The Case Against Water Fluoridation Paul Connett, PhD Director, Fluoride Action Network FluorideALERT.org Hartford, CT, June 26, 2013
Introduction • I have spent 17 years researching the fluoridation issue, first as a professor of chemistry specializing in environmental chemistry and toxicology, and now as director of the Fluoride Action Network.
Outline of my presentation 1. Why fluoridation should not have started. 2. Key moments since 1990 that should have ended fluoridation. 3. The very poor science underpinning the case for fluoridation. 4. Better alternatives to fight tooth decay
1. We should never use the public water supply to deliver medicine. WHY? 2. You can’t control who gets the medicine. 3. You can’t control the DOSE people get. 4. It violates the individual’s right to informed consent to medicine.
5) Fluoride is NOT a nutrient. There is not a single process inside the body that needs fluoride to function properly, however 6) Fluoride is a known toxic substance that interferes with many fundamental biochemical functions In other words: it doesn’t do any good to swallow fluoride and it has the potential to cause harm
7) 1 ppm fluoride (1 mg/liter) is NOT small. It is 250 times the level in mothers milk in a non-fluoridated community (0.004 ppm, NRC , 2006, p. 40) 8) A bottle-fed baby in a fluoridated community is getting 250 times the fluoride dose that nature intended. Who knows more about what the baby needs – nature or a bunch of dentists from Chicago (ADA)?
9) The fluoridating chemicals used are not the pharmaceutical grade chemicals used in dental products, but are arsenic-contaminated industrial waste products obtained from the fertilizer industry. 10) The dental lobby has controlled this debate for far too long. There are more tissues in the body than teeth. It is time to get dentistry out of the public water supply and back into the dental office.
The vast majority of countries do NOT fluoridate their water
97% of Western European population now drinks Non-Fluoridated Water Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Northern Ireland Norway Scotland Sweden Switzerland Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Iceland
97% of Western European population now drinks Non-Fluoridated Water Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Northern Ireland Norway Scotland Sweden Switzerland* Austria* Belgium Denmark Finland France* Germany* Greece Iceland *Some fluoridate their salt
According to WHO data tooth decay in 12-year-olds is coming down as fast in F as NF countries
Part 2 Some of the events since 1990 which should have forced an end to water fluoridation (An ugly fact can destroy a beautiful theory)
Ugly Fact # 1 A series of studies since 1980 indicate that the notion that swallowing fluoride reduces tooth decay is very weak
Between 1980 and 1990 A number of articles began to appear in major journals indicating that there was very little difference in tooth decay between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities
Leverett in Science, 1982 Diesendorf in Nature, 1986* Gray, 1987 Colquhoun* This prompted the NIDR to conduct the largest survey of tooth decay ever carried out in the US.
NIDR survey • The teeth of over 39,000 children in 84 communities were examined.
Yiamouyiannis • Using the FOIA Dr. John Yiamouyiannis obtained the DMFT(= decayed, missing and filled permanent TEETH), data for children aged 5-17 • His plot of the data showed no statistical difference between children from N-F and F communities
NIDR - Brunelle and Carlos (1990) • Brunelle and Carlos increased sensitivity by factor of five (approximately) by comparing DMFS (= decayed, missing and filled permanent SURFACES - 5 surfaces to most teeth, 4 in the cutting teeth)
They measured tooth decay as Decayed Missing and Filled Tooth Surfaces (DMFS). There are 4 or 5 surfaces per tooth.
Decayed Missing and Filled surfaces (DMFS) There are 4 surfaces to the top six and bottom six cutting teeth and 5 surfaces on all the other teeth. 128 tooth surfaces in all.
Brunelle and Carlos (1990) measured tooth decay as Decayed Missing and Filled Tooth Surfaces (DMFS) See Table 6 in their paper. 2.8 DMFS F
Thelargest US survey of tooth decay 3.4 DMFS NF 2.8 DMFS F
Brunelle and Carlos, 1990 3.4 DMFS NF 2.8 DMFS F Average difference (for 5 - 17 year olds) in DMFS = 0.6 tooth surfaces (5 surfaces to a tooth)
Not only was this saving very small (0.6 of one tooth surface) but it was not even shown to be statistically significant!
Supporting documents:Yiamouyiannis, 1990*Brunelle and Carlos, 1990* (see Table 6)
Warren et al. (2009) (the “Iowa” study)
Warren et al., 2009, measured tooth decay as a function of individual exposure to fluoride. They found no relation between tooth decay and amount of fluoride ingested.
“These findings suggest that achieving a caries-free status may have relatively little to do with fluoride intake…” Supporting document Warren et al., 2009*
Ugly Fact # 2 CDC (1999) Fluoride’s predominant benefit is TOPICAL not systemic
CDC, MMWR, 48(41); 933-940, Oct 22, 1999* • “Fluoride’s caries-preventive properties initially were attributed to changes in enamel during tooth development... However, laboratory and epidemiologic research suggest that fluoride prevents dental caries predominantly after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical…”
If fluoride works on the outside of the tooth not from inside the body Why swallow fluoride and expose every tissue of the body to a toxic substance, when you can brush it on your teeth and spit it out? And why put it in the drinking water and force it on people who don’t want it?
Ugly Fact # 3 The U.S. National Research Council published the results of its 3-year review of fluoride’s toxicity (NRC, 2006)
NRC found that fluoride could cause many harmful effects in the body in countries with high natural levels of fluoride in their water.
Independent scientists have argued that there is NO ADEQUATE MARGIN OF SAFETY to protect everyone drinking fluoridated water from some of these harmful effects.
An exposure analysis in Chapter 2 of the NRC report shows that subsets of population drinking F -water (including bottle-fed infants) are exceeding EPA’s safe reference dose (0.06 mg/kg/day) See supporting document*
John Doull (chairman, NRC, 2006 Review) • “What the committee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many years—for too long really—and now we need to take a fresh look . . . In the scientific community people tend to think this is settled. I mean, when the U.S. surgeon general comes out and says this is one of the top 10 greatest achievements of the 20th century, that’s a hard hurdle to get over. But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on.” • Scientific American, Jan 2008.
Ugly Fact # 4 Fluoridation may actually be killing a few young boys each year Bassin et al., 2006
Osteosarcoma • Bassin found that young boys exposed to fluoridated water in their 6th,7th or 8th years, had a 5-7 fold increase in developing osteosarcoma by the age of 20, compared to non-exposed boys. • Her 2006 study has never been refuted. • The study promised by Douglass (Kim et al., 2011) failed to do so.
Ugly Fact # 5 CDC (2010) Confirms that American kids are being hugely over-exposed to fluoride
Dental Fluorosis Early promoters thought that at 1 ppm F they could reduce tooth decay and limit dental fluorosis to 10% of children in its very mild form.
Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004 November 2010: CDC update on fluorosis by Beltrán-Aguilar et al. See supporting document*
CDC, 2010 41%
Impacts up to 25% of tooth surface Very Mild Dental Fluorosis