Foreign Substance Saps Precious Bodily Fluids

By Ryan McGreal
Published July 10, 2008

Spurred by fears of health effects, some councillors are asking whether the city should discontinue fluoridation of Hamilton's municipal water system.

City staff note that fluoridation helps protect the teeth of poor residents who do not have access to proper dental care. Eliminating it would require some kind of dental outreach care to protect residents at higher risk of tooth decay.

Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, the city's medical officer of health, reported to council yesterday, "The benefits [of fluoridation] outweigh the risks."

Some councillors disagree. Councillor Terry Whitehead asked, "How many people will be sacrificed to save someone from cavities?"

At low doses (1-4 parts per million), fluoride has beneficial effects on dental health, tending to prevent tooth decay.

At higher doses, it can cause dental fluorosis (discoloration and pitting of enamel) escalating to skeletal fluorosis (stiff and painful joints and back, osteosclerosis, calcifying tendons, bone deformity).

Municipalities normally add 1 ppm of fluoride to drinking water. The US Environmental Protection Agency has set the maximum safe exposure at 4 ppm.

Fluoride is naturally present in most water sources, though the concentration varies by source, with much higher concentrations in southern countries, particularly India and China.

Fluoride is also present in small quantities in some foods and other environmental sources (e.g. high-fluoride coal dust). However, water is generally the major source of exposure.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) paper Fluoride in Drinking-Water [PDF], 2006:

Perhaps the best general advice that can be given in relation to local conditions is that, at a minimum, the fluoride level in local water supplies should be monitored and the population examined for signs of excessive fluoride exposure (e.g. moderate and/or severe dental fluorosis and crippling skeletal fluorosis).

WHO reports that elevated levels of fluoride have been found in the drinking water of some communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted July 10, 2008 at 16:34:39

Regardless of whether or not we continue to fluoridate our water, this city's dental services to the poor are woefully insufficient. Fluoridation may help strengthen teeth, but it does little once a cavity has formed, or wisdom teeth are coming in crooked, or a tooth gets chipped in an accident/assault, or orthodontic work is needed. Though the city does provide some dental work for low-income residents, it involves long line-ups, a serious possibility that one won't be seen, and the cut-offs are ridiculous. A good friend of mine was turned away after waiting in line outside all morning in the snow, because he wasn't poor enough - which they judged by the fact he lived with his girlfriend, despite the fact that their incomes, together or combined, are still leaps and bounds below the poverty line. To add insult to injury, many of the public health workers involved also have no dental plan.

Anyone who's has serious tooth problems knows that this is no less essential than any other medical service. Fluoridating water is no substitute for expert attention.

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By Capitalist (anonymous) | Posted July 11, 2008 at 15:08:08

Ryan, I agree with your post. Taken one step further, the city should not be involved in social services as the lack the tax base. These should be provincial decisions.

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By JimSchultz (registered) | Posted July 12, 2008 at 20:14:18

Fluoridation has never been about real science but it is about industrial lobby and special interest groups. The grand claims are very far from reality. Proof by bias design is quite easy if only one result is accepted for grants. The York Review 2000 discovered of the thousands of claimed proofs not one was of high quality but all of bias design and poor quality. So poor they could not prove safety or benefit. They did state that fluoridation tripled dental fluorosis damage from 15% to 48% with 12.5% being ugly enough for cosmetic repair. The most current review Pizzo 2007 showed 51% with dental fluorosis and no increrease in cavities when fluoridation ends. Also no narrowing of the dental gap between rich and poor which the health department claims. The NIDR huge study in 1986-87 showed no difference in cavities between fluoridated and non fluoridated so they delayed release for 3 years and only reported on small subsets not the overall no difference. has a long analysis of the true results not the for the public lies. Studies in Canada and New Zealand have proven this but to admit this end the persons job immediately. Same just happened in Australia. Ingested fluoride damages teeth and has no benefit but topical reminerizes but not at 1ppm. It is nothing but a con job that damages kids teeth and give the rest chronic cumulative toxin issues as the NRC 2006 showed but is ignored for policy. is a excellent site with lots of very current data and videos by researchers. Let this be about science not political power. Kids need dentists.

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By JimSchultz (registered) | Posted July 12, 2008 at 20:31:43

The products used in 92 % of the cities comes directly from smokestack scrubbers and has about 20 toxic contaminates not mentioned to the public.Arsenic leads the list and is often the main source of arsenic in a cities water. The EPA testimony in 2004 in New Jersey showed 20-25 cancers from this alone per million. Lead is second but the FSA product is very corrosive and leaches lead from brass meters,faucet,shut offs,fittings ,solder and is by far the main source of lead in your homes water. When chloramine is used it can go off the charts and did in Washington DC for 4 years as they did not discover it for almost 3 years as lead in homes is tested every 3. They did an excellent coverup and blamed lead supply lines only. After adding corrosion control chemicals the problem is under control. Not one chronic study was ever done for safety or benefits on FSA but it is Known to be 25 times more deadly then natural calcium fluoride which the theory is based on and you hear refered to. Smoke and mirrors. The Yoder K.M. 2007 study showed only 17% of dental professions understood the new science of fluoridation. Most still believe the myth taught in school with blind faith. Only 14% got it right in Illinois. Should that qualify anyone for leadership on a issue. It has so far. Look up some studies and then read the safe for all and everyone benefits PR material again in a new light. It should scare you. Jim Schultz

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By nyscof (anonymous) | Posted November 27, 2008 at 09:29:26

New York -- November 2008 -- Since the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) first issued a statement in August 2007 calling for an end to fluoridation, over 1300 additional professionals signed on as even more evidence emerges to condemn fluoridation. Also, 53 cities rejected fluoridation on election day.

Now over 1,950 professionals urge Congress to stop water fluoridation until Congressional hearings are conducted, citing scientific evidence that fluoridation, long promoted to fight tooth decay, is ineffective and has serious health risks. See statement:

Since the first FAN statement, the following has occurred:

-- The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, Canada’s leading voice on environmental health issues, released a statement opposing fluoridation.

-- The National Kidney Foundation dropped its fluoridation support replacing it with this caution: “Individuals with CKD [Chronic Kidney Disease] should be notified of the potential risk of fluoride exposure.”

-- Researchers reporting in the Oct 6 2007 British Medical Journal indicate that fluoridation was never was proven safe or effective and may be unethical. (1)

-- “A qualitative review of ...studies found a consistent and strong association between the exposure to fluoride and low IQ,” concluded Tang el al., in "Fluoride and Children’s Intelligence: A Meta-analysis” in Biological Trace Element Research (e-published 8/10/08)

-- Scientifc American editors wrote in January 2008, "Some recent studies suggest that over-consumption of fluoride can raise the risks of disorders affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland"

-- Dr. A. K. Susheela, a leading fluoride expert, explains in a video why US physicians overlook fluoride as a possible cause of diseases commonly caused by fluoride.

-- An expert panel Health Canada commissioned to study the risks of fluoride exposure says the government should cut the recommended amount in drinking water, encourage the use of low-fluoride toothpaste by children and have makers of infant formula reduce levels in their products. The panel recommended reduced fluoride exposure because it was worried children might be getting too much of the chemical.

Signers to the FAN statement include:

-- Dr. Arvid Carlsson,winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine

-- Vyvyan Howard, MD, PhD, President, International Society of Doctors for the Environment

-- Ken Cook and Richard Wiles, Environmental Working Group

-- Lois Gibbs, Center for Health, Environment, and Justice

-- Joseph Mercola, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, who runs the #1 most visited natural health website

-- Theo Colborn, PhD, co-author, “Our Stolen Future”

-- Sam Epstein, MD, Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition

-- The current and six past Presidents of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology

-- Board of Directors (2007), American Academy of Environmental Medicine

-- FIVE Goldman Prize winners - given for excellence in protecting the environment

. -- Three members of the prestigious 2006 National Research Council (NRC) panel that reported on fluoride’s toxicology

-- Three officers in the Union representing professionals at EPA headquarters

-- Hundreds of medical, dental, academic, scientific and environmental professionals, worldwide.

Nobel Prize winner, Dr. Arvid Carlsson, , says, “Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It's really obsolete.”

An Online Action Petition to Congress in support of the Professionals' Statement is available on FAN's web site, and over 16,000 individuals have signed so far.

“The NRC fluoride report dramatically changed scientific understanding of fluoride's health risks," says Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director, Fluoride Action Network. "Government officials who continue to promote fluoridation must testify under oath as to why they are ignoring the powerful evidence of harm in the NRC report,” he added.

The Professionals’ Statement also references:

-- The new American Dental Association policy recommending infant formula NOT be prepared with fluoridated water.

-- The CDC’s concession that the predominant benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic.

-- CDC data showing that dental fluorosis, caused by fluoride over-exposure, now impacts one third of American children.

-- Major research indicating little difference in decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities.

-- A Harvard study indicating a possible link between fluoridation and bone cancer.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a DC watchdog, revealed that a Harvard professor concealed the fluoridation/bone cancer connection for three years. EWG President Ken Cook states, “It is time for the US to recognize that fluoridation has serious risks that far outweigh any minor benefits, and unlike many other environmental issues, it's as easy to end as turning off a valve at the water plant.”


(1) "Adding fluoride to water supplies," British Medical Journal, KK Cheng, Iain Chalmers, Trevor A. Sheldon, October 6, 2007

2) National Kidney Foundation, “Fluoride Intake in Chronic Kidney Disease,” April 15, 2008

SOURCE: Fluoride Action Network www.FluorideAction.Net

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