In a recent "Oral Health Begins At Birth" ad, First Five of Sacramento used disinformation to promote water fluoridation. The eight page ad was seen in the mid-August 2012 Sacramento News & Review. First Five was born out of Prop 10, using tax on tobacco to fund childhood health programs.
In the first paragraph Mike Blount laments the lack of dental care in California. Blount goes on to claim water fluoridation is an "investment toward the health of area residents." He then makes broad claims of the supposed effectiveness of the program and its effect on tooth decay. Another story dramatizes a seven month old treated for dental decay, including statements by his mother on fluoride. Also seen is an info-graphic titled "How Does Fluoride Work?" Here we also have claims of fluoridated water supposed positive effect on bones. Also the delivery of the fluoride drug is outlined. Finally, a smiling cartoon character asks "Are you receiving fluoridated water?"
We will focus on what First Five is advertising here (and on its web site) and leave the moral and ethical issues of drugging the population without consent for the lawyers. If you are interested in the countless studies of the harm of fluoride drugs to the rest of your body go here. Let's take these claims one by one, and look at the facts. CLICK to download a copy of the ad.
SAFE FOR BABIES?
The unnamed dentist here is prescribing fluoride to a 7 month old. But in fact fluoridation is not medically recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) or Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for babies below 12 months of age.
HEALTH AND WELL BEING
How can we ignore negative effects of fluoride on the whole body? Recent studies link fluoride to bone cancer, bone fractures, thyroid disorder, lowered IQ and tooth damage among other things. What kind of health investment puts one area above all others?
Too much fluoride damages your teeth. Yes, you have seen the first visible signs of an overexposure to fluoride. White spots on teeth is called Dental Fluorosis. Teeth impacted by fluorosis have visible discoloration, ranging from white spots to brown and black stains. According to the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), 41% of American children now have some form of dental fluorosis, with 2 to 4% of children having moderate to severe stages (CDC 2005). We are concerned that dental fluorosis in a child may signal that damage to other tissues has also occurred. That damage may be less visible and less obvious but possibly far more serious.
The discoloration induced by fluorosis - particularly in its advanced forms - can cause significant embarrassment and stress to the impacted child, resulting in adverse effects on esteem, emotional health, and career success. The only one benefiting here is your dentist with costly office visits for you.
The bones are effected in three ways; Skeletal fluorosis, brittleness and cancer.
Excessive exposure to fluoride causes an arthritic bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. In its early stages, is a difficult disease to diagnose, and can be readily confused with various forms of arthritis. In the advanced stages, fluorosis can resemble a multitude of bone/joint diseases, including: osteosclerosis, renal osteodystrophy, DISH, spondylosis, osteomalacia, osteoporosis, and secondary hyperparathyroidism.
Studies on human populations consuming fluoride in drinking water, have found an association between dental fluorosis and increased bone fracture in children; and between long-term consumption of fluoridated water and increased hip fracture in the elderly. According to the US National Research Council, "The weight of evidence indicates that, although fluoride might increase bone volume, there is less strength per unit volume."
As acknowledged by the U.S. National Toxicology Program there is a "biological plausibility" of a link between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma (a rare type of Bone Cancer). In addition to its biological plausibility, there is now a substantive body of evidence indicating that fluoride can in fact induce osteosarcomas in both animals and humans. Most notably, a recent national case control study conducted by scientists at Harvard University found a significant relationship between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma among boys, particularly if exposed to fluoridated water between the ages of 6 and 8 (the mid-childhood growth spurt).
FLUORIDE & CAVITIES
First Five is yet another organization relying on 50 year old endorsements. Studies from 50 years ago do not pass muster under today's standards for safety or effectiveness. Research from the same era also "proved" cigarettes don't cause cancer. Even the AMA - American Dental Association concedes that no studies were done to determine any side effects caused by fluoridation.
There has never been a study of the results of fluoridation of the quality required by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). No study involving randomized clinical trials & double blind testing of this unapproved drug. If Water Fluoridation works at reducing cavities, why do non-fluoridating countries (97% of Europe) have essentially the same levels of cavities as the few fluoridating ones? (see chart from home page)
One of the biggest factors that mars many studies claiming to show a benefit from fluoridated water is the failure to account for income levels. Data by the Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS) shows a strong relationship between income level & dental health. (see chart from home page) A quality diet and health care benefits the whole body.
In the ad, an unnamed dentist lists a number of possible causes of tooth decay. But the mother is never asked the simple question; Did the child go to bed with a bottle? Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD) also called nursing caries is caused by babies sucking on sugary beverages for hours on end, leading to decay and tooth extraction under anesthesia. Fluoridation cannot prevent this
A NUTRIENT - WHO SAYS?
The mother in the story mentions missing "nutrients." This is an interesting statement. The fact is no disease will result from depriving man or animals of fluoride. Also consider the reported fluoride concentrations in mothers milk of 0.004~0.04ppm These levels are much lower than the average level used in fluoridation programs (0.6~1.2ppm) Studies have shown that increasing the mothers fluoride intake results in little or no change in the concentration in her milk. The seven year old's mother's claim is interesting because proponents have tried to muddle the waters in the argument of violation of informed consent and unacceptability of "mass medication" by insisting that fluoride is not a medicine or drug, but a nutrient.
HOW DOES IT "WORK?"
First Five says it works systemically by drinking it down. But the current consensus is that fluoride's benefit (whatever it may be) comes from topical contact with teeth after the teeth have erupted into the mouth. As the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stated in 1999:
"fluoride prevents dental caries predominately after eruption of the tooth into the mouth, and its actions primarily are topical for both adults and children." - The CDC repeated this position in 2001, affirming that "fluoride's predominant effect is post-eruptive and topical." LINK
ARE YOU GETTING IT?
In reality it is hard to avoid fluoride considering it is in many processed food and drinks. The total fluoride exposure from all sources must be considered when determined the drug dosage. This dosage is something overlooked by fluoride promoters.
Many young children swallow over 50% of the tooth paste used, particularly if they use candy-flavored varieties. Research has shown that some children swallow more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended from all sources combined. Other sources include processed foods made with fluoridated water, fluoride-containing pesticides, bottled teas, fluorinated pharmaceuticals, teflon pans, and mechanically deboned chicken. Taken together, the glut of fluoride sources in the modern diet has created a toxic cocktail, one that has caused a dramatic increase in dental fluorosis (see above) over the past 60 years. One example is wine and grape juice. Wine and grape juice made in the U.S. have high levels of fluoride pesticide. The problem with fluoride, therefore, is not that children are receiving too little, but that they are receiving too much.
CDC ADMITS HARMS OF FLUORIDATION
When First Five was contacted about the sources for the data in the ad, I was directed to the CDC web site and found admission of harm.
Q #20. What are the effects of excess levels of fluoride and why are they different for children and adults different? LINK - http://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/faqs/index.htm#overexposure1
A: ... increased likelihood of bone fractures, and may result in effects on bone leading to pain and tenderness. ....because it impacts teeth while they are still in formative phases. . ....have an increased chance of developing pits in the tooth enamel, along with a range of cosmetic effects to teeth. (Fluorosis)
The CDC says bone and tooth damage are the result of excess fluoridation. It is only logical that if these tissues are effected, then others areas of the body are as well.
WHAT AGENCY IS IN CHARGE OF FLUORIDATION?
I am wondering why I was referred to the CDC by First Five Sacramento on this. The CDC promotes fluoridation but;
- Is not overseeing the safety of the program
- Does not vouch for the safety of the chemicals used
- Accepts no other liability in the matter
We also found no ownership of fluoridation at the American Dental Association (ADA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or the National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF). In fact, no federal agency accepts liability for the "safe levels" or the "safety of the chemicals" it recommends for fluoridation.
The suggestion that "water fluoridation is safe for all" is an irresponsible position that clearly deserves rebuttal. It is clearly not for babies, dialysis patients, thyroid disease patients, or anyone that consumes a larger than average amount of soda/tea/juice/water etc. But is it for anyone at all if as the CDC tells us "you will get brittle aching bones" if you get too much over the years? Just how are we supposed to monitor our dosage of the drug? Not only do doctors have no way of monitoring your intake of fluoride, they do not routinely test your blood levels, which do not reflect bone, brain, & thyroid fluoride levels.
The only truthful thing the City of Sacramento has said about Water Fluoridation is that over 99% of it is flushed unused down the drain. (according to Sac. Dept. of Utilities - LINK) Tell us again how this is an effective program.
Sacramento is burdened with water fluoridation not by choice, but due to industry lobbyists. For how this happened see the story.