A new study published in the BMJ’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health has confirmed Fluoride’s negative effect on the thyroid gland and a possible connection to depression, weight gain, and other negative health effects.
Researchers with the University of Kent in England examined thyroid activity for those in areas with fluoridated water and those without. The team examined 95 percent of the English population in 2012 and 2013 and found high rates of underactive thyroid were 30% more likely in areas with high fluoride concentration. An underactive thyroid can lead to depression, weight gain, fatigue and aching muscles.
While the study confirms previous studies that showed fluoride interferes with the production of iodine for the thyroid, some experts believe the study is not conclusive. Prof David Coggon, Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Southampton, believed the observations could have been caused by some other variable. “It is quite possible that the observed association is a consequence of other ways in which the areas with higher fluoride differ from the rest of the country,” he told the Telegraph. “There are substantially more rigorous epidemiological methods by which the research team could have tested their idea”.
In 2014, Public Health England released their own report concluding that fluoridation was a “safe and effective” way of improving dental care. Dr Sandra White, Director of Dental Public Health at Public Health England, stated that according to the agencies research they have found “no association with reduced thyroid function.”
Despite the reassurances, a quick search for studies on Fluoride and Thyroid activity turn up a number of studies that found possible dangers related to fluoride consumption. First, it is important to understand that Fluoride was prescribed as a drug to treat hyperthyroidism, or an over-active thyroid. Until the 1950’s doctors in Europe and South America used fluoride treatments from pharmaceutical company Merck. This was because the medical establishment knew of fluoride’s affect on the thyroid.
As the Fluoride Action Network has outlined, studies have shown since at least 1988 that exposure to fluoride leads to an increase in iodine deficiency in humans and animals. Iodine is essential for a proper functioning thyroid gland. A lack of adequate iodine intake during childhood can cause permanent brain damage.
In 2006, the National Research Council released the report “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards”. This report concluded with the following statement:
The effects of fluoride on various aspects of endocrine function should be examined further, particularly with respect to a possible role in the development of several diseases or mental states in the United States. Major areas for investigation include the following:
Thyroid disease (especially in light of decreasing iodine intake by the U.S. population).
Beyond the health effects themselves, there seems to be a growing conflict of interest between American health agencies and the publicly available data on dangers associated with Fluoride. Last year Ben Swann.com reported:
Over 2000 pages of emails released under a Freedom of Information Act request have uncovered an apparent conflict of interest between the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Dental Association (ADA) regarding water fluoridation. The emails also contain an admission by the CDC that those with kidney issues will likely be adversely affected by the substance.
From September 5th to the 8th the Fluoride Action Network held the 5th Citizens Conference on Fluoride in Washington D.C. At the conference, Dan Stockin, MPH, released the emails and declared that “These documents make it abundantly clear….. the ADA and CDC Oral Health Division are the tweedledum and tweedledee of fluoridation promotion. They work hand in hand (often at taxpayers’ expense) to spin the message in favor of fluoridation.”
The 2500 pages contained emails from 2011 between employees at the Oral Health Division of the CDC (the only division at the CDC that deals with fluoridation) and the ADA, as well as communications from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Nidel Lawfirm helped in the efforts to get the emails released. A statement from Nidel states that, “These documents raise questions about the objectivity of individuals within these agencies and indicate a need to get to the true motivations behind the lack of objectivity in these organizations.”
What is Fluoride?
The substances added to municipal water supplies known by the name fluoride are actually a combination of unpurified by-products of phosphate mining, namely hydrofluorosilicic acid, sodium fluorosilicate, and sodium fluoride. In the United States, thousands of tons of fluorosilicic acid is recovered from phosphoric acid plants and then used for water fluoridation. During this process the fluoride ion is created.
This process of taking waste from the phosphate industry and putting it into drinking water has long been criticized for its effects on human health, and that of the environment. It is well known that water fluoridation has led to dental fluorosis for millions of children. This discoloring of the teeth was called “cosmetically objectionable” by the Centers for Disease Control. Beyond the cosmetic effect, there have been a number of studies indicating health issues ranging from arthritis, brain problems, reduced thyroid or overactive thyroid, kidney problems and bone cancers.
While proponents of water fluoridation have long pointed to an apparent drop in tooth decay in fluoridated nations as proof of its validity, those claims have been proven wrong by the World Health Organization. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated the fluoride in the water is directly related to better teeth quality, however, the WHO released its own study showing that tooth decay rates have dropped in all western nations, whether fluoridated or not.
The reasons for opposing water fluoridation include: fear of a variety of health concerns; the belief that it is force medicating the population without their approval; financial waste; and environmental concerns related to phosphate mines where the chemical is found.
The Fight Against Water Fluoridation
According to the Fluoride Action Network, 145 communities have rejected water fluoridation since 2010. The growing number of cities and towns questioning the safety and economic efficiency of water fluoridation has been been sparked by community activism efforts around the world. These efforts have come as a response to a variety of studies looking at possible health dangers.
A recent study published in the Journal of Analytical Chemistry indicates that fluoride ions found in fluoridated water and toothpaste may lead to an increase in Urinary Stone Disease (USD). The study was conducted by chemists from Russia and Australia, led by Pavel Nesterenko at the University of Tasmania. The team studied 20 urinary stones from patients at a Russian hospital and discovered fluoride ions in 80% of the stones. This could be due to high levels of fluoride in patients urine, possibly from drinking water containing fluorides and ingesting fluoride toothpaste.
Another study published in the journal General Dentistry warns that infants are at risk of dental fluorosis due to overexposure from fluoride in commercially available infant foods. The researchers analyzed 360 different samples of 20 different foods ranging from fruits and vegetables, chicken, turkey, beef, and vegetarian dinners. All of the foods tested had detectable amounts of fluoride ranging from .007-4.13 micrograms of fluoride per gram of food. Chicken products had the highest concentrations of fluoride, followed by turkey. The New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation (NYSCOF) reports that the fluoride levels were due to pesticides, fertilizers, soil, groundwater, and/or fluoridated water. The high levels found in the chicken and turkey can be attributed to “fluoride-saturated bone dust” involved in the process of mechanically separating the meat.