Friday, 17 October 2008

Comment from Safe Water Campaign member....

"...the mineral, Fluoride." Thus spake Andy Burnham MP in a 2004 BBC Radio 4 programme 'You and Yours'. He had been invited to take part in a discussion on the merits of public drinking water fluoridation and was feverishly grinding his own axe on a subject of which he appeared to know little. Burnham and an equally young and, then, less-well-known New Labour member, Hazel Blears, had somehow acquired the T shirts proclaiming fluoridation as an unquestionable public health benefit.

In referring to fluoride as a mineral, Burnham was wide of the mark. There is no such separate entity called fluoride because fluoride is a compound of the highly reactive toxic gas Fluorine, bound within another element. In nature, water courses from springs will contain Calcium fluoride which is caused by fluorine, locked up in the rock strata with which it has reacted, being washed out to the surface. The labels of bottled spring water should list the water-borne elements present and 'fluoride', where it exists, will be shown in most UK sources as <0.2>
This means less than 0.2 parts fluoride per millon of fresh water or, again, two tenths of one milligram per litre of water.
At this point we can make a comparison between the national natural average and the safe level of 'fluoride' claimed as such by the Department of Health and subsidiary bodies representing the dental profession. That 'safe' level is given as 1.0 part per million, or one milligramme per litre, around ten times the natural level. Burnham, unfortunately, was parroting off the received wisdom on fluoride; he could not have known about the black hole in the history of the subject which is still waiting to be filled with a convincing proof of that claim.
Not long after that radio programme, Burnham and Blears were both shunted off into the Home Office where they no doubt gave yet another team of officials the benefit of their uninformed wisdom. The proponents of the practice of fluoridation insist that its scientific basis must be irrevocably supported by robust evidence; but the claim of safety at 1.0ppm is certainly not robust. It is more a convenient figure plucked from the air.

Another misunderstanding which the 'experts' have made little or no effort to correct is the difference between the natural fluoride and the fluorinated additive. In fact, if the question
What is the chemical being used to treat us through our water supply? is answered truthfully, disodium fluorosilicate should be the answer. Its formula? H2SiF6 To chemistry students,
this will make sense as 2 atoms hydrogen, 1 atom silicon and 6 atoms fluorine. Any substance with as many as 6 atoms of fluorine will be dangerously toxic. Being told, as in a typical public consultation, that the fluoride in nature is being merely topped up to an optimum level, implies that it is being done with more of the same. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The H2SiF6 compound, apart from its fluorine content, carries measurable traces of heavy metals including radionuclides as well as being highly corrosive and bioaccumulative within human and mammalian organisms. The natural fluoride will not dissolve glass, metals and concrete, but your 'nanny state special-offer' fluoride certainly will and, administered through your water taps at what the Andy Burnhams of this world deign to call 'a tiny amount', you'll chance getting health problems to match. The most visible - and impossible to deny - will be dental fluorosis, well described in our campaign song 'Brown Spotted Teeth' and illustrated in the web pages of the National Pure Water Association on
Dental fluorosis was once acknowledged in a House of Lords debate as ' evidence of systemic toxicity' Skeletal fluorosis, invisible except to X-rays, underpins a major study conducted in the United States by Dr Robert Carton PhD. He surveyed the health records of 560 thousand white women over 65 years of age, some of whom had been exposed to fluoridated water for most of their lives. The majority of those who had been so exposed suffered from arthritis.
It is an unfortunate fact that insofar as British fluoride research is concerned, the USA may just as well not exist, along with New Zealand, Japan, China, Russia and mainland Europe, all of which have had good reasons to question the value of fluoridation, to reduce its concentration or to abandon it altogether.

Bernard J Seward