Scoop | 22 April 2016
New research has confirmed that increased fluoride in water results in reduced intelligence. The research, published in the journal,of environmental monitoring and assessment, found that the higher the fluoride content in water, the lower the IQ of children, and the lower the Body Mass Index, a measure of overall health.
The study also found that dental fluorosis, seen as a discoloration of teeth, is a bio-marker of fluoride toxicity. Dental fluorosis was directly related to the amount of IQ reduction and BMI reduction.
Dental fluorosis occurs in 40% of children in NZ, and the findings of this study would suggest that they have been exposed to levels of fluoride high enough to cause health effects.
The findings, by Environmental Science researchers at the University of Burdwan in India, add more weight to emerging science in China, Mexico and Iran, and to animal studies showing the effects of fluoride on the brain.
Fluoride was classified as a developmental neurotoxin, in the medical journal the Lancet in 2014.
Apart from reduced IQ, research indicates other types of damage to the brain may be occurring such as developmental disorders, depression and dementia.
FIND, a dentist group keeping a close watch on fluoridation research, is concerned that while in these studies the fluoride intake comes almost entirely from fluoride in groundwater, New Zealand has other major sources such as diet, fluoride toothpaste and other dental products, which add to the fluoride exposure.
Furthermore, the fluoride used to artificially fluoridate the water in parts of NZ is not the naturally occurring calcium fluoride measured in these studies, but the more highly bio- active HFSA, a waste product of the phosphate fertilizer industry.
FIND has repeatedly lobbied the government to test total fluoride doses at the individual level. An open letter was delivered to Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne just last month calling for urine testing, the method used in this study and recommended by the WHO.
“We think it’s irresponsible to be promoting water fluoridation when 40% of the population are already exceeding safe levels, and individual dosage is not being monitored.” Says FIND spokesman, Dr. Stan Litras.
“It looks like we could be sacrificing the mental health of the many by questionably trying to improve the dental health of a few”
K.Das and N. Mondal ,March 2016
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 188:218 “Dental fluorosis and urinary fluoride concentration as a reflection of fluoride exposure and its impact on IQ level and BMI of children”
Fluoride-free water on tap in Hamilton
Stuff | 22 April 2016
Anti-fluoride campaigners have won a victory, of sorts, after the Hamilton City Council agreed to provide fluoride-free water at two sites in the city.
Elected members voted unanimously on Thursday to supply unfluoridated water at the Taitua Arboretum and the Claudelands Events Centre.
The public tap at the arboretum is available now, with water drawn from a bore.
A second public tap will be set up at the events centre at a cost of $70,000 to ratepayers.
The Claudelands site will use de-ionising technology to remove fluoride from the water and will achieve an A grade under the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards.
A small group of anti-fluoride campaigners attended Thursday’s council meeting and left the council chamber visibly pleased.
Their mood was in stark contrast to when the council voted in March, 2014, to recommence fluoridating Hamilton’s water.
On that occasion, campaigners left the chamber threatening to embroil the council in costly legal action.
City Council’s city waters manager Andrew Parsons said council staff had investigated possible locations to provide unfluoridated water in consultation with members of Fluoride Free Hamilton.
The group “strongly supported” the council proposal, Parsons said.
The issue of fluoridation hit national headlines in April this year after Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne said district health boards, rather than councils, should decide whether to fluoridate an area’s water supply.
Dunne said while health boards currently provide expert advice on fluoridation to local authorities, putting DHBs in charge of the decision-making would reflect that fluoridation was about people’s health.
Draft legislation to make the change is expected to go before Parliament later this year.
Parsons said it was unclear how any change would impact the council’s decision to provide fluoride-free water.
“That’s the unknown for me, in the absence of any specific decision in that space,” he said.
“I would like to think as [council] staff that we would strongly advocate to continue to provide community choice and keep the Claudelands option available as an unfluoridated water source but we are a long way away from this conversation.”
Water drawn from the Taitua Arboretum will have a B grade because it doesn’t have any residual sterilising agent added.
Parsons said signs would be erected at both water sites warning people of the hygiene risks associated with storing water that does not have chlorine added.
Water will flow from the Claudelands tap at a rate of several litres per minute.
December 11, 2012: Hamilton City Council decides on a hearing to seek public feedback on whether to add fluoride to the city water supply.
March 1-April 2, 2013: A total of 1557 submissions received, with the majority (1385) seeking a stop to fluoridation. 170 support fluoridation.
June 5, 2013: Council votes 7-1 to stop adding fluoride to the city’s water supply.
June 20, 2013: Fluoridation of Hamilton’s water supply stops.
July 12, 2013: Council agrees to hold a non-binding referendum on whether to fluoridate the city’s water.
October 12, 2013: Referendum results show 66.09 per cent (24,635) of voters want fluoride added to the water. 31.57 per cent (11,768) vote against fluoridation.
November 28, 2013: Council defers a decision until after the High Court has heard a legal challenge by anti-fluoride group New Health NZ against the South Taranaki District Council’s decision to fluoridate its water supplies.
March 7, 2014: Justice Hansen rejects all grounds of New Health NZ’s challenge and upholds South Taranaki District Council’s decision to fluoridate its water supplies.
March 27, 2014: Council votes 9 to 1 to recommence fluoridating Hamilton’s water.
April 21, 2016: Council votes unanimously to provide unfluoridated water at Taitua Arboretum and the Claudelands Event Centre.