21 May 2011

Daily Echo - In my view

Caution must be exercised
IN its 1994 monograph on fluoride and dental health, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded "dental and public health administrators should be aware of the total fluoride exposure of the population before introducing any additional programme for prevention." The WHO guidelines state clearly it is essential to consider the intake of water by the population and the intake of fluorides from other sources. Given the extreme variability in individual fluoride intakes, and tolerance levels, establishing a margin of safety would, obviously, require careful evaluation of every individual in the target population; a task which would, no doubt, prove too onerous for a Strategic Health Authority (SHA) intent on fluoridating come what may. There can, surely, be no more compelling argument than this to demonstrate the sheer folly of mass medication via the public water supply.
Fluorides are ubiquitous in our environment, in dental products, foods, canned drinks, household products, pesticides and even the air we breathe. So any such study would, undoubtedly, reveal a population already perilously overdosed on fluoride. With this concern in mind, in 1980 the West German Society For Water And Gas experts considered it impossible to deliver a controlled dose of fluoride to each house through the public water supplies.
Basel in Switzerland, the last place in Europe to fluoridate, finally ended the practice in 2003 after 40 years, alarmed at the unacceptably high levels of dental fluorosis and higher rates of tooth decay compared with unfluoridated communities.
The experience in Basel has been mirrored in a paper submitted to Health Canada in 2009 by Dr Kathleen Thiesen of The Center For Risk Analysis.
The data collected by lida and Kumar on 16,000 children in 1986-7 shows no dental health benefits from ingested fluoride, with fluorosis detectable at 0.3 parts per million, and a corresponding dose related increase in rates of fluorosis.
As if further proof were needed, the only two trials in the world to run for 50 years both show no benefit from fluoridation. In New Zealand, unfluoridated Napier today, as it did in 1954, has less tooth decay than fluoridated Hastings. Similarly, in the US, unfluoridated Kingston has less tooth decay than fluoridated Newburgh. The SHA now faces an ignominious demise by ignoring the valuable lessons to be. learned from the wisdom and experience gained by international communities, by implementing their agenda with disregard to the precautionary principle urged by the World Health Organisation.

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