The Fluoride Debate

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

HISTORY/
ENVIRONMENT

CENSORSHIP

THE FLUORIDE
DEBATE

BENEFITS
Question 1
Question 2
Question 3
Question 4
Question 5
Question 6
Question 7
Question 8

ALTERNATIVES
Question 9
Question 10
Question 11
Question 12


SAFETY
Question 13
Question 14

OVERDOSE
Question 15
Question 16
Question 17

DISEASES
Question 18
Question 19
Question 20
Question 21
Question 22
Question 23
Question 24
Question 25
Question 26
Question 27
Question 28
Question 29
Question 30
Question 31
Question 32
Question 33

PUBLIC
POLICY

Question 34
Question 35
Question 36
Question 37
Question 38
Question 39
Question 40

COST
EFFECTIVENESS
Question 41
Question 42
Question 43

CONCLUSION

DISEASES

Question 22.
Does drinking optimally fluoridated water cause or accelerate the growth of cancer?

ADA's Fluoridation Facts Short Answer
According to generally accepted scientific knowledge, there is no connection between cancer rates in humans and adding fluoride to drinking water.142

ADA's Fluoridation Facts Long Answer
Since community water fluoridation was introduced in 1945, more than 50 epidemiologic studies in different populations and at different times have failed to demonstrate an association between fluoridation and the risk of cancer.54 Studies have been conducted in the United States,143-148 Japan,149 the United Kingdom,150-152 Canada153 and Australia.154 In addition, several independent bodies have conducted extensive reviews of the scientific literature and concluded that there is no relationship between fluoridation and cancer.54, 94, 96, 155

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) further commented on the safety of appropriate fluoride exposure in the December 5, 1997, Federal Register.156 In a notice of a final rule relating to fluoride compounds the EPA stated, " ... the weight of evidence from more than 50 epidemiological studies does not support the hypothesis of an association between fluoride exposure and increased cancer risk in humans. The EPA is in agreement with the conclusions reached by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS)."

Despite the abundance of scientific evidence, claims of a link between fluoridation and increased cancer rates continue. This assertion is based on one study comparing cancer death rates in ten large fluoridated cities versus ten large nonfluoridated cities in the United States. The results of this study have been refuted by a number of organizations and researchers.157 The National Cancer Institute analyzed the same data and found that the original investigators failed to adjust their findings for variables, such as age and gender differences, that affect cancer rates. A review by other researchers pointed to further shortcomings in the study. The level of industrialization in the fluoridated cities was much higher than the nonfluoridated cities. Researchers noted that a higher level of industrialization is usually accompanied by a higher incidence of cancer. While the researchers noted that the fluoridated cities did have higher cancer rates over the twenty year study, the rate of increase in the nonfluoridated cities was exactly the same (15%) as the fluoridated cities. Following further reviews of the study, the consensus of the scientific community continues to support the conclusion that the incidence of cancer is unrelated to the introduction and duration of water fluoridation.54

In the early 1990s, two studies using higher than optimal levels of fluoride were conducted to evaluate the carcinogenicity of sodium fluoride in laboratory animals. The first study was conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.129 The second study was sponsored by the Proctor and Gamble Company.130 In both studies, higher than optimal concentrations of sodium fluoride were consumed by rats and mice. When the NTP and the Proctor and Gamble studies were combined, a total of eight individual sex/species groups became available for analysis. Seven of these groups showed no significant evidence of malignant tumor formation. One group, male rats from the NTP study, showed "equivocal" evidence of carcinogenicity, which is defined by NTP as a marginal increase in neoplasms — i.e., osteosarcomas (malignant tumors of the bone) — that may be chemically related. The Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Fluoride of the U.S. Public Health Service combined the results of the two studies and stated: "Taken together, the two animal studies available at this time fail to establish an association between fluoride and cancer."54

In a 1990 study, scientists at the National Cancer Institute evaluated the relationship between fluoridation of drinking water and cancer deaths in the United States during a 36 year period, and the relationship between fluoridation and the cancer rate during a 15 year period. After examining more than 2.3 million cancer death records and 125,000 cancer case records in counties using fluoridated water, the researchers saw no indication of a cancer risk associated with fluoridated drinking water.54

In a document entitled "Fluoride and Drinking Water Fluoridation," the American Cancer Society states, "Scientific studies show no connection between cancer rates in humans and adding fluoride to drinking water."

Repeat of Question 22.
Does drinking optimally fluoridated water cause or accelerate the growth of cancer?

Opposition's Response

Yes. Fluoridation causes a dramatic increase in bone cancer in young men. Dr. William Marcus, Senior scientist at the Office of Drinking Water, won over $250,000 from a whistle blower's law suit against the Environmental Protection Agency over the fluoridation cancer connection. He was fired in 1990 for telling the truth about fluoride and calling for an independent review board. (See 1-6: "Why EPA's Headquarters Union of Scientists Opposes Fluoridation").

"In point of fact, fluorine causes more human cancer death, and causes it faster, than any other chemical." (Dean Burk, Ph.D. former head of the National Cancer Institute's cytochemistry section chief chemist emeritus at the U.S. National Institute.)

Dr. Alfred Taylor, (Ph.D.) Research Scientist, makes this statement: "We became involved in the fluoridation problem as a result of experiments set up to test the possible anti-cancer properties of sodium fluoride. The results indicated that the animals on fluoridated water developed cancer earlier than the controls (on fluoride-free water). I took these results to the State Health Department. I innocently thought that the backers of fluoridation would be glad to receive this data and would initiate research on their own so as to make sure the public was protected from a possible health hazard. Instead, the Texas State Health Group immediately became concerned with how they could invalidate the lead we had discovered. The report of the Open Hearings (Congressional) contains our results with seven experiments. Recently we have completed a further series of experiments in which mice were given a non-fluorine diet bringing the total number of experiments up to 16 involving 645 mice. The results which have a high order of statistical validity indicate shortening of the life-span of mice drinking the fluoridated water of 9%." (Alfred Taylor, Ph.D.,Clayton Foundation, Biochemical Institute, University of Texas.) (See 22-1: "Fluoride and Cancer," also by Dr. Taylor, Oct. 2, 1965).

Studies show cancers increase by 5% when fluoride is added to the community drinking water. We can expect in the area of 10,000 fluoridation-linked cancer deaths yearly; in other words, over 500,000 people, alive today, can expect to die of a fluoridation-linked cancer unless something is done to stop fluoridation in the U.S. (See 22-2: "Update on Fluoride and Cancer," by John Yiamouyiannis, Ph.D., testimony delivered to a Congressional Committee, Sept. 21, 1977).

In 1992, the New Jersey State Department of Health released the results of a study which found six times more bone cancer among males under the age of 20 living in communities with fluoridated water. ("A Brief Report on the Association of Drinking Water Fluoridation and the Incidence of Osteosarcoma Among Young Males" by Perry D. Cohn, Ph.D. M.P.H. Environmental Health Service, New Jersey Department of Health, Nov. 8, 1992.

"In San Francisco there has been a 400% increase in thyroid cancer during the period that the city has had fluoridated drinking water." (New England Journal of Medicine, 1955, 253/2 (45-51).)

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First Edition
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