February 29, 2008
Fluoride… It was just over a year ago that the American Dental Association advised its members that parents not give fluoridated water to babies. Now, a panel of child health experts has issued a report warning of fluoride’s potential to damage a child’s developing brain. Despite these developments, a bottled water company continues to aggressively market fluoride-spiked water for infants, and Health Agencies continue their relentless push to fluoridate more water supplies. In case you missed it, these are some of the fluoride headlines that surfaced this month, which we summarize below. For more information, and how you can take some constructive action, please visit Fluoride Action Network’s (FAN) website at http://www.FluorideAlert.Org.
FAN’s Fluoride Headlines for February 2008
1) Fluoride: A Threat to the Brain
On February 20th, a distinguished panel of experts convened by the Institute of Children’s Environmental Health released a consensus statement summarizing “the latest science about environmental contaminants associated with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intellectual disabilities and developmental delays.” Fluoride was one of the environmental contaminants reviewed by the scientists. According to the report:
“Excessive fluoride ingestion is known to lower thyroid hormone levels, which is particularly critical for women with subclinical hypothyroidism: decreased maternal thyroid levels adversely affect fetal neurodevelopment. In addition, a study in China reported decreased child IQ levels associated with fluoride in drinking water. The question is what level of exposure results in harmful effects to children. The primary concern is that multiple routes of exposure, from drinking water, food and dental care products, may result in a high enough cumulative exposure to fluoride to cause developmental effects… It is not clear that the benefits of adding fluoride to drinking water outweigh risks of neurodevelopment or other effects such as dental fluorosis.”
To read a press release discussing the review’s findings on fluoride, click here .
To read the full consensus statement, click here.
2) The Nursery Water Scandal: Company Continues to Market Fluoride for Babies
While prominent child health scientists are beginning to address fluoride’s risks to the brain, a bottled water company (Nursery Water) continues to aggressively market fluoridated water for infants under the age of 1. The company continues to market this product despite the fact that the American Dental Association – the nation’s most prominent promoter of fluoride – has advised that babies not receive fluoridated water. In February, the tireless Environmental Working Group (EWG) issued a complaint about Nursery Water’s actions to the Food & Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission. According to EWG, Nursery Water is violating the law by contradicting FDA’s own ruling that bottled water companies can not make claims that fluoridated water benefits babies. As noted by Jane Houlihan, EWG’s Vice President for Research: “Nursery Water’s behavior is completely irresponsible. They are misleading parents, misrepresenting the facts, and placing profits above the health of babies.” To learn more, click here
3) “Poisoned Horses”: New Video Documents Fluoridation’s Effects on Horses
Dr. David Kennedy, from the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT), has posted a new video on YouTube titled “Poisoned Horses.” Horses are much larger than canaries but in the case of fluoride toxicity they may prove to be an ideal canary for what fluoride might do to humans. Why? Because horses drink a huge amount of water each day. This video documents what happened to Cathy and Wayne Justus’ quarter horses after their community in Colorado began fluoridating its water. The horses developed severe dental fluorosis; arthritic pains typical of skeletal fluorosis; abnormalities of the hooves; dermatological reactions; behavioral changes; and colic. All of these symptoms and conditions have been investigated and confirmed by Dr. Lennart Krook of Cornell University. The video is a must see. To watch it, click here
4) UK Under Attack… Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Australia too
Unlike the United States, the vast majority of western Europe has rejected water fluoridation. For instance, whereas over 60% of Americans have tap water that is fluoridated, the respective figure in Europe is less than 3%. Nevertheless, health officials in England have recently announced a new plan to try and force more water supplies in England to start adding fluoride. A similar attempt recently in Scotland was overwhelming rejected, so let us hope for a similar result in England.
It’s not just England, however, that’s under siege. Here in the US, health officials have indicated a renewed desire to fluoridate Hawaii (even though Honolulu passed a resolution a few years ago banning water fluoridation). In addition, legislators in Pennsylvania and Nebraska are trying to mandate fluoridation in their respective states, and across the globe in Australia, the parliament in Queensland is trying to institute a massive expansion of fluoridation as well. Citizens in all areas are vigilantly fighting back – as demonstrated nicely in this letter from a Pennsylvania dentist and in this video of a demonstration in Australia. (You can help the activists in Pennsylvania by contacting ActionPA and you can help the activists in Australia by signing FAN’s Open Letter to the Ministers of Queensland.)
5) Don’t Swallow Your Toothpaste!
The Times in England writes: “Toothpaste causing bad teeth? It seems illogical, particularly since dentists so fervently urge us to use it. But many parents are unaware of the potential risks of letting children under 7 swallow fluoride toothpaste, especially in fluoridated areas, where they are already receiving a background dose of the chemical.” To learn more about why parents need to be vigilant about not letting their child swallow toothpaste, click here
6) And now for some GOOD NEWS..
In February, several communities rejected plans to fluoridate water, including Manilla, California, Ocean Springs, Mississippi and Welland, Ontario; and a councilwoman in Fairbanks, Alaska has put forth a resolution for Fairbanks to follow the lead of Alaska’s capital city (Juneau) and remove fluoride from its water. In addition, over 150 more health and medical professionals have added their name to FAN’s Professionals Statement to End Water Fluoridation – bringing the current total of signers to over 1,500. And thanks to the nearly 10,000 concerned citizens who have signed FAN’s Online Letter to Congress, Congressional representatives are becoming increasingly familiar with this Statement. The letter calls on Congress to follow the important recommendations of these professionals. To sign the letter to Congress, click here
Ok, so that’s some of the news from February! To read more headlines, check out the Latest News section on FAN’s website.
Here’s to a fluoride-free future! Together we can make it happen.
Paul Connett, PhD
Fluoride Action Network