Or, "When Is Toxic Sludge Good for Us?"
by Mary Sparrowdancer
"It is crucial to note that this [NRC] report is NOT about community water fluoridation."
~ The American Dental Association (caps theirs).
When is toxic sludge good for us? When profit can be made by selling it. The truth, of course, never really changes, nor can the truth be altered by even the most corrupt and outdated of advertising campaigns. No matter how frequently a white-coated promoter presents himself as an "expert" or an "official" and repeats the age-worn slogans and distinctions given to this toxic sludge -- i.e., that this product is good for us, that it is "safe and effective," and that it is one of the top ten public health wonders of the past century -- toxic sludge remains toxic sludge. It has not ever been "good for us." According to the government's own databases it has not ever been "safe and effective" despite their continued "official" misleading claims. It is time to leave the last century behind along with its deliberate lies and deceptions. It is time to enter a new century and learn the truth about the lies -- primarily the truth about fluoride and what fluoride has truly cost the citizens of the United States of America: According to newly published reports, fluoridation may have cost some of them their lives and others their health.
Tens of millions of Americans throughout the US are now spending an unprecedented amount of money each year purchasing pharmaceutical products. These unprecedented billions of US dollars (approximately $252 billion for prescription drugs in 2005) are being spent because US citizens are attempting to purchase relief from an unprecedented array of mysterious, nationwide symptoms. If one follows the money and looks at the top ranking pharmaceutical sales, it quickly becomes apparent that Americans appear to be collectively seeking relief from similar symptoms. Three of the most common symptoms now occurring in the US are thyroid malfunction, elevated cholesterol and GI problems. (1, 2, 3)
The billions of US dollars spent in the search for relief should be speaking loudly to us. The money alone should be telling us that something affecting most of the nation is affecting most of the nation rather profoundly. We now find that it is certainly reasonable to suspect that this "something" might well be the toxic sludge that has been added to our drinking water for over 50 years. This mass-medical treatment has been done under the promise that it would guarantee the prevention of dental cavities, yet the guarantee has never delivered its promised claim. States with the highest percentage of water fluoridation -- such as Kentucky, which is just under 100% "optimally fluoridated" -- also have the highest percentage of caries and dental problems. The CDC reports 42% of "optimally fluoridated" Kentuckians had lost all of their teeth. (4)
As if this were not enough, we now learn that the substance being used to medically "treat" two-thirds of the nation via drinking water has never been tested, approved or found to be safe for human consumption by any government agency, including the FDA and the USDA. (5)
Forget the "official" advertising slogans for fluoride; forget the invented titles of grandeur and the emotion-charged suggestion that we "must do this for the sake of the poor children." Forget the false news alerts reassuring us that water fluoridation remains "safe and effective" and forget the reminders that it has been called one of the great wonders of the past century. Our focus should now be upon the reports that surfaced just after the Ides of March in 2006. After over 50 years of misleading glorification, toxic sludge has been officially identified by a blue ribbon researcher panel as toxic sludge. We now know we must keep this sludge away from our children and out of our water -- because our lives and health depend upon it.
On March 22, 2006, the National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) issued a 500-page report looking at peer-reviewed studies on the side-effects of fluorides. The importance of this report is profound not only in its findings and recommendations, but also because the NRC advises government agencies such as the CDC, EPA and others as to what research evidence is appropriate, timely and relevant to their work.
Despite the misleading comments now surfacing that the NRC report dealt only with "naturally occurring fluoride," and that the report was "NOT" about water fluoridation, etc., the NRC report clearly states that fluoride exposure from all sources was considered. As stated on page 19 of the NRC report, sources for internal fluoride exposure include "food, water, beverages, dental products" and in addition to ingestion, internal exposure to fluoride also occurs from inhalation and dermal [skin] absorption. "Most fluorine added to drinking water," the report states, "is in the form of fluosilicic acid -- or sodium fluosilicate -- collectively referred to as fluorosilicates." On page 20, the report states, "The major dietary source of fluoride for most people in the United States is fluoridated municipal (community) drinking water." The NRC study then examined numerous reports, showing an association between fluoride ingestion and an appalling range of physical side effects, disorders and diseases.
Shortly after the above NRC study was published, a long-awaited Harvard study led by Dr. Elise Bassin also surfaced after several years of being shelved rather than released to the public. Dr. Bassin's dissertation was completed in May of 2001. In her study she found that boys who ingested fluoridated water between the ages of 6 to 8, were significantly more likely to later develop a deadly form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma, than boys who did not drink fluoridated water. (6)
According to a letter from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to the National Toxicology Program, Report on Carcinogens, dated June 9, 2005, Dr. Bassin's study first came to the attention of the EWG "as a result of a failed attempt to obtain the full doctoral thesis by the staff of the National Research Council committee on fluoride safety. After being repeatedly denied a copy of the thesis, the NRC committee instead sent a committee member to the Harvard Countway Library of Medicine to read the entire document and report back to the committee. Environmental Working Group obtained a copy of the results section of the document from the Fluoride Action Network, who sent two researchers to the library, each of whom were allowed to copy 10 percent of the document." (7)
The knowledge that we have lost children, and children have lost limbs as a result of mandated fluoride ingestion is nothing short of a national disgrace. If there is anything more appalling than learning this, it is perhaps in learning about the deliberate, ongoing suppression of information linking fluoride ingestion to adverse health effects, and the deliberate disinformation being dispensed to the unsuspecting public by promoters.
As stated earlier, three of the most common, major problems currently plaguing US citizens are thyroid malfunction, raised cholesterol levels, and GI problems. As of the publication of the NRC report, it becomes apparent that there are reports linking these major problems to fluoride exposure.
On page 225, the NRC study states that when fluoride is ingested it combines with hydrogen ions, forming hydrogen fluoride (HF). "Upon entering the interstitial fluid in the mucosa where the pH approaches neutrality, HF dissociates to release fluoride and hydrogen ions which can cause tissue damage." The last four words will perhaps be the most relevant and clearly stated words for most, especially those suffering from chronic GI problems. According to a March, 2005 News Release of the American Gastroenterological Association, "Gastrointestinal disease is a growing U.S. health problem, now affecting more than 65 million Americans." (8, 9)
It is in the NRC chapter pertaining to fluoride's "Effects on the Endocrine System," that we learn about thyroid malfunction and its corresponding effect on cholesterol levels. Many people do not yet realize that when the thyroid is damaged, an extraordinarily wide range of symptoms then occurs. In fact, one of the complaints that fluoride promoters have had about fluoridation opponents, is that the opponents have blamed fluoride for a "laundry list" of ailments. It turns out that the laundry list was right on target - damage the thyroid and the whole body and mind are affected.
The NRC states, "Biondi et al. (2002) associate subclinical thyroid dysfunction with changes in cardiac function and corresponding increased risks of heart disease." Other reports listed in the NRC show thyroid malfunction is associated with "bone demineralization, increased cholesterol, depression, cognitive dysfunction and reduced IQ levels in offspring." On page 197, the NRC states, "Thus, several lines of information indicate an effect of fluoride exposure on thyroid function." The NRC went on to state that because of the complexity of thyroid function and other factors including nutrition, "it is difficult to predict exactly what effects on thyroid function are likely at what concentration of fluoride exposure and under what circumstances." Fluoride levels associated with goiter prevalence in some areas studied were less than "0.1 to 0.36 mg/L." According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, approximately 27,000,000 Americans now have thyroid disorders. (10)
In addition to all of this, we also have the numerous dental problems clearly long-associated with fluoride. Because the dental problems are so visible, they have been historically the only problems acknowledged by the promoters as a link to fluoride poisoning. Even in acknowledgment, however, these problems have been downplayed. They are repeatedly referred to as mere "cosmetic problems," and are therefore routinely dismissed as unimportant. It would appear that in the official minds of the promoters, these "cosmetic problems" go no further than the surface of the tooth - as though the head is attached to a set of wheels rather than a living body. As though it will be only the tooth enamel that will become etched and stained and destroyed when the entire body is systemically fluorosed on a daily basis at unknowable doses - and that the rest of the body will somehow be miraculously spared.
As outlined in the NRC report, the type of fluoride primarily used in water fluoridation was identified as "fluorosilicates." Among the most insulting of facts pertaining to fluorosilicates is their source. This toxic sludge that is being disposed of in our drinking water is nothing more than an unwanted waste product from the phosphate fertilizer industry. (11)
Voices of reason seem to be much in need at this time of many questions. Dr. Bob Carton is an environmental scientist who worked for over 30 years in the federal government. From 1972-1992, Dr. Carton worked at the headquarters of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. writing regulations and managing risk assessments on high priority toxic chemicals. In 1985, as a union official, he became aware of the fraudulent nature of the EPA standard for fluoride in drinking water, and fought to expose it. In 1987, he led the union attempt to file an amicus brief in a court case brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council against the EPA, challenging the standards for fluoride in drinking water. His seems to be a voice of reason.
"The NRC called for testing of silicofluorides, the chemicals used to fluoridate water in 92% of fluoridated water supplies," Dr. Carton stated. "This is a shocking admission that the real chemicals used to fluoridate water have never been tested by the government." (12)
At this time, the voices of reason have spoken, and the reports of March are now sitting upon the table before us. Despite the contents of those reports, we hear the familiar, perennial voices of the promoters - people known as "officials" who are affiliated with collective bodies such as the CDC and the American Dental Association, issuing confusing statements about the NRC report, including as already seen, "It is crucial to note that this report is NOT about community water fluoridation." (Caps theirs.) And, "This report deals only with naturally occurring levels of fluoride in water." (Italics and boldface theirs.) And, "This report in no way examines or calls into question the safety of community water fluoridation."
It appears that "public health officials" from coast to coast are coming forward now with similar statements and misleading or false news, saying things such as, "This report does not apply to communities that adjust the fluoride in water supplies at the lower levels effective for preventing tooth decay." And, "This report does not examine the health risks or benefits associated with fluoridated drinking water systems." And, "This report dealt only with naturally-occurring levels of fluoride in water, and is not about community water fluoridation." (13)
For those who might try to turn to the CDC for some decent, sage advice, we find that the "official," statement on their website incomprehensibly compares fluoride to "vitamins and minerals," and that despite any findings to the contrary, fluoridation continues to be "safe and effective" in their opinion. Still not satisfied that they have fully vindicated the toxin that is now affecting all of us, they misleadingly state, "The findings of the NRC report are consistent with CDC's assessment that water is safe and healthy at the levels used for water fluoridation." (See 13 list.)
When it becomes clear that a great divide is appearing between the voices of reason and the voices of the promoters, and when it appears that the voices of the promoters care more about their product rather than the health and safety of the general public, then it becomes imperative for each American who values life, limb and health to stop relying upon the confusing "official" statements, and do his or her own homework.
Visit the National Academies Press page, as listed below and you will find an index of eleven chapters, summaries, appendices, etc. Select the chapters that you feel might pertain to the health and well-being of you, your family and loved ones - i.e., choose from teeth, musculoskeletal, reproductive, developmental effects, neurotoxicity, neurobehavioral effects, effects on the endocrine system, effects on gastrointestinal, renal, hepatic and immune system, genotoxicity, carcinogenic effects. Or perhaps you might feel all of these chapters could, indeed, pertain to you. Take the time to read the chapters for yourself so you will see with your own eyes what the NRC report studied, reviewed and is stating.
This might be the most important reading you will ever do. It might save the lives, as well as the health, of those you love.
Mary Sparrowdancer is the author of The Love Song of the Universe, and is a science and health writer with training in clinical laboratory sciences, including bacteriology, electroencephalography, hematology and microscopic evaluation. Web site
Mary co-authors a health newsletter with Dr. Luise Light, author of What to Eat, (2006, McGraw-Hill). Luise is former USDA Director of Dietary Guidance and Nutrition Education, and was the creator of the real fruit and vegetable Food Pyramid. Web site
PRIMARY SUGGESTED READING: National Academies Press - "Fluoride in Drinking Water," Full Report. Table of Contents. 3/2006. April 2006
1. US Drug Sales, 2005. $252 Billion. April, 2006.
2. RX List Top 300, 2004. Sales in Billions. April 2006.
3. RX List Top 300, 2004. Prescriptions Dispensed. April 2006.
4. State of apparent dental emergency in "optimally fluoridated" Kentucky. April 2006.
5. "The dose recommended for water fluoridation when adjusted for weight is the same dose recommended for prescription supplements. However, no clinical trials have been conducted and submitted to the FDA to demonstrate the effectiveness of ingesting fluoride." - NJ Assemblyman John Kelly. 8/14/2000. April 2006
6. Boston Herald: 4/6/2006 - "Young boys who drink fluoridated tap water are at greater risk for a rare bone cancer, Harvard researchers reported yesterday." April 2006.
7. Environmental Group - Bone Cancer. April 2006 http://www.ewg.org/issues/fluoride/20060405/index.php http://www.ewg.org/issues/fluoride/20050606/petition.php
8. American Gastroenterological Association. April 2006
9. National Academies Press - "Fluoride in Drinking Water," Full Report. Table of Contents. 3/2006. April 2006
10. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists - "Thyroid Awareness Month, 2003." April 2006
11. Fluoride Action Network. Overview. Phosphate Fertilizer Industry. Paul Connett. 5/2003. April 2006.
Photos, wastewater ponds, sinkhole in gypsum stacks.
Letter from eleven EPA Unions to Gov. Schwarzenneger announcing EPA Unions' call for Nationwide Moratorium on Fluoridation. Fluoride originates from phosphate fertilizer production. 8/9/05. April 2006.
12. Dr. Robert Carton. Personal correspondence and conversations. April, 2006. See also Amicus Brief, of which Dr. Carton was manager for the EPA professionals union. Among the arguments presented in the Amicus are, "The EPA Failed to Properly Ascertain the Acceptable Daily Dose of Fluoride." The statements in this brief are still operable. April 2006.
13. American Dental Association, "Crucial" Alert - 4/9/2006
Oregon, Department of Human Services. 4/6/2006. April 2006.
Vermont, Health Department Statement. 3/23/2006. April 2006.
CDC - Fluoride is like vitamins and minerals - and it is safe and effective, too (despite findings to the contrary).