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Draft NHMRC Information Paper: Effects of water fluoridation on dental and other health outcomes submission

This submission reflects the views of
Individual Background: 
English teacher at Victoria Polytechnic, Melbourne
Personal Details
First Name: 
Last Name: 
Specific Questions
Q1. A) Is the draft Information Paper presented in a manner that is easy to understand? : 
Q1. B) Please provide details regarding your response to Question 1A: 
Plain Language Summary

The gist of the report is easy to understand, but many of the details are unclear - e.g. for many health conditions such as Alzheimers Disease, the report stated there was "insufficient evidence", and then conluded fluoride was proven safe - this is a logical non-sequitur. Also out of to date 50 studies that have linked fluoride with lowered IQ, the NHMRC examined around 9 or 10 from memory - why were so few chosen? This was not clearly explained.

Water Fluoridation and any other health effects – Thyroid function

The 2006 US National Research Council report on fluoride had a detailed discussion of the effect of fluoride on the thyroid, and found it could lower thyroid function at the levels added to the water supply (around 1ppm), especially in people who were low in iodine, but this entire report of course has been ignored by the NHMRC.

Q2. A) Is it clear how NHMRC reviewed the health and dental effects of water fluoridation? : 
Q2. B) Please provide details regarding you response to Question 2A: 

It is not clear why the NHMRC rejected all animal studies when animal studies are routinely used in toxicology as an indication of whether a chemical may have the potential to be harmful to humans. As the NHMRC is well aware, the US NTP recently completed a review of many animal neurobehavioural studies that suggest fluoride can damage the learning and memory of rats and mice, albeit in high doses. The NTP did this review as part of its broader investigation into the possible neurotoxicity of fluoride to animals and humans. The NTP clearly considers animal studies to be of relevance. The NHMRC in its review made no comment on the NTP fluoride review or that it included animal studies, nor was there mention of the more than 100 animal studies the NHMRC has chosen to ignore that have found fluoride to be neurotoxic.

Q3. A) Is the Fluoride Reference Group’s interpretation of the evidence clearly described in the draft Information Paper?: 
Q3. B) Please provide details regarding your response to Question 3A: 

It seems to be - the flawed logic seems to be that harm from fluoride has not been proven, solely on the basis of epidemiological studies which by definition cannot prove or disprove cause and effect, only suggest associations. Laboratory studies of animals could show what is happening in the body from fluoride, but these have all been excluded.

Q4. Is there additional evidence on the dental effects of water fluoridation that should be considered?: 

Yes, but I do not have details to submit

Q5. Is there additional evidence on any other health effects of water fluoridation that should be considered in the draft Information Paper?: 

I will submit the following three epidemiological studies: Fluegge, K. 2016 Community water fluoridation predicts increase in age-adjusted incidence and prevalence of diabetes in 22 states from 2005 and 2010, Journal of Water and Health, Vol 14, issue 4 http://jwh.iwaponline.com/content/early/2016/05/24/wh.2016.012 Peckham S, Lowery D & Spencer S 2015, 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, Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, UK https://static.kent.ac.uk/media/news/2015/02/Flouride-research.pdf Malin A J & Till C 2015 Exposure to fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States: an ecological association, Environmental Health 27 February 2015, 14:17 https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-015-0003-1 Of course, if the NHMRC was really interested in finding out if fluoride was safe, I would also submit the 100 studies that have found fluoride to be neurotoxic, including the study published last year by Akinrinadade which gave fluoride to rats at a dose equivalent to that added to our water supply (2ppm sodium fluoride = 1 ppm fluoride ion in fluoridated water) and found after 30 days upon examining the rats brains that the brain neurons from the rats given that fluoride dose had shrunk about 50 per cent compared to the controls given distilled water, and there was a reduction in the acetylcholinesterase in the brains of the fluoridated rats. I can only hope that the NTP, whose review has already found moderate level evidence that fluoride can damage the learning and memory of animals, will eventually come to a conclusion very different from that of the NHMRC regarding fluoride.

Q6. Is there any other supporting material relevant to making decisions on water fluoridation in the Australian context that should be considered in the draft Information Paper?: 

Yes, the 2006 National Research Council report on fluoride, with 1000 references and the product of three years research, that the NHMRC ignored in its previous sham 2007 review and has cleverly managed to ignore yet again by reviewing only studies post dating the publication of the NRC review. The NRC report is the one that found fluoride can effect thyroid function at the levels added to the water supply here and in the US, especially if one is low in iodine, as described by one of the report's author's Kathleen Thiessen. The NHMRC should also look at the studies that have linked the fluoridation chemicals with the leaching of lead from water pipes and fixtures, but of course won't. You should also explain why the fluoridation chemical hydrofluorosilicic acid, sourced from the fertiliser industry, typically contains lead and arsenic, when many scientists say there is no safe level for arsenic, and the CDC recently stated there is no safe blood level for lead in children. How is it a public health measure for children to drink these chemicals every day?

Page reviewed: 30 July, 2017