In a two-part investigation, Rory Hafford talks to Dr. Don Mac Auley about his battle with the health boards to get to the bottom of the fluoridation debate.
Dr. Don Mac Auley has been concerned about the health effects of fluoridation for some time. So much so, the Navan-based dentist raised the matter with the health boards.
The response he got was less than satisfactory; in fact it was postitively aggressive. He was asked if he had any “political affiliations”. He was quizzed as to whether he was going to publish any of the material. His questions were deemed “slack and vague”. And, finally, he was accused of being “unprofessional”… and all this from an official in the Western Health Board.
“I was truly shocked at the confrontational tone,” Dr. Mac Auley told Medicine Weekly. “Then it got me thinking that maybe there were things about water fluoridation that they didn’t want to come out.”
It was back in 1998, when Dr. Mac Auley was working in Artane in Dublin that he first became interested in the subject. Many of his patients were suffering from a complaint known as dental fluorosis – a problem which shows up as “flecking” on the teeth, but can be a sign of a deeper malaise. He wrote to the Irish Dental Association seeking clarification. They ignored him. He then wrote to the Department of Health, who sent him a copy of a webpage from an American site. His investigations eventually led him to his “confrontation” with the WHB.
“My enquiries were supposed to be confidential, under the Freedom of Information Act. But I was later called into the office of my boss who had chapter and verse of what I had said to the health board. He advised me to sing the pro-fluoride song or face the consequences.”
His contract at the practice was not renewed.
Undeterrred, Dr. Mac Auley continued his investigation into fluoride. Here is just a sample of his findings:
The chemical used to dose our drinking water is called hydrofluosilicic acid. Through the Freedom of information Act, Dr. Mac Auley found this compound is a waste product of the phosphate fertilser industry. Ireland imports this acid from Holland which, ironically, prohibits fluoridation by law. A recent analysis shows that this fluroide cocktail contains contaminants such as arsenic, lead and anitmony, all of which are heavy metals.
Further evidence indicates that another contaminant, phosphorus pentoxide, contains uranium 238. According to the Irish Medicines Board (IMB), this fluoride is not registered as a medicine, is unlicensed and has never been proven safe or effective for use on humans.
“What concerns me,” said Dr. Mac Auley, “is, in 35 years, there have been no health studies carried out in Ireland on the health effects of water fluoridation. Successive health ministers, including Mr. Martin, have failed to monitor public health.”
The Minster for Health has set up a special Forum on Fluoridation, which is expected to furnish him a report “near the end of the year”. Despite repeated efforts by Medicine Weekly to contact members of the Forum, no repsonse was forthcoming.
However, with 98% of Europe saying no to water fluoridation, and the minister currently in the process of being sued by the Fluoride Free Water group, the finding of the Forum promise to be an interesting read.
*See next week for what the Department of Health may be afraid to find on fluoridation.