– Compiled and edited by Mike Dolan, PhD.
Food and Drug Administration uses outdated Public Health Service recommendation to allow up to 0.7 mg per liter added fluoride in bottled water
A new Food and Drug Administration rule effective June 21 reduces the allowed amount of fluoride added to bottled water to 0.7 mg per liter. The rule is based on a seven-year-old Public Health Service (PHS) recommendation that predates a substantial body of evidence published since 2017 that has found prenatal, infant and childhood exposure to fluoride in drinking water increases the risk of reduced intelligence and other developmental disorders in children.
The agency offered a convoluted response to comments that pointed out recent evidence of adverse effects of fluoride in drinking water.
“We recognize that additional studies on the safety of fluoride have published (sic) since the publication of the 2015 PHS recommendation. We do not believe these studies contradict the PHS recommendation, and neither these studies nor the body of literature we have reviewed show adverse health effects of fluoride in humans up to the level we are finalizing. The PHS recommendation has not changed, and we maintain that the addition of fluoride to bottled water should be permitted to be consistent with the policy of community water fluoridation. Given that the comments provided no new information indicating the need to duplicate the scientific evaluation already conducted by PHS, we are revising the allowable level for fluoride in bottled water to which fluoride is added based on the 2015 PHS recommendation,” writes the agency.
It is unclear how a 2015 recommendation can evaluate scientific evidence published after that date.
The rule also states that fluoride is a “nutrient” but a “nonessential” one.
Male and female sex organs are damaged, and the hormones regulating reproductive biology are disrupted by prenatal exposure to fluoride in rats, according to a new report from the Shanxi Agricultural University.
Drawing upon previous work that found fluoride can reduce sperm counts and testosterone levels, the scientists exposed rat pups prenatally and after birth for a total of 11 weeks to a range of fluoride concentrations in water.
They found that after the 11 weeks of exposure pups treated with higher levels of fluoride had reduced weight, reduced secondary ovarian follicles, disrupted structures in the spermatogenic cells, reduction of follicle stimulating hormone and testosterone concentrations and reduced expression of several genes involved in steroidal sex hormone production.
The authors expressed a broad concern over prenatal exposure to fluoride, warning, “Approximately 80–90% of fluoride absorbed by infants and children accumulates in the body. It can enter into the umbilical cord blood of the child from the mother through the placenta. In addition, significantly high fluoride content in breast milk is indicative of fluoride exposure to infants. Young children show less resistance to the toxic effects of fluoride than adults because of under-developed defense mechanisms and highly permeable blood-brain barrier.”
This work was published online April 21 in the journal Biological Trace Elements Research.
Authors: El-lethey H, Kamel K, Iman B.
Using rats whose ovaries have been experimentally removed, investigators from the Henan University of Science and Technology have found that deficiency of the female sex hormone estrogen worsens fluoride-induced kidney fibrosis and renal dysfunction.
“Renal fibrosis, as the common endpoint of various chronic and progressive nephropathies, leads to the continuous loss of nephrons [the functional tubular units of the kidney] and renal dysfunction, resulting in end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which is often accompanied by the occurrence of various complications, such as hypertension, mineral bone disease, atherosclerosis and iron deficiency anemia,” note the authors, adding, “women after menopause have an increasing risk of ESRD.”
They found that a particular signaling pathway that regulates the remodeling of the extracellular matrix in kidneys was perturbed by the combined low estrogen-high fluoride treatment. Overproduction of this extracellular matrix is the basis of the fibrosis. The lack of estrogen appears to hinder the degradation of the matrix.
The report appeared in Toxicology Letters in pre-print form on April 20.
Authors: Liu S, Zhao J, Tian WS, Wang JC, Wang HW, Zhou BH.
On FAN: https://fluoridealert.org/studytracker/42434/
Also see Yu et al., 2021, Estrogen Deficiency Aggravates Fluoride-Induced Liver Damage and Lipid Metabolism Disorder in Rats
A recent review on the adverse effects of the widely used azole antifungal medicines points to the drug’s fluoride chemicals that are released into the blood stream as the culprits.
While the azole drugs are effective in blocking the growth of fungal infections that threaten the lives of two million people per year, investigators from several Australian universities, writing in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents April 3, report the fluoride released from the drugs are toxic to the body.
“Each voriconazole molecule contains three fluorine atoms (constituting 16.3% of the total molecular weight of the compound), and 5% of the dose is metabolised to free fluoride. A dose of 200 mg orally twice daily contains ?65 mg of fluoride; 20 mg will be metabolised to free fluoride, exceeding the maximum recommended daily fluoride intake of 10 mg . While fluoride ions have a similar size and electrical charge to hydroxide ions, they have a greater affinity for calcium, resulting in fluorapatite replacing hydroxyapatite in the bone matrix.
“Fluoride has anabolic effects, stimulating osteoblasts to make excess under-mineralised bone, which accumulates most readily in the periosteal and endosteal region. Pain associated with periostitis is thought to be predominantly inflammatory in nature and related to prolonged stimulation of osteoblast activity, rather than a mechanical … pathogenesis,” write the investigators.
Their report examines five azoles, four of which contain fluoride components. While the authors do not specify the role, if any, of fluoride in additional adverse effects they list several disorders caused by the drug use, including pseudohyperaldosteronism, adrenal insufficiency, hyponatraemia [low sodium], and hypogonadism.
The authors note, “Antifungal use is increasing worldwide, stemming from a growing population of immunocompromised patients including survivors of malignancy, haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) recipients and solid-organ transplant recipients. According to a US outpatient database analysis, first-generation azole prescriptions increased 10-fold between 1991–2009 and second- generation azole prescriptions increased 7-fold from 2002–2009.”
Previous studies have found severe side effects attributed to F released from voriconazole. The FAN website includes some articles about this issue. This article by Balcerek is noteworthy because it confirms the previous work, but also because it warns that fluorinated azole use is rapidly increasing.
Authors: Balcerek MI, Stewart AG, Chapman P, Lazarus S.
On the advice of the City’s utilities commissioner, the Waterloo City Council voted April 21 to discontinue water fluoridation.
The utilities commissioner, Barry Sorenson, noted that the reduction in the recommended concentration of fluoride to be used made him suspicious.
“It makes you worry a bit when they start realizing that you were given 1.1 part per million for the last 30 years and now they suddenly think that is too high,” he said, according to a report in The Courier May 2.
Sorenson also noted that the repeal of fluoridation would save the city $400,000, as it would not have to construct separate rooms for fluoride storage at each well during the next round of upgrades.
“Safety is also a concern. Windows in the city’s well houses have been damaged because of the fluoride, Sorenson said, adding “that’s how corrosive it is,” reported The Courier.
On FAN: City of Waterloo to transition away from using fluoride in water, by By Ryan Spoehr, May 2.
The Utilities Commission in Marathon City, WI has agreed to participate in a new pilot program that will install a fluoride tablet system for fluoridating the city’s drinking water..
“Under the proposal, the state will pay for Marathon City to build a $15,000 platform in its water treatment building to add soluble fluoride tablets to treated water. The process will end the current danger that fluorosilic acid, the source of the village’s fluoride for water, could accidentally spill and mix with chlorine, stored in the same building,” reported the State Courier May 3.
The new tablet system, developed by KC Industries, fluoridates small water supplies using one million gallons of water per day or less.
Commission members noted they would save money on weekend pay, as the new system can be monitored just five days per week, according to the report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is promoting the tablet system to extend fluoridation in small communities to as many as 19 million people. It is being adopted in many more places than this one city. This article makes it seem like the tablet system is an improvement, and therefore puts it in a favorable light, while the bigger picture is that this system is a disaster for communities and for FAN trying to reduce fluoridation rather than extend it.
On FAN: Marathon fluoridation to stay, The Star News (Medford, WI), May 3.
See also, Innovations: New community water fluoridation system is ‘game-changer,’ advocates say. ADA, December 21, 2020.
The water district just north of Newcastle is planning to adopt fluoridation, according to a report in The Chronicle May 13.
The Northumberland County Council’s plan to expand water fluoridation there to include Blyth and Bedlington had been conceived earlier, but was delayed by the coronavirus emergency, according to The Chronicle.
The report is somewhat garbled as it reads, “the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends a maximum level of 1.5 milligrams of fluoride per litre of water to maximise the oral health benefits.”
Actually, the WHO considers 1.5 milligrams a maximum contaminant level.
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