While Windsor-Essex was Fluoride Free, Science of Negative Health Impacts Mounts

When the water provider (Windsor Utilities Commission) for Windsor, Tecumseh and Lasalle, recommended that the City of Windsor cease water fluoridation, the council of the day voted a 5 year moratorium on adding hydrofluorosilicic acid into the drinking water supply. That five years has come and gone.

Health Unit Can’t See Beyond the Oral Cavity;
Ignores Science and Negative Health Effects

The Health Unit is again lobbying for water fluoridation but their report fails policy makers in several ways:

– It doesn’t provide data by municipality; Lakeshore voted unanimously to stop adding fluoridation chemicals to their Stoney Point water treatment plant in November 2011, their other water treatment plant, in Belle River, never had it added. Amherstburg voted unanimously to end fluoridation in February 2012, but hadn’t fluoridated since the April prior due to equipment failure. Kingsville, Leamington and Essex never fluoridated their water supply. Windsor, Lasalle and Tecumseh ended fluoridation in early 2013.  A previous oral health report from 2016 did provide data by municipality and reported that Tecumseh and Lasalle had the fewest cavities, Leamington and Windsor had the most, the remaining communities were fairly equal and the difference from the lowest to highest cavity rates was less than half a cavity. That’s right! LESS THAN HALF A CAVITY.

– The report doesn’t control for confounding factors, data wasn’t collected scientifically, isn’t peer-reviewed or published; the Health Unit would like policy makers to believe that their data proves the effectiveness of fluoridation, but they haven’t even considered such factors as: access to fluoride from other sources, income, diet, dental visits, oral health practices, how much tap water (with or without fluoride) is being consumed, and other factors.

– Water fluoridation does nothing to remove barriers to access to dental health care by a professional.

– No one is monitoring total fluoride exposure from all sources. Fluoride is in toothpaste, other dental products, and in some food and beverages. The science is clear that too much fluoride is harmful, especially for the most vulnerable – infants, those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, those with thyroid and kidney conditions.

– The report claims there is no dental fluorosis in the teeth of children screened, but children screened have none or very few permanent teeth. Permanent teeth would show the signs of over exposure to fluoride.  The Canadian Health Measures Survey showed that 40% of adolescent aged children have some form of dental fluorosis.

– Screening is done by dental hygienists (who are not allowed to diagnose caries/cavities) under really bad lighting conditions in schools.

MEANWHILE IN SCIENCE

Science is mounting for the negative health effects of ingesting fluoride. Here are four recent ones:

1. A Canadian study, published in October 2018, found that adults who are iodine deficient and have higher levels of fluoride in their system have a greater risk of an underactive thyroid.

“I have grave concerns about the health effects of fluoride exposure,” Ashley Malin, lead author of the Canada thyroid study and a researcher at the Department of Environmental Medicine and Public Health, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told EHN. “And not just from my study but the other studies that have come out in recent years.”

Malin said 18 percent of the nearly 7 million people they studied were iodine deficient. “We’re talking about potentially [more than] a million people at risk of an underactive thyroid due to fluoride exposure.”

2. A second Canadian study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that among 1,566 pregnant women, fluoride levels in urine were almost two times higher for women who live where fluoridation chemicals are added to their drinking water compared to pregnant women living in non-fluoridated communities. “The studies call into question the practice of purposely adding fluoride to water…”

Christine Till, an associate professor and researcher at York University, told EHN one of her main concerns is that pregnant women are susceptible to iodine deficiency, which, according to the study from Canada, could leave the mothers-to-be with thyroid problems.

3. Another study published the same day “looked at 213 Mexican mother-children pairs and examined mothers’ urine fluoride levels during pregnancy and assessed children for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms at ages 6 to 12.”

Dr. Howard Hu, co-author of the Mexico study and an epidemiological researcher at the University of Washington, told EHN the research from Canada on fluoride levels in pregnant women “makes the results of this study from Mexico even more applicable to what might be going on in North America.”

Also, fluoride easily crosses the placenta from mother to her unborn. The study is not the first to find a fluoride-behavioral link: A previous study linked the element to ADHD in U.S. children.

4. A year earlier, in September 2017, a published study looked at the association of prenatal exposure to fluoride and the offspring’s neuro-cognitive development

“In this study, higher prenatal fluoride exposure, was associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring at age 4 and 6–12 y.”

Fluoride as a neuro-toxin has been studied before with respect to fluoride exposure in children outside the womb. Fluoride proponents disregarded these earlier studies claiming they aren’t relevant because they weren’t conducted with fluoride exposure at levels seen in North America.
Will they continue to ignore the mounting evidence and these newly published North American studies?

Water Fluoridation is a Water Quality/Safety Issue

Remember, water fluoridation schemes began before fluoridated toothpaste was readily available. Today, we can buy toothpaste with fluoride cheaply in nearly every store.

Public Health needs to stop relying on the outdated and false claims about the efficacy and safety of water fluoridation and start dealing with the lack of access to dental health care for a growing number of Canadians.

Drinking water should be safe for everyone, including pregnant women and their unborn children, the iodine deficient, those with kidney and thyroid conditions, and our most vulnerable.

Windsor Council made a progressive and protective decision, five years ago, when they decided to end water fluoridation. 

Council will vote on this issue again and they need to hear from you before December 14, 2018.  Please send a brief message letting them know you want your water free of fluoridation chemicals.  Council contact emails can be found here.

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