Monday, May 13, 2013

Toxicity of Industrial Fluorides used in water fluoridation


Research Article
Physiologic Conditions Affect Toxicity of Ingested Industrial Fluoride
Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Volume 2013, Article 43940 2013
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/aip/439490/

Here is a summary of the main findings, to view the article in its entirety please access the link above.

Synthetic industrial fluoride compounds lack calcium and are listed toxic substances. The fluoride compounds, sodium fluoride NaF and fluorosilicic acid H2SiF6, added into municipal water for human ingestion purposes are synthesized artificially by industrial reaction and have been used as rodenticides, insecticides, and pediculicides, with acute oral lethal doses in experimental animals comparable to arsenic and lead. Controlled human clinical trials for safety and effectiveness have never been completed with water treated with either sodium fluoride or fluorosilicic acid.

Fluorosilicic acid is not a source for fluoride in any natural water supply. The use of fluorosilicic acid introduces substances that do not belong in normal fresh water supplies. Its infusion adds three substantial ingredients that are not components of pristine fresh drinking waters namely fluoride, silicic acid and sodium unlike natural fluoride in water which is always accompanied with calcium dissolved salts.

Industrial fluoride added to drinking water forms intact corrosive hydrofluoric acid under acidic conditions that prevail in the stomach of man and animals. Ingested fluoride from water enters the bloodstream as an artificial component, not a normal constituent, and disrupts inter-molecular hydrogen bonding and forms inter-atomic hydrogen bonding. Fluoride influences calcium homeostasis. Calcium homeostasis or calcium metabolism is the mechanism by which the body maintains adequate calcium levels.

The decision to infuse industrial fluoride compounds into public water supplies to permeate the blood and organs of consumers with fluoride as an ingested dental prophylactic was an error that resulted in serious consequences. Insidious effects that can occur on musculoskeletal, neurologic, renal, reproductive, and endocrine systems from long-term ingestion of fluoride in water emphasize the seriousness of fluoridation particularly in soft water regions lacking antidote calcium.

Adding substances in water that are unnatural, harmful, illegal, and without purpose violates universally accepted consumers’ and patients’ rights of refusal since fluoride at sub-saturation levels is not easily filtered.

Toxicity of Industrial Fluorides

The fluoride that is absorbed into the bloodstream arises chiefly from public water supplies. But substantial amounts are assimilated also from foods, toothpaste , mouth rinses, some bottled waters and fluoridated drugs.

Fluoride is not a normal constituent of the mammalian bloodstream, It has no nutritive value
or physiologic function but has been believed by some to be useful for teeth based on an initial correlation with natural calcium fluoride in drinking water. Calcium fluoride CaF2 is found in natural minerals and is not labeled toxic. Natural fluoride is accompanied with antidote calcium to prevent acute lethality and reduce chronic toxicity. Blood-borne fluoride regardless of source is neurotoxic and should be avoided from any source by individuals with neurologic conditions such as autism and Alzheimer's disease.

Natural calcium fluoride is considered insoluble while Industrial synthetic fluorides are fully soluble and are all toxic calcium chelators. Calcium chelators are molecules that bind calcium and cover the ion in a way that it is no longer available for cellular metabolism.

Industrial fluorides are completely absorbed by the body but natural fluoride minerals (CaF2) are poorly absorbed. Soft waters with low calcium levels allow more efficient absorption of fluoride while hard water regions are more protected from fluoride assimilation. Fluoride toxicity thus depends on its environment.

Although large populations are reported to safely consume 1 ppm fluoride in water for long periods of time, this is when it exists naturally as calcium fluoride at this level. The assimilation of ingested fluoride is drastically minimized by calcium ion in the gastrointestinal tract. This would suggest that individuals with higher blood calcium would be more resistant to fluoride toxicity and individuals with lower blood calcium levels would be less resistant to fluoride toxicity.

The reported adverse consequences of adding fluoride lacking calcium into public water supplies include effects on man, animals, and the environment. Ingested industrial fluoride incorporates chiefly into bone with an ion exchange process that is irreversible and thus not physiologic.

Fluoride associates with positive charged ions in particular aluminum, calcium, and iron. Thus, its toxicity depends on the environment in which it resides.

Fluoride tends to associate with and bind calcium ion. Calcium is concentrated throughout the body including teeth, bones, ligaments, aorta, skeletal muscle, and brain. the most crucial physiologic function requiring calcium that is sensitive to industrial fluoride at acute levels is the beating heart.

Unlike skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle requires extracellular calcium ion from the bloodstream to couple electrical excitation of the cell membrane with contraction of cardiac muscle fibers. Each time the heart contracts, calcium fluxes into the heart cells from the extracellular fluid. When the heart relaxes, the calcium is pumped back out of the cell allowing the fibrils to relax. Lowered extracellular calcium ion levels block contraction of the heart. fluoride ingestion causes decreased activity of the free calcium ion with blockage of heart contractions.

A fluoride ion solution made in soft or distilled water has a higher chemical activity or chemical potential compared to the activity of the ion at the same concentration when accompanied with calcium or magnesium in solution.

Industrial fluoride in drinking water can cause GI distress in human subgroups because fluoride converts to HF in the stomach. As HF, fluoride gains entry into the bloodstream. Even at low concentrations, HF can aggravate and prevent healing of ulcerated tissue.  In the acidic environment of the stomach, 96% of fluoride is present as HF. Lower concentrations of HF can cause pain without visible damage. Human case studies proved that abdominal discomfort occurs from drinking 1 ppm artificially fluoridated water. In a careful placebo controlled double blind clinical study, 1 ppm fluoridated water caused GI discomfort in 7% of subjects. The more elderly the person with slower gastric mucosa turnover, the more likely symptoms can develop. In the presence of ulceration or gastric carcinoma, industrial fluoridated water must be avoided.

Fluoride at any concentration forms abnormal inter-atomic hydrogen bonding (H+- -F-) and disrupts normal intermolecular hydrogen bonding (H+- -N or H+- -O) in water and macromolecules. It is a general enzyme inhibitor in some cases at 0.2 ppm , the blood level reported in residents of 1 ppm fluoride water areas.

Assimilation of industrial fluoride from water into the bloodstream in humans can be seemingly well-tolerated for long time periods because bone efficiently traps the fluoride to minimize exposure to soft tissues. Bone is the final resting site for 95% of all retained fluoride.

Fluoride accumulates from consumption in a 1 ppm fluoride water region, in the absence of other known sources, to 2,500 mg/kg in two years and to 3-4,000 mg/kg lifetime. Bone weakening occurs around 3,500 mg/kg.  Before bone weakening occurs, the abnormal incorporation of fluoride that is irreversible affects calciu whole body metabolism.

Fluoride ion has no functional purpose in the normal cell, when present it binds to calcium and magnesium ions affecting their chemical activity. Since fluoride is not a normal bodily component, there are no endocrine mechanisms to mobilize fluoride from bone after binding. It is not surprising that fluoride cannot be removed from bone. As an insidious poison, it can affect calcium homeostasis as it accumulates during lifelong exposure. The accumulation can slowly progress from bone weakening to arthritis-type bone pain and, in some regions of the world with high endemic fluoride in water, to total immobility.

Once fluoride enters the bloodstream and then bone tissue, its chemistry is pathologic since the fluoride has entered the sanctity of a living organism, As bone becomes loaded with fluoride over the lifetime of exposed individuals the continuous consumption of fluoride with reduced binding sites available in bone can cause accumulation in soft tissues, including brain in ligaments, tendons, and aorta. Fluoride from consumption in water is found in all tissues but concentrates in bone, thyroid, aorta, kidney, and pineal gland in the Brain.

Long term exposure appears to decrease IQ in children even from natural fluoride in water. Alum used as a clarifying agent in public water systems produces residual aluminum ion (~0.05 mM). Fluoride complexes with aluminum in the acidic stomach and is assimilated. Binding of aluminum to abnormal brain proteins in Alzheimer’s and in mammals that causes pathologic effects indicates caution in consuming aluminum fluoride from water in the presence of brain abnormality.

There are no cures for either bone fluorosis or brain degeneration.

Systemic fluoride at sub-acute levels incorporates into atherosclerotic plaque in coronary vessels of cardiovascular disease patients directly revealed with PET scans in a study at the Veterans Administration Healthcare Center, Los Angeles. Fluoride is accumulated by the aorta and concentrations increase with age that reflect calcification that occurs in this artery [16], again the extent determined by water hardness and all sources of fluoride exposure. Chronic ingestion of sub-acute concentrations of fluoride from drinking water weakens heart muscle in animal studies  and can cause alterations in heart function in humans. Per capita cardiovascular deaths increased after Grand Rapids, MI and Newburgh, NY began industrial fluoridation (U.S.P.H.S. Congressional Record, Mar 24, 1952). 1,059 heart disease deaths yearly occurred in 1948 in Grand Rapids, MI after 3 years of fluoridation but 585 yearly before fluoridation; N.Y. News, Jan 27, 1954 reported after 9 years fluoridation in Newburgh NY 882 heart deaths per 100,000, 74% above the National average. Increased incidence of EKG abnormalities were reported to occur in patients having tooth fluorosis in high natural fluoride areas.


Liability
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has never approved fluoride compounds for ingestion in the U.S. The FDA has written that fluoride is not a mineral nutrient and has labeled fluoride in water an uncontrolled use of an unapproved drug. In 1966, the FDA banned  the sale of fluoride compounds intended to be taken internally by pregnant women. And yet, industrial fluoride is consumed by the general public in those 70% of all districts that artificially fluoridate water.

No Federal agency accepts liability for the unnatural fluoride infusions, The FDA wrote that added fluoride is a contaminant for regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA considers intentionally added fluoride a water additive, accepts no authority for its regulation, allows states and cities to fluoridate, but offers assistance in the use of chemicals certified by the private
organization the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The NSF denies liability for use of fluorides and does not publicly disclose all safety or effectiveness data for its use as a water additive nor does it perform toxicity testing. NSF labels fluoride in water a contaminant, as does the EPA, except
when added purposely as an “additive”. But additives are chemicals that treat water for sanitation, not to treat humans through internal ingestion. Chemical supplier data sheets also place liability on the end user.

The CDC endorses the practice but shuns liability and regards fluoride in water as a supplement ingredient for teeth, which only the FDA is authorized to regulate. Water districts rely on state health departments for safe conditions of use but these departments are under the CDC and also refuse liability and assign liability to the cities and local authorities themselves who appear the least knowledgeable on the potential biological impacts of fluoride exposure on consumer health.

34 comments:

  1. Okay, problems with this:

    Firstly, the author clearly desperately wants to leverage the credibility of UC San Diego, to the point of listing it in the corresponding address section of his paper. The problem is that his last association with UC San Diego seems to be the PhD he completed 37 years ago, and he's now working at an unheard-of community college in San Marcos.

    I'm not saying that people should be dismissed just because they don't hold a prestigious academic position, but he's clearly trying to pull the wool over the eyes of his readers by listing UC San Diego as a corresponding address (people do not, in general, list the address of their alma mater in their papers!)

    Secondly, this dude has serious issues with the appeal to nature ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature ). Several of his points seem to reduce to "Silicofluoride is bad because it is unnatural" - look at sentences like:

    "Fluorosilicic acid is not a source for fluoride in any natural water supply. The use of fluorosilicic acid introduces substances that do not belong in normal fresh water supplies."

    "Once fluoride enters the bloodstream and then bone tissue, its chemistry is pathologic since the fluoride has entered the sanctity of a living organism"

    The "sanctity of a living organism" line is so hilariously quacky that I'm half-convinced this guy is parodying anti-fluoridationists - it seems too close to the famous "precious bodily fluids" scene in Dr. Strangelove to be real. Even if it isn't parody, it's so emotive and, frankly, unscientific that I can't believe it made it through the editing process (though if rumours are to be believed, Hindawi doesn't actually have an editing process, so that would actually make sense).

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    1. Whoops, just to clarify, Hindawi are the publishing company that runs the journal he published in. They have been described as "predatory", meaning they solicit and publish as many articles as possible and make most of their money from charging authors publication fees.

      Being open-access doesn't neccessarily make you a bad journal, but it does create a somewhat perverse incentive for the journal to go for quantity at the expense of quality, since they don't actually care how many people read their articles.

      On that note, be aware that Hindawi have started hundreds of journals in the last few years on an enormous range of subjects. Rounding up the neccessary scientific expertise to authoritatively publish on such a huge range of fields in the space of a couple of years seems like an impossible task - which leads me to suspect that their peer-review may not be of the highest quality (or existent at all). This is very consistent with a "junk journal" business model, where they seek to publish as many articles as possible.

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    2. Dr.Sauerheber's facts are still true: what does it matter how long ago he got his PhD or where he works now ?:There are many Doctors/dentists/chemists/toxicologists that will endorse him. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out fluoride sucks.

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    3. Peer review is a vital part of the modern scientific process - any charlatan can present "scientific" findings that look convincing to people outside their field.

      It takes significant specialized knowledge to sift good science from bad, which is why real science must be judged by other experts in the field before it is approved by a reputable journal. When someone avoids the peer review process by using extremely dodgy journals like this, it suggests they do not feel their work would stand up to expert scrutiny, and I therefore treat it with extreme scepticism.

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    4. If you must know, the reasons I place UCSD on my publications are: 1)I belong to the UCSD Alumni organization that routinely asks for updated information; 2)I prefer to give credit where credit is due, to the institution that trained me; 3) I first learned that all synthetic unnatural fluoride compounds are toxic calcium chelators from Dr. Hastings in the laboratory of Dr. Benson where I worked at SIO, UCSD; 4) It was only because of a recent visit to Dr. Benson's lab at SIO that the JEPH article was written. He asked me "what have you published on fluoride additions in San Diego water supplies?" I was embarrased to say that no journal I tried in the U.S. wants to consider articles discussing artificially fluoridated water which has drifted into becoming an allowed policy and always responded with 'send it elsewhere'. After that meeting, I tried the Amer. Chem. Soc. (their reviewers wrote that the data need to be published, but in an environmental journal). I heard about JEPH and sent it there.
      I don't know why anyone would say my publications are 'not on PubMed.' Most all my publications in medical research chiefly on diabetes, membrane structure/function, insulin action, and other topics are in journals cited by PubMED. Palomar College near UCSD is the largest Community College in California and is certainly 'heard of'. Another reason for choosing an open access journal is that the author retains all copyright. There are low quality articles in virtually every scientific journal and good article in journals of lesser esteem. Peer review is the best tool available to minimize this, but it is not perfect and can be biased. Many grant proposals have gone unfunded that are deserving because of biased peer review. It seems to be the nature of humankind.
      Adding diluted fluorosilicic acid into water without calcium alters the natural chemistry of drinking water. I do not believe that the sanctity of living people is something that is 'hilarious'--in real fact the state of being alive is not understood by any scientist including myself. Perturbing an individual's bloodsream artificially with a component that does not belong there, in mass treatments with a presumed oral dental prophylactic, while denouncing substantial evidence of ineffectiveness and harm, is due to either lack of knowledge or perhaps some other worse principle.

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    5. This is Dr. Sauerheber. If you need to know there are several reasons why UCSD is cited in my research articles: 1) I belong to the UCSD Alumni organization that kindly assists alumni in their activities; 2) I wanted to give credit where credit is due, to where I received my training, UCSD; 3) Dr. Hastings at SIO, UCSD (God rest his soul) first taught me that industrial synthetic fluoride compounds are all toxic calcium chelators; 4) On a visit with former employer Dr. Benson of the Calvin-Benson cycle at SIO, UCSD I was asked 'what have you published on fluoride additions into San Diego water supplies?" I was embarrassed to say I have been unable to get an American scientific journal interested in the topic and I was routinely told to send the article elsewhere. The meeting inspired me to continue. It was sent to the Amer. Chem. Soc. and the reviewer wrote that it needs to be published but in an environmental journal. I heard about JEPH and sent it there. The advantage to using an open access journal is that it is free for the reader and the author retains all copyright.
      The peer review system JEPH uses compares to that for any other journal. There are poor articles in outstanding journals and there are excellent articles in journals of lesser esteem. Peer review is what we use to help maintain accuracy, can be biased, but is the system we have. Palomar College by the way near UCSD is the largest community college in California.

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  2. This link, mentioned above as the link to the entire article, does not work: http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/43940

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    1. I found it at http://downloads.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/aip/439490.pdf

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  3. Update: I just looked at some of the other articles that made it through JEPH "peer review". Take a look at http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/291541/

    I am now going to bluntly state that this journal is a sham and a fraud.

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  4. Matthew,your comments are noted and are to be expected given your views on anybody that takes an opposite view to yours on fluoride. As you will note the academic editor for the paper was Professor Stephen Peckham, Head of Department and Professor of Health Policy, University of Kent. He is a Director of Centre for Health and Services Studies and as Professor of Health Policy in the Department of Health Services Research and Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is also Director of the Department of Health Policy Research Unit and the Healthcare System and joint research unit based at LSHTM, the University of Manchester and CHSS. If you care to examine the list of other editors on the journal you will find academic staff from some of the most prestigious universities in the world including Cornell Medical College, University of California at Berkeley,Columbia University,University of Sydney Australia and Yale University.

    Dr Richard Sauerheber obtained his Phd at one of the top universities globally which is ranked number 2 for chemistry, the academic area in which he recieved his doctorate on top of his primary degree in Biology. Your attempts to descredit him only discredit yourself.

    First you attack the man personally then you attack the journal rather than the science upon which his article is based. The journal has research papers published by the Department of Public Health in Belgium and Denmark including the Aarhus University, Copenhagen University, The Dept of Public Health and Preventative Medicine Oregan University, Portland State Uviversity, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore Department of Internal Medicine, Albert Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Uppsala University Hospital Sweden, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine,Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Alberta, University of Nevada,University of Arizona,Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences,University of Toronto,London School of Medicine and Dentistry, West Virginia University School of Medicine,Cancer Epidemiology Services New Jersey Department of Health and one could go on.

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    1. The journal clearly has no peer review whatsoever. Are you honestly claiming that "Earthing" is a scientifically-supportable medical concept? The editorial board of a real journal would jump off a bridge before signing their name to something like that.

      Real scientists don't publish in trashy journals like this - any active scientist will tell you that they publish in the best journal they can, because publishing in a paper with strict standards is a signal that the work is novel, well-performed and valuable.

      There is no reason to publish good science in a quack journal, unless the work would never have survived real peer review, and that means it's unlikely to be sound science.

      Good scientists subject themselves to peer review to prove the value of their work. Quacks self-publish or go to sham journals.

      Ask yourself this: If this was valid research, why would Sauerheber have to go to such a trashy journal to get it published? Wouldn't one of the real journals in the field have accepted it?

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  5. This is the problem for me with this published 'article'

    There are NO references to his work, this author does NOT exist in Pubmed(which by the way is where all respectable researchers can be found and where we do our searches for published works)and this 'article'can only be found on his own reference for hindawi website.

    The impact factor for this journal is 1605- that measn that is has hardly, if ever, been sited by other researchers. So, please be careful when reading anything that is published on the net. Do your research and know what you talk about!!

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    1. Basically this. I don't know if we'll actually convince anyone here - the problem is Waugh's basically dedicated the last few years of his life and most of his cash to trying to find flaws with fluoridation. It's become his explanation for everything wrong in the world - I'd bet 10:1 that whenever anyone in his family gets sick he blames fluoride.

      He doesn't realize that becoming a fanatic campaigner compromises objectivity - there's no way he could admit to being wrong about this without having to renounce the entire campaign, plus lose a lot of friends and contacts, plus admit he wasted huge amounts of time and money. He might even have to find real medical explanations for any family health problems he has. Few people have the mental strength to do that kind of thing just for the sake of science. I honestly don't know if I could do it, and I don't know enough about Waugh to know if he could either.

      The hardest, but also the most important thing a scientist can do is admit to being wrong. It's not easy and I'd hate to be in his position, but the longer it goes on the worse it gets. A fixed false belief tends to propagate because you have to tweak other evidence to fit it - notice how his unwillingness to admit that even a single anti-fluoridation paper is nonsense is forcing him to defend a journal that claims that "reconnecting to the Earth's surface electrons" cures health problems.

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  6. Matthew, there you go again questioning my objectivity. Nobody has explained how come Ireland has a cancer rate 38% higher than the UK and 85% higher than the European region. Why has cancer incidence such as chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia (the most common type of leukemia) increased by 2.8% per year in the RoI when rates in Northern Ireland remain static. Nobody has properly explained the significantly higher rates of pancreatic cancer, bladder cancer, brain cancer, or non hodgkins lymphoma, nobody has bothered to investigate the incidence of Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, immuno deficiency diseases etc: you certainly havent and the HSE have never examined or bothered to investigate any potential link because in their opinion their is no link. If you don’t do the research it’s easy to say their is no evidence. I have asked you before to read the full report of the NRC and all of its recommendations, i have asked you to read Dr Waldbotts published books or papers and you havent, have you read Dr Mollenbourghs book? Unlikely, have you read Professor Paul Connets book, the fluoride deception? unlikely or Dr Dean Murphys Book, unlikely or Christopher Bysons book- the fluoride deception? . You are willing to believe without any proper or thorough research undertaken to fully examining the overall biological impact of artificial fluoridation on citizens of all ages and health status that this artificial chemical means of preventing dental decay is safe. It is absolutely clear that health authorities clearly refuse to fund any research into the negative studies effects of fluoridation because if such research demonstrated health impacts can you imagine the consequences. The Dept of Health have stated that believe there are no health impacts, and they will not fund any research that will question this belief. They will however fund yet again dentists to undertake a survey of dental fluorosis as a means to determine the fluoride exposure of the Irish population. In your scientific opinion is measuring dental fluorosis going to inform you what your fluoride exposure is? If your a scientist you will know it wont. It has not measure of determining the total fluoride exposure of anybody over the age of 8 and even then its an objective assessment.
    I contacted the Food safety authority and asked why they have no published the analytical data from the fluoride study they undertook on foodstuffs in Ireland, showing the level of fluoride in beverages, foods and medicines. They have not regardless of the fact that it was paid for by taxpayers. Why is this?
    Is it acceptable that the FSA initial draft recommendation that parents be advised not to use fluoridated tap water for bottle feeding infants was changed by political pressure in 2002 so that they instead recommended that all mothers should breast feed? Do you believe that our authorities have been transparent in examining fluoride? Your modus operandi has been to pick holes in any article that questions fluoride, if not the article the journal or the author if you can not see that this is not being objective then their is no hope in opening your closed mind. There has been published research in reputable journals that has clearly raised the question of side effects of fluoride exposure even at low levels and the need for further research, yet rather than fund research to fully examine this the response has been to attempt to shut up and discredit anyone who raises the subject. The NRC themselves recommended further research into low level exposure of the population to fluoride, in fact if you read their report they have over 60 recommendations for further research to fully quantify the impacts. NOT A SINGLE STUDY HAS BEEN FUNDED BY ANY HEALTH AUTHORITY THAT PROMOTES FLUORIDATION. The foundation of fluoridation is based on sand and the sooner you educate yourself on this the better. Even the EU SCHER report stated that fluoridation was unproven, yet you believe that it is effective.

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    1. I think you'll find it's you that's avoiding the questions - all of your citations there are books, not papers. None of them have passed peer review. For that matter, you have never submitted your own work for peer review either (that I'm aware of - I'm open to correction here).

      The books aside, your other data consists of random statistics with no proof that they are in any way connected to fluoridation. Ireland may indeed have a higher cancer rate than Northern Ireland, but there's no data to link that to fluoridation - you can't just select correlations and declare that they're caused by your pet hate.

      I will freely admit that you have read much more about fluoride than I have, but you have shown no ability to discriminate between good sources and bad, and so I think you've taken a whole lot of quack nonsense on board in the process.

      Have you ever rejected an anti-fluoridation source because you felt its data was of low quality, or you disagreed with its methodology? You've gone through any pro-fluoridation papers with a fine-toothed comb until you find reason to reject them, but you'll uncritically accept papers from a worthless journal like JEPH because you approve of their conclusions.

      Most of the ideas presented in the anti-fluoridation literature have never been subjected to expert critical analysis. If you want to convince me, write a review of the data on fluoridation, like a shortened version of your report, then submit it to a high-impact journal (not one of the Hindawi shams or Fluoride, please).

      If you are unwilling to do this, then you must give a plausible reason why peer review doesn't apply to you. Why should we believe you if your ideas can't stand up to expert scrutiny?

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  7. I get it so you dont read scientific or medical books, good to know. My data is not random statistics, if we were looking at one or two significant differences in disease i might be random when you are seeing the same pattern for a wide range of diseases many of which are related to endocrine disrupting chemicals then you have more then a random coincidence. For example EDCs are believed to contribute to both prostate cancer and Non non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so its just a random chance that Ireland has the highest incidence by far of both these disease in all 27 EU countries. Remember that a peer reviewed scientific journal that would be regarded as of high standard-Endocrine Reviews, published that water fluoridation chemicals were low dose EDCs last year!
    Your comment that most of the ideas presented in anti fluoridation literature have never been subjected to peer review is plain STUPID and does you no credit but does again highlight the extreme and uncompromising position you have taken on this subject. My latest report is based on the observations and quoted statements of the published report of the national research council of the national Academies of medicine and science in the US. All I have done is present the available data for each of the categories they discussed in their published report and compare them to non fluoridated and fluoridated countries. The fact that two senior members of the US National Academy scientific committee that wrote that report have written in support of my study should provide some credence to its findings. Unlike you i have to work for a living and do not have the pleasure of being a full time student or academic. People in academia get paid to publish reports, that their job and its a requirement for academic positions. My latest report is not research its providing a non technical review of the NRC report and the health statistics for ireland with my interpretation of what the data presents. Which isn't difficult if you bother to read the full report, its a plain as daylight. It was not written for academic peer review or funded by a university or industry sponsor, it was independent. It will take some time to redraft my report for scientific publication, if you are willing to pay me for say a months work I will gladly oblige. Regards rejecting pro-fluoride papers, i will remind you that the York review could not find any pro fluoride study that met the requirements of what they regarded as meeting scientific standards for objective scientific and accurate representation of the facts, and they looked at thousands.

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    1. I accept. I will sign a contract agreeing to fund you for, say, 6 weeks' work, on the condition that the funding will only be transferred upon publication of your work conclusively showing the dangers of artificial fluoridation in a peer-reviewed journal of international standing (a list of acceptable journals to be agreed beforehand, though any high-impact international medical journal should suffice). Given that hundreds of millions of people worldwide live in areas covered by artifical water fluoridation, an article conclusively showing the practice to be dangerous would be groundbreaking and easily worthy of a major medical journal like the the NEJM or The Lancet.

      Would this be acceptable to you?

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  8. Also, may I offer my sympathies regarding the current goings-on on your Facebook page? I know I disagree with you and have accused you of a lack of objectivity, but you're still a reasonably rational thinker - many scientists, even Nobel prize winners, have fallen into the confirmation bias trap before. (Just look at Luc Montagnier)

    I don't think you deserve the savaging you're getting from a combination of the fluoride conspiracists, the global warming denialists and the chemtrails wackos. Unfortunately, if you exclude those people I'm not sure there'd be much of an anti-fluoridation movement left, you're pretty much the sane wing of a fairly crazy crowd :p

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  9. Hi Matthew, questions from an interested observer:

    1. What is your opinion on the rationale for water fluoridation? Since fluoride's anti-caries effects are topical and post-eruptive, is it still useful to ingest it? If so, why?

    2. How much fluoride do you ingest every day? What do you consider to be a safe daily dose for yourself, and why? What do you consider to be safe daily doses for an infant, a child with iodine deficiency, and a person in stage IV renal failure? Why?

    3. What is your understanding of fluoride's biological activity, at the tissue and cellular level?

    4. Have you read any of the primary research showing water fluoridation to be effective? If so, what do you think of the quality of this evidence? If you find it more persuasive than evidence of potential harms, why so?

    Thank you.

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  10. Interesting, though slightly leading questions. I'll do my best to answer them, but I may split this up over several comments rather than write them all at once.

    1) My rationale on water fluoridation is that it has been shown to reduce dental caries, as per the York report (which even Waugh cited). As the most recent systematic review of the literature, it's pretty much the gold standard: http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v192/n9/full/4801410a.html .

    Now, I will admit that the York review could not be fully confident in its findings - but this is the nature of real science. 100% confidence in anything is impossible when dealing with statistics. Nonetheless, they clearly state that the balance of evidence from the highest-quality studies available suggests water fluoridation reduces dental caries. I encourage you to read the report yourself if you have time rather than relying on my or Waugh's interpretation of it.

    Also, I suspect that water fluoridation's effects are mostly or entirely topical, and therefore there is little reason to actually ingest fluoride. However, water fluoridation is a cheap and convenient way to deliver regular topical applications of fluoride to the teeth of the entire population. Ingestion of fluoride could be considered a side-effect of water fluoridation - but unless such ingestion can be shown to have negative health effects, I do not think this is a good reason to oppose fluoridation.

    2) I do not know my daily fluoride intake. I suspect it to be roughly average - I regularly drink tap water, though I probably drink less tea and coffee than the average Irish person. I don't know what a safe daily dose for myself or any of those listed categories would be (though I would suggest that anyone in stage IV renal failure has much bigger problems than fluoride).

    Unfortunately, the only way to determine the safe daily dose would be to perform controlled experiments on human subjects, steadily increasing the daily fluoride ingestion until toxicity was observed. Needless to say, this would not receive ethical approval.

    Animal studies could be used, but bear in mind that rats have extremely different fluoride metabolisms to humans, requiring vastly higher fluoride doses to achieve the same serum plasma concentration (as Waugh helpfully pointed out a few posts ago). This limits the applicability of animal data to humans - such data is obviously only useful when the system under study is largely identical between the two species. This is why animal data was deliberately excluded in the York review.

    Given that we cannot use direct human or animal toxicity experiments, the only option left to us is population-level studies, where we observe the changes in population disease statistics caused by fluoridation. Such data was considered in the York report, who were unable to find a significant association between fluoridation and any negative outcome, with the exception of dental fluorosis.

    Thus, I cannot state with confidence an exact numerical safe daily limit for fluoride ingestion. However, based on the available evidence, I can be quite confident in saying that whatever the limit is, it is sufficiently high that it would be very difficult if not impossible to reach that limit by drinking water fluoridated to Irish levels. If this were not the case, then we would see significant population-level health effects from the introduction of water fluoridation.

    I feel Waugh is, at some level, aware of this data, which is why his reports frequently include reference to certain members of the population having 'hypersensitivity' to fluoride - this allows him to maintain, without data, that certain members of the population experience health problems due to fluoridation whilst conveniently excusing the lack of population-level data supporting this.

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    1. 3) Fluoride at sufficiently high concentrations has all kinds of unwanted effects on tissues and cells - this is well known and supported by plenty of data. It will, at high enough concentrations, take calcium ions out of solution, so much so that extreme acute exposure (e.g. a topical spill of concentrated HF) will cause rapid hypocalcemia.

      Nonetheless, this question is leading, because the issue is not whether fluoride is toxic at high levels, but whether water fluoridation is dangerous. Aisling Fitzgibbon (Waugh said this too, I think, but I'm not totally sure) has claimed that there is 'no safe lower limit' for fluoride, and so any evidence of fluoride toxicity is direct evidence against water fluoridation.

      I disagree with this assertion, primarily because of the population-level data I provided in answer 2). If fluoride at the concentrations found in fluoridated water was dangerous, then we would see negative health effects at the population level. That we do not see these effects is strong evidence that water fluoridation is safe. I don't doubt that if we increased the fluoride concentrations in Irish water ten-fold we would begin to see fluoride toxicity, but that does not mean that it is harmful at low doses.

      Bear in mind that a great many substances are toxic at high doses and harmless at low doses - indeed, in some cases the substance may have opposite effects at low doses as it does at high doses (I am not suggesting this is the case for fluoride, but it's an interesting point nonetheless). For example, high daily alcohol intake is associated with cardiovascular issues, whereas low daily alcohol intake is associated with better cardiovascular outcomes than no alcohol intake. There's a reason that "the dose makes the poison" is a common saying in medicine ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_dose_makes_the_poison )

      4) I have not done a systematic review of the primary literature on water fluoridation - and there is little point in consulting the primary literature if you are not going to do it in a systematic way, as you risk reading a biased subset of the evidence and arriving at the wrong conclusion. Nonetheless, such reviews have been done and published in high-impact journals (such as the York review), and therefore I feel confident in trusting their results.

      The York review clearly concluded that there was no significant association between fluoridation and any negative effect other than dental fluorosis. Admittedly, in some cases there was insufficient data to rule out an association, but that is hardly convincing evidence for fluoridation being dangerous. Bear in mind that anti-fluoridationists have suggested that fluoridation is associated with more or less every disease under the sun, and so expecting a convincing disproof of every possible association is impossible.

      Furthermore, the report concluded that the balance of probabilities was that fluoridation was associated with a reduction in dental caries. The evidence for this was much more convincing than any of the evidence for negative effects (again, excluding fluorosis).

      Hopefully that answers your questions. I'm happy to discuss any of those points if you disagree.

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  11. Professor Trevor A. Sheldon
    Head of Department
    DEPARTMENT OF
    HEALTH STUDIES
    Innovation Centre
    York Science Park
    University Road
    York YO10 5DG
    Professor Trevor A. Sheldon
    Head of Department
    Tel: (01904) 435142
    Fax: (01904) 435225
    3/1/2001

    In my capacity of chair of the Advisory Group for the systematic review on the effects of water fluoridation recently conducted by the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination the University of York and as its founding director, I am concerned that the results of the review have been widely misrepresented. The review was exceptional in this field in that it was conducted by an independent group to the highest international scientific standards and a summary has been published in the British Medical Journal. It is particularly worrying then that statements which mislead the public about the review's findings have been made in press releases and briefings by the British Dental Association, the British Medical Association, the National Alliance for Equity in Dental Health and the British Fluoridation Society. I should like to correct some of these errors.
    1 Whilst there is evidence that water fluoridation is effective at reducing caries, the quality of the studies was generally moderate and the size of the estimated benefit, only of the order of 15%, is far from "massive".

    2 The review found water fluoridation to be significantly associated with high levels of dental fluorosis which was not characterised as "just a cosmetic issue".

    3 The review did not show water fluoridation to be safe. The quality of the research was too poor to establish with confidence whether or not there are potentially important adverse effects in addition to the high levels of fluorosis. The report recommended that more research was needed.

    4 There was little evidence to show that water fluoridation has reduced social inequalities in dental health.

    5 The review could come to no conclusion as to the cost-effectiveness of water fluoridation or whether there are different effects between natural or artificial fluoridation.

    6 Probably because of the rigour with which this review was conducted, these findings are more cautious and less conclusive than in most previous reviews.
    7. The review team was surprised that in spite of the large number of studies carried out over several decades there is a dearth of reliable evidence with which to inform policy. Until high quality studies are undertaken providing more definite evidence, there will continue to be legitimate scientific controversy over the likely effects and costs of water fluoridation.

    (Signed) T.A. Sheldon,
    Professor Trevor Sheldon, MSc, MSc, DSc, FMedSci.

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  12. After completing the York Review Professor Sheldon signed the statement by international scientists and professionals calling for an end to fluoridation of water.

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  13. I would add that a study recently conducted by the authorities in Denmank found that calcium levels in drinking water were responsible for 40% of the difference observed in Oral health in children in that country. They recopmmended that for good oral health and to help prevent dental caries a calcium level of 80mg/l was recommended in drinking water.

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  14. It is obvious that you have not read the published report by Feltman R, Kosel G, Prenatal and Postnatal ingestion of fluorides- Fourteen years of investigation-Final report, Journal of Dental Medicine, October 1961. This was one of the most comprehensive double blind studies undertaken on fluoride and found clear evidence that hypersensitivity to fluoride among the population existed. Double blind studies were also conducted by a team of clinical medical physicians lead by Dr Mollenburgh in the 1970's which confirmed these findings.

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    1. An Iranian journal, not indexed or accredited anywhere I can find, and the article is 52 years old. Sounds like a solid source to me!

      Seriously, this is an issue you need to address. Citing a non-indexed, non-accredited journal is basically like saying "I read it on the internet!" You have literally no guarantee that what you are reading is not a complete work of fiction.

      Also, not to put too fine a point on it, but Iran is sort of famous for hosting journals and conferences that espouse some extremely dubious "research" - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Conference_to_Review_the_Global_Vision_of_the_Holocaust for example.

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    2. Your wrong again Matthew, im a very patient man but your constant tunnel vision and inaccurate comments regarding myself are proving rather tedious. Dr Feltman was the senior dental officer in a hospital in USA and George Kosel was chief biochemist. It was published in the American Journal of Dental Medicine and its findings have never been disproved. Ironically you would think that perhaps the Irish health authorites might try and repeat the studies? or improve on the studies. Your suggestion that the public must provide proof of safety or harm of water fluoridation is utter nonsense. I must provide definite proof of harm and then when i do the authorities will consider stopping the practice, what about in the interim, like the past 50 years. Their responsibility is to provide definite proof of safety. The US National academies listed over 60 studies that were necessary to demonstrate its safety, not one has been undertaken by any health authority in any country that supports fluoridation as a public health policy endorsed by the same health authority that demands such evidence for other drugs. My latest report provides clear evidence that fluoridation has resulted in fluoride toxicity of the irish population and my latest findings today support this. In case your interested since you claim to be a scientist, the FSAI and the department of health based their risk assessment of fluoride exposure in the irish population on what is now known to be completely false and inccurate data, this only supports and confirms my own findings in my research. Their data for measured fluoride levels was orders of magnitude out (confimed by data from UK, USA and EU) it seems they more than missed a decimal point. Very serious implications for department and Government.

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    3. You cited the Journal of Dental Medicine (which is Iranian), not the American Journal of Dental Medicine. If you can't do your citations correctly, you can't blame me for that :p

      Also, if you have "definite proof" of fluoride toxicity in Ireland, send it to a proper journal, as I've asked you to about five times now. I've even offered to pay you. You are still hiding from the question of why you, seemingly alone amongst scientists of the last hundred years, do not need to submit your work to peer review. Do you believe all the journals are part of a conspiracy to suppress your work?

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    4. Apologies, I misquoted you, you said you had "clear evidence", not "definite proof". Everything else stands, though.

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  15. What you utterly fail to seem to understand is that fluoride found naturally in water is present as calcium fluoride which is largely not absorbed by the body when ingested, most is excreted, unlike artificially fluoridated water which in Ireland principally has low calcium levels and results in most of the fluoride being present as free fluroide ions which are comopletely absorbed by the body. You also fail to understand that we are talking about total fluoride intake combining fluoride exposure from water with foods (prepared using fluoridated water) beverages (including beverages made with fluoridated water), and other sources such as drugs, tea, alcohal (fluoridated in ireland) and residues from foods treated with fluoride based fertilisers, pesticides, and fumignants. The food safety authority have measured the fluoride contend of tea using deionized water, they have not measured it using fluoridated tap water which is what is used to make tea. They base their calculations on fluoride exposure on fluoride contend of deionized water being used for making tea rather than fluoridated tap water and as such the very basis of their risk assessment is utterly flawed and incorrect.

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    1. I never referred to any data regarding natural sources of fluoride, or talked about the difference between natural and artificial fluoridation. You seem to have read what you wanted to read in my comments, instead of what was actually written (though you do this with scientific papers too, so I shouldn't be surprised)

      We seem to agree on what the York report says: Good evidence for caries reduction, good evidence for dental fluorosis, no clear evidence for anything else. If you travelled the country giving presentations that said just that, and perhaps calling for further research, I would have no issue with you.

      The problem is that you seem to have convinced a band of paranoid people that fluoride is a proven poison - despite the fact that the best available evidence clearly does not show this, as you yourself have just admitted. Everyone on the TGAF page and on your Facebook page seems to think that water fluoridation is responsible for everything from cancer to dimished IQs to hypothyroidism, autoimmune disorders, "brain fog" and everything in between. (Though they also seem to believe that global warming is a lie and that chemtrails are real, so maybe that says more about the kind of follower you're attracting than anything else)

      Not one of the above health effects is supported by good-quality evidence, and I have found no record of you attempting to correct any of these misconceptions.

      I will again reiterate my challenge, which you have not yet addressed: If you have data that overturns the York report's conclusion and shows a clear association between water fluoridation and any negative health outcome besides fluorosis, you should submit it to a respected medical journal. I cannot emphasize enough that this would be a major finding with huge implications for public health policy, and would guarantee you both publication in a top-tier international journal along with significant prestige, and frankly even a potential Nobel prize in a few years' time.

      You do not need to show this with 100% certainty (which would be nigh-impossible, even if the association was real) - but you must at least show, with clear reasoning and comprehensive analysis, that the balance of probabilities is that these negative effects exist.

      My offer to refund you for your time if you successfully publish in a high-impact journal stands. Until you do so, you should be honest about what the evidence actually says - and maybe take a rest from terrifying gullible, conspiracy-minded people about the government poisoning their tap water.

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  16. Who's right who's wrong does not apply to me or a child who has no say or knowledge of what study said this or that, it may be harmful or may not be . Dental Fluorosis or any illness related to fluoride is enough of a reason to take it out of our water and our lives .When it comes to making decisions the people are the majority in all cases and no one asked for my consent or informed me on Fluoridation 'just take it its good for you' isnt good enough anymore and never was only now the people know it and are taking the power back to where it belongs in their own hands .

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  17. Whatever the science may be and who is wrong who's right has no bearing on ordinary folks being medicated everday without consent. The very fact that it causes Dental fluorosis in children is enough of a reason to take it out.People are all caught up in analysis and scientific fact finding and judgments when our children are dying and sick because we cant co -operate and protect them.

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  18. Wow. This is fascinating that debates can consume people, so much that they dostracted from finding the real solutions to these problems. Growing GI issues, cancer, ADD, infertility, etc. I wish folks would use all that extra time to find a solution. I appreciate the time the author has put into this. He is not the only one who knows the difference between calcium and sodium flouride. Will you go to other sites and question every single person's work also?

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