Drinking fluoridated water - risk to thyroid
A healthy thyroid is critical to optimal health. Are our cities, unintentionally and in good faith in most cases, actually harming our thyroids and well-being with their water fluoridation policies?
What seems like good policy based upon good science may, over time, be proved wrong or have reasons for concern. In these cases, should our Community Leaders employ, at the very least, the Precautionary Principle of first and foremost "Do No Harm"? Yet another study raising concern about fluoride's safety appeared today in The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, a journal of the British Medical Journal Group.
Today, every fluoridated community and their community leaders need to take note of this published study as being yet another precautionary flag. This study shows a very strong association between drinking fluoridated water, at concentrations typical of fluoridated communities, and hypothyroidism. The concern has already been raised by the National Research Council (NRC), our Gold Standard for the review of the medical literature, in 2006. To quote part of their summary:
"Fluoride is therefore an endocrine disruptor in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function or response…."
"...for example by direct stimulation or inhibition of hormone secretion by interference with second messenger function, indirect stimulation or inhibition of hormone secretion by effects on things such as calcium balance, and inhibition of peripheral enzymes that are necessary for activation of the normal hormone." (page 266 of our taxpayor-funded report National Research Council's Fluoride in Drinking Water, A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards, 2006)
Just as Israel did last year when they reversed their policy of mandatory water fluoridation because of concerns of safety, it's time for our City Councils and Water Departments to reconsider the wisdom of this 70 year old public health policy.
This is a medical issue. This is not a dental issue. The CDC's recommendations come from its Department of Oral Health which is composed overwhelmingly of dentists, not doctors or physiologists or toxicologists. Even they concur that fluoride's effect, if real, is achieved by topical application. So why do they recommend continuing to expose every organ in our bodies to fluoride in view of these concerning potential side effects? They and the EPA set the dose of acceptable fluoride consumption based upon the dose of fluoride thought to cause a severe degree of mottling of the teeth (dental fluorosis) and upon the dose to create a crippling degree of fluoride crystals in our bones and tendons (stage III skeletal fluorosis). This standard falls far short of assessments of fluoride's dangers that are available to us in the 21st Century.
This systemic drug that is put in our water is a medical treatment and likely harms our bodies. This British study on the thyroid is yet one more precautionary red flag.
Excerpts from this peer reviewed study:
"Are fluoride levels in drinking water associated with hypothyroidism prevalence in England?
A large observational study of GP practice data and fluoride levels in drinking water."
S. Peckham, D. Lowery, S. Spencer
Center for Health Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK
"In the 1950s, fluoride was used pharmacologically to reduce the activity of the thyroid in people with hyperthyroidism."
"Two reviews have examined the impact of fluoride on thyroid function concluding that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor with the potential to disrupt the function of the tissues that require iodine."
"The fact that the difference is significant suggests that there is substantial cause for public health concern."
"The clear association found in our analysis between fluoride levels in drinking water and variation in hypothyroidism prevalence appears to confirm findings in earlier studies that ingestion of fluoride affects thyroids function."
What this study adds:
"We found a positive association between fluoride levels and hypothyroidism."
"Consideration needs to be given to reducing fluoride exposure, and public dental health interventions should stop interventions reliant on ingested fluoride and switch to topical fluoride-based and non- fluoride-based interventions."
If your City Council and your Water Department continue to medicate the water, don't you think we, its citizens, need to make sure that they are aware of fluoride's safety issues? Most people, including perhaps most in positions of authority, aren't scientists and don't know fluoride from chloride nor do they know that fluoridation is not FDA approved.
Our leaders need gumption to question authority! What they may find out is that no agency claims responsibility for water fluoridation policies: neither the CDC, the EPA nor the FDA claim responsibility and jurisdiction for the safety of this program. Who does your Water Department or City Council believe sets this policy?
But what is considered good science is ever-changing as DDT, X-rays for acne treatment, the safety of cigarettes, and, more recently, high carb/low fat diets, to name but a few examples, are no longer recommended as "Good Science". Just this month the government flipped its previous position on cholesterol in our diets. Things change. Science evolves. People and scientists learn more. Policies change.
So our city leaders have good precedents for being open-minded and to say that, indeed, the Precautionary Principle of "First Do No Harm" is a principle that can stand the test of time. Importantly, they should be adamant that this principal ought to be the basis for the water fluoridation policy for their communities.
It's time to END fluoridation until its safety can be proven for every person in this population. Contact your city government; share this link, Like us on Facebook and send this to your local papers.
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