Londoners should urge city council to put warnings on water bills for parents not to use fluoridated tap water to make baby formula, a scientist leading the charge against fluoride told a packed room Wednesday night.
About 370 people turned out at the Wolf Performance Hall at the Central library to hear Dr. Paul Connett present his research. A dozen more were turned away because of lack of space.
Connett said it was the largest audience he had spoken to on fluoride anywhere in the world.
The free talk, dubbed The Case Against Fluoride, was organized by a group of people who believe fluoride is unsafe and shouldn’t be in drinking water.
Even before the talk began, tempers flared as two men on opposite sides of the issue argued outside, before security interfered.
Calling it a “poor medical practice” to fluoridate water, Connett told the crowd there was no measure of how much people were consuming of the toxic substance through their drinking water and other sources.
“If you put something in the water, you have to protect everyone. If you can’t protect everyone, you shouldn’t put it in the water,” he said.
Bottle-fed babies are exposed to 250 times more fluoride than breast-fed babies when their formula is made with fluoridated tap water, he said.
Londoners, he added, should encourage city council to place a warning on all water bills not to use fluoridated tap water to make baby formula.
All other chemicals are in drinking water to make them safe. Chlorine is included to kill bacteria that could harm us, but fluoride is different, he said. It’s included in drinking water as a vehicle to deliver medicine to everyone.
The problem, Connett added, is you can’t control the dose people get or how much they’re getting from other sources.
That Health Canada is not checking dosage is “outrageous,” he said.
In 2006, the US National Research Council released a study on the harmful effects of fluoride in drinking water. The panel was balanced, with people on both sides of the issue represented.
The report found fluoride caused several medical issues, including dental fluorosis, brain damage, lower thyroid function, bone damage and a fatal bone cancer known as osteosarcoma, Connett said.
“How many teeth would you have to save to justify one child dying of osteosarcoma?” he asked the crowd.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, he noted, found in 2010 that 41% of children aged 12 to 15 have dental fluorosis. “It’s a crisis,” he said.
Fluoridating water deprives individuals of informed consent, an important right every patient has when it comes to their health. Doctors who perform medical procedures without informed consent can lose their licences, but the government, by fluoridating water, is doing what doctors can’t, Connett said.
A recent study, not yet published, by the Journal of Hazardous Material, suggested low levels of fluoridated drinking water had an effect on lowering children’s IQ.
“What parent in their right mind would put their children’s teeth above their brains?” Connett asked.
Health Canada hasn’t conducted a single study on the effects of fluoride on IQ, he noted.
The practice of fluoridating water is crumbling, especially in Canada, added Connett, who heads a New York-based group called the Fluoride Action Network. The group’s efforts come after two major Canadian cities, Calgary and Waterloo, decided to discontinue the additive.