Tuesday, 24 February 2015

New Research Underscores the Dangers of Fluoride

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Scientists in England have found that fluoride could be causing depression and weight gain and have urged councils to stop adding it to the drinking water. The new findings directly contradict a report released by Public Health England last year that called fluoride a “safe and effective” way of improving dental health.

According to a study of 98 percent of GP practices in England, high rates of underactive thyroid were 30 percent more likely in areas of the greatest fluoridation. The Telegraph reports that up to 15,000 people are needlessly experiencing thyroid problems, which include depression, weight gain, pain, and fatigue.

Approximately 10 percent of the population in England live in areas with a naturally or artificially fluoridated water supply, according to the Telegraph. Researchers from the University of Kent suggest that the number of cases of underactive thyroid was higher in areas such as the West Midlands and the North East of England. Professor Stephen Peckham of the Centre for Health Service Studies, lead author of the study, asserts that the findings should be particularly disconcerting for those who reside in those regions.

“The difference between the West Midlands, which fluoridates, and Manchester, which doesn’t was particularly striking,” Peckham noted. “There were nearly double the number of cases in Manchester.”

Advocates of fluoridation contend it helps to fight tooth decay by making enamel more resistant to bacteria; however, studies have shown that the adverse effects of fluoridation far outweigh any purported good it does.

The University of Kent study found that fluoride inhibits the production of iodine, which is necessary for the health of the thyroid gland, resulting in an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism.

“Underactive thyroid is a particularly nasty thing to have and it can lead to other long term health problems," stated Professor Peckham. He added, "I do think councils need to think again about putting fluoride in the water. There are far safer ways to improve dental health.”

And other studies have found the effects of fluoridation to be equally troublesome for differing reasons.

A 2014 study at Harvard suggested that fluoride can be connected to reductions in the IQ of children.

“A meta-analysis of 27 cross-sectional studies of children exposed to fluoride in drinking water, mainly from China, suggests an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations,” noted the authors, Dr. Philippe Grandjean of the Harvard School of Public Health and Dr. Philip Landrigan of New York’s Icahn School of Medicine.

What’s worse is that the levels of fluoride analyzed in that study were less than four milligrams per liter, less than the amounts permitted to be used in water fluoridation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our very great concern is that children worldwide are being exposed to unrecognized toxic chemicals that are silently eroding intelligence, disrupting behaviors, truncating future achievements and damaging societies, perhaps most seriously in developing countries,” added the authors, who also warned of additional problems associated with exposure to these kinds of substances, including autism.

As a result of those findings, a 2014 report in the medical  journal The Lancet labelled fluoride a dangerous developmental neurotoxicant, placing it alongside other toxins such as lead, mercury, and arsenic.

Critics have seized upon the various findings against fluoride to call for a complete end to water fluoridation.

“In light of the new classification of fluoride as a dangerous neurotoxin, adding more fluoride to Americans’ already excessive intake no longer has any conceivable justification,” declared Fluoride Action Network Executive Director and retired chemistry professor Dr. Paul Connett in a statement. “We should follow the evidence and try to reduce fluoride intake, not increase it.”

The John Birch Society has opposed fluoridation of the water supply for more than half a century. In addition to health concerns, the Society has stood against the forced-medication implications of the practice, noting that fluoride is added to the water supply to treat people, not make the water safer, and warning many decades ago that some environmentalists supported putting sterilants in the water supply (with the government rationing the antidote) to regulate the desired population size.

And now President Obama’s own “Science” Czar John Holdren has proposed that very thing: adding birth control to the water supply for the purpose of regulating population size.

In 1992, libertarian icon Murray Rothbard wrote a scathing critique of the practice that appeared in The New American, questioning the reasoning behind fluoridation.

Rothbard explained that the case for fluoridation rests wholly on the assertion that it reduces cavities in children aged five to nine, and that there are no claimed benefits for anyone over the age of nine. What’s more, studies reveal that the same children aged nine to 12 have more cavities, revealing that the cavity benefits disappear at the age of 12.

Meanwhile, as fluoridation advocates embraced studies that revealed fluoride reduced cavities among children aged five through nine, those same advocates ignored indications that fluoride also created even more significant health concerns. Rothbard wrote:

During the 1940s and '50s, when the successful push for fluoridation was underway, fluoridation proponents touted the controlled experiment of Newburgh and Kingston, two neighboring small cities in upstate New York, with much the same demographics. Newburgh had been fluoridated and Kingston had not, and the powerful pro-fluoridation establishment trumpeted the fact that ten years later, dental cavities in five- to nine-year-old kids in Newburgh were considerably lower than in Kingston (originally, the rates of every disease had been about the same in the two places).

OK, but fluoride opponents raised the disquieting fact that, after ten years, both the cancer and the heart disease rates were now significantly higher in Newburgh. How did the Establishment treat this criticism? By dismissing it as irrelevant, as kooky scare tactics.

Later studies also found correlations between a fluoridated water supply and cancer rates. In the 1970s, Dr. Dean Burk, former chief of cytochemistry at the National Cancer Institute for 30 years, reported that fluoride increases the cancer death rate based on a study that compared the 10 largest U.S. cities with fluoridation and the 10 largest without.

Ultimately, Rothbard concluded, “Compulsory mass medication is medically evil, as well as socialistic.”

Despite evidence to the contrary, advocates for fluoridation continue to claim that it is safe.

Dr Sandra White, director of dental public health at Public Health England, has said, “Public Health England regularly reviews the evidence base for water fluoridation. The totality of evidence, accumulated over decades of research, tells us that water fluoridation is a safe and effective public health measure, and shows no association with reduced thyroid function.”

But now, the latest findings out of the University of Kent should provide cause to reconsider these statements.

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