I have been told I have a beautiful smile, and I once thought it was true. It is big and quick, the kind that flashes across a whole face to reveal pearly whites. The sad truth is, I have become slower to show my Colgate smile as I have watched the most important part of a smile, my teeth, become less and less dazzling. For years I couldn’t understand; I brushed twice a day, flossed once a week, stayed away from staining beverages, and I didn’t smoke. My dentist attributed my brittle teeth to the fact that I have some Native American heritage, and they are known to have less resistance to sugar. As I was offered no other plausible, I accepted it and continued my good dental habits. Then, last year I was browsing through the archives of alternative press releases, and one headline in particular caught my attention.
The article was titled, “EPA Whistleblowers on Fluoride”. It stuck in my mind because as a child, the same dentist who told me my teeth were naturally more prone to decay prescribed a once a week brushing routine with straight fluoride in combination with my use of nightly fluoride toothpaste. He said that I needed to take extra precautions because I moved into an area where the water was not fluoridated. My Grandmother told me the dentist was ridiculous; she claimed I received the proper amount of fluoride from the foods I ate and the amount that occurred naturally in water. I dismissed my Grandmother as behind the times’, and diligently applied the nasty paste. Yet, as I read though the article, I was confronted with information that contradicted everything I and every other child had been told from birth. The article claimed, “Fluoridation is the greatest case of scientific fraud of this century, if not of all time,” (Earth Island Journal, Winter 1998). I became determined to be more informed and started researching all aspects of fluoride. My findings were shocking.
For more than sixty years the United States Government has been telling the American public that fluoride compounds (generally referred to as fluoride) are safe and beneficial chemicals that reduce cavities- especially in children. Municipalities add it to drinking water, manufactures add it to beverages and food, and our dentists recommend that we use only fluoride-fortified toothpaste. What has all this led to, you might ask. What it has led to is the over-consumption of what is now recognized as a highly toxic, corrosive pollutant. Now, in fact, those on dialysis and nursing mothers are not recommended to consume any water containing additional fluoride because of its toxicity.
Declassified papers of the Manhattan Project-the ultra-secret US military program that produced the atomic bomb state that Fluoride was the key chemical in atomic bomb production. One of the most toxic chemicals known, fluoride emerged as the leading health hazard of the US atomic bomb program, both for workers and for nearby communities. Much of the original proof that fluoride was safe for humans in low doses was generated by A-bomb program scientists who had been secretly ordered to provide “evidence useful in litigation”, because you see, the first lawsuits against the American A-bomb program were not over radiation, but over fluoride damage.
Paul Connett is a professor of chemistry at St. Lawrence University in New York State and an international authority on environmental toxins. “I realize that, because the pro-fluoride lobby has successfully portrayed the anti-fluoridationists as a bunch of crackpots, people have been kept away from this issue.” And in fact, once I looked into the literature I was, quite frankly, appalled by the poor science underpinning fluoridation. I have grave concerns about the wisdom of putting this toxic substance into our drinking water. In the US, at the same time that the first fluoridation scheme was being introduced, scientists were admitting (in documents hitherto secret, but now disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act) that they had no idea what the effects of low-level exposure would be.
The first such scheme was introduced in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1945 as a long-term pilot study. Over a 15-year period it was to be compared with an un-fluoridated control city, Muskegon, to determine whether fluoride actually did benefit dental health. The citizens couldn’t wait 15 years, however. Two years later Muskegon opted to fluoridate. In a prime example of bureaucrats pre-empting science, the authorities decreed that it was unfair to deprive its citizens of the “benefits” of fluoridation. The 15-year study had run for just 18 months. Thus, there has never been a single long-term, scientifically inviolable study of fluoridation.
Have you seen children and young adults among your family and friends with those whitish spots or flecks on their teeth or, in more extreme cases, dark streaks that look like decay? This is the effect of dental fluorosis, the first visible sign of overexposure to fluoride. Dental fluorosis, or mottled enamel is a disfigurement associated with the ingestion of toxic amounts of fluoride during the period of calcification of the teeth in infancy and early childhood. Overexposure in time will lead to very brittle, stained teeth, and in the most serious of cases, the teeth will be pitted and chipped
Isn’t it common sense to assume that if teeth are being affected, then so are other parts of the body? Of all the fluoride taken into the body, only about 50 percent is excreted. The rest remains. In its major 1993 report, “Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride,” the US National Research Council (NRC) pointed out that, “half the fluoride [taken in by the body] becomes associated with teeth and bones within 24 hours ingestion. In growing children, even more of the fluoride is retained.” For many years, authorities have confidently asserted that whereas fluoride’s impact on the teeth is striking and wonderfully beneficial, its impact on bones, even over a lifetime, is non-existent. There is now increasing evidence that this is exactly what it seems: an illogical proposition. During the nineties, a steady trickle of scientific reports has found a “statistically significant” association between water fluoridation and increased risk of hip fracture.
The suggestion is that the hip needs tensile strength, and it is destroyed by fluoride. One study monitored the hip fracture rates of white women across 3,000 counties in the US. Another compared the incidence of hip fracture among mainly Mormon communities in Utah. It was of particular interest because it could exclude confounding factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption. The urgent need for further investigation was made even plainer by the publication of an alarming study by the University of Bordeaux, published in the Journal Of The American Medical Association. The study found that people living fluoridated areas suffered 86% more fractures than people in non-fluoridated parts. Cases of crippling skeletal fluorosis have been directly linked to fluoride. As fluoride accumulates, the bones become thickened and develop outgrowths. Tendons and ligaments may then be affected and nerves may become trapped and damaged. The result could be amounting toll of skeletal problems – from occasional stiffness or pain in the joints, to backaches, and osteoarthritis.
Neurotoxicist, Dr. Phyllis Mullinex developed a sensitive test in the 1980s using animal models to ascertain the effects of neurotoxins on the central nervous system. As a result, she was recruited to head the department of toxicology at the Forsyth Dental Institute in Boston. Everything went well until she stepped into politically-sensitive territory using her system to test the effects of fluoride. She noted disruption to the behavior patterns of rats, and concluded that fluoride adversely affected the brain. She went on to show that fluoride accumulated in brain tissue, and that its effects depended on the age of exposure. (The disturbing conclusions of her work have been buttressed by new studies from China, published in the journal Fluoride.)
Also determined that these effects were measurable at a lower level of exposure to fluoride than was necessary to produce damage to the bones. In order to receive her next round of funding, she presented her interim findings to representatives of the major toothpaste manufacturers. She was asked, “Are you telling us that we’re reducing children’s IQs by putting fluoride in toothpaste?” She replied, “Well, basically, yes.” She did not receive further funding.
After Mullinex’s findings researchers compared the IQs of children in areas of low and high natural fluoridation and discovered that children in the low-fluoride area had higher IQs. So now we can safely say that Fluoride toxicity has been linked to dental fluorosis, bone disease, and brain damage. The most unfortunate thing is there are many people out there that do not know the lies surrounding fluoridation. Now that I am nineteen years old, with discolored teeth, two broken molars, and slight pitting, I agree with my “outdated” Grandmother. I have started a one-woman campaign to let those around me know about the government’s outright lie. I now only use fluoride free toothpaste and try to limit my water intake to what I know to be clean’. It is important that we are aware, because the line between safety and health, and danger and poison is a thin one.