A district council that has been ordered to fluoridate its water supply by the New Zealand government is resisting the move, citing the USA’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) report that prenatal exposure to fluoride, at a level previously said to be safe, increases the risk of neurotoxic brain damage, as measured in IQ scores.
The Rotorua Lakes Council, responding to public opposition, questioned “the safety and legality behind a government directive to fluoridate the city’s water supply.”
“Some had expressed concern after reading overseas reports on the impact of fluoridation, which the council put to the ministry. One of these was a United States National Toxicology Program systemic review of fluoride exposure and neurodevelopmental and cognitive effects,” reported RNZ.
It was a rare occurrence in which concern for neurotoxicity has been acknowledged by a government body and reported in the press. The NTP report findings remain unreported by the daily press and television networks in the USA over four months after their release.
Council officers noted in a letter to the Ministry of Health, “There is a recent Systemic Review of the state of the scientific research on Fluoridation carried out by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), and the Public Health Service U.S. Department of Health and Human Services…. This review highlights some concerns around the safety of fluoride in water supplies, and was released in May 2022. A further, updated version of this review was finalised in September 2022 and released in March 2023. This information does not appear to have been included in the Ministry of Health scientific background available to the public, and was not available when they made their directive to Councils to fluoridate community water supplies. The Systemic Review by the NTP shows strong links in the research around exposure to fluoride and neurodevelopmental and cognitive health effects.”
In response the Ministry stated that it was not convinced “of neurological effects at fluoride concentrations achieved by fluoridation of water supplies in Aotearoa New Zealand.”
A Texas town of 22,000 north of Austin has announced that it will cease water fluoridation on December 1.
“After careful consideration and thorough evaluation of scientific research, public opinion, and the potential health and environmental impacts, we have concluded that it is in the best interest of our community to discontinue the practice of water fluoridation effective December 1, 2023,” wrote Shean R. Dalton, General Manager of the Brushy Creek Municipal Utility District September 1.
The General Manager noted the mounting body of evidence that raised concern over the health effects of fluoridation.
“Extensive scientific studies have raised questions about the long-term effects and potential risks associated with water fluoridation. While some studies suggest benefits, others indicate potential adverse health effects, especially in vulnerable populations such as infants, individuals with kidney disease, and those with specific medical conditions,” he wrote.
Several other reasons for ending were also highlighted by Dalton, including:
“Personal Choice: We respect the individual’s right to make informed decisions about their health and the health of their families. By discontinuing water fluoridation, we allow individuals to exercise their autonomy and decide whether to obtain fluoride from alternative sources such as dental products or dietary choices.
Cost-effectiveness: Maintaining a water fluoridation program involves substantial financial resources. By eliminating water fluoridation, we can allocate those funds to other public health initiatives that have proven efficacy and can benefit a wider range of individuals.”
Reflecting a growing sentiment among water managers, Dalton recommended consumers consult healthcare providers and dental professionals to address their oral health needs.
Citing hazards to the health of water workers, the cost of the program, and a lack of effectiveness, a Maine water district board has informed local town councils that “it will not stand in opposition to any campaign to remove fluoride from drinking water.”
The Board of Trustees of the Orono-Veazie Water District (OVWD) wrote in a May 11 letter that, “It is thus difficult to imagine that drinking water that contains fluoride provides enough contact to prevent cavities, and it may be unnecessary for OVWD to continue fluoridating the drinking water.”
The board cited a detailed critique of water fluoridation by University of Maine Professor Jean MacRae, an expert on water treatment, in making its position known to the councils.
Prof. MacRae concluded her statement, “All told, I think drinking water fluoridation has more downs sides and potential risks than benefits to public health, especially given the global data on cavity reduction which reflects better dental hygiene and broad availability and use of anti-cavity treatments and products. In my opinion, promoting good oral hygiene would be a more effective cavity prevention strategy, and one that could be achieved without incurring the risks and costs associated with drinking water fluoridation.”
“The use of fluoride causes significant risk to our plant workers and is a nontrivial cost to the district each year in labor and material. Given the lack of data supporting its effectiveness at preventing cavities, there is good reason to question the necessity of continuing the fluoridation program. While the OVWD Board of Trustees does not believe it is appropriate for us to request that a referendum be called to stop fluoridation, we will not stand in opposition to any campaign to remove fluoride from our drinking water,” concluded the board.
After a group of citizens expressed concern over the harmful effects of water fluoridation, a Union County Commissioner said the County has a responsibility to investigate adverse effects of the chemical additive, according to a report in the Enquirer Journal September 7.
“We heard from citizens of the county tonight. People came to express their concerns, and I think the county owes its citizens due diligence,” said Commissioner Brian Helms after the Board’s September 5 meeting.
The Board also heard a pro-fluoride presentation from representatives of the Health Department, according to the report.
Union County, with a population of over 238,000, is a suburb southwest of Charlotte.
Noting that water-soluble phosphate fertilizers have less fluoride than other phosphate fertilizers, scientists at Northwest A&F University in Yangling recommend water-fertilizer integration programs, combined fertilization and irrigation practices using water-soluble fertilizers, and the suppression of calcium superphosphate fertilizers that have the greatest potential to accumulate fluoride in soils.
After quantifying the levels of fluoride in various types of phosphate fertilizers, the authors write, “Accelerating the development of water-fertilizer integration and gradually replacing [calcium superphosphate, diammonium phosphate and ternary compound fertilizer with potassium dihydrogen phosphate and macroelement water-soluble fertilizer] could greatly alleviate the risk of fluoride accumulation in agricultural soils in China.”
To further reduce the hazard of fluoride-enriched soils the authors recommend ending excessive phosphate fertilizer application, which they described as a widespread phenomenon in China’s agriculture, and adoption of organic farming, which advocates the use of animal manure instead of chemical fertilizer.
Phosphate fertilizer application in China exceeded 6 million tons in 1995, according to the authors. Their report appeared August 17 in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.
Voters who were told in 2021 that Calgary’s fluoridation scheme would cost $10.1 million have now been told it will cost $28.1 million.
“When we actually went through the detailed design aspects of it, we were able to fully realize the scope of work that was required for the project,” said Tanner Fellinger, the City’s Utilities Delivery Manager in a CBC report July 20.
While the accompanying delay in construction that is expected to push the start of fluoridation back to September 2024 has provoked the ire of a group of pediatricians and fluoridation advocates, it has also led at least one City Councillor to raise the prospect of revisiting the issue.
‘Councillor Andren Chabot, who voted against the 2021 motion to reintroduce fluoride to the tap water, said that one of the reasons he did so was because he thought the costs presented in the reintroduction plan were underestimated,” reported the CBC.
‘”As it turns out, I was right,” he said. “It’s more than double what they anticipated.” The Ward 10 councillor suggested that the project be delayed further so that his fellow council members could review the latest studies and make a more informed decision down the line,” according to the CBC report
A group of profluoridation academic activists from the University of Calgary ask physicians to advocate fluoridation without telling them the whole truth of fluoride’s adverse effects.
“As health advocates, we must promote water fluoridation and refute arguments against it,” they write in the May issue of Canadian Family Physician.
The commentary by J.A. Dickinson, J. Guichon and others contains no mention of the recent USA National Toxicology Program report that concludes prenatal fluoride exposure at levels that can be found in drinking water can reduce children’s intelligence, perhaps the most momentous development in the 70-year dispute over fluoridation, nor do they suggest that physicians should remain up-to-date on new developments in fluoride research so as to protect their patients’ health.
The authors display a remarkably flippant and reckless attitude toward fluoride’s neurotoxicity, writing, “Recently, researchers at York University in Toronto, Ont. asserted that even the concentration in fluoridated water causes reduced intellectual achievement in children born in those areas. Yet, fluoridation has more than 75 years of safety evidence.”
Taking a stance in opposition to the precautionary principle, they write, “The assertion that fluoridation causes decreased intelligence is an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence.”
Ironically, the effort to recruit physicians to the cause of fluoridation represents a reversal of dentistry’s attitude to the use of the toxic chemical. Recent historical research by Prof. P.P. Hujoel of the University of Washington, Seattle, has found that dentistry had originally embraced fluoride as a way for dentists to wrest tooth-related business away from medical doctors.
Hujoel writes in his 2021 paper, “The dental profession largely won a scope-of-practice conflict with the medical profession; physicians largely stopped learning about dental diseases in medical school, the medical profession stopped endorsing toothbrush advertisements in their medical journals. Research into medical management of dental diseases, including the role of nutritional deficiencies in dental disease prevention, became abandoned by the medical profession because of this separation.”
One of the most remarkable figures in the movement to stop water fluoridation in the USA was the Kansas City, MO artist and animal caretaker Pat Jacobs. For those who have heard of her, she may be remembered simply as the woman who kept alligators and caimans at her house. These and other animals she kept were noticeably affected when Kansas City was fluoridated. Albert Burgstahler, Roy F. Freeman and Pat published a report on the effect of fluoride on caimans and other animals in the Jan-Mar 2008 issue of Fluoride. They noted that the caimans were noticeably affected by the fluoride, which was associated with “swelling and ulceration of eye membranes and later bloated bellies, liver silicosis, spinal deformity, tumors and shortened life spans.”
Thanks to the generosity of her son Michael, the University of Massachusetts Amherst library is receiving more materials from her life, including fascinating TV interviews with her.
When the history of the grassroots movement to stop water fluoridation is written, the central role of women activists such as Pat Jacobs will finally be appreciated. In reading the voluminous correspondence they produced, as found at the UMASS library, one can not help but be impressed at the great affection they had for each other and the support they gave each other while fighting this difficult social problem.
Below is the obituary Michael Jacobs wrote when his mother died in 2005.
Pat Nichols Jacobs, 1929-2005
Pat Nichols Jacobs was born on March 7th, 1929 in Kansas City, MO to Arnold Frank (“A.F.”) Nichols and Edith Frances (McNeil) Nichols. She went into the pages of history on March 30, 2005, another victim of America’s growing epidemic of cancer.
Pat was preceded by her maternal grandparents Frank (“Po-Po”) McNeil and Jennie (“Mo-Mo”) (Davidson) McNeil of Tarkio and later St. Joseph, MO, to whom she was devoted, then by her father in 1939 and mother in 1990.
Her early years included study at the Sunset Hill School and public schools. She was a strong swimmer and won trophies at swim meets in the metro area in her teens. Early jobs included as a lifeguard for the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department and at Ceraphil Laboratories downtown. She studied at Erskine School in Boston, Mass., and at the Kansas City Art Institute. She was married briefly on two occasions while in her early twenties.
Pat spent over 30 years in the workplace engaged in drafting, commercial art, and technical illustration for companies such as Comfort Farm Equipment Co., Metalcraft Corp., Great Lakes Pipeline Co., Western Auto, Weitz-Hettlesater Engineers, and Bendix Corp. She took great pride in the quality of her work and attention to detail.
She was an accomplished artist and excelled in virtually every medium including: drafting, oil painting, ceramic tile, wood carving, sculpting and creating artwork and collages out of all types of materials. She was interested in all customs and cultures, read constantly and studied the art works, history and traditions of peoples of all races all over the world. Perhaps her greatest creation is her collection of handmade dollhouses she worked on steadily for over 50 years. She was blessed with boundless energy and creativity and made some work of art every day. Additionally, she was self-educated in the fields of world history, botany and zoology, took many college and communiversity classes, and on occasion taught classes at communiversity. She was active in the Save-the-Tallgrass-Prairie movement in the ‘70s and ‘80s and raised plants in her yard. She was also a beekeeper for many years and gave away “homegrown” honey and comb honey to anyone free of charge.
Pat continued to swim laps in marathon proportions at the Swope Park Public Pool well into the 1970’s. She rode her bicycle to work in the summer and rode the bus in the winter until she bought her one and only car in 1969. She adored her 1968 Mustang, and was very particular about it in every way. She drove it 74 thousand careful miles – including trips to Trimble Wildlife Refuge and Squaw Creek to see the eagles and to release turtles she had rescued. In later years she gave up driving, but always kept the Mustang immaculate.
Pat was an idealistic individual who worked tirelessly, studied endlessly, and spoke out for what she believed in. At various times in life – invariably long before it was fashionable to do so – she was an advocate for civil rights, women’s rights, equal pay for women in the workplace, animal welfare, and environmental issues. She had a special affection for the downtrodden and disadvantaged, and would instinctively help any person or animal in need.
A major task to which she devoted countless hours throughout the last four decades of her life was to fight the pollution of our water supply with the toxic waste sodium fluoride (a waste product of the aluminum and fertilizer industries). Along with her comrades dedicated to a more pure, public water supply, she collected information from every available source, and shared it with fluoride-fighters the world over through the Fluoride Action Network (FAN). She was credited with helping many towns and cities in the United States and in countries overseas successfully resist the poisoning of their water supply and defeat the pushers of this toxic, carcinogenic waste “pollution-for-profit” scam which will be exposed as the greatest organized fraud in human history.
Pat was perhaps best known locally for her special affection for animals of all kinds. Throughout her life she kept many pets, and gained renown for her ability to nurse back to health baby birds, rodents, turtles, snakes, and virtually anything that found its way to her door. Generally speaking, if she could not release them back to the wild or find a home for a refugee, she gave them a loving home for life at her facility. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, as “fallout” from the pet industry, many caimans and occasionally an alligator would arrive. As with other species, Pat had phenomenal success with them, even having caimans reproduce at her home, hatching a litter of 15 in 1978.
She dubbed her home/art studio/animal sanctuary “Parrot Hill Croc Farm” and devoted her retirement almost entirely to her efforts to provide a loving home for her animal friends, primarily parrots and caimans. The lives of generations of neighbors and countless classes of schoolchildren were enriched as well by visits to her oasis of nature in the heart of the city. Known as “Miss Pat” in the neighborhood, (and as “The Alligator Lady” to the world at large) she welcomed every visitor, young or old. Her innumerable acts of kindness and compassion continually helped make the world a better place for people and creatures of every variety. A good friend once said that “God….and Pat, see every little sparrow when it falls.”
Besides a host of her faithful animal companions, in parting Pat leaves her dear little sister Frances (“Fritz”) Michelle (Nichols) Reitenauer and her husband Ronald of Yucca Valley, CA, two sons, Michael M. Jacobs and wife Dana of Kansas City, MO, their children and grandchildren, and Richard Weber and wife Linda of Mountainburg, AR, children and grandchildren, as well as her devoted helpers of recent years: Stacey Johner, Aletha Fulton, and Jereme Dillard.
She also leaves her dearest friends of many years, Mary Louise Hinton, Jean McCone, Elsie Morgan, Mary Ann Wilson, June and Bill Talley, Paul Connett, and John Pennell.
The family also wishes to thank the oncology nurses at Truman Medical Center West, Carol, Jeanie, Ida and Angelo, receptionist Marlo, and Kim at the Charlotte Street entrance and all the staff of TMC who, throughout the over three years of her treatment, were kind, thoughtful, courteous, and professional.
•• Michael Dolan can be contacted at <email@example.com>
•• The archives of The Fluoridation Review are available at: https://