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 30.
Does drinking optimally fluoridated water cause or contribute to heart disease?

ADA's Fluoridation Facts Short Answer
Broad national experience and generally accepted scientific knowledge demonstrate that drinking optimally fluoridated water is not a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

ADA's Fluoridation Facts Long Answer
This conclusion is supported by results of a study conducted by the National Heart and Lung Institute of the National Institutes of Health. Researchers examined a wide range of data from communities that have optimally fluoridated water and from areas with insufficient fluoride. The final report concluded that:

Thus, the evidence from comparison of the health of fluoridating and non-fluoridating cities, from medical and pathological examination of persons exposed to a lifetime of naturally occurring fluorides or persons with high industrial exposures, and from broad national experience with fluoridation all consistently indicate no adverse effect on cardiovascular health.195

The American Heart Association has reaffirmed its historical position that heart disease is not related to the amount of fluoride present in drinking water.196 The American Heart Association identifies cigarette and tobacco smoke, high blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, physical inactivity and obesity as major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.197

A number of studies have considered trends in urban mortality in relation to fluoridation status. In one study, the mortality trends from 1950-70 were studied for 473 cities in the United States with populations of 25,000 or more. Findings showed no relationship between fluoridation and heart disease death rates over the 20-year period.145 In another study, the mortality rates for approximately 30 million people in 24 fluoridated cities were compared with those of 22 nonfluoridated cities for two years. No evidence was found of any harmful health effects, including heart disease, attributable to fluoridation. As in other studies, crude differences in the mortality experience of the cities with fluoridated and nonfluoridated water supplies were explainable by differences in age, gender and race composition.144

Repeat of Question 30.
Does drinking optimally fluoridated water cause or contribute to heart disease?

Opposition's Response

Yes. On March 24, 1952, Dr. A. L. Miller, Congressman from Nebraska and formerly State Health Director, apologized to the members of Congress for having introduced legislation which led to the fluoridation of the water supply of the District of Columbia. He had been led to believe, he said, that the U.S. Public Health Service had researched all aspects of fluoridation. Hearings before the Special Commission on Chemicals in Foods had opened his eyes to things he had not known. He produced figures to justify his concern. A check of vital statistics of Grand Rapids, Michigan (which is the only city of any size that had had artificial fluoridation for more than four years) showed that the death rate from heart disease in the year 1944 numbered 585. Four years later, after fluoridation had started (in 1945), there were 1,059 deaths. There was an increase of 50% in the deaths from nephritis. There was an increase of 50%, over a period of four years, in the deaths from intercranial lesions. These figures are contained in the Vital Statistics of the U.S. published annually by the United States Public Health Service. (See 30-1: "Reprinted from the March 24, 1952, issue of the Congressional Record").

An editorial in the Newburgh, New York, News, Jan. 27, 1954, after nine years of fluoridation, states: "According to statistics now being released by the Government, heart disease, our leading menace, is responsible for a larger proportion of death in Newburgh than in most other sections of the United States. The 283 heart deaths in Newburgh in the (designated) year were equal to a rate of 882 deaths per 100,000." By these figures, heart deaths in Newburgh were 73.9% higher than the national rate. (See 30-2: "Mass Harm From Fluoridation," by Lee Hardy, Oct. 1997).

There was also a striking increase in the rate of deaths from heart disease in Antigo, Wisconsin, after fluoridation. (See 30-3: "Heart Deaths and Fluoridation," by I. Jansen, R. N. and H. M. Thomson).

A team of Japanese professors found that children with mottled teeth (caused by fluoride poisoning) have a higher incident of heart damage than those without mottling. This was indicated by electrocardiographic studies. (The Lancet, Jan. 28, 1961, p. 197, Tokushima J. Exper., Med. 3-50-53, 1956.)

A result of a study in China showed "that fluoride in drinking water consumed over time is harmful not only to bones and teeth but also to the cardiovascular system." (See 30-4: "Electrocardiogram Analysis of Patients With Skeletal Fluorosis," from, Fluoride, Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 16-18, 1997).

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