Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Greens oppose flouridation

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The online version of SNJ carried this today - hopefully also in next weeks paper...

Greens oppose flouridation
By SNJ reporter

GREEN Party members in Stroud have condemned government plans to cut tooth decay by adding fluoride to water supplies. Members claim adding the chemical without residents' permission is immoral and dangerous.

Cllr Philip Booth, Green Party spokesman and secretary of the Safe Water Campaign for Gloucestershire, said: "This is an issue of medical ethics. Fluoridating water is essentially medicating people without their permission.

"The European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine distinctly states that individuals have the right not to be medicated without their consent."

He said the main causes of poor dental health were poor diet and inadequate dental hygiene.

"While we continue to feed refined sugar to our children in schools, efforts to reduce tooth decay will be in vain."

He said the positive health effects of flouridation were unfounded and most European countries had cut levels of tooth decay without it.

"While topical fluoride on teeth does help prevent tooth decay, there is simply no good evidence that systemic fluoride does," he said.

"Fluoride is a known poison if ingested over a long period of time, even in small daily doses."

Its consumption has been linked to medical conditions, including severe skeletal problems, discolouration of teeth, bone cancer and nerve problems.

The Green Party wants dental health education for adults and children, a warning on all sources of fluoride intended for human consumption and a ban on the fluoridation of drinking water.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Does toothpaste give kids bad teeth?

It can if they swallow too much fluoride, says Simon Crompton. Read more in yesterdays Times article here. It is good to see more articles in the press about the dangers of fluoride but still this doesn't go far enough in covering the evidence available.

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Daily Telegraph exposes some truth about water fluoridation

In the Daily Telegraph 05/02/2008 there was this article below and yesterday a follow up article, also below, exposing some truth about water fluoridation - see also the previous blog entry on this site holding a comment from a Safe Water Campaign member to the Telegraph.

Alan Johnson: 'Supply fluoride to every family'

By Lewis Carter

Every family should have fluoride added to their tap water supplies to stop tooth decay in children, Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, will tell health authorities on Tuesday.

Mr Johnson will urge them to increase the number of people who have the mineral pumped into their homes from six million to 53 million, to cover all of England and Wales.

Fluoride should be added to every family's tap water, says health secretary
Adding fluoride to tap water can lower the rate of tooth decay

Mr Johnson says the substance will provide a "dental health boost" to children who do not brush their teeth regularly.

The controversial proposal will reignite the debate over the health impact of fluoride, with research suggesting it can cause bone cancer, birth defects and bone fractures.

Dentists say fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. It also cuts down the amount of bacteria on teeth.

Mr Johnson said: "Adding fluoride is an effective and relatively easy way to help address health inequalities - giving children from poorer backgrounds a dental health boost that can last a lifetime, reducing tooth decay and thereby cutting down on the amount of dental work they need in the future."

The Department of Health (DoH) says children living in areas such as Birmingham, where fluoride has been added to the water for over 40 years, have half the rate of tooth decay compared to those living in areas without, such as Manchester.

The DoH also says a review by the University of York in 2000 found water fluoridation increased the overall number of children without tooth decay by 15 per cent.

But Dr Peter Mansfield, a member of the NHS-funded review's advisory panel, warned against a nationwide implementation of fluoride in tap water.

"The problem is that there is a lot of research on this subject, but none of it is conclusive - certainly not conclusive enough evidence for fluoride to be pumped into every household," he said.

"Studies have linked it to numerous health problems."

He added it was likely families were already getting significant levels of fluoride through using toothpaste and drinking tea.

Fluoride is already added to water supplies in areas of north-east England and the West Midlands. It also occurs naturally in some areas of the country, such as East Anglia.

Three British water companies currently add fluoride to water to supplies: Severn Trent, Northumbrian and Anglian.

Arguments about adding fluoride to tap water have rumbled on for decades. Campaigners argue that the substance it too unsafe to be manually added to water supplies.

A spokesman for National Pure Water Association warned that Johnson's plans were unsafe and amounted to "medication without consent".

The DoH will ask Strategic Health Authorities to consult with local communities before pressing ahead with the plans.

It says the latest evaluation of research in Britain identified no ill effects from fluoride.

Mr Johnson's plans, which will not be enforced in Scotland, are endorsed by the British Dental Association.

Protective element

• Fluorine is an element that occurs naturally in all water. Scientists say the compound fluoride helps protect teeth against decay.

• Fluoridation is the process of raising the concentration of fluoride within the water supply to the optimum level for improving dental health.

• Only one in 10 of Britain's population is covered by the so-called optimum level.

• An estimated 300 million people in 39 countries drink artificially fluoridated water.

Alan Johnson 'misleading' over fluoride benefits

By Rebecca Smith, Medical Editor
Last Updated: 2:32am GMT 07/02/2008

Alan Johnson, the Health Secretary, has been accused of overstating the benefits of adding fluoride to water in the fight against dental disease.
# Leader: Alan Johnson fights over fluoride

Tooth decay in children across Europe has fallen irrespective of whether there is fluoride in the water, authors of a report have said.

Mr Johnson has called for it to be added to all water supplies in the United Kingdom in an attempt to reduce the number of people seeking dental treatment. He said children in Manchester, where water is not fluoridated, were twice as likely to have tooth decay as those in Birmingham, where it is added.

Mr Johnson said a review of evidence by York University had found that adding fluoride reduced the number of children with tooth decay by 15 per cent.

But the authors said their findings have been used selectively and the impact of adding fluoride to water supplies was unclear. They accused the Government of giving "an over-optimistic assessment of the evidence in favour of fluoridation".

"The Department of Health's objectivity is questionable," said Sir Iain Chalmers, the editor of the James Lind Library in Oxford, and Prof Trevor Sheldon, the deputy vice-chancellor at York University, who conducted the review.

They said tooth decay in 12- year-olds has reduced across Europe irrespective of whether there is fluoride in the water.

The countries with the biggest drop in childhood tooth decay - Sweden, Netherlands, Finland and Denmark - do not fluoridate the water.

They said levels of tooth decay have fallen greatly in the past 30 years.

"This trend has occurred regardless of the concentration of fluoride in water or the use of fluoridated salt, and it probably reflects use of fluoridated toothpastes and other factors, including perhaps nutrition."

Evidence about the potential harm of adding fluoride to the water - some studies have suggested a link to bladder cancer and hip fractures - was not of sufficient quality to draw firm conclusions, Sir Iain and Prof Sheldon said.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, they said: "Evidence on the potential benefits and harms of adding fluoride to water is relatively poor."

Across the United Kingdom 5.5 million people use water with added fluoride and another half a million use a water supply where it occurs naturally. Over the next three years, £14 million will be available to strategic health authorities which decide, after local consultation, to add fluoride.

Mr Johnson said: "Fluoridation is scientifically supported, it is legal, and it is our policy, but only two or three areas currently have it and we need to go much further in areas where dental health needs to be improved.

"It is an effective and relatively easy way to help address health inequalities - giving children from poorer backgrounds a dental health boost that can last a lifetime, reducing tooth decay and thereby cutting down on the amount of dental work they need."

A spokesman for the Department of Health said it "made no apologies" for "promoting the benefits to oral health which fluoridation offers".

"No evidence of risks to general health have been identified at the 1 part per million concentration used for artificially fluoridating public water supplies," he said.

"Nevertheless, the department is committed to further research to strengthen the evidence base on the effects of fluoridation."

Letter to the Daily Telegraph

Two points in your report on the fluoridation proposals need straightening out. The actual findings of the team conducting the York Review were given thus:
1. Fluoride could not be said to be safe
2. Fluoridation would be unlikely to address dental health inequalities
3. Dental fluorosis was not merely a cosmetic issue
4. More good quality research was needed
Since the Health Minister at the time, Frank Dobson had initiated the review as a once-and-for all study, these findings did not suit his preconceptions and the public announcement, given only once, very rapidly on a BBC Radio 4 early morning news bulletin, said precisely the opposite; a classic government spin job.
The second point concerns the claim of fluoride safety at a concentration of 1 part per million.This is cold water as it leaves the tap. Warming it raises the fluoride level. Unlike chlorine residues which evaporate, fluoride will concentrate to the tune of 100 per cent upon boiling a kettle and something approaching 800 per cent for as long as it takes to cook vegetables. Taking a hot bath becomes a health hazard by dermal absorption and young children are especially vulnerable. When I challenged the Drinking Water Inspectorate to justify its responsibilities under these conditions, its reply stated that the product supplied conforms to the regulations. Whatever use the consumer makes of the product is beyond the control of the DWI. How many of our parliamentary representatives are aware of this cop out?Bernard J Seward(Unfluoridated) Bristol


A Systematic Review of the Effects of Fluoride on Health

This was the title of a Government-commissioned study in 1999 to be conducted by an independent panel of health experts; but as it was convened under the banner of the National Health Service, it certainly wasn’t our idea of an independent enquiry.

The evidence, world-wide, that could have been set before the team could have included the massive number of US cancer deaths; the liver failure of dialysis patients overwhelmed by excessive doses of fluoride in their water supplies; the dramatic fall in pre-natal IQ among fluoridated Chinese children; the discovery in New Zealand that zero fluoride was more beneficial to children than the ‘optimal’ 1.0 part per million standard dosage; the failure of plants to thrive and grow under the conditions of fluoridated water irrigation; the blood poisoning of children exposed to large volumes of fluoridated water at bath times and the appalling public health and environmental risks of handling the fluorosilicate chemicals.

The interaction of fluorine and iodine in the body leading to hypothyroidism; the orthopaedic skeletal risks of long-term exposure; the crippling effect of fluoridated water upon animals, especially horses and zoological species; the concern in Russia about farmland and crop contamination; the massive rise in the fluoride-to-water concentration when heating it, when preparing beverages, and when cooking in aluminium pans; all this, and more would have come to the surface to generate a widespread public debate culminating in the total and final discrediting of fluoride as a health benefit, but identifying it instead as being tantamount to a criminal attack on an unsuspecting population by vested business interests having little to do with good public health.

Drug companies are keen on us all having fluoride. They will profit enormously from the sale of medications portrayed as relieving us of the side effects of fluoride, while never curing the conditions brought about by the fluoridated tap water in the first place.

Now read the title below and compare it with the one above

A Systematic Review of the Effects of Fluoride in Water

Is it likely that a study with this title will tell you about the health risks associated with fluoridated water? So why do you think they quietly changed it?

Frank Dobson, the New Labour health minister, aware of the long-held public suspicion about fluoride, had said he wanted a once-and-for-all review. He really wanted one which confirmed his personal belief that fluoridation for all was a confirmed benefit to the dental health of young children of whom some (only some), were prone to tooth decay. The study, conducted at an NHS centre attached to York University, more or less confirmed the minister’s presumption, but only because it had been re-titled, misquoted and misrepresented to public scrutiny. It was therefore a classic case of Government spin. Published in 2000, it skipped neatly over dozens of threats to general health recorded by researchers, doctors, dentists, water engineers and toxicologists, many of them distinguished Nobel Prizewinners from the American states, Chile, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Not a word of negative evidence was allowed to filter through to the York Review team apart from one acknowledged condition: Dental Fluorosis – a visually distressing corrosion of tooth enamel. Despite its implication for the rest of the human skeleton (hip fractures are endemic in fluoridated areas), fluorosis was dismissed as being merely of aesthetic concern. There was no acknowledgement of the original reason for fluoridation: a toxic waste disposal exercise courtesy of the US Defense Department 1946. The policy still prevails
and is a cross-party issue maintained in a spirit of ignorance of truth.

This information is brought to you via the National Pure Water Association
the Safe Water Campaign
and the Socialist Environment and Resources Association

Compulsive Water Fluoridation Is Dangerous and Immoral

Greens today slated controversial Government plans to fluoridate national water supplies, claiming that medicating people without permission breaches European Human Rights conventions.Philip Booth, a Stroud District councillor, spokesperson for the Green party and Secretary and a founding member of the Safe Water Campaign for Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire said: "In addition to the negative health effects of water fluoridation, this is an issue of medical ethics. Fluoridating water is essentially medicating people without their permission, and the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine distinctly states that individuals have the right not to be medicated without their consent."Philip Booth said: "Poor dental health is a complex public health issue. The root causes are poor diet and inadequate dental hygiene. Typically the government seems more concerned with dangerous knee-jerk action and to be seen 'doing something', rather than confronting the real causes of the problem. While we continue to feed refined sugar to our children in schools, efforts to reduce tooth decay will be in vain."Philip Booth said: "The health case for fluoride has been far from made. Claims about the effectiveness of fluoride simply do not stand up to close scrutiny. While topical fluoride on teeth does help prevent tooth decay, there is simply no good evidence that systemic fluoride does. Fluoride is a known poison if ingested over a long period of time, even in small daily doses. Its consumption has been linked to a range of medical afflictions including severe skeletal problems, fluorosis (discolouration of the teeth), osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer) in boys, and problems affecting the central nervous system.Philip Booth added: "Most European countries have managed to reduce levels of tooth decay in recent years, in almost all cases without fluoridation. The Green Party wants to see a programme of education for children and adults regarding proper dental hygiene and a healthy diet, a health warning on all sources of fluoride intended for human consumption, and a ban on the fluoridation of drinking water."Philip Booth, Press Officer, Gloucestershire Green Party.Printed by, promoted by and on behalf of the Gloucestershire Green Party, Lark Rise, Bread Street, Ruscombe, Stroud, Glos. GL6 6EL Telephone 01453 755451 E-mail:

Letter to Western Daily Press

5th Feb 2008
Sir,Toxic Chemicals for Our Water Fluoride products are banned in Belgium and have been rejected by most European countries. Our government is again pushing to fluoridate our water supplies and is disseminating false or incomplete evidence to the general public. The Department of Health claims that children in areas such as Birmingham, which has been fluoridated for 40 years, have half the rate of tooth decay compared with those living in unfluoridated areas such as Manchester. This is misleading as it does not take into account for instance the greater expenditure on dental care in the Birmingham area, not does it quote the age range of the sample of children chosen. The longer term effects of fluoridation may not be visible immediately. Furthermore not all children in any given area are prone to tooth decay. Are we ALL to be compulsorily medicated to benefit those that are, regardless of our health needs?Hexafluorosilicic acid (the chemical added) is a bi-product of the fertilizer industry and has NEVER been tested as a medicine. It is classified as a Part 2 poison. It is so corrosive that it can dissolve tarmac and if ingested neat would kill within minutes. Do we want ten times as much of this poison to be travelling our roads?It is admitted in the ‘York Review’ of 2000 (about the possible benefits of fluoridating water) that 50% of people in the fluoridated areas (10% of Britain) have dental fluorosis which ranges from a mild pitting of teeth to a psychologically damaging mottling (12%). The supposed benefit of 15% is not rigorously proven and there is much evidence of harm to the body: possible cancers in teenage boys, brittle bones, birth defects, liver failure of patients on dialysis etc. not to mention blood poisoning in children exposed to large volumes of fluoridated water at bath times, also the stunting effect on plant growth when such water is used for irrigation and crippling effects on horses and other animals. It is not possible to remove fluoride from the water except by reverse osmosis, a very expensive procedure.According to the law the public has to be consulted by the local Primary Care Trusts before any fluoridation can take place, so please register your objections with your PCT, your MP and your Strategic Health Authority as soon as possible.
Rob Mehta Chairman Campaign for Safe Water, Avon, Wilts and Gloucestershire


Health chiefs say it means fewer fillings for our children Critics say there's no proof and even claim it's a cancer risk By Stephen Hayward, And Vincent Moss, Political Editor 03/02/2008 Fluoride is to be added to the tap water in millions of homes.Health Secretary Alan Johnson will this week announce the plan, aimed at strengthening children's teeth and reducing fillings.It follows research showing that children in Birmingham - where fluoride has been added to drinking water for more than 40 years - have only half the tooth decay of children in Manchester, where it isn't. A separate study found fluoridation increased the number of children with no tooth decay by 15 per cent. Mr Johnson said last night: "We have a duty to help areas with the worst record on tooth decay, to discuss this issue and take the necessary steps to improve their dental health."Fluoridation is an effective and relatively easy way to help give children from poorer backgrounds a dental boost that can last a lifetime." But the scheme is still set to outrage anti-fluoride campaigners who claim the health benefits are unproven. They say the plan - which will not apply in Scotland - is a breach of civil rights, and will not make up for a shortage of NHS dentists. Some even claim putting fluoride in water can lead to cancer and bone damage. John Graham of the National Pure Water Association said areas where tooth decay had fallen spent more on NHS dental care than other parts of the country. About 5.5million people in Britain already have fluoride added to their water. Another 500,000 live in areas where fluoride occurs naturally, such as Hartlepool and parts of Essex. A Department of Health spokesman said talks will be held in before any decisions are made.
WHERE IT IS ADDED: Just 10 per cent of water supplies in England and Wales contain extra flouride.Three UK water companies - Severn Trent, Northumbrian and Anglian currently add fluoride to supplies.
posted by Bill at

Letter to Welsh Papers in response to Pro -Fluoridation article

Letter to Welsh papers in response to an article supporting fluoridation:The fluoridation debate, which has endured on and off for the last sixty years, is claimed to focus upon one problem, namely the reduction of dental caries in young children. In fact, juvenile dental decay is being used as the host proposition to conceal a very much bigger problem: the economic disposal of toxic, corrosive and radioactive non-biodegradable wastes from industries. It originated in post war USA when accumulations of Hydrogen fluoride from uranium enrichment processing were becoming a national embarrassment. Later, the Sodium fluoride residues from aluminium smelting were used; that was until the smelters found a more profitable use for it. It has now been replaced with a product distilled from the waste residues of fertilizer manufacture, diSodium fluorosilicate. Those who claim that the natural Calcium fluoride found in ground water is the same or even similar to fluorosilicate, should go back to their chemistry textbooks. Anybody worried about their children's tooth decay should ask themselves whether they are prepared to swap their fundamental right not to be compulsorily treated at the behest of the state, with the prospect of having a water supply contaminated with residues of lead, mercury, cadmium, silicon, arsenic, radium and - believe it or not - Polonium 210. Not one of these frightening carcinogenic and neurotoxicant mineral elements has ever been acknowledged by government scientists or public health officials, but 14 Nobel prizewinners in chemistry, medicine and toxicology have lined up in opposition to fluoridation.It is also worth noting that 95 per cent of mainland Europe has said NO to fluoride; so too has Bonnie Scotland, the land of English parliamentary influence.
Bernard J Seward Bristol