Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fluoride a hazard to physical, mental health

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Why, in 1974, didn't authorities learn from this terrible tragedy?

A three-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 spit it out. Instead, he drank the water and a few hours later he was dead from fluoride poisoning. Fluoride is 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, a report from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) says the use of fluoride causes a decrease in children's IQ.

Anna Choi, at the HSPH, reports in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives on a study involving children from two nearby communities. Researchers discovered children in the low-fluoride area had a 28 per cent chance of being normal, bright or of high intelligence. In the high-fluoride area, the figure was eight per cent. They also found that in the low-fluoride community, six per cent of children were mentally challenged compared to 15 per cent in the high-fluoride community.

The HSPH says there are now 23 human and 100 animal studies linking the use of fluoridated water to brain damage. These findings show an increase of aluminum and beta amyloid plaque in the brain, both associated with Alzheimer's disease. There's also a decrease in acetylcholine receptors, which help to transmit nerve messages.

The sole argument favouring fluoridation is it reduces tooth decay. But several studies involving as many as 480,000 children found no evidence of benefit in fluoridated as opposed to non-fluoridated communities. In fact, one study showed tooth decay was greater in the fluoridated area. Moreover, dental health in Europe has improved since 1970 without fluoridation.

So why the U.S. and Canada continue to add a toxic element to our drinking water is hard to fathom. After all, 98 per cent of Europe is fluoride-free. Sweden, Germany, Norway, Holland, Denmark and France stopped using fluoridation 30 years ago. These countries are hardly backward nations.

In 1999, Dr. Hardy Limeback, professor of dentistry at the University of Toronto and former supporter of fluoridation, reported fluoride may be destroying our bones, teeth and overall health.

He said children under three should never use fluoride toothpaste or drink fluoridated water and 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.

In 1940, this mottling of teeth occurred in 10 per cent of children's teeth. Today, in some areas, it's as high as 55 per cent. One reason is children's toothpaste tastes good and they swallow too much of it.

I'm not alone in thinking there is no convincing evidence water should contain 1.5 parts per million (ppm) fluoride when our bodies have no use for it and when the risk is greater than the benefit.

Toothpaste has up to 1,500 ppm and fluoride treatment in a dentist's office a whopping 10,000 to 20,000 ppm.

info@docgiff.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2012 A23

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