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Fluoride and Cancer

The MRC resort to the lowest denominator of unscientific deceit. On Page 29, the MRC says:

Several studies have analysed data sets from ten fluoridated and ten non-fluoridated cities in the USA (Yiamouyiannis & Burk, 1977; NHMRC, 1999; NHS CRD, 2000). With the exception of the analysis by Yiamouyiannis & Burk, which did not adjust appropriately for sex, age and ethnic group, none of these analyses has suggested that overall cancer mortality rates were positively associated with fluoridation.”

The remarks made about the Yiamouyiannis & Burk study is not just a half-truth, it is also a ‘half-lie’. In his book, Fluoride: The Aging Factor, Dr Yiamouyiannis pointed out that after making the necessary corrections for “sex, age, and ethnic group”, that:

“… approximately 10,000 excess cancer deaths per year could be attributed to fluoridation in the United States.”

The full extract is given below:

“Chapter 18 (Pages 164/5). The Conspiracy: ‘Containing’ the Cancer Link

In 1975, Dr. Yiamouyiannis published a preliminary survey showing that people in fluoridated areas had a higher cancer death rate than people in nonfluoridated areas. When this material got into the hands of Mr. Small, he enlisted the aid of Drs. Robert Hoover and Marvin Schneiderman of the National Cancer Institute to refute these findings. Dr. Hoover's first claim was that the nonfluoridated areas (Los Angeles and Houston) had relatively clean air and that the increase in cancer death rate in these areas was lower than in fluoridated areas because their lung cancer rates were lower. First, it is obvious that Los Angeles and Houston did not have clean air and secondly, Dr. Yiamouyiannis showed that the increase in cancer death rates in fluoridated areas was not due to lung cancer but to other cancers.

In 1975, Dr. Dean Burk, chief chemist of the National Cancer Institute (1939 to 1974), joined with Dr. Yiamouyiannis in performing additional studies which were published in the Congressional Record by Congressman James J. Delaney, author of the Delaney amendment prohibiting the addition of cancer-causing substances to food used for human consumption. Both of these reports confirmed the existence of a link between fluoridation and cancer.

In attempting to refute these findings, Dr. Hoover and Dr. Schneiderman claimed that Drs. Burk and Yiamouyiannis had not corrected their figures for age, race, and sex and that when such corrections were made, the increase in cancer death rate found by Burk and Yiamouyiannis disappeared.

In the fall of 1977, two full hearings on fluoridation and cancer were held before Representative L.H. Fountain's Congressional Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations. At these hearings, Dr. Yiamouyiannis showed that Dr. Robert Hoover's group and Dr. Donald Taves of the University of Rochester, in adjusting for age, sex, and race, had left out 80 to 90% of the relevant data.

In addition, he pointed out that Dr. Hoover's group had made an error in its calculations. When these errors and omissions were corrected, the very same age-sex-race corrections used by Dr. Hoover and Dr. Taves, confirmed the results of Drs. Burk and Yiamouyiannis showing that approximately 10,000 excess cancer deaths per year could be attributed to fluoridation in the United States.

During the hearings, Congressman Fountain, chairman of the subcommittee, showed that Dr. Hoover and other National Cancer Institute officials had purposely withheld information from Drs. Burk and Yiamouyiannis and clandestinely sent erroneous data to Dr. Leo Kinlen and Sir Richard Doll, professors at Oxford University and representatives of the Royal College of Physicians, who published the erroneous data as if it were their own. Not content with this duplication of data, Dr. Kinlen passed the data on to Dr. David Newell and Peter Oldham, representatives of the Royal Statistical Society, who again republished the same erroneous data. As in the original Hoover study, when errors and omissions in these studies were corrected, they also confirmed the results of Drs. Burk and Yiamouyiannis showing that approximately 10,000 excess cancer deaths per year could be attributed to fluoridation in the United States.”

The MRC should hang their heads in shame at trying to deceive the reader with their own brand of propaganda. However (and conversely), the MRC do make the following admissions (despite the usual tactic of trying to prove the opposite) in Chapter 5.2.6: ‘Plausibility of effect’:

“Very high levels of fluoride have long been known to be toxic, but the features and consequences characteristic of fluorosis in humans and other animals have not included the occurrence of cancer. Most agents that cause cancer directly do so because they are genotoxic, although some (non-genotoxic) agents can cause or promote cancer by other mechanisms, for example by stimulating cell division.

For fluoride, in vitro genotoxicity data are mostly for doses much higher than those to which humans are exposed. Even at these high doses, genotoxic effects are not always observed (NRC, 1993), and fluoride is consistently negative in the Ames test (DHHS, 1991). Some in vivo studies have shown that fluoride can in some circumstances induce mutations and chromosome aberrations in rodent and human cells.

Overall, the evidence available has not established that fluoride is genotoxic in humans, and most of the studies suggest that it is not, but the possibility of some genotoxic effect cannot be excluded (DHHS, 1991; NRC, 1993).

Fluoride can have a mitogenic effect on osteoblasts (Bucher et al., 1991); this could provide a mechanism by which fluoride could increase the risk for osteosarcoma.”


Regarding allergy (Chapter 5.3.1: ‘Immunological effects’) the MRC says:

“Page 32: 5.3.1 Immunological effects: Information regarding the allergic potential of fluoride in drinking water is sparse. A paper by Spittle (1993) concluded that some individuals exhibit an allergic/hypersensitivity reaction to fluoride, but reviews by NRC (1993), NHMRC (1991), and Chalacombe (1996) all concluded that the studies undertaken do not support claims that fluoride is allergenic. They considered the weight of evidence to show that fluoride is unlikely to produce hypersensitivity or other immunological effects. There is no information on the immunotoxicity of fluoride. Further work in this area would be useful, but in the absence of obvious toxic mechanisms for such an effect is considered to be of low priority.”

Again, the MRC cannot disprove allergic-type effects but attempt to suggest the opposite effect. Interestingly, during the passage of the 1985 UK Water Fluoridation Bill, a speech was delivered by former Member of Parliament, Sir Ivan Lawrence. He said:

"I now come to a report that I received during the Committee stage from ... Mr C W M Wilson, MA, MD, B.Sc, D.Ph, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh and Fellow of the Royal Society."

"We carried out some animal experiments in Strathclyde University. This controlled investigation demonstrated that sensitivity to fluoride ions could be induced in guinea pigs and that the resulting allergic effects could be equally effectively produced by fluoridated tap water. This fluoride sensitivity could be potentiated by simultaneous challenge by food protein. Attention is drawn to the possibility of enhancement of food-induced allergic symptoms by preparing and cooking food in fluoridated water. The major scientific conclusion which can be drawn from these results is that evidence is now available which shows that fluoride can exert pathophysiological disordered function effects by virtue of its immune sensitising action rather than through its toxic action. A relatively high proportion of the population is food and water contaminant sensitive and in consequence is potentially vulnerable to allergic challenge. These allergic individuals are not protected by limiting fluoride ion concentrations in mains water to one part in 1 million." [Commons Hansard, 1985, column 973]

Will the MRC now reconsider their position?

The Kidneys / Gastrointestinal Tract

Chapter 5.3.4: ‘Renal effects’, reads as follows:

“The kidney is a potential site of acute fluoride toxicity because of its exposure to relatively high fluoride concentrations (NRC, 1993). It has been established from human studies that the kidney removes fluoride from the blood more efficiently than it removes other halides. In addition, renal clearance of fluoride decreases in individuals with renal insufficiency or diabetes mellitus. However, several large community-based epidemiological studies found no increased renal disease associated with long term exposure to drinking water with fluoride concentrations of up to 8mg/l (DHSS, 1991; NRC, 1993).

It is plausible that the kidney could be a target for fluoride toxicity, and there is limited evidence for kidney effects in experimental toxicity studies in animals. Further investigation is therefore warranted to determine the level of toxicity, if any, following low level intakes in humans. However, in view of the negative results in the epidemiological studies mentioned above, this is not considered to be of high priority.”

Chapter 5.3.5: ‘Gastrointestinal tract’ reads:

,i>“With the exception of monofluorophosphate, high concentrations of fluoride releasing compounds form hydrogen fluoride on mixing with hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Hydrogen fluoride can be irritating to the gastric mucosa, resulting in dose-dependent adverse effects. The data for human effects at low exposure are limited, but the indication is that gastrointestinal effects are not a problem at optimal drinking water fluoride concentrations (DHSS, 1991; NRC, 1993).

… The effects of fluoride on the gastric mucosa have been described in detail by Whitford (1996). Gastric irritation, by release of hydrogen fluoride in the stomach at high doses of fluoride intake, is plausible.

However, it is unlikely that sufficient hydrogen fluoride will be released from the low concentrations of fluoride in drinking water in the UK to cause irritation in healthy individuals. It is possible that individuals who have an existing stomach disorder may be susceptible to irritation following ingestion of fluoridated water, but there is no published evidence for this. This issue is considered to be of low priority for further research.”

Three pictures of the gastrointestinal wall.
Picture 1 is a healthy tract.
Picture 2 shows that some of the microvilli are missing (F at 1.2 ppm).
Picture 3 is the ‘cracked clay’ appearance of a tract badly damaged by the ingestion of fluoride (F at 3.2 ppm). Pictures from Prof. A K Susheela.

Larger Images (opens in a new window)

In 1985, the year the Water Fluoridation Bill was rushed through Parliament, the Department of Health & Social Security issued a Safety Information Bulletin (ref: SIB [85] 2). Item 3 states:

"Where haemodialysis is undertaken with fluoridated water, serum fluoride levels in the patient could be considerably higher than in the case of persons consuming the water in the normal way."

Although Item 4 states that no documented cases of fluoride toxicity have been reported, it goes on to say that:

"... minimum exposure by this route is desirable."

Dialysis treatments can use in the region of 120 litres of water. This makes 120 mg of fluoride if the water has been fluoridated. However a manufacturer of water purification systems for hospitals has said that while he has never been officially requested to provide a system to remove fluoride from water, his company's equipment would in fact do the job quite well. What he actually said was that the equipment would remove 95% of all fluoride. This means that 5%, or 6 mg, will remain in 120 litres of treated water. If the water is not treated, then 120 mg of fluoride passes through the patient’s body.

A further dangerous scenario exists where there is a possible breakdown of fluoridation equipment. Although most media stories on such breakdowns have originated in the USA, it is always a possibility that fluoride concentrations in water may far exceed the 1 part per million level. The dangers therefore posed to fluoride-sensitive individuals is enormous.

Brain (Intelligence) / Thyroid

While fluoride’s effect upon the brain is open to many disturbing theories, based on both animal and human studies, the issue of thyroid-related problems has been well investigated by the organization known as Parents with Fluoride Poisoned Children (PFPC).

PFPC Website (opens in a new window)

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