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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fluoride – What's wrong with this Picture?

Fluoride – What's wrong with this Picture? (book excerpts)

By Andreas Schuld - head of Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children (PFPC).

Fluoride, according to the 1984 issue of Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products, 5th Edition (1984) is more poisonous than lead and just lightly less poisonous than arsenic. It is used as a rat poison. The EPA has set 0.015 ppm as the maximum "safe" level for lead in drinking water--yet the maximum "safe" level for fluoride is currently set at 4.0ppm, over 250 times the permissible level for lead.

Studies have shown that fluoride causes motor dysfunction, IQ deficits and/or learning disabilities in humans. Fluoride exposure impairs memory and concentration, and causes lethargy, headache, depression and confusion in humans. Interestingly, suicide occurs more frequently than
expected in populations of fluoride workers.

In 1957 it was found that even waters containing a mere 0.1ppm (0.1 mg/l) could cause dental fluorosis, the first visible sign of fluoride overdose. Moreover, there is not one single double-blind study to indicate that fluoridation is effective in reducing cavities.

Dental fluorosis is a condition caused by an excessive intake of fluorides, characterised mainly by mottling of the enamel (which starts as "white spots"). Dental fluorosis can only occur during the stage of enamel formation and is therefore a sign that an overdose of fluoride has occurred in a child during that period.

The dental profession describes the defect as merely "cosmetic."

What is now becoming apparent is that this "cosmetic" defect actually predisposes to tooth decay.

The world's largest study on dental caries, which looked at 400,000 students, revealed that decay increased 27 percent with a 1ppm fluoride increase in drinking water.

In Japan, fluoridation caused decay increases of 7 percent in 22,000 students, while in the US a decay increase of 43 percent occurred in 29,000 students when 1ppm fluoride was added to drinking water.

Currently up to 80 percent of US children suffer from some degree of dental fluorosis, while in Canada the figure is up to 71 percent.

Before the push for fluoridation began, the dental profession recognized that fluorides were not beneficial but detrimental to dental health. In 1944, the Journal of the American Dental Association reported: "With 1.6 to 4 ppm fluoride in the water, 50 percent or more people past age 24 have false teeth because of fluoride damage to their own teeth."

The fluoride compound in "naturally" fluoridated waters is calcium fluoride. However, this is NOT the compound used to fluoridate water! Sodium fluoride and hydrofluorosilicic acid are used in over 90 percent of fluoridation programs. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is a direct by-product of pollution scrubbers used in the phosphate fertilizer and aluminium industries.

Animal studies have revealed that hydrofluorosilicic acid and sodium fluoride are much more toxic than calcium fluoride.

Fluoride facts

The assertion that fluoride is good for teeth is a myth
Countries with the best dental health do not fluoridate drinking water
There is enough fluoride in a tube of toothpaste to kill a small child
European Fluoride facts

98% of Europe's drinking water is fluoridation-free
The fluoride added to Irish drinking water is toxic waste from the fertiliser industry
Less than 2% of Europe's population have fluoridated water.
Sweden banned fluoridation in 1971.
West Germany discontinued fluoridation in 1971.
Norway rejected fluoridation in 1975.
Holland banned fluoridation in 1976 and changed its constitution so that it could never again be introduced.
Denmark rejected fluoridation in 1977. The Minister for Environment stated, "no adequate studies had been carried out on the long term effect on human organ systems".
France rejected fluoridation in 1980. The Chief of Public Health declared it was too dangerous.
25 out of 26 Councils in Northern Ireland have recently rejected fluoridation.
USA Fluoride Facts
Since 1990 over 45 US cities have rejected fluoridation.

In 1990 forty US dentists brought a case against the American Dental Association contending that the Association purposefully shielded the public from data that links fluoride to genetic defects, cancer
and other health problems.

All US fluoride toothpaste must carry a poisons symbol, with a warning to contact the nearest poisons unit if more than a pea-sized amount of toothpaste is swallowed.

In 1997 the Union of Government Scientists of the United States Environmental Protection Agency
voted unanimously to co-sponsor a Californian initiative to ban fluoridation, stating "Our members review of the body of evidence over the last 11 years, including animal and human epidemiology studies, indicates a causal link between fluoride/fluoridation and cancer, genetic damage, neurological impairment and bone pathology"

Fluoride May Cause Cancer

Fluoride May Cause Cancer

Dental Health student's study contradicts her adviser's findings

Published On Monday, April 10, 2006 1:29 AM

Crimson Staff Writer

A study associating drinking fluoridated water with osteosarcoma, a rare malignant bone tumor, was published last Wednesday on “Cancer Causes and Control”, an online peer-review journal of Harvard University.

Elise B. Bassin, a clinical instructor in Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology, who led the study, wrote in an e-mail that she found a significant relationship between fluoride and cancer—contradicting the findings of her dissertation adviser Chester Douglass, the chair of the Oral Health Policy and Epidemiology Department at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

“We found an association between fluoride levels in drinking water during childhood and osteosarcoma for males diagnosed before age 20 years,” she wrote.

Douglass’ $1.3 million dollar, 15 year study did not find a link between drinking fluoridated water and developing osteosarcoma. He said Bassin’s study is a subset of his study and that he had not been able to replicate her results.

The Environmental Working Group, a Washington D.C. based advocacy group, recently filed an ethics complaint against Douglass because he allegedly cited Bassin’s study in his report, despite the opposite conclusions reached by the two studies. Douglass said he just listed Bassin’s study as a related publication and not a reference.

Douglass has received widespread criticism for defending the use of fluoride while being editor of a publication funded by a fluoride toothpaste maker.

Douglass wrote a letter in “Cancer Causes and Control,” where Bassin’s work was published, warning readers to take the results of Bassin’s study with discretion.

“Readers are cautioned not to generalize and over-interpret results... before making conclusions, and before influencing any related policy decisions,” he wrote.

Fluoride-Cancer Link May Have Been Hidden

Professor at Harvard Is Being Investigated
Fluoride-Cancer Link May Have Been Hidden

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Story from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/12/AR2005071201277.html

Federal investigators and Harvard University officials are probing whether a Harvard professor buried research suggesting a link between fluoridated tap water and bone cancer in adolescent boys.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), which funded Chester Douglass's $1.3 million study, and the university are investigating why the Harvard School of Dental Medicine epidemiologist told federal officials he found no significant correlation between fluoridated water and osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Douglass, who serves as editor in chief for the industry-funded Colgate Oral Care Report, supervised research for a 2001 doctoral thesis that concluded boys exposed to fluoridated water at a young age were more likely to get the cancer.

The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, urged federal officials late last month to explore whether Douglass had skewed his 2004 report to the institute to play down possible risks associated with fluoridation.

The practice of fluoridating tap water -- which more than 170 million Americans drink -- has inspired controversy for years, but the majority of federal and state officials back it as a highly effective way to prevent tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ranked fluoridation as one of the top 10 health achievements of the 20th century, and numerous studies have shown that fluoridation prevents tooth decay. The National Cancer Institute states on its Web site: "Many studies, in both humans and animals, have shown no association between fluoridated water and risk for cancer."

Douglass reported last year that the odds of having osteosarcoma after drinking fluoridated water was "not statistically different" from the risk after drinking non-fluoridated water. But in 2001, Douglass's doctoral student, Elise Bassin, published a thesis using his data that concluded: "Among males, exposure to fluoride at or above the target level was associated with an increased risk of developing osteosarcoma. The association was most apparent between ages 5-10, with a peak at six to eight years of age."

Bassin's thesis work is considered the most rigorous human study to date on a possible connection between fluoridation and osteosarcoma, a rare but lethal form of cancer that affects males nearly twice as often as females. Patients with the cancer live an average of three years after diagnosis. In 1990, an animal study by the National Toxicology Program found "equivocal evidence" of a link between fluoridated water and cancer in male rats. And more than a decade ago, a New Jersey Department of Health survey found that young males in fluoridated communities had a higher rate of osteosarcoma than those in non-fluoridated communities.

"Fluoride safety is a major public health issue, and a Harvard professor potentially falsifying public research results has huge public health implications," said Richard Wiles, senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group. He added that Douglass's role in editing a newsletter funded by Colgate-Palmolive Co. "creates the appearance of a conflict of interest."

Douglass, who has taught at Harvard since 1978 and has edited the Colgate quarterly since 1997, referred inquires to the university's press office. Harvard Medical School spokesman John Lacey said the school "takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and has a standard system for reviewing allegations of research impropriety. The school is assembling an inquiry committee to review the questions raised concerning the reporting of this work."

Douglass has not edited for the newsletter articles on the possible connection between fluoridation and cancer and has not testified publicly on the issue, Lacey added.

The institute issued a statement similar to Harvard's, saying the NIEHS "takes allegations of misconduct very seriously" and is reviewing the matter.

Bassin could not be reached.

Some public health experts, including Richard Clapp, an expert in the environmental causes of cancer at Boston University's School of Public Health, think Bassin's study should prompt additional research. Researchers suspect a possible connection because half of ingested fluoride is deposited in bones, and fluoride stimulates growth in the end of bones, where osteosarcoma occurs. The Environmental Protection Agency has commissioned a National Academy of Sciences study to examine the safety of fluoridation. A report is due next year.

"It's important, and it needs to be followed up," Clapp said of Bassin's work. "There's a legitimate biological rationale for focusing on young boys."

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More on Benzene in Soft Drinks

Parents Sue Soft Drink Cos. Over Benzene

Apr 11 10:29 PM US/Eastern
AP Food and Farm Writer

Two soft-drink companies were sued Tuesday by parents complaining that there might be cancer-causing benzene in kids' drinks.

Attorneys filed class-action lawsuits against the companies in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston and Leon County Circuit Court in Tallahassee, Fla. They accused Polar Beverages Inc. and In Zone Brands Inc. of not taking steps to keep benzene from forming in their beverages.

Benzene, a chemical linked to leukemia, can form in soft drinks containing two ingredients: Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, and either sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate.

The presence of those ingredients doesn't mean benzene is present. Scientists say factors such as heat or light exposure can trigger a reaction that forms benzene in the beverages.

"It's impossible for parents to know which soft drinks are safe and which contain cancer-causing benzene," said Timothy Newell, one of the plaintiffs.

Atlanta-based In Zone makes BellyWashers, juice drinks that come in reusable bottles featuring Spiderman, Hello Kitty, Scooby Doo and dozens of other well-known characters. Worcester, Mass.-based Polar Beverages makes fruit-flavored sodas and seltzers as well as mixers.

The lawsuits allege that independent laboratory tests found benzene in the companies' drinks at levels above the federal drinking-water limit, which is 5 parts per billion.

Food and Drug Administration sampling from 1995 through 2001 found similar results in unidentified brands, and FDA is currently doing more tests. FDA officials maintain there is no safety concern and that levels are still relatively low compared with other sources of exposure to benzene.

Likewise, a soft drink industry group argues that the amount of soft drinks people consume is much less than the amount of tap water they are exposed to.

"Benzene is ubiquitous to the environment. It's in the air. It's in dozens of foods, including bananas, meat and eggs," said Kevin Keane, spokesman for the American Beverage Association, the industry group.

Keane called the lawsuit an attempt by trial lawyers to make money.

In a statement, Polar Beverages president and CEO Ralph D. Crowley Jr. said all of his company's products are safe.

"Polar is committed to ensuring the safety of our products through in- depth research and testing," Crowley said. Polar Beverages had an independent laboratory test its products as recently as February and no trace of benzene was found, he said.

The plaintiffs ask that companies be prohibited from selling drinks that may contain benzene in Massachusetts and Florida. They note that other companies have either removed one of the ingredients or added ingredients to keep benzene from forming.

Benzene forms naturally in forest fires, gasoline and cigarette smoke, among other things, and it's widely used industrially to make plastics, rubber, detergents, drugs and pesticides.