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Scientists and professionals opposed to Artificial Water Fluoridation share expertise on the biological effects of fluoride on the human body

Were Dental-Public Health fluoridation proponents in Calgary experts on the biological effects of fluoride on the body?

The letters below were presented to Calgary's Operations and Environment Committee on 09/10/97 from Scientists and other Professionals who shared their expertise on the biological effects of fluoride on the human body
Calgary Regional Health Authority's "Position Statement on Fluoridation" is at pro.htm

September, 9, 1997
Phyllis J. Mullenix, Ph.D.
Andover, Massachusetts

September 9, 1997
Mr. Ray Jones, Chairman
Operations and Environment Committee
City of Calgary Canada

Dear Mr. Jones:

This letter expresses my concerns about misstatements made by the Calgary Regional Health Authority (CRHA) in their "Position Statement on Fluoridation". As a toxicologist involved in fluoride research for over ten years, I was stunned by the CRHA's glib comments proclaiming water fluoridation safe. The "fifty years" of studies about fluoride safety, do not exist. The "ongoing intensive research on fluorides and fluoridation", does not exist, certainly none investigating safety. The claim that "no other public health measure" has been studied more, misrepresents the fact that many public health practices have sound, verifiable bases in science. Not so for water fluoridation, a fact learned during the eleven years I was Head of the Toxicology Department of the Forsyth Dental Center in Boston, a world renowned dental research institution affiliated with the Harvard Medical School.

The statement about "new evidence" confirms the CRHA's head-in-the-sand position. For example in 1995, I and three colleagues published a paper about the effects of fluoride on the central nervous system in the international journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology That paper withstood "the test of objective, scientific scrutiny", and thus, it was published in a peer-reviewed medical journal. Subsequently, other papers have confirmed such effects, and they too have been reported in peer-reviewed medical journals. In fact, evidence that fluoridation is safe relative to brain function has not been produced, certainly none that withstands "the test of objective, scientific scrutiny." The National Federation for Federal Employees, representing the scientists, lawyers and engineers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recognizes the risks for neurological impairment by fluoridation. The CRHA has made no credible attempt at even considering such demonstrated risks.

Water fluoridation is not the safe public health measure we have been led to believe. Concerns about uncontrolled dosage, accumulation in the body over time and effects beyond the teeth (brain as well as bones) have not been resolved for fluoride The health of the citizens of Calgary necessitates that you consider all of the facts, not just those that are politically expedient.

Phyllis J. Mullenix, Ph.D.

National Federation of Federal Employees Local 2050
P.O. Box 76032, Washington, DC 20013
202-260-2333(V) 202-401-3139(F)

July 2, 1997
Mr. Jeff Green
Citizens far Safe Drinking Water
3243 Madrid street
San Diego, CA 92110

Dear Mr. Green:

I am pleased to report that our union, Local 2050, National Federation of Federal Employees, has voted to co-sponsor the California citizens' petition to prohibit fluoridation of which your organization is the sponsor. Our union represents, and is comprised of, the scientists, lawyers, engineers and other professionals at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency here in Washington, D.C.

A vote of the membership was taken at a meeting during which Professor Paul Connett and Dr. Robert Carton made presentations, respectively, on the recent toxicological and epidemiological evidence developed on fluoride and past actions (and their bases) of Local 2050 with respect to fluoride in drinking water. The membership vote was unanimous in favor of co-sponsorship.

It is our hope that our co-sponsorship will have a beneficial effect on the health and welfare of all Californians by helping to keep their drinking water free of a chemical substance for which there is substantial evidence of adverse health effects and, contrary to public perception, virtually no evidence of significant benefits.

These judgements are based, in part, on animal studies of the toxicity of fluoride coupled with the human epidemiology studies which corroborate them, and the studies of rates of decayed, missing and filled teeth in the United States (fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities) versus nonfluoridated European countries.

Our members review of the body of evidence over the last eleven years, including animal and human epidemiology studies, indicate a causal link between fluoride/fluoridation and cancer, genetic damage, neurological impairment and bone pathology. Of particular concern are recent epidemiology studies linking fluoride exposures to lower I.Q. in children.

As professionals who are charged with assessing the safety of drinking water, we conclude that the health and welfare of the public is not served by the addition of this substance to the public water supply.

J. William Hirzy, Ph.D, Senior Vice-President

Richard G. Foulkes, B.A., M.D.
Box 278, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, V2S 4N9

September 9, 1997
Alderman Ray Jones
Chairman, Operations and Environment Committee
City of Calgary, AB
c/o Elke Babiuk
7012 Huntbourne Rd NE Calgary, AB. T2K 3X7
FAX: 403 275 1561

Dear Alderman Jones:

"The Position Statement on Fluoridation" presented by the CRHA is the "standard script" prepared centrally by the chief promoters of fluoridation with some small, lee-way for local "station identification"

The statement that "worldwide evidence supports water fluoridation is well founded" is quite untrue. To the contrary, the announced opinions and unpublished research papers favouring the efficacy of fluoridation are full of fallacies and include improper design, invalid use of statistical methods and omissions of contrary data. There is no confirmatory evidence of efficacy from recent surveys (NIDR 1986-87, NHANES III- 1988-94, Washington State University. 1995). Because of this, those defending the process have to refer to studies reporting on data collected in the 1940's which are now discredited.

The 1982 study of Rugg-Gunn and Murray is frequently cited as supportive, but, the book published by these authors, after a comprehensive worldwide search, contains not one study that demonstrates that fluoridation reduces dental caries. It is important to know that both the NHANES III and the Washington State surveys showed that 20% of children experience 80% of tooth decay (caries) and that the chief factors are not fluoridation status but poverty, race and lack of access to dental care. There are also no credible studies that show increases in dental caries after discontinuation of fluoridation.

The knowledge of adverse long term effects of fluoride ingested at current levels, due to fluoridation, its "halo" effect and the use of fluoride dental products, has a solid scientific foundation.

It cannot be denied that dental fluorosis is increasing in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas. Dental fluorosis is not only a "cosmetic" effect but also a "functional" defect resulting from disadvantageous structural changes to enamel and deeper structures of the tooth.

Damage to the skeleton, due to long-term ingestion is well-known. Present levels of fluoride ingested in fluoridated areas may result, even in well-nourished healthy individuals, in skeletal damage (osteofluorosis) within 20-40 years. Severe crippling (skeletal fluorosis) can be predicted to occur in many cases when the "fluoridated generation" reach their 80's. The poorly nourished and those suffering from kidney malfunction and, possibly diabetes, may become affected after a shorter period of exposure. The rates of hip fractures have been shown in a majority of epidemiological studies (7 out of 10) to be higher in the elderly residing in fluoridated areas compared to non-fluoridated areas.

Epidemiological studies of cancer , especially bone cancer (osteosarcoma) in the U.S. have shown a positive relationship. This has been supported by animal studies. Similarly, there is evidence that links the levels of fluoride used in fluoridation with congenital anomalies (Down's Syndrome) and with fetal brain damage causing low IQ through passage of low doses of fluoride through the placenta. There are also studies that show other adverse connections; e.g., infertility. It is difficult for fluoridation promoters to accept the evidence of possible harm as it runs counter to their preconceived notions. Attempts are made to "down-grade" or even ridicule the evidence. However , the studies are available for all to see!

The CRHA has responsibilities.

First, to ensure that no toxic chemical that is not required to make drinking water pure and clear is added to the water supply.

Second, to recognize that there is no contemporary evidence that fluoridation prevents or reduces dental caries at any age and that fluoridation is a ''belief" that should not: arbitrarily, be forced on the general public without fully informing them of all the facts, including the scant evidence for efficacy and the highly possible risks, and then allowing a free vote. The statement in the "Position Statement" that "[i]n the light of a lack of significant change in public health recommendations about water fluoridation, another plebiscite would be a considerable expense to the taxpayer...." is authoritarian and should not be tolerated. The public health establishment, doctors, dentists etc. are entitled to have a belief in fluoridation but must be restrained from forcing this upon the public in the spirit of "we know what is best for you".

Finally, all must respect the idea of "doing no harm". Even though the CRHA may choose to reject the evidence of the many "red flags" that caution against fluoridation, the failure to respond to these is morally and legally theirs. In this, they should be denied "sovereign immunity in future lawsuits.

The "Position Statement" contains no references to scientific studies or other sources of information. The author of this critique, for purposes of brevity, has followed suit. However, he would be pleased to furnish documentation for each comment presented.

Richard G. Foulkes, M.D.

6907 Sherman Street, Philadelphia, PA 19119

September 8, 1997
Alderman Ray Jones,
Chairman, Operations and Environmental Committee
City of Calgary

Dear Mr. Jones:

I am writing to comment on the Position Statement on Fluoridation of the Calgary Regional Health Authority.

My background is microbiology and biochemistry. When I was working for my Ph.D. in 1943, I discovered Streptomycin, This antibiotic was the first effective treatment for tuberculosis which has killed an estimated one billion people in the past two centuries. I also initiated the research which led to the discovery of the antibiotic Nystatin. Additional information about my work in science is enclosed.

I have been doing research and publishing on fluoridation for some 40 years. I have been invited to lecture on fluoridation in the United States, Canada, England, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Peru.

There is no well-designed research which provides convincing evidence that fluoridation is safe and reduces the incidence of dental caries. This is why fluoridation has been and continues to be the most highly controversial issue in the history of dentistry. This is why it has been banned in many countries.

Many individuals with impeccable credentials in science, dentistry, and medicine have published incontrovertible evidence that fluoridation is harmful and does not reduce the incidence of dental caries. I refer you, for example to the following three books of Phillip R. N. Sutton, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Oral Medicine and Surgery, in the Dental School at the University of Melbourne:

Fluoridation Errors and Omissions in Experimental Trials. 1959
Fluoridation. Scientific Criticism and Fluoride Dangers. 1979.
The Greatest Fraud. Fluoridation, 1996.

Additional information is in the professional periodical FLUORIDE, edited by John Colquhoun, in New Zealand. More evidence has been provided by Brian Martin, Associate Professor in Science and Technology at the University of Wollongong, in Australia, in his book Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation debate. 1991.

These publications are typical of the voluminous literature, by reputable individuals, which provides convincing evidence that fluoridation is harmful and that it does not reduce the incidence of dental. caries.

Sincerely yours,
Albert Schatz, Ph.D.

Canton, New York 13617

September 8, 1997
Ray Jones,
Operations and Environment Committee, City of Calgary,
Alberta T2K-3X7.

Dear Mr. Jones,

I was recently sent a copy of the "Position Statement on Fluoridation" authored by the Calgary Regional Health Authority. Once again, we see a health "authority" making a blanket statement about the safety and efficacy of fluoridation, without quoting one primary scientific reference. The time is long past (about 300 years) since we allowed "authorities" to resolve scientific debates, without resorting to the evidence which purports to support their case.

Our (my wife and I) own 20-page review of the fluoridation issue indicates a wealth of scientific evidence which questions both the efficacy and the safety of fluoridation There are, for example, a number of scientific studies which indicate that there is an increase in dental fluorosis in areas where water is fluoridated, and more recently studies which indicate that dental fluorosis is increasing where children use fluoridized toothpaste and other products containing fluoride. At the other end of life, there are several studies published in major peer reviewed journals, like the Journal of the American Medical Association, which indicate a significant increase in hip fracture in fluoridated as opposed to non-fluoridated communities. Even more disturbing are long term studies which indicate an increase in osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in rats. What is disturbing about this study is that the osteosarcoma only appeared in the male rats, and there is a human epidemiological study from New Jersey which indicates a significant increase in osteosarcoma in young men (aged 11 to 19)) but not in young women, in several counties where the water is fluoridated. While the authors of the later study do not claim that their work is definitive at this point, it is a huge warning signal which would be imprudent to ignore. Another disturbing parallel between rat and human studies is the impact of fluoride on the developing brain. Phyllis Mullenix found that fluoride fed to rats caused behavioural problems in their offspring. Subsequently, preliminary studies from China indicate that children exposed to naturally high levels of fluoride in their drinking water have lowered IQs compared to controls, Again, it is not clear whether all confounding variables were accounted for, but we have another warning signal which should urge us to bo cautious.

What we know is the following:

1) Fluoride at concentrations not much higher than those used in drinking water is toxic.

2) Fluoride at drinking water levels increases the incidence of dental fluorosis, and that what visibly impacts the teeth will less visibly impact the bones.

3) That fluoride Is well known by biochemists to be an inhibitor of enzymes.

4) That fluoride forms a strong hydrogen bond with the amide group, and thus has the potential to interfere with fundamental life-processes involving the shape and function of both proteins and nucleic acids.

5) That the early studies conducted by authorities in the U.S. which set out to prove that fluoride was effective and safe were seriously flawed and would not pass muster today. In one instance, the control community was fluoridated before the end of the observation period and in another, the levels of both calcium and magnesium (also known to be beneficial to the development of good teeth) were much higher in the fluoridated community than the non-fluoridated community. 6) Well conducted comparisons in the US, Europe and New Zealand, indicate little difference today between the teeth of children from fluoridated as compared to non-fluoridated communities. It would appear that both improved dental hygiene and standard of living (education and diet) could better explain an overall improvement in the quality of children's teeth.

7) If 1 ppm was considered to be optimum for drinking water in 1945, it cannot be considered optimum today, because there are far more sources of fluoride available and unavoidable (processed food, fruit juices, toothpaste etc). To claim that 1 ppm is optimum today is to underline the unscientific nature of the pro-fluoride lobby.

8) The vast: majority of the countries of the world have not been persuaded that water fluoridation is good public policy. Out of a world population of over 5 billion, approximately 300 million drink fluoridated water. In Europe, only Northern Ireland has the majority of its population drinking fluoridated water, and Irish childrens' teeth are worse than five other European countries which have no fluoridation or are only partially fluoridated.

9) Even if fluoride is proven to be beneficial to teeth, there are alternative ways of delivering it to our children, without forcing it onto to everyone else.

10) There are people in our communities who are particularly sensitive to fluoride, these include those who are diabetic, those who have kidney problems, and those who have vitamin, calcium and magnesium deficiencies. How can we justify sacrificing their interests, especially if it is against their will. The argument that we should fluoridate in order to benefit the poor could be particularly inappropriate, because it is the poor who are usually more likely to suffer from some of these deficiencies, as well as being more exposed to other toxic substances.

Taking all the above into account, I do not think that science can be used to justify this reckless public policy. In public policy one should, in my view, err on the side of safety and caution. Even studies, like the National Research Council study of 1993, which are often cited as supporting fluoridation, have urged more studies on key issues like cancer. How can we condone what amounts to a large experiment with the whole population especially if it is against their will and even more so when those who want fluoride have other ways of getting it?

I will be sending you the 20-page pager written by myself and my wife, which contains all the references to the studies cited above as well as a copy of a TV program broadcast in the UK on June 19 of this year, in which I and others were interviewed on this matter.

Dr. Paul Connett,
Professor of Chemistry.
PS. The views presented above are my own, and should not be read as being endorsed by either my department or the University.

FAX to Elke Babiuk, Calgary, Canada


Albert W. Burgstahler, Ph.D., Lawrence, Kansas, USA

A growing body of unrefuted, peer-reviewed scientific evidence unequivocally shows that water fluoridation, contrary to claims by its proponents, is NOT a highly effective, economical, and completely safe way to prevent tooth decay. Many well-qualified scientists at leading research institutions, out of concern for public health and safety, view the addition of industrial waste fluorides to municipal water supplies as environmentally unsound and mistaken. Here, in brief, are some reasons for this position:

  • 1. Large-scale surveys of tooth decay rates among children living in fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas now show no significant differences (e.g., in the state of Washington, USA), thereby indicating no dental or economic advantage from water fluoridation. (A former principal dental officer of Auckland, New Zealand, Dr. John Colquhoun, when he discovered this fact over 15 years ago, changed from being a vigorous proponent of fluoridation to a conscientious opponent of fluoridation).

  • 2. Although comparisons by selected communities may be at variance, official records show overall that public dental care costs for children in California during 1994-1995 were actually LOWER in the LEAST fluoridated counties than in the MOST fluoridated counties of the state.

  • 3. Clearly visible disfiguring dental fluorosis has increased significantly in both fluoridated and nonfluoridated communities, evidently from greater early childhood exposure to fluoride dental products and widespread use of fluoridated water in the preparation of foods and beverages consumed by children during the years of dental enamel formation and maturation.

  • 4. There is now confirmatory evidence from France that hip fracture rates among the elderly--a very costly medical care problem are significantly higher where water fluoride levels are elevated than when they are not.

  • 5. Repeatedly reported reversible gastrointestinal distress and muscular weakness and fatigue, along with joint pains and stiffness, have been verified as resulting from levels of fluoride in the 1-ppm range in drinking water by studies at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which recommends a maximum fluoride content of 0.5 ppm in drinking water.

  • 6. Recent epidemiological research in China has shown that both boys and girls residing in areas with endemic fluorosis have significantly lower IQ test scores than otherwise comparable children in nonendemic areas.

Recent U.S. laboratory research has also demonstrated serious neurotoxic effects of fluoride in the brains of rats in both-short-term and long-term studies.


Albert W. Burgstahler, Professor of Chemistry, The University of Kansas

In 1931 the highly toxic nature of inorganic fluorides came into special prominence with the discovery that relatively small concentrations of fluoride ion in drinking water are responsible for the unsightly endemic dental defect known as mottled enamel. Previously, the devastating effects of volcanic and industrial fluoride emissions on livestock and vegetation had been recognized and were of increasing concern. Moreover, the acute toxicity of fluoride in decigram amounts to humans was well documented, hut the chronic, cumulative toxicity of milligram levels of intake still awaited investigation. Mottled enamel or dental fluorosis, which results from fluoride interference with enamel-forming cells prior to tooth eruption, is one of the first visible signs of chronic fluoride poisoning.

Surveys of selected communities by the U.S. Public Health Service during the 1930s appeared to indicate less tooth decay (dental caries) among children in areas where dental fluorosis was found. It was recognized at the time that such lower caries rates might be due, at least in part, to other components in the drinking water besides fluoride, and, in fact, later work showed this was indeed the case. Nevertheless, the proposal was made to increase the fluoride content of ordinary low-fluoride water supplies to a level of about one part of fluoride ion per million parts of water as an effective way to reduce dental caries by 40 to 70 percent without causing significant dental fluorosis or other toxic effects. Subsequent findings, however, have shown that this goal has not been achieved. Dental fluorosis in fluoridated communities is more extensive and more severe than predicted, and the anti-caries effect of fluoridation has been found to be negligible or at best only marginal.

Originally, a 10 percent incidence of barely visible, "unobjectionable" dental fluorosis was expected for artificial fluoridation. Current surveys, however, reveal that, owing to unanticipated increases in fluoride intake, the incidence is at least 20 to 35 percent, with many cases that are clearly disfiguring and objectionable. Fluorosed teeth have an abnormal, chalky appearance often with unsightly irregular bilateral mottling, which in adulthood can acquire permanent yellow or even brown stains. Although reputedly more resistant to caries, such teeth often develop cavities, and, when they do, they are usually more difficult to repair because they can be excessively brittle and fail to hold fillings tightly.

Dental fluorosis, however, is only one of the many toxic effects of fluoride in drinking water. Competent laboratory studies also reveal significant damage by 1 ppm fluoridated water to mammalian enzymes, chromosomes, cell growth, and mineral metabolism. In human populations, cancer death rates among persons aged 45 and older and the relative number of Down's syndrome (mongoloid) babies born to younger mothers have been found to be higher in fluoridated than in nonfluoridated areas. Likewise, the incidence of costly and often-fatal hip fractures among women aged 65 and older has been shown to be significantly greater in fluoridated than in nonfluoridated communities. Moreover, in agreement with laboratory findings in male rats, osteosarcoma (fatal bone cancer) has been found to be as much as six times more frequent among males under age 20 in fluoridated communities than in nonfluoridated ones.

On a more general level, easily demonstrated reversible nondental toxic effects from 1-ppm fluoride in drinking water have also been identified and verified. The symptoms are the same as those first recognized in aluminum foundry workers by the distinguished Danish pioneer. fluoride researcher, Kaj Roholm. Because the symptoms are so common, they are easily mistaken as being due to other causes. They include: headache, excessive thirst, muscular weakness, extreme tiredness, involuntary muscle spasms, gastric distress, colitis, low "back and joint pain and stiffness, urinary tract irritation, skin eruptions, mouth sores, and visual disturbances involving the retina.

Persons in poor health and those who have, or have a tendency toward, allergy, asthma, kidney disease, diabetes, gastric ulcer, law thyroid function, and deficient nutrition are especially susceptible to toxic effects of fluoride in drinking water. In addition, low intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, as well as the presence of fluoride in beverages (especially tea), food, air, drugs, tobacco, toothpaste, and mouth rinses can also precipitate or contribute to such intoxication.

When the illness is caused by fluoride in drinking water, and is not too far advanced, the symptoms promptly disappear or subside without medication simply by substitution of distilled or other low- fluoride water for all drinking and cooking and avoidance of high-fluoride foods, such as mechanically deboned meat, skin of chicken, bony ocean fish, tea, and gelatin manufactured with fluoridated water. Unfortunately, because of vigorous denial by health authorities inflexibly committed to the promotion of fluoridation, such illness Is not usually recognized, either by the general public or by the medical profession, as possibly fluoride related. Yet even the Physicians' Desk Reference (45th Edition, 1991, p. 2173) warns of such toxic reactions to prescription supplements for babies and children: "In hypersensitive individuals fluorides occasionally cause skin eruptions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema or urticaria. Gastric distress, headache, and weakness have also been reported. These hypersensitivity reactions usually disappear promptly after discontinuation of the fluoride."

With respect to the dental benefit issue, in contrast to favorable findings from small-scale studies of preselected, often poorly matched groups, large-scale and whole-population surveys of unselected groups have shown that there is virtually no difference in tooth decay rates of children in fluoridated and nonfluoridated areas. Such results have been observed not only in the United Sates but also in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Equally important, probably largely because of improved dental nutrition and hygiene, caries rates have been declining in most developed countries by about the same amount in nonfluoridated areas as in fluoridated areas. Furthermore, dental costs are not significantly lower in fluoridated communities, nor are there fewer dentists now practicing or needed in fluoridated communities than in nonfluoridated ones.

In fact, healthy, decay-resistant teeth are consistently produced without fluoride through adequate dental nutritional and proper oral hygiene. Generous intake of the known tooth-building minerals and nutrients during the early critical years of tooth formation and growth, substitution of fresh foods and whole-grain flour products for refined ones, vigorous restriction of refined carbohydrate (sugar) consumption, and thorough daily cleaning of the teeth, especially before retiring, have been shown repeatedly to provide safe and effective protection against dental decay.

It should also be noted that, despite claims to the contrary, the mechanical safety of fluoridation continues to pose serious problems. Officially acknowledged overfeed malfunctions responsible for episodes of mass poisonings and even fatalities have occurred in Alaska, Maryland, Michigan, Connecticut and elsewhere. Clearly, fluoridation procedures are not always fail safe.

In many parts of the world, especially on the European Continent, fluoridation of drinking water has been rejected or abandoned, largely for reasons such as those outlined here. Although fluoridation is still being promoted by health authorities in major English-speaking countries, there is increasing concern among the international scientific community as well as the general public over the steadily mounting adverse evidence against the supposed safety and effectiveness of fluoridation.


  • 1. Waldbott, G. L., Burgstahler, A. W., and McKinney, H. L. Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma. Lawrence, Kansas: Coronado Press, 1978.
  • 2. Hileman, B. "Special Report: Fluoridation of Water." Chemical & Engineering News, August 1, 1988, pp. 26-42.
  • 3. Yiamouyiannis, J. "Water Fluoridation and Tooth Decay: Results from the 1986-1987 National Survey of U.S. School Children." Fluoride, Vol. 23, No. 2, April 1990, pp. 55-67.
  • 4. Martin, B. Scientific Knowledge in Controversy: The Social Dynamics of the Fluoridation Debate Albany, New York: Stale University of New York Press, 1991.
  • 5. Griffiths, J. "Fluoride: Commie Plot or Capitalist Ploy." Convert Action Intelligence Bulletin, No. 42, Fall 1 992, pp. 26-30; 63-66.

Fluorosis Control Cell
National Co-ordinator
Sub-Mission "Control of Fluorosis"
RGNDWMA, Government of India

All India Institute of Medical Sciences
Ansart Nagar, New Delhi - 110 029

A.K. Susheela, Ph.D., F.A.Sc., F.A.M.S.
Professor of Histocytochemistry, Department of Anatomy

Message to: Rotary International,
Oakmont, Pennsylvania
c/o Ellie Rudolph
Fax 412-828-5096

There are 20 nations in the world with health problems due to excess fluoride ingestion through water and food.

India, Africa, China, certain parts of Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Pakistan, Syria, Turkey are severely affected. However, the problem exist in U.K., U.S.A., Canada to a lesser extent possibly due to better nutrition, calcium and Vitamin C in diet which can nullify the toxic manifestations to some extent. But "Water Fluoridation" is a guaranteed danger to health.

The major problem is that, very often, skeletal fluorosis and non-skeletal fluorosis are misdiagnosed and treated wrongly as clinicians do not fully understand the manifestations due to fluoride poisoning/toxicity. These are not described adequately in Medical/Dental text books.

Dental fluorosis, is quite evident from the discolouration of the teeth from white, yellow, brown, to black spots or streaks horizontally aligned on the enamel surface, away from the gums. Even Dentists, quite a large number, do not fully understand fluoride action on teeth. We have problems in India, as Dentists promote fluoride, among patients, who have dental fluorosis and the patients end-up with severe non-skeletal manifestations. Intense scientific debates have helped the Government, to amend our Drugs and Cosmetic Act of 1945, during 1992 to bring-in stipulations in the manufacture of fluoridated toothpaste. We would like to get the fluoridated toothpaste out of our country. But due to vested interests among concerned, it is not an easy task.

To summarise a few scientific facts which concerns the people around the world are: Fluoride ingestion affects adversely:
  • muscle structure and function, resulting in muscle weakness.

  • red blood cells (erythrocytes) are killed prematurely, lowering haemoglobin content, resulting in anaemia.

  • blood vessels are blocked through calcification resulting in cardiac problems.

  • the male reproductive organs are affected resulting in defective sperms, leading to infertility in some men, which is again related to the hormonal status of the individual.

  • the gastrointestinal tract mucosa is deranged (the lining of the stomach and intestine) resulting in : pain in the stomach, gas formation, nausea, loss of appetite, constipation followed with intermittent diarrhoea.

  • people loose their teeth and become edentulous at a relatively young age.

India is the first country in the world to develop two protocols for diagnosing Fluorosis at an early stage, so that prevention of the disease is possible. Radiographs revealing skeletal fluorosis is too late for reversal of the changes. Fluorosis has no treatment or cure. Prevention is the only solution provided the disease is diagnosed early.

  • For early detection of fluoride poisoning we use 1) Gastrointestinal manifestations (non-ulcer dyspepsia) 2) a sensitive blood test SA/GAG for detection.

  • In view of the enormous health problems due to fluoride, India is now investing massive amounts of funds for removing fluoride from drinking water.

  • Dental caries on the contrary, is not a fluoride related disease: it is a bacterial disease. Can be easily prevented, if oral hygiene practises are promoted and calcium and vitamin C in the diet are given in adequate quantum to the child even before birth through maternal diet.

  • However, Dentists invariably misguide the public by designating Dental caries as a fluoride deficiency disorder, which is grossly and scientifically incorrect.

  • In India, we are educating our people through radio, TV and other print media, the dangers of fluoride and they shall avoid it. In the developed western world, as people are educated. I do not understand why it should be a problem to convince the Government against "water fluoridation" and to stop it.

  • In early 1970 and 1980 some of the UN Organisations tried their very best to promote fluoridation of water in India (inspite of prevailing health problems due to excess of fluoride) and the scientific community fought the battle and was able to convey to the concerned Organisation(s) that they shall not enter India with the message for Fluoridation and we won the battle. They were trying to use the developing world to promote fluoridation based on the concepts of the "donor" countries but did not work.

"Peoples Health is the Nations' Wealth" and I hope the Rotary International would do everything possible to stop the cruel method of poisoning people through fluoridating drinking water in the name of prevention of Dental caries.

This truly reveals that no Organisation/Association can be taken for granted. Their intentions while promoting fluoride need to be questioned.

Professor A.K. Susheela
Dated: 24th February, 1996.