Direct link to this page: http://copswiki.org/Common/WaterFluoridation
Water Fluoridation is BAD PUBLIC POLICY and we must work to stop it! In the meantime, consider purchasing a reverse-osmosis filter to rid the water of this hazardous waste product.
Review by chemist Barney McEntire
Barney McEntire was a chemist who wrote most of this article. He passed away on August 7, 2013 and will be missed by all
As requested, I investigated concerns raised over fluoridation at water districts in San Diego County, especially with regard to the use of fluorosilicates. All districts in Southern California use these compounds. The scientific data leaves no doubt that the proper application of fluoridation is essential to public health and the control of oral diseases, and that the benefits outweigh the risks. However, there is also evidence that fluoridation, as applied through San Diego County's water districts, probably has little or no impact on reducing tooth caries in adults and may be, under worse case conditions, harmful to infants and adolescents. Unfortunately, problems with current methods can only be addressed at the state and federal levels due to legislative mandates. The power to make changes goes back to US EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their literature gives the impression they are more concerned about defending previous decisions than they are about issues raised by established and credible scientists and engineers. Although meaningful changes to public fluoridation are unlikely due to politics, there are steps that individuals can take to protect themselves and their families while still benefiting from the proper use of fluoridation.
The objective is to reduce tooth decay caused by bacteria. The bacteria convert sugars and starches contained in plaque to lactic acid. The acid slowly dissolves calcium phosphate which represents about 90% of tooth enamel. The result is cavities. If left unattended, the bacteria will dissolve their way to the dental pulp in the center of the tooth. The dental pulp contains blood vessels that will carry bacteria away, infecting other parts of the body, including the heart. The infections can be quite painful.
One method for reducing the problem is the application of fluoridated toothpaste containing small amounts, usually about 0.24%, of sodium fluoride (NaF), and by the removal of plaque by brushing and other methods of cleaning. The sodium fluoride molecules in toothpaste are surrounded by molecules that prevent it from coming in contact with moisture. When brushing occurs the fluoride is released and reacts with the enamel and calcium in the saliva to form calcium fluoride and fluorapatite (Ca5(PO4)3F (calcium halophosphate)). These latter compounds resist lactic acid. Also, the fluorine attracts other chemicals that lead to the rebuilding or remineralization of damaged teeth. The result is a protective shield. Mouth rinses have the same effect. Marisol Navarro reported their use weekly with a 0.2% sodium fluoride solution reduced the prevalence of caries in school children by 50%. Other numerous studies support these findings.
What these studies have in common is the direct (topical) application of fluoridation followed by the spitting out of the toothpaste or mouth wash. The other way fluoridation takes place is by ingestion and dispersion through the blood stream, and that's where problems arise. The labels of fluoridated toothpaste boxes issue warnings not to swallow. Crest states for children under 12 years, ask a dentist before using. Colgate gives similar warnings. Fluoride ions will accumulate in bones and tissue. Some reach the inside pulp of teeth. But as Navarro and other researchers found, ingestion's effectiveness in fighting tooth decay is far less than topical applications. That's due to a resulting lack of protective fluoride compounds on the surfaces of teeth. Further evidence is linked to the observation that caries tend to prevail in rear teeth where brushing is more difficult. In young children, some studies showed no benefit to ingested fluorine but considerable risk of bone fractures and other illnesses caused by its ingestion.
Furthermore, when sodium fluoride is ingested, the sodium ion has no harmful effects. But when fluorosilicates, including their intermediate compounds, are consumed, there is a potential risk, especially to young children. Michael Connett documented those concerns in the attached documents. Also attached are reports by Myron Coplan and Dr. Robert Carton, including references to Dr. Johnannes Westendorf's study suggesting fluorosilicates' may adversely affect the nervous system. CDC's response relies heavily on only two very flawed studies.
The first of these is by G. M. Whitford et. al. titled "Pharmacokinetics of ingested fluoride: lack of effect of chemical compound." The authors state, "Three kinds of drinking water were tested: naturally fluoridated water obtained from wells in the State of Paraiba, Brazil, deionized water fluoridated with NaF and water fluoridated with H2SiF6" The latter chemical formula is fluorosilicic acid. The study goes on to say calcium concentrations were analyzed and found to be low (20 mg/L) in the naturally fluoridated water and below the detection limits in the other two solutions. NO AGENCY FLUORIDATES DEIONIZED WATER. In the well water, the calcium had to be in the form of a suspended solid that left fluoride ions free to react topically. The study maximized topical effects without regard to what actually happens in the field.
In contrast, the water arriving at treatment plants often contains chemicals and organics that react with the fluoridating agent. This is the most likely explanation for the wide variations in effectiveness between regions with and without public fluoridation. Myron reported seven studies showing little or no reductions in cavities before and after treatment. The CDC reported a range of 8% to 37% reduction in caries in adolescents. One reason for the variations is the hardness of the water being treated. Hard water, common to Southern California, contains an abundance of calcium and magnesium ions that readily react with fluoride to form suspended solids. Fluoride ions are also consumed by organics. The resulting compounds do not react topically with teeth, leaving ingestion, and its potential problems, as the primary source of fluoridation. At the high end of effectiveness are regions with very soft, pure water drawn from deep wells. That's a critical difference from what is found in San Diego County.
The second study cited by CDC by Finney, et. al., also suffers because of its disconnect between actual applications and the design of the research effort. It excludes chemicals present in public water that can produce different results. The study is a response to Dr. Westendorf regarding the suppression of acetylcholinesterase by intermediates of fluorosilicates. Acetylcholinesterase is a vital compound of the nervous system. The authors conclude the suppression is caused by a shift in acidity, rather than intermediates, when hexafluorosilicate is added. The mechanism is irrelevant if the end result is still harmful. Contrary to CDC's statements, Finney's report does not justify the use of fluorosilicates.
Reverse Osmosis System from Costco ($187.00)
CDC and the California Department of Public Health have rebuffed critics with far more impressive credentials than mine. Since people are not dying in the streets from local fluoridation, its not likely we can do anything in San Diego County to bring improvements. However, there are steps that individuals can take to protect themselves and their families while benefiting from the proper, meaning the topical, use of fluoridation.
- Read the labels on fluoridated toothpaste boxes and follow the recommendations.
- Brush often to remove plaque so as to maximize topical applications.
- Consult a dentist, especially with regard to children under the age of 12 years.
- Have your teeth cleaned at regular intervals recommended by a dentist.
- If you can afford it, install reverse osmosis or distillation filter systems that will remove fluorosilicates and other contaminates.
- Be aware that commercial beverages, especially tea and fruit juices, are prepared using fluoridated water. Tea leaves naturally contain fluorine.
It appears the ratio of the benefits verses risks doesn't support public fluoridation using fluorosilicates in San Diego County. At the worst, some of the concerns expressed in the attachments may be valid.
Barney Mc Entire
My name is Steve Fahrney and I represent the newly formed coalition; San Diegans for Safe Drinking Water. In 1954 San Diegans voted to place a ban on water fluoridation, including a ban on any city official, weather elected or appointed, from adding any fluoride compound to our water. In 1968 San Diegans voted a second time to uphold the ban.
On February 1st, 2011, the City of San Diego began adding Hydrofluosilicic Acid, a fluoride compound, to our tap water. The people of San Diego banned this addition of toxic waste to our water because of the health effects. It causes skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis, osteoporosis, cancer, neurological impairment, and quite possibly contributes to Alzheimer disease. Hip fractures among the elderly become more frequent in fluoridated areas, which often escalates into a life or death situation because the bones will not heal and become infected.
- In 1988, the American Dental Association claimed a 40-60% reduction of cavities from the use of fluoride; they now claim 18-25%: and other supporters claim only 12%.
- In the largest study ever done, records of 39,000 US school children between the ages of 5 and 17, from 84 areas of the country with fluoridated water (1/3rd), partially fluoridated water (1/3rd) or un-fluoridated water (1/3rd) showed no statistically significant difference in the rate of tooth decay in these communities.
- A 1992 study of dental records for 26,000 children in Tucson, Arizona found that tooth decay increased in children as the natural level of fluoride increased from 0.2 to 0.8 ppm.
- Sodium fluoride and silicofluorides are added to 62% of U.S. and 40% of Canadian public water supplies.
- Silicofluorides are 85 times more toxic than naturally-occurring calcium fluoride.
- Fluoride is more toxic than lead and nearly as toxic as arsenic.
- A World Health Organization survey, reports a reduction in the rates of dental decay in western Europe equal to or greater than in the U.S., even though 98% of the western European water supply is un-fluoridated.
- Water fluoridation mass medicates at higher than prescribed levels for young children [0-4yrs]. The scheduled dose for infants under 6 months is NONE.
- 66.4% of children living in “optimally fluoridated” communities have at least one tooth that displays visible signs of fluoride overdose (dental fluorosis)
- The chemicals used in 90% of U.S. water fluoridation programs are industrial-grade hazardous wastes captured in the pollution-control scrubber systems of the phosphate fertilizer industry, called silicofluorides.
- Until the early 1940s, fluorides produced as a by-product of aluminum and fertilizer industries were considered so toxic they could only be sold off for use in Rat Poison & Insecticide.
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that fluoride is not a mineral nutrient; it is a prescription drug.
- Fluoride has never received FDA approval and does not meet the legal requirements of safety and effectiveness necessary for such approval.
- Drinking water fluoridation is opposed by both the Pasteur Institute and the Nobel Institute.
- Article that discusses the difference between sodium fluoride and fluorosilicic acid, a byproduct of the phosphate fertilizer industry: http://www.fluoridealert.org/phosphate/overview.htm
- Fluoridation of water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- ANSI/NSF Standard 60 defines safe levels of chemicals, including for water fluoridation.
- NSF Standard 61 defines materials, fittings, etc to use in water distribution systems and does not mention fluoridation.
Research by Barney McEntire (degree in Chemistry):
Thank you Miriam for that excellent article by Michael Connett. In referring to the separation of fluoride from silica, Connett states, "The resulting silicofluoride complex has, in turn, proved difficult for the industry to separate and purify in an economically-viable process" That should have been a hint, as Dr. Westendorf noted, that silicofluorides have no health benefits. Sodium fluoride, on the other hand, does if it is used in small enough quantities. The way it works in toothpastes, sodium fluoride is surrounded, encapsulated, by phosphate compounds to form a colloid. When you brush, the colloidal structure releases the sodium fluoride which comes in contact with water and immediately forms hydrofluoric acid. It is the hydrofluoric acid that bonds with tooth enamel to form a barrier to bacterial attack.
It is one thing to oppose the misuse of fluoridation and another to oppose fluoridation in general. What will happen if you do, is you'll be confounded with numerous, peer-reviewed, studies pointing to data showing significant reductions in tooth decay where the correct amount of fluoridation has been used. And they will hammer you with data showing tooth decay leads to other illnesses. I suggest you investigate our local water agencies to see what they are using, if anything, to fluoridate our water. I doubt we need fluoridated water when we have fluoridated toothpaste.
You definitely have an issue. All the water districts in San Diego County supply fluoridated water as of this year. The Helix water district has been doing it for the last eight years. However, the preliminary information I received from Paul Clarke of the Padre Dam Water District is that the methods of fluoridation are different. He promised to email me the details. Padre Dam and Helix agencies blend their water from different sources that already do the fluoridation. The City of San Diego does its own fluoridation and they use fluorosilicic acid. I was shocked to read that the California Department of Public Health approved its use. Below is a quote from their website.
"The City of San Diego began fluoridating all its drinking water in February 2011. This also affects the cities of Coronado, Del Mar, and Imperial Beach. The City of San Diego's fluoridation program has been approved by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). This program includes strict monthly reporting to CDPH.
California state law requires water agencies with more than 10,000 water service connections (which includes the City of San Diego) fluoridate their drinking water supplies. However, a public water system is exempt from fluoridating until sufficient outside funding is available. Both the California Attorney General and the City Attorney's Office opined that when sufficient funding became available, San Diego Municipal Code Section 67.0101, which prohibits the City from fluoridation, would be preempted by state law.
In June 2008, the San Diego City Council accepted an offer of funding from the First 5 Commission of San Diego County
for the purpose of fluoridating the City's public water supply. The Commission's offer of up to $3,927,016 is for full funding of the capital costs and up to two years of operating and maintenance expenses necessary to implement fluoridation at each of the City's three water treatment plants. As a result of state law and the availability of funding, the City began fluoridating its public water supply in February 2011.
San Diego supplements naturally-occurring fluoride in our drinking water to meet the standards established by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The fluoride level in our area is 0.7 milligrams per liter (mg/L) meeting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended fluoride dose. The City uses fluorosilicic acid, a chemical certified under ANSI/NSF Standard 60 and approved by CDPH."
I was researching the issue on the internet and came across a study that showed no statistical difference in tooth decay among children between areas that fluoridated and those that didn't fluoridate. The article didn't specify the method of fluoridation, but I'm willing to bet the areas that fluoridated did so using fluorosilicic acid.
Where I'm coming from, besides having one of my degrees in Chemistry, is a toxicology course I took a few years after I joined the Air Pollution Control District after having worked as a Chemical Engineer. Part of my graduate studies in Chemical Engineer involve a course on fluorine chemistry.
I let you know what I learned from Paul Clarke.
Damn! Just what I needed, something else on my plate,
From: "Clarke, Paul" PCLARKE@padre.org
Date: June 14, 2011 11:26:02 AM PDT
Subject: Padre Dam MWD
Thank you for the call regarding fluoride in your drinking water. The California Department of Public Health (DPH) regulates drinking water and sets the levels for the various constituents that are present in your drinking water.
The State DPH sets the Maximum Contaminate Level (MCL) at 2 mg/L for fluoride. The MCL is the level of a contaminant in drinking water below which there is no known or expected risks to health. The optimal fluoride residual level is .7-.8 mg/L. This is the level at which most treatment plants are sending water out to the water distribution systems.
I have attached a few websites for your reading. The first one is a link to Helix Water District. We get a large portion of our water from their water treatment plant in Lakeside. Helix uses fluorosilicic acid, a chemical certified under ANSI/NSF Standard 60 and approved by the California Department of Public Health.
The next link provides some detailed information on fluoride from the CDC.
If you have any further questions feel free to give me a call at the number below. Thank you ,
Padre Dam MWD
From page 15 of EPA Report on Fluoride in Drinking Water: (http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11571.html
The most commonly used additives are silicofluorides, not the fluoride salts used in dental products (such as sodium fluoride and stannous fluoride). Silicofluorides are one of the by-products from the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers. The toxicity database on silicofluorides is sparse and questions have been raised about the assumption that they completely dissociate in water and, therefore, have toxicity similar to the fluoride salts tested in laboratory studies and used in consumer products (Coplan and Masters 2001).
It also has been maintained that, because of individual variations in exposure to fluoride, it is difficult to ensure that the right individual dose to protect against dental caries is provided through large-scale water fluoridation. In addition, a body of information has developed that indicates the major anticaries benefit of fluoride is topical and not systemic (Zero et al. 1992; Rölla and Ekstrand 1996; Featherstone 1999; Limeback 1999a; Clarkson and Mc Loughlin 2000; CDC 2001; Fejerskov 2004). Thus, it has been argued that water fluoridation might not be the most effective way to protect the public from dental caries.
Public health agencies have long disputed these claims. Dental caries is a common childhood disease. It is caused by bacteria that colonize on tooth surfaces, where they ferment sugars and other carbohydrates, generating lactic acid and other acids that decay tooth enamel and form a cavity. If the cavity penetrates to the dentin (the tooth component under the enamel), the dental pulp can become infected, causing toothaches. If left untreated, pulp infection can lead to abscess, destruction of bone, and systemic infection (Cawson et al. 1982; USDHHS 2000). Various sources have concluded that water fluoridation has been an effective method for preventing dental decay (Newbrun 1989; Ripa 1993; Horowitz 1996; CDC 2001; Truman et al. 2002). Water fluoridation is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the 10 great public health achievements in the United States, because of its role in reducing tooth decay in children and tooth loss in adults (CDC 1999). Each U.S. Surgeon General has endorsed water fluoridation over the decades it has been practiced, emphasizing that “[a] significant advantage of water fluoridation is that all residents of a community can enjoy its protective benefit. . . . A person’s income level or ability to receive dental care is not a barrier to receiving fluoridation’s health benefits” (Carmona 2004).
WATER TREATMENT WITH
SILICOFLUORIDES AND LEAD TOXICITY
Roger D. Masters and Myron J. Coplan*
Department of Government, Dartmouth College and Gruter Institute
for Law and Behavioral Research, IL. B. 6222, Hanover, NH 03755 (USA);
Intellequity, 38 Silver Hill, 8 Natick, MA 01760 (USA)
(Received in final form 26 August 1998)
Toxic metals like lead, manganese, copper and cadmium damage neurons and deregulate neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine (which are essential to normal impulse control and learning. Earlier studies show that - controlling for socioeconomic and demographic factors - environmental pollution with lead is a highly significant risk factor in predicting higher rates of crime, attention deficit disorder or hyperactivity, and learning disabilities. Exposure and uptake of lead has been associated with industrial pollution, leaded paint and plumbing systems in old housing, lead residues in soil, dietary habits (such as shortages of calcium and iron), and demographic factors (such as poverty, stress, and minority ethnicity). We report here on an additional "risk co-factor" making lead and other toxic metals in the environment more dangerous to local residents: The use of silicofluorides as agents in water treatment. The two chemicals in question - fluosilicic acid and sodium Silicofluorides - are toxins that, despite claims to the contrary do not dissociate completely and change water chemistry when used under normal water treatment practices. As a result, water treatment with silicofluorides apparently functions to increase the cellular uptake of lead. Data from lead screening of over 280,000 children in Massachusetts indicates that siliconfluoride usage is associated with significant increases in average lead in children's blood as well as percentage of children with blood lead m excess of 10 ug/dL. Consistent with the hypothesized role of silicofluorides as enhancing uptake of lead, whatever the source of exposure, children are especially at risk for higher blood lead in those communities with more old housing or lead in excess of 15 ppb in first draw water samples where silicofluorides are also in use. Preliminary findings from county-level data in Georgia confirm that Silicofluorides usage is associated with higher levels of lead in children's blood, In both Massachusetts and Georgia, moreover, behaviors associated with lead nurotoxicity are more frequent in communities using silicofluorides than in comparable localities that do not use these chemicals. Because there has been insufficient animal or human testing of Silicofluorides treated water. Further study of the effect of silicofluorides is needed to clarify the extent to which these chemicals are risk co-factors for lead uptake and the hazardous effects it produces.
How can we turn this around?
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Summary of articles submitted (Add | All):
Number of topics: 11
- (M1581) Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water -- Rob Stein, National Public Radio, 2015-04-29
- (M1556) Water Fluoridation Linked to Higher ADHD Rates -- Douglas Main, News Week, 2015-03-10
- (M1615) Water fluoridation for the prevention of dental caries (Review) -- Iheozor-Ejiofor Z, Worthington HV, Walsh T, O’Malley L, Clarkson JE, Macey R, Alam R, Tugwell P, Welch V, Glenny AM, The Cochrane Collaboration, 2015-02-17
- (M1508) Harvard Study Confirms Fluoride Reduces Children's IQ -- Dr. Joseph Mercola, Huffington Post, 2013-01-28
- (M1404) Fluoridegate -- A Documentary -- Dr. David Kennedy, , 2013-01-17
- (M1618) Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis -- Anna L. Choi, Guifan Sun, Ying Zhang, and Philippe Grandjean, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 2012-10 Includes correspondence after publication
- (M1619) This One Spice Prevents Fluoride From Destroying Your Brain -- , realfarmacy.com, 2012-04
- (M1613) Second Thoughts about Fluoride -- Dan Fagin, Scientific American, 2008-01
- (M1620) Children who live in a fluorosis area have 5 times higher odds of developing low IQ than those who live in a nonfluorosis area or a slight fluorosis area. -- Qin-Qing Tang, Jun Du, Heng-Hui Ma, Shao-Jun Jiang, Xiao-Jun Zhou, greenmedinfo.com, 2008-01-01
- (M1614) Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards -- Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water, National Research Council, 2006
- (M1415) HEALTH RISKS FROM DRINKING DEMINERALISED WATER -- , National Institute of Public Health Czech Republic,
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- World Health Organization data shows that dental health improved for all countries regardless of water fluoridation.: