacson, NRC panel member.

"The difference between the levels of fluoride causing toxic effects and the levels added to water to prevent tooth decay is vanishingly small and deeply troubling," said Dr. J. William Hirzy, vice president of the Environmental Protection Agency's Headquarters Union in Washington D.C.

"In my opinion, the evidence that fluoridation is more harmful than beneficial is now overwhelming and policymakers who avoid thoroughly reviewing recent data before introducing new fluoridation schemes do so at risk of future litigation," said Dr. Hardy Limeback, NRC Panel member and Head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto. He further stated in a later interview "it is illogical to assume that tooth enamel is the only tissue affected by low daily doses of fluoride ingestion."

According to the Environmental Working Group, in July 2005, "Over the past 10 years a large body of peer-reviewed science has raised concerns that fluoride may present unreasonable health risks, particularly among children, at levels routinely added to tap water in American cities."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters' Union said 2001, "In summary, we hold that fluoridation is an unreasonable risk."

"I am quite convinced that water fluoridation, in a not-too-distant future, will be consigned to medical history," said Dr. Arvid Carlsson, pharmacologist and 2000 Nobel laureate in physiology and medicine.

According to Colquhoun J., in the 1985 journal edition of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, "In this study in oral epidemiology, officially collected statistics are presented which show that, 15 years after fluoridation commenced in Auckland, New Zealand, there was still a significant correlation between dental health of children and their social class. They also show that treatment levels have continued to decline in both fluoridated and unfluoridated areas, and are related to social class factors rather than to the presence or absence of water fluoridation ... When the socioeconomic variable is allowed for, dental health appears to be better in the unfluoridated areas."

"The prevalence of caries decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the fluoridated community," (Maupome G, Clark DC, Levy SM, Berkowitz J., 2001 Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology).

According to Caries Research in 2000, "The fact that no increase in caries was found in Kuopio despite discontinuation of water fluoridation and decrease in preventive procedures suggests that not all of these measures were necessary for each child."

In 2000, the Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology journal wrote, "In contrast to the anticipated increase in dental caries following the cessation of water fluoridation in the cities Chemnitz and Plauen, a significant fall in caries prevalence was observed."

And according to Caries Research in 2000, "In 1997, following the cessation of drinking water fluoridation, in contrast to an expected rise in caries prevalence, DMFT and DMFS values remained at a low level for the 6- to 9-year-olds and appeared to decrease for the 10/11-year-olds. In the 12- to 13-year-olds, there was a significant decrease, while the percentage of caries-free children of this age group had increased."

• Allen Butner is a resident of Juneau.

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