Full Moon Water and Standing Rock Ceremony

IMG_1733

Medicine Water Wheel at Frenchy’s Park

Prayers and Vigil for Standing Rock
and Full Moon
at the
Medicine Water Wheel in Frenchy’s
Park, Santa Fe, beside the footbridge
over the Santa Fe River.
Monday 14th November 2016 at
5:00 PM

Phoenix Sanchez will be leading us in a Fire
and Water Ceremony

Phoenix has experience leading ceremonies in many traditions, including Lakota, South American Shamanic, Native Curandera and Jewish traditions. You are welcome to bring your own prayers, offerings, special water and flavor to add to the mix

Please note to come early, before 5 PM as it will be just after sunset and getting dark. We changed the time from 5:30 to 5:00PM
It is fine if you have to come a little late

Dress Very Warmly, bring Water to bless

Call Raphael (575) 770 1228 for more details

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Ceremony for the Waters

We will be supporting this Ceremony for the Waters on Saturday and bringing some of the polluted water to our Medicine Water Ceremony on Sunday 19th at 6 PM at Frenchy’s Park.
Saturday, June 18, 9:00 am
 
TWO-MILE DAM
Santa Fe Canyon Preserve
Cerro Grande & Upper Canyon Rd
Be part of a worldwide event!

Making beauty for
Earth’s wounded places
BRING: Water, offerings, drums, songs, flowers
INFO: Liz Gold, lizg.nm@gmail.com
 

News from Fluoride Action Network

February 28, 2015

Dear Raphael:

A New Day, Another Study

Just when you thought we wouldn’t get any more bombshells this week, a study was published yesterday linking fluoridation to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States.

The study entitled, “Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association,” was published in the journal Environmental Health.  According to the authors:

“State prevalence of artificial water fluoridation in 1992 significantly positively predicted state prevalence of ADHD in 2003, 2007 and 2011, even after controlling for socioeconomic status.

A multivariate regression analysis showed that after socioeconomic status was controlled each 1% increase in artificial fluoridation prevalence in 1992 was associated with approximately 67,000 to 131,000 additional ADHD diagnoses from 2003 to 2011. Overall state water fluoridation prevalence (not distinguishing between fluoridation types) was also significantly positively correlated with state prevalence of ADHD for all but one year examined.

Conclusions: Parents reported higher rates of medically-diagnosed ADHD in their children in states in which a greater proportion of people receive fluoridated water from public water supplies.” 

Stay tuned for more FAN coverage of this and the thyroid study as they continue to get covered by the media, and as the pro-fluoridation lobby responds with their criticisms and propaganda.

More Great Media Coverage of Thyroid Study

The media continues to widely cover the new study published earlier this week in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health linking fluoridation to an increase in hypothyroidism in the U.K.  Since the publication of FAN’s bulletin on the study entitled “Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England?  A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water,” the story has been covered by more mainstream media outlets then we can list.  Some include:

WebMD

Philadelphia Inquirer

UK Daily Mail

The Oregonian

Birmingham Mail

The New American

Our favorite news story published since Tuesday’s great Newsweek article, was in the Chicago Tribune on Wednesday.  Two endocrinologists were interviewed and both had great quotes in opposition to fluoridation, including the following:

“This dramatic increase in thyroid dysfunction associated with fluoridation of the water supply adds to previous studies indicating that fluoride has an inhibitory effect on the thyroid gland,” said Dr. Terry Davies, a professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City.

The study “supports the argument that our water supply should be pure water and nothing else,” said Davies, who is also an endocrinologist at The Mount Sinai Hospital.

A Steady Stream of Victories

February has been a very good month for the fluoride-free movement, not only due to the publication of two great studies, but also due to a steady stream of communities ending the practice, with even more on the verge:  

South Dublin, Ireland—South Dublin County Council become the 5th major council calling for an end to fluoridation in 2015 and the 10th in the past year, collectively representing more than 2 million Irish residents.  This comes less than a month after councilors in Cavan County and the community of Galway both passed motions calling for members to register their opposition to fluoridation.

Yoshikawa, Japan—Officials in this Japanese city with 70,000 residents decided against fluoridating the drinking water after considering a fluoridation proposal for 17 years.  The proposal was defeated by a strong fluoride-free grassroots movement in combination with the election of a new Mayor who opposed the practice.

New Brunswick, New Jersey—Councilors voted to stop using fluoride in the water supply for their 50,000 residents as part of their plans to improve the town’s infrastructure.  They felt that fluoride was readily available in other forms and that people were choosing to drink bottle water instead of tap water, making the practice a waste of money.  Also in NJ, Egg Harbor will hold a meeting on March 5 to consider ending the practice after the Water and Sewer Department Superintendent urged councilors to oppose the practice.

Boynton Beach, Florida—Town officials will no longer fluoridate the drinking water for their 70,000 residents due to the cost of updating the broken fluoride injection equipment and the limited availability of the additive.

Montello, Wisconsin—Councilors approved a motion ending fluoridation on February 12th after contacting area dentists and learning that “a person would get more fluoride from brushing their teeth daily than by drinking a gallon of city water daily.”  The decision will save nearly $40,000 this year, and $7,000 each year.  Rice Lake, Wisconsin is also considering removing fluoride. 

Brackenridge, Pennsylvania—Councilors are discontinuing their fluoridation program because of the availability of fluoride in other forms, and because, as one councilor stated, “…it’s dangerous to work with.”  Brackenridge follows Ford, PA, which voted to end fluoridation in December.           

Arkansas Legislature—The full Arkansas House passed legislation (HB1355) that will give municipalities the ability to opt-out of the statewide fluoridation mandate, effectively reversing the policy by allowing local control on the issue.  The bill won by a vote of 60-34 despite efforts by the Arkansas Dental Association to oppose it.  The bill will now go to the Senate, where it will have a public hearing in the Health committee before being heard on the Senate floor.

February’s Teleconference Audio

If you missed this month’s International Fluoride Free Teleconference you can now download the audio.  February’s call was dedicated to campaigners from around the world coming together to offer each other support in the effort to end fluoridation.

Click Here to Download the Audio 

You can also register for the March teleconference entitled, “Social Media: Today’s Way to Change Hearts and Minds.”  The call will take place on Saturday, March 14th at 5PM (Eastern Time).  Register today! 

News You May Have Missed

New York’s Fluoridation Fuss, 50 Years Later (New York)

NYS Governor is Misled About Fluoride Safety (New York)

In Oneida, Opposing Views Expressed on Fluoridation (New York)

Bennington: Citizens Against Fluoridated Water Speak Out (Vermont)

Fluoride Toxicity in Plants Irrigated With City Water (Michigan)

Sonoma: Council Delays Stand on Fluoridation (California)

Farmington’s Efforts to Remove Fluoridation Ordinance (Missouri)

Rice Lake Considers Removing Fluoride (Wisconsin)

Fluoride Committee Appointed by Topsfield Town Moderator (Massachusetts)

Lewiston-Auburn Water Agencies to Repair Fluoride System (Maine)

Campaign to Stop Adding Fluoride to Hull Water Supply (U.K.)

New Push to Block Ballina Fluoridation Plan (Australia)

Acclaimed Fluoridation Experts Touring New Zealand in February (New Zealand)

Stuart Cooper
Campaign Manager
Fluoride Action Network

World Water Day Celebration 2015

Please join us on Sunday March 22nd at El Museo Cultural from 4 – 9 PM as we celebrate World Water Day with a variety of presentations and performances focused on water. The evening ends with the first Santa Fe showing of the movie “Last Call at the Oasis” about the global water crisis, directed by Jessica Yu. (105 minutes). An art exhibit and information/product tables are also featured. Program will be posted on FaceBook and at https://waterawarenessgroup.wordpress.com/events-and-calendar/ Please call David to volunteer or if you are interested in a table ($25 donation) (505-231-0221). Call Joseph Sanchez to display your art. (505) 795-4365 General Info: Raphael  575 770 1228. Partially sponsored by Green Fire Times, Paper Tiger (posters) and The Printers, NA. LLC (printing)GFT-Banner-Zuni-MtskyHR

“…Like A War Zone”: Worries About Increased Oil Drilling

“…Like A War Zone”: Worries About Increased Oil Drilling

Sarah Jane White, with her grandson, worries that someday, children won't be able to find clean water on the Navajo reservation.

Sarah Jane White, with her grandson, worries that someday, children won’t be able to find clean water on the Navajo reservation.
Credit Laura Paskus
Listen
Listening…
4:15

Sarah Jane White’s walking to the top of a sandy hill near the eastern edge of the Navajo reservation. Along the way, she points to footprints in the sand. Her 4-year-old grandson, Albino, crouches to look. She shows him the prints of a horse, then a cow. Each time, he’s delighted.

It’s sunny and warm, though just a few days before the official start of winter. We walk past juniper trees, an old sweat lodge. Albino powers across the sandstone arroyo and on up the hill. The sky’s a deep blue. And depending on the breeze, the air smells like either sage or pine.

“Right now, there’s healthy people living here,” says White. “The air is fresh. It’s clean.”

White and her relatives are “allottees,” Navajo people living on lands deeded to them by the federal government.

The federal government deferred new oil leases near Chaco Canyon National Historical Park last month. But many people who live here are still worried about how development outside the park will affect their communities, their landscapes, and their children’s futures.

If you’ve driven Highway 550 between Cuba and Farmington recently, you’ve seen the oil rigs and flares on federal allotments along the road near Lybrook and Counselor.

But people like White – people who live here – seem surprised to see how fast things have changed. “When they’re done sucking everything out, everybody’s going to pack up and leave and leave their trash behind,” she says. “Nobody’s going to clean it up. That’s what bothers me.”

Credit Laura Paskus

At the top of the hill, White looks out, across the landscape. From here, she can see four different wells in the distance. “I see the landscape looks really beautiful, but when you see all these oil tanks and fields, that’s not beautiful,” she says. “The flare, that doesn’t look good at all. And if we don’t stop this, it’s going to be all over the place.”

In the past two years, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has approved more than 100 new exploratory wells around here. Companies like Encana Corporation and WPX Energy have come in, offering tens of thousands of dollars to allottees willing to have a well on their lands.

Credit Laura Paskus

Each well pad has its own road, waste pond, and tanks. During drilling, pickup trucks and semi-trucks run up and down the roads 24 hours a day.

Lori Goodman directs the nonprofit, Diné CARE – Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment. “The leases are being sold… grandma and grandpa are selling their leases, they get $60,000, $80,000. They’ve never seen money like that, and they’re not understanding the value of it, even.”

Oftentimes, she explains, people don’t understand what they’re signing, and they don’t understand what’s going to happen on their lands.

That’s also a one-time payment – even if the well runs for decades.

Many Navajo people who live here are upset that the roads leading to their homes are being ripped up by semi-trucks. They’re afraid of fracking fluids. They don’t know what’s coming out of the flares. And they worry about blowouts and accidents that happen far – very far – from emergency services.

Victoria Gutierrez is Sarah Jane White’s daughter. “Especially at night, it’s enough to make you just cry. One of the ladies (said it) looks like a war zone. It’s just completely lit up,” she says. “All you see is flames everywhere, you smell that gas, that burning, it’s just ugly.”

Guttierrez knows that the wells mean money: lots of cash for people working in the fields, and depending on land ownership and jurisdiction, hundreds of millions of dollars for the state of New Mexico, the federal government, or the Navajo Nation tribal government and millions more in profits for the oil companies.

But she’s angry that Navajo people are living with the trucks and the flares, the noise and the fear.

“I think indigenous people, Navajos, we’ve been pushed around enough. We were forced to live on land no one wanted, (and) now everyone wants it because we’re full of natural resources,” she says. “It’s not right. And so, leave it where it’s at. Leave it where it’s at. That’s what I say.”

Guttierrez’s mom, Sarah Jane White, says Navajo people live where they are born. “Like, if I was born here,” she says, pointing to the ground between her feet, “I would live here. And I would die here. And I would want to be buried here. You don’t leave your homeland.”

That’s why they are fighting, she says. Because what happens now will still matter to the children born here in a century.

***

Forwarded by Leslie Lakind from

Charlotte Levinson, President

The Max & Anna Levinson Foundation
P.O. Box 6309, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502
505-995-8802  levinsonfoundation.org

Fluoride part 2

CHALLENGING THE PRO-FLUORIDATION MANTRA, part 2.
Introduction.

Promoters of fluoridation repeat ad nauseam the mantra that fluoridation is “safe”, “effective” and “cost effective.” In part 2 I discuss the 6 KEY PAPERS that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “safety.” Or to be more precise – since there is no question that fluoride is very toxic and damages health – we will demonstrate that there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all citizens drinking artificially fluoridated water (and getting fluoride from other sources) from known health effects.

STUDIES ON THE TOXICITY OF FLUORIDE AND SAFETY OF FLUORIDATION

5. National Resource Council of the National Academies. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.

A landmark report on the toxicology of fluoride is available to read and search for free online. It is one of the very few reviews of fluoride for which the panel was balanced. It contained both pro and anti-fluoridation scientists. The report concluded that the current U.S. maximum contaminant level for fluoride (4 ppm) in drinking water is an unsafe level for human health. The panel recommended that the EPA conduct a new risk assessment to establish a goal for a safe level of fluoride in drinking water (Maximum Contaminant Level Goal, MCLG) and thence a new Federally enforceable standard (or MCL). After over 8 years the EPA has not completed this determination and so for 8 years the US continued to operate under unsafe standards for fluoride in water.

BONE DAMAGE. Among many health concerns the panel noted that fluoride damages the bone and accumulates there with a significantly long half-live. The first symptoms of bone damage are indistinguishable from arthritis and with further accumulation (fluoride’s half life in bone is at least 20 years) it makes the bones more brittle and prone to fracture.

ENDOCRINE DISRUPTER. The panel also concluded that fluoride is an endocrine disrupter. It lowers thyroid function and accumulates in the pineal gland (see paper 6 below).

NEUROTOXICIY.  Many animal studies indicate that fluoride can enter and damage the brain via a number of mechanisms. At thetime this review was published only 5 IQ studies were available. Since publication this total has risen dramatically. Including new studies and older Chinese studies that have been translated by FAN, there are now (as of Dec 2014) 49 studies, of which 42 show an association between exposure to fairly modest doses of fluoride and lowered IQ (see papers 7-9 below). For those who want more details of all the animal and human studies on fluoride’s toxicity see FAN’s health database

OSTEOSARCOMA.At the time of publication the NRC panel had been informedbyFAN of a doctoral thesis by Elise Bassin from Harvard, whichindicated an association between exposure to fluoridated water at a critical age range in young boys (6-8 years) and succumbing by the age of 20, to osteosarcoma, a frequently fatal bone cancer. The NRC did not take a definitive position on this study preferring to wait for the study to be published. Bassin’s publication came in May of 2006 (discussed below, see paper 10). However the same edition of the journal also contained a letter from her pro-fluoridation thesis advisor Chester Douglass claiming that his larger study would show that her thesis did not hold. However, he has never published this promised rebuttal of her thesis.

Subsets of US population exceeding EPA’s safe reference dose. While the NRC review did not study fluoridation as such (either its risk or benefits), the authors did provide an exposure analysis (see Chapter 2). The panel showed that several subsets of the population drinking fluoridated water at 1 ppm fluoride (including bottle-fed infants) are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose of 0.06 mg/kg/day (see the diagram on page 85). This finding makes nonsense of the claim by both ADA and the CDC that this very important review was not relevant to water fluoridation.

No margin of safety. Based on this review it is abundantly clear that fluoride damages health and that for several end-points (including lowered IQ), there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals in a large population drinking fluoridated water. This critical conclusion is often lost on promoters of fluoridation who confuse concentration with dose. They simplistically compare the concentration of fluoride in the water of the community examined with the concentration of fluoride in artificially fluoridated water. Such a comparison does not provide a margin of safety. For that one needs two things:

First, one has to ascertain the range of dosesin the fluoridated population. This takes into account how much water citizens drink (which can be very large because there is no control on the amount of water consumed) and how much fluoride they get from other sources.

Second, in order to determine a safe dose (sufficient to protect everyone) one also has to take into account the full range of sensitivity to a toxic substance anticipated in a large population. It is the failure to do this that has been the biggest and most reckless mistake of the fluoridation program since it began and fluoridation promoters today.

6. Luke J. 2001. Fluoride Deposition in the Aged Human Pineal Gland.Caries Research 35(2):125-128. See also Luke’s PhD thesis click here.

Luke showed that fluoride accumulates on the calcified deposits in the human pineal gland and lowers melatonin production in animals. No health agency in any fluoridating country has attempted to repeat Luke’s work despite the fact that melatonin levels have been related to many health problems. For example, Autistic children produce no melatonin.

7. Xiang Q, Liang Y, Chen L, et al. 2003a. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36(2):84-94, and Xiang Q, Liang Y, Zhou M, and Zang H. 2003b. Blood lead of children in Wamiao-Xinhuai intelligence study [letter]. Fluoride 36(3):198-199.

Of the 42 (out of 49) studies (as of Dec 2014) that have found a relationship between fluoride exposure and lowered IQ, the Xiang study is one of the most important.

In the Xiang study, the authors controlled for key confounding values such as lead, and iodine (and arsenic retrospectively), parental income and educational status. In addition to comparing the mean IQ of children between the high-fluoride and low-fluoride village (a drop of 5-10 IQ points across the whole age range) they also sub-divided the children in the high-fluoride village into 5 groups with mean fluoride concentrations ranging from 0.7 to 4.3 ppm (see Table 8 in their study).

By focusing on one village they eliminated any other environmental differences between the two villages. They found that as the fluoride concentration in the five sub-groups increased two things happened: 1) the mean IQ systematically decreased and 2) the percentage of children with an IQ less than 80 (borderline mentally handicapped) dramatically increased from 0% to 37.5%.

Lowest level where IQlowered. The lowering of IQ is first observed in the sub-group at 1.53 ppm, and bearing in mind the range of fluoride concentration for that sub-group, one has to conservatively assume that some children in this study would have had their IQ lowered at the lower end of the range fluoride concentrations in this group 1.26 ppm.

Such a result leaves absolutely no margin of safety to protect all children in an artificially fluoridated community (fluoride levels between 0.7 to 1.2 ppm) from this serious outcome. Please note there is no margin of safety to protect:

A) Against the full range of exposure, especially when you consider the different amounts of water drunk by children and their exposure to other sources such as toothpaste. It should also be added that in two respects the Chinese children in the Xiang study would have had less exposure to fluoride from two key sources than American children. Children living in rural Chinese villages are less likely to be using fluoridated toothpaste and less likely to be bottle-fed (bottle-fed babies, where the formula is made up with fluoridated water, get about 200 times more fluoride than breast-fed babies).

B) Nor does it protect against the full range of sensitivity expected in a large population (as discussed in 5 above).

The last children that need a further lowering of IQ are children from low-income families, whose IQ has already been compromised by so many other factors (e.g. poorer diet, poorer educational opportunities and more exposure to pollution). Yet it is these children who are the primary target of fluoridation programs.

8. Choi AL, Sun G, Zhang Y, Grandjean P. 2012. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10):1362–1368.

This Meta-analysis of 27 IQ studies was conducted by a team from Harvard including world-famous neuroscientist Philippe Grandjean (an expert on mercury and author of the recent book, “Only One Chance”). This team acknowledged weaknesses in many of the studies but also noted the remarkable consistency of the finding that IQ was lowered in 26 out of the 27 studies reviewed. The average lowering was 7 IQ points, which is substantial, considering that at the population level even an average lowering of one IQ should be avoided.

9. Choi AL, Zhang Y, Sun G, et al. 2015. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study.Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47:96–101.

This Pilot study in China was carried out at fluoride levels, which overlap levels used in US fluoridation programs. They didn’t measure IQ specifically in this study but reported the results of a very simple test: the child’s ability to repeat a sequence of numbers both forwards and backwards. Even children with very mild dental fluorosis performed less well on this specific mental development test, than children without fluorosis. One of the experts involved in this study was Dr. David Bellenger who is world famous for his studies on lead’s neurotoxicity.

Another co-author was Dr. Philippe Grandjean and in an editorial on his website “Chemical Brain Drain”he used this study to counteract the claim from proponents that the IQ findings were not relevant to the fluoride levels used in water fluoridation. For the children in this study, Grandjean writes:

“Their lifetime exposures to fluoride from drinking water covered the full range allowed in the US. Among the findings, children with fluoride-induced mottling of their teeth – even the mildest forms that appears as whitish specks on the enamel – showed lower performance on some neuropsychological tests. This observation runs contrary to popular wisdom that the enamel effects represent a cosmetic problem only and not a sign of toxicity. At least one of five American children has some degree of mottling of their teeth…Prevention of chemical brain drain should be considered at least as important as protection against caries.” (my emphasis, PC).

10. Bassin EB, Wypij D, Davis RB, Mittleman MA. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control, May;17(4):421-8.

This is the only study of osteosarcoma (a frequently fatal bone cancer in children), which studied the age at which exposure to fluoride was experienced. The authors write:

We observed that for males diagnosed before the age of 20 years, fluoride level in drinking water during growth was associated with an increased risk of osteosarcoma, demonstrating a peak in the odds ratios from 6 to 8 years of age. All of our models were remarkably robust in showing this effect, which coincides with the mid-childhood growth spurt.

The finding that there may a critical window of vulnerability in young men has never been refuted – or even investigated – since Bassin’s paper was published in 2006. The shocking fact is that with this paper comes the possibility that a few young men each year may be dying from osteosarcoma because they have been exposed to fluoridated water at a critical age. Even though this has not been refuted the practice of fluoridation continues to be pushed by health authorities. Where is the precautionary principle here?

Conclusion:

Between them the TEN KEY PAPERS (listed in part 1) invalidate all three claims of the pro-fluoridation mantra.

Fluoridation is not effective.

 The largest US study (Brunelle and Carlos, 1990) and the most precise study of children’s tooth decay (Warren et al., 2010) provide little evidence that swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay. Featherstone, 2000 (and others) have provided the probable reason for these problematic results. The predominant (if any) benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic. There is no need to swallow fluoride to fight tooth decay and there is no justifiable reason to force people to drink fluoridated water against their will.

Fluoridation is not safe.

There is no disputing the fact that fluoride damages health but what about fluoridation? The landmark 500-page review by the National Research Council (NRC, 2006) showed that certain subsets of the US public are exceeding the EPA’s safe reference dose for fluoride, including bottle-fed infants. The NRC (2006) reviewed many health impacts for which there is no adequate margin of safety to protect all individuals drinking fluoridated water. These include lowered thyroid function, accumulation in the pineal gland (Luke et al., 2001), bone damage, and lowered IQ (Xiang at al, 2003a,b). Xiang found that some children had their IQ lowered at fluoride levels as low as 1.26 ppm. Xiang’ study was one of 42 studies that have found this effect. A Review by a Harvard team (Choi et al, 2012) found an average lowering of 7 IQ points in 26 out of 27 studies. Choi et al, 2015 found learning disabilities in children with very mild fluorosis, which impacts many US children. Thus fluorosis at any level can no longer be considered merely a cosmetic affect. A study by Bassin et al., 2006 has disturbingly shown that some young boys may be losing their lives each year from being exposed to fluoridated water at 1 ppm in their 6th, 7th and 8th years. This study remains unrefuted.

Fluoridation is not cost-effective.

Lo and Thiessen(2014) have demolished the claim by CDC economist Susan Griffin that for every dollar spent on fluoridation $38 is saved on dental treatment. This claim by Griffin has been used Ad Nauseam by promoters of fluoridation including many state public health officials. Will they continue to do so? 

Paul Connett, PhD
Director
Fluoride Action Network
Co-Author of The Case Against Fluoride (Chelsea Green, 2010)

See Bulletin Online

Fluoride Resource studies


Ten Key Papers that Challenge the Pro-fluoridtion Mantra

Introduction 

Promoters of fluoridation repeat ad nauseam the mantra that fluoridation is “safe”, “effective” and “cost effective” (how many times have unsuspecting legislators been told that for every $1 spent we save $38?). Instead of backing up these claims with any solid scientific evidence, they use a long list of impressive but fairly meaningless (i.e. “science-free”) endorsements. This is not surprising because the science is not there to support the mantra. What is surprising is that public health officials and professional bodies repeat these claims with no sense of embarrassment. I believe that historians will be astounded that so many “respectable” professional associations and health agencies (in the handful of countries that fluoridate) have endorsed a practice, which has such little scientific and no ethical justification. In Orwell’s Animal Farm the pigs rule, in the fluoridated world the sheep rule.

Below is a list of 10 studies (actually nine studies and one review) that invalidate this mantra.  Fluoridation is neither effective, nor safe, nor cost-effective. In addition I give a few words about the first four studies that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “effectiveness” and  “cost-effectiveness.”

In part 2 of this article, I will say a few words on the papers that pertain to safety.

Part 1. A Listing of the 10 studies

1. Brunelle and Carlos. 1990. Recent Trends in DentalCaries in U.S. Children and the Effect of Water Fluoridation. Journal of Dental Research,69(Special Issue):723-727.

2. Featherstone JD. 2000.The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention. Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), Jul; 131(7):887-99.

3. Warren JJ, et al. 2009. Considerations on optimal fluoride intake using dental fluorosis and dental caries outcomes–a longitudinal study. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 69(2):111-15. Spring.

4. Ko L, Thiessen KM. 2014. A critique of recent economic evaluations of community water fluoridation. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.

5. Luke J. 2001. Fluoride deposition in the aged human pineal gland. Caries Research 35(2):125-128. See also Luke’s PhD thesis click here.

6. Xiang Q, et al. 2003a. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36(2):84-94, and Xiang Q, et al. 2003b. Blood lead of children in Wamiao-Xinhuai intelligence study [letter]. Fluoride 36(3):198-199.

7. National Resource Council of the National Academies. 2006. Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards.

8. Bassin EB, et al. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control, May;17(4):421-8.

9. Choi AL, Grandjean P, et al. 2012. Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10):1362–1368.

10. Choi AL, et al. 2015. Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot studyNeurotoxicology and Teratology, 47:96–101.

A few words about papers 1-4.

STUDIES ON EFFECTIVENESS OF FLUORIDATION

1. Brunelle and Carlos. 1990.Recent Trends in DentalCaries in U.S. Children and the Effect of Water Fluoridation. Journal of Dental Research,69 (Special Issue):723-727.

This was the largest survey of dental decay in children in the US (the authors studied 39,000 children in 84 communities). The study was organized by the pro-fluoridation National Institute for Dental Research (NIDR). These NIDR authors found an average difference of only 0.6 of one tooth surface between children (aged 5-17) who lived all their lives in a fluoridated community compared to a non-fluoridated community (see Table 6). This result was NOT shown to be statistically significant. The pro-fluoridation bias of the authors becomes apparent in the way they present these unimpressive results in their abstract. They do not report the difference in tooth decay as an absolute value (i.e. 0.6 of one tooth surface) but as a relative % difference. This value of 18% looks more impressive than an absolute saving of 0.6 of about 100 tooth surfaces in a child’s mouth (there are 128 when all the teeth have erupted). Nor did the authors admit that they had not shown that this result was statistically significant: it wasn’t! Here is an excerpt from their abstract, which says more about the politics of this issue than the science.

“Children who had always been exposed to community water fluoridation had mean DMFS (decayed missing and filled surfaces, PC) about 18% lower than those who had never lived in a fluoridated communities. When some of the “background” effect of topical fluoride was controlled, this difference increased to 25%. The results suggest that water fluoridation has played a dominant role in the decline in caries and must continue to be a major prevention methodology.” (my emphasis, PC)

Really?

2. Featherstone JD. 2000.The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention. Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), Jul; 131(7):887-99.

In this article, which was a cover story in JADA edition of July 2000, Featherstone reached the same conclusions that many prominent dental researchers had reached over the previous 20 years: Namely, that the predominant mechanism of fluoride’s beneficial action is topical not systemic. The CDC acknowledged the same thing in 1999. In other words you don’t have to swallow fluoride to protect your teeth and therefore there is no need to force it on people who don’t want it via their drinking water. This is probably one of the reasons why, according to the World Health Organizations data online, that tooth decay rates in 12-year-olds have been declining at about the same rates in non-fluoridated as in fluoridated countries since the 1960s (http://fluoridealert.org/issues/caries/who-data/ ). Here are Featherstone’s conclusions:

CONCLUSIONS:

Fluoride, the key agent in battling caries, works primarily via topical mechanisms: inhibition of demineralization, enhancement of remineralization and inhibition of bacterial enzymes.

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS:

Fluoride in drinking water and in fluoride-containing products reduces caries via these topical mechanisms.

3. Warren JJ, Levy SM, Broffitt B. et al. 2009. Considerations on optimal fluoride intake using dental fluorosis and dental caries outcomes–a longitudinal study. Journal of Public Health Dentistry, 69(2):111-15. Spring.

If the Brunelle and Carlos (1990) paper was the largest US government funded study, the Warren et al (2009) paper was the most precise. This investigation was conducted as part of the “Iowa study,” which has been examining tooth decay in a cohort of children since birth. Warren et al. examined tooth decay as a function of daily ingestion of fluoride in mg/day (i.e. they examined individual exposure rather than the traditional way of comparing dental decay rates between communities with different concentrations of fluoride in water). The authors could not determine a clear relationship between caries experience and daily dose in mg/day. The authors’ state:

These findings suggest that achieving a caries-free status may have relatively little to do with fluoride intake, while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the overlap among caries/fluorosis groups in mean fluoride intake and extreme variability in individual fluoride intakes, firmly recommending an “optimal” fluoride intake is problematic.

Please note that all three of these studies were carried out by pro-fluoridation dental researchers. Many dentists are oblivious of the fact that research carried out by their own pro-fluoridation colleagues has undermined the effectiveness that they claim. In addition it should be noted that in the 70 years since fluoridation was launched in 1945 there has never been a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) to establish in a scientific fashion that swallowing fluoride lowers tooth decay. This is the gold standard used by the FDA to establish the efficacy of any drug. Considering such a flimsy scientific basis for the effectiveness of this practice it is the height of arrogance to force a known toxic substance on people who don’t want it.

STUDIES ON THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF FLUORIDATION

4. Ko L, Thiessen KM. 2014. A critique of recent economic evaluations of community water fluoridation. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health.

This paper demolished the claim by Susan Griffin (an economist at the CDC) that for every dollar spent on fluoridation $38 was saved on dental costs. This statement has been used countless times by state dental directors, public health officials and other promoters of fluoridation.  We have provided more details on this in a previous bulletin.

In part 2, I will say a few words about papers 5-10 that challenge the mantra of fluoridation’s “safety.”

Paul Connet, PhD
Director
Fluoride Action Network