(WASHINGTON, April 5) — Boys who drink water with levels of fluoride considered safe by federal guidelines are five times more likely to have a rare bone cancer than boys who drink unfluoridated water, according to a study by Harvard University scientists published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The study, led by Dr. Elise Bassin and published online today in Cancer Causes and Control, the official journal of the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention, found a strong link between fluoridated drinking water and osteocarcoma, a rare and often fatal bone cancer, in boys. The study confirms studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the New Jersey health department that also found increased rates of bone cancer in boys who drank fluoridated tap water.
Bassin's study comes on the heels of a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report that found the federal "safe" limit for fluoride in tap water did not protect children from dental fluorosis or increased bone fractures. The NAS recommended that the allowable limit for fluoride in tap water be lowered immediately.
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- contributed by Helen Terry