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International Group of Dentists Warn Against Effects of Fluoride

effects of fluoride

An international group of dentists are warning against the effects of fluoride in our drinking water and calling attention to the dangers of water fluoridation.

On January 25th, 1945 Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first city in the world to add fluoride to its public water supply in order to prevent tooth decay. Now, seventy plus years later approximately sixty-six percent of Americans are drinking fluoridated water. Yet the debate over the safety and the effects of fluoride added to our water supply continues on. On one side stands the traditional dental community and the powerful CDC and ADA (American Dental Association) organizations. On the other side stands activist groups like the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) and The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT).

Dentists fight back.

While the CDC and the ADA tries to push the anti-fluoridation movement to the fringes, the IAOMT fights back with research and position papers. The IAOMT is a collective organization of over 800 dentists, research professionals and physicians in fourteen countries world wide. They advocate for “biological dentistry”. Biological dentistry is, according to their website, a “thought process and an attitude” that always seeks the “safest, least toxic way” of practicing modern dentistry. In late September, just before the start of October’s Dental Hygiene Month, the IAOMT issued a new position paper updating their stance against water fluoridation. They called for “eliminating avoidable sources of fluoride exposure, including water fluoridation, fluoride containing dental materials, and other fluoridated products.” Now with the IAOMT’s new position paper and resources available on their website a community of dentists are taking on the CDC and ADA and calling for an end to water fluoridation.

What the research says about the effects of fluoride in our water.

Organizations like FAN and the IAOMT believe research disproves the benefits of water fluoridation and proves the danger of excessive fluoride exposure.  Both point out that the decrease in tooth decay over the past several decades “has occurred both in countries with and without systemic application of fluoridated water.” In one FAN article written by a former proponent of water-fluoridation he references multiple studies where children in the non-fluoridated regions had better and healthier teeth. One study he cites even found a positive correlation between fluoridated water and cavities: the more fluoride a child was exposed to the more cavities appeared.

The potential adverse effects of fluoride in our water are numerous and largely acknowledged. What’s at debate is what is the safe level of fluoride rates in our water. The EPA which sets the standards for the allowable level of fluoride in our water says it’s 4 parts per million (ppm). However, both the National Research Council and the U.S. Public Health Service have recommended much lower levels of fluoride and have warned against the dangers of the current EPA levels. The NRC found possible effects of excessive fluoride exposure include: osteosarcoma (a bone cancer), musculoskeletal effects, reproductive and developmental effects, neurotoxicity and neurobehavioral effects, genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, and effects on other organ systems. Another study that just came out last September linked fluoride exposure in utero to decreased IQ.

Is fluoride in our water safe?

The number of studies and arguments over the effects of fluoride in our water are endless. IAOMT’s position paper has over 500 citations alone. The CDC and ADA still claim water fluoridation is one of the great public health achievements of our time. Interestingly, in the 1980’s the EPA’s acceptable fluoride level jumped from 2.4 to 4 ppm. When this happened the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) sued the EPA over the increased fluoride level. In an unusual move the the union representing the scientists and professionals working at the EPA sided with the NRDC and filed a brief on behalf of the NRDC to oppose the new EPA fluoride levels. The union President Robert J. Carton himself at the time stated:

“Our responsibility to defend EPA professionals’ reputations and to protect public health in this situation requires us to put loyalty to the public interest and to moral principle above loyalty to persons or to [a] government department.”

The EPA’s own employees disagreed with the new elevated levels of fluoride.

Fortunately the Environmental Working Group (EWG) just came out with a tap water database. You can enter your zip code and it will show you what/if any contaminants are in your water based on municipal water quality reports. From there you can look for water filtration systems that filter out the particular contaminants in your water. The EWG drinking water report showed that drinking water is a national problem. It’s not just Flint, Michigan. Much of our country has unsafe levels of contaminants in our water.

To read more on the effects of fluoride in our water and the opposing viewpoints you can visit the ADA and CDC websites. For the alternative view check out the FAN and IAOMT websites.




Lauren von Bernuth

Lauren is one of the co-founders of Citizen Truth. She graduated with a degree in Political Economy from Tulane University. She spent the following years backpacking around the world and starting a green business in the health and wellness industry. She found her way back to politics and discovered a passion for journalism dedicated to finding the truth.

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1 Comment

  1. Steven Slott November 8, 2017

    1. The IAOMT is a fringe activist group of outliers which has no credibility within respected science and healthcare.
    “The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is a quack organization based in Canada that promotes dental woo.[1] They were responsible for the “smoking tooth” video that frequently gets passed around in altie circles. Their main issue is mercury amalgam fillings, which they claim can cause all sorts of neurological illnesses such as Parkinson’s and autism. They sell filling removal kits for “dentists” along with various other nature woo, mostly vitamin supplements. The organization also opposes water fluoridation, claims to put out peer-reviewed “research,” and supports “health freedom.”
    There are over 2 million dentists worldwide. Assuming 800 to be an accurate number for the dentists belonging to the outlier IAOMT, this constitutes but 0.04% of the dentists in the world.
    2. The “Fluoride Action Network” is a New York based antifluoridationist faction notorious for its constant dissemination of unsubstantiated claims and misinformation about fluoridation.
    3. Water fluoridation is fully supported by the latest, most current, peer-reviewed science available. Countless peer-reviewed scientific studies, current through the present, clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of fluoridation in the prevention of dental decay in entire populations. I will gladly cite as many such studies as anyone would reasonably care to read. In the 72 year history of fluoridation there have been no proven adverse effects. This is in spite of the best efforts of antifluoridationists through the decades to find something, anything, they could claim to be an adverse effect of optimally fluoridated water. Zero.
    In order to gain an understanding of the misrepresentation of “research and position papers” by antifluoridationist groups such as the IAOMT and FAN, one need only read the recent EPA rejection of the latest FAN petition to end fluoridation. In this 40 page rejection, EPA reviewers presented facts and evidence to systematically dismantle all of the arguments of the petitioners, while explaining in detail the invalidity, irrelevance, and misrepresentation by petitioners, of the studies presented by these petitioners as evidence to support their claims. This EPA document may be viewed in entirety on the Federal Register:
    4. The claim of ineffectiveness due to dental decay decreases in both fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas is based on “FAN” interpretation of raw data which did not control for any of the myriad variables involved in the cause and prevention of dental decay. Obviously, attempting to assess but one preventive measure based on such an interpretation is ludicrous.
    5. There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence which “disproves the benefits of water fluoridation and proves the danger of excessive fluoride exposure.”….the unsubstantiated opinion of FAN notwithstanding.
    6. There is no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence of an association between optimally fluoridated water and increase in dental decay, the anecdotal claim of some “former proponent of fluoridation” notwithstanding.
    7. The “ potential adverse effects of fluoride in our water are numerous and largely acknowledged“ are in regard to high fluoride levels in water. There is, however, no valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence of any potential adverse effects of optimal level fluoride in water. No credible source knowledgeable on fluoridation would ever “acknowledge” otherwise.
    8. The National Research Council has not recommended “much lower levels of fluoride” in water than the current EPA MCL of 4.0 ppm. What the 2006 NRC Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water recommended was that the current primary MCL for fluoride be lowered from 4.0 ppm. It did not specify by how much. There were but three reasons cited by this committee for its recommendation………risk of severe dental fluorosis, bone fracture, and skeletal fluorosis, with chronic consumption of water with a fluoride concentration of 4.0 ppm or higher. This committee made no recommendation to lower the EPA secondary MCL of 2.0 ppm, which it was also charged to evaluate. Water is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, one third the level which the 2006 NRC committee made no recommendation to lower.
    9. The US Public Health Service has always recommended an optimal level of fluoride at which maximum dental decay prevention will occur, with no adverse effects. This level is 0.7 ppm and is not associated with the EPA mandated MCL of 4.0 ppm.
    Given that severe dental fluorosis is rare in the US, that skeletal fluorosis is so rare as to be nearly non-existent in the US, and that risk of bone fracture occurs with either too much or too little fluoride, coupled with the fact that nearly 75% of the US is fluoridated at 0.7 ppm, obviously, the maximum allowable levels have been entirely adequate.
    10. Over a three year period, the 2006 NRC Committee exhaustively reviewed all of the pertinent fluoride literature current up to that time. This included valid, invalid, relevant and irrelevant literature. It then diligently reported what was in that literature, and made its recommendation based on what it believed was valid and relevant to fluoride at the concentration of 4.0 ppm in water. As noted already, the only concerns cited by this committee in regard to fluoride at this level were severe dental fluorosis, bone fracture, and skeletal fluorosis. Had this committee had any other concerns associated with fluoride at 4.0 ppm or below, including the litany of disorders listed in this article, it would have been responsible for so noting in its final report and recommending accordingly. It did not.
    11. The “another study that came out last September” is a reference to Bashash, et al. This was a study of prenatal fluoride exposure on IQ level of children. The subjects were pregnant women residing in unfluoridated Mexico, with urinary fluoride content being the proxy for fluoride exposure. As noted within the study itself, there were several strict limitations of this study. Among these was the fact that due to Mexico not keeping records of water fluoride levels there was no way to determine what proportion of the urinary fluoride content was from the water and what was from other sources of fluoride exposure. Another significant limitation was the fact that there is no reliable data on urinary fluoride content of pregnant women residing in fluoridated areas. Yet another was the suggestion that there was no impact associated with urinary fluoride concentration below 0.8 ppm. Thus, this study has no current relevance to optimally fluoridated water in the US.
    12. The EPA MCL for fluoride has been 4.0 ppm since this level was first established in response to the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974.
    13. The “EPA union” reference is to a small EPA employee union which went defunct over a decade and a half ago. This union comprised but 7% of the 20,000 EPA employees at that time, and was led by long time, outspoken fluoridation opponents, Robert Carton, and William Hirzy. Hirzy is the current paid lobbyist for the “Fluoride Action Network”. At one of the last meetings of this little union, the few members in attendance were declared to be a quorum and proceeded to vote to support the antifluoridationist activities of its leaders Carton and Hirzy. Shortly thereafter this union went defunct and was usurped by the much larger EPA Employee Union. Neither this current union, nor the EPA has any official position on water fluoridation.
    Whatever frivolous lawsuit may have been filed against the EPA obviously had no merit. The EPA was acting well within its authority, in accordance with the current scientific research, and in full compliance with the SDWA of 1974. Any endorsement Carton may have given to such a lawsuit did not represent the EPA, or its employees.
    Steven D. Slott, DDS


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