Why not a Fluoride Free Essex County?
On January 9, 2012 – Dr. Heimann of the Public Health Unit and Dr. Frank of the Essex County Dental Society (neither of which are fluoridation experts) presented their case as to why Amherstburg should continue fluoridation. Actually, Dr. Heimann’s presentation stated that he wanted Amherstburg to reinstate fluoridation since they’d stopped in April 2011, but Mayor Hurst was quick to cut off Dr. Heimann and claimed that Amherstburg has never stopped fluoridating. Hmm, is that true? Have there been no disruptions in the fluoride feed in Amherstburg’s municipal water supply? It seems the Town of Amherstburg is currently faced with the decision to spend lots of money upgrading their artificial water fluoridation equipment or end the practice of medicating their drinking water with hydrofluorosilicic acid.
Fluoride Free Windsor has been approached by concerned citizens of Amherstburg asking us for help in educating council members of the risks of this gone-too-long experiment. We’ve sent them some information and the list of Fluoride Experts willing to help educate council members and aide them in making an informed decision. It remains to be seen what Amherstburg Council will decide.
This article was published by CBC News following the Amherstburg Council Meeting:
Posted: Jan 11, 2012 8:00 AM ET
Fluoride Free Windsor wants the city to stop adding the chemical to its water. (CBC News)
The area’s medical officer of health is urging Amherstburg council to keep fluoride in the town’s drinking water.
Doctor Allen Heimann said fluoride is not harmful, as some people claim, and it’s the most economical way to keep teeth healthy.
“When fluoride is removed from the drinking water you get an increase of dental decay and dental carries,” Heimann said. “So, what we’re trying to do is look at an equitable public health intervention.”
Amherstburg is now the latest local community to embark on a fluoride debate.
Last fall, Lakeshore stopped adding fluoride at its Stoney Point treatment plant.
That town council unanimously decided to stop adding it.
In Windsor, a group called Fluoride Free Windsor boasts 200 members and wants it removed from the city’s water.
The Windsor Utilities Commission is studying the issue.
However, Windsor is contractually obligated to add fluoride until 2014. That licence is up for renewal in 2014. Only then could fluoride be removed by vote of council.
Respectful retraction requested
CBC reporters were sent a Retraction Request[i] with respect to this statement: “When fluoride is removed from the drinking water you get an increase of dental decay and dental carries,” Heimann said.
In November 2011, CBC reporter, Pat Jeflyn reported on the issue of water fluoridation in Windsor and when Dr. Frank made false claims that dental caries double in communities when fluoridation is ended Jeflyn wrote: However, research done for the ministry of health at the university of Toronto in 1999 concluded: “the few studies of communities where fluoridation has been withdrawn do not suggest significant increases in dental caries.” There have been many communities that have ended fluoridation since 1999 and many more studies conducted, too. So, it is unclear why CBC let this false statement slide in the above article about Amherstburg – hopefully they’ll print the retraction we requested.
Question from the audience
One Amherstburg council member asked the presenters about Dental Fluorosis in the community. Dr. Frank answered that there wasn’t much dental fluorosis in the community and that it was only a cosmetic effect, hardly detectable. When we contacted the Essex County Dental Society a few months ago and asked if they had statistics of dental fluorosis rates for this area and if they had comparisons of the dental fluorosis rates of the non-fluoridated communities (Kingsville, Leamington, Essex, Ruthven, Wheatley, Harrow, Lakeshore) with the communities that are fluoridated (Windsor, Tecumseh, Lasalle and Amherstburg), they said they had no such statistics – so, we’re not sure where Dr. Frank is getting his information that he can tell Amherstburg council that there isn’t much dental fluorosis in our area. Perhaps it is the method by which dental fluorosis is diagnosed, or not diagnosed, that gives Dr. Frank the confidence to say dental fluorosis isn’t a concern?: “Dean’s Dental Fluorosis Classification System” calls for dentists to ignore the worst-affected tooth and base the diagnosis on the second-worst-fluoride-stained tooth. So if the teeth are unevenly or irregularly affected, the most visibly stained tooth is ignored, for purposes of classifying the condition – resulting in a downplaying of the disfigurement caused by fluoridated water and other ingested fluorides.
What is dental fluorosis anyway?
According to the Canadian Dental Association, dental fluorosis occurs as “the result of a child getting too much fluoride.” Ingesting too much fluoride can cause white opaque spots, brown stains, mottled and fracture prone enamel. Yes, you read that correctly – the fluoride you’re told is for preventing cavities can damage your children’s teeth. According to the US Centre for Disease Control “the severity of the condition depends on the dose (how much), duration (how long), and timing (when consumed) of fluoride intake.”
Is dental fluorosis only a cosmetic concern, as dental health authorities’ claim?
Fluoride and fluoridation experts say the teeth are a window to the bones and that dental fluorosis is the visible sign that the child is toxic with fluoride. Consider these quotes about dental fluorosis:
“it is illogical to assume that tooth enamel is the only tissue affected by low daily doses of fluoride ingestion.”
SOURCE: Dr. Hardy Limeback, Head of Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto. (2000). Why I am now Officially Opposed to Adding Fluoride to Drinking Water.
“Common sense should tell us that if a poison circulating in a child’s body can damage the tooth-forming cells, then other harm also is likely.”
SOURCE: Colquhoun J. (1997). Why I changed my mind about Fluoridation. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 41:29-44.
“Like bones, a child’s teeth are alive and growing. Flourosis is the result of fluoride rearranging the crystalline structure of a tooth’s enamel as it is still growing. It is evidence of fluoride’s potency and ability to cause physiologic changes within the body, and raises concerns about similar damage that may be occurring in the bones.”
SOURCE: Environmental Working Group, “National Academy Calls for Lowering Fluoride Limits in Tap Water”, March 22, 2006.
“A linear correlation between the Dean index of dental fluorosis and the frequency of bone fractures was observed among both children and adults.”
SOURCE: Alarcon-Herrera MT, et al. (2001). Well Water Fluoride, Dental fluorosis, Bone Fractures in the Guadiana Valley of Mexico. Fluoride 34(2): 139-149.
Is dental fluorosis caused by children swallowing fluoridated toothpaste?
Artificial water fluoridation proponents can’t seem to face the paradox that we’re told NOT to swallow (pharmaceutical grade) fluoridated toothpaste but DO swallow (industrial by-product/waste) fluoridated water. And when this ingested fluoride causes problems they claim it is because we’re swallowing the fluoride they tell us not to and not because we’re swallowing the fluoride they do tell us to – anyone else see a logical problem with this argument?
While you try to wrap your brain around that enigma, consider this:
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, “Water and processed beverages (e.g., soft drinks and fruit juices) can provide approximately 75% of a person’s fluoride intake” US Centers for Disease Control – Dental Fluorosis
And according to the 2006 US National Research Council Review on Fluoride in Drinking Water: “The major dietary source of fluoride for most people in the United States is fluoridated municipal (community) drinking water, including water consumed directly, food and beverages prepared at home or in restaurants from municipal drinking water, and commercial beverages and processed foods originating from fluoridated municipalities.” NRC 2006 p. 24
Dental fluorosis rates continue to increase since the fluoridation experiment began. According to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care 1999 Report , incidence of dental fluorosis is nearly twice as prevalent in communities with fluoridated water, compared to communities that do not fluoridate their water.
Dental and Health Authority claims aside – logic tells us, dental fluorosis is caused by the fluoride you’re ingesting – wherever that fluoride may come from.
The science and statistics are convincing, fluoride can do a lot of harm and when fluoridation is ended both dental caries rates and dental fluorosis rates decline. In case you’re not convinced check out these research studies done in British Columbia, published in a Danish Journal called Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (Why a Danish journal when these are Canadian studies?): In Patterns of dental caries following the cessation of water fluoridation, researchers compared prevalence and incidence of dental caries between fluoridation-ended and still-fluoridated communities in British Columbia, Canada. The prevalence of dental caries decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the still-fluoridated community. Five years later in the same Danish journal these same researchers published Changes in dental fluorosis following the cessation of water fluoridation about the prevalence of dental fluorosis after water fluoridation ended. When fluoride was removed from the water supply the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis decreased significantly.
One can ponder what would have happened to Canada’s artificial water fluoridation practice if these two studies had been published together in Canada for Canadian policy makers to review.
Despite this research, that Canadian dental authorities are aware of, we’re still told that we should drink the fluoride in water but spit-out the fluoride in toothpaste and the focus on fluoridated toothpaste is ever highlighted to help us forget this paradoxical advice:
According to the Canadian Dental Association, Use of Fluorides in Caries Prevention: children under 3 need to be assessed for risk of dental caries by a professional and if they are at risk “the child’s teeth should be brushed by an adult using a minimal amount (a portion the size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste. Use of fluoridated toothpaste in a small amount has been determined to achieve a balance between the benefits of fluoride and the risk of developing fluorosis. If the child is not considered to be at risk, the teeth should be brushed by an adult using a toothbrush moistened only with water.
How many parents know about the CDA recommendation to use ONLY water or a grain of rice sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste? When was the last time you saw an advertisement for toothpaste with only a grain of rice sized amount on the brush?
Tying it all together and keeping it local
This brings us back to the CBC News article above. It is ironic that CBC used the picture of this particular child drinking water. You see, this little darling has the signs of dental fluorosis. She was exclusively breast-fed, got little if any processed drinks, eats mostly organic food, has never used fluoridated toothpaste or fluoride supplements – but drank lots and lots of municipally fluoridated water, more than anyone else in her family. Her parents believed that the tap water was safe and that water was better for her to drink than anything else.
When her parents started noticing spots on her teeth they took her to the dentist, she was only 2. The dentist told them to rub fluoride on her teeth, they were not told anything about dental fluorosis or that their child had been over-exposed to fluoride. Doing their own research they discovered that the spots on her teeth looked exactly like what was called dental fluorosis. This dentist attempted to blame the mother for the pitted teeth because she nursed her daughter at night – nature’s perfect food for infants doesn’t ruin their teeth, shame on this dentist for telling her that!
While this family would qualify for the Children In Need of Treatment program for fluoride treatments and for filling of cavities, the program does not cover the costs of repairing dental fluorosis. The cost to repair dental fluorosis damage is much higher than the cost of fixing the half a cavity the ingested fluoride is supposedly meant to prevent. Consider how many ‘cosmetic dentistry’ practices we see these days. The family had to pay $700 to have their child’s baby teeth cosmetically fixed (they were worried about psychological effects of their child having brown marks on her teeth) and they won’t know what damage the fluoride toxicity will do to her adult teeth until they come in. Sadly, it does seem as though her dental fluorosis is an indication of her bone health. When she was only three and a half she fell a short distance off a couch onto carpet and fractured her arm. Her parents have invested in an expensive water filter system for drinking and cooking water, but as you can see if you read the mother’s account[ii] – they’re still concerned about the fluoride she’s exposed to through skin absorption in the bath and through food and beverages when they are not at home.
Public health authorities like to say that drugging the water supply is an ‘equitable’ method for delivering fluoride. But it is low and middle income families that can’t afford avoidance measures and the huge costs of the repairs that aren’t covered by government programs or health benefits, because they’ve been deemed cosmetic.
Too much fluoride is dangerous! Do you know how much your children are getting?
One thing everyone agrees on is that too much fluoride is dangerous – which is why proponents of artificial water fluoridation always add the tag line ‘at optimal levels’ when making the claims that ingesting fluoride is ‘safe and effective’. We are told it is safe to drink fluoridated water every day for our entire lives, even though no one is considering the dose we’re ingesting and even though no one has determined our total fluoride exposure (forget about there being no toxicological data or clinical trials on the safety of ingesting hfsa!). You’ll recall that we asked a dentist how we would determine if our children are getting too much fluoride – must we wait until our children have dental fluorosis (that is if we are able to see it), the sign that they’re toxic with fluoride – isn’t that too late?
We are responsible for monitoring our own fluoride exposure and our children’s fluoride exposure – and if you determine you’re getting too much, good luck avoiding it if you live in a community that has decided to drug the water supply with hydrofluorosilicic acid.
We think we live in a moral society, so can’t we do better than this to protect our children?
In this article we haven’t even touched on the risks of fluoride for infants; the babies exposed to hydrofluorosilicic acid and the co-contaminants of lead, arsenic, mercury and radionuclides – infants that don’t even have teeth yet! Nor have we discussed the risks to seniors as the fluoride builds up in their bones and leads to increased risk of hip fractures, not to mention that many seniors don’t have teeth anymore, either! And we haven’t explored how public health authorities justify endorsing the practice of swallowing an unregulated industrial waste product; those are topics for later articles, so stay tuned…or of course, you could always – and we suggest you do – research on your own and discover the truth about the dangers and risks of ingesting fluoride.
[i] This is what we sent to council members and CBC to justify our request for a retraction with respect to Dr. Heimann’s comment, “When fluoride is removed from the drinking water you get an increase of dental decay and dental carries,”:
This statement made by Dr. Heimann as quoted in the CBC article is false, see evidence below:
The scientific method has a few basic requirements: that raw survey data be statistically analysed to control for the many variables which influence cavity rates and that examiner bias be controlled, among other things. Any data collection which does not follow these simple rules cannot be called science. Dr. Heimann omitted to inform CBC that a large volume of peer-reviewed, published research demonstrates that when you discontinue artificial water fluoridation, cavity rates do not change, or continue to decline.
A recent Canadian study done by the dental officer of health for Toronto, (Azarpazhooh A, Stewart H. 2006) co-authored a meta-analysis of the research which compared communities still using artificial water fluoridation with communities which had stopped artificial water fluoridation (12 papers met the inclusion criteria). North American communities that discontinued fluoridation did not experience an increase in the incidence of dental caries. The communities which stopped artificial water fluoridation experienced a reduction in the incidence of dental caries in both absolute terms and relative to communities that continued to fluoridate their drinking water.
Another Canadian research paper (Clark et al 2006) concluded that “Following fluoridation cessation of the public water supply, the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis decreased significantly.”
Another Canadian study by Maupome et al. 2001 reported: “The prevalence of caries (assessed in 5,927 children, grades 2, 3, 8, 9) decreased over time in the fluoridation-ended community while remaining unchanged in the fluoridated community.”
Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
- Burt BA, et al. 2000. The effects of a break in water fluoridation on the development of dental caries and fluorosis. Journal of Dental Research 79(2):761-9.
- Clark DC, Shulman JD, Maupome G, Levy SM. 2006 Changes in Dental Fluorosis Following Cessation of Water Fluoridation. Community of Dental and Oral Epidemiology Jun;34(3):197-204.
- Kalsbeek H, Kwant GW, Groeneveld A, Dirks OB, van Eck AA, Theuns HM.1993 Caries experience of 15-year-old children in The Netherlands after discontinuation of water fluoridation. Caries Res. 27(3):201-5.
- Kobayashi S, Kawasaki K, Takagi O, Nakamura M, Fujii N, Shinzato M, Maki Y, Takaesu Y. 1992 Caries experience in subjects18–22 years of age after 13 years’discontinued water fluoridation in Okinawa. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. 20(2):81-83.
- Künzel W, Fisher T 2000 Caries prevalence after cessation of water fluoridation in La Salud, Cuba. Caries Res 34:20–25.
- Kunzel W, et al. 2000. Decline in caries prevalence after the cessation of water fluoridation in former East Germany. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 28(5): 382-389.
- Lekesova I, Rokytova K, Salandova M, Mrklas L 1996 Zastaveni fluoridace pitne vody v Praze. Progresdent 6:15-17.
- Maupome G, et al. 2001. Patterns of dental caries following the cessation of water fluoridation. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 29(1): 37-47.
- Seppa L, et al. 2000 Caries trends 1992-98 in two low-fluoride Finnish towns formerly with and without fluoride. Caries Research 34(6): 462-8.
Recent Reviews of Cessation Studies
- Natick Fluoridation Committee. 1997 The Natick Report: An Analysis of Water Fluoridation. Sept 27.
- Ziegelbecker R. Natural Water Fluoridation: Multifactorial Influences on Dental Caries in the 21 Cities Study. Abstracts. International Society for Fluoride Research, XVIIth Conference, Hotel Thermal, BUDAPEST, Hungary, June 22 – 25, 1989
- Ziegelbecker R. Fluoridation in Europe (Letter to the Editor) FLUORIDE1 August 1998;31(3):171-174.
- Pizzo G, Piscopo M, Pizzo I, Giulliana G. 2007 Community water fluoridation and caries prevention: a critical review. Clinical and Oral Investigations Sep;11(3):189-193.
- Azarpazhooh A, Stewart H. 2006 Oral Health Consequences of the Cessation of Water Fluoridation in Toronto.
1 Quarterly Journal of the International Society for Fluoride Research.
[ii] Mother’s account of discovering her daughter has dental fluorosis:
She was born in the fall of 2006. She was breast fed on demand. Around age 2, we noticed some white spots and opaque areas on her front teeth. She didn’t really drink milk or juice or consume sugar, but she did drink a lot of tap water. She soon developed pitting/mottling with yellowish brown marks on her four, front teeth. We took her to the dentist who then referred us to a pediatric dental specialist. She was 2 and a half. We were told that nursing a baby to sleep could cause this. I know that breast milk is the ideal food for an infant and does not promotes tooth decay. They “fixed” her teeth by filling in the fissures with a white material. It cost $700. It was scary for us to sedate our child at such a young age. They also recommended that we rub fluoridated toothpaste on her teeth every day. Something told us to not follow this advice.
After that, I came across some pictures on the internet that looked exactly like her teeth! The condition is called dental fluorosis. Excessive ingestion of fluoride during the early childhood years may damage the tooth-forming cells leading to a defect in the enamel. It is the first visible sign that a child has been overexposed to fluoride. I wish I had taken a photograph of her teeth before they were cosmetically treated. I felt so bad for my innocent, little child, knowing that her small body was probably saturated with fluoride and the effects were showing up in her teeth. As noted by Dr. Hardy Limeback, Head of Preventive Dentistry at the University of Toronto, “it is illogical to assume that tooth enamel is the only tissue affected by low daily doses of fluoride ingestion.”
A year later, when she was 3 and a half, she fell off the sofa and fractured her arm. This was strange since she landed on soft carpet and the couch wasn’t even that high. She had to wear a partial cast with a sling. I now understand that this was also related to the toxic effects of hydrofluorosiolicic acid. That’s when we learned about how fluoride effects the bones and how excessive exposure to fluoride causes an arthrtiic bone disease called Skeletal Fluorosis. “Common sense should tell us that if a poison circulating in a child’s body can damage the tooth-forming cells, then other harm also is likely.” – Colquhoun J. (1997). Why I changed my mind about Fluoridation. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 41:29-44.
When she was 4, we got a reverse osmosis water filtration system installed in our kitchen. I also learned that that the fluoride gets concentrated when water is boiled. Now we drink and cook with water that is free of hydrofluorosilicic acid. But she still bathes in municipal tap water. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is readily absorbed into the body from showering or bathing. In fact, these chemicals are actually more dangerous when absorbed through the skin, because they enter the bloodstream more easily, bypassing the gut where they would bind with minerals from food, thus diminishing their harmful effects. We feel trapped because there’s no way for us to get away from it.
She is now 5 years old. Her teeth are discoloured and we’re just waiting for them to fall out. We’re hoping that her adult teeth won’t be affected so she won’t have to live with the visual impact of the discoloration induced by fluorosis which can cause significant embarrassment and stress to the child, resulting in adverse effects on self-esteem and emotional health. But I have read that the damage that dental fluorosis causes to the internal matrix of the teeth is permanent. There is no way to reverse this damage There are only ways to hide the damage, to treat the surface of the teeth to hide the discoloration.
I am saddened and angry that we are being medicated without our consent, with no dose control with an unregulated, toxic substance. All we want is safe water, is that too much to ask?