It’s often amazing how many people still view the dangers posed to health from fluoride in the water supply as nothing more than a “conspiracy theory” – dismissed as a notion unsupported by any solid evidence, they demand peer reviewed studies before even contemplating the veracity of the claim. Anything else, they say, is unsupported pseudoscience. It probably doesn’t help matters that Wikipedia – that hugely flawed yet oft cited source of information on the internet which so many tend to appeal to – peddles misinformation which clearly creates a misconception as to the adverse effects. Its page discussing fluoride toxicity is revealing, stating that “the only generally accepted adverse effect of fluoride at levels used for water fluoridation is dental fluorosis, which can alter the appearance of children’s teeth during tooth development; this is mostly mild and usually only an aesthetic concern.”
With a sizable number of people satisfied with this unfounded reassurance, little further research is conducted, reflecting the lazy manner in which some people are willing to take things at face value, regardless of the high stakes. After all, if they were to take the issue seriously enough to thoroughly check the evidence for themselves they would find themselves dragged kicking and screaming from their comfort zones, forced to question the veracity of widely held “truths” built on lies and deceptions.
Of course, mainstream studies outlining the deleterious effects of fluoride are commonplace – in 2006 the National Research Council released a 500 page review, which took 12 scientists over three years to produce and described in great detail why EPA’s purportedly “safe” drinking water standard (4 ppm) needs to be reduced in order to protect human health. The report documents myriad potential hazards from fluoride exposure, including damage to the bones, brain, and various glands of the endocrine system. According to Dr. Bob Carton, a former risk-assessment scientist at EPA, this report “should be the center piece of every discussion on fluoridation. It changes everything.”
More recently a Harvard study funded by the National Institutes of Health confirmed that fluoride lowers the IQ of children. The adverse effects of high concentration of fluoride in the water supply – a researcher summarized the the report from Environmental Health Perspectives, stating, “we performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies on increased fluoride exposure in drinking water and neuro-developmental delays. We specifically targeted studies carried out in rural China that have not been widely disseminated, thus complementing the studies that have been included in previous reviews and risk assessment reports. Findings from our meta-analyses of 27 studies published over 22 years suggest an inverse association between high fluoride exposure and children’s intelligence. The results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neuro-toxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults.”
Given the wealth of other studies which have drawn similar conclusions, it’s perhaps remarkable that this hasn’t been fully accepted in the scientific community and, by extension, the general population at large. Additional studies have found that other negative effects of flouride on the human brain include:
• Reduction in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors
• Damage to your hippocampus
• Formation of beta-amyloid plaques (the classic brain abnormality in Alzheimer’s disease)
• Reduction in lipid content
• Damage to purkinje cells
• Exacerbation of lesions induced by iodine deficiency
• Impaired antioxidant defense systems
• Increased uptake of aluminum
• Accumulation of fluoride in your pineal gland
In March 2014, the journal Lancet Neurology compared fluoride to lead, arsenic, methyl mercury and other chemical toxins, and reclassified it as a developmental neurotoxin. Adding to the above list of detrimental effects of fluoride, the report explained how neurotoxins can cause widespread brain disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disabilities, and other cognitive impairments.
It may currently appear like only a ‘fringe’ section of the populous is against fluoride (and clearly the lack of mainstream media coverage has a great deal to do with this misconception), but a sizable scientific community exists fighting to have it removed. An increasingly informed number of communities are also fighting to have it removed completely from their drinking water. Perhaps, with the release of the Lancet report, the “conspiracy theory” response to those pointing out the dangers of water fluoridation can finally be dropped and a concerted movement to end the poisoning of our water supplies will take root and flourish.
About the Author
Andrew Dilks writes on culture and politics at orwellwasright.co.uk. He is the author of Goliath and Flow. His newest book Prehistoric Highs: Mind-Altering Plants and the Birth of Civilization will be available in 2014.