Fluoride In Water …. it’s Effects aren’t better teeth!

One crippled village, two theories


Vijay Pratap Singh

Posted: Jun 23, 2010 at 0312 hrs IST

Bahariya (Allahabad) Just 30 kms from Allahabad, in the village of Gaudiyan, residents are facing a very piquant problem. Of the 200-odd villagers, around 135 have bone deformities, making them physically handicap.

A majority of residents belongs to Fakir community who don’t own agriculture land and earn their livelihood by playing bands during wedding ceremonies. They belong to BPL category and only a handful of the 30-odd families have been issued NREGS job card and health cards.

“At the time of birth, the children are normal but after some years they develop bone defects, particularly in hands and legs,” said 35-year-old Mohd Nazim, who is also suffering from such deformities.

The reason behind this unique phenomenon, however, is debatable.

A private doctor, who also conducts social work in the area, termed it as a case of skeletal fluorosis. “Due to the excess fluoride content in drinking water, the calcium intake is not absorbed in the body, causing disabilities and deformities,” said Dr Amit Shukla, a neurophysician.

A team of government doctors, who visited the village on Tuesday, gave an altogether a different reason.

According to the medical team, the physical deformities have been caused by “acute malnutrition, poverty and absence of basic amenities like proper drinking water, medical facility and sanitation.”

“These do not appear to be caused by excess of fluoride in water,” said Dr Rajendra Kumar, Epidemic Control Officer (Allahabad district) who headed the four-member team of the doctors that visited the village.

On asked whether the team had conducted any test of the water of the village, Kuvmar said it was “not necessary”. “The problem is deficiency of vitamin D, calcium, iron and hyperthyroidsim, caused by acute malnutrition,” he added.

The only source of water in the village is a handpump, which too has been out of order for the last two months. The residents of the village, now, go to a nearby village to collect water.

“Out of the 30 families, only five have BPL cards and health cards. We don’t have lands to till. We don’t have job cards to get work under NREGA. In any case, most can’t work because of the physical disability,” said Mohd Jameel.

Sijara, a 35-year-old woman who is also afflicted, said the problem started around 30 years ago and gradually gripped the entire village. “Now, you hardly find a person without the deformities. People in the village die at a relatively young age,” added Sijara whose three sons also have physical deformities.

Blinded by tradition and fluoride in water


SEETHALAKSHMI S, TNN, Jun 20, 2010, 04.06am IST

PAVAGADA (TUMKUR DISTRICT): Ramya was a bubbly child and attended school till she was four. That was two years ago, when her vision began to deteriorate until she completely lost sight in both eyes.
The little girl began to withdraw and sit quietly the whole day in her home in Pavagada, 180 km from Bangalore. Playing, meeting friends — everything came to a standstill. She was diagnosed with Lamellar Congenital cataract — a condition wherein the eye lens are damaged.

Ditto with 13-year-old Syed Wasim who can only hear what the teacher says in the classroom. Retina degeneration set in and the boy lost his vision completely. There are children in this taluk with the same disorder, like Lakshmi who is active till 6pm. After that, she confines herself to her room and cuts herself from the world, doesn’t speak to anyone because she cannot see anything after dusk. The practice of marrying close relatives (consanguineous marriage) coupled with high fluoride content in water and Vitamin A deficiencies is ruining the lives of children of this taluk.

Worse, parents wait till the child is nine years old to get her examined by a doctor. “By then it is too late and the damage is done. It is crucial to treat any eye disorder early and during the first few years of life. If left untreated, it cannot be set right at a later stage,’’ says Dr K Vasudha, head, paediatric opthalmology, Narayana Netralaya, Bangalore.

Alarmed by the pattern in eye diseases among children in Pavagada taluk and the increasing cases of blindness, Narayana Netralaya, in collaboration with Narayana Hrudalaya and Shree Sharada Devi Eye hospital and Research Centre in Pavagada, has begun one of the largest studies on eye disorders involving 29,800 children. “When we noticed an unusual trend in the disorders, we realized it must be a local problem. We’re studying the root cause of the high incidence of child blindness. It could be multiple factors — fluoride content, consanguineous marriages, etc.’’ medical director of Narayana Netralaya Dr K Bhujang Shetty told STOI.

Neurotoxicity of sodium fluoride in rats.


Mullenix PJ, Denbesten PK, Schunior A, Kernan WJ.

Toxicology Department, Forsyth Research Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Fluoride (F) is known to affect mineralizing tissues, but effects upon the developing brain have not been previously considered. This study in Sprague-Dawley rats compares behavior, body weight, plasma and brain F levels after sodium fluoride (NaF) exposures during late gestation, at weaning or in adults. For prenatal exposures, dams received injections (SC) of 0.13 mg/kg NaF or saline on gestational days 14-18 or 17-19. Weanlings received drinking water containing 0, 75, 100, or 125 ppm F for 6 or 20 weeks, and 3 month-old adults received water containing 100 ppm F for 6 weeks. Behavior was tested in a computer pattern recognition system that classified acts in a novel environment and quantified act initiations, total times and time structures. Fluoride exposures caused sex- and dose-specific behavioral deficits with a common pattern. Males were most sensitive to prenatal day 17-19 exposure, whereas females were more sensitive to weanling and adult exposures. After fluoride ingestion, the severity of the effect on behavior increased directly with plasma F levels and F concentrations in specific brain regions. Such association is important considering that plasma levels in this rat model (0.059 to 0.640 ppm F) are similar to those reported in humans exposed to high levels of fluoride.

Second Thoughts on Fluoride


New research indicates that a cavity-fighting treatment could be risky if overused

By Dan Fagin   

Key Concepts

  • Researchers are intensifying their scrutiny of fluoride, which is added to most public water systems
  • in the U.S. Some recent studies suggest that overconsumption of fluoride can raise the risks of disorders
  • affecting teeth, bones, the brain and the thyroid gland.
  • A 2006 report by a committee of the National Research Council recommended that the federal government lower
  • its current limit for fluoride in drinking water because of health risks to both children and adults.
Long before the passionate debates over cigarettes, DDT, asbestos or the ozone hole, most Americans had heard
of only one environmental health controversy: fluoridation. Starting in the 1950s, hundreds of communities across
the U.S. became embroiled in heated battles over whether fluorides—ionic compounds containing the element
fluorine—should be added to their water systems. On one side was a broad coalition of scientists from government
and industry who argued that adding fluoride to drinking water would protect teeth against decay; on the other side
were activists who contended that the risks of fluoridation were inadequately studied and that the practice amounted
to compulsory medication and thus was a violation of civil liberties.

The advocates of fluoride eventually carried the day, in part by ridiculing opponents such as the right-wing
John Birch Society, which called fluoridation a communist plot to poison America. Today almost 60 percent of the
U.S. population drinks fluoridated water, including residents of 46 of the nation’s 50 largest cities. Outside the U.S.,
fluoridation has spread to Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and a few other countries. Critics of the practice
have generally been dismissed as gadflies or zealots by mainstream researchers and public health agencies in those
countries as well as the U.S. (In other nations, however, water fluoridation is rare and controversial.)
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even lists water fluoridation as one of the 10 greatest
health achievements of the 20th century, alongside vaccines and family planning.

Fluoride water ’causes cancer’

Boys at risk from bone tumours, shock research reveals
Fluoride in tap water can cause bone cancer in boys, a disturbing new study indicates, although there is no evidence of a link for girls.New American research suggests that boys exposed to fluoride between the ages of five and 10 will suffer an increased rate of osteosarcoma - bone cancer - bet-ween the ages of 10 and 19. In the UK, fluoride is added to tap water on the advice of bodies such as the British Dental Association. The Department of Health maintains that it is a cost-effective public health measure that helps prevent tooth decay in children.About 10 per cent of the population, six million people, receive fluoridated water, mainly in the Midlands and north-east, and the government plans to extend this, with Manchester expected to be next. About 170 million Americans live in areas with fluoridated water.The increased cancer risks, identified in a newly available study conducted at the Harvard School of Dental Health, were found at fluoride exposure levels common in both the US and Britain. It was the first examination of the link between exposure to the chemical at the critical period of a child's development and the age of onset of bone cancer.Although osteosarcoma is rare, accounting for only about 3 per cent of childhood cancers, it is especially dangerous. The mortality rate in the first five years is about 50 per cent, and nearly all survivors have limbs amputated, usually legs. The research has been made available by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a respected Washington-based research organisation. The group reports that it has assembled a 'strong body of peer-reviewed evidence' and has asked that fluoride in tap water be added to the US government's classified list of substances known or anticipated to cause cancer in humans.'This is a very specific cancer in a defined population of children,' said Richard Wiles, the group's co-founder. 'When you focus in and look for the incidence of tumours, you see the increase. 'We recognise the potential benefits of fluoride to dental health,' added Wiles, 'but I've spent 20 years in public health, trying to protect kids from toxic exposure. Even with DDT, you don't have the consistently strong data that the compound can cause cancer as you now have with fluoride.'Half of all fluoride ingested is stored in the body, accumulating in calcifying tissue such as teeth and bones and in the pineal gland in the brain, although more than 90 per cent is taken into the bones.MPs who have recently voted against fluoridation proposals in Parliament include Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and Michael Howard, the Conservative leader.Anti-fluoride campaigners argue that the whole issue has become highly politically sensitive. If health scares about fluoride were to be recognised in the courts, the litigation, especially in the US, could be expected to run for decades. Consequently, scientists have been inhibited from publicising any adverse findings.The new evidence only emerged by a circuitous process. It was contained in a Harvard dissertation by Dr Elise Bassin at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The dissertation, completed in April 2001, obviously had merit because Bassin was awarded her doctorate. However it has not been published. Environmental organisations were repeatedly denied access to it, and even bodies such as the US National Academy of Sciences could not get hold of a copy. Eventually two researchers from the Fluoride Action Network were allowed to read it in the rare books and special collections room at Harvard medical library. Bassin told The Observer her work was still going through the peer-review process, and she hopes that it will then be published. Dr Vyvyan Howard, senior lecturer in toxico-pathology at the University of Liverpool, has studied the new material. 'At these ages the bones of boys are developing rapidly,' he said, 'so if the bones are being put together abnormally because fluoride is altering the bone structure, they're more likely to get cancer. It's biologically plausible, and the epidemiological evidence seems pretty strong - it looks as if there's a definite effect.' There is at present no understanding as to why males should be affected rather than females.A Department of Health spokesman said that the latest evaluation of research in the UK had identified no ill effects of fluoride.
Published in: on June 23, 2010 at 4:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://mudweisermatt.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/fluoride-in-water-its-effects-arent-better-teeth/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: