Why, in 1974, didn’t authorities learn from this terrible tragedy? A 3-year-old Brooklyn boy, during his first dental checkup, had fluoride paste applied to his teeth. He was then handed a glass of water, but the hygienist failed to inform him to swish the solution around in his mouth, and then spit it out.
Instead, he drank the water, and a few hours later he was dead from fluoride poisoning. Fluoride is an acute toxin with a rating higher than lead.
I was severely criticized by dentists when I issued a warning about fluoride five years ago. Now, a report from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), says that the use of fluoride causes a decrease in children’s IQ.
Anna Choi, at the HSPH, reports in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives a study involving children from two nearby communities. Researchers discovered that children in the low-fluoride area had a 28 percent chance of being normal, bright, or of high intelligence.
In the high-fluoride area, the figure was 8 percent. They also found that in the low-fluoride community, 6 percent of children suffered from mental retardation compared to 15 percent in the high-fluoride community.
The HSPH says that there are now 23 human and 100 animal studies that link the use of fluoridated water to brain damage. These findings show an increase of aluminum and beta amyloid plaque in the brain, both associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
There’s also a decrease in acetylcholine receptors, which help to transmit nerve messages. These changes could have an adverse effect on a child’s neurodevelopment.
The sole argument favoring fluoridation is that it reduces tooth decay. But several studies, involving as many as 480,000 children, found no beneficial evidence between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities. In fact, one study showed tooth decay was greater in the fluoridated area! Moreover, dental health in Europe has improved since 1970 without fluoridation.
So why the United States and Canada continue to add a toxic element to our drinking water is hard to fathom. After all, 98 percent of Europe is fluoride-free. Sweden, Germany, Norway, Holland, Denmark, and France stopped using fluoridation 30 years ago. These countries are hardly backward nations.
In 1980, a New Zealand dentist, an ardent supporter of fluoride therapy, was sent by the government on a tour to study fluoridation. He returned an outspoken critic of the treatment.
In 1999, Dr. Hardy Limeback, professor of dentistry at the University of Toronto and former supporter of fluoridation, reported that fluoride might be destroying our bones, teeth, and overall health. He claimed that children under 3 should never use fluoride toothpaste or drink fluoridated water, and mothers should never use tap water to prepare baby formula.
Fluoride passes through the placental barrier, so it could cause problems in the developing brain.
Most parents are not aware of dental fluorosis, a discoloring of teeth due to excess fluoride. In 1940, this mottling of teeth occurred in 10 percent of children’s teeth. Today, in some areas, it’s as high as 55 percent. One reason is that children’s toothpaste tastes good so they swallow too much of it.
I’m not alone in thinking there is no convincing evidence that water should contain 1.5 parts per million (ppm) fluoride, when our bodies have no use for it and when the risk is greater than the benefit. Toothpaste has up to 1,500 ppm, and treatment in a dentist’s office has a whopping 10,000 to 20,000 ppm!
I believe it’s dangerous for health authorities to brush aside the Harvard study. So-called experts are not always right. As Carl Sagan, the noted astronomer, remarked when discussing authoritarian judgments: “Arguments from authorities do not count. Too many authorities have been mistaken too often.”
This is just my opinion about fluoridation, and I could be wrong. But it appears that since the 3-year-old boy died, experts continue to ignore the dangers.
And I’ve learned to be prepared for criticism that invariably descends on me about this issue.
Dr. Gifford-Jones is a medical journalist with a private medical practice in Toronto. His website is DocGiff.com.
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