-Compiled and edited by Mike Dolan, PhD.
Officials in Wellington, New Zealand have expressed outrage recently when they learned the city has not been receiving its expected fluoridated water for nine months because the water works ceased administering the chemical due to equipment failure.
Radio New Zealand reported March 17 that a review
“found the decades-old fluoridation system is failing, and has been under-dosing for at least four years.”
“Due to the health risks posed by high levels of fluoride, operators have been conservative with dosage to ensure that the upper level is not exceeded,” reported the radio.
RNZ also noted,
“Earlier it was announced that Wellington Water had carried out a review which found health and safety risks at the two water treatment plants.”
The risk that water workers will be exposed to highly concentrated fluoride chemicals due to equipment failure is a cost of water fluoridation that is usually not taken into account in assessing the program’s expense.
On FAN: https://fluoridealert.org/news/inquiry-announced-into-lack-of-fluoridation-in-wellington-water/
The fish parasite Saprolegnia parasitica, which can decimate aquaculture fisheries, is stimulated to sporulate or reproduce when exposed to fluoride in water, according to a new report from the University of Zagreb published February 27 in Microorganisms.
The parasite belongs to the group Oomycetes, which includes the pathogen that caused the late blight of potatoes in Ireland and Germany in the mid 19th century.
Noting that the rate of sporulation varied with water source used, the scientists sampled waters from across Croatia, and found that slightly higher than average fluoride concentrations between 0.1 and 0.25 mg per liter stimulated sporulation, but that higher levels hindered it.
The authors wrote,
“[M]odelling results suggest that increased fluoride and ammonium concentration could also act as a sporulation trigger, at least for S. parasitica. The range of fluoride concentrations in freshwater is between 0.01 and 0.3 mg/L, which is in accordance with the average fluoride concentration of 0.1 mg/L in our dataset. The induction of sporulation by environmentally relevant fluoride concentrations could be explained as a response to unfavorable environmental conditions.”
A test of dental students in Pakistan has found they were unable to diagnose most cases of dental fluorosis correctly.
Investigators from the Army Medical College and the Armed Forces Institute of Dentistry presented 88 advanced students with photographs of dental fluorosis in a questionnaire, reporting,
“Out of the seven lesions shown to the students, only three were correctly diagnosed by more than 50% of the students. Therefore, more lectures and clinical hours for the study of fluorosis are needed.”
This is somewhat surprising in Pakistan because many areas there suffer from endemic fluorosis.
According to the report in the Pakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal,
“Fluorosis is a common dental problem in Pakistan. The most affected areas are of lower Punjab and Sindh. A prevalence of 12% and 23.78% in Punjab and 53.33% in Karachi has been reported previously.”
A detailed study of the University of California, San Francisco’s water fountains found a quarter of the water stations impaired, serving as a barrier to fluoridated water consumption.
Several dentists, masters of public health and PhDs, using a web-based survey tool to map 377 water stations on the campus found “25% were obstructed, dirty, or had unsatisfactory flow,” and concluded,
“A systematic assessment of work site access to fluoridated water can provide actionable evidence to improve availability, appeal, and promotion.”
The most recent systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of water fluoridation, by the Cochrane Review in 2015, reported finding no evidence that adults benefit from water fluoridation. The review stated, “No studies that aimed to determine the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries in adults met the review’s inclusion criteria.”
Databases reveal stark difference in ranked lists of fluoride literature
A recent search of the PubMed and Web of Science databases for the term “fluoride” showed remarkably different lists of papers when the results were sorted by “Best Match” (PubMed) or “Relevance” (Web of Science).
PubMed, the publicly owned database maintained by the National Library of Medicine, generated a top 10 list that was dominated by papers on the benefits of using fluoride to prevent tooth decay. These included papers by CM Carey from 2014 (“Focus on fluorides: update on the use of fluoride for the prevention of dental caries”), SO Griffin and others from 2007 (“Effectiveness of fluoride in preventing caries in adults”), and HP Whelton and others from 2019 (“Fluoride revolution and dental caries: Evolution of policies for global use”).
In contrast, the top 10 list from the privately held Web of Science, consisted of ten editorials by Bruce Spittle on the adverse effects of fluoride that were published in the Fluoride journal. These included “Neurotoxic effects of fluoride” from 2011, “Dental fluorosis as a marker for fluoride-induced cognitive impairment” from 2016 and “Fluoride as a risk factor in pre-eclampsia” from 2020.
The PubMed database search result would necessarily not include any of these Spittle editorials because PubMed refuses to include the journal Fluoride in the list of journals contained in the database.
While PubMed is free to the public, Web of Science is available by subscription and can generally only be consulted at a university library.
As an aside, a European web search that Ellen at FAN uses is called Europe PMC at https://europepmc.org/ It’s free and it distinguishes itself from PubMed by listing the funders of the studies. Ellen has used it to find the studies by the largest funder of dental research in the U.S.: the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR). See what she found at https://fluoridealert.org/researchers/f-studies-funded-by-us-govt/fluoride-studies-that-received-nidcr-funding/
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