Friday, October 24, 2014

Journalism and Fluoridation in Ireland

The Irish Times newspaper in recent articles have repeatedly stated that anyone who questions fluoridation is either unscientific, a conspiracy theorist or unreliable. Such poor quality journalism only acts to demean the value of this newspaper. Recent published opinion pieces by the Irish times including articles by Peter McGuire, Donald Clarke,and David Robert Grimes demonstrate a lack of understanding of the most basic issues surrounding fluoridation of water; including total fluoride exposure of the Irish populace from all dietary sources, including medications and tea consumption, or how infants are exposed to doses of fluoride that exceed the maximum tolerable dietary intake established for a healthy adult.

Mandatory fluoridation of water presents enormous public health risks to consumers in Ireland for many reasons, first we have the lowest prevalence of breast feeding in the world, consequently infants in Ireland are exposed to higher lifetime exposures to fluoride, secondly fluoride has been identified as a risk factor in Down’s syndrome which Ireland has the highest incidence of in the world, thirdly fluoride is a metabolic and enzymatic poison which contributes to endocrine disorders especially among members of the population with low iodine intake. Iodine deficiency is a recognised major public health problem in Ireland. Fourthly, the Irish population are the largest consumers of tea globally, over 50 published studies have demonstrated that tea contains very high levels of fluoride, as such, the population already have a significant exposure to fluoride from this source alone.  Fluoridation of water further therefore contributes to excessive dietary fluoride intake among tea drinkers, who may already have excessive dietary fluoride intake as identified by recent published studies in the UK and Taiwan. Last but not least, mandatory fluoridation is undertaken to treat a disease, dental caries and is as such medication without informed consent. This is the view adopted by Authorities in Germany and other European countries.

The Irish Times by continuing to publish blatant falsehoods about the public health risks associated with fluoridation only discredit journalistic standards and scientific debate in this country. Many leading scientists from Nobel Laureate Professor Carlson neuropharmacologist at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, Professor Hardy Limeback (Professor of Preventive Dentistry with a PhD in Biochemistry, Doctorate in Dentristry) to Dr Kathleen Thiessen (Toxicologist and leading member of the U.S. National Academy scientific committee on fluoride), Professor Isaacson (Professor in Neurological  Behavioural Science), Dr. Russell Blaylock (Neurosurgeon), Professor William Hirzy PhD, former risk assessment scientist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Professor Dan Merfeld, PhD. Harvard Medical School, Professor Anna Strunecka PhD, Professor of Physiology and international expert in childhood development disorders, Dr. Paul Connett, PhD in Chemistry, Professor Emeritus in Environmental Chemistry,  Professor Vyvyan Howard, Toxicologist and head of the Developmental Toxico-Pathology Research Group-Professor of Bioimaging at the University of Ulster. Dr William Marcus PhD, retired Senior Science Advisor United States Environmental Protection Agency, Professor Boyd E. Haley PhD, Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Anna Goodwin Medical Oncologist, Professor Stephen Peckam, Professor Health Policy University of Kent and Director of the UK Department of Health funded Policy Research Unit. Professor (Dr) A K Susheela, Head of the Fluoride and Fluorosis research at the Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, Professor (Dr.) Roger Masters graduate of Harvard University and University of Chicago, former professor at Yale university. Prof. Arnon Afek, Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Professor William T Potter, Professor of Biochemistry, Dr. Pierre-Jean Morin, PhD. PhD. in Experimental Medicine. Dr. Ana Marta Pardillos,  PhD, BSc Biochemistry, Cardiovascular Toxicologist, Dr, Richard Sauerheber, B.A. Biology, PhD. Chemistry, Dr. James S. Beck, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Medical Biophysics, Dr. Neil J. Carman, Ph.D Biology, Dr. Richard F. Edlich, MD, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Plastic Surgery, Biomedical Engineering and Emergency Medicine, Dr. Howard W. Mielke, Ph.D., specialist in environmental health and toxicology, Dr. Bill Osmunson, DDS, MPH, Dental Clinician, Dr. Dianne A. Pacheco MD, Dr. Jim Maxey DDS,  Dr. Bruce Spittle, MD, Dr Michael Godfrey MD, Dr Elizabeth Cullin MD, Dr Philip Michael MD, Dr. Neville Wilson MD, Dr. Hans Moolenburgh, Dr. Eiichi Tohyama, Dr. Jennifer Luke MD PhD, Dr. Peter Mansfield MD, Dr. David Morry PhD, Cancer Toxicologist, Dr. Craid Steinmaus M.D. Epidemiologist, Dr. Elise Bassin, formerly of Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Dr. Shih-Chun Candice Lung, PhD Environmental Health Management Harvard University,  Biomedical Expert, Chung Shan Medical University Taiwan, Dr. Bjorn Gillberg, Dr. Olof Lindahl, Professor of Orthopaedics, Dr. Gunnar Gustafsson, Professor of Oral Pathology, Dr. Jan Sallstrom, Ph.D. Professor of Experimental Pathology and many more too numerous to mention, have raised serious concerns regarding the long term health risks associated with this policy and their concerns have not been reported by the media.

As a demonstration of the level of censorship within the media in Ireland, neither the Irish Times, nor any other national press publication, nor any radio broadcasters including RTE or independent Tv or radio stations reported that Israel one of only 3 countries in the world which implemented a mandatory policy of water fluoridation similar to Ireland ceased water fluoridation this year. The decision was made by the Minister for Health, based on serious concerns regarding the harm that fluoridation was causing to children and women. Her decision was supported by her advisor Professor Arnon Afek, who is an expert in pathology and medical administration. 

Prof Afek stated that he personally supported the health minister’s decision to prohibit fluoridation as “mandatory fluoridation is medical treatment and individuals have the right to decide if they want it or not.”

Today, only two countries globally have mandatory national policies requiring citizens to consume fluoridated water, Ireland and Singapore. In these countries there is no free choice for consumers. They are being medicated against their wishes.

It is simply extraordinary that in Ireland, the only EU country with a policy of mandatory fluoridation of water, that journalists and editors of newspaper and other media sources, appear incapable or unwilling to objectively report on this harmful policy, raising serious questions regarding journalistic ethics and standards and the social responsibility of journalists to report unbiased accurate information.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Water Fluoridation. By Professor Robert Isaacson, PhD. Distinguished professor of neurobehavioral science at the State University of New York in Binghamton.

Here are some of the views and conclusions provided by Professor Robert Isaacson PhD, a Professor of Neurobehavioural Science and senior member of the United States National Research Council's Scientific Commitee who undertook the most comprehensive review yet undertaken of fluoride published by the United States National Academies in 2006.  After having spent three years as part of the scientific committee that examined the scientific evidence on fluoride, this was his view on how water fluoridation may contribute to neurological disorders and Down's syndrome. The full 12 page letter is available in the Appendix 2 of my orginal report titled "Human Toxicity, Environmental Impact and Legal Implications of Water Fluoridation" published in 2012.

Introduction to Professor Isaacson.

Robert Isaacson, PhD a distinguished professor of neurobehavioral science at the State University of New York in Binghamton. His research interests are in behavioral neuroscience, particularly the study of recovery from brain damage, functions of the limbic system, mechanisms responsible for neuronal cell death, and the neurotoxic effects of certain fluoride complexes. He is a past president of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society and is a recipient of the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He serves on a number of editorial boards, including that of Brain Research. He has received fellow status in several scientific societies. He has served as chairperson and member of several committees of the Society for Neuroscience. In the past he has served as a member of grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Science Foundation. 

 Professor Isaacsons Views on Water Fluoridation.

 “ In 2003, I  accepted an invitation to join the National Research Council’s Committee formed to evaluate the EPA standards for the amount of fluoride that should be allowed in drinking water. In my more than three years working on the National Research Council Committee I learned about the many influences fluoride has on the nervous system and the brain. I also learned about the variety of ways in which people become exposed to it and the work that had been done in trying to determine if fluorides were a hazard to human health and well being. The results and recommendations of this Committee were published late in 2006.  Slowly, I came to the conclusion that there were strong experimental and clinical indications that fluorides present health hazards to people in many ways. The more I learned, the more I became convinced that the addition of fluorides to drinking water was, and is, a mistake. Accordingly, I decided to share some of my conclusions with any who might wish to know them.”

In his wide ranging opinion piece, Professor Isaacson discusses many aspects of fluoride on human health, including the accumulation of fluoride from all soucres, including water,  in the human body. He outlines that genetic and biological factors contribute to increased risk of toxicity or sensitivity to fluoride and noted that “there is no safe level of fluoride that would protect everyone” while warning that that “the very young and old are  most likely to be adversely affected after exposure to fluorides”. 

Professor Isaacon discusses the co-toxicity of fluoride with other toxins in particular alunimium, which forms complexes with fluoride resulting in greatly increased  bioabsorption of aluminium in humans. He further addressed the biological toxicity of silico fluorides which form when Hexafluorosilicic acid is used to artificially fluoridate drinking water. He observed that two toxins are produced from the use of Hexafluoriosilic acid, fluoride ions and silicon. According to Professor  Isaacson, seperate to the toxicity of fluoride, silicon can produce its own toxic effects, including the formation of solids (silica and silicates) that can lodge anywhere in the body. In addition Isaacson identifies that the silicon portion also can also generate destructive hydroxyl ions in many organs including the brain. In respect to enhanced toxicity Isaacson noted how fluoride acts to heighten the toxicity of other toxins, thereby contributing to further damage. Isaacson  also addresses the effect of fluoride complexes on the brain and the possible causal associations between fluoride complexes and neurological disease, including Alzheimer’s, while also contributing to disruption of other critical neurobiological pathways. 

Added to all of the other alterations in structure and function of the brain caused by fluorides, Professor Isaacson cautioned, “that the opportunity for mental and behavioral changes due to fluoride exposure are almost limitless.”

Professor Isaacson's views on water fluoridation and association with Down’s syndrome.

"During the period from 1956 to 1963, the endocrinologist, Ionel Rapaport, presented evidence of a link between fluoride exposure and the numbers of babies born with Down’s syndrome, (Trisomy 21).[i] For a number of years the only follow up to his work was in the form of epidemiological comparisons between the number of births of such children both to mothers living in fluoridated drinking water vs. the number of such born to mothers births in or non-fluoridated drinking water areas. The demographics of the two or more areas being compared were not fully taken into account in most of the studies. Maternal ages were also not taken into consideration. Overall, the “follow up” studies to Rapaport’s report were not decisive but none of them failed to rule out his original findings."

Professor Isaacson stated that probably the best collection of relevant data upon which to examine the contribution of fluoridation to DS comes from a study of births of children born in two areas of Atlanta, Georgia, as reported by Erickson et al. in 1976. [ii] 

He added that "two different estimates of the number of Down’s children and normal children were presented. One estimate of Down’s syndrome births was made by the examination of copies of birth certificates and the other was based on hospital records. A re-examination of Erickson’s data by Burgstahler[iii] showed an overall enhancement of Down’s syndrome births to mothers from the fluoridated area. Later, in 1998 Takahashi did a fine grain analysis of data from a number of sources that included the corrected numbers from the 1966 Erickson report.[iv] In the Takahashi report a clear-cut relationship between fluoride exposure and the number of affected children was found in mothers 30 years of age and younger."

Importantly, Professor Isaacson noted in an investigation that he and Professor Juan C. Molino[v] undertook they found the same age-fluoride-Down’s syndrome birth effect. 

Professor Isaacson continued: "In his report Takahashi extended the analysis of his data through the use of a regression analysis. He wanted to determine if there could be any dose that would not increase the likelihood of having a Down’s syndrome child. According to his calculations there was no such dose. All doses of fluoride caused some enhancement of the likelihood of a woman having such a child. There are other data supporting the idea that fluorides can induce genetic alterations. Evidence indicating biochemical interactions of fluoride with the genetic mechanisms of cell division are presented in the NRC report on Fluoride in the Drinking Water"

In ending Professor Isaacson, as a senior member of the National Academies of United States added the following cautionary advice. “When the possible benefits and possible dangers of fluoride are considered there really is no comparison. Consider the following: There is no known benefit of adding any form of fluoride to our drinking water. Who would want to increase chances of having a less than perfect child? Who would wish to take a chance on a possible reduction of their own mental capacity? Who would want to have their personality altered by fluoride induced alterations in their brain chemistry? Who would want to increase their odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease? Eliminating the addition of fluoride to our drinking water would remove these possibilities. The cost of doing this is zero. In fact it would enrich the communities now adding fluorides to their drinking water.”

Robert L. Isaacson
Department of Psychology and Center for Developmental and Behavioral Neuroscience,  Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY.

[i] Rapaport, I. 1956. Contribution to the study of mongolism: Pathogenicity of fluorine [in French]. Bull. Acad. Nat. Med. Paris 140(28-29):529-531.
[ii] Erickson, J.D., G.P. Oakley, J.W. Flynt, and S. Hay. 1976. Water fluoridation and congenital malformation: No association. J. Am. Dent. Assoc. 93(5):981-984.
[iii] Burgstahler, A. W. (1966) Fluoridated water and Down’s syndrome. Long abstract of a report of the 21st Conference of the International Society for Brain Research, Budapest.
[iv] Takahashi, K. (1998) Fluoride-linked Down syndrome births and their estimated occurrence due to water fluoridation. Fluoride, 31: 61-73.
[v] Juan Carlos Molina is the Director of the Ferryra Research Institute at the University of Cordoba, Argentina, as well as holding his distinguished professor position there. He also is a visiting research professor at Binghamton University.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Paranoia in The Irish Times When it Comes to Water Fluoridation

It is unfortunate that in the eyes of Mr. Donald Clarke, according to his entertaining column (Pouring cold water on anti-fluoridation arguments, 11th October 2014,) any scientist or public health professional who raises genuine concerns regarding fluoridation are to be branded paranoids and rabble rousers. Mr. Clarke's comments belong in the dark ages, similar views were expressed by the establishment when Galileo was sent to the inquisition for affirming that the earth was not flat. Contrary to Mr Clarke's opinion, evidence suggests that the only paranoia  with which the public should be genuinely concerned surrounding fluoridation, is that expressed by those who refuse to heed the many concerns of so many respected medical, dental and scientific professionals who have dared to question this indiscriminate policy of mass intoxication over the past 60 years. 

Two recent reports published in scientific journals raise serious concerns that if Mr. Clarke had his way would be ignored by the establishment to the detriment of public health.

In 2014, the peer reviewed journal Toxicology, published the findings of a study which reported that fluoride dramatically increased medial vascular calcification and the effect was induced using the WHO’s recommended concentration of fluoride in drinking water [1]. The authors concluded that fluoride causes this effect, by impairing renal function and exacerbating renal damage. The report noted that it is now accepted that medial vascular calcification contributes to an elevated risk of the cardiovascular mortality of patients with advanced chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and aging. The authors noted that in patients with chronic kidney disease, renal excretion of fluoride is impaired, and therefore the plasma concentration of fluoride is increased, thereby further damaging the kidneys, aggravating chronic kidney disease, and generating an increase of uremic toxins and medial vascular calcification. In lay-man’s terms, uremic toxins are compounds that exert an adverse biologic impact contributing to impaired kidney function [2], while medial vascular calcification is increased vessel stiffening which increases the risk of myocardial infarction, the medical term for heart attack. In ending, given the prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the total global population and considering that the epidemic of diabetes mellitus, the authors cautioned, “that the use of fluoride to improve the dental health of the population through indiscriminate practices, such as adding it  to municipal drinking water, should be reconsidered and should be replaced by a fluoridation policy based on the health status of individuals.”

This view is supported in another recent scientific publication (February 2014), titled “Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention”  by Professor Stephan Peckham and Professor Niyi Awofeso [3]. Prof Peckham is Director of the Centre for Health Services Studies at University of Kent and Dr.  Niyi Awofeso is a former Professor in the School of Population Health, University of Western Australia. In this review the authors reported “that available evidence suggests that fluoride has a potential to cause major adverse human health problems, while having only a modest dental caries prevention effect” and concluded that “coordinated global efforts to reduce adverse human health effects on fluoride need to start with ensuring that its introduction into water supplies is prohibited”.  

In ending, contrary to the misinformation in a recent letter published in the Irish Times by  Mr. Richard Cormican (Oct 10th 2014) and previously stated in an opinion piece by Dr. David Robert Grimes ( Sept  9th 2013), your readers should be correctly informed that fluoride is not a nutrient. Neither the European Commission, the United States Institute of Medicine, the  United States National Academy of Sciences, the United States Food and Drug Adminstration, the United States Public Health Services, nor the British Medical Journal agree that fluoride is an essential nutrient. Most recently, in 2013, the European Food Safety Authority reported that “Fluoride has no known essential function in human growth and development and no signs of fluoride deficiency have ever been identified [4].”

It would be helpful in this debate if the Irish Times accurately reported these findings so as not to further contribute to the level of paranoia in Irish Society regarding water fluoridation.

 Declan Waugh

[1]  A. Martín-Pardillos et al. / Toxicology: 318 (2014) 40–50)
[2]  Vanholder R, De Smet R: Pathophysiologic effects of uremic retention solutes. J Am Soc Nephrol 10 : 1815 –1823, 1999
[3]  Peckham S., Awofeso Niyi. Water Fluoridation: A Critical Review of the Physiological Effects of Ingested Fluoride as a Public Health Intervention, The Scientific World Journal Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 293019.
 [4] Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for fluoride, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), EFSA Journal 2013;11(8):3332