This week we start a new feature for FAN – Fluoridation Weekly Review, compiled by Mike Dolan, PhD.
It will include news from the recent scientific literature and historical material from the fluoridation archives. Since being recruited to the fight to repeal fluoridation by Paul Connett at Clark University in Worcester, MA twenty years ago, Mike has been writing and testifying against fluoridation across Massachusetts. At the Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst he has also accumulated extensive collections of many of the leading activists and scholars working to end fluoridation. This new feature will include all the important developments that are simply not being reported by the press. Please send him story ideas at email@example.com
Fluoride consumption increases risk of osteoarthritis
An increase in urine fluoride concentration of 1 milligram per liter is associated with a 27 percent increased risk of osteoarthritis in adults, according to a report in Biological Trace Element Research September 28.
“Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most chronic and prevalent ageing joint disease which does not have an effective treatment proven to delay disease progression. Individuals with OA experience pain, stiffness, swelling, and disability. According to the findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017, approximately 61.2 million individuals were suffering from OA in China,” write the authors from the Harbin Medical University.
The study, which was based on radiographs of 372 participants from Jilin Province, led the authors to express particular concern for non-obese women younger than 60 years old, who showed the strongest association between elevated fluoride and OA.
“These results suggest that fluoride exposure from water source could be a serious independent predictor of OA, particularly as UF concentration increases in an individual, the risk of developing OA increases,” concluded the authors. https://doi.org/10.
WHO adopts topical fluoride as essential medicine; glass ionomer cement elevated to replace suppressed mercury amalgam
The World Health Organizaton (WHO) has added topical fluoride applications and glass ionomer cement to its Model List of Essential Medicines.
In its report released October 1 the agency lists, “fluoride – paste, cream or gel: containing between 1000 and 1500 ppm fluoride (any type). And in other appropriate topical formulations.”
The glass ionomer cement, which may contain 1-20% fluoride, according to the report, is intended to replace mercury amalgam fillings starting in 2030 as a result of the 2013 Minimata Convention on Mercury.
Both fluoride and mercury are neurotoxins. https://www.who.int/
Broadening scope of practice for dental therapists needed
A survey of dental therapists (DT) in Minnesota has concluded that limitations of the DT license and lack of prescribing ability has hindered the therapists’ ability to serve the at-risk communities to which they are assigned.
The investigators from Harvard University and the University of Minnesota report in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association that “One of the most frequent comments made by the survey respondents was about prescribing rights. According to one ADT [advanced dental therapist], it would be beneficial to the public if ADTs can “prescribe fluoride, antibacterial rinses when working independently with the [dentist] offsite.” Without the ability to prescribe these medications, respondents indicated it inconveniences and causes treatment delays for patients. Prescribing rights for antibiotics was also raised by respondents. An example given by one respondent was that as an ADT, she has seen patients with dental infections when the dentist is not in the office and that she could not treat the patients, most of whom were in pain. The professional image of ADTs may be affected by these restrictions.”
Survey respondents reported a median income between $80,000 and $90,000. They had educations debt of $100,000, much lower than the educational debt of dentists, which is reported to top $670,000.
Thirteen states employ dental therapists, but in five of them the work is limited to tribal communities, according to the authors. https://doi.org/10.
Interviews from 1998 ISFR conference added to UMASS fluoridation collections
A recent donation of materials by Paul and Ellen Connett to the Special Collections department of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst library includes original video-taped interviews with many of the scientists attending the 1998 conference of the International Society for Fluoride Research.
Included in the interviews are Albert Burgstahler, Myron Coplan, John Lee, Jennifer Luke,RogerMastersandPhyllisMullenix.
In the coming weeks we will include reports on the content of these interviews, which we hope to digitize.
The UMASS library contains extensive collections from the movement to repeal fluoridation. Brief summaries of the collection can be found at this link: http://scua.library.umass.edu/
To reduce fluoride in kombucha use white or red tea
The fermented tea product called kombucha may contain 0.42-0.93 milligram per liter fluoride, leading researchers to recommend low-fluoride white or red tea be used in its preparation, according to a recent study.
“Kombucha dates back thousands of years and is reported to have originated in East Asia. It is produced by fermenting tea with added sugar using SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteriaandyeast).Itshealthbenefitscanbeattributedtothemetabolitesproducedduring the fermentation process. Valuable ingredients of this fermented tea beverage include acetic acid, glucuronic acid, vitamins, enzymes, sugars and polyphenols. Tea, and consequently kombucha, contains numerous minerals, and one of them is fluoride. Under physiological conditions, fluoride plays a significant role in hard tissue mineralization processes.
However, even at low concentrations with long-term exposure, fluorides may accumulate in the body and cause a range of detrimental effects,” write the authors from the Pomeranian Medical University in the current issue of Biological Trace Element Research.
The researchers found that green and black tea progressively added more fluoride to the solution during the 14 days of fermentation. The symbiotic microbial community in the green and black teas also consumed more of the added sugar, which may be a factor in fluoride accumulation in the beverage, according to the authors.
Topical fluoride of limited use in degrading cariogenic biofilm
Biofilms of the oral bacterium Streptococcus mutans are disrupted by topical application ofsodiumfluoride,butonlyinlimitedcircumstances,accordingtoarecentreport.
The study by Ye Han of the Jeonbok National University in South Korea, published September 14 in Scientific Reports, found the sodium fluoride preparations only disrupted young biofilms, and, except for those with a concentration of 2000 parts per million, had no effect on older, mature biofilms.
The 2000 ppm level of fluoride is greater than that found in most tooth pastes. https://doi.org/10.1038/
Thylstrup and Fejerskov index for diagnosing dental fluorosis seen as superior to Dean’s index
“The Thylstrup and Fejerskov Index is more applicable for measuring DF [dental fluorosis] severity in areas with high or low fluoridated areas; it is considered a sensitive method because it allows carefully classify the affected tooth by correlating clinical and histological features. Despite being defined more than 40 years ago, it contributes to avoiding underestimating teeth affected by fluorosis; and is the most suitable for use in the clinical management of DF,” write A. Saldarriaga and others in a recent report in BMC Oral Health.
Researchers had previously used Dean’s index, developed by H. Trendley Dean, the founder of water fluoridation in the USA. https://doi.org/10.1186/
Widespread fluoride contamination of groundwater on Vanuatu island
A third of the drinking water samples collected on Tanna Island, Vanuatu exceeded the World Health Organization recommended maximum level of 1.5 mg/L, according to a report from New Zealand researchers in the Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development.
Most of the high fluoride supplies on this volcanic island of 30,000 people are found on the west coast. Previous studies have reported dental fluorosis in 40 to 100 percent of children, according to the authors.
Vanuatu, a Pacific Small Island Developing State, that consists of more than 80 islands, is considered by the United Nations to be the most disaster risk-prone country on Earth based on the islands’ extreme exposure to tropical cyclones, floods, droughts, volcanic eruptions, earthquake and tsunami, limited infrastructure; and poor adaptive and coping capacity, according to the authors.
Scientists’ opposition to UK fluoridation mandate noted on business site
The website LondonLovesBusiness has taken note of the recent letter to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson from three leading experts on fluoridation, reporting, “According to three British scientists (Vyvyan Howard, Spedding Micklem and Paul Connett) who have followed the debate closely for many years, “This is not a good time for the British government to mislead the public on the dangers posed by the practice of water fluoridation.”
The report outlines the deficiencies in recent proclamations from national Chief Medical Officers of Health (CMOs), noting, “The three British scientists added that, “In our view the way the CMOs have treated the health effects posed by fluoridation is a gross dereliction of their duty to protect the health of the British people.”
Carol Kopf has excellent letter in BMJ
In response to a brief account of the drive to fluoridate the UK in BMJ by the reporter Zosia Kmietowicz, Carol Kopf of the New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF) has published a comprehensive rejoinder on Sept. 24 that points out the failure of many predictions regarding fluoridation.
A note to readers re timeliness of our reporting
Our gleaning of scientific journals is centered on completed issues, so we do not necessarily see new reports as they are published on-line unless we are notified of them. For example, the note above about kombucha was published on-line 11 months ago, but the issue in which it is found was just completed recently. If you know of any new research that needs reporting, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.