BENNINGTON – Five years ago, if you asked Dr. Paul Connett about the fluoridation of community water supplies, Connett would’ve told you that he didn’t want or need another issue with which to contend. But now is another story, where Connett vehemently opposes fluoridation because of its negative effects on the human pineal gland, on the skeletal system and on the brain.
“Fluoridation is the silliest and most dangerous thing we have ever done,” said Connett at a public meeting on “Why we should not have fluoride in our water” at the Bennington Free Library on Saturday afternoon.
Connett, a professor of chemistry from St. Lawrence College, came armed with a bounty of information and scientific studies as to the dangers, potential and actual, of fluoride on the human physiological system, including a list of 50 scientifically proven reasons to oppose fluoridation.
One of Connett’s top 50 arguments against fluoride is that sodium fluoride is an extremely toxic substance. One teaspoon, Connett said, is enough to kill a human being.
Fluoride has been shown to accumulate in the pineal gland, a small region of the brain that acts as a biological clock, and triggers puberty prematurely, Connett said.
He also noted that 50 percent of ingested fluoride ends up in the bones, causing skeletal fluorosis, where it interferes with cartilage, ligaments, and tendons. The symptoms are identical to osteo-arthritis, said Connett. Although the fluoride hardens bones, it also makes them much more brittle torsionally, a serious issue for older women in their wrists and hips.
Connett spoke on the possibility that fluoride increases the chances for osteosarcoma, bone cancer, in young males citing research done by the New Jersey Department of Health in 1992.
He raised questions of hyperactivity and hypoactivity in animals dosed pre- and post-natally, and claimed that fluoride can cause IQ deficits and is a facilitator of Alzheimer’s disease. Connett pointed out a potential danger fluoride may pose for people with hyper or hypoactive thyroid conditions as well as those with normal thyroids.
“If it was needed, it would be in breast milk,” said Connett. “Breast milk has 100 times lower levels of fluoride than in drinking water. That’s 100 times more fluoride than God intended. Who’s right, the A.D.A., or God?”
“They’re not food grade chemicals. It’s industrial waste … this toxic waste cannot be dumped in the ocean because of international law,” said Connett. “We’re looking at a method to dispose of industrial waste in the public water supply.”
According to Connett, the fluoride that would be put into Bennington’s town water supply comes from the wet scrubbing systems of the superphosphate fertilizer industry. These chemicals are classified as hazardous wastes contaminated with toxic metals and trace amounts of radioactive isotopes. Connett said that these hazardous wastes have not been tested comprehensively, whereas the tests that have been done have used pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride.
“There’s one school of thought that says: Medication requires full consent. That’s medical ethics,” said Connett. “Why should we do something for 96 percent of the population at the expense of 4 percent of the population that it can harm? You can’t control the dose. We’ve never used the public water supply to administer medication.”
According to Connett, fluoride is not an essential nutrient and no disease has ever been linked to a fluoride deficiency. Humans can have perfectly good teeth without fluoride, said Connett.
Connett cited an early test of fluoride that took place in the New York communities of Kingston and Newburgh beginning in 1945 and ending in 1995. In this test, Newburgh was the town dosed with fluoridated water, and Kingston was used as the unfluoridated control group. After 50 years of fluoridation, the children of both towns did not demonstrate any measurable difference in tooth decay. In fact, Connett pointed out that the teeth in unfluoridated Kingston were slightly better.
“Tooth decay has been on a steady decline even without fluoridation,” Connett said. He cited examples in Germany which also showed the same steady decline without fluoridation.
According to Connett, fluoridation of Bennington’s water supply would result in saving 0.6 out of 128 permanent tooth surfaces in the adult mouth. “For this,” Connett asked, “we’re going to tear up science and violate ethics? This is utterly preposterous.”
Connett also noted that when pro-fluoridation propaganda first emerged early on in the 1900s, people were told that “you needed to swallow it before your teeth erupted.” He said it has since been proven that the benefits of fluoride are only topical, not systemic.
“If the benefits are topical, and the risks are systemic, the last thing you want to do is swallow it,” Connett said. “The last thing you want to do is add it to the water. If you believe in fluoride, use fluoridated toothpaste and spit it out.”
Connett also maintains that fluoridation causes dental fluorosis, or brown splotching of the teeth. “This is not cosmetic,” said Connett. “It’s a warning signal.” This, Connett said, is the poisoning of an enzyme systemically.
The first opponents were biochemists, Connett said, because they knew it was an enzyme poisoner. “What about the enzymes you can’t see?” asked Connett.
According to Connett, the pro-fluoridation media machine has spun the story that all anti-fluoride activists are crackpots or somehow insane. To this, he showed a list of 14 Nobel Prize winners who have outright opposed or expressed reservations about fluoridation.
At the outset of his lecture, Connett challenged any comers to debate him on the issue of fluoridation, but there were no takers. “I am prepared to debate any expert that they can find in this country,” Connett said, “because I know they cannot find anyone to debate.”
“They’re saying that you have to take it systemically to dose topically,” Connett said. “It’s a bunch of spit.”
A graduate of Cambridge University, Connett holds a Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. He joined the faculty at St. Lawrence in 1983, and has received several awards for his work. Connett is a founder of the Fluoride Action Network, and contributes regularly to the organization’s web site at www.fluoridealert.org.