Whenever a faucet is turned on, the question looms as to the safety of the water that flows out of it. The practice of water fluoridation is a controversial issue which affects families around the world. The Union of Concerned Scientists has called for a moratorium on water fluoridation until an independent panel can conduct research on the health and environmental effects of fluoride.
The Protect Our Water Alliance (POWA), an independent, grassroots initiative, has started an online petition to urge Congress to fully investigate basic safety questions about water fluoridation, including the use of silicofluorides. The alliance was started by a group of concerned citizens from varied backgrounds to raise awareness about environmental health concerns regarding fluoride and fluorine compounds.
Using online campaigns to inform and inspire individuals and organizations around the world, POWA addresses the basis of the public policy and practice of water fluoridation. They also address other uses of fluoride and fluorine compounds that may result in environmental contamination and/or detrimental health effects.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is asking EPA administrator Stephen Johnson to reduce the Maximum Contaminant Level Goal for fluoride in drinking water from four parts per million to zero, based on the evidence of fluoride's connection to carcinogens.
In March 2006, a National Research Council panel of the National Academy of Sciences released a report of their in-depth study of fluoride toxicity, completed at the request of the EPA. The panel concluded that the current EPA safety standards for fluoride in water supplies are not protective of the safety of Americans.
The 450-page report details the many health risks from overexposure to fluoride, and makes many recommendations for further scientific research on the health effects of fluoride.
According to many critics of mass fluoridation, fluoride ingestion by our children is out of control, given the skyrocketing rise in dental fluorosis in fluoridated communities. Dental fluorosis is recognized by scientists world-wide as the first clinical sign of fluoride poisoning.
"The mass fluoridation of municipal water supplies is a decades-long medical hoax perpetrated on the citizens of many nations around the world," explained Mike Adams, creator of the popular CounterThink cartoon on fluoride, found at http://www.newstarget.com/021115.html
"The fluoride used in city water supplies is a toxic waste product with proven detrimental health effects to those who consume it," Adams continued. "Those dentists and doctors who promote the mass poisoning of the population with this EPA-regulated toxic waste chemical are engaged in a destructive and harmful con job on their fellow citizens."
Fluoride causes bone cancer
A paper by Dr. Elise Bassin, based on her 2001 doctoral thesis, was published in April 2006 through the mainstream journal Cancer Causes and Control. Dr. Bassin claims that boys who are exposed to water fluoridation between ages 6-8 have a five-fold chance of developing osteosarcoma, a rare and usually fatal form of bone cancer, some years later.
Other well-documented sources have also raised serious allegations related to the decisions and methods used to institute, implement, and promote water fluoridation as a U.S. public health policy.
According to POWA, some recent significant developments and trends have permanently changed the water fluoridation issue:
• A 1998-2000 investigation into fluoridation by the U.S. House Committee on Science, which exposed the gross inadequacy of testing, approval and regulation of fluoridation chemicals.
• General acceptance of new research showing that fluoride's cavity-preventing effect on teeth is primarily topical, not systemic (meaning that while it may work if swished around the mouth, it does not work by swallowing it). Swallowing fluoride to prevent tooth decay is like drinking sun lotion to prevent a sunburn.
• Dramatic increases in the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis - a clear and visible sign of fluoride toxicity in children - resulting from excessive fluoride intake from multiple sources.
• A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific data linking fluoride intake to a number of adverse health effects, including hip fractures, endocrine disruption, central nervous system disorders, and bone cancer.
No scientific debate allowed on fluoride
Fluoridation proponents often assert that there is no legitimate scientific controversy over the benefits or safety of this measure. At the same time, they have refused to openly discuss the risks and benefits of water fluoridation.
National publicity regarding an apparent cover-up of the fluoride-bone cancer link by Dr. Chester Douglass of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine is especially disturbing. Douglass is currently under investigation for possible ethics violations involving suppression of a rigorous Harvard doctoral study showing strong evidence of bone cancer in young men after earlier exposure to water fluoridation.
He has been accused by a respected Washington watchdog organization, the Environmental Working Group (www.EWG.org), of covering up these findings. The Harvard professor also serves as editor of a newsletter produced by fluoride toothpaste manufacturer Colgate-Palmolive.
The industrial waste products used as fluoridating agents (primarily silicofluorides), which are contaminated with known carcinogens and neurotoxins, have not been tested or approved by the EPA or the FDA for safety or effectiveness.
Fluoridation is a global threat to public health
The health problems caused by fluoride are not limited to the U.S. There are approximately 20 nations around the world suffering the devastating health effects of fluoride ingestion through food and water, including China, Australia, Israel and Turkey. The research revealing these health effects is well-documented and the results are staggering.
And these problems are not just limited to the water. According to POWA, the potential health hazards are the result of "cumulative doses of fluoride from many sources, including dental treatments and products, fluoride-based pesticides, processed foods and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and industrial emissions."
The POWA petition will be submitted to Congress and accompanied by a cover letter listing all the latest developments which will stress the need for support in forming a moratorium on fluoride as well as a Congressional investigation. To sign the petition, visit: http://www.powalliance.org/petition.