In media reports today for Wee Week, Kidney Health Australia’s ( KHA ) national Medical Director Tim Mathew, said that about 1.7 million Australians over the age of 25 had kidney disease.
The KHA doctor also said it was estimated only a quarter of those had been diagnosed.
Australians, particularly Aboriginal Australians, have a high rate of kidney disease and diabetes- which can lead to kidney disease.
In view of this, Queenslanders For Safe Water Air Food Inc had written to the Bligh government numerous times about the risks that fluoridated water would pose to people with kidney disease.
Australia is a heavily fluoridated country, in a world where most countries do not fluoridate their public water supplies.
Despite Australia’s high rate of kidney disease, and the high rate of water fluoridation, little or no consideration has been made of the cumulative effects of drinking fluoridated water on people with kidney disease.
Ingested fluoride is difficult to excrete from the body. With good kidney function, only 50% is excreted in 24 hours. People, who have poor or failing kidney function, will excrete less fluoride and retain more. While constantly being exposed to fluoridated water, fluoride that cannot be excreted accumulates in people’s bodies – particularly in the bones.
The NHMRC Australian Drinking Water Guidelines (2004 and 2011) states:
“ People with kidney impairment have a lower margin of safety for fluoride intake. Limited data indicate that their fluoride retention may be up to three times normal ”
Additionally.. “Fluoride is absorbed quickly following ingestion. It is not metabolised, but diffuses passively into all body compartments. About 40% is excreted in urine within 9 hours and about 50% over 24 hours. Fluoride has an affinity for mineralising tissues of the body, in young people bone and teeth, in older people bone”
In 2007 the NHMRC released their privately contracted review of fluoridation, but despite the tender contract requiring the cumulative effects on people with kidney disease be investigated, this was not reported on in the NHMRC review.
In 2011 Kidney Health Australia reiterated their 2007 position, “ there is consistent evidence that impairment of kidney function results in changes to the way in which fluoride is metabolised and eliminated from the body resulting in an increased burden of fluoride”
Yet, despite these acknowledgements, no studies have ever done in Australia looking at the cumulative effects of fluoridated water on people with kidney impairment.
The NHMRC did not investigate this in their 2007 review; even though Freedom of Information documents reveal that the private review company was required to.
In 2009, a FOI request determined that no risk assessments or environmental impact statements had been done by the Qld govt for water fluoridation. Qld Health has recently confirmed that no health impact assessments for water fluoridation have been done.
We call upon Premier Newman to end the practice of forced fluoridation in Queensland, particularly in view of the high and climbing rate of kidney disease, the total lack of studies on fluoride’s cumulative effects and the total lack of any health impact assessments.