NEW YORK, February 26 /PRNewswire/ --
The South Central Strategic Health Authority (SHA) hired Bazian Ltd. to review fluoride safety concerns raised by a 2006 report of the US National Research Council (NRC), and by 18 studies linking fluoride to lowered IQ in children. Bazian's work reveals a lack of understanding of toxicology.
The 500-page NRC report reviewed over 1,000 scientific studies. It concluded fluoride is likely to cause increases in bone fractures, arthritis-like symptoms, and severe dental fluorosis. It also concluded fluoride is a possible neurotoxin and endocrine disruptor. The report found that certain groups are more vulnerable to fluoride's toxic effects: infants, children, diabetics, and those who consume larger amounts of water.
Bazian dismissed these concerns, claiming the NRC report is not relevant to Southampton because it relied mostly on studies where the water fluoride level was 2 mg/L or higher. Southampton plans 1 mg/L. This dismissal reveals a lack of understanding of principles of toxicology. Public health policy commonly requires a margin of safety of 100-fold, or at minimum, 10-fold. The 2-fold margin should raise a red flag.
A safety margin is required when extrapolating from scientific studies to actual real-world populations, such as Southampton, because people vary so much in water consumption and sensitivity to fluoride. For these reasons, Nobel Laureate Dr. Arvid Carlsson advised the SHA Fluoridation is an obsolete practice. It goes against all principles of modern pharmacology.
Bazian also dismissed the 18 IQ studies linking fluoride to reduced IQ because fluoride levels were higher than 1 mg/L. But the lowest level at which fluoride was found to reduce IQ, 1.8 mg/L, clearly offers no adequate margin of safety to protect all the children of Southampton.
According to Dr. Paul Connett, director of the Fluoride Action Network, Incredibly, the UK has never done a study seeking evidence of neurotoxicity, so the existing studies are the best available. The evidence from the 18 studies carried out in non-fluoridated countries is certainly strong and consistent enough to warrant the application of the Precautionary Principle, especially since the issue has a significant consequence for children.
Another flawed report from the SHA dismissed the risk of fluoridated water used to make infant formula. Baby formula reconstituted with fluoridated water contains 250 times more fluoride than Mothers' milk. The pro-fluoride American Dental Association in 2006 advised that fluoridated water should NOT be used to make up baby formula. However, a February 19 report by John Newton, Regional Director of Public Health, and SHA Board Member, disagrees, stating It is not a recommendation to avoid fluoridated water...we do not believe the [precautionary] principle should be applied in the case of water fluoridation in Southampton...
The Achilles' heel of fluoridation proponents is that they cannot give credence to any report that finds evidence of harm from fluoride. By denying everything, they end up appearing as scientific illiterates. This situation pervades the selected scientific evidence upon which the SHA has chosen to base their decision.
-- Links to statements from scientists urging the SHA to reject fluoridation at http://www.fluoridealert.org/southhampton.html
-- Links to SHA's key documents at: http://www.fluoridealert.org/southampton.sha.htm
-- NRC 2006 review of fluoride: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11571
Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director of the Fluoride Action Network, +1-315-379-9200