|Physician responds to fluoridation column by George Malkemus
I am a Sonoma County physician, board certified in family medicine, responding to dentist George Malkemus’ essay misleading readers about water fluoridation.
Most dentists and doctors have been too busy to stay current with fluoride science. Many are unaware that credible studies of tooth decay rates, in diverse and at-risk populations, have been unable to find any significant reduction in dental cavities related to water fluoridation or fluoride ingestion.
It should be concerning to everyone that many well-meaning health professionals have been persuaded to support adding fluoride, a known neurotoxin and enzyme poison, to drinking water. Most fluoridation programs use non-pharmaceutical grade fluoride, an industrial by-product with “allowable” heavy metal and arsenic contamination. Water fluoridation relieves corporations of the regulatory liability and major expense of fluoride hazardous waste disposal. Under the false pretense of health care, protecting children and dental enamel, water fluoridation is the deliberate pollution of our bodies and ecosystems. Most of the world has soundly rejected water fluoridation and its hidden costs: corrosion repairs of water conduits and pumps, expensive worker protections, litigation over downstream damage, and serious health impacts. Fluoridation proponents ignore individual vulnerability and lifetime toxic burdens, interactions with other substances. Fluoride from air pollution, medically necessary fluorinated medications, unavoidable organofluoride pesticides in foods and beverages, does not compute in mass prescribing. Unlicensed officials will determine a county-wide dose of a contaminated, non-pharmaceutical grade product, simply to “treat” dental surfaces.
Finding alarming fluoride effects in mammalian, cellular, and genetic research, internationally recognized toxicologists are clamoring for a global moratorium on water fluoridation. The funding for essential human safety studies is long overdue. The United States has exceptionally high infant and maternal mortality rates compared to other countries. We have seen unimaginable increases in devastating health conditions. Our pets are suffering also. We should be investigating and eliminating harmful exposures, not sanctioning them! The Environmental Protection Agency, through the National Academy of Sciences, designated a committee of experts to study water fluoridation. National Research Council members are well-recognized researchers and clinicians in their respective scientific fields. After three years of intensive study and deliberation, the resulting 2006 NRC Report on Fluoride in Drinking Water expresses serious reservations about the safety of fluoride, even at low levels of ingestion, especially in children. These respected scholars were concerned about painful skeletal fluorosis; evidence of neurotoxicity (impaired brain development, altered behavior, dementia); disruption of the endocrine system (thyroid gland, pineal gland, and glucose metabolism); bone fractures, bone cancer and marrow origin malignancies. Along with further investigation of these toxic features of fluoride, they advised human safety studies (none have been done) for the fluorosilicates currently being considered in local proposals.
Here are views of just two of the NRC Panel members:
“The concentration of fluoride that’s used for supposedly the benefits is also in the range where adverse health effects are seen or begin to be seen...It’s certainly unwise to provide unmonitored or uncontrolled exposures to individuals, large numbers of individuals, of any contaminant, or any potential agent, that could cause adverse health effects.” – Kathleen Thiessen, PhD
“In my opinion, the evidence that fluoridation is more harmful than beneficial is now overwhelming and policy makers who avoid thoroughly reviewing recent data before introducing new fluoridation schemes do so at risk of future litigation.” – Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD
Dr. Malkemus minimizes tooth enamel discoloration from fluoride, dental fluorosis. He has been assured by dental “authorities” that it is simply cosmetic. This is not true. Dental fluorosis is the visible indication of whole body overdose. Careful scrutiny of 2010 CDC fluorosis data by UK environmental analyst Doug Cross found disturbing trends: “... virtually all children living in fluoridated water areas of America are liable to develop some degree of dental fluorosis, with perhaps one in ten suffering from the most disfiguring forms.” Even in non-fluoridated areas, fluorosis is increasing worldwide from bio-available environmental contaminants.
The most effective cavity prevention is achieved by improving diet. Sonoma County Department of Health is all over this fact with billboards, education, and organic community gardens to promote healthy eating in children at risk. Our children suffer from sugar and malnutrition, late dental attention, not fluoride deficiency. All county families deserve clean water, good quality food, affordable access to health care, dental and medical information without corporate influence.