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Lifesavers Guide to Flouridation
Risks/Benefits Evaluated in this Question and Answer Report
[Dr. Yiamouyiannis received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island. He is recognized as an international authority on the biological effects of fluoride and has served as Science Consultant on fluoridation in the United States and abroad
What is flouridation?
Flouridation is the addition of fluoride to the public water systems, at the rate of about 1 part fluoride for every million parts of water. Industries stuck with fluoride as a waste-product originally promoted it as a means of reducing tooth decay
What is fluoride?
It is more poisonous than lead and just slightly less poisonous than arsenic. It has been used as a pesticide for the control of mice, rats, and other small pests. A spokesman from Procter and Gamble, the makers of Crest, acknowledges that a family-sized tube of fluoride toothpaste "theoretically, at least, contains enough fluoride to kill a small child. " While no one is going to die from drinking one glass of fluoridated water, just as no one will die from smoking one cigarette, it is the longer-term chronic effects of glass after glass of fluoridated water that takes its toll in human health - and life
What are some of these harmful effects?
According to our estimates, fluoridation is responsible for the chronic poisoning of over 130,000,000 Americans, of a substantial number of the 40,000,000 Americans suffering from arthritis, of over 8,000,000 American children who are so badly poisoned that their teeth are discolored, of about 2,000,000 Americans who suffer allergic or allergic-like reactions from fluoride, of about 35,000 Americans who die from fluoridation each year, and of about 10,000 Americans who die from fluoridation-induced cancers each year
Have these harmful effects been proven?
Yes. In a court case in Pennsylvania lasting 20 days, it was proven that fluoridation is harmful. The presiding judge, John Pl. Flaherty, said he was "compellingly convinced" of the harmful effects of fluoridation. In an Illinois court case lasting 40 days, Judge Ronald A. Niemann ruled that fluoridation "created a risk... of serious health hazards". Allergic-type reactions have been reported by top physicians, including Nobel Prize winner Dr. William Murphy. With regard to the amount of fluoride found in a quart of fluoridated water, the Physlcians' Desk Reference points out: "Dental fluorosis (mottling) may result... In hypersensitive individuals, fluorides occasionally cause skin eruptions such as atopic dermatites, eczema, or urticaria. Gastric distress, headache, and weakness have also been reported. These hypersensitive reactions usually disappear promptly after discontinuation of the fluoride
Are there any visible symptoms of people poisoned by fluoride?
Yes. About 20-35% of the people growing up in artificially fluoridated areas experience a disturbance of tooth development so great that the resulting damage is visible to the naked eye. This disease is referred to as dental fluorosis. In mild cases, it appears as the chalky-white area on the tooth. In more advanced cases, teeth become yellow, brown, or black and the tips break off. Poorly nourished children consuming water with as little as 0.4 ppm fluoride have exhibited dental fluorosis. Even the 1992 Canadian Dental Association's Proposed Guidelines recommends: "Fluoride supplements should not be recommended for children less than three years old." Fluoride damages teeth by interfering with the proper formation of collagen and collagen-like proteins in the toth during the tooth formative stages. These proteins also comprise the structural component for our skin, ligaments, muscles, cartilage, and bone. Fluoridated water leads to a breakdown of these proteins
Does that mean that fluoride will also cause bone damage?
Yes. In 1990,1991, and1992, the Journal of the American Medical Association published three separate articles linking increased hip fracture rates to fluoridated areas. Another article from the March 22, 1990 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine found that fluoride treatment of osteoporosis causes bone fractures. Osteoporosis is one of the first signs of poisoning due to fluoride in the water. As little as 0.7 part per million fluoride in the water has been associated with skeletal fluorosis. In addition to bone damage, reports of premature wrinkled skin and arthritis, as wess as the possibility of a greater frequencly of torn ligaments and tendons in fluoridated areas result from the effect of fluoride on collagen
Does fluoride cause genetic damage?
Yes. A study by Procter and Gamble showed that as little as half the amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water supplies resulted in a sizable and significant increase in genetic damage. Researchers from around the world have also shown that fluoride causes genetic damage. Substances which cause genentic damage are mutagens, and it is generally agreed that mutagenic activity of such substances is a warning of possible cancer-causing activity
Are there studies showing a link between fluoride and cancer?
Yes. In animal studies, water fluoridated at 1 part per million has been shown to increase tumor growth rate by 25%, to produce melanotic tumors, and to transform normal cells into cancer cells. The ability of fluoride to transorm normal cells has been confirmed by Argonne National Laboratories, which also found that fluoride increases the cancer-causing ability of other chemicals. Battelle Research Institute conducted a two-year study on rats and mice and found an iron-clad link between fluoride exposure and an extremely rare form of liver cancer, hepatocholangiocarcinomas, in fluoride-treated male and female mice. On April 11, 1989, Battelle released additional results which showed an increase in oral precancerous, tumorous, and cancerous cells as a result of fluoride exposure in both male and female rats. Similar results regarding oral squamous precancerous cells and bone tumors from fluoride exposure were reported by Proctor and Gamble. Battelle also found osteosarcomas in male rats fed higher amounts of fluoride
In human studies, fluoride has been shown to transform white blood cells into cells "suggestive of reticuloendothelial malignancy"; gastric cancer and lung cancer have also been associated with fluoride exposure in humans
If I live in a fluoridated community are my chances of getting cancer greater?
Yes. Dr. Dean Burk, former Chief Chemist of the National Cancer Institute and Dr. John Yiamouyiannis showed that 10,000 or more fluoridation-linked cancer deaths occur yearly in the United States. While numerous studies have been cited to refute the Burk-Yiamouyiannis study, most of these studies, after corrections for errors and omissions, show an increase in cancer death rate in the fluoridated areas. From 1991-1993, the National Cancer Institute, the New Jersey Department of Health, and the Safe Water Foundation all found that the incidence of osteosarcoma was far higher in men exposed to fluoridated water as compared to those who were not
But how can such a small amount of fluoride have such harmful effects?
The amount of fluoride used to fluoridate public water systems leads to soft tissue fluoride levels which damage biologically important chemicals, such as enzymes, leading to a wide range of diseases. A study published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society provided the chemical evidence to support this view. Thus the editors of New Scientist concluded: "some of the charges that are laid at its [fluoride's] door - genetic damage, birth defects, cancer and allergy response - may arise from fluoride interference after all. " More recent findings lend further support to this statement
Does fluoride weaken the immune system?
Yes. During a court case in Scotland, studies by both proponents and opponents of fluoridation confirmed that fluoride does weaken the immune system. In 1985, Japanese researchers confirmed that as little as 10% of the amound of fluoride used to fluoridate public water supplies is capable of weakening the immune system. In 1987, Russian investigators confirmed suppression of the immune system among children drinking fluoride in their water. This fluoride-induced damage to the immune system can lead to chronic problems such as colds which never seem to go away, to cancer in individuals whose immune system is too weak to arrest the growth of "precancerous" cells, and to other immune deficiency diseases
Doesn't fluoridation reduce tooth decay?
The largest U.S. study examining the effect of fluoridation on tooth decay found that fluoridation does not reduce decay in permanent teeth. Examination of the dental records of 39,207 schoolchildren, ages 5-17, from 84 geographical areas around the United States showed the number of decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth per child was 2.0 in floridated areas, 2.0 in nonfluoridated areas and 2.2 in partially fluoridated areas. Other recent large-scale studies by public health dentists in New Zealand, Canada, and the United States have also reported similar tooth decay rates in fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas
Dr John Colquhoun, former Chief Dental Officer of the Department of Health for Auckland, New Zealand, investigated tooth decay statistics from 60,000 12- to 13-year-old children; he found no significant difference in tooth decay rates between fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas in New Zealand. In the major cities of New Zealand, the number of decayed, missing, and filled permanent teeth per child was 2.7 in fluoridated areas and 2.4 in nonfluoridated areas. Because of this and the damage he found fluoride was doing to teeth (dental fluorosis), he has begun campaigning against fluoridation
The October 1987 issue of the journal of the Canadian Dental Association published an article admitting that fluoridation isn't doing the job that dentists have been claiming it could do. Accoring to the article: "Survey results in British Columbia with only 11% of the population using fluoridates water show lower DMFT [tooth decay] rates than provinces with 40-70 percent of the population drinking fluoridated water" and "school districts recently reporting the highest caries-free rates in the province were totally unfluoridated. "
In 1989, researchers from Missouri examined the tooth decay records of rural 6th grade schoolchildren and again found no significant difference in tooth decay rates between those living in fluoridated areas (who averaged 2.2 decayed, missing, and filled teeth per child) and those living in nonfluoridated areas (who averaged 2.0 decayed, missing, and filled teeth per child).
And the teeth of people drinking low-fluoride water aren't falling out?
No. In primitive societies whose drinking water contains negligible amounts of fluoride, such as the Otomi Indians in Mexico, the Bedouins in Israel, and the Ibos in Nigeria, 80-90% of the people go throughout life without tooth decay. Looking at their diets, we find that their consumption of refined carbohydrates, such as white sugar, is extremely low. It is evident that proper diet - not fluoridation - is necessary for good health.
What people will be hurt most by water fluoridation?
People on poor diets and inpoor health, older people, people with or having a predisposition toward kidney disease (especially people on kidney machines), diabetes (and hypoglycemia), and hypothyroidism.
What other sources of fluoride should I stay away from?
1. Fluoride treatments at the dentist's office use 5,000 to 20,000 ppm fluoride, which is hazardous, even deadly (consider the January 20, 1979 New York Times headline: "$750,000 Given in Child's Death in Fluoride Case" about a 3-year-old killed by a fluoride treatment at the dentist's office).
2. Fluoride toothpastes use 1,000-1,500 ppm fluoride, which can cause gum damage, sickness - even death if a small child consumes a family-sized tube.
3. Fluoride mouthrinses sold in stores or administered in schools containing 500 ppm, will often cause sickness - and can in rare cases cause death.
4. Fluoride tablets or drops usually prescribed for children or infants have as bad and sometimes worse effects than fluoridated water.
5. Fluoride tablets for the treatment of osteoporosis contain about 50 times the amount of fluoride as the children's tablets and are very hazardous.
6. Foods contain fluoridated water which has been added during foold processing (for example soft drinks, freeze-dried coffee). Concern over the safety of fluoridated water has led infant formula manufacturers to remove fluoride from the water they use to make their formulas.
7. The use of fluoridation for the preparation of foods (such as rice, spaghetti, of coffee) in which the water used is consumed with the food.
The lack of effectiveness and the dangers of using fluoride from the above sources is well documented.
Is there any danger from malfunctioning fluoridation equipment?
Yes. In 1979, 5,000 people were poisoned when up to 50 ppm fluoride was dumped into the Annapolis, Maryland public water system. A number of other spills have also been reported.
If all this is true, why are some pushing fluoridation more than ever?
In my opinion, the conclusion is unescapable. Officials of the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Dental Association, and Procter and Gamble, as well as others, are more concerned with their reputations than they are about the health and welfare of the very people they claim to serve. In 1983, one member of a blue ribbon committee called together by the Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service states that "You would have to have rocks in your head, in my opinion, to allow your child more than 2 ppm [fluoride in their drinking water]." Added another member: "I think we all agree on that." Their conclusions were published by the U.S. Public Health Service as recommending that up to 4 ppm fluoride should be allowed in the drinking water.
In 1980, the U.S. Public Health Service contracted with Battelle Research Institute to do studies to find out whether fluoride could cause cancer. When, in 1988, the results showed that fluoride caused a rare form of liver cancer, oral cancers, and possibly bone cancer, the U.S. Public Health Service covered up the most significant results and only allowed that fluoride might cause bone cancer. Then, in attempt to water this down even further, Under Secretary of Health James Mason assigned former FDA commissioner Frank Young to reevalualte fluoride to whitewash this already watered-down conclusion. Despite additional information that they collected from the National Cancer Institute that bone cancer rates were almost 50% higher in men living in fluoridated areas and data from Procter and Gamble showing a dramatic increase in bone tumors as a result of fluoride exposure, they claimed that fluoride did not cause cancer.
Procter and Gamble has tried to cover up studies that they performed showing that as little as one-half the amound of fluoride added to public water supplies causes genetic damage and that fluoride causes tumors and precancerous growths. In 1993, the National Academy of Sciences admitted that up to 80% of the children living in fluoridated areas have dental fluorosis and that "fluorosis is twice as prevalent among African-American children" and that there are a number of studies showing that fluoride causes genetic damage and transforms normal cells into cancer cells - and then gave fluoridation a clean bill of health. Similarly, a 1993 study put out by the U.S. Public Health Service admitted: "in cultured human and rodent cells, the weight of the evidence leads to the conclusion that fluoride exposure results in increased chromosome aberrations [genetic damage]", and then tried to discount the importance of their findings.