(Editor’s note: this letter was sent to Parry Sound council and a copy provided to the North Star for publication)
Dear Mayor and Council,
As primary healthcare providers, business owners and parents, we are concerned about the ongoing fluoridation of the town’s water supply. Whether we are all consuming town water or not, the continued practice of adulterating drinking water with a known toxic substance, described as a drug in most other countries, must be halted. The negative effects on health are being revealed consistently. The old adage of “if in doubt, leave it out” must be applied in this case of old science propagating an old practice which has been proven to be less efficacious than first touted and much less safe than first advertised.
Industries stuck with fluoride-containing compounds as industrial waste originally promoted fluoride as a means of reducing tooth decay. The quality of fluoride sources being used today are a significant cause of concern. As with any pharmaceutical compounding or manufacturing, the quality, as in proven potency and purity (free of impurities and additional toxic compounds), of a substance given as a medicine to a patient must be of USP, NF or BP grade. I would be curious to learn what certificate of analysis accompanies the supply of fluoride purchased by our Water Treatment Division. Interestingly, oral doses of Sodium Fluoride U.S.P. were prescribed by physicians in the late 1940’s to help tone down an over active thyroid in their patients. Fluoride essentially poisoned the gland and reduced thyroid output. As of July, 2015, the official definition of a drug, or Active Ingredient, as Health Canada calls it, is this; “An Active Ingredient is any component that has medicinal properties, and supplies pharmacological activity or other direct effect in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or to affect the structure or any function of the body of a human or an animal.” Yet in numerous court cases seeking to have a Federal ruling, as it should be, on this dangerous fluoridation program, the government holds to an older definition that maintains that fluoride is a nutrient and therefore not governed by the laws involving drugs. Confusion at the highest levels? This issue will be taken up with the new Federal Minister of Health in the new year.
For those not clear on what we are discussing, fluoridation involves the addition of Fluoride, a halogen and one of the most reactive substances on the Periodical Table of Elements, at the rate of 0.7-1.0 parts per million (PPM) to our municipal water supply. Early studies involving purified, pharmaceutical grade sodium fluoride applied topically showed that the substance helped create somewhat stronger tooth enamel and more recent studies have demonstrated that fluoride in saliva also seems to affect how well bacteria can cling to teeth. Most dentists will agree that topical application of fluoride is the most effective use of the drug to help prevent tooth decay from acids produced when bacteria digest sugars and starches stuck to our teeth. Fluoride is actually more toxic than lead (Pb), and only slightly less toxic than Arsenic (As) and even Procter and Gamble, the makers of Crest, acknowledge this toxicity. Fluoride accumulates in both soft tissues and in bones.
There are many well designed studies that show many negative and very worrying ill effects from ingesting even small amounts of this drug, including a drop in IQ. Fluoride has been defined as a mutagen, which means it changes genetic material and it passes into the fetus through a mother’s blood supply. This alone has alarmed many health officials and most developed nations have never started or have long ago ended fluoridation programs.
There are too many questions, numerous international concerns and unclear studies showing any significant benefit as far as preventing cavities. I would challenge any healthcare provider, policy maker or consumer to come up with a sensible argument that adequately explains why we would continue to systemically dose an entire population with a known toxic substance which has not been shown to be absolutely safe and which studies show is not effective for its intended purpose when ingested wholesale. It is proven to accumulate in the human body, with probably the same accumulation occurring in wildlife and aquatic species as well. We flush a lot more of this stuff down the drain than we ever consume and yet we see diseases directly linked to fluoride in our population. What about the eco-toxic effects?
Another point to be made is in regards to the dose. As with any drug, adequate control over the dosage that any patient ingests is paramount for safety and efficacy. Fluoridation of drinking water does not allow any control of the dose of fluoride anyone receives.
Variables, including daily water intake, body weight and ability to eliminate the drug through the kidneys or the liver, leave a significant level of uncertainty surrounding overall intake of fluoride.
This greatly impacts safety and heightens risks to those with diseases that affect elimination pathways such as diabetics and those with organ transplants, not to mention children and seniors whose functions are undeveloped or compromised and people with poor nutrition.
The reduction in overall number of dental caries/cavities can be more accurately linked to the advent of fluoride in toothpastes, mouthwashes and dental applications initiated in 1970. Comparisons involving cavity counts in fluoridated versus non-fluoridated communities have shown almost zero difference around the world.
Fluoride is found in anything made with municipal water supplies that are fluoridated which means our foods, drinks and even instant coffee contains the drug. That includes Coke and our local micro-brewery products, unless they go to the effort of removing this substance. With this accumulated effect, there should be concerns for all ages.
While no one is going to die from drinking one glass of fluoridated water, just as no one will die from smoking one cigarette, it is the longer-term chronic effects of glass after glass of fluoridated water that will take its toll on human health. Stopping the fluoridation program will have no immediate negative effect whatsoever on tooth decay rates in our town. I understand that the Town has already spent money to have an assessment done on how to upgrade the corroded fluoride dosing system that we currently operate. A malfunction could dose the town water with a potentially toxic amount of fluoride.
Spending a huge sum of taxpayers’ money on a new system that might get pulled in the near future would be unfortunate. The money would be better spent on a fluoride application program local pharmacists and dentists could provide to those who really need it. In an effort to save throwing more good money after bad, we urge you to consider seriously the liabilities involved in continuing a program that, as dominos fall, is being dropped by municipality after municipality across North America. Be on the winning side of this local, national and international debate and please cease any further fluoridation of our water supply.
Kris Phillips B.S.P., R.Ph.
President/Chief Compounding Pharmacist/GMP QA Consultant
OmniVet Pharma Inc.
Hani Jaber – B.Sc.Pharm.
Gordon Lane – B.Sc.Pharm
Lewis Lau, B.Sc.Pharm
Mulin Yang, B.Sc.Pharm
Howard Oldham LLB
Bonnie Oldham, LLB
Bigi (Becky) He, Pharmacist, Shopper’s Drug Mart Parry Sound franchise owner
Gord Cole, Hon BSC, Aqua Cage Fisheries, owner
John Myers BSc, MSc, high school teacher
Fritz Distler, Distler Construction, owner
Sherry Keown, Ryman Titles, owner
Ann L. Moore, BsC pharmacist