dental care

Jan 13, 2015

Water fluoridation: why is it still being debated?

** Updated 24/3/15 with additional post and links to new National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) review.

For most Australians, the public controversy over fluoridating their water supply is a distant memory, if they remember it at all, but there are still parts of Australia where this demonstrably safe and effective health measure is strongly resisted. It’s a classic case of emotion and scaremongering winning out over evidence-based studies.  In the following piece, dentist and educator Michael Foley outlines the public health argument for fluoridation and calls on the scientific and health care communities to combat mis-information and anti-scientific arguments against this practice. 

The not-completely-in-jest term ‘crazification factor’ was coined when the wildly eccentric Alan Keyes was surprisingly well supported in a 2004 US Senate campaign against then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama.  It refers to the percentage of the population with a tenuous grasp on rational thought and an eagerness to embrace the conspiracy theory du jour.

Yes, we live in a wonderful world where the gullible can freely believe that vaccinations and ‘chemtrails’ are killing us.  Lots of people believe in fake moon landings, alien abductions, and homeopathy too.  But while many conspiracy theories are harmless nonsense, promotion of others can impact adversely on public health.  One of the longest running relates to the supposed dangers of water fluoridation, wonderfully satirised in the 1964 movie Dr Strangelove as an ‘…international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.’  Amazingly, this belief lives on, despite fluoridation safely reducing dental caries (tooth decay) around the world for 70 years, and being labelled by the US-based Centers for Disease Control as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century. 

A common accusation from the anti-fluoride lobby is that ‘study x’ found that fluoride in drinking water causes ‘disease y’, therefore fluoridation should be banned.  Apart from the fact that most of the studies quoted are methodologically weak or irrelevant to water fluoridation, correlation is not causation.

Even without the effects of bias, multiple studies investigating a hypothesized link between fluoride in drinking water and disease y will show a spread of results.  Different studies take different samples from different population groups, and random variations always exist.  If no causal effect exists between the two, experience shows us that a few studies will still show a positive relationship i.e. a greater exposure to fluoride in drinking water associated with a higher level of disease y.  A few studies will also show a negative relationship i.e. a greater exposure to fluoride in drinking water associated with a lower level of disease y.  And most studies will sit somewhere around the middle, showing no significant association either way.

This variability does not show that ‘science is divided’ or ‘the jury is out’, a common claim from opponents of fluoridation.  On the contrary.  A diversity of results largely centred around the no-effect value confirms only that random variation (and sometimes bias) exists in all public health research, and supports the null hypothesis that no causal association exists between the two variables.

Invariably, studies selectively ‘cherry-picked’ by anti-fluoridationists to link fluoridation with disease y are overwhelmed by larger studies and higher quality studies that find otherwise, or clear evidence on the ground that no such association exists.

Anti-fluoridationists also claim that no high quality evidence exists to show that fluoridation reduces dental caries in populations, and that’s true, if by high quality evidence we consider only randomised controlled trials.  But randomised controlled trials are often not practical, ethical or appropriate, and in the case of water fluoridation they’re not even possible.  Does that mean we can’t judge the effectiveness of water fluoridation?

Of course not.  Water fluoridation is one of the most heavily studied public health measures of all time, and the very consistent finding from the highest quality studies and reviews is that it safely and significantly reduces caries in both children and adults.  The differences in the levels of caries attributable to the effect of fluoridated water are far greater than could be accounted for by any other confounding variable.  The harms of smoking and public health benefits of seat belts and motorcycle helmets have never been demonstrated through randomised controlled trials either, but we’re very certain of their impacts on public health.

Unfortunately, many Australians are still denied the benefits of water fluoridation.  Most Australian cities fluoridated their water supplies in the 1960s and 70s, but successive Queensland governments left fluoridation decision making to local councils.  Understandably, when faced with all capital and ongoing costs, and a lack of support from state governments, most councils expressed no interest.  By 2007, only 5% of Queenslanders had access to fluoridated water, in contrast to around 90% of Australians in other states.  This changed only after legislation was finally passed in 2008 to mandate fluoridation in communities with populations over 1,000.  The fluoridation rollout program continued until 2012, when a new government inexplicably back-tracked, despite having supported the previous government’s legislation unanimously in 2008, and once again legislated to make water fluoridation a local government issue.

Many councils cited cost pressures for their subsequent decisions to opt out of fluoridation, despite the costs of fluoridation being outweighed many times over by saved dental treatment costs.  Others were swayed by a relentless misinformation campaign from science sceptics, conspiracy theorists and CAM practitioners.  A similar recent campaign in northern NSW saw their Chief Medical Officer being threatened with Sarin gas, and one fanatic urinating at the front door of a local dental surgery.  The net result is that around 500,000 regional Queenslanders and population pockets around the country still miss out on the decay-fighting benefits of water fluoridation.

The mishandling of water fluoridation policy is a health, social, and financial calamity.  Directly or indirectly, all Australians pay for the level of disease in our communities, whether it be diabetes or dementia or dental caries.  And it’s in all our interests to reduce the level of disease in our communities, particularly when we can do it simply, safely and cheaply.

It’s time for scientists and health professionals to be counted on water fluoridation.  Public health policy in Australia must be based on the weight of high quality scientific evidence and the best health interests of Australians, not conspiracy theory web sites and irrational scaremongering from eccentric fringe dwellers with the crazification factor coursing through their veins.

Michael Foley is a Queensland-based dentist.  He holds Masters degrees in public health and epidemiology, and lectures at the University of Queensland and Griffith University.


The article below was submitted by Merilyn Haines on behalf of Queenslanders For Safe Water, Air and Food Inc in reply to the post above. Croakey notes:

In late February the National Health and Medical Research Council announced it was undertaking a review of the scientific evidence on water fluoridation and human health, following up on its 2007 public statement. An interim paper is due to be issued later this year, ahead of a final statement in 2016.

In a media release, CEO Warwick Anderson said: “Based on the work already conducted in the review, NHMRC is expected to maintain its support for fluoridation of water supplies as effective and safe.”  See further Croakey notes re studies mentioned in the post below.

Merilyn Haines writes:

Why there needs to be a widespread debate on fluoridation

Water fluoridation is a United States practice from the 1950s that most countries have never embraced. Although the World Health Organisation endorses fluoridation, the large majority of the WHO’s member states do not fluoridate their drinking water. Some 95 per cent of the world’s population do not use fluoridated water, including 97 per cent of western Europe’s population, however four European countries do allow the sale of fluoridated salt for voluntary purchase.

It is well acknowledged that fluoridation is a very contentious issue with a lot of the controversy stemming from fluoridation promoters claiming that fluoridation is not mass medication, while those who are opposed consider that, if a substance is added to drinking water for the specific intention of having of a therapeutic effect on the human body, then it is both a medicine and a medical treatment.

In 2003, the official Queensland Government Position Statement acknowledged that, without the express consent of the community, water fluoridation was unethical mass medication. This was echoed in the 2010 Policy Statement from the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) which was the basis, in January 2013, for the decision by the large majority of Cairns Regional Councillors to end fluoridation. Statements from a number of European health and environmental government representatives acknowledge that their countries do not fluoridate because of their consideration that fluoridation is mass medication.

Another controversial issue that needs to be debated in the 21st century is the issue of safety, particularly now there are 42 published human studies linking high fluoride exposure to lowering of children’s IQ. In 2012, Harvard University researchers published Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis that raised concerns about high fluoride exposure being a developmental neurotoxin as the average decrease in IQ across 27 studies was nearly 7 IQ points. In 2013, based on the body of work from the Harvard review, Lancet published a paper which officially classified fluoride as a developmental neurotoxin.

While fluoride concentration is controlled easily, there is no control over dose because how much water individuals drink cannot be controlled. Some athletes and outdoor workers, particularly miners, can consume 10 litres of water a day. When it is considered on a per-body- weight basis that infants and young children have approximately three to four times greater exposure than do adults and that bottle fed babies can ingest more than 200 times more fluoride than breast fed babies if infant formula is reconstituted with fluoridated water, then it is really time to re-think fluoridation.

Fluoridated toothpaste sold in Australia variously contains 500 milligrams fluoride per litre (children 2-6 years), 1,000mg per litre (adults) and 5,000mg per litre (often recommended for nursing home residents) – thus toothpaste supplies 500 to 5,000 times as much fluoride directly to teeth than does 1mg per litre fluoridated water.  When water fluoridation began in the 1950s, there were no fluoridated toothpastes – now 95 per cent or more of toothpaste sold in Australia is fluoridated.

The US Centre for Disease Control in 1999 and 2001 acknowledged the main action of fluoride was topical (when it touches teeth). The lead article in the 2000 American Dental Journal (Vol 131) (JDB Featherstone,  “The Science and Practice of Caries Prevention”) acknowledged that tooth enamel with higher fluoride levels does not withstand acidany better than enamel with lower levels of fluoride: “even when the outer enamel has higher fluoride levels, such as 1,000ppm, it does not measurably withstand acid-induced dissolution any better than enamel with lower levels of fluoride”. Additionally that “fluoride incorporated during tooth development [that is, from ingested fluoride] is insufficient to play a significant role in caries protection.”

Considering that there is not one single process in the human body that needs fluoride to function properly and no evidence that fluoride is an essential nutrient, that the main action of fluoride is topical and that drinking fluoridated water would only have a miniscule topical effect compared to application of toothpaste, then it should be debated why fluoride is still being forcibly added to Australians’ drinking water.

In 2009 Queensland Health acknowledged that no risk assessments had been done for fluoridation, and that the State Government  had just relied on a 2007 NHMRC recommendation when the Bligh Government mandated fluoridation. Mandated Queensland fluoridation was overturned at the end of 2012 and since then 24 Queensland councils have formally voted to reject fluoridation. Some  (Tablelands, Cassowary Coast, Hinchinbrook) have commissioned surveys and found that the majority of their residents did not support fluoridation. Mt Isa Council held a voluntary referendum in 2013 and found that 89 per cent of residents did not support fluoridation. Southern Downs Council recently ended fluoridation after their survey showed that 65 per cent of residents connected to the Warwick water supply wanted fluoridation discontinued, as did 70 per cent of residents connected to the Stanthorpe supply.

Last year the Israeli Health Minister ended all fluoridation in Israel citing health and other concerns. Recently, six major Irish Councils have passed motions opposing fluoridation.

When fluoridation first began, it was not recognised that fluoride was bio-accumulative, particularly accumulating in the bones and the brain’s Pineal gland and it was not recognised that fluoride was a neurotoxin. Yet nearly 70 years on, Australian fluoridation promoters claim fluoridation is perfectly safe despite a lack of any Australian health and safety studies.

Whether fluoridation is significantly effective is also in doubt considering that WHO data shows that childhood tooth decay has decreased similarly in the few heavily fluoridated countries compared to countries with no fluoridation.

What is not in doubt is that the time for a rational and honest debate on whether Australian fluoridation should continue is long overdue and, importantly, that this debate should not descend into personal vilifications from either side.

Merilyn Haines, a medical scientist for over 30 years, including with Queensland Health, (now retired) is the  president of Queenslanders For Safe Water, Air and Food Inc (QSWAF) ,a self- funded, not for profit incorporated association.


Croakey further notes that the New South Wales Health Department has said each study considered in the Harvard review referred to above “had major deficiencies that limit the conclusions that can be drawn” and that “importantly, the low fluoride control groups often had exposures comparable to fluoride in drinking water in Australia and the high fluoride groups exposures up to 10 times higher than that allowed in drinking water in Australia.”


We note also that the Lancet article refers to “raised fluoride concentrations” and states that “further characterisation of the dose-response association would be desirable” (see pic).





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48 thoughts on “Water fluoridation: why is it still being debated?

  1. David Tooth Fairy

    In response to the title of this article, ‘Water fluoridation: why is it still being debated?’, it is still being debated because the ‘evidence’ that is put forward regarding the long term ‘safety’ of water fluoridation is widely acknowledged by all credible sources as being inconclusive at best. The ‘gold standard’ report in Australia, the NHMRC review in 2007 (with subsequent updates), states quite clearly that, with the exception of fluorosis, it is unable to reach a clear decision on the possible health risks of water fluoridation because there is not enough evidence either way. The NHMRC, although it is a conservative medical review body, is taking a praiseworthy, objective stance in this instance and being rightly cautious about pronouncing the ‘safety’ of water fluoridation – in direct contrast to the governments and dental lobbyists who use the NHMRC’s report to claim the ‘safety’ of water fluoridation. In the face of what the NHMRC said, these claims are clearly misleading. Absence of evidence is NOT evidence of absence – something the NHMRC obviously understands, but many others with vested interests clearly do not. Articles such as Michael Foley’s conveniently overlook the fact that a majority of European governments currently reject water fluoridation for a variety of ethical and safety concerns, and some have specifically repealed or enacted legislation to prevent water fluoridation, stating that there are other, better ways with less possible risks to achieve better dental health. Predictably, Michae; Foley’s article drags in the usual ‘crackpot and conspiracy theory’ analogies which seek to position opponents of water fluoridation as loonies and anti-scientific, while positioning proponents of water fluoridation as sensible, rational, responsible people of sound standing backed up by reasoned scientific evidence.
    There are crackpots and vested interests to be found on both sides of the debate, and neither side has a monopoly on the truth. The world today is replete with a long list of ‘safe’ or ‘no known risks’ drugs and chemicals that have been released into our lives and the environment with minimal long term testing, before subsequently being found to have very serious health effects indeed. Fluoride is a universally acknowledged toxic substance, and in the clear absence of substantive, credible, long term testing as to its possible side effects on humans, a prudent person or government (or dentist), would hopefully follow precautionary principles and defer introducing it into drinking water supplies until the evidence either way is abundantly clear. This is the cautious approach that the governments of many European countries have taken, and it is an eminently sensible and rational one. Instead of deriding others who do not embrace the narrow conservative medical and political dogmas in our country with unbridled and unthinking enthusiasm, it would be better to examine the facts of the issue from the widest possible perspective, outside of our own narrow, professional self interests.

  2. Chris Hartwell

    Naturally Stephen (oh the irony!) it’s completely fine if it’s natural! Don’t you know that only human-initiated changes are dangerous?

  3. Stephen Luntz

    I’m not sure if there are any undecided readers here at this point, but in case there are, I’ll ask them to consider this question: If John is right in his unsubstantiated claim that the advocates of fluoridation are being paid, then who is paying them and how much?

    It’s a fairly easily checkable fact that there are no huge profits in flouridation – the product is too cheap and the volume too low. Which is a big part of why governments like it – it’s so much cheaper than paying to fix all those teeth decades later.

    While the total amount spent by governments around the world might be large compared to the average individual’s paypacket it is utterly tiny compared to the trillions made by coal, oil and gas companies. While the fossil fuel industry has certainly been able to get a bunch of hacks to speak for them, they’ve utterly failed to win over climate scientists, no matter how large cheques are waved in their faces to deny global warming. Yet with profits 10,000 times smaller the allegation is that the chemical industry has managed to buy thousands of scientist who have ever looked at this question, as well as random commentators on line (presumably now including me)?

    The claim is as absurd.

    While you’re mulling over that I’ll toss you another one. There is no artifiical fluoridation of the water in Portland, Victoria, because natural fluoride levels in the water are close to the ideal level. People in the area have been drinking fluoride for the 40,000 years it has been inhabited. Are there any health effects as a result, or is the same chemical harmless when leached from rocks but poisonous when added by water authorities?

  4. Chris Hartwell

    What a wonderful irony John – the post immediately following yours demonstrates your point precisely. Except on who is getting paid

  5. Dan Germouse

    Why is my latest comment, to which Gavin Moodie has responded, “awaiting moderation”?

  6. Diane Drayton Buckland

    Diane Drayton Buckland is a Queensland-based Independent Researcher. She holds self-appointed Made up Masters Degrees in Honesty, Ethics and Health Rights Freedoms and Individual Rights to Informed Consent to Treatment and individual Rights to Refuse Treatment and lectures to anyone who will listen about Conflicts of Interests and those Revolving Doors from Corporations to Governments.

    To quote Dr. Phillip R.N. Sutton, Formerly Academic Associate and Senior Research Fellow, Department Oral Medicine and Surgery, Dental School, University of Melbourne, Author of The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation (1996):

    “We are all affected by this potentially dangerous fraud: The convincing of Governments and people generally that it is ethical, safe and beneficial to medicate, compulsorily, many millions of people throughout their lives with small but uncontrollable doses of a cumulative and very toxic substance because of the notion that it reduces the prevalence of dental decay. All this, although neither its safety nor any scientifically-proved reduction in the number of decayed teeth has been demonstrated.”

    All the population demand safe water – no fluoride/hexafluorosilic acid/silicofluorides & co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, beryllium etc., and no aluminium sulphate………..STOP WATER FLUORIDATION urgently and irrevocably for all time.

     TABLE 1: Hæmodialysis Risks associated with Water Contamination;    my comment: we should all be getting safe water. 
    Symptoms Possible Water Contaminants 

    Anaemia                                 Aluminium, chloramine, copper, zinc 
    Bone Disease                         Aluminium, fluoride 
    Hæmolysis                               Copper, nitrates, chloramine 
    Hypertension                           Calcium, sodium 
    Hypotension                             Bacteria, endotoxin, nitrates 
    Metabolic acidosis Low pH,  sulfates 
    Muscle weakness                   Calcium, magnesium 
    Neurological deterioration       Aluminium 
    Nausea and vomiting Bacteria, calcium, copper, endotoxin, low pH, 
    magnesium, nitrates, sulfates, zinc 
    Death     Aluminium, fluoride, endotoxin, bacteria, chloramine,%20A%20Set%20of%20Guidelines.pdf

    1.7 million Australians (1 in 10) have indicators of Chronic Kidney Disease and 1 in 3 adult Australians is at an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease, yet Kidney Health Australia condone the dumping/disposal of the hazardous waste pollutants known as ‘water fluoridation’.

    Aboriginals have even worse effects from fluorides than caucasians including the kidneys:-
    NOTE: This article makes no reference to fluorides but does show Aboriginals are at high risk for renal disease!
    Kidney Int. 2006 Jul;70(1):104-10. Epub 2006 May 24.
    Reduced nephron number and glomerulomegaly in Australian Aborigines: a group at high risk for renal disease and hypertension.

    Maori and Pacific Island people seem to have more chance of getting kidney damage

    Hexafluorosilicic acid/Silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, beryllium, etc. and also added is aluminium sulphate (Water Fluoridation Chemicals/hazardous waste pollutants)

    Aboriginal Prison Rates – Violence and Crime – Kidney Disease – Silicofluorides (Water Fluoridation Chemicals)

    Toxicology. 2014 Apr 6;318:40-50. doi: 10.1016/j.tox.2014.01.012. Epub 2014 Feb 18.
    Effect of water fluoridation on the development of medial vascular calcification in uremic rats.
    Martín-Pardillos A1, Sosa C2, Millán Á3, Sorribas V4.
    Public water fluoridation is a common policy for improving dental health. Fluoride replaces the hydroxyls of hydroxyapatite, thereby improving the strength of tooth enamel, but this process can also occur in other active calcifications. This paper studies the effects of water fluoridation during the course of vascular calcification in renal disease. The effect of fluoride was studied in vitro and in vivo. Rat aortic smooth muscle cells were calcified with 2mM Pi for 5 days. Fluoride concentrations of 5-10 μM–similar to those found in people who drink fluoridated water–partially prevented calcification, death, and osteogene expression in vitro. The anticalcifying mechanism was independent of cell activity, matrix Gla protein, and fetuin A expressions, and it exhibited an IC50 of 8.7 μM fluoride. In vivo, however, fluoridation of drinking water at 1.5mg/L (concentration recommended by the WHO) and 15 mg/L dramatically increased the incipient aortic calcification observed in rats with experimental chronic kidney disease (CKD, 5/6-nephrectomy), fed a Pi-rich fodder (1.2% Pi). Fluoride further declined the remaining renal function of the CKD animals, an effect that most likely overwhelmed the positive effect of fluoride on calcification in vitro. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that fluoride did not modify the Ca/P atomic ratio, but it was incorporated into the lattice of in vivo deposits. Fluoride also converted the crystallization pattern from plate to rode-like structures. In conclusion, while fluoride prevents calcification in vitro, the WHO’s recommended concentrations in drinking water become nephrotoxic to CKD rats, thereby aggravating renal disease and making media vascular calcification significant.

    With the extent of corruption and conflicts of interests more of the population are questioning just how can consuming( through the drinking water hence all through the food chain, and we bathe in it) hazardous waste pollutants be safe and effective. it’s not !

    I believe that everyone who does independent/unbiased/free of conflicts of interests research will be opposed to the dumping/disposal of dangerously corrosive hazardous waste pollutants and co-contaminants – ethics, rights, rights of informed consent to treatment – refer Nuremberg Code; Precautionary Principle – we all must continue to fight against this pollution known as ‘water fluoridation’ – and the fact that Australia wide and USA in dental crisis after decades of this water fluoridation/pollution.

    It is alleged, unfortunately for our population, that our “Health” Authorities, dentists, doctors, AMA, ADA, and ors. and their interests are recklessly negligent in their `belief` (and the forcing of it on us all) in water fluoridation/pollution. It is only their political power and media power and also the ‘corporate sponsorships’ etc., of dental schools etc., at Universities that keeps these corrosive hazardous waste pollutants hexafluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, berrylium etc., known as `water fluoridation` polluting our water supplies (and hence our food chain) polluting us, all life and our environment. (also added to that hazardous waste soup is aluminium sulphate).

    Australia wide in dental crisis after widespread fluoridation in every State, first commencing Beaconsfield, Tasmania in 1953 – likewise USA in dental crisis after widespread `fluoridation` first beginning in 1945 Grand Rapids Michigan. There are more dentists, dental surgeries, dental corporations than ever before.

    The Wrigley Company Foundation and Australian Dental Association Foundation announce 2013 Community Service Grant recipients
    Statement access to dental services is still a cause for concern in Australia. More than 90% of adults show signs of treated or untreated dental decay and waiting lists still present a major issue.
    This is yet further proof that water fluoridation is an abysmal failure and the independent research proves it is not safe either.

    There are so many conflicts of interests, corruption, collusion, ‘greased up palms’ that no one trusts any of the organisations pushing this hazardous waste on our population and environment. Anyone who has no problem with force feeding the population, all life and our environment water fluoridation which is hazardous waste from the phosphate fertiliser industries and/or aluminium smelting operations, the ‘fluoride’ is hexafluorosilicic acid and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, beryllium, etc., and added is also aluminium sulphate and/or Sodium Fluoride; is failing all ethics; for these organisations to put their name in favour of ‘water fluoridation/pollution’ is a disgrace to them, they are partners in the chronic poisoning of our nations – the financial interests of so many put $$$$ above any concern for human health, animal health or environmental health – they all should be on criminal charges for being a part of the Fluoride Deception.

    The only answer EVER was to provide access to affordable dental health care services for all the population, not the dumping/disposal of hazardous waste pollutants fluorosilicic acid/silicofluorides and co-contaminants of lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, thallium, beryllium, etc., (known as water fluoridation); into our drinking water supplies and hence also the contamination of our food chain and using the populations` kidneys as hazardous waste disposal/filtration units.

    These hazardous waste pollutants and co-contaminants (from phosphate fertiliser industries) must not be dumped in the ground, air, rivers, oceans, creeks but dump it in the water supplies as a forced ‘medical /dental treatment’ (without informed consent ! ) and it magically becomes safe and effective.

    Extensive information Australian Fluoridation News – Decades of Independent Research on The Fluoridation Fraud / Fluoridation Dictatorship

    Leading Cancer Researcher opposes water fluoridation Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., D.Path., D.T.M&H, is an internationally recognized authority on the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, the causes and prevention of cancer, and the toxic and carcinogenic effects of environmental pollutants in air, water, soil and the workplace, and of ingredients and contaminants in consumer products-food, cosmetics and toiletries and household products. He has published some 260 peer reviewed scientific articles, and has authored or co-authored eleven books.
    Dr Sam Epstein, Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition, author of “The Politics of Cancer”, and “The Politics of Cancer Revisited”, strongly supports MP John Butterfill’s Early Day Motion 1258, on FLUORIDATION OF PUBLIC WATER SUPPLIES 20.05.03, which states:
    “That this House considers that the only chemicals which should be added to public water are those which are essential for its purification for public consumption; believes that the addition of medicines to public water supplies is a breach of fundamental human rights; and rejects any proposals to amend legislation to permit the addition of fluoride to public water supplies.”
    On 29 May 2003, Professor Epstein wrote:
    “Fluoridation of water reflects high receptivity to the fluoride industry, and indifference with significant public health penalties to the U.K. population. I should further note that some 100 leading national and international cancer prevention scientists, and representatives of consumer and environmental organizations have endorsed the Cancer Prevention Coalition’s opposition to fluoride in its The Stop Cancer Before It Starts Campaign Report.
    “I strongly support EDM 1258 opposing fluoridation of water. Fluoride used for this purpose comes from highly contaminated industrial grade fluorosilicic wastes; contaminants include heavy metals. Furthermore, there is significant experimental evidence that fluoride induces a dose-related incidence of bone cancer in rats. This is further supported by epidemiological studies incriminating fluoride and bone cancer in young men.
    “The imposition of fluoridation on the U.K. public presents a significant public health hazard. It should further be stressed that simple filtration will not remove fluoride. Expensive reverse osmosis units are required for this purpose. This would impose undue economic burden among lower socioeconomic groups, as also would the alternative of purchasing bottled water.”It should further be noted that fluoride is currently added to the water supply of about 60% of the U.S. population. This is in sharp contrast to only 2% of the European population, which has much lower rates of dental caries.”
    Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.
    Professor emeritus Environmental and Occupational Medicine
    University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, and
    Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition.
    +44 312 996-2297 ·
    [email protected] ,

    Dr. William Marcus, Ph.D, Environmental Protection Agency Scientist, Food & Water Journal, Summer 1998″Fluoride is a carcinogen by any standard we use. I believe EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, & other effects.”,%201943,%20Editorial

    From 1982 Former NIH (National Inst. of Health) scientist opposed to fluoride –
    Statement by James B. Patrick, Ph.D. at the Joint Congressional Committee on Health and Appropriations Against the Inclusion of Fluoridation in the Preventive Health & Health Services Block Grant, Held August 4, 1982.
    Dr. Patrick earned his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University majoring in chemistry. His experience as Antibiotics Research Scientist was with the National Institute of Health and Lederle Laboratories.
    Dr. Patrick is Senior Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry, Mary Baldwin College, Stauton, Virginia, 1967 to date. He is author of 28 technical papers and holder of 7 U.S. patents.
    A number of scholarly volumes and numerous technical articles have been written showing the biochemical & toxicological hazards of deliberately exposing the population to continuous dosages of such a potent chronic toxin as fluoride. I strongly advise against the legislature of this Commonwealth having anything to do with fluoridation.
    It is a scientific disgrace that a well organized lobby of the American Dental Association ever managed to stampede American legislators into ignoring the highly technical but very cogent objection to fluoridation.

    “EPA has more than enough evidence to shut down fluoridation right now.” (Dr. Robert Carton)
     “Fluoridation,” says former EPA senior scientist Robert J. Carton, PhD, “presents unacceptable risks to public health, and the government cannot prove its claims of safety. When this man talks of fluoridation dangers, it is time to listen. I am pleased to present the following exclusive interview, in edited form, with this outspoken EPA dissenter.
    Dr. Carton has considerable experience as a risk assessment manager for the US Environmental Protection Agency, investigating asbestos, arsenic, hexachlorobenzene, hexachlorobutadiene, and, of course, cancer incidence. Then, for ten years, Dr. Carton was with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Fort Detrick, Maryland. He was Chief of Environmental Compliance, responsible for environmental compliance of the Army’s medical research with the National Environmental Policy Act. He also managed the preparation of environmental assessments of biological and chemical defense laboratories throughout the U.S.. He has a B.A. in Chemistry, an M.S. in Environmental Science, & a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Rutgers University.

    Fluoridegate   – The Film – USA EPA shredded evidence of harm and fired Senior Scientist/Toxicologist, attempting to silence him 

    Dr. Dean Burk, PhD, former chief of cytochemistry at the U.S. National Cancer Institute for 30 years.
    “In point of fact, fluorine causes more human cancer death, & causes it faster, than any other chemical.”

    Thus, we took the stand that a policy which makes the public water supply a vehicle for disseminating this toxic and prophylactically useless (via ingestion, at any rate) substance is wrong.
    The implication for the general public of these calculations is clear. Recent, peer-reviewed toxicity data, when applied to EPA’s standard method for controlling risks from toxic chemicals, require an immediate halt to the use of the nation’s drinking water reservoirs as disposal sites for the toxic waste of the phosphate fertilizer industry\24.

    Dr. Phillip R.N. Sutton, Formerly Academic Associate and Senior Research Fellow, Department Oral Medicine and Surgery, Dental School, University of Melbourne, Author of  The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation (1996): “We are all affected by this potentially dangerous fraud:  The convincing of Governments and people generally that it is ethical, safe and beneficial to medicate, compulsorily, many millions of people throughout their lives with small but uncontrollable doses of a cumulative and very toxic substance because of the notion that it reduces the prevalence of dental decay. All this, although neither its safety nor any scientifically-proved reduction in the number of decayed teeth has been demonstrated.”

    In IAOMT’s ongoing examination of the toxicological data on fluoride, the Academy has made several preliminary determinations over the last 18 years, each concluding that fluoride added to the public water supply, or prescribed as controlled-dose supplements, delivers no discernible health benefit, and causes a higher incidence of adverse health effects.

    This current policy position by IAOMT confirms those earlier assessments and asserts that there is no discernible health benefit derived from ingested fluoride and that the preponderance of evidence shows that ingested fluoride in dosages now prevalent in public exposures aggravates existing illnesses, and causes a greater incidence of adverse health effects.
    Ingested fluoride is hereby recognized as unsafe, and ineffective for the purposes of reducing tooth decay. 

    What are the Long-Term effects of ingesting fluoride on our bones?
    Fluoride is a bioaccumulator and is toxic to bones
    How much evidence must accumulate before authorities here acknowledge what many foreign scientists have already done years ago – fluoride is one of the most bone-seeking elements known to man and long-term ingestion is toxic to bones even in the so-called “low” doses. Extensive information: Articles by Dr. John R. Lee, M.D. Fluoride in drinking water and risk of hip fracture in the UK: a case-control study Fluoridation and Osteoporosis 1992 Slow-Release Sodium Fluoride in the Management of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Fluoridation and Hip Fracture Proponent and Opponent discussing fluoride supplements Fluoride Exposure and Childhood Osteosarcoma: A case-control study Extensive Information:

    Do you know the diseases caused by the “cumulative effect” of fluorine? If not, why not? Don’t you think you should know these facts before you advocate forcing more of this most powerful and indestructible poison on innocent people? Don’t you believe that anyone forcing helpless, innocent people to take in more fluorides should be held morally and legally liable for any damage to these people? Don’t you believe that the medical profession and Public Health officials have a great responsibility in protecting the people from the serious, harmful effects of fluorides?
    Extensive research has also shown that fluorides change the chemical structure of the living enamel of the tooth, making it a dead chalky substance. Fluorides also cause calcific plugs in the dentin, greatly disturbing the nutrition and circulation. Thus, fluorides are harmful to teeth and cause periodontal diseases from which people lose their teeth in mid-life. Public Health officials and Boards of Health should be protecting innocent people from this killer instead of promoting fluoride diseases.
    For the U.S. Public Health Service to use hundreds of millions of dollars of tax money to promote fluoridation of the public water supply and deceive the American Dental Association, the American Medical Association and many millions of citizens, is an organized attack on the health of the people.
    Reprinted from Cancer News Journal, Vol. 9, No. – Full document Sourced:

    By Dr Barry Durrant-Peatfield MBBS LRCP MRCS
    Fluoridation of the nation’s water supply will do little for our dental health; but will have catastrophic effects on our general health. We cannot, must not, dare not, subject our nation to this appalling risk.
    There is a daunting amount of research studies showing that the widely acclaimed benefits on fluoride dental health are more imagined than real. My main concern however, is the effect of sustained fluoride intake on general health. Again, there is a huge body of research literature on this subject, freely available and in the public domain.

    My particular concern is the effect of fluorides on the thyroid gland.
    Perhaps I may remind you about thyroid disease. The thyroid gland produces hormones which control our metabolism – the rate at which we burn our fuel. Deficiency is relatively common, much more than is generally accepted by many medical authorities: a figure of 1:4 or 1:3 by mid life is more likely. The illness is insidious in its onset and progression. People become tired, cold, overweight, depressed, constipated; they suffer arthritis, hair loss, infertility, atherosclerosis and chronic illness. Sadly, it is poorly diagnosed and poorly managed by very many doctors in this country.
    What concerns me so deeply is that in concentrations as low as 1ppm, fluorides damage the thyroid system on 4 levels………
    Full document:

    Fluoride Alert Health Warning: The Thyroid and Fluoride More Information

    Fluoride and your Thyroid – a dangerous connection                                                    

    News regarding the  disgraceful conflict of interests of VICE-President of British Fluoridation Society  from  Doug Cross  UK Councils Against Fluoridation
The hasty resignation of Andy Burnham from the British Fluoridation Society does not signal a retreat over the imposition of water fluoridation.
Doug Cross UKCAF 15th June 2009
The appointment of Andy Burnham, MP, Vice-President of the British Fluoridation Society (BFS), as Secretary of State for Health has revealed to the public just how dangerously out of touch the Prime Minister has become with public concerns.
    The revelation of Mr Burnham’s close relationship with the BFS on Tuesday last, apparently undisclosed in the Parliamentary Register of Members’ Interests, led to the immediate announcement of his resignation from the BFS.
But he came bouncing back, unapologetic and fighting mad, with an outburst of brazen aggression that will surely have shaken any health professional who lives by the ethical code underlying the practice of medicine. At the National Health Service Confederation’s annual conference in Liverpool Mr Burnham said that the Government had been too timid at times on the public health agenda, and exhorted the delegates to ignore public opposition to water fluoridation, saying “ don’t feel you have to wait for permission to invest in prevention . . . Let’s press ahead with fluoridation of water supplies, given the clear evidence that it can improve children’s dental health.”
Website and pdf file available here:-
    Doug Cross, Environmental Analyst and Forensic Ecologist   Website
    UK Government Health Departments fund the British Fluoridation Society
Corruption/Conflicts of Interest See more information here> and >

    Water Fluoridation Not Safe and Not Effective.

    We the people, have had a gut full of being conned.

    Tip of the Iceberg – With the Levels of corruption, just imagine what we have not heard about and probably never will. The Revolving door from Industries to Governments is a cancer in Governments that has to be stopped.
    The investigations stretch deep into many Australian political parties.

  7. John

    I’ll give the rest of you a ‘heads up’.

    The people posting pro, on fluoride, are paid by pharma to copy & paste, their long winded replies.

    The short replies as well. They ‘hop’ between different forums on the internet, to leave their pithy, abusive replies. All paid for.

    That’s how it works!

    Discover the chemistry, behind it all, you realise soon, that it’s just a money padding effort.

    Everyone has their price, it’s only a matter for ‘them’, to find willing posters! They find diligent people to post their crap, on their behalf.

    Chemistry speaks for itself, and always has. [Edited to remove offensive language]

  8. Gavin Moodie

    Of course science is based on evidence and analysis. But those of us who are not expert in fluoridation, vaccination or climate science depend on the consensus of those accepted by experts as experts in the field.

  9. Gavin Moodie

    Fluoridation deniers are like global warming deniers and indeed like anti vaccination‎ campaigners: they all deny the overwhelming scientific consensus in the field.

  10. Dan Germouse

    Gavin Moodie, I really wish toxic waste pushers would stop associating climate science with fluoridationist nonsense. Climate change is extremely serious, and the science credible, unlike fluoridation “science”. Thinking that everything which has had the label “science” slapped onto it is all the same is about as dumb as it gets. Fluoridation and the reckless burning of fossil fuels are both examples of grossly irresponsible pollution carried out to further corporate interests at the expense of the public, and in defiance of the best scientific knowledge and the precautionary principle. It is unlikely to just be a coincidence that America and Australia are especially guilty in relation to both. When a dentist supports industrial silicofluoride toxic waste pollution, it is similar to a geologist supporting carbon pollution, because they are both speaking outside their area of expertise. Whenever anyone speaks in favour of forced-fluoridation they are just blowing hot air, because there is no good quality evidence they can cite, and because the whole idea of using public water supplies to medicate populations is ridiculous to everyone with at least a little common sense.

  11. Shane Norris

    Some more good info. from an expert.

  12. Shane Norris

    Fluoridation is only promoted because the authorities have a fear of losing prestige, a fear of losing credibility, a fear of liability. They are on the back of a tiger and they don’t know how to get off. They’re on a high horse and they don’t know how to climb down. Dental associations also earn millions of dollars from endorsing dental products containing fluoride. They don’t want any question marks over the safety of fluoride. This is why during dentists receive no training in fluoride toxicity. Thanks to informed dentists who are blowing the whistle.

  13. Shane Norris

    Spittle considers criticisms against the evidence that some people are especially sensitive to fluoride. In particular, he responds to the main concern that symptoms are psychosomatic in origin. This charge is adequately addressed by the case reports that describe blinding of the subject and sometimes also the experimenter. Such double blinding is the “gold standard” ruling out bias and explanations such as psychosomaticism.
    While fluoridation proponents often deny the validity of case report evidence, even when of high quality, they have almost never undertaken their own studies to find out whether some people have fluoride sensitivity. One important exception was Dr Reuben Feltman, a dental researcher who conducted a large study in the 1950s with over 1000 pregnant women and their children. The main goal of his investigation was to find out whether systemic fluoride, ingested in the form of daily tablets, reduced tooth decay. However, his study included clinical observations that revealed about 1% of his subjects were sensitive to fluoride at a dose of 1 mg of fluoride ion/day. Feltman described symptoms identical to those reported by Waldbott and others:
    “One percent of our cases reacted adversely to the fluoride. By the use of placebos, it was definitely established that the fluoride and not the binder was the causative agent. Feltman’s findings are important because they came out of a high quality study conducted by dental supporters of fluoride. Repeated blind challenges, just as in some of the cases described by Waldbott, Moolenburgh, and others, convinced Feltman that the syndrome was not psychosomatic and was caused by fluoride rather than other chemicals.Spittle provides further evidence that fluoride sensitivity is real in an interesting section on animal case reports. These concern domestic and pet animals, not laboratory animals. The animals were, just like humans, exposed to artificially fluoridated drinking water. Species included chinchillas, alligators, caimans, rats, and horses. Spittle points out that it would be hard to dismiss the observed symptoms as psychosomatic, since presumably the animals had no awareness that their water had been altered with added fluoride.

  14. Shane Norris

    Chris Undar. Good observation. Fluoridation is largely cultural and faith based. Only 5% of the world fluoridates. So 95 % don’t and their teeth are as good or better. Most countries reject fluoridation because of the ethical problem and also cite well documented health risks.

  15. Chris Undar

    A curious aspect of fluoridation is that it is very largely restricted to English-speaking countries.

    Could the underlying science be cultural?

  16. chris price

    If you want to quote quality research papers ,why quote from a well known activist . Bruce Spittle is a New Zealander whose views on fluoride allergy have been completely refuted. His non peer-reviewed book was reviewed by the 2006 NRC Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water. There was no mention of concerns with fluoride allergies in the final recommendation of this Committee.

  17. Shane Norris

    Here is another good link outlining how some people are experiencing toxic side effects from fluoridated water.

  18. Shane Norris

    The Hood made this comment earlier “As someone who worked in the water industry I know how tightly the dosing systems were monitored. We are talking 0.90 parts per million in your drinking water, the equivalent of a grain of sugar in an Olympic Sized swimming pool!”

    His claim is completely incorrect. An Olympic sized swimming pool contains 2.5 million litres of water and a grain of sugar typically weighs approximately 0.2mg. So a grain of sugar in an Olympic sized swimming pool would give a concentration of 0.00000008 parts per million thus underestimating the amount of fluoride by a over a billion percent. To fluoridate an Olympic sized swimming pool to 0.9ppm you would have to add 11.25 kg of hydrofluorosilisic acid which would give a total of 2.25 kilograms of fluoride ion – enough to cause severe poisoning or death to a few thousand people in the concentrated form. In addition there have been dozens of of incidents of overdosing fluoride due to equipment malfunction worldwide. One example is in in north Brisbane in 2009 where fluoride was delivered at 20 times the maximum allowed level.

  19. Gavin Moodie

    The fluoridation deniers continue to surprise, this time by breaking Godwin’s law so soon.

  20. Bohemian

    The Nazis certainly agreed with the benefits of fluoridation as did the Stalinists so I guess it must be highly beneficial particularly for those interred.

  21. Gavin Moodie

    Subscribing to subsequent comments.

  22. Gavin Moodie

    Well, some of these comments are a revelation to me. I thought that yet another demonstration of the benefits of fluoridation was gratuitous, the benefits already being so well established and deniers being so rare. Unfortunately not, so it seems.

    But I would reorient the argument. If the aim is to change the views of fluoridation deniers then clearly no more evidence will be effective. Different approaches will be needed, such as climate scientists are now contemplating for the global warming deniers.

    But perhaps it would be more worthwhile to invest energy in public health policy, where one might consider at least relieving local governments of the cost of fluoridation.

  23. Dan Germouse

    Norman Hanscombe, I have two degrees in the physical sciences from one of Australia’s Group of Eight universities, one of which is an Honours degree. I received an A+ for the third year statistics unit I did, an A in maths in first year (which included statistics, and was the unit you needed to do to go on to get a degree in mathematics), and an A+ for the maths subject I did in the final year of high school which included statistics. How about you, champ? Many other opponents of forced-fluoridation are educated in science or medicine, including former senior scientists at the US EPA, and Nobel Prize winners in medicine and chemistry. It doesn’t matter how badly you want to believe that those who disagree with you are uneducated, or wrong, it doesn’t make it true.

    As usual, none of the forced-fluoridation fanatics have provided a shred of credible evidence that the forced-fluoridation experiment is anything but harmful and useless. We all know why that is.

  24. The Old Bill

    Oh and Bohemian at no 5, I forgot. People have been cleaning their teeth since way before fluoride. The first mass produced toothbrush was in 1780.

  25. The Old Bill

    When I was a kid and already had a few fillings, they added fluoride to the water. Then my Sister was born. She had no cavities. Then we both had children, no cavities. Then we stopped drinking tap water. The grandchildren who use fluoride toothpaste have no cavities. The ones that don’t do.

    I’ll stick with amalgam fillings and fluoride thank you.
    Glad they banned DDT though.

  26. The Hood

    As someone who worked in the water industry I know how tightly the dosing systems were monitored. We are talking 0.90 parts per million in your drinking water, the equivalent of a grain of sugar in an Olympic Sized swimming pool! But this will poison us. The benefits of fluoride were discovered from numerous communities who rely on ground water reserves. In the US many towns had high levels of fluoride naturally occurring. They had no dental decay but often coloured teeth because the % of fluoride was very high. This led to the idea the a controlled dose of fluoride could protect teeth from the invasions of the modern diet of sugar and acidic agents from fizzy drinks.

    But most of the same Doomsdayers are happy to drive cars in the city, breath the exhaust or eat processed foods full of sugar, salt, chemicals, etc. I mean the modern world is full of chemicals and pathogens that may reduce our life span. But guess what as a group we are living longer than ever somehow.

  27. Shaniq'ua Shardonn'ay

    The phenonemon of conspiracy theorists is a strange one in itself. In an age when we are living longer and things like actually having your own teeth is taken for granted the conspiracy theories have really taken off (especially on the internet). I have a few friends who are in this category and especially amongst women their behavior is bizarre sometimes – forking out huge amounts of money for water filters and himalayan salt lamps but then wearing loads on makeup, getting botox, fillers and breast implants, dyeing their hair and posting their latest marathon run on facebook. It’s weird but I’ve found that you can’t argue with them as their basic premise is that it’s big industry or government who are out to get them (the same big industry they probably have shares in via their super fund). It’s a psychological phenonemen in itself and I think what needs to be studied it why people have such bizarre and contradictory beliefs and behavior. I’m just happy I was born a skeptic and studied science, it saves me a lot of money and makes for a simpler, happier life.

  28. michaelfstanley

    The Hood – that’s brutal. Maybe you’ll be OK because the wind farm vibrations break down the fluoride before it starts disturbing your “Precious bodily fluids.”

    On a side note this another great example of the wrong level of government having to handle things. Local governments don’t bear the cost of choosing not to fluoridate, are small enough that any cost they cut can be valuable for something else, and don’t have a deep enough bureaucracy to give them sound advice to swat away the ferals.

  29. The Hood

    Spare a thought for me, I have to drink fluoridated water and live across the road from a wind farm!

  30. Shane Norris

    Case histories and peer reviewed research shows that fluoride can cause harm even at low levels. People can experience toxicity symptoms from drinking fluoridated water or using fluoride tablets. Symptoms include neurological problems, headaches, skin irritation, gastrointestinal pain and symptoms,chronic fatigue, joint pains, and polydipsia (Waldbott 1956, 1958, Feltman 1956, Feltman and Kosel 1961, Grimbergen 1974, Petraborg 1977, Spittle 2008). Patients were often unaware that their drinking water contained fluoride. Symptoms improved with avoidance of fluoridated water and returned with consumption of fluoridated water or with experimental challenge with fluoride and confirmed by double blind testing. Doctors aren’t trained to suspect fluoride, so patients may be treated for side effects when all that is needed, is avoidance of fluoridated water.
    The Feltman and Kosel study was published in the Journal of Dental Medicine and received funding from the US Public Health Service, Department of Health Education and Welfare, Washington DC.

  31. jj Marks

    ” and being labelled by the US-based Centers for Disease Control as one of the ten great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

    I stopped reading right there.

    @Darryl Moss – you addressed your comment to Jennifer Doggett. The author of the article was Michael Foley.

  32. Norman Hanscombe

    The statistically uninformed, those who don’t understand stats or scientific methods, and the emotively blinkered have always been prone to absurd conspiracy theories. I’ve also known several reasonably intelligent people who succumb to conspiracy ‘explanations’ when their personal prejudices are affected.
    In 1964, while working as a Commonwealth Scholarship Guidance Officer at Sydney University, my immediate boss had no doubts Fluoridation was a ‘Socialist’ plot, and seemed oblivious to the holes in his ‘explanations’. The same man also believed the Protocols of Zion was a genuine document, but interestingly while he discussed it with others, never talked about it when I was there.
    Sadly the mechanism of cognitive dissonance (invaluable in helping our species survive on the primaeval savannah) sometimes has negative effects in modern complex societies.

  33. rhwombat

    …the loonies doth protest too much, methinks.

  34. Darryl Moss

    Dear Jenny

    ” Anti-fluoridationists also claim that no high quality evidence exists to show that fluoridation reduces dental caries in populations, and that’s true.”

    Well then?

    Seriously, this article resembles a press-release from the National Association of Dentists. Any scientist in any field who knows where their bread is buttered can come up any conclusion that suits the lay of land.

    There is one fact I know to be true, tried and tested and that is Fluoride is an accumulative slow death poison.

    Kind Regards
    Darryl Moss

  35. Dan Germouse

    Instead of pretending that everyone of the same age living in a fluoridated area ingests the same amount of fluoride, as fluoridationist studies routinely do, the Iowa study attempted to measure actual fluoride ingestion. The finding of extreme variability in individual fluoride intakes, and no given intake which is protective for both dental fluorosis and caries debunks the whole idea of an “optimal” fluoride concentration in water. It should be kept in mind that even though not all dental fluorosis is serious, it is a permanent and toxic effect. Once the permanent teeth have erupted, there is no further risk of dental fluorosis, but fluoride continues to accumulate in bone, and can cause skeletal fluorosis. As the fluoride concentration in bone increases, so does that in the blood and soft tissues.

    Considerations on optimal fluoride intake using dental fluorosis and dental caries outcomes – a longitudinal study
    Warren JJ et al 2009
    “The ‘optimal’ intake of fluoride has been widely accepted for decades as between 0.05 and 0.07 mg fluoride per kilogram of body weight (mg F/kg bw) but is based on limited scientific evidence.”
    “Data on fluoride ingestion were obtained from parents of 602 Iowa Fluoride Study children through periodic questionnaires at the ages of 6 weeks; 3, 6, 9, 12, 20, 24, 28, 32, and 36 months; and then at 6-month intervals thereafter.”
    “Children with caries had generally slightly less (sic) [fluoride] intakes”
    “CONCLUSIONS: Given the overlap among caries/fluorosis groups in mean fluoride intake and extreme variability in individual fluoride intakes, firmly recommending an ‘optimal’ fluoride intake is problematic.”
    “These findings suggest that achieving a caries-free status may have relatively little to do with fluoride intake, while fluorosis is clearly more dependent on fluoride intake.”

  36. Dan Germouse

    Those who are scientifically literate know that the quality of research depends on study design. Those who are not naive know that it also depends on the source of funding. The first “study” listed by Slott relies on unblinded, subjective measurement of dental caries, which is imprecise and highly prone to systematic error. It also uses an imprecise measure of time, and measures time since birth, which is less relevant than time since the eruption of the deciduous or permanent teeth. It fails to measure individual fluoride exposure. It also ignores confounding factors such as total sugar consumption, frequency of sugar consumption, status of nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin K, toothbrushing, flossing, and antibacterial chemicals in foods such as ginger and raw onion. The other studies have similar problems. The author of the first “study”, Jason Armfield, is employed at The University of Adelaide, where his “research” is funded by Colgate-Palmolive. Peer-review by fluoridationists merely fosters groupthink and bias. It’s really just a case of marketing thinly disguised as research.

    The claim that double-blind randomised controlled trials “are all but impossible to perform on fluoridation” is entirely without foundation. Fluoride in water is colourless and odourless, so unlike treatments such as massage and acupuncture, blinding is readily achievable. It is not difficult to figure out why fluoridationists avoid good quality research.

  37. John

    Since trainee dentists in Dentistry School DO NOT study any Chemistry, then why bother listening to them.

    I’m a living example of a dentist blindly following the blind in filling my mouth with Mercury Amalgam fillings. Had them taken out nearly two years ago, the post removal cleansing effects have been amazing… the flashbacks incredible.

    At the age of 12 I personally visited the dentist and asked he remove them, which he replied “Didn’t know how!” Straight after that, he got a punch or two and a busted hand. It only took 4 years from the first filling, and I was having seizures from Mercury poisoning as a child!

    I’d strongly advise anyone contemplating, taking ANY advice as in the article above, to think very strongly as to whether they truly value, their quality of life in the future.

    You do not need Mercury, Fluoride or any Vaccination. If you need Mercury fillings removed, see a Holistic Dentist.

  38. Chris Undar

    If fluoride is good for teeth why is the whole body treated? Surely a topical application would be more efficient?

    Meanwhile, fluoride toothpaste comes with a warning not to swallow. This gives some protection against law suits.

    The Queensland Government is equally forward looking and the fluoridation legislation forbids law suits against the government.

    Better to be safe than sorry.

  39. Gregg Beasley

    If people are not intelligent enough to understand that dumping a class 4 poison into our water is criminal then at least try and see things from the point of view of individual rights. If someone wants to poison themselves with flouride there are tablets and toothpaste etc. Every medication people consume is guided by dosage. Look at any bottle. Even Vitamin C etc has dosage recommendations and only 6 years and up. With flouride this is impossible. Firstly, even distribution is impossible and how dare the powers that be declare that a baby is fine to consume the same as an adult. WE are awash with this filth. Our vegies etc are grown in it, when we shower, food and drink processing , and on it goes.

  40. Chris Hartwell

    I’m surprised a reference wasn’t made to the Harvard study *supposedly* linking fluoridation with lower IQ in children.

    Of course, those who do claim that have frequently not read the study.

  41. Steven Slott


    What Armfield is basically saying here is that effectiveness of public health initiatives, such as water fluoridation, are measured by their effect on entire populations, not on individual mechanisms. The increased awareness of dental health, caused by the issue of fluoridation within a community, for example, could contribute to a decrease in untreated dental decay. The individual mechanism of this decrease may not have been due to direct contact of fluoride with teeth, but it would have been due to fluoridation. A meaure of the effect of a public health initiative is not exclusively restricted to direct, individual mechanisms.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

  42. Calochilus

    Stephen, even Armfield admits the faults in his study, correlation is not causality.
    “Ideally, studies of water fluoridation measure exposure at the individual level, as there may be considerable variation in exposure within a fluoridated or non-fluoridated area as a result of residential mobility (i.e., people moving in and out of fluoridated areas) as well as differences in consumption of public water and fluoride-containing beverages and foods. Studies at the individual level are preferred over studies at the community or population level, which do not take into account individual fluoride exposure or other individual risk factors. However, while community-level studies do not provide good evidence of the efficacy or “actual” effectiveness of fluoridated water consumption, they provide valuable information concerning the effectiveness of water fluoridation in practice, as it is mitigated by a number of other factors. For instance, if very few children are actually consuming adequate quantities of fluoridated public water, the community-level or “practical” effectiveness of water fluoridation may be low, regardless of its efficacy. A pattern of lower decay experience in fluoridated areas compared with non-fluoridated areas would, therefore, be consistent with the argument that a practical benefit is obtained by the addition of fluoride to water supplies.”

  43. Jennifer Doggett

    Could I remind all commenters of Croakey’s policy of robust and respectful debate and ask them to refrain from making personal comments about authors:

    “While vigorous debate is welcome, please keep the commentary civil. We will not hesitate to spike/edit abusive comments.”

  44. Bohemian

    Teeth cleaning happened to come into vogue about the same time as fluoridation so I am not sure how we can untangle that confound in the epidemiological data set.

  45. Bohemian

    Sorry mate! I’ll do without the flouride the chemtrails and the vaccines just to be on the safe side. I have read the labels. As for dentists most are sold on that root canal crap (my opinion) aren’t they!

  46. Steven Slott

    Germouse, below, perfectly examples the points made in this article by Dr. Foley. While in one comment he claims as being “good sources of information” biased antifluoridationist websites, blogs, non peer-reviewed books and the non peer-reviewed, non published, completely discredited work of Declan Waugh… the very next comment, Germouse states the stale, antifluoridationist nonsense about there being “no good quality research” which supports fluoridation. His hypocrisy here is self-evident.

    In actuality, Germouse has been presented with good quality research, countless times. The problem is in how he defines “good quality research”. As do most antifluoridationists, he defines this as being “only that which agrees with his personal ideology against fluoridation”, of which there are, obviously, no more than a paltry few at best with any relevance to fluoridation. As Dr. Foley correctly pointed out, RCts are all but impossible to perform on fluoridation, and will never be done. Given this, the next best thing are observational studies, which are completely accepted by respected science and healthcare.

    Yet, once again, as I have so often cited for Germouse, the following are but a few of the good quality, peer-reviewed scientific studies which clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of fluoridation.
    I will gladly cite as many more as anyone would reasonably care to read.

    1)  Results 
    Children from every age group had greater caries prevalence and more caries experience in areas with negligible fluoride concentrations in the water (<0.3 parts per million [ppm]) than in optimally fluoridated areas (≥0.7 ppm). Controlling for child age, residential location, and SES, deciduous and permanent caries experience was 28.7% and 31.6% higher, respectively, in low-fluoride areas compared with optimally fluoridated areas. The odds ratios for higher caries prevalence in areas with negligible fluoride compared with optimal fluoride were 1.34 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.29, 1.39) and 1.24 (95% CI 1.21, 1.28) in the deciduous and permanent dentitions, respectively. 

    ——Community Effectiveness of Public Water Fluoridation in Reducing Children's Dental Disease
    Jason Mathew Armfield, PhD

    Children with severe dental caries had statistically significantly lower numbers of lesions if they lived in a fluoridated area. The lower treatment need in such high-risk children has important implications for publicly-funded dental care. 

    ——Community Dent Health. 2013 Mar;30(1):15-8.
    Fluoridation and dental caries severity in young children treated under general anaesthesia: an analysis of treatment records in a 10-year case series.
    Kamel MS, Thomson WM, Drummond BK.
    Department of Oral Sciences, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, School of Dentistry, The University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

    3).  CONCLUSIONS: 
    The survey provides further evidence of the effectiveness in reducing dental caries experience up to 16 years of age. The extra intricacies involved in using the Percentage Lifetime Exposure method did not provide much more information when compared to the simpler Estimated Fluoridation Status method. 

    —–Community Dent Health. 2012 Dec;29(4):293-6.
    Caries status in 16 year-olds with varying exposure to water fluoridation in Ireland.
    Mullen J, McGaffin J, Farvardin N, Brightman S, Haire C, Freeman R.
    Health Service Executive, Sligo, Republic of Ireland. 

    4) Abstract 
    The effectiveness of fluoridation has been documented by observational and interventional studies for over 50 years. Data are available from 113 studies in 23 countries. The modal reduction in DMFT values for primary teeth was 40-49% and 50-59% for permanent teeth. The pattern of caries now occurring in fluoride and low-fluoride areas in 15- to 16-year-old children illustrates the impact of water fluoridation on first and second molars. 

    —-Caries Res. 1993;27 Suppl 1:2-8.
    Efficacy of preventive agents for dental caries. Systemic fluorides: water fluoridation.
    Murray JJ.
    Department of Child Dental Health, Dental School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

    Data showed a significant decrease in dental caries across the entire country, with an average reduction of 25% occurring every 5 years. General trends indicated that a reduction in DMFT index values occurred over time, that a further reduction in DMFT index values occurred when a municipality fluoridated its water supply, and mean DMFT index values were lower in larger than in smaller municipalities. 

    —-Int Dent J. 2012 Dec;62(6):308-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1875-595x.2012.00124.x.
    Decline in dental caries among 12-year-old children in Brazil, 1980-2005.
    Lauris JR, da Silva Bastos R, de Magalhaes Bastos JR.
    Department of Paediatric Dentistry, University of São Paulo, Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil. 

    Steven D.Slott, DDS

  47. Dan Germouse

    I have asked forced-fluoridation fanatics over and over again to cite a single good quality original research study which indicates that the forced-fluoridation experiment is anything but harmful and useless, and they can never come up with anything. The marketing, disguised as research, which they rely on amounts to no more than cherry picking the data, and pretending that correlation proves causation. You have to be extremely gullible to believe that fluoride concentrations in bone higher than those in fluoridated toothpaste are safe, while concentrations five orders of magnitude lower in saliva prevent dental caries. [Edited to remove personal insults]

  48. Dan Germouse

    The following are some good sources of information on fluoride and artificial water fluoridation: the Fluoride Action Network, Declan Waugh’s work, the books The Case Against Fluoride and The Fluoride Deception, the 2006 US National Research Council report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards, and the peer-reviewed journal Fluoride.

    The forced-fluoridation experiment is medical malpractice on an industrial scale. Fluoridation chemicals are the only medications which are delivered via public water supplies. Medicating public water supplies with any chemical violates the human rights and medical ethics principle of informed consent to medical intervention, is entirely indiscriminate, results in the random dosing of residents since the fluoride dose received from water and other sources is uncontrolled, and is environmentally irresponsible because the vast majority of tap water is not ingested, so the environmental load is vastly greater than it needs to be. Medicating public water supplies means that politicians are subjecting everyone to treatment which no doctor can legally impose on anyone, and is surely the most ham-fisted method of drug delivery ever devised.

    Medicating public water supplies with fluoridation chemicals is especially egregious, because fluoride is a cumulative poison with a half life in the body of around 20 years, there was no good quality scientific research which indicated that forced-fluoridation was anything but harmful and useless in the 1940s and there still isn’t any, the best quality scientific research which has been conducted indicates that forced-fluoridation is in fact both harmful and useless, the fluoride pollution which is used is industrial grade rather than pharmaceutical grade, and fluoride is not biodegradable. The forced-fluoridation experiment is authoritarian, an abuse of human rights, criminally negligent, irrational, archaic, pseudoscientific, and all risk, no reward.

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