Fluoride Action Network

Ending silicofluoride use can reduce children’s blood lead and violent crime

Source: News Release | Research Professor of Government & Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor Emeritus; President, Foundation for Neuroscience & Society
Posted on January 22nd, 2010

Note: See original release that contains several graphs

Peer reviewed scientific studies over the last decade, summarized in the attached Graphs and Table, reveal that exposure to silicofluoride compounds has harmful side effects on human behavior and health. Millions of Americans are exposed to residue from these chemicals, which are used in 90% of fluoridated public water supplies. Because the harmful effects are not associated with the use of sodium fluoride, the problem is not linked to every form of “fluoride.” Unlike sodium fluoride, silicofluorides are waste products from weapons-grade uranium processing and, despite having been nominated for testing by the National Toxicology Program in 2002, they still have never been properly tested.

Although water fluoridation has been hotly debated for over 50 years, neither proponents nor critics have focused on the specific chemical compounds used for that purpose. During World War II, when nuclear weapons were secretly developed, it was necessary to find a discrete means of disposing of toxic waste products from uranium processing. Under the cover of water “fluoridation” for dental health, the substitution of fluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) or sodium silicofluoride (Na2SiF6) for sodium fluoride (NaF) served this purpose. Both silicofluorides are toxic before dissolving partially in water, and — unlike sodium fluoride — neither “dissociates” totally into their component elements, as was assumed when the Public Health Service formally approved them for use in 1950. This historical context explains why water fluoridation has been debated without reference to the chemical compounds that most communities use to accomplish it. Today, however, the practice urgently needs to be re-examined in the light of findings in neurotoxicology over the last decade.

Peer reviewed scientific studies, published in journals such as Neurotoxicology, and the International Journal of Environmental Studies, show the link between silicofluoride use and harmful side effects on behavior and health. Because these harmful side effects are not observed where sodium fluoride is added to water, not all fluoridation systems present the dangers discussed here. After Westendorf (1975) linked silicofluorides to acetylcholinesterase inhibition and poor impulse control, others found they increase children’s blood lead levels and reduce the activity of dopamine, another neurotransmitter essential for self-control. The foregoing discoveries have identified reasons that significantly higher rates of violent crime, substance abuse, and learning disabilities are found where silicofluorides are added to public water supplies.

Although it may seem implausible that we are poisoning our own children, it’s essential to consider the circumstances in which silicofluorides were introduced — and to remember the tragedy often attributed to lead water pipes in ancient Rome. Moreover, this is not the only time in history that government bureaucrats and entrenched interest groups have refused to admit they made a mistake. What’s telling is that repeated offers to debate silicofluoride safety have consistently been ignored by dentists and doctors who claim water fluoridation is safe regardless of the chemical used for the purpose. Following publication of the first findings described here, in 2002 the National Toxicology Program nominated the silicofluorides for government testing — but no such studies have been done.


ONE: Controlling for socio-economic and ethnic factors, silicofluorides are associated with increased lead absorption from industrial pollution and old housing. (See Figure 1). These effects are confirmed by multivariate analyses of three large population studies (total sample over 400,000 children).

TWO: Lead is known to interfere with the neurotransmitter dopamine, an effect which increases impulsive behavior. That silicofluoride is linked to harmful effects on brain chemistry and behavior is confirmed by evidence of a greater frequency of learning deficits and higher rates of violent crime where water is treated with these chemicals (Figures 2a-2b). This effect is NOT found for rates of property crime, which is less likely to be impulsive than acts of violence.

THREE: Where silicofluoride use is combined with addition of chloramine as a disinfection agent, laboratory experiments show increased leaching of lead from brass meters, faucets, or other water fixtures (Table 1).

FOUR: Since minorities and poor children are significantly more vulnerable to blood lead levels over 10?g/dL (Figure 3a-b), these findings reflect a grave injustice.

These and other research findings co-authored by the undersigned justify an immediate moratorium on using silicofluorides. Such a ban should not be lifted unless objective peer-reviewed studies demonstrate silicofluorides are safe and thus provide an alternative explanation of our findings.

More information (including a full bibliography and access to Westendorf’s thesis) is available at: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rmasters

For further information or hard copies of technical publications, contact:

Prof. Roger D. Masters
Dept. of Government
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755
tel. 603-643-4205

Myron J. Coplan
Intellequity Consulting
38 Silver Hill, Natick, MA 01760
tel. 508-877-2556