19 Jun 2010

Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks

The most notable from a read of the abstract are:
Systemic exposure to fluoride in drinking water is associated with an increased risk of dental and bone fluorosis in a dose-response manner without a detectable threshold. Limited evidence from epidemiological studies points towards adverse health effects following systemic fluoride consumption, e.g., carcinogenicity, developmental neurotoxicity and reproductive toxicity, but using a weight of evidence approach these observations cannot be substantiated.

I.e. there is evidence of harm but not sufficient to be substantiated. I.e. on the precautionary approach this has to be sorted out before fluoridating anywhere. It could be said that extra fluoride at any dose adds to the risk of dental/bone fluorosis plus other adverse health affects not yet fully proven.
And also:

The tolerable upper intake level (UL), as established by EFSA, was only exceeded in the worst case scenario for adults and children > 15 years old at a daily consumption of 2800 ml drinking water and the level of fluoride > 3 mg/L, and for children (6-15 years) when consuming more than 1.5 L. For younger children (1-6 yrs) the UL was exceeded when consuming more than 1 L water at 0.8 mg fluoride/L assuming the worst case scenario. For infants up to 6 month receiving infant formula, the safe level as established by UK (DoH) was only exceeded if the water fluoride level was higher than 0.8 mg/L.

I.e. at 1ppm (equivalent to 1 mg/l) babies and children under 6 could well exceed the tolerable upper intake level, even taking the DH’s own definition of a safe level. Also the margin of safety is low for adults.
Also :

Scientific evidence for the protective effect of topical fluoride application is strong, while the respective data for systemic application via drinking water is less convincing.

I.e. the evidence is weak for benefits from systemic application via drinking water.


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