Our district council recently voted (April 26, 2011) to continue artificial water fluoridation (AWF) in Muskoka. Since February, several medical officers of health and two dentists have given their robust approval to AWF, stating their concern for providing the “benefits of fluoridation” for the entire population, particularly those of low socio-economic status. They have told us, on record, fluoridation is perfectly safe; they’ve also told us to buy non-fluoridated water if we don’t want to drink AWF tap water.
However, fetuses and infants are more vulnerable to fluoride toxicity because:
The blood-brain barrier is not fully formed;
The kidneys are not fully developed;
Infants/fetuses ingest more fluoride per unit body weight than adults (children are given child-size aspirin);
Children grow faster, therefore fluoride accumulation in body tissues (e.g. bone) is relatively high (Bassin 2006) and bioaccumulates throughout life and fluoride is associated with an increase in premature births, a major cause of infant death. This relationship was most pronounced among women in the lowest socio-economic status groups (>10 per cent poverty) and those of non-white racial origin. Recommendation was made for further study of this relationship. The study was from the University at Albany.
In a Health Canada 2009 Draft Review: one-month old infants drinking powder milk-based formula (tap water) exceed the safe limit set by the Institute of Medicine by 3,300 per cent.
Internationally, there are the following observations/recommendations:
-France (Agence francaise de securite sanitaire des produits de santes) in 2008 states children should not consume water with fluoride levels above 0.5 mg/L.
-American Dental Association in 2006 recommends that babies should use water: “purified, distilled, deionized, demineralized, or produced through reverse osmosis.”
-Food Safety Authority Ireland in 2001 states: “that the precautionary principle should apply and recommends that infant formula should not be re-constituted with fluoridated tap water.”
According to the National Research Council in 1977/2006 – US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry in 1993 and US Environmental Protection Agency the following are at risk:
-Pregnant/lactating mothers, fetuses, young children;
– One to five per cent of the population who are hypersensitive to fluoride, the elderly over 65 (12 per cent of the population), diabetics (five to 10 per cent of population), those with cardiovascular disease (five per cent of the population), those with renal disease (five per cent of the population), those on diets due to essential vitamin and mineral insufficiencies such as calcium, magnesium (27 to 44 per cent of the population), and iodine (38 per cent of world’s population), as well as those with thyroid problems and those who consume up to ten times more water than the average (see National Research Council 2006 Review Tables 2-4 and B-14).
Why do Canadian babies, fetuses, and these other groups not deserve the same protection as Irish, French, and American babies? The essence of social justice is to protect the vulnerable members of our society. From the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms-Equality Rights 15 (1), “Any law or action which imposes burdens, obligations or disadvantages to minorities is discriminatory.” There is no social justice in the promotion of an unregulated, uncontrolled product used to control oral disease which has never been assessed for safety or efficacy by any government agency.
As a member of the diabetic minority, I wonder why public health and dentistry have abandoned their mandate to protect my health from fluoride poisoning. I ask this question on behalf of the elderly, diabetics, kidney and cardiovascular patients, infants and their parents, and particularly on behalf of those of low socio-economic status, like those who cannot afford non-fluoridated water.
Dental fluorosis has steadily increased in fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities (Locker 1999).
According to public health: “Every $1 spent on fluoridation saves $38,” but that is based on 30-year-old data and several false assumptions. (Clinch; Osmunson):
Most fluoridated water goes down the drain into the environment. It’s expensive (in a recession), and degrades the water infrastructure.
The National Kidney Foundation withdrew its endorsement of AWF in 2007.
Hip fractures are a huge drain on health-care costs, and carry very poor prognoses. By 2020, the U.S. estimates $22 billion (divide by 10 for Canada).
Speaking of a huge drain: “public health” in Simcoe-Muskoka costs $26 million yearly and $760 million across the province. Imagine the total Canada-wide! Medical officers of health are paid well over $200,000 per year, full expenses. Average income for the rest of us is $36,000. (Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit).Health-care ranking, (World Health Organization 2000): Canada 23; U.S. 30. Infant mortality: Canada 22, U.S. 37. Per capita health-care spending (2007): in Canada $3,895 and in the U.S. $6,719.
In 2007 45 per cent of Canadians had fluoridation, 67 per cent in the U.S. (2002).
Association does not necessarily prove causation. The precautionary principle means: If in doubt, leave it out.
Dr. James E. Bjork O.D.,