This chemical commonly added to water supplies and an ingredient in toothpaste could be causing harm to you and your children, using it may increase the risk hypothyroidism — and other health concerns.
What is Fluoride?
Fluoride is an element from the halogen group, as are iodide and chloride. It is commonly added to the water supply as hydrofluosilicic acid, silicofluoride or sodium fluoride. Fluoride is also found as an additive in toothpastes and some mouthwashes, as a tooth decay preventive ingredient.
Why is Fluoride Used?
Fluoride is used to fight tooth decay in children. The key initial studies purporting to demonstrate its effectiveness as an anti-cavity fighting compound were performed back in the 1940s. Those studies, conducted in Grand Rapids, MI in 1945, in Newburgh, NY in 1945, in Brantford, Ontario in 1945, and in Evanston, IL in 1947, are now being called into question. According to Dr. Philip Sutton, author of “The Greatest Fraud: Fluoridation” *A Factual Book, Lorne, Australia, 1996), these studies are actually of dubious scientific quality.
More recently, other studies attempting to document the effectiveness of fluoride have been conducted. Dr. John Yiamouyiannis examined the raw data from a large study that was conducted by the National Institute for Dental Research (NIDR). He concluded that fluoride did not appear to have any decay preventing success, as there was little difference in the DMFT values (the mean number of decayed, missing or filled teeth) for approximately 40,000 children. It did not matter whether they grew up in fluoridated, non-fluoridated or partially fluoridated communities. (Yiamouyiannis, J.A. “Water Fluoridation and Tooth Decay: Results from the 1986-87 National Survey of U.S. Schoolchildren”, Fluoride, 23, 55-67, 1990).
A larger study has been conducted in New Zealand. There, the New Zealand National Health Service plan examines the teeth of every child in key age groups, and have found that the teeth of children in non-fluoridated cities were slightly better than those in the fluoridated cities. (Colquhoun, J. “Child Dental Health Differences in New Zealand”, Community Healthy Services, XI 85-90, 1987).
Although children’s teeth have improved steadily from the 1930s to the 1990s, this improvement appears to be independent of the addition of fluoride to the water. A study has yet to be conducted that specifically addresses whether the addition of fluoride affects the quality of teeth, while controlling and accounting for other factors and other sources of fluoride.
Despite growing questions about the effectiveness of using fluoride to fight tooth decay – and increasing concerns of the safety of this practice — over 60 percent of the United States’ water supply is fluoridated. Most of those cities are in the eastern part of the U.S.
What are the Concerns Associated with the Addition of Fluoride to the Water Supply?
The most recognized problem with the ingestion of too much fluoride is dental fluorosis. This condition is characterized by the failure of tooth enamel to crystallize properly in permanent teeth. The effects range from chalky, opaque blotching of teeth to severe, rust-colored stains, surface pitting and tooth brittleness.
This condition, though worrisome, may not be the key concern, at least according to some researchers. Dr. Phyllis Mullenix believes, based on her research, that fluoride acts in a way that lowers the I.Q. of children (“Neurotoxicity of Sodium Fluoride in Rats”, Mullenix, P. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 17 (2), 1995).
Dr. William Marcus, believes that a study conducted by Battelle for the National Toxicology Program on the toxicology of fluoride shows that there were dose-related increases in bone cancer in male rats. Dr. Marcus also questions the removal by peer reviewers of cancers at other sites in the rats as well. Especially worrisome to Dr. Marcus is the fact that the levels of fluoride that caused the cancers in the rats were lower than those seen in humans who ingested lower amounts, but for a longer period. These levels are generated because fluoride is accumulated in the body and is not secreted.
Dr. Marcus was formerly the chief toxicologist for the EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, but was fired in 1991 after insisting that an unbiased evaluation of fluoride’s cancer potential be conducted. Marcus fought his dismissal, and was able to be reinstated after demonstrating in court that it was politically motivated.
An article in the Irish Times of Dublin on August 16, 1999, reports that Dr. Hans Moolenburgh’s research in Holland found that up to 4 percent of people using fluoridated water experienced health problems. These problems ranged from gastrointestinal disorders to mouth sores to rashes to headaches to forms of arthritis to more serious concerns such as cancers and neurological complaints.
Did you know that sodium Fluoride is also one of the basic ingredients in both PROZAC (FLUoxetene Hydrochloride) and Sarin Nerve Gas (Isopropyl-Methyl-Phosphoryl FLUORIDE) – (Yes, folks the same Sarin Nerve Gas that terrorists released on a crowded Japanese subway train!). Let me repeat: the truth the American public needs to understand is the fact that Sodium Fluoride is nothing more (or less) than a hazardous waste by-product of the nuclear and aluminum industries. In addition to being the primary ingredient in rat and cockroach poisons, it is also a main ingredient in anesthetic, hypnotic, and psychiatric drugs as well as military NERVE GAS!
Cannabis use in teenagers and the long-term risk to IQ.
This week a report has been released illustrating a new facet of potential harm from cannabis. This much published report has made its way across all media outlets. In a long-term study (carried out by scientists in Otago, at Duke University, USA and King’s College London), IQ and cannabis use were monitored over 25 years from age 13 to 38.
Of particular interest, their study of over 1000 subjects included teenagers in whom IQ was checked before any cannabis exposure. Around 1 in 7 reported being regular cannabis users, 1 in 20 doing so at least weekly before the age of 18.
What did the investigators find? With no cannabis history, there was a small decline in IQ. However recurrent cannabis use was associated with an 8 point decline in IQ, comparable to that seen in early dementia. Importantly, this decline in IQ was particularly marked when cannabis use began during teenage years. A further concern was that stopping cannabis use did not lead to recovery of the IQ loss. Commentary on the results has ranged from concluding that cannabis is harmful in teenagers but safe in adults, to more cautious notes that adolescent brains appeared more vulnerable to cannabis, without providing carte blanche for longer term safety of cannabis use in adults.
Are these fair interpretations? For the research purist, this was not a randomised study, i.e. use of cannabis was determined by the individual participants, not by random allocation – nor of course would that be ethical. This raises the obvious question whether there was bias in the type of people who used cannabis in this New Zealand cohort.
Effects on IQ could have resulted from reverse causation – i.e. cannabis used in response to underlying factors associated with likelihood of IQ to decrease with age. The type of person using cannabis may have been more likely to use other recreational drugs that can affect brain function – including alcohol, smoking, and other psycho-active drugs of addiction. Or social or other factors may have played a role. The authors were careful to acknowledge the risk of bias of this type however said they excluded as far as possible obvious confounding reasons for their results. And validity of IQ measurements is key.
Taking the research at face value, one obvious interpretation is that the developing teenage brain is very susceptible to factors that impair concentration during a critical learning phase; or particularly prone to toxic effect on brain function of chemicals in cannabis.
If these effects are real, how could long-term effects on the brain occur? Possible explanations for the harmful effects on IQ observed by Meier and her colleagues include direct toxic effects on the brain’s natural endogenous family of cannabis receptors through intermittent overstimulation; and toxic ‘bystander’ effects on other brain pathways important for concentration and learning.
A further question is whether there are individuals at particular high risk of these adverse effects of cannabis on the brain. Recently researchers from Aberdeen have reported variation in the gene CNR1, which controls expression of natural cannabis receptors: these genetic differences can increase activity of this cannabis ‘switch’. Studies are needed to find out whether this gene may also amplify possible harmful effects of cannabis on IQ.
What next? More work is needed to understand the reasons for the falls in IQ observed with cannabis use. Whether due to cannabis or not, it is a serious public health concern if certain groups of adolescents may be prone to large decreases in intellectual function before the age of 40. Meantime if cannabis is a likely contributory factor, given the widespread reported use of cannabis among teenagers, this study highlights the importance of well-funded and sustained public health efforts aimed at prevention and especially targeting adolescents. How will teenagers respond? A challenge to health communicators to convey successful positively framed health messages where users do no perceive current harm from cannabis in themselves or fellow users.
These two issues may not at first seem linked yet they are. They highlight government’s idiotic policy that has more to do with money then concern over peoples health.
They are willing to pump a drug into the homes of every citizen, a drug that has serious side effects, causes serious harm but has the bonus effect of creating a docile populace. A drug created from industrial waste which is difficult and expensive to dispose of is instead fed to us in the form of water treatment.
Not only are you being poisoned you are paying for it too. A family of four using 100 gallons per person each day will pay on average $34.29 a month in Phoenix compared to $65.47 for the same amount in Boston.
This brings us to cause and as with most things it comes down to money.
Marijuana has been banned for many years (why this drug is banned is another post) yet we see a rise in medical use. This leads me to believe that if the product is supplied by a company and taxes are paid a blind eye is turned.
We can make the comparison with alcohol and tobacco, both of these substances kill millions a year yet are a huge source of tax revenue and thus legal.
Much has been made of the medical effects of smoking the drug but if you put Fluoride and marijuana side by side you can easily see which is the killer. I am not a user, and that is a user of either drug. The water I drink is filtered and I do not par take in the smoking of weed but reading about these two substances has made me ask the question.
Who is the dumber the pot smoking teenager or the water guzzling health obsessed individual?