Doris Jones repliesLord Colwyn's assertions (Letters, WDDTY vol 9 no 8) that all the evidence from reputable scientific sources confirm that water fluoridation is both safe and effective are false.
Dr John Colquhoun cites 73 studies, many of which document an association not only with dental fluorosis, but also with weakened bones and bone cancer (Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, 1997; 41: 29-44; Fluoride, 1998; 31:108-118, 127-8).
I apologize for not including Spain and Switzerland as having some water fluoridation. Some interesting details are known on the Swiss experiment. In the 10 year period between 1960 and 1970 after introduction of water fluoridation in Basle, both costs of dental care and the number of dentists more than doubled, contrary to the predicted reduction by two thirds (Bruker MO: Vorsicht Fluor, Bioverlag Gesundleben, Hop-ferau, 1984:167-68).
The number of orthodontic treatments in schoolchildren necessary to correct "jaw problems" (one of many side effects said to result from fluoride) rose by approximately 25 per cent (Ziegelbecker R et al, Vorsicht Fluor, EMU Verlag GmbH, Lahnstein, 1995: 39).
Seven countries, including then West Germany and Holland, tried water fluoridation and terminated such schemes for reasons concerning effectiveness and side effects. Denmark and Sweden banned or rejected fluoridation (Persp Biol and Med, 1997; 41: 29-44).
Professor A K Susheela from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, in a document presented at the House of Commons in October 1998, stressed the devastating effects which varying fluoride levels in Indian water supplies have on patients and children, including fundamental changes to the microvilli and mucus of the gastro intestinal flora. Doris Jones, Ilford, Essex........
Bombarded by fluoride from other sources
The fact that "all drinking water contains measurable amounts of fluoride" does not prove fluoride safe. The dose of fluoride obtained by an individual is from all sources.
The part contributed by fluoridation depends on the total amount of water drunk.
An individual's toleration of fluoride is dependent on total body mass as well as many other factors such as metabolic rate and nutritional status.
We are increasingly exposed to flouride in food and beverages, through smoking, air pollution, prescribed and over the counter drugs, toothpaste and toiletries.
Gary Whiteford's authoritative textbook Metabolism and Toxicity of Fluoride (Karger, 1996) warns of the dangers of prescribing fluoride tablets in fluoridated areas and of swallowing fluoride toothpaste.
In the classive studies of North Shields (0.25 ppm of fluoride in the water) and South Shields (1.4 ppm fluoride), Weaver, a doctor as well as a dentist, found that caries in the permanent teeth of 12 year olds in North Shields was double the level in South Shields.
Nevertheless, he was surprised to find that South Shields had a lower life expectancy and a higher infant mortality rate than North Shields.
By 1948, he had concluded that fluoride merely delayed the onset of dental caries by one to two years and conferred no long term benefit on teeth (Brit Dent J, 1944; 86; 29-40).
Yiammouyannis and Burk found increased cancer deaths in communities after the introduction of fluoridation, but reputable scientists used a range of statistical manoeuvres to discredit their results.
Three judges in the US and one expert committee have upheld Yiammouyannis and Burk's conclusions (J Yiammouyannis, Fluoride: The Aging Factor, Delaware, Ohio: Health Action Press, 1993).
The National Pure Water Association deserves support in its campaign against the present threat of compulsory fluoridation in the UK and elsewhere (NPWA, 12 Dennington Lane, Criggestone, Wakefield WF4 3ET). Elizabeth McDonagh, Doncaster.......
Where's the proof that it works?
I challenge Lord Colwin to name just one double blind trial that proves fluoridation is safe. I can cite such evidence as the double blind trial conducted by doctors in Holland in the 1970s that resulted in their Parliament banning water fluoridation as unsafe and ineffective.
Your readers should also know that the BFS, of which Lord Colwyn is vice president, is an unelected quango, answerable to no one, that has received thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money (and from other vested interests) to promote fluoride propaganda and pressurise the government to make fluoridation conpulsory. A Hall, Darlington........