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Fluoridation, Cancer: Did Researchers Ask the Right Questions?
WHEN HEALTH OFFICIALS decided to add fluoride to the water supply of Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1945, they plunged ahead despite the lack of a rigorous, large-scale study of the risks and benefits. And for most of the next 60 years, fluoridation research has gone pretty much like that. It has not been science’s finest […]
A Critique of Gelberg’s Study on Fluoride/Osteosarcoma in New York
The case-control study by Gelberg, published first as a PhD dissertation and then later in two peer-reviewed journals, may represent the most substantive study on fluoride/osteosarcoma previous to Bassin’s 2001 analysis. In assessing Gelberg’s data, we were at first struck by the existence of several notable errors in both the thesis and papers. While these errors do raise questions about the study, our primary concern with Gelberg’s work relates to the methods she used to analyze her data.
Fluoride/Osteosarcoma Link Is Biologically Plausible
The “biological plausiblility” of a fluoride-osteosarcoma link is widely acknowledged in the scientific literature. The biological plausibility centers around three facts: 1) Bone is the principal site of fluoride accumulation, particularly during the growth spurts of childhood; 2) Fluoride is a mutagen when present at sufficient concentrations, and 3) Fluoride can stimulate the proliferation of osteoblasts (bone-forming cells).
Fluoride’s Mutagenicity: The “Oral Health Research Institute’s” Studies
Although many in vitro and in vivo studies have detected mutagenic effects from fluoride exposure, the Oral Health Research Institute at Indiana University’s School of Dentistry has repeatedly failed to find any such effect in multiple studies on the subject.
Fluoride & Osteosarcoma: A Timeline
Several human epidemiological studies have found an association between fluoride in drinking water and the occurrence of osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in young males. These studies are consistent with the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) cancer bioassay which found that fluoride-treated male rats had an dose-dependent increase in osteosarcoma. Although a number of studies have failed to detect an association between fluoride and osteosarcoma, none of these studies have measured the risk of fluoride at specific windows in time, which based on recent results, is the critical question with respect to fluoride and osteosarcoma.
NTP Bioassay on Fluoride/Cancer (1990)
In 1977, the U.S. Congress requested that animal studies be conducted to determine if fluoride can cause cancer. The result of the Congressional request was an extensive animal study conducted in the 1980s by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) and published in 1990. The main finding of NTP’s study was a dose-dependent increase in osteosarcoma (bone cancer) among the fluoride-treated male rats.
Interview with EPA’s Dr. William Marcus on NTP’s Fluoride/Cancer Study
The following is an interview with Dr. William Marcus, Senior Science Advisor in EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, concerning the National Toxicology Program’s animal study on fluoride & cancer.
Fluoride & Liver Cancers in NTP Bioassay
On October 28, 1988, Battelle Columbus Laboratories submitted its Final Report to the NTP concerning the results of the Mouse study. The principal finding of Battelle’s report was that a dose-dependent increase of a rare liver cancer (hepatocholangiocarcinoma) had occurred in the fluoride-treated male and female mice.
New Report Bolsters Fluoride-Cancer Link
The evidence that fluoride may cause cancer has just become substantially stronger. In the May 19th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a 12-year follow-up study of workers in the cryolite industry confirms earlier reports of a link between occupational fluoride exposure and bladder & lung cancer.
Interview with EPA’s Dr. William Hirzy About Fluoride & Cancer
The following is an excerpt of Michael Connett’s interview with Dr. J. William Hirzy, Senior Vice President of EPA’s Headquarters Union in Washington DC. The interview took place on July 3, 2000, a couple days after Hirzy testified before the US Senate calling for an independent review of the tumor slides from the National Toxicology Program’s bioassay for fluoride. […]