Ahead of the release of a University of Calgary study on the effects of water fluoridation, an American antifluoridation advocate will speak in Calgary.
Dr. Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network, has reignited a decades-long debate about Calgary’s water supply, leaving some questioning his intentions and arguing he shouldn’t be coming at all.
Connett and Dr. Robert Dickson, founder of Safe Water Calgary, will be at the Central Library on June 1 for the “Water fluoridation: health risks and perspectives for Calgary” event from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
In February, Calgary city council voted to revisit the issue of fluoridation of the city’s water supply, eight years after they decided to remove it.
Council plans to review a study on water fluoridation effects conducted by the University’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health (OIPH) in late June or early July.
“I don’t see any indication that this review is going to be balanced,” Connett said, adding the timing of his visit is intentional. “I want to have a chance to clearly and simply show the science that fluoride can damage the brain.”
An OIPH representative refused to comment on the progress of the study.
Connett and Dickson argue — based on scientific studies conducted in China, India and Mexico, among others — neurotoxicity from fluoride ingestion is causing lowered IQ and cognitive function among children under 12. Another concern among them is dental fluorosis, white marks on the teeth that typically occurs when children ingest high amounts of fluoride.
“Even the (fluoride) promoters admit … it works on the outside of the tooth,” Connett said. “The most sensible thing to do is brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste … to swallow it is absolutely insane. It’s a known toxic substance.”
Dr. Juliet Guichon, assistant professor of community health services at the U of C, said she is concerned about the ramifications of the message being delivered by Connett and Dickson.
“(Connett) has no beneficial aim to our citizens, so I think it’s a public safety issue because he comes here to undermine the recommendations of the chief medical and dental officers,” Guichon said. “I don’t understand why we shouldn’t be defending our children and seniors.”
According to Health Canada, the Canadian Dental Association, the Canadian Medical Association, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization, community water fluoridation is a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay.
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