Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Letter to Taoiseach-Prime Minister of Ireland, Minister for Health, President of EU Parliament, Director General of EPA, and Head of EU Commissions Chemical Unit


Taoiseach Mr. Enda Kenny T.D.
Minister for Health, Dr. James O' Reilly T.D
Mr. Martin Schulz President of the EU Parliament
Ms. Laura Burke, Director General of the EPA
Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Head of Chemical Unit, European Commission

19th March 2013

Please find attached my latest report with over 500 peer reviewed scientific references examining the public health implications of water fluoridation in the Republic of Ireland compared to non fluoridated Northern Ireland and the EU.

The report addresses the key findings and observations of the U.S National Academy of Sciences National Research Councils Scientific Committee Report on Fluoride (2006) and its biological impacts examining their findings for fluoride exposure, fluoride and silicofluoride toxicity,  neurotoxicity and neurological illness, developmental toxicity, endocrine disorders, immune disorders, musculoskeletal disorders and cancer. Under each heading the findings of the NRC committee are summarized, followed by current data for each disease category for the Republic of Ireland, which is compared to non –fluoridated Northern Ireland, the EU and international countries.  Comprehensive epidemiological data from the World health organisation and other reputable bodies on disease and mortality for the Republic of Ireland are provided in graphical and tabular format.

Please  note in particular the findings of the pre-eminent scientific journal on endocrine science which published a comprehensive scientific review in June 2012 [ Vandenberg LN, Colborn T, Hayes TB, Heindel JJ, Jacobs DR, Lee DH, Shioda T, Soto AM, vom Saal FS, Welshons WV, Zoeller RT, Myers JP (2012). Hormones and endocrine-disrupting chemicals: Low dose effects and nonmonotonic dose responses. Endocrine Reviews, June 2012, 33(3):378-455] and which noted that water fluoridation chemicals were low dose endocrine disruptors that inhibited insulin secretion, the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

This information was further noted in a recent publication by a group of international experts in a publication for the WHO and UNEP dated December 2012 [Ref: State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals 2012-Inter-Organisation Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals.]

In this latter publication the biological impact of low dose endocrine disrupting chemicals are identified as impacting on immune function and disease, thyroid related disorders, bone disorders, neuro-developmental disorders in children, hormone related cancers, metabolic disorders and reproductive health.

Each of these categories are examined in detail in the attached report and clearly demonstrating that exposure to water fluoridation chemicals are contributing to significant health inequalities, disease and mortality in the Republic of Ireland.

For example, mortality in the Republic of Ireland from diabetes is 470% higher than non fluoridated northern Ireland, mortality from endocrine and metabolic disorders 350% higher,  rheumatoid arthritis 277% higher and diseases of the musculoskeletal system 228% higher than Northern Ireland. The incidence of early onset dementia is 450% higher, the incidence of Sudden Death Syndrome 300% higher while the incidence of a wide range of cancers are significantly higher in the Republic of Ireland compared to Northern Ireland and the EU.

The Republic of Ireland has the highest incidence of hormone related cancers such as ovarian and prostate cancers in the EU. Overall cancer incidence is 38% higher than the UK and according to the World Health Organisation cancer incidence in the Republic of Ireland is 85% above the corresponding incidence rate for European region and 43% above the EU incidence rate.

The incidence rates for chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia are 53.5% higher for males and 53.1% higher for females in the RoI compared to Northern Ireland. Remarkably males incidence rates increased in Republic of Ireland by 2.8% per year during 1994-2004, while in Northern Ireland rates were static.

Ireland has the highest death rate from respiratory disease in Western Europe with death rates at almost twice the EU average, Ireland also has the highest mortality rates form diseases of the blood including severe immunodeficiency. Ireland has the highest rates of obesity in EU and incidence of Sudden infant death syndrome.

All of these and more are discussed in detail in the attached report with appropriate scientific peer reviewed references.

The latter part of the report discusses the undocumented toxins in foods and beverages resulting from water fluoridation, the poison regulations, fluoridation of water supplies regulations and the lack of toxicological data on water fluoridation chemicals with reference to current EU legislation requiring the testing, authorisation and registration of chemicals within the EU.

Finally a summary of the current status of fluoridation in Europe is provided along with conclusions of independent reviews conducted by EU member states, including the the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Czech Republic, Switzerland, UK and EU reviews as well as recent reviews undertaken in North America.

Summary judgements from three judicial findings in the US regarding fluoridation are also provided which found that water fluoridation endangered the public health with increased risk of cancer and other ailments.

The findings of the attached study are comparable with the findings of a recent publication by the U.S National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine Report (2013) titled "US Health in International Perspectives, Shorter lives, Poorer Health". This study compared health inequalities and burdens of disease between the US and Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands (all non-fluoridated) and the United Kingdom (<10% fluoridated). The findings of this study demonstrated that American’s die sooner and experience more illness than residents in many other countries and that other countries have gained life years faster than the US while the US relative standing in the world regarding health has fallen over the past half century.

The last half century happens to coincide with the period of artificial fluoridation in the US, as well as Ireland.

What is absolutely certain is that in the RoI the public health authorities have pursued a policy of medicating the population with fluoridation chemicals for half a century without undertaking any clinical trials, medical, toxicological, scientific or epidemiological studies to examine how exposure to such chemicals may be impacting on the general health of the population. In the absence of any scientific data they continue to believe that the policy is both safe and effective for all sectors of society regardless of the age, nutritional requirements, medical status or total dietary intake of fluoride of individuals

This study clearly demonstrates that there is sufficient evidence to conclude from a wide range of human health endpoints that fluoridation of public water supplies has resulted in increased fluoride exposure of the population in the RoI with wide ranging adverse effects on health. The Government must act immediately in the public interest and end this policy as a matter of urgency to protect not only the current generation but future generations from unnecessary harm.

Yours sincerely

Declan Waugh


  1. Hi! I'm the guy who had a back-and-forth with you on The Girl Against Fluoride page a few months ago. Good to see you're still at it, but it seems a little disingenuous to use the paper from Endocrine Reviews to oppose water fluoridation in Ireland.

    The Endocrine Reviews paper refers to fluoride only once, and cites a single study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8825236

    This study did indeed show that rats treated with sodium fluoride showed some changes in bone mass. However, the treatment was of 0.5mg NaF/kg/day, whereas Irish water is fluoridated only to 0.6-0.8ppm, or 0.6-0.8 mg/L (assuming ppm refers to mass/mass rather than moles/moles, I wasn't able to confirm but I assume it does).

    Now, Irish water is fluoridated with fluorosilic acid rather than sodium fluoride, which makes the calculations a little fuzzy, but by a back-of-the-envelope estimate I'd say that in order to receive the same dose of fluoride that the rats in this study received, an Irish human would need to drink somewhere between 400ml and 800ml of tap water per day per kilogram of body weight. I don't need to tell you that that is completely impossible for a human of any size.

    I agree completely that the paper showed negative effects of fluoride addition at high doses, but that is hardly evidence for its toxicity at much lower doses.

    1. Ah, sorry, I just checked! Irish water is fluoridated to 0.6-0.8mg/L of fluoride ions, whereas the study measured weight of sodium fluoride. Since sodium atoms have a weight of 23Da and fluoride atoms have a weight of 19Da, we can calculate that 19/(19+23) of the weight of sodium fluoride is fluoride ions, which comes to 45%. Therefore, the amount of fluoride ingested by the rats in the study was 45% of 0.5mg/kg/day, or 0.225mg/kg/day.

      So I was wrong, you would actually only need to drink 280-375ml of tap water per kilogram of body weight per day to reach the same level as those rats. Still completely impossible, I'm afraid.

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    4. Hi Matthew, perhaps you might take the time to read appendix D of the NRC 2006 report which addresses the comparative pharmacokinetics of Rats and Humans. You will find that rats require water concentrations of fluoride 10 to 20 times higher than humans to achieve comparable results. You may also note that for low dose endocrine disruptors there is no safe threshold level of concentration.

    5. Interesting, I just checked. Do you know why that is? Is fluoride excreted more rapidly in rats, or just not absorbed? I only ask because if rats and humans have very different fluoride metabolisms it seems a bit dubious to make cross-species inferences about toxicity.

  2. Could the differences between Northern Ireland and the ROI be explained by the fact that they have the NHS (free medical care) and we have the HSE (not free)? Surely having access to a free world class medical service as opposed to our expensive inefficient one who explain a lot of the difference in the health stats.

    1. It's possible, but bear in mind there are a huge number of differences between Northern Ireland and the Republic: Geographic, genetic and social. The different healthcare systems is a possible explanation, certainly, but there are any number of factors that could explain differences in disease prevalence.

      To immediately attribute any differences to fluoridation, as Waugh does, looks to me like knowing the conclusion you want first and then fitting your data to it afterwards - something which is anathema in science.

    2. Matthew, please explain exactly what "huge number of differences between Northern Ireland and the Republic: Geographic, genetic and social" you are referring to?

      Not many people who actually live in the UK would refer to the NHS as a 'world class medical service' anon.

    3. Well, since I'm a geneticist, let me give you a genetics example: A significant proportion of the population of Northern Ireland would be of English descent, admittedly partially intermixed with Irish (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantations_of_Ireland ).

      Of course many people in the Republic would also have some English heritage, but the proportions are likely to be very different in Northern Ireland. That alone could have a huge effect on disease profiles, as Irish people are genetically predisposed to get several conditions, including coeliac disease and type I diabetes.

      There are lots of other reasons why Northern Ireland might have different disease profiles to the Republic of Ireland - genetics is only part of the story, and if you'd like me to explain the geographic and social differences between NI and the Republic I'd be happy to (though Wikipedia would probably do a better job).

      Basically, the only conclusion a reasonable person could draw from the different health statistics between NI and the Republic is that there are a number of possible causes. To instantly pin the blame on water fluoridation is the sign of a man with an agenda, not an unbiased scientist.

  3. Matthew well given your background you should also know that West Cork for example has the highest percentage of non irish born residents in the whole of the republic of ireland making it very similiar to Northern Ireland. The genetic heritage of the plantation population of NI is largely scottish more so than english by the way. The genetic heritage of Bandon where I live is english. It was a plantation town as were most of the towns in West Cork. The health statistics for west cork should therefore according to your view be very similar to NI, but they are significantly worse, in fact they are perhaps the worst in the whole Island.The fact is that when its comes to disease a number of risk factors increase the incidence of disease including education and economic development which are seen as major factors in reducing disease both of which the south fares better than NI, NI also has a traumatic conflict for the past 40years which placed significant stress and anxiety on the population living there, which is why along with social depreviation and unemployment NI has the highest prescription use for opium drugs in the world. Conflict is a major factor in stress and stress is a major factor in disease outcomes. Even taking all this into consideration we fare far worse in incidence of disease and nmortality compared to NI or UK.

    1. You're absolutely correct, and I didn't know that about West Cork, so thanks for the info.

      I should clarify, though: I never said that genetics explains all of the differences between disease prevalence in NI and the Republic. I merely suggested it as a major potential confounding factor.

      There are a number of differences between NI and the Republic, including but not limited to a history of conflict, differences in genetic and cultural background and geography, as well as a completely different government and healthcare system.

      The only point I'm trying to make is this: The fact that certain diseases are more or less common in the Republic compared to NI does not implicate water fluoridation as a cause, because there are many differences between NI and the Republic. As the old adage goes, "Correlation does not imply causation" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation )