Archive for Friday, February 7, 2014

Fluoride fight pits oral health advocates against those who say their science is outdated

February 7, 2014

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Mary Marshall, a registered dental hygienist at Douglas County Dental Clinic, checks the teeth of her brother and patient Gary Marshall on Thursday. A hearing will soon be held in the state legislature for an anti-fluoride bill that would require municipalities that fluoridate their water, which includes Lawrence, to notify citizens that fluoride can reduce the IQ of children. Oral health advocates are fighting back.

Mary Marshall, a registered dental hygienist at Douglas County Dental Clinic, checks the teeth of her brother and patient Gary Marshall on Thursday. A hearing will soon be held in the state legislature for an anti-fluoride bill that would require municipalities that fluoridate their water, which includes Lawrence, to notify citizens that fluoride can reduce the IQ of children. Oral health advocates are fighting back.

Two years ago, Jessica Thompson and Richard Simms started an online petition to keep fluoride out of the city of Lawrence's water supply. They managed to get nearly 500 signatures and a segment on the local TV news. Nothing came of it.

But Thompson, a cashier, and Simms, a stay-at-home dad, are political novices. Mark Gietzen is not.

Gietzen has been protesting at Wichita abortion clinics and working to advance conservative political causes in the state for decades. Last year, he helped draft an antifluoride bill that his state representative, Steve Brunk of Wichita, introduced into the Legislature. The bill would require municipalities that fluoridate their water to notify citizens that "the latest science confirms that ingested fluoride lowers the IQ in children."

Oral health advocates are fighting back. They say the benefits of fluoride in fighting tooth decay are immeasurable, that the science on the safety of water fluoridation is settled, that cities like Lawrence have been fluoridating their water for decades with no ill effects. Nearly 75 percent of Americans live in communities that add fluoride to their water to help prevent tooth decay, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Still, the legislation is scheduled for a hearing before the House Health and Human Services Committee (it was delayed until Feb. 19 by this week's snowstorm).

Gietzen said fluoride wasn't even on his radar before the city of Wichita held a vote in 2012 on whether it should add the chemical to its water supply (the measure lost). As he got further into the science, he says, he realized that eliminating water fluoridation in America has the potential to save more lives than even outlawing abortion.

"I'm doing the most pro-life work I've ever done with this fluoride fight," he said.

He now blames fluoride for his father's death from cancer and his brother's thyroid problem. He cites a study comparing the incidence of disease in Ireland (which fluoridates its water) and Northern Ireland (which does not) that shows the former to have significantly higher rates of such conditions as early onset dementia, sudden infant death syndrome and hypothyroidism. The claims about lowering IQ, meanwhile, come from a 2012 Harvard study that found a correlation between slower brain development and increased levels of fluoride in water; the research mostly looked at kids in China, which, unlike the U.S., has a high natural occurrence of fluoride in its water.

Kevin Richardson, executive director of the Kansas Dental Association, said antifluoride activists fall into two camps: those who believe it is "an industrial chemical that causes every type of cancer and ailment" or those who think "fluoride is used by government as a mind-control agent."

"Fluoride lowers the incidence of tooth decay — that's a proven fact," Richardson said, noting that the CDC has named water fluoridation one of the top 10 public health achievements of the 21st century.

"Fluoride in the water saves the Medicaid system a lot of money," asserted Julie Branstrom, executive director of the Douglas County Dental Clinic. "Over the long haul the cost of putting fluoride in the water is far less than treating tooth decay."

Lawrence dentist James Otten says that in 30 years of practicing dentistry he's observed that patients who grew up in places with fluoridated water generally have less tooth decay than those who didn't. "It has the most effect on developing teeth in children, as they're growing, from about age 3 to about age 12," he said. "Starting kids off with good enamel and better resistance to disease really has a profound effect on their entire lifetime."

According to the most recent data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 36 percent of students in Douglas County had been treated for tooth decay, compared with 44 percent in Sedgwick County (home to Wichita). Sedgwick County also had a slightly higher rate of students with untreated decay (16 percent to 15 percent).

One of the world's most active opponents of water fluoridation lived right here in Lawrence. But Albert Burgstahler, a professor emeritus of chemistry at Kansas University and editor and chief of the scientific journal Fluoride, died Oct. 18. He was 85.

He became concerned about fluoride after moving to Lawrence as a young professor at KU and developing a thyroid condition. When he started distilling his water, he asserted, his health improved. He spent the remainder of his years researching fluoridation and what he claimed to be its ill effects on public health.

Burgstahler gave credibility to the antifluoridation side, said his friend, Paul Finney, a Humboldt acupuncturist who called Burgstahler "one of the most honest people I've known in my life." Finney says public health officials support water fluoridation "because they believe what they were taught in school and they don't bother to read the science. As Professor Burgstahler would say over and over is, 'Why don't people read?!' and then he would pound on the table with his fists."

The House Health and Human Services Committee will ultimately decide whether the bill proceeds, but Finney and other antifluoride advocates don't appear to be giving up on the cause anytime soon.

Back in Lawrence, Thompson and Simms are glad to see others are taking this issue on. The married couple say they no longer drink the city tap water because they believe it was causing them health problems (they self-diagnosed the cause as fluoride poisoning after researching it on the Internet, they say). So what do the two consume in place of tap water?

"We've got a 9-month-old, so right now we're drinking a lot of caffeine," Thompson joked.

Comments

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

Fluoridation at an appropriate dose does not seem to have ill effects, but at a dosage level of more than ten times or so the recommended dose, and possibly combined with other chemicals such as arsenic, ill effects certainly are possible.

Meanwhile, I'm quite sure that people who have strong feelings about fluoridation and want it to be stopped expose their children to second hand smoke, which we know for a fact is very harmful, without a second thought.

Clipped from:
http://openparachute.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/fluoridation-the-iq-myth/

"The EHP article reviewed studies on IQ scores for children living in areas of China, Mongolia and Iran where the water supplies have unusually high, natural fluoride levels. In many cases, the high-fluoride areas were significantly higher than the levels used to fluoridate public water systems in the U.S. In fact, the high-fluoride areas in these countries reached levels as high as 11.5 mg/L — more than 10 times higher than the optimal level used in the U.S."

"The two Harvard researchers who reviewed these studies have distanced themselves from the way in which anti-fluoride activists have misrepresented their article. After contacting these researchers, the Wichita Eagle newspaper reported, “While the studies the Harvard team reviewed did indicate that very high levels of fluoride could be linked to lower IQs among schoolchildren, the data is not particularly applicable here because it came from foreign sources where fluoride levels are multiple times higher than they are in American tap water.”"

"The Harvard researchers wrote in their article that the average standardized mean difference (0.45) in IQ scores “may be within the measurement error of IQ testing.” Despite web pages claiming that the article ”confirms” that fluoride reduces IQ scores, the Harvard co-authors did not reach a firm conclusion, writing instead that “our results support the possibility of adverse effects …” Indeed, their article called for more and better-quality research, including more “precise” data on the children involved and assurances that other factors have been ruled out as reasons for the IQ differences."

"Given the small difference in IQ scores, it’s possible that arsenic levels, school quality, nutrition, parents’ educational levels or other factors could have shaped the results. The authors also added that “reports of lead concentrations in the study villages in China were not available”— another factor that could not be ruled out. A British research team reviewed similar Chinese studies, found “basic errors” in them, and reported that “water supplies may be contaminated with other chemicals such as arsenic, which may affect IQ.”"

"Between the 1940s and the 1990s, the average IQ scores of Americans improved 15 points. This gain (approximately 3 IQ points per decade) came during the same period when fluoridation steadily expanded to serve millions and millions of additional Americans."

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Ron is exactly on targeted in regard to the infamous 27 "Chinese studies" on which antifluoridationists constantly base the unfounded IQ concerns. These studies were of high fluoride levels and so flawed that there are no conclusions that could be legitimately drawn from them. From the Harvard Study which reviewed these "studies":

From page 4 Conclusion:

"The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment. Future research should include detailed individual-level information on prenatal exposure, neurobehavioral performance, and covariates for adjustment."

------Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Anna L. Choi, Guifan Sun, Ying Zhang, Philippe Grandjean

Note: HIGH fluoride exposure. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, an extremely LOW concentration.

Page 9

"Six of the 34 studies identified were excluded due to missing information on the number of subjects or the mean and variance of the outcome (see Figure 1 for a study selection flow chart and Supplemental Material, Table S1 for additional information on studies that were excluded from the analysis). "

Page 13

"Children who lived in areas with high fluoride exposure had lower IQ scores than those who lived in low exposure or control areas."

Page 13-14

"While most reports were fairly brief and complete information on covariates was not available, the results tended to support the potential for fluoride-mediated developmental neurotoxicity at relatively high levels of exposure in some studies."

Page 15

"The present study cannot be used to derive an exposure limit, as the actual exposures of the individual children are not known. Misclassification of children in both high- and low-exposure groups may have occurred if the children were drinking water from other sources (e.g., at school or in the field)."

Page 15-16

"Still, each of the articles reviewed had deficiencies, in some cases rather serious, which limit the conclusions that can be drawn. However, most deficiencies relate to the reporting, where key information was missing. The fact that some aspects of the study were not reported limits the extent to which the available reports allow a firm conclusion. Some methodological limitations were also noted. Most studies were cross-sectional, but this study design would seem appropriate in a stable population where water supplies and fluoride concentrations have remained unchanged for many years. The current water-fluoride level likely also reflects past developmental exposures. In regard to the outcomes, the inverse association persisted between studies using different intelligence tests, although most studies did not report age adjustment of the cognitive test scores."

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

The ignorance abounds when it comes to fluoridation, Brett. Keep up the good work!

Steven D. Slott, DDS

David Green 1 year, 6 months ago

Ron and Steve, You missed a few key points. One of the lower IQ villages had water at .9 ppm. One study negatively correlated lowered IQ to blood fluoride level. Perhaps you should also print the conclusion of Phillipe Grandjean. You know, the one about Fluoride seeming to fit in with lead and other neurotoxins.

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

David Green

The only ones who give any credence, whatsoever, to the antifluoridations' attempts to trumpet The Harvard Review into something that it obviously is not are....uninformed antifluoridationists who parrot what they read on little antifluoridationist websites. How about if, instead of posting that same, uninformed nonsense about the Harvard Review, I just post the following instead?

The Harvard study was actually a review of 27 Chinese studies found in obscure Chinese scientific journals, of the effects of high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the well water of various Chinese, Mongolian, and Iranian village. The concentration of fluoride in these studies was as high as 11.5 ppm. By the admission of the Harvard researchers, these studies had key information missing, used questionable methodologies, and had inadequate controls for confounding factors. These studies were so seriously flawed that the lead researchers, Anna Choi, and Phillippe Grandjean, were led to issue the following statement in September of 2012:

"--These results do not allow us to make any judgment regarding possible levels of risk at levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation in the U.S. On the other hand, neither can it be concluded that no risk is present. We therefore recommend further research to clarify what role fluoride exposure levels may play in possible adverse effects on brain development, so that future risk assessments can properly take into regard this possible hazard."

--Anna Choi, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH, lead author, and Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, senior author

As it seems there have been no translations of these studies into English by any reliable, objective source, it is unclear as to whether they had even been peer-reviewed, a basic for credibility of any scientific study. These studies were flawed that NOTHING could be "concluded" from them.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

From the article above:
"The claims about lowering IQ, meanwhile, come from a 2012 Harvard study"

This clip discusses that study:
http://www.kansas.com/2012/09/11/2485561/harvard-scientists-data-on-fluoride.html

"Harvard University scientists say that Wichita voters shouldn’t depend on a research study they compiled to decide whether to put fluoride in the city’s drinking water to fight tooth decay.

While the studies the Harvard team reviewed did indicate that very high levels of fluoride could be linked to lower IQs among schoolchildren, the data is not particularly applicable here because it came from foreign sources where fluoride levels are multiple times higher than they are in American tap water.

Opponents of adding fluoride to Wichita’s drinking water have frequently cited the Harvard research in their efforts to persuade Wichitans to reject a ballot initiative that would require the water department to introduce the cavity-fighting chemical into the water supply.

Fluoride supporters gathered more than 11,000 signatures in favor of fluoridated water, forcing the City Council to put it to a vote on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Two of the scientists who compiled the Harvard study on fluoride said it really doesn’t address the safety of fluoridation levels typical of American drinking water.

“These results do not allow us to make any judgment regarding possible levels of risk at levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation in the U.S.,” the researchers said in an e-mail response to questions from The Eagle. “On the other hand, neither can it be concluded that no risk is present.”

The researchers noted that the fluoride levels they studied were much higher than what is found in fluoridated water in the United States and recommended “further research to clarify what role fluoride exposure levels may play in possible adverse effects on brain development, so that future risk assessments can properly take into regard this possible hazard.”

The e-mail was jointly signed by the study’s primary authors, research scientist Anna Choi and Associate Professor Philippe Grandjean, of the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health."

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

Thousands of people seem to be jumping on the anti-fluoride bandwagon on no more than anecdotal evidence. And, on less than half a dozen cases at that.

Clipped from the article:
",,, Steve Brunk of Wichita, introduced into the Legislature. The bill would require municipalities that fluoridate their water to notify citizens that "the latest science confirms that ingested fluoride lowers the IQ in children.""

Latest science? Where did that science come from? Was it ever replicated? Were other possible causative factors eliminated? Do the researchers who wrote the study in the first place claim that it has any applicability in the United States? No to all of that!

Next up: Kansas will ban the teaching of evolution, because science has never been able to replicate it in the laboratory, so the latest science confirms that it is not a factual theory. Right?

And the Earth is flat, that's obvious when you look around.

Janet Nagel 1 year, 6 months ago

The IQ science has been replicated numerous times and there's lots of other peer reviewed research on other fluoride risks. It's all easily accessible on the internet.

The fluoridation "science" you believe in is no different from creation "science" And the argument over fluoridation is no different than the argument over whether smoking was really harmful. It provided excuses for many people to keep on smoking. Fluoridation is like second-hand smoke only worse. It puts fluoride in foods, beverages and bathwater. No getting away from it.

Anyone who wants fluoride can get it in toothpaste. It's not intelligent or ethical to put it in drinking water.

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Janet

Since the "replicated" studies are so "easily accessible on the internet" it should be of no problem to you to properly cite them. Please do so.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Janet Nagel 1 year, 6 months ago

Of course, Scut. But the amount of fluoride added to drinking water is not a "tiny bit". It's enough to cause dental fluorosis. You've been told that's "cosmetic,' but it's the result of chronic fluoride poisoning. And fluoride continues to accumulate in the body after the teeth are formed in ways that aren't so visible. Meanwhile it doesn't reduce tooth decay. That's a fact. Tooth decay has declined at the same rate everywhere around the world, whether or not water was fluoridated. You've been sold a bill of goods, a nutty belief system.

Why in the world do you need to see fluoridated water forced on everyone? Toothpaste is available to all. Isn't there a more worthy cause you could get worked up about? Net neutrality, maybe? Veteran's rights? Declining honey bee populations? No texting while driving? Put your energy into something useful.

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Janet

Once again.....do you care to cite ANY valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support your claims?

Your unsubstantiated conjecture notwithstanding, the public health initiative of water fluoridation is nothing more than the addition of a minuscule few parts per million more fluoride ions to water systems, identical to those fluoride ions which already exist in that water and which humans have been ingesting since the beginning of time.

The only dental fluorosis which may be in any way attributable to water fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, is mild to very mild. Mild to very mild dental fluorosis is a barely detectable effect of the teeth, which causes no adverse effect on cosmetics, form, function, or health of teeth. As Kumar, et al have demonstrated mildly fluorosed teeth to be more decay resistant, many do not even consider this effect to be undesirable, much less adverse.

----- The Association Between Enamel Fluorosis and Dental Caries in U.S. Schoolchildren Hiroko Iida, DDS, MPH and Jayanth V. Kumar, DDS, MPH

Steven D. Slott, DDS

David Green 1 year, 6 months ago

Mild is "barely detectable"? Better change that prescription

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

David Green

Yes, mild dental fluorosis is barely detectable.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Janet,

In regard to your unsubstantiated conjecture that fluoridation "doesn't reduce tooth decay" here are but a few of the countless, peer-reviewed, scientific studies which differ from your "learned" personal opinion:

1)  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2925001/ 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

2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23550501 

CONCLUSIONS:  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. Source Department of Oral Sciences, Sir John Walsh Research Institute, School of Dentistry, The University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

3). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23488212 

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. Source Health Service Executive, Sligo, Republic of Ireland. joej.mullen@hse.ie

Steven D.Slott, DDS

Billy Budd 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually Pendrys (JADA - 1995) showed that inappropriate tooth brushing and supplement prescribing cause 96% of the fluorosis.

Pendrys later studied a population in which these two problems were corrected and showed that the fluorosis rates plummeted.

The Risk of Enamel Fluorosis and Caries Among Norwegian Children: Implications for Norway and the United States, Pendrys et al, JADA April 2010 141(4): 401- 414 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20354089

Pendrys's work and the current recommendations for small amounts of toothpaste for young children are examples of applying good science to solve a problem.

On the other hand, arguing to discontinue community water fluoridation to decrease fluorosis incidence is not consistent with real science but rather is the application of emotionally driven scientifically mistaken beliefs. The data shows that "solution" harms health and does relatively little to decrease fluorosis rates.

Beator 1 year, 6 months ago

You know, I once heard marijuana makes you stupid. But, people want marijuana for medicinal and recreational use? I bet if fluoride made you feel like marijuana does, fluoride would be illegal.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 1 year, 6 months ago

This is yet another non-problem looking for a massave solution in the mold of Kris Kobach with his anti-voting crusade. An issue by the cronically under-occupied to attract attention to themselves and create some sort of massive issue where none exists.

Why is this even mentioned in blaring headlines, given the non-problem that it is. Slow news day??

Bob Zimmerman 1 year, 6 months ago

My gosh...

The state of Kansas is "devolving". From education funding cuts...to income tax cuts/sales tax increases...to gutting tech-based economic development...to ideas like this.

Meanwhile, other states are zooming by.

Beth Ennis 1 year, 6 months ago

I knew Albert Burgstahler and he had many other examples and tests to show how just the low level in the city water makes a huge difference in your health. Sometimes it is easier to just go with the status quo than to really look at other evidence. He spent over 50 years researching this based on his own health. I would like to see the 2 sides try to come up with another way to get the required amount of floride in to children. No one here mentioned the study in Ireland that shows significant differences in health issues between the north and the south. I personally haven't researched that study and I do drink city tap water. However, I also developed a thyroid condition a number of years ago. There are many instances where something that is good for us in one aspect is bad for us in another. It would be nice if we could pick and choose, but in this case, we don't get that option, unless we want to pay for our water in a bottle and then there is no guarantee, unless you send it out for independant testing, that it is floride free also.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

"No one here mentioned the study in Ireland that shows significant differences in health issues between the north and the south."

What other substances might have differed between the water or food in northern or southern Ireland? And, what other factors might have been involved? Those issues were never mentioned. There is scientific evidence, and anecdotal evidence. Every single point you made is purely anecdotal.

Here's a good question: Why did the average IQ scores of American children improve 15 points between the 1940s and the 1990s, while fluoridation steadily expanded to serve millions and millions of additional Americans?

And, the claimed average standardized mean IQ drop in the Chinese study, with a fluoride dosage of over 10 times what is recommended, was only 0.45, which “may be within the measurement error of IQ testing.”

So, since you're only considering one issue, the claim could be made that because of the extensive use of fluoride in the United States, the average child's IQ went up by 15 points, but it dropped by 0.45, thus yielding a net IQ gain of 14.25.

And, IQ is meaningless anyway, it really can't be measured accurately because there are so many different types of intelligence. For example, the criteria for membership in Mensa is an intelligence (of any type) in the 98th percentile. So, depending upon exactly which qualifying IQ test you take, you need a Stanford Binet 5 test IQ of 130, ranging up to a Cattell test IQ of 148 to become a member. Those both represent the 98th percentile.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

Arithmetic error: "yielding a net IQ gain of 14.25." Should have read:
"yielding a net IQ gain of 14.55."

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Beth Ennis

There are not "two sides" to the issue of water fluoridation. There is simply the valid science of fluoridation, and unsubstantiated conjecture and "junk science" put forth by a very vocal few who irrationally oppose this very beneficial public health initiative.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

David Green 1 year, 6 months ago

There is no "required amount" . Fluoride is not an essential nutrient. The optimal amount is between none and a number that I can't get Steve to commit to.

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

David Green

There is no confusion about the optimal concentration of fluoride except, apparently, in your own mind. I don't establish this level. This is done by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). I can't imagine where you got the mistaken idea that this is a level to which I must "commit".

The optimal level of fluoride is that concentration which provides maximum dental decay prevention with no adverse effects. Currently that level has been set by DHHS to be a range between 0.7 ppm and 1.2 ppm. in 2011 in response to the increased availability of fluoride outside of the water now, than existed when the level was initially established, the CDC recommended that the optimal level be changed to simply the lower end of the current range, 0.7 ppm. DHHS has not yet officially adopted this recommendation but is expected to do so in the very near future.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Janet Nagel 1 year, 6 months ago

When fluoridation was started in Grand Rapids in 1945, it was stated that it would cause dental fluorosis--discolored tooth enamel. It was guestimated--no scientific trial was done--that fluoridation would cause fluorosis in about 10% of those exposed while their teeth were forming. Seven decades later the figure in the US stands at around 40%. Fluorosis is permanent disfigurement that is emotionally traumatic. In what universe is government entitled to impose this affliction on anyone? In what universe is any health profession entitled to advocate this?

And what is the physiological mechanism that results in fluorosis? Fluorosis is the result of poisoning of the enamel-building cells (ameloblasts) by fluoride circulating in the blood, so that the enamel they produce is weakened and discolored. Fluorosis is a biomarker of chronic fluoride poisoning.

When fluoride is circulating in the blood and poisoning ameloblasts, is it also poisoning other cells? Is fluoride poisoning continuing after tooth formation is complete? Dental professionals advocating fluoridation don't know the answers, because "it's not their department" and their dental education has not prepared them to understand and interpret scientific research. (Pretty scary since we thought we could rely on their expert opinions.)

Dental fluorosis makes poisoning by fluoridation self-evident. But even if there were no such visible proof, it is a clear violation of health care ethics and of civil liberties to impose blanket treatment on entire populations--young, old, healthy or not. Since 2006 the CDC advises that fluoridated water is not healthy for infants.

Fluoridation is unethical and unhealthy. There is no excuse for it.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

Fluorosis is a dental condition caused by overexposure to fluoride during childhood.

It is a fact that the concentration of fluoride needs to be carefully monitored. With a correct concentration, fluorosis is very rare. Where's your source for your claim that 40% of Americans have brown teeth?

I've seen quite a few people in my life, and I've only ever seen one woman that had that condition. And, it can be treated in a couple different ways, it is certainly not a permanent disfigurement.

"Fluoridation is unethical and unhealthy."

After all these decades and all these millions of people who have had their teeth protected from decay, we now have your expert opinion. Thank you.

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Janet

Yet once again.......valid evidence to support your claims? Any? Any at all?

In regard to your attempted fear-mongering about dental fluorosis the 40% you note is actually 41%. This comes from a 2010 CDC study with the following facts which you so conveniently omitted:

That "41% of all children" is composed of 37.1% with mild to very mild dental fluorosis, both of which are barely detectable, benign conditions requiring no treatment, and which have no effect on cosmetics, form, function, or health of teeth. The other 3.8% are those with moderate dental fluorosis, a condition which manifests as white areas on teeth. Whether or not these moderately fluorosed teeth require any restoration depends on the preferences of the patients and their parents. Some may be concerned enough with the cosmetics to desire treatment, others may not. There was not enough evidence of severe dental fluorosis to even be quantifiable.

The percentage of that 3.8% who may desire cosmetic treatment does not override the dental decay preventing benefit to the whole population. The cosmetics alone from dental decay are far worse than any from moderate dental fluorosis, and this not even take into account the amount of pain, debilitation, and life-threatening infection that is prevented by water fluoridation. The cost savings of preventing the need for restoration of decayed teeth completely dwarfs any expenses involved in cosmetic treatment of the very few with moderate fluorosis who may desire to have it. 

Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004 Eugenio D. Beltrán-Aguilar, D.M.D., M.S., Dr.P.H.; Laurie Barker, M.S.P.H.; and Bruce A. Dye, D.D.S., M.P.H.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

David Green 1 year, 6 months ago

Steve,

You conviently omitted mentioning that the 41% includes all teens, not just those living in fluoridated communities. In fluoridated communities only the number is probably closer to 60%.

Is dental fluorosis only a disease because we can see it?

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

David Green

I didn't "omit" anything. If you will note the words, "41% of all children".

Mild dental fluorosis is not a "disease", it is simply an effect of the teeth characterized by barely detectable white streaks on a portion of the teeth. This is not even an "adverse effect", much less a "disease" of any sort. Most intelligent people will probably agree that these faint streaks are highly preferable to the dark black discoloration, extreme pain, debilitation, and life threatening infection caused by untreated dental decay, which IS a disease, and which is prevented by fluoridation. Perhaps you should volunteer in a free dental clinic from to time and query those who have been in extreme pain for the better part of their lives, as to how much barely detectable white streaks would have bothered them.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Kyle Neuer 1 year, 6 months ago

Great. The Birchers are coming after the fluoride again. Out to protect our precious bodily fluids, no doubt.

Brendon Allen 1 year, 6 months ago

Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

Yup, it's right up there with the wars in the Middle East. We Americans need to get right in there and solve all those problems, whether we understand them or not.

Billy Budd 1 year, 6 months ago

On the one hand we have the overwhelming professional and scientific consensus well represented by the 100+ prestigious organizations recognizing the importance of community water fluoridation to better health.

see: What Respected Organizations Say About Water Fluoridation http://www.ilikemyteeth.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/RespectedOrgs-noPics_v2a.pdf

On the other hand are folks who spend some time on the Fluoride Action Network, basically the creation of a single retired chemistry professor and his family, where they find plenty to confirm their prejudices.

But after almost 70 years of fluoridation there simply are not data to show any harm at 0.7 ppm. What those extra fluoride ions do is prevent cavities. It is pretty straightforward.

The most compelling benefit is the prevention of about 2/3rds of the hospital operations (root canals, extractions, metal crowns) under general anesthesia in little preschool children.

For this benefit alone the ROI is 150%. I know Lawrence and other Kansas communities value their children & wants the best for them. They should follow their trusted dental professional's opinion and demand drinking water with optimally healthy fluoride ions.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

I also demand chemical treatment for our drinking water to kill bacteria that can not only make us very sick, but can also kill us!

Oh no. I hope I didn't give anyone any ideas.

David Green 1 year, 6 months ago

Two thirds? I think I'm going to need to see some research before I believe that. What do you have?

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

The beauty of the US is people can believe nonsense if they so choose. It would be nice though if the nonsense believers would wear tinfoil on their heads that way the rational people could spot you before wasting any time in dealing with you.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

Nys Cof is a person with an agenda. He or she has made 27 comments since Aug. 24, 2005, and every single one of them promoted an anti fluoridation platform.

It's difficult for me to believe that Nys Cof is the real name of an actual person. If so, that would be a violation of the LJWorld's terms of service.

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Ron

"Nyscof" is an acronym for the new York based antifluoridationist group, New York Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation. The person who posts these comments under the name "nyscof" is Carol Kopf. Kopf is the "Media Consultant" for the New York based little antifluoridationist group, Fluoride Action Network, with which the group nyscof is closely affiliated. Kopf also maintains the FAN website "fluoridealert.org".

The irony in all of this is that antifluoridationists reject the overwhelming consensus of the worldwide respected healthcare community, make conspiracy claims against the CDC, the EPA, and the ADA, all the while putting their trust in the nonsense posted on "fluoridealert.org" by Kopf, who has no healthcare education, training, or experience, and who has no qualifications, whatsoever to even understand, much less provide credible recommendations, on the issue of water fluoridation.

Funny.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Nyscof

The only "brain drain" is amongst those who attempt to use the seriously flawed Chinese studies to draw conclusions about ANYTHING in regard to water fluoridation.

The Harvard study you reference was actually a review of 27 Chinese studies found in obscure Chinese scientific journals, of the effects of high levels of naturally occurring fluoride in the well water of various Chinese, Mongolian, and Iranian village. The concentration of fluoride in these studies was as high as 11.5 ppm. By the admission of the Harvard researchers, these studies had key information missing, used questionable methodologies, and had inadequate controls for confounding factors. These studies were so seriously flawed that the lead researchers, Anna Choi, and Phillippe Grandjean, were led to issue the following statement in September of 2012:

"--These results do not allow us to make any judgment regarding possible levels of risk at levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation in the U.S. On the other hand, neither can it be concluded that no risk is present. We therefore recommend further research to clarify what role fluoride exposure levels may play in possible adverse effects on brain development, so that future risk assessments can properly take into regard this possible hazard."

--Anna Choi, research scientist in the Department of Environmental Health at HSPH, lead author, and Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at HSPH, senior author

As it seems there have been no translations of these studies into English by any reliable, objective source, it is unclear as to whether they had even been peer-reviewed, a basic for credibility of any scientific study. These studies were flawed that NOTHING could be "concluded" from them.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Steve Slott 1 year, 6 months ago

Nyscof

Let's put your out-of-context quote plucked from the 2006 NRC report into proper perspective. This NRC Committee made no recommendation to lower the secondary MCL of fluoride down from its current 2.0 ppm, thus deeming 2.0 ppm adequately protective of the public against adverse effects. If this Committee had deemed "lowered IQ" to be a concern at this level of fluoride, it would have firmly recommended lowering the MCL from 2.0 ppm.

Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, one third the level deemed safely protective of the public against adverse effects.

Steven D. Slott, DDS

Mike Edson 1 year, 6 months ago

Why would anyone doubt the research data found on the internet? Everyone knows that you can't put something on the internet that isn't true. (Holding a sarcasm sign)

John Kyle 1 year, 6 months ago

"Burgstahler gave credibility to the antifluoridation side, said his friend, Paul Finney, a Humboldt acupuncturist who called Burgstahler "one of the most honest people I've known in my life.""

A quack supporting a quack

Kyle Chandler 1 year, 6 months ago

Mr. Slott - You seem to be spending an awful lot of time on the internet defending flouride implementation - a simple google search of you and your business brings up similar cut and paste replies on other online media outlets forums. You decry anyones opinion regarding the regulation of flouridation and beg for evidence - but from what i've seen (repeated throughout these forums) you dont seem have any links to anything but biased and inaccurate information or just an entire lack of evidence period, meanwhile you bash a chinese study that no one in the scientific community considers valid in the first place. You also seem to ignore several European studies that discovered just the opposite of your claims. If you were from Kansas - i would perhaps give you a little break, but its very obvious - you are but a planted web persona (some would call it TROLLING) with no real interest in Kansans or their health for that matter.

I urge everyone to do your own research - this is VERY similar to the high fructose corn syrup debate - all those ads that say 'its just sugar' - hilarious.

I do commend your tactical typing Mr. Slott, but maybe just worry about North Carolina and let us make our own decisions here in Kansas. Deal?

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

News flash! High fructose corn syrup is just sugar. By definition that is what it is. Eat too much sugar of any type (table sugar, honey, etc) and you can gain weight and develop health issues. By the way eat too much protein or too much fat and you can gain weight and develop health issues. Trying to say high fructose corn syrup is inherently more dangerous than any other sugar is currently inaccurate. There is no evidence to support such a claim. Replace high fructose corn syrup in any food with table sugar or honey and the same health concerns exist. It is not the type of sugar but the amount of sugar that is the problem. Corn syrup is used for convenience in use and it is cheap.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

Parts of your comment are true, but it appears there is quite a lot of science behind the claim that different sugars really are chemically different, and are processed differently by the body.

The following appears to be well sourced, and there are many web sites that make the very same claims. I am disturbed that the corn industry, which of course has a vested interest, is trying to rename HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) to simply "sugar", which until now has meant cane or sugar beet sugar. I consider that to be a truth in labeling issue.

Clips of highlights from:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/high-fructose-corn-syrup-dangers_b_861913.html

'The Not-So-Sweet Truth About High Fructose Corn Syrup'
by Mark Hyman, MD, Practicing physician

1) Sugar in any form causes obesity and disease when consumed in pharmacologic doses.

2) HFCS and cane sugar are NOT biochemically identical or processed the same way by the body.

3) HFCS contains contaminants including mercury that are not regulated or measured by the FDA.

4) Many independent medical and nutrition experts DO NOT support the use of HFCS in our diet, despite the assertions of the corn industry.

5) HCFS is almost always a marker of poor-quality, nutrient-poor disease creating industrial food products or "food-like substances."

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

When you produce peer reviewed double blind studied evidence that reasonably proves HFCS is unsafe or is more deleterious than table sugar or honey then I will take notice. Listing " evidence" that is anecdotal proves absolutely nothing. People are willing to believe and repeat information that lacks true evidence of being factual. That does not make those statements factual.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

You are confusing my claims with what I pointed out are other people's claims.

My issue is that the labels on food products should truthfully list the ingredients, so that the consumers can make an informed choice. There is no question about whether cane and beet sugar are actually chemically different than HFCS.

It is like labeling a product "organic". Organically grown products have to meet certain standards, trust me about that one, I'm a farm boy, remember? It is illegal to advertise a food product as being "organic" when it does not meet those standards.

So, are you saying that until a food product is actually proven to be worse, it's OK? Sure does sound like it. We'll just check it out on the population, sure.

I think that a food product's contents should always be correctly labelled. And a lot of people, and the law, agree with me. The corn production industry is pushing for a change in the labeling law, that's what I have an issue with.

Only last week, there was a whole lot of discussion about the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer - and guess what it's being depleted to produce: Corn, to produce HFCS!

Because the climate in western Kansas is not conducive to the production of sugar cane, and the market for sugar beets is so far away, they are not grown there at all. But, while Great Western had their sugar production facility in Goodland, Kansas, sugar beets were being grown, but no more.

The fossil water in the Ogallala Aquifer is being used up to produce HFCS, and that's not good.

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

The truth in labeling is more political than science. Corn syrup is sugar. No ifs ands or buts. Just because some politicians have been bought off by lobbyists doesn't change the facts.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

HFCS is A sugar, not the only one. From 'The New York Times':
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/02/business/yourmoney/02syrup.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

"The version of high-fructose corn syrup used in sodas and other sweetened drinks consists of 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose, very similar to white sugar, which is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose."

I know for a fact that there is a difference between 45, 50, and 55!

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

Since you agree that HFCS is a sugar then there should be no problem labeling it as sugar. Forcing it to be labeled HFCS is nothing but politics.

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

According to the FDA website, with respect to food labeling, "the term 'organic' is not defined by law or regulations FDA enforce".

John Graham 1 year, 6 months ago

In response to the numbered items above:

1) Pharmacologic dose is "supra physiological amount of a substance naturally occurring in the body that produces a pharmacologic effect". Intake of any carbohydrate, fat, or protein ( eating a balanced diet for example) is by definition a pharmacologic dose. Pharmacologic dose does not mean the substance taken in causes harm. Supplemental vitamins would be a pharmacologic dose.

2)HFCS and table sugar (sucrose) are both made up of glucose and fructose. Glucose and fructose are both found in common "healthy" foods such as fruits and vegetables. There is no scientific evidence that HFCS is any more deleterious to human health than sucrose (table sugar). The amount of sugar ingested appears to be the real concern not if the sugar is HFCS or table sugar.

3) HFCS in one study in 2005 was found to have trace amounts of mercury in less than half the samples. Other foods have been found to have trace amounts of mercury as well. There is no evidence that this trace amount of mercury results in any health risk. The well known mercury concern in contaminated fish resulted in substantially higher amount of mercury being present in the fish than what has been found in HFCS and other foods.

4) Yes many healthcare professionals do not support HFCS being added to the food supply. What you are not reporting is those same health professionals do not support any sugar being added to the food supply. It is not the type of sugar they are concerned about but the amount of any sugar being added. HFCS has not been proven to be any more of a concern than any other sugar that is used.

5)This is nothing more than someone's personal opinion that has no scientific evidence for support.

Should HFCS be added to all foods? Probably not. But table sugar should not be added to all foods either. HFCS taken in excess can lead to obesity which can lead to many health concerns. But so too table sugar taken in excess can lead to obesity which can lead to many health concerns. So too can excess protein and fat. HFCS gets a bad rap because it is used more than table sugar as an additive to foods because it is cheaper. If table sugar was cheaper than HFCS then table sugar would be added to foods more than HFCS and table sugar would be the concern of the moment instead of HFCS.

By the way supplemental vitamins and "natural supplements" can potentially lead to health problems as well. But because vitamins and "natural supplements" are "healthy" people fail to appreciate that taken in excess they can cause serious harm as well.

Ron Holzwarth 1 year, 6 months ago

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, in May 2010 there were about 87,700 general dentists in the US.

And, according to Nys Cof, 365 dentists urge that fluoridation be stopped because science shows fluoridation is ineffective and harmful. However, that is "Science" according to no reputable source.

Certainly not as reputable as youtube.com, which of course is a well known authority on everything.

Conclusion: 0.4%, or one out of 240, dentists agree, fluoridation should be stopped. According to Nys Cof.

C'mon, editors, what gives with the "real names only" policy for commenters on this site? Has that policy now been changed?

Kyle Chandler 1 year, 6 months ago

Strange isnt it - Dr. Steven Slott DDS seems to have lost interest in this thread. Wonder why? Sorry Steve, didnt mean to out you buddy. My comment about sugar was basically to parallel the similar attitudes taken by 'professionals' (not 'scientists') wherein blanket statements are made as gospel - ' a little flouride never hurt anyone!' 'Its just sugar!' 'Vioxx is FDA approved it doesnt hurt anyone!' - Understand? Flouridation is just another wasted money scheme - Did anyone in this thread ask about how much it costs to implement this? No, and judging by those who are for it - these are the same folks that HATE extra government expenditure. Are you now going to tell me that mercury fillings are completely safe too because the ADA says they are? Maybe there is a Huffinton post article you'd like to cite saying they are.

Just to take your temperature - can you tell me the differences between US dental regulations and those of our neighbor - Mexico?

As far as HFCS being 'sugar' its all in the process - you yourself Ron said it wasnt 'chemically' the same. The manufacturing processes for white table sugar - HFCS - or even Coconut Palm Sugar are VERY VERY different. Chemically treated anything (especially with bleach) leaves things behind that the FDA turns a blind eye to constantly. Its a fact. No tinfoil hat here- sorry.

Oh and Ron, i am the natural living person - i live on Michigan St. But i love a good hall monitor. Keep up the good work!

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