Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Water Fluoridation- A struggle for truth and scientific integrity, not myth and opinion based on a misrepresentation of scientific facts

The first step in scientific research is to find out what is known about it in available literature. This study is fraught with difficulties. In spite of the literally thousands of publications on the dental, biochemical and statistical phase of fluoridation, little research is available on its medical aspect. The National Research Council’s (NRC) review of fluoride in drinking water published in 2006 is perhaps the best example of this, where the scientific committee found that the quality of research available to prove the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation was seriously lacking proper scientific investigation. In total the NRC scientific committee recommended over 50 detailed scientific, medical, toxicological and epidemiological studies be undertaken to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of fluoride, none of which have been undertaken by Health authorities to date. The U.S National Research Council were not alone in this determination.

What makes all this quite remarkable is that fifty years previously in 1954 the Canadian Medical Association adopted a report by its Ad Hoc Subcommittee where it pointed to the following gaps in fluoride research:

·       “We don’t know enough about the toxic effects of fluoride on tissues other than teeth.
·       We don’t know enough about the effect of fluoride over long periods of time.
·       We don’t know enough concerning fluorine levels in relation to fluorine bearing food combined with artificially fluoridated water.
·       We don’t know enough about the relation of nutritional factors to the action of fluorine.
·       We don’t know enough about the toxicity of fluoride as allied to climate and geography which may increase absorption or diminish excretion.”

Indeed EVERY one of these statement’s which was issued almost 60 years ago remains unanswered TODAY.

In undertaking my own independent review and risk assessment of this area, I found this fact deeply disturbing, even more so when the European Commission’s review of fluoride in 2010 (SCHER Review) clearly identified that the toxicological profile of Hexafluorosilicic acid/hydrofluorosilicic acid, the principle fluoridation chemical used in North America and Ireland, still to this day remains largely unknown.

For me, personally and professionally, I find this fact completely unacceptable. Under no circumstance should any authority no matter whom, inject a chemical into drinking water to be consumed by the public that the toxicological impact of the chemical is not known with absolute scientific certainty. To do so is in my view criminally negligent. In my professional work one of my main areas of expertise is due diligence and risk assessment. I work a lot on contaminated industrial sites including pharmaceutical sites. When I examine the environmental liabilities that may be associated with past activities the first place I start is by compiling all the toxicological data for every known chemical that was previously used on site.  I examine the human health and environmental risk associated with each and determine based on scientific assessment the degree of potential liability associated with the site and any remediation action that may be necessary for clean-up and restoration. I do not accept opinion only evidence based fact. These are the same principles that I applied to my examination of water fluoridation in my recent report which I published independently earlier this year. Simply put, because there is no toxicological data to support the use of silicofluoride chemicals and as neither the health authorities, the manufacturers or promoters of these chemicals can provide the evidence to show they are safe for human consumption, it would be remiss of any politician who ultimately is responsible for any political decision to enforce mandatory fluoridation on their population, to not demand such evidence be presented prior to any policy even being considered.  Public policy must be based on evidence based science not hypothetical theory or opinion.

This brings me to the NHS York Review undertaken for the Chief Medical Officer of the UK, which was published in the 2000. This review remains one of the most comprehensive independent scientific studies of the available scientific literature on fluoride and water fluoridation. It is remarkable that despite reviewing thousands of published papers the NHS York Review could not find one study that scientifically proved the effectiveness and safety of water fluoridation. The review concluded from available worldwide evidence that there was no credible evidence to demonstrate that water fluoridation was either safe or effective. It did however prove that in communities where artificial fluoridation occurred that a very significant percentage of the population were overexposed to fluoride, resulting in a high level of dental fluorosis amongst the population. In fact, the York Review found that in fluoridated communities up to 48% of the population may experience dental fluorosis and of these some 20% will have dental fluorosis that is more than just mere cosmetic damage. In other words the review found that one in eight people will have physically damaged teeth as a result of water fluoridation.

The respected medical physician and scientist Dr. Waldbott, one of the most distinguished medical experts in the field of allergies of the last century, best described dental fluorosis as “an external sign of internal distress”. It is a visible sign of chronic overexposure to a toxin, one that now affects almost half the population of North America as well as other fluoridated countries such as Ireland.

I am currently reading an extremely interesting book by the late Dr. Walbott titled ‘A Struggle with Titans’ on the subject of water fluoridation (which I would highly  recommend everyone to read), where he expertly documents the history of water fluoridation and his personally experiences in undertaking scientific research in this area. Dr. Waldbott highlights how dental and scientific journals including medical journals of the highest reputation, publish only what they desire, regardless of the scientific calibre of the article in question. He documents cases of intimidation and harassment of scientific professionals who opposed the policy of water fluoridation. He discusses not just the origins of fluoridation but how industry used political power to influence research, media and public policy to support fluoridation. Dr. Waldbott discusses how any research funded by industry that may be incriminating is invariably censored or withheld from publication and highlights how most if not all of the money available to scientific institutions for fluoride research flows from organisations interested in promoting fluoride. He further explains how the American Dental Association and the U.S Public Health Service have used their combined organisations, financial strength and power to promote fluoridation at all costs and discusses how through their members, who sit on the board of every major medical and dental journal in North America, they may influence not only public opinion but scientific publication of articles on water fluoridation. Dr. Waldbott described three type of promoters of fluoridation and how each has his own area of influence: Firstly the scientist who has done original work on fluoride, secondly the professional, scientific and medical news writer who is impressed by the scientists work and finally the misinformed, who adopt views of others without making an independent study of his own.

This brings me to the principle point addressed in a recent communication regarding this website, which I use to help raise awareness and educate the public on the risks associated with water fluoridation. One of the means by which I undertake this is provide a review of some of the more recent and scientific publications in a manner that may be understandable for the general reader. For scientific professionals I would expect they would always consult the primary research as I do and review the information independently.

It has been commented that the summary provided to the Russian Academy of Sciences scientific paper on the Molecular Toxicity of Fluoride is not the official summary/abstract of the original report. I believe that the summary provided in my blog accurately reflects the abstract of the original study, the principle difference being that I have attempted to write my summary in a manner that the public may better understand. The original paper was quite long and included some 154 scientific references many of which are highly acclaimed scientific journals. It has also been suggested by fluoride promoters that there is no evidence to support the fact that individuals often exceed the ‘therapeutic level’ of fluoride from dietary sources, as noted in my review and in other published papers. There is in fact comprehensive evidence of this which is evident in the prevalence of dental fluorosis in communities where fluoridation is practiced. I would highlight one important scientific publication by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) [1] that for me as a parent I find particularly disturbing. In this study the EFSA found that bottle fed infants who are fed formula milk made up with fluoridated tap water exceed the established maximum recommended upper tolerable safe level established for a healthy adult by almost 200%.  This is quite simply insane  and represents medical and safety negligence of the highest order, especially when recent studies by Harvard University and others have clearly found that fluoride is not only a development neurotoxin but is strongly linked to the development of childhood cancers such as osteosarcoma.

The EFSA also note that 90% of the fluoride ingested will remain within the infant where it is bound to calcified tissue, such as bone as well as deposited in other organs within the body. In addition the EFSA further note that in children up to 70% of their total fluoride burden or dietary intake may on occasion come from pharmaceutical drugs depending on their medication and note that in assessing the dietary intake of fluoride by individuals all sources of fluoride should be examined in order to determine the risk of overexposure to individuals. This fact is important as the World Health Authority itself has clearly stated that prior to any country deciding on whether to fluoridate drinking water supplies the total dietary fluoride exposure of the population must be examined for all sectors of society including the most sensitive subgroups. What is truly shocking is that this basic recommendation of the WHO has been entirely ignored by health authorities who promote fluoridation in the few countries in the world where it is still practiced. 

Yet while the WHO values for recommended daily fluoride intake, for the benefit of dental health, are approximately 3mg/day for an adult female and 4mg/day for an adult male these recommendations are misleading given that the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA)[2] clearly found that fluoride incorporated developmentally during tooth development had no significant role in caries protection or simply put, ingesting fluoride had no beneficial impact on preventing caries prevention. Why therefore recommend an optimal dietary intake, if ingested fluoride has no beneficial role in preventing dental caries? This is especially so when the European Food Safety Authority found that “Fluoride is not essential for human growth or development” a statement or position also agreed by the EU Commissions DG SANCO when they noted that “People do not need fluoride for normal growth and development”.

The problems of establishing "optimal fluoride intakes" was comprehensively examined by Warren et al.[3] in 2008 when the research  authors recommended "that due to extreme variability in individual fluoride intakes, recommending an "optimal" fluoride intake is problematic." in concluding the authors recommend that “the term optimal fluoride intake be dropped from common usage”.

Thirdly, regarding the article itself, some individuals who support fluoridation appear to attempt to discredit the research not by questioning its validity, but rather where it was published. This intellectual snobbery attempts to discredit any study that was not published in what they regard as "scientifically valid' journals, as if the pursuit of science is only valid if they say so. In this particular instance regarding the study by the Russian Academy of Sciences, I would like to see critics highlight any discrepancies that may be present in the original scientific paper or indeed any falsehoods presented in any of the 154 scientific references provided for the same published article. Of course this rarely if ever happens, instead fluoride promoters prefer to ignore any science that is critical to fluoridation in a way that if it is critical then is must be wrong. Scientists are meant to be objective but when it comes to water fluoridation this also unfortunately rarely happens, to many scientists prefer to accept opinion rather than facts. Where limitations to studies may have been found, one would imagine in the interests of public safety, that the public health authorities would repeat such studies and improve on the methodologies to improve the science thereby protecting the interests of the public. This unfortunately never happens. It appears their attitute is to be openly critical of every study that demonstrates harm and then brush it under the carpet hopefully never to see the light of day again. This is not in the interests of science, nor public health.

The authors of this particular review, the Russian Academy of Sciences, represent the National Academy of Russia which is a self-governing non-commercial organisation that is highly respected internationally. The fact that the Academy is non-commercial is extremely important, as their research is therefore more likely to be truly independent.  I would highlight for example, that it was largely through the work of this organisation that the health risks of non-ionising radiation from mobile phones was first highlighted (2009), which ultimately resulted in the World Health Organisations International Agency for Cancer Research issuing their press release in May 2011 where they classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans. This was followed by the Chief medical officers in many developed countries issuing public warnings on the health risks of mobile phone technology based coincidentally on the ‘precautionary principle,’ a principle that has been entirely ignored for water fluoridation chemicals in the countries that promote this policy.

Throwing stones at where the article was published does not weaken the evidence presented in the review. I had a similar discussion with a molecular biologist in Ireland regarding this very topic recently where he first suggested that the publication in which the article was printed was not academically respected and therefore was unscientific. So I asked him to identify for me any inaccuracies or misrepresentations presented in the article, I received no reply.  He subsequently suggested that any scientific paper that included as a scientific reference the journal Fluoride, (reference 92) which itself is not listed in the Medline database of journals, was not worthy of credibility, in his learned opinion. When I responded that the United States National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council included numerous references to the journal Fluoride in their publication on this subject in 2006, he finally accepted that perhaps non Medline Journals are scientifically valid in some circumstances, but still believed that such a journal was not regarded as scientifically valid. I was then provided by this individual a reference for a scientific paper which he claimed clearly demonstrated that there were no known health impacts associated with water fluoridation[4]. I immediately sought this article and purchased the Journal in question to independently examine the evidence. What was particularly astonishing in this instance was the paper in its summary/synopsis did not include the major findings of the study, which clearly found that there was clear evidence to demonstrate that a sub-group of a population may be intolerant to fluoride and that there was a remarkable 13% reduction in recorded medical ailments within a three month period in the community after fluoridation was discontinued.

What was also irionic was the fact that not only was the paper which was presented as evidence of no harm actually demonstrated harm to individuals, it was also ironinc inthis instance that the authors of this very paper included as publicished scientific references the journal Fluoride, the very same journal which the scientist whom I was in discussion with had suggested no reputable scientist would use as scientific reference. Yet, here it was being quoted as a reputable scientific reference in the very journal that the same individual presented to me which he had further informed me demonstrated that water fluoridation was safe and which in reality the study concluded the exact opposite. Of course you had the read the entire paper to find this out, which unfortunately many professionals do not do.

I will end by saying as I previously mentioned, one should always independently review any information provided and always read the source information wherever possible. Never believe everything you are told, this is especially true of water fluoridation. It is a policy based not on sound scientific evidence but rather fraud perpetrated on an unwilling public. Indeed perhaps the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on the public and certainly one of the most costly in terms of human health and financial costs.

Finally there are more historical scientific papers that I have recently sourced that demonstrate the molecular toxicity of fluoride was well known prior to water fluoridation which I would recommend individuals to read including; The Pharmacology of Fluoride By noted scientist GUSTAV W.M. RAPP, Ph.D. and Inhibition Of Cellular Oxidation By Fluoride by Hans Borei of the Wenner-Gren's Institute, University of Stockholm.

Respectfully Yours
Declan Waugh
Environmental Scientist

[1] Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on a request from the Commission related to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of FluorideThe EFSA Journal (2005) 192, 1-65.
[2] John D.B. Featherstone, M.Sc, Ph.D., The Science And Practice Of Caries Prevention, JADA, Vol. 131, July 2000 887-89
[3] Warren et al. Considerations on Optimal Fluoride Intake Using Dental Fluorosis and Dental Caries Outcomes – A Longitudinal Study, American Association of Public Health Dentistry, 2008
[4] Lamberg M, Hausen H, Vartiainen T, Symptoms experienced during periods of actual and supposed water fluoridation, Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 1997: 25: 2915 ISSN 0301-5661

1 comment:

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