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Harvard Study: In Children, Fluoridation Increases Bone Cancer Risk by 5-7 Times
Does fluoride really help fight tooth decay? Yes, but only if applied topically and NOT ingested.
You don't drink suntan lotion to prevent sunburns, so why should you drink fluoride to prevent tooth decay?
Pictured here is a young bone cancer fatality, Codi Frazier. Among boys drinking water with 30% to 99% of the fluoride levels recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of osteosarcoma was estimated to be five times as great as among boys drinking nonfluoridated water. At 100% or more, the risk was an estimated seven times as high. The association was greatest for boys six to eight.
Fluoridation and Damage to Tooth Forming Cells
FLUOROSIS: Due to increased exposures to fluoride, millions of children in the U.S. are developing dental fluorosis (damage to tooth-forming cells). Click here to learn more... Dental fluorosis is an irreversible condition caused by excessive ingestion of fluoride during the tooth forming years. It is the first visible sign that a child has been overexposed to fluoride. See Source SITE
Fluoride can only work topically, and is not meant for ingestion. You don't drink suntan lotion to prevent sunburns, so why should you drink fluoride to prevent tooth decay? Why add it to drinking water?
Yet this is the pseudoscience promulgated by Colgate and a few self-serving, amoral dentists on their payroll. Let's face it, if we all had great teeth, dentistry would die as we know it. It is simply not in the interest of the profession that everyone have healthy teeth. So what to do about it? how about creating bad teeth where none existed before? by any means necessary? By the rabid support of fluoridation by certain dental organizations, you would be understandably suspicious of their motives being somewhat less than benevolent. The fact is, in areas where fluoridation is introduced, you will always see an increase of dental offices, not a decrease. A new dentist won't set up shop in an area where there is little or no clients.
Hell, why stop at fluoride and suntan lotion? if we must equate topical with internal, then let's add Desenex to our drinking water too! maybe that will curb the rise in athlete's foot this summer. Let's throw in anti-perspirants too! Imagine it: a glass of water that will curb our b.o. before a date! Who cares if we might end up with flipper babies or blindness, right? Topical equates with internal now.
Drinking fluoride, which is what happens when you add it to drinking water, creates a new problem altogether, one that eliminates any possible benefit. Such ingestion may very well introduce a psychoactive carcinogen to the body. Indeed, how many of us are ever told that major anti-depressants such as Prozac and Paxil contain fluoride? Now, this isn't to demonize these drugs, on the contrary, they are essential. The point is that fluoride contains psychoactive properties which act directly upon the brain and thyroid gland and as we'll examine herein, adversely affect tooth enamel forming cells in children- ameloblasts. Instead of preventing dental visits, they cause them, and worse, fluorosis is irreversible.
This makes it doubly unwise to add psychoactive chemicals like fluoride haphazardly into our drinking water under the pretext of preventing tooth decay. There's a reason why western nations have abandoned the pseudoscience of cavity prevention via fluoride ingestion. When it comes to poisoning our drinking water, which is the issue here, make no mistake, we should carefully examine each and every legislator who proposes increased fluoridation, and opposes the elimination of adding fluoride to our drinking water. Some dentists have also formed powerful alliances to fight the fluoridation of our drinking water, to be sure, but they are seldom heard. They have to fight over a half-century of myth and legislation. Their most obvious manifestation of success is the boom in bottled drinking water.
Why do consumers spend 100 billion dollars yearly on bottled drinking water? To avoid fluoride! It's not like Americans are in the dark about it. Some in the mass media have even questioned our blind embrace of fluoridation; of a pseudoscience that a major Harvard study has linked to bone cancer in children, let alone fluorosis.
For example, consider the next two articles from the Chicago Sun Times and the Wall Street Journal, respectively...
Did prof lie about fluoride-cancer link?
Chicago Sun Times
July 15, 2005
BOSTON -- Harvard University said it is investigating whether a dentistry prof essor who edits a newsletter funded by a toothpaste maker played down research showing an increased cancer risk from drinking fluoridated tap water.
The school will work with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to review Chester Douglass' research into fluoride and osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, Harvard Medical School spokesman John Lacey said.
The institute gave a $1.3 million study grant in 1992 to Douglass, editor of the Colgate Oral Health Report, who found the odds of having osteosarcoma after drinking fluoridated water were ''not statistically different'' from the odds for those who drank non-fluoridated water.
But a doctoral student who studied some of the same people reported in her 2001 thesis that boys who drink fluoridated water appear to have an increased risk of developing the bone cancer. AP
Fluoridation, Cancer: Did Researchers Ask The Right Questions?
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Friday 22 July 2005
By Sharon Begley; Page B1
WHEN HEALTH OFFICIALS decided to add fluoride to the water supply of Grand Rapids, Mich., in 1945, they plunged ahead despite the lack of a rigorous, large-scale study of the risks and benefits. And for most of the next 60 years, fluoridation research has gone pretty much like that. It has not been science's finest hour.
Questions about fluoridation have returned with renewed vigor because of allegations of scientific misconduct against a prominent researcher at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization in Washington, charged last month that Chester Douglass misrepresented an unpublished study about bone cancer and fluoridated tap water. In written testimony to the National Research Council last year, Dr. Douglass said he had found no evidence that fluoridation increased risk of osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. But a 2001 study he cited, and oversaw, found that boys who drink fluoridated water have a greater risk of developing the disease. (Dr. Douglass did not respond to requests for comment.)
More interesting than what Dr. Douglass said or didn't say, however, is the study he swept under the rug. It was conducted by one of his doctoral students, Elise Bassin. She started with the same raw data as her mentor -- 139 people with osteosarcoma and 280 healthy "controls" -- but saw a way to improve on it. Since most of the 400 people diagnosed in the U.S. each year with osteosarcoma are kids, and since any ill effect of fluoride would likely come when bones are growing most quickly, she focused on the 91 patients who were under 20.
HER RESULT: Among boys drinking water with 30% to 99% of the fluoride levels recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of osteosarcoma was estimated to be five times as great as among boys drinking nonfluoridated water. At 100% or more, the risk was an estimated seven times as high. The association was greatest for boys six to eight.
To be sure, one study proves nothing. Moreover, Dr. Bassin hasn't published her core findings (though in 2004 she and colleagues published a description of their methodologies). As Boston University epidemiologist Richard Clapp says, "Peer review picks up things that even doctoral students at Harvard might miss."
So I asked scientists to read the study. BU's Kenneth Rothman, founding editor of the journal Epidemiology, called it of "publishable quality." Zeroing in on young patients, he said, was good science: "If there were an adverse effect of fluoride, it's possible an effect of early exposure would be manifest in the first 20 years of life - but not after." Looking at all ages, in other words, could conceal any link between fluoridation and cancer.
Besides focusing on kids, Dr. Bassin and her colleagues found out where each cancer patient ever lived, and what kind of water they drank when. Other studies have just noted what water a patient was drinking at the time of diagnosis. The problem with that is, you risk classifying someone as drinking nonfluoridated water who in fact drank fluoridated water when it mattered -- in childhood. The result is that the osteosarcoma rates of people drinking fluoridated water might look no different from those of people drinking nonfluoridated. "She did great shoe-leather epidemiology," says William Maas, head of oral health at the CDC and a supporter of fluoridation.
PREVIOUS STUDIES have been contradictory. A 1991 animal study by the National Toxicology Program concluded that fluoride might raise the risk of osteosarcoma, but only in male rats, not female. Also in 1991, a scientist at the National Cancer Institute found "an unexplained increase" in osteosarcoma in men under 20 in fluoridated communities. Most human studies, though, provide "no credible evidence for an association between fluoride in drinking water and the risk of cancer," said a 1993 NRC report.
But when you look carefully at the negative studies, you have to wonder. Some investigated a link to all cancers; because osteosarcoma is rare, an increase would be unlikely to show up in that vast sea. Other studies were tiny, or included adults as old as 84, which would wash out effects that target kids. Most categorized osteosarcoma patients as drinking fluoridated or nonfluoridated water based on where they lived at diagnosis, not as kids. Concerned about such lapses, the NRC report called the studies "of limited sensitivity."
Even if fluoridation causes just a few hundred cases of osteosarcoma every year, does the public health benefit justify that risk? "When we started fluoridating water, we thought to get the benefits it would have to get incorporated into the enamel before the tooth erupted," which happens only if you swallow it, says the CDC's Dr. Maas. But that turns out not to be so. Topical fluoride, as in gels and toothpaste, works at least as well.
Most proponents now say fluoridation cuts the rate of tooth decay 18% to 25%. How much is that? Less than one tooth surface. "The absolute impact of 18% or even 25% is low," says Stephen Levy of the University of Iowa, who supports fluoridation.
The next authoritative report on fluoridation will be the NRC's. One scientist close to the committee thinks it may be released this fall, months later than expected. "We thought this was going to be routine," he says. "It wasn't." With fluoridation, it seldom is.
- AP: Did Harvard study downplay risk of fluoride? University to probe professor’s research on water, bone cancer in boys
- Make sure to visit the source of articles at the Fluoride Action Network