RE: IMPORTANT NEW SCIENCE
Dear Dr. Clarke:
In your June 19, 2019, submission to the City of Calgary [*] on behalf of the Alberta Medical Association, you expressed support for water fluoridation, saying that its safety had been well established in medical research.
On behalf of Safe Water Calgary, a broad coalition of physicians, dentists, scientists and citizens from all walks of life opposing water fluoridation, I ask you to re-consider your position in light of recent neurotoxicological research, much of which was done in Canada.
On August 19, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Pediatrics) published a new study (Green et al. at http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/green-2019.pdf), conducted by a Canadian/American team of researchers and led by scientists at Toronto’s York University. It was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
This well done study found that every 1 milligram/liter increase in urine fluoride level in pregnant women was associated with a 4.5 decrease in IQ scores for boys when tested at ages 3-4. A 1 mg higher daily intake in pregnant women was associated with 3.7 lower IQ scores for both boys and girls.
The data was so compelling that both the study’s lead author, Rivka Green and its corresponding author, Christine Till, advocated that pregnant women not drink fluoridated water. The editor of JAMA Pediatrics, Dimitri Christakis, MD, agreed, saying “I would not have my wife drink fluoridated water” if she was pregnant. Many other scientists expressed the same level of concern. I encourage you to listen to a podcast with Dr. Christakis and another JAMA editor at https://soundcloud.com/jstandards/jama-pediatrics-editors-summary-fluoride-iq-2019
Award-winning researcher Philippe Grandjean, MD, is one of the most highly regarded scientists in the world on these issues. He’s a professor at Harvard, advisor to the Danish National Board of Health, co-editor of the journal Environmental Health and author of over 500 papers. He said this was “an excellent study” and “I think the time has come for us to ask the CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) to reconsider fluoridation . . .”
The study’s authors, JAMA’s editors and scientists not affiliated with the study, have all asserted that fluoride’s ability to diminish intelligence in children is equivalent to lead. Dr. Till noted that 4.5 points is a “dramatic” loss of IQ. Indeed, the loss of 5 IQ points at a population level cuts in half the number of geniuses and doubles the number of intellectually handicapped.
The most-often cited comment still defending fluoridation was that this was “just one study”, as opposed to “thousands of studies” saying it was safe. Unfortunately, these statements are incorrect. There have indeed been thousands of published studies on fluoride, but not demonstrating its safety. For neurotoxicity alone, there have now been six published mother-child IQ studies http://fluoridealert.org/issues/moms2b/mother-offspring-studies/, five in the past two years, all linking higher levels of fluoride in pregnant women to lower IQs in their children.
Moreover, there is no debate on fluoride’s capability to cause brain damage. The U.S. National Research Council’s (NRC) 2006 study, Fluoride in Drinking Water, is widely considered the most authoritative review ever done. The 12 scientists leading the study concluded unequivocally that “fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body.”
More recent studies have validated the NRC’s conclusion. There have been 68 total IQ studies in humans, 61 which have found higher fluoride levels linked to lower IQs. In animal studies, 14 out of 15 in the past two years alone have shown cognitive harm from higher fluoride levels, as have the vast majority of the nearly 200 studies in the past several years.
The evidence on brain damage from fluoride is so strong that it is the basis of a lawsuit by several organizations against the U.S. EPA for allowing fluoridation of public water, scheduled for trial in federal court in San Francisco in February 2020.
We fervently hope that the USA, which has led the the promotion of fluoridation worldwide, will discontinue. If it does, it will follow most of the rest of the world that has either stopped or never started, due to numerous health risks, ineffectiveness, economics, and the ethical problem of administering a drug through public water supplies, taking away the patient’s right of informed consent.
Indeed, fluoridation is one of the most widely rejected health interventions in the world. Out of 196 nations, only 24 have any fluoridation. Over 95% of the world’s population is fluoridation free. In Europe, only four out of 48 countries have any fluoridated cities (less than 2% of the population) and several nations, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark, have banned the practice.
It’s also quite revealing that developed nations that don’t fluoridate have cavity rates essentially the same as nations that do. Within Canada, the same holds true between provinces. Indeed, the dental health of BC and Quebec, both 98% NOT fluoridated, is equivalent or better than that of the ~ 38% of our country that remains fluoridated.
Obviously, many other factors contribute to cavity rates including genetics, nutrition, personal oral habits and access to dental care. And there is a consensus that any effectiveness of fluoride is mainly topical, not ingested, as many studies reveal damage to the thyroid, kidneys, gut, bone and even teeth, with rapidly increasing fluorosis, with systemic fluoride.
Effectiveness of fluoridation, or lack thereof aside, a child’s tooth can be repaired but a child’s brain, once harmed during fetal development, cannot. With this much solid scientific evidence, promoting artificial water fluoridation is, in effect, subjecting our mothers and children in Alberta, and much of Canada, to an uncontrolled experiment. This is highly unethical and cannot be justified.
We at Safe Water Calgary ask you to please take into account all the peer-reviewed science, including these important studies from the past few years. If you do, we hope you’ll see that the very strong evidence of fluoride and fluoridation causing harm to human health continues to build.
Lead in paint and gasoline, asbestos, DDT, DES, BPA, mercury, cigarettes and many other harmful substances were thought to be safe until the evidence became too strong to ignore. The science on fluoridation is following the same path.
I strongly urge you to be on the right side of history and withdraw your support for this failing public health practice.
I look forward to your reply.
Robert C Dickson, MD, CCFP, FCFP
Founder, SAFE WATER CALGARY
Calgary, AB T3A 2M7
PS Please distribute this letter to the AMA Board and any other physicians with duties and/or interests in science and policy making.