Fluoride Action Network

Fluoride – A Kick in The Teeth?

Source: Red Pepper | December 1st, 2001 | by Jane Goodey
Location: United Kingdom, England

Campaigners against the dangers of water fluoridation are taking their fight to Sheffield where 24 junior schools are considering adding fluoride to children’s milk. Jane Jones of the National Pure Water Association (NPWA) described the move as “wholesale fluoridation of the British water supply through the back door,” adding, “By showing that children are unharmed with this ‘wonderful public health measure’ the local health authority aim to show it’s good for all of us. But none of the governors at the schools we’ve talked to are in favour. One senior governor at Parkhill Junior School was so concerned she said she would be taking the matter up with the LEA (local education authority).”

A Green Party spokesperson said: “There are widespread concerns about the health effects of such additives. We need to inform the public of the dangers of ingesting fluoride from all sources, including toothpaste.”

In Britain six million people, mainly in the W Midlands and North East, already drink fluoridated water and across-the-board fluoridation is an ever increasing likelihood. The British Dental Association (which makes thousands of pounds from accreditation of fluoride products) and the British Medical Association are lobbying hard to change the law in this direction. The Government has just commissioned the Medical Research Council to look into the ramifications of such a move.

This comes on the back of the Government’s own White Paper Saving Lives: Our Healthier Nation (1999) endorsing water fluoridation. Under current legislation water companies are not forced to fluoridate if health authorities so request, however with a previous Government funded review (York Review 1999) finding fluoridation ‘safe and effective’ it could well change the law to legally oblige them to do so. This could result in councils holding referenda up and down the country, thus removing their own indemnity, while leaving potential victims of adverse health effects with no legal redress.

Dental fluorosis characterised by discoloured, blackened, mottled, or chalky white teeth is a clear indication of overexposure to fluoride in childhood, while a chronic intake of excessive fluoride can lead to severe and permanent bone and joint deformations. Early symptoms can include joint stiffness, headaches and muscle weakness. These are the warning signs, the next stage is osteosclerosis – hardening of the bones including the spine and major joints. Both dental and skeletal fluorosis is irreversible and no treatment exists. Because half our fluoride intake remains accumulated within the body older people and especially those with heart and kidney problems are also at risk from related conditions involving fluoride toxicity.

As well as a naturally occurring chemical, fluoride is a by-product of the aluminium and fertiliser industries and fluoridation is a cheap way for these industries to get rid of it.

Basically it inhibits enzymes that cause tooth decay, however according to leading scientists its harmful effect on other enzymes outweighs the benefits. First added to water supplies in the US during the 1950’s. fluoride has since spread to parts of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland. In the words of former US Environmental Protection Agency scientist Dr Robert Carton. “Water fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century, if not of all time.”