As parents in Hamilton County, Tenn., well know, fairness is very important in a child’s world. What parents don’t know is that in their earnest desire to protect their children, they are believing lies told by dentists and pediatricians who are not playing fair.
In most cases, it’s not an intentional lie, it’s a lazy lie. Like everyone else, dentists and doctors find it easier to believe the dental myth about fluoridation and to repeat marketing slogans to their patients than to read the 21st century science.
By Karen Spencer
Consequently, when questioned by parents on the safety of fluoridation, they resort to that old paternalistic standby of power, “Do it because I said so, and I’m the authority here.”
“Because I said so,” isn’t good enough — not when the health and well being of your child is at stake. Not when 21st century science and thousands of scientists, chemists, toxicologists and medical professionals have proof that the “safe and effective” mantra is a lie.
Customers of North West Utility District north of Chattanooga have an opportunity to be free of fluoride. On July 19 members of the group’s board will vote on use of this legacy industrial chemical. Continue it or remove it to reduce wear and tear on equipment and limit its myriad health risks. The board is soliciting comments through the contact window at nwud.net.
Beginning in the 1990s, a series of studies conducted in the US and abroad proved that fluoridation is neurotoxic — it damages developing brains beginning in utero. Rats exposed to fluoride did less well in mazes, communities with fluoridated water had lower IQs, and artificially fluoridated American communities had thousands more 11 year olds diagnosed with hyperactivity disorder.
As if learning disabilities weren’t enough, children are more likely to have allergies, eczema and the symptoms of any inflammatory or autoimmune disease worsened because of fluoridated water.
Purported benefits ‘overstated’
According to the 2015 Cochrane and 2000 York international reviews of fluoridationist literature, the claims of dental benefit are overstated, while the evidence of dental harm, confirmed by CDC records, is definite. According to the 2006 National Research Council and hundreds of published studies and reports from the past twenty years, the risks are significant. Since percentages can mislead, let’s use absolute numbers to demonstrate what this means in the real world, the child’s world.
In a class of 25 children, one or two children might have one or two fewer cavities during childhood. That’s their lifetime benefit. However, one child in that class of 25 will have between fifty and 100% of his or her teeth permanently stained.
That child may also have flaking enamel or tooth pitting and will require crowns as he or she ages. About half of the class will have some lesser degree of dental staining, called dental fluorosis, which may prompt two or three
to get veneers when the staining is on front teeth. If the child is African-American or Hispanic, his or her likelihood of having dental fluorosis is approximately doubled that of a white child. This is why civil rights leaders label fluoridation an environmental injustice.
Risks of fluoride
About ten children in that class of 25 will have the symptoms of an allergy, autoimmune disease, or inflammatory condition worsened by exposure to fluoride. Children with eczema will be tortured by the relentless itch aggravated by every sip of water or bite of food prepared in that water, those with asthma or rheumatoid arthritis will risk having their frightening autoimmune symptoms intensified even from bathing, and any with gastrointestinal diseases like Celiac or Crohn’s disease will focus more on the pain in their guts than the problems on their school papers.
It’s not just school kids. According to a 2015 English report, moms living in fluoridated communities are significantly more likely to have low thyroid than their sisters living in non-fluoridated towns. According to a 2014 animal study, those with kidney disease will not only retain more fluoride leading to inflammatory diseases, but also have their renal systems damaged by calcification when they consume “optimally” fluoridated water.
Some people are not affected. Maybe small doses of arsenic, barium, cadmium, lead and other fluoridation chemical contaminants won’t result in ill effects in your family, but is it fair to your children for you to take this risk because your dentist said so?
Moms and dads, ignore the marketing material that originates on Madison Avenue funded by those with vested interests in continuing fluoridation schemes. Do your homework. Fluoridation is a game of Russian roulette that begins during pregnancy. That’s not fair.
A consultant in software development, Karen Spencer is a former analyst and project leader. She is adept at conducting research, and analyzing trends. Her special interests include critical thinking, data-driven decision-making and organizational theory. Karen is a former kindergarten teacher. She and others in her family are among the approximately 15% of the population with chemical sensitivities triggered by exposure to fluoridated food and drink.
Do your own checking on fluoride
A new perspective on metals and other contaminants in fluoridation chemicals. Mullenix PJ. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health. 2014 Apr-Jun;20(2):157-66. Epub 2014 Mar 20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24999851
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. S. Peckham, D. Lowery, S. Spencer. J Epidemiol Community Health. 24 February 2015. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-204971. http://jech.bmj.com/content/early/2015/02/09/jech-2014-204971
Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. Anna L. Choi et. al. Neurotoxicology and Teratology. Volume 47, January–February 2015, Pages 96– 101. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0892036214001809
Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence. Ashley J Malin and Christine Till. Environmental Health 2015, 14:17 doi:10.1186/s12940-015-0003-1.
Effect of water fluoridation on the development of medial vascular calcification in uremic rats. A. Martín-Pardillos et al. Toxicology. 2014 Apr 6;318:40-50. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24561004
Fluoride: a risk factor for inflammatory bowel disease? Follin-Arbelet B, Moum B. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2016 May 19:1-6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27199224
Fluoride as a factor initiating and potentiating inflammation in THP1 differentiated monocytes/macrophages. I. Gutowskaa, I. Baranowska-Bosiackab, M. Goschorskab, A. Kolasac, A.Lukomskaa, K. Jakubczyka, K. Deca, D. Chlubekb. Toxicology in Vitro. Volume 29, Issue 7, October 2015, Pages 1661–1668. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0887233315001605
Fluoride augments the mitogenic and antigenic response of human blood lymphocytes in vitro. Loftenius A, Andersson B, Butler J, Ekstrand J. Caries Res. 1999;33(2):148-55. PMID: 9892783.
Fluoride increases lead concentrations in whole blood and in calcified tissues from lead- exposed rats. Sawan RM et al. Toxicology. 2010 Apr 30;271(1-2):21-6. Epub 2010 Feb 25.
National Center for Health Statistics. Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004. NCHS Data Brief No. 53, November 2010. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db53.htm
Surveillance Summaries.“Table 23: Enamel Fluorosis Among persons aged 6-39, by selected characteristics.” CDC MMWR. August 26, 2005.