Fluoride Action Network

Fluoridation Weekly Review #18

December 16th, 2022 | Fluoridation Weekly Review #18 | By Mike Dolan

Fundraising Update

Since Friday, we’ve raised $1,180 from 21 supporters. This is doubled to $2,360 thanks to the $10,000 doubling pledge made by one of our “super-angels” 9 days ago. This bring our new total to $37,651 from 191 donors on our way to our year-end goal of $180,000 from 1000 donors.

We’re incredibly grateful for all those who support FAN and our work, and remember that the next $1,847 will continued to be doubled!!

Unfortunately, we’re way behind our fundraising numbers from previous years, and our goal is looking almost impossible. But with the upcoming court ruling, publication of the NTP report, numerous bills in state legislatures, the first RCT on fluoridation, and much more, this will be a landmark year, and we know you understand how important this could be. Without minimal staff and resources to continue our work, we’ll be severely hampered when this unprecedented window of opportunity to end fluoridation comes. Please consider supporting our work in 2023; any donation large or small makes a difference.  Thank you so much!

You can make your donation online using either our new secure fundraising page: https://fluoridealert.networkforgood.com/projects/176427-everyday-giving

Or you can use our original secure online fundraising page if your computer browser is a bit older: https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1415005

You can also donate by check, payable and addressed to:

Fluoride Action Network
PO Box 85
North Sutton, NH 03260

Residents Want Alcoa To Remove Fluoride Waste In North Carolina

Residents of Badin, NC and vicinity want the state of North Carolina to require Alcoa to excavate and remove thousands of tons of fluoride- and cyanide-containing pot liner waste that may be contaminating local waters from its old aluminum smelting plant in that city.

Representatives from Yadkin Riverkeeper, Duke University Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), UNC School of Public Health, Concerned Citizens of West Badin and Protect Badin Lake recently gathered for a hearing to demand this clean-up as Alcoa has applied for a new National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit, according to a report in the Stanley News & Press November 17.

“That water is coming from the land that is storing those thousands of tons of spent pot liners that Alcoa used in its processes over several decades,” said Jasmine Washington, attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represents a group of concerned citizens in West Badin, according to the report.

Speakers noted the lax reporting requirements and modest fines issued by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, and contrasted the continued storage of the waste in Badin, which has a sizeable black population, with the case of predominantly white Massena, NY, where Alcoa was made to remove comparable waste.

The groups requested that Alcoa be required to remove certain discharge points, remove its buried hazardous wastes from the site, sample more frequently for cyanide and fluoride at regular intervals and set effluent limit for aluminum, and monitor for a wider range of contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals, including mercury, according to the report.

Source: https://www.thesnaponline.com/2022/09/07/groups-contact-the-state-recommend-ways-alcoa-can-mitigate-water-contaminants/

13 Million At Risk Of Fluorosis In Pakistan

A new study using fluoride concentrations from over 5,000 sample sites and machine learning techniques estimates that 13 million people or six percent of the population in Pakistan are at risk of dental or skeletal fluorosis from naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water at a concentration of 1.5 mg/L or more.

The authors from the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology and COMSATS University identify “several regions where exposure to high fluoride levels poses a significant public health risk. Hot spots include the Thal Desert in Punjab (Sargodha Division), the Thar Desert in Sindh, and the Sulaiman Mountains in the western part of the country.”

The level of 1.5 mg/L of fluoride is the World Health Organization’s recommended maximum concentration. In the United States of America the Environmental Protection Agency allows up to 4.0 mg/L of fluoride in drinking water.

The authors recommend that “mitigation measures include monitoring, provision of alternative sources of drinking water, fluoride removal treatment, and awareness-raising campaigns.” They suggest that all wells that fall within an area of high probability (0.47 or higher) of having the toxic concentration be tested.

The report, published May 20 in Science of the Total Environment, includes a set of detailed maps of the entire country displaying elevation, population, soil composition, and probability of toxic fluoride concentrations.

As with most current geoscience-based studies of endemic fluorosis the authors have not taken into account recent studies on fluoride’s neurotoxicity in infants. Leading environmental toxicologists have concluded that the risk of intelligence loss starts with fluoride concentrations as low as 0.2 mg/L.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.156058

Expanding Informed Consent, Financial Toxicity, A New Form Of Iatrogenic Harm

H. Trendley Dean, the founder of water fluoridation, described mottled enamel (dental fluorosis) as a “chronic, low-grade poisoning of children.” Once the idea of adding fluoride to drinking water was adopted, he predicted only a small percentage of people would develop the mildest form of dental fluorosis. Today, the majority of youth in the USA shows some level of this poisoning with more than a million having moderate to severe forms.

This is an example of an iatrogenic disorder, harm caused by the doctor or dentist, that is to say by the drug or therapy prescribed by the doctor. The term was popularized by Ivan Illich in his 1974 book Medical Nemesis. It is a problem many patients face at some point in their lives, but one that is rarely discussed.

In a new paper in the AMA Journal of Ethics a physician and a lawyer expand the idea of iatrogenic illness to include financial toxicity – “Negative health consequences stemming from the financial burden of care on patients and their loved ones.”

“Financial obligations have been documented to have adverse health effects, just like complications from a medical service or procedure, and they should be disclosed to enable full patient autonomy in decision making,” write the authors, Kevin Schulman of Stanford and Barak Richman of Duke. They also note, “The financial burden of health care remains an ethical blind spot for the entire US health care sector.”

To reduce this burden the authors promote the adoption of “informed financial consent,” an ethical requirement that providers inform patients in advance of the costs of procedures.

Written in the wake of this year’s No Surprises Act, the law that attempts to reduce “surprise medical bills,” for charges well above market-level prices for services never assented to by patients who were often unconscious at the time, the paper details how existing billing and reporting systems can be adapted to meet this proposed ethical requirement.

Source: https://doi.10.1001/amajethics.2022.1063

New Zealand’s Fluoridated Councils Are Often “Under-fluoridated”

The Vermont water superintendent who was placed in the national focus in the USA for only adding low levels of fluoride to the Richmond, VT water supply would appear to have many like-minded colleagues in New Zealand.

A survey from the University of Otago’s School of Public Health found that fluoridated water supplies in New Zealand met the recommended 0.7 to 1.0 mg/L concentration of fluoride on average 50 percent of the time with some supplies barely ever meeting the 0.7 threshold, according to a report on newshub.co.nz October 27.

Only 27 of the 67 councils currently fluoridate their water in that country. Dunedin met the 0.7 mg/L minimum most frequently at 77.9 percent of the time. Wellington did 54 percent. Auckland 68 percent. But many rarely met the standard: Huntly only 15.9 percent of the time. Thames 11.9 percent, and Gisborne barely even bothered, hitting the 0.7 mg/L mark only 4.2 percent of the time.

The reason for the lack of compliance, as was the case in Vermont, is a desire to avoid poisoning the population.

“To avoid too much fluoride being in our water supply, and to achieve regulatory compliance, we have set an operational target which is half the Maximum Acceptable Value,” Gisborne District Council’s Community Lifelines Director David Wilson said to newshub.

The new findings also raise questions about reports from New Zealand on water fluoridation’s effectiveness. Are the results real if the treated population has not been treated that well at all?


WHO Uncritical Endorsement Of Fluoridation Ignores Evidence Of Harm

Despite a substantial body of evidence that fluoride at the level added to drinking water can have a neurotoxic effect on the developing brains of children, the World Health Organization (WHO) has published an uncritical endorsement of fluoridation in its recent report, Global Oral Health Status Report.

“Adjusting the level of fluoride in drinking water is a safe, cost-effective public health measure for the prevention of caries. This includes adding fluoride in areas where the natural fluoride levels of drinking water are too low as well as eliminating fluoride from drinking water in areas where natural fluoride concentrations are too high,” reads the report.

The WHO report misleads the reader by ignoring the evidence of neurotoxicity and falsely suggesting that a review of the scientific evidence supports claims of fluoride’s safety.

“There is a body of scientific evidence on the safety, efficacy, cost-effectiveness and population-wide feasibility of different fluoride vehicles. Fluoride toothpaste and water fluoridation are among the population-level fluoridation interventions with the strongest evidence,” reads the report.

Ironically, in a box embedded in the report’s fluoride section, the authors advocate greater autonomous control of one’s health and empowering individuals to make choices.

They write, “Self-care is defined as autonomous action to preserve or improve health. Self-care is a fundamental aspect of well-being that helps individuals gain greater control over their health. Oral diseases are largely preventable; therefore, adopting sustained self-care practices is a key aspect of maintaining good oral health. Empowering individuals and communities to make better oral health choices can significantly improve oral health over the life course.”

Under water fluoridation, individuals are generally not told the water is fluoridated, nor that there are increased risks of serious health problems from ingesting it, as exemplified in this report.

Source: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240061484