African-Americans are among the most fluoride-overdosed populations, afflicted with dental fluorosis (discolored teeth), but who still suffer with higher tooth decay rates. Civil Rights leaders are calling for an end to fluoridation. And high level government officials working with Organized Dentistry try but fail to convince these leaders' to ignore the evidence apparently protecting fluoridation instead.
Fluoridation was launched in the 1940’s with the mistaken belief that fluoride was an essential nutrient required to be ingested for healthy teeth. Modern science disproves all that. Fluoride’s benefits are topical; but risks are systemic. Fluoride is a drug with side effects, contraindications and overdose fears.
After 70 years of fluoridation, 60 years of fluoridated toothpaste, a glut of fluoridated dental products (and in higher concentrations) and a fluoride-saturated food supply, Illinois Congresswoman Robin Kelly reports (2015 Kelly Report: Health Disparities in America) that:
- African Americans suffer from disproportionate rates of tooth loss and untreated dental caries.
- 42% of African American adults have untreated dental disease, compared to 22% of White Americans.
- Untreated tooth decay among children ages two-eight is twice as high for Hispanic and African American children, compared to White children.
No valid evidence proves fluoridation changes the “existing differences in tooth decay across socioeconomic groups,” reports the trusted and objective UK-based research Group, the Cochrane Collaboration. Cochrane also reports that fluoridation’s claimed reductions in tooth decay were based on biased and scientifically invalid research.
Presidential Executive Order 12898 (2/11/1994) “directs federal agencies to identify and address the disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of their actions on minority and low-income populations,” according to the EPA. But federal agencies fail to inform minorities of their heightened risk of fluorosis from government-promoted fluoridation schemes.
In spite of higher decay rates, dental fluorosis – white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth (See pictures: http://fluoridealert.org/issues/fluorosis/), which is the outward sign of fluoride toxicity, is more prevalent and severe in African-Americans and Hispanics. No research is conducted to learn if fluoride also damaged the bones of those with dental fluorosis.
Government health authorities knew over 50 years ago that black Americans suffered disproportionately from dental fluorosis solely from water fluoridation, but chose to keep it confidential.
In 1945, way before fluoridated toothpaste and dental products were widely used or even invented, Grand Rapids, Michigan, experimentally added fluoride chemicals into the water supply (the first city to do so) anticipating that children’s tooth decay would decline without causing too much dental fluorosis. But, “negroes in Grand Rapids had twice as much fluorosis than others,” according to a January 10, 1962 internal memorandum, from a U.S. Public Health Service official, F.J. Maier.
Based on this, Maier asked, “In a community with a larger number of negroes (say in Dekalb County, Georgia) would this tend to change our optimum fluoride levels?”
Protecting fluoridation at the expense of African-Americans Maier wrote “Would this observation indicate more studies in case opponents use this finding?”
No change was made. Worse, government officials still have taken no steps to educate the black community about their heightened dental fluorosis risk.
Modern day government officials seem to be just as protective of fluoridation. FOIA-revealed documents show a scramble among top level federal government officials in 2011, including the Surgeon General’s Chief of Staff, working closely with Organized Dentistry to devise strategy and have special meetings to presumably change the opinions of Civil Rights leaders who newly opposed fluoridation and still do. See documents here:
Even though they are fluoride-overdosed, minority groups have the highest rates of tooth decay, tooth loss, untreated tooth decay and are least able to get dental care. Eighty percent of dentists refuse Medicaid patients. Medicare doesn’t include dental benefits because the American Dental Association lobbied against its inclusion. 130 million Americans don’t have dental insurance. Many with insurance can’t afford dentistry’s high out-of-pocket expenses.
Fluoridation is newly promoted by to benefit the low-income folks who generally aren’t welcomed into dental offices. As a result, hospital ERs are flooded with victims priced out of dental care. One hundred and one people died in hospitals as a consequence of untreated tooth decay, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Environmental leaders and Civil rights leaders such as former Atlanta mayor and former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young and Reverend Dr. Gerald Durley, former pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Atlanta, both asked Georgia legislators to repeal Georgia’s mandatory water fluoridation law. The Rev. William Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors, Alveda & Bernice King and the Portland NAACP all oppose fluoridation.
In 2011, the oldest and largest organization representing Hispanics in the US, the League of United Latin Americans Citizens (LULAC), adopted a historic resolution calling for an end to water fluoridation.
From 1 – 5% of the population is allergic to or intolerant of fluoride. Studies link fluoride to many other health problems. Everyone should have the freedom to choose the chemicals they put in their bodies.
The most used fluoridation chemicals are hydrofluosilicic acid (HFA), waste products of phosphate fertilizer manufacturing never safety-tested in humans or animals. HFA is allowed to contain trace amounts of lead, arsenic and other toxins which are never purified out before injecting into the public’s water supplies.
Lead is linked to more tooth decay. In 1995 Stevens reported, “Of impoverished black children aged three to five living in American inner cities, 90% have elevated blood-lead levels.” Other studies show that fluoridation chemicals enhance blood lead uptake when lead is already in the environment (Masters & Coplan; Macek)
The FDA regulates fluoride as a drug for topical application but considers fluoride for ingestion as an “unapproved drug.” The EPA regulates fluoride as a water contaminant. The US Centers for Disease Control promotes fluoridation, and has hired a PR agency to help them. But CDC says it is not responsible for determining fluoridation’s safety. Actually, no federal agency either oversees fluoridation or informs sub-populations of their heightened fluorosis risk.
Since no American is fluoride-deficient; but too many are dentist-deficient, a viable solution is to legalize Dental Therapists (DT) in the US who need just two years training to do simple dentistry as they have successfully done in many other developed countries. Minnesota and Alaska have already. Other states are trying. But Organized Dentistry in the US lobbies against DTs legalization – some say it’s to preserve dentists’ lucrative monopoly
Jonathan Kozol describes life in the fluoridated Bronx (NYC) in his 1991 book, Amazing Grace (NYC has been fluoridated since 1965)
“Bleeding gums, impacted teeth and rotting teeth are routine matters for the children I have interviewed in the South Bronx. Children get used to feeling constant pain. They go to sleep with it. They go to school with it. Sometimes their teachers are alarmed and try to get them to a clinic. But it’s all so slow and heavily encumbered with red tape and waiting lists and missing, lost or canceled welfare cards, that dental care is often long delayed. Children live for months with pain that grown-ups would find unendurable. The gradual attrition of accepted pain erodes their energy and aspiration. I have seen children in New York with teeth that look like brownish, broken sticks. I have also seen teen-agers who were missing half their teeth. But, to me, most shocking is to see a child with an abscess that has been inflamed for weeks and that he has simply lived with and accepts as part of the routine of life. Many teachers in the urban schools have seen this. It is almost commonplace.”
Tooth decay crises are occurring in all fluoridated cities and states. Vermont Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders’ report, Dental Crisis in America, says nearly 9,500 new dental providers are needed to meet the country’s current oral health needs.
In fact, according to an April 2015 Indian Health Services report, despite wide implementation of fluoridation, topical fluorides, dental sealants and oral health education, three-quarters of American Indian/Alaskan Natives 5-year-olds have tooth decay - the highest level of any population group in the US.
Also little publicized is that routinely mixing infant formula with fluoridated water increases babies risk of developing dental fluorosis, according to many government, health and dental organizations.
Black children now far exceed the NRC’s safety threshold. One study from fluoridated Augusta, Georgia found 17% of black children suffering from advanced forms (moderate and severe) of fluorosis, the kind of fluorosis that was once only seen in naturally high-fluoride communities. (Williams 1990).
Communities of color have a greater incidence of kidney disease and diabetes. Because poor kidney function makes it more difficult for the body to get rid of fluoride, kidney patients should avoid as much exposure to fluoride as possible.
Diabetics often drink a lot of water and therefore consume more fluoride. Fluoride doesn’t boil out or dissipate like chlorine does. It condenses in water upon boiling. There is no dispute that too much fluoride is extremely unsafe and unhealthy.
Sugar Causes Cavities – Not Fluoride Deficiency
The single cause of tooth decay is sugar. “Modifying factors such as fluoride and dental hygiene would not be needed if we tackled the single cause—sugars,” report researchers in the Journal of Dental Research
In fact, “Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, and Colgate itself, had long ago launched products with the maximum amount of fluoride allowed by health authorities. Yet caries remaine a significant threat to public health in many countries, both developing and developed,” according to the Harvard Business Review.
Heavy consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is almost double among more impoverished children and teens compared to better-off counterparts. African-American youth saw twice as many TV ads for sugar-sweetened beverages than white youth, and that ad spending on Spanish-language TV had increased 44 percent in the last three years, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer
Federal nutrition programs could be a vehicle for improving kids’ dental health, according to Meg Booth of the Children’s Dental Health Project.
Booth writes, “Researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill are calling for renewed policy efforts to address the long-ignored impact of sugar intake on children’s oral health. Citing the influence of special interest groups such as the sugar, food, and drink industries, experts seem to agree that advocates and policymakers must redouble their efforts aimed at improving diet and restricting sugar intake in accordance with well-established guidelines such as those endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO).”
IT’S NOT KNOWN FOR SURE WHY AFRICAN AMERICANS ARE MORE DENTAL FLUOROSIS PRONE; BUT SOME THOUGHTS:
1) According to the CDC, it may be a result of “biologic susceptibility or greater fluoride intake.” (Beltrán-Aguilar et al., 2005).
2) African Americans consume significantly more total fluids and plain water, and thus receive more fluoride from drinking water, than white children (Sohn et al., 2009). In fluoridated Detroit, studies show that, even when fluoridated water was the most consumed beverage, tooth decay rates were extensive when diets poor
3) According to CDC, “non-Hispanic blacks had a lower prevalence of breastfeeding initiation than nonHispanic whites in all but two states…” Human milk is very low in fluoride. Formula made with fluoridated water will have 100 to 200 times more fluoride than a breastfed baby.
4) Leite et al. (2011) report that rats treated with both lead and fluoride had worse dental fluorosis than rats treated with fluoride alone. Thus it is possible that children with lead exposure will be more susceptible to developing dental fluorosis. African-Americans in the inner-city have had more exposure to lead than white children.
5) Fluoride’s toxicity is exacerbated by inadequate nutrition; including lower intakes of iodine and calcium. Certain racial groups are more likely to be lactose intolerant than others and may be indicative of lower rates of calcium-rich milk consumption. Calcium also protects the body from fluoride toxicity and is the antidote for fluoride poisoning.
More information can be obtained from The Fluoride Action Network’s submission on “Water Fluoridation and Environmental Justice,” a report submitted to the Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group September 2015:
Additionally, cryolite is a fluoride containing pesticide which is used on fresh vegetables and fruits, is allowed to leave behind fluoride residues of up to 7 parts per million. Sulfuryl fluoride, a post harvest fumigant, also leave fluoride remains on food.
The water supply should never be used to deliver drugs or nutrients to the entire population prescribed by legislators, delivered by water engineers (and not side-effect describing pharmacists) and dosed based on thirst and not age, weight health and need. People need the freedom to choose what they put into their bodies and how much.
Since fluoride is not essential, instead of an RDI (recommended Daily Intake) an Adequate Intake (AI) was calculated to prevent moderate dental fluorosis
According to the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academies, the AI for:
-- 6-month-olds and younger is only 0.01 milligram per day (mg/d)
-- 6 to 12-month-olds -- 0.05 mg/d
-- 1 to 3-years-old -- 0.7 mg/d
-- 4 to 8-year-olds – 1 mg/d
The American Dental Association describes moderate dental fluorosis as “All tooth surfaces affected; marked wear on biting surfaces; brown stain may be present” (2005 Fluoridation Facts).
All infant formula contains fluoride at levels that are too high for 6-month-olds See: http://safbaby.com/images/Posts/fluorideinformulas.png