Water fluoridation may affect children's IQ 0
(QMI AGENCY FILE PHOTO)
Why, in 1974, didn't authorities learn from this terrible tragedy? A 3-year-old Brooklyn boy, during his first dental checkup, had fluoride paste applied to his teeth. He was then handed a glass of water, but the hygienist failed to inform him to swish the solution around in his mouth and then spit it out. Instead, the boy drank the water and, a few hours later, he was dead from fluoride poisoning. A report in Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products calls fluoride an acute toxin with a rating higher than lead.
I was severely criticized by dentists when I issued a warning about fluoride five years ago. Now, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) say that fluoride may be linked to a decrease in children's IQ.
Published in the journal, Environmental Health Perspectives, the study looks at children from two communities located close to each other. Researchers discovered that children in the low-fluoride area had a 28% chance of being normal, bright or of high intelligence. In the high-fluoride area the figure was 8%. Researchers also found that, in the low-fluoride community, 6% of children suffered from mental retardation compared to 15% in the high fluoride community.
The HSPH says that there are now 23 human and 100 animal studies that link the use of fluoridated water to brain damage. These findings show an increase of aluminum and beta amyloid plaque in the brain, both of which are associated with Alzheimer's disease. Researchers have also noted a decrease in acetylcholine receptors, which help to transmit nerve messages. These changes could have an adverse effect on a child's neurological development.
The sole argument in favour of fluoridation is that it reduces tooth decay. But several studies have found no increase in tooth health in fluoridated communities when compared to non-fluoridated communities. In fact, one study showed tooth decay was greater in the fluoridated areas. Moreover, dental health in Europe has improved since 1970 without fluoridation.
So why North American communities continue to add fluoride to drinking water is hard to fathom. After all, 98% of Europe is fluoride-free. Sweden, Germany, Norway, Holland, Denmark and France all stopped fluoridating their water 30 years ago. These countries are hardly backward nations.
In 1980, a New Zealand dentist who was an ardent supporter of fluoride therapy was sent by the government on a tour to study fluoridation. He returned an outspoken critic of the treatment.
Later, in 1999, Dr. Hardy Limeback, a dentistry professor at the University of Toronto and former supporter of fluoridation, reported that fluoride might be destroying our bones, teeth and overall health. He claimed that children under the age of three should never use fluoridated toothpaste or drink fluoridated water. He also said mothers should never use tap water to prepare baby formula.
Most parents are not aware of dental fluorosis, a discolouring of teeth due to excess fluoride that can occur in children between the ages of three months and eight years. In 1940 this mottling of teeth occurred in 10% of children. Today, in some areas, it's as high as 55%. One possible reason for the increase is that children's toothpaste tastes good and they swallow too much of it.
I'm not alone in thinking there is no persuasive evidence that water should contain 1.5 parts per million (ppm) fluoride when our bodies have no use for it, especially when the risk is greater than the benefit. Toothpaste has as much as 1,500 ppm fluoride and the treatments in a dentist's office can be as high as a whopping 20,000 ppm!
I believe it's dangerous for health authorities to brush aside the Harvard study. So-called experts are not always right. As noted astronomer Carl Sagan once remarked, "Arguments from authorities do not count. Too many authorities have been mistaken too often." I say amen to that.
This is just my opinion about fluoridation and, since I'm not related to the Almighty, I could be wrong. But it appears that since the 3-year-old boy died, experts have continued to ignore the dangers.
Over the years, I've learned one thing: To be prepared for the criticism that invariably descends on me about this issue.
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