Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Fluoride: EPA's Protected Pollutant

EPA’s failure to lower allowable fluoride levels in public water supplies protects artificial water fluoridation instead of the American public for political not scientific reasons.

EPA, by law, must determine every six years if safe levels of water contaminants, such as fluoride, allowed in public water supplies are still protective of health.  In 2006, the National Research Council, at the behest of EPA and after 3 years of study, said health-preserving fluoride levels must be lowered. But EPA ignored the NRC and the science showing that fluoride ingestion is harmful to health.  In effect, EPA's lack of action is putting many Americans' health at risk.

It's not EPA's task to determine if the addition of fluoride chemicals into public water supplies - fluoridation - is beneficial for dental health. But EPA oddly defended water fluoridation  in its Federal Register published excuse for ignoring the science of fluoride's harm. EPA felt compelled to rip apart almost every study critical of fluoride but failed to critique virtually any pro-fluoride study - even though many respected research bodies found fluoridation research is mostly shoddy and unreliable.

Three expert committees (NRCSCHERYORK) revealed “that there is uncertainty surrounding both the safety and the efficacy of fluoridation, report researchers,  Anat Gesser-Edelsburg, PhD, Head of Health Promotion Department, School of Public Health, University of Haifa, and Dr. Yaffa Shir-Raz  ( Journal of Risk Research, August 2016)

They add,  “A Cochrane systematic review (2015) “concluded that there is very little updated and high-quality evidence indicating that fluoridation reduces dental caries, while there is significant association between fluoride levels and dental fluorosis [white spotted, yellow, brown and/or pitted teeth].”

Dentists and the EPA often claim that dental fluorosis is no big deal but then dentists make a tidy profit covering up those discolored teeth as these fluorosis before and after advertisements attest to.  

Based on published science, EPA has enough evidence, not only to lower the water fluoride Maximum Contaminant Level Goal (MCLG) and Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), but to ban all artificial fluoridation programs country-wide. Naturally fluoridated water supplies generally contain calcium fluoride which is much less toxic than the fluoridation chemicals most used for artificial fluoridation.  In fact, calcium is the antidote for fluoride poisoning.

An EPA scientist details how EPA caved to political interests in 1985 in setting the current safe water fluoride levels. And that was way before hundreds of additional studies were published showing fluoride's harm.

Keeping the MCLG and MCL at scientifically indefensible levels appears to, not only benefit artificial water fluoridation and the special-interests which instigate it, but those industries and corporations that profit from fluoride sales. Corporate interests notoriously protect their products and brand image  – even when water fluoride is not directly linked to their fluoridated dental products. See: Fluoridation - Follow the Money.

Fluoridation began and continues at the urging of dentists – dentists who didn’t perceive that fluoride could get into the brain.  Even the EPA reports, itself, that fluoride is a chemical “with substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.

Well-rehearsed kindly old Dentists, like those in TV commercials, keep to the script. They claim fluoridation is safe and effective before governing bodies who don't realize they are watching an infomercial.   Fluoridation is based on belief not science according to a dental textbook.

Besides, fluoride’s adverse health effects, outside of the oral cavity, are not within the purview of dentistry, according to the California Board of Dental Examiners.  Yet, dentists control the issue - both inside and outside of government.  Organized dentistry's deep pockets full of corporate cash may speak louder than words.

Now over 100 animal and more than 50 human studies show that the neurological system gets fluoridated along with the water, teeth and bones.  The question is no longer “Does fluoride cause brain damage,” but “at what level does fluoride cause brain damage.” 

This alone should be enough to put an end to artificial water fluoridation. 

How long will EPA allow the American public to be guinea pigs in this ongoing human experiment?

The federal government reports that 58% of US adolescents have dental fluorosis - 21% have moderate fluorosis and 2% severe. Clearly, American children are fluoride-overdosed. We know their teeth are fluoride-damaged.  Who's looking at their bones.  No one!

At the same time, the feds report that 350,000 U.S. children (1 in 200) have serum fluoride levels in the approximate range associated with overt neurotoxic effects.

It’s clear that politics has a heavy hand in protecting fluoride levels allowed in water supplies and, therefore, in protecting the US fluoridation program. My guess is that EPA scientists, intimately involved with protecting fluoride, are fully aware that fluoridation is based on a house of cards. In the early 1940’s,  humans  were used to prove a pre-determined outcome – that fluoride, consumed via the water supply, was essential to create healthy teeth. The inconvenient truth is that modern science disproved those out-dated theories. But the belief in fluoridation runs deep.

Fluoride is neither a nutrient nor essential for healthy teeth as it was once believed to be.  Fluoridation began with the mistaken theory that ingested fluoride was required for children to form decay-resistant teeth.  The Centers for Disease Control now admits that “Fluoride works primarily after teeth have erupted…” CDC also admits that “The prevalence of dental caries in a population is not inversely related to the concentration of fluoride in enamel, and a higher concentration of enamel fluoride is not necessarily more efficacious in preventing dental caries.”  They also admit that the amount of fluoride emerging from saliva to bathe teeth topically with fluoride is too low to have any beneficial effect.

Although the CDC is often cited as praising fluoridation as a great achievement of the last century, the CDC seems to divest itself of responsibility by saying It is not CDC’s task to determine what levels of fluoride in water are safe.

Fluoridation is based on an early 1900’s discovery that people with fluoride-discolored teeth had less tooth decay. A discovery that failed to factor in that healthier wealthier populations were their test subjects. Those with fluoride-mottled teeth grew and ate their own local produce and could afford dental care – which is how, then and now,  most dentists decide where to practice.  Healthy diets reduced tooth decay. Fluoride just discolored their teeth.

Consuming a fluoride-free diet does not cause tooth decay.  But there is no dispute that too much fluoride damages bones and teeth.  The problem is that there is no government entity which is tasked with or interested in ascertaining Americans’ total fluoride intake or informing the public to tally fluoride intake and why they should.  

As EPA scientists are well aware the fluoride concentration in public water supplies does not equate to an individual’s dose. Fluoride does not need to be added to public water supplies at all.

Virtually all foods and beverages and some medicines contain fluoride as well as dental products both obvious and obscure, as in dental cements.  Inhaled shower and ocean mist, air pollution and cold mist humidifiers using fluoridated water also contribute to total fluoride intake. In a 2017 study showing that some two-year-old's exceed a safe fluoride level from all sources, Martinez-Mier et. al point out that “Dust and soil, for example, can contribute to a person’s total fluoride intake.”

A 1940’s fluoridation-health experimental study carried out on the entire population of Newburgh, NY, without individual's informed consent, was prematurely declared successful after only 5 years, before the teeth of test animals - schoolchildren - permanent teeth had erupted.  Also ignored were adults, pre-schoolers, brain and long-term effects. The Newburgh study forms the basis for specious claims that fluoridation is safe for everyone. Since then, very little US research looks for fluoride’s adverse health effects to any body parts that aren’t the teeth.  And the few that do are dismissed for poor reasons by this EPA.

The 1940’s was a time when essential vitamins and minerals were discovered to prevent disease. Dentists thought fluoride was their magic bullet but it isn’t.  After 72 years of fluoridation, tooth decay is a national crisis – especially in the poor.  Too many Americans are dentist-deficient and fluoride-overdosed, thanks in part to the EPA’s failure to lower fluoride’s MCL and MCLG.  Dentists prefer to treat the water of and not the teeth of low-income people and EPA enables that

By focusing on fluoridation instead of diet and dentist-access, organized dentistry allowed a national dental health crisis to occur on its watch and created a new one – dental fluorosis.

While the profession increasingly focuses on cosmetic care, 1/3 of all Americans can’t afford or are unable to get any dental care forcing them into hospital emergency rooms to relieve the relentless pain.  EPA has an indirect hand in this.

Dental visits to ERs nearly doubled between 2000 and 2010.  Four million visits cost $2.7 billion, mostly paid by taxpayers, and the patients seldom receive dental care – often just receiving pain and/or antibiotic prescriptions. One hundred and one patients died in hospitals from the consequences of untreated tooth decay, from 2008-2010, according to the Journal of the American Dental Association.

We know that organized dentistry lobbies the EPA to keep the water fluoride MCL and MCLG levels higher than necessary, to protect fluoridation, and claims that dental fluorosis is not a big deal But “Such changes in the tooth’s appearance can affect the child’s self-esteem which makes early prevention that much more critical,” according to dentist Elivir Dincer in the January 2008 New York State Dental Journal.

Fluoridation gives the illusion that dentists care about the low-income folks who aren’t welcomed in their dental chairs.  Most dentists refuse Medicaid patients. Organized dentistry lobbied successfully to have dental care excluded from Medicare.

Tooth decay rates did go down since fluoridation’s inception but there is no valid evidence proving that fluoride is the reason.  Tooth decay rates have gone down in areas with no added fluoride in water or foods.  At the same time, tooth decay crises are occurring in all fluoridated cities, states and countries.  See:  Some African countries with no fluoride, toothbrushes, toothpaste or dentists have inhabitants with some of the lowest decay rates in the world (Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, by dentist Weston Price)

It’s well established that rotten diets make rotten teeth and no amount of fluoride has changed that. 

So it’s very disheartening to see EPA's frivolous rejection of a growing mountain of published scientific evidence showing that ingesting fluoride is not safe for everyone.  EPA is supposed to base its MCLG on those who are most adversely affected by fluoride which would include kidney patients, babies, the allergic or insensitive and people who drink copious amounts of water or tea.   Anyone can pull apart any one study but EPA neglects to do so with any study favorable to fluoride or fluoridation. 

Because EPA seems to be politicized, EPA scientists, under protection of their union, expressed their scientific reasons to oppose fluoridation in 1999.

William Marcus, PhD, a respected EPA senior scientist was fired after he made public that results of rodent/fluoride studies were selectively downgraded to make it appear that fluoride did not cause cancer in experimental lab animals when it did.  He was re-hired under with back-pay under the whistle blowers’ act but the animal experimental results were never fixed to show the truth.

Others are doing a better job of protecting the public than the current EPA.  For example:

As early as 1988, an investigative reporter with Chemical and Engineering News wrote “Questions about health risks and benefits remain after more than 40 years.”

In 2008, Scientific American reported “Second Thoughts About Fluoride,”  where John Doull, PhD, Chair of the National Research Council’s (NRC) panel which reviewed current fluoride toxicological research (at the EPA’s request – what a waste of money.) said, “when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began.”

In fact, three expert committees (NRC, SCHER, YORK) revealed “that there is uncertainty surrounding both the safety and the efficacy of fluoridation, report researchers,  Anat Gesser-Edelsburg, PhD, Head of Health Promotion Department, School of Public Health, University of Haifa, and Dr. Yaffa Shir-Raz  in the Journal of Risk Research, August 2016)

They add,  “A Cochrane systematic review (2015) “concluded that there is very little updated and high-quality evidence indicating that fluoridation reduces dental caries, while there is significant association between fluoride levels and dental fluorosis.”

In the 1940s and 1950s, dentists in their eagerness to have a magic bullet that would enhance their professional prestige, promoted fluoridation heavily and dismissed legitimate debate over the merits of fluoridation within the scientific, medical and dental communities, according to an American Journal of Public Health article by Catherine Carstairs, PhD (June 2015). 

Carstairs writes, “some of the early fluoridation studies had methodological problems, which may have exaggerated their benefits.”

Carstairs concludes “After 70 years of investigation, there are still questions about how effective water fluoridation is at preventing dental decay and whether the possible risks are worth the benefits.”

In 2014, a legal scholar writes that fluoridation violates numerous legal and ethical human subjects research protocols ( Rita Barnett-Rose, Chapman University Associate Law Professor, in the William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review  Volume 39 | Issue 1)

Barnett-Rose writes, “Claims that fluoridation is not mass medication are unpersuasive. Adding a drug to the water supply to treat or prevent the disease of tooth decay is unquestionably a medical intervention, and the fact that the risks of this drug are still being determined by public agencies supports an argument that water fluoridation is an ongoing human medical experiment. As such, this experiment should be subject to informed consent for each human subject affected.”

She adds, "It is no longer acceptable for public health officials to simply dismiss the accruing negative data and to continue to insist that the levels of fluoride children and adults are receiving on a daily basis are without any serious health consequences.”

‘Unfortunately, rather than considering new data objectively, public health officials and dental lobbies spearheading fluoridation schemes often ignore, reject, or suppress the evidence that does not toe the profluoride party line,” she writes.

“The cessation of all compulsory water fluoridation schemes should be the goal of all public health agencies, ethical lawmakers, and informed citizens," she writes.

Even President Obama’s science czar was unkind to fluoridation when he wrote in 1977 “The scientific evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of mass fluoridation at the generally recommended level of 1 milligram per liter of water (1 ppm) is not as good as it ought to be…”

Dentist Thomas Connelly, reporting in the wrote: “I do not see the good in fluoridating our drinking water.

The US has yet to do any human brain/fluoride studies, especially in regard to fluoride’s link to children’s lower IQ.  When respected scientist Phylllis Mullenix unexpectedly found that fluoride can cause brain damage in lab animals and called for more corroborating research, she was fired instead because she wouldn’t hide her result.  

Hundreds of millions of dollars – maybe billions – are wasted on artificial water fluoridation schemes including PR agencies hired by both government and private organizations, on infrastructure, spokesperson training, water employee indoctrination, dedicated fluoridation employees in health departments and the CDC, lobbying, continuing education credits, grants, webinars, seminars, meetings, symposiums, advertising, videos, pamphlets, posters and other paraphernalia (t-shirts, cups, tote bags, water bottles, etc) – all because EPA won’t do its job and lower the MCL and MCLG of fluoride to a level that is safe for everyone and which would, in effect, abolish artificial water fluoridation in the United States.

Imagine, instead, if that money could be used to actually treat the teeth of low-income Americans – those who dentists neglect, for whom fluoridation shows no benefit and for which the American public picks up the tab for substandard dental care in hospital ER’s to the tune of billions of dollars.

Failure to lower the water fluoride MCL and MCLG, makes EPA an enabler in this political boondoggle.