When it comes to the practice of adding fluoride to the water supply, Ellijay resident Daniel Stockin believes “the handwriting is literally on the wall.”
“Fluoridation is going to collapse,” he went on to predict. “The crowd that’s been supporting it is starting to turn on each other … I’m not interested in blame or credit, I just want it to stop.”
Since beginning in Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1945, water fluoridation has been touted as a successful means of reducing tooth decay by a variety of health care organizations ranging from the American Dental Association to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A career public health professional and former manager of the Environmental Protection Agency Western Regional Lead Training Center, Stockin also believed in its effectiveness for many years, until he began to study the issue for himself. Using the arsenal knowledge from his background in toxin assessment and safely managing hazardous materials, he came to the conclusion that fluoride in public water systems could actually contribute to serious health problems.
“I was a pariah in my own field,” he told the Times-Courier, as he described how his views were received.
Stockin is founder of the Gilmer County-based nonprofit organization The Lillie Center for Energy and Health Studies and has dedicated himself to spreading the word about the dangers he believes fluoride poses.
Health achievement or potential danger?
Although fluoridation is proclaimed on the CDC’s website as “one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century,” Stockin fears the conversation about the issue has been dominated by the dental health community.
“They let the dentists tell us everything we need to know about (fluoridation),” he observed, adding he determined through Freedom of Information Act requests for CDC documents that only dental health directors were involved in developing the organization’s statements supporting fluoridation.
Stockin is particularly concerned that there is no way of determining the total dose of fluoride individuals are receiving.
“(Dentists) claim that, miraculously, swallowing completely uncontrolled, unknown amounts of fluorides by people of unknown medical histories affects only the teeth in their mouths and no other tissues throughout the rest of the body,” Stockin stated in a 2013 Times-Courier interview.
Pointing to several recent studies and articles, however, he argues that other parts of the body can be adversely affected by too much fluoride intake.
For instance, in late February, both the United Kingdom news source The Telegraph and Newsweek published articles about a recent University of Kent study linking water fluoridation to an increased risk for developing hypothyroidism.
Stockin also referenced a publication by the National Research Council of the National Academies, which describes some of the susceptible subpopulations that can be impacted by too much fluoride.
In particular, the document stated, “Individuals with renal (kidney) disease are of particular concern because their ability to excrete fluoride can be seriously inhibited, causing greater uptake of fluoride into their bones.”
Even at the basic level of fluoride’s effectiveness of preventing tooth decay, Stockin has concerns.
He argues that fluoride is more efficacious when it is topically applied directly to the teeth rather than swallowed for systemic absorption. In other words, he compared water fluoridation to a doctor instructing a patient to drink sunscreen to prevent sunburn rather than applying it directly to the skin.
An end to mandated fluoridation?
Explaining that the fluoridation issue is beginning to receive more international attention, Stockin observed, “The ‘Fluoridegate’ scandal continues to unravel.”
In Georgia, communities are mandated to fluoridate public water supplies, but House Bill 129 has the potential to change what Stockin describes as “an outdated law.”
The bill is currently being considered by the Government Affairs Committee. If it is not presented to the House and approved by Friday — the 30th day of the session, commonly called Crossover Day — the bill will not have time to move to the Senate and will have to wait until next year’s legislative session.
Georgia is not the only part of the world reconsidering its use of fluoride in public water systems.
Citing how city councillors in Dublin, Ireland, voted to end water fluoridation in October, Stockin stated, “This is illustrative of what’s going on.”
He added he has been in contact with well-known consumer advocate Erin Brockovich — subject of a 2000 film of the same name starring Julia Roberts — who has been posting articles on the subject of the negative impacts of fluoridation on her Facebook page and highlighted the issue during a recent trip to Australia.
“See it for yourself,” recommended Stockin, explaining how he encourages people to research the issue.
He also pointed out that people who get their drinking water from wells are not exempt from coming into contact with fluoridated water. Common foodstuffs like bread and canned corn are often made in places that use fluoridated water and thus people receive “a dose” of fluoride even when consuming those items.
“Everyone needs to get involved,” he concluded.
To learn more about the nonprofit activities of The Lillie Center, visit the website nextstagescience.org