Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Foundation of Fluoridation is based on ignorance and lies not science.



When it comes to fluoride and water fluoridation the facts are indisputable, the public are being repeatedly lied to by public health authorities and elected politicians. In the past week in the Republic of Ireland, Minister for Health with Responsibility for Water fluoridation Alex White stated in parliament that the preponderance of scientific evidence has demonstrated that fluoridation of drinking water is safe. This statement is repeated ad nauseam by the Minister and by senior executives in public health authorities in Ireland.  There is absolutely no evidence to support this claim. To demonstrate the European Food Safety Authority commissioned the University of Anglia to undertake an evidence based review of fluoride to establish safe dietary exposure levels. This was a comprehensive review examining all published literature over the past 30 years.

Herein you will find the findings of an EVIDENCE report published by the European Food Safety Authority in May 2012 identifying the health outcomes upon which Dietary Reference Values (DFVs) could potentially be based for fluoride.

This is factual scientific data and demonstrates the utterly false and deliberately misleading statements by Public Health Authorities in Ireland, Australia, NZ, Canada and the United States who claim that the overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrates that fluoridation is safe.

This is what the EFSA report found.

In 2012, the University of East Anglia  were contracted by the EFSA to prepare a report on identifying health outcomes upon which Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) could be potentially based for fluoride. The review included examination of scientific studies focused on primary research in humans concerning maintenance of functional competence and the prevention of clinical deficiency and chronic disease upon which DRVs may be based.

Astonishingly, the review concluded that there was a lack of high quality evidence upon which Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) may potentially be based for fluoride. In other words due to a lack of any available quality scientific data or epidemiological studies they do not know what is a safe level or exposure to fluoride.

Bone Health and Fluoride 

In examining data relating to bone health and fluoride no individual studies of fluoridated water met the study inclusion criteria, since total fluoride intake was not quantified.

Tooth Health

For tooth health, eight studies were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria for assessment. The majority of studies were conducted on children not adults. Of the five systematic reviews examined which met the criteria for inclusion all agreed that there was insufficient studies of high quality evidence. Only two systematic reviews were identified that addressed water fluoridation and tooth health. These were classified as of moderate quality but with shortcomings in the quality of studies included in terms of study design and assessment of fluoride exposure.

Biomarkers of Disease

For biomarkers of disease, only one study was identified examining the influence of fluoride on plasma leptin levels. The study was assessed as being at a high risk of bias.

Fluoride Bioavailability and Metabolism

Fluoride bioavailability and metabolism, studies were separated into those focused on fluoride bioavailability and metabolism and those focused on fluoride intake and status relationships. Bioavailability and metabolism studies described here relate to the influence of different fluoride forms or nutrient interactions, which may affect fluoride bioavailability and retention.

The review found just 16 studies which focused on fluoride bioavailability and metabolism of these only two were identified as presenting a low risk of bias with the majority being identified as a high risk of bias. Only three studies addressing fluoride metabolism were conducted over the longer-term (>48 hours). All but one of these were conducted on healthy adult subjects.

In total 16 studies were included, 15 were assessed of as being of high risk of bias. Only one study was assessed as being at a moderate, rather than a high risk of bias. There were just three studies which were conducted over the longer term (>48 hour) and all but one of these studies was conducted in healthy adult subjects.

Established Dietary Exposure using Biomarkers

In the review of published literature on the measurement of biomarkers for establishing dietary exposure six studies were identified all of which were assessed as being at high risk of bias. The majority of these studies were conducted on healty young to middle aged adults.

Six studies were included examining concentration of fluoride in breast milk. The concentration of fluoride was highly variable ranging from 4.56-513 μg/l. Living within an area with fluoridated water was the suggested reason for the differences. Only one study directly recorded total maternal dietary intake, using 24 hour weighing of foods and beverages and analysis of samples for fluoride content. Eight of the studies were assessed as being of high risk of bias with one assessed as being at moderate risk of bias.

The EFSA report concluded that there were relatively few studies of good quality regarding fluoride intake, status and/or health endpoints.

For biokinetic data, there was a lack of well-conducted balance studies and long-term supplementation trials, particularly for children, elderly and pregnant women.

The tooth health, the ESFA report concluded that the data were suggestive of a protective role for fluoride in the reduction of dental caries, but systematic reviews in this area acknowledged a lack of high quality intervention trials measuring total fluoride intake, and data were lacking for adult groups.

Conclusion

Overall, the EFSA report concluded there was a lack of high quality evidence upon which DRVs may potentially be based for fluoride.



Final report CT/EFSA/NDA/03 Lot 3,
University of East Anglia For The European Food Safety
Literature search and review related to specific preparatory work in the establishment of Dietary Reference Values.Preparation of an evidence report identifying health outcomes upon which
Dietary Reference Values could potentially be based for
magnesium, potassium and fluoride

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dr Robert Grimes unscientific opinions are a threat to public health.


Letter sent to Oxford University regarding scientific misconduct and medical negligence

Dr Robert Grimes who self promotes his employment as a researcher in Oxford University stated in the Irish Times (Anti-fluoride lobby can’t get its teeth into the truth, Monday Sept 9th 2013) that the arguments of anti-fluoridation campaigners are detrimental to the public understanding of science and medicine.[i]

Dr Robert Grimes yesterday stated on national radio in Ireland (George Hook, Newstalk Radio, 14th November 2013) that fluoride is an essential micronutrient. This is scientifically incorrect. The European Scientific Committee on Health and Scientific risk stated in their 2010 report on Fluoridation of drinking water that “Fluoride is not an essential element for human growth and development, and for most organisms in the environment.”

This scientific opinion is also supported by the European Food Safety Authority (2005).[ii] Furthermore the EFSA stated (2006) that “There is no convincing evidence that health and development of humans depend on the intake of fluoride” [iii]

Dr. Grimes further stated on Newstalk Radio that the source of fluoride is irrelevant, a fluoride ion is a fluoride ion. This statement is again factually and scientifically incorrect. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that naturally occurring calcium fluoride is 3000 times less soluble in water than chemical compounds used for artificial water fluoridation. [iv] The WHO noted that “Fluoride ions are readily released from soluble fluoride compounds such as sodium fluoride, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorosilicic acid” (EHC, 2002) [v]. These are the compounds used for artificial water fluoridation.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA Journal 2008)[vi] and the United States Agency for Toxic substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR, 2003) [vii] have stated that “soluble forms of fluoride salts have reported absorption efficiencies of between 80–100 %. Conversely, insoluble sources of fluoride such as calcium fluoride, are much less well absorbed.”

The EFSA have stated “the toxicity of fluoride is dependent upon the type or species of the compound ingested, and therefore, the more soluble salts of inorganic fluorides are the most toxic (EHC, 2002; ATSDR, 2003).”  [viii],[ix]

Scientific bodies in the EU[x] and the US[xi] agree that no toxicity data is available on hexafluorosilicic acid.  Hexafluorosilicic acid (also known as hydrofluosilicic acid or hydrofluorosilicic acid) is used as an active substance for water fluoridation throughout Ireland and in a few other countries in the World where water fluoridation is practised.

Hexafluorsilicic acid was placed on a list of prohibited substances by the European Commission and was specifically banned in 2006 for use as a biocidal product due to a lack of toxicological and epidemiological data to demonstrate it was safe for use for consumers or the environment.

Dr. Grimes stated on national radio that with the concentrations in fluoride in artificially fluoridated water even if one drank swimming pools of water would cause no harm. This statement is not only shocking in its scientific ignorance but extremely dangerous for public health and should not be allowed to be broadcast on public radio. These statements were made by a medical researcher employed by Oxford University, I would add that the presenter of the national radio show noted repeatedly the prestigious record of this university and stated that Dr. Grimes was an expert in fluoride.

The US National Academies have reported that fluoride intake of between 0.7-3.5mg per day has been found to affect thyroid function. [xii] That is the equivalent to drinking one litre of water. The maximum upper tolerable level for fluoride is 4mg per day for men and 3mg per day for women over 19 years of age. [xiii] For children aged 4-8 years the upper recommended daily intake is 1mg day, for children 9-13 years 2mg/day and for age 14-18years 3mg/day. [xiv]

The EFSA have stated that the additional daily fluoride intake for consumers living in fluoridated regions compared to individuals in non-fluoridated countries is 3.5 - 4mg per day. [xv] This was calculated based on consumption of fluoridated tap water, and additional fluoride from using fluoridated water to cook with or process foods or beverages in addition to an individual drinking 500ml of tea made with fluoridated water. The EFSA concluded that the daily intake would exceed 6mg fluoride per day without including fluoride from other sources such as toothpaste or medications.

It is a scientific fact that the upper safe tolerable levels of exposure to fluoride are vastly exceeded by  individuals living in the Republic of Ireland.

Chan et al. (2013) published findings in the Journal of Food Research International that a significant proportion of the population in the UK are chronically exposed to fluoride at levels that can lead to detrimental health effects from the consumption of tea alone.[xvi] This finding was based on measurement of fluoride concentration in tea made with non fluoridated deionised water. By making tea with fluoridated water the risks and health effects are increased.  The consumption of tea in Ireland is greater than the UK and consumers make tea with fluoridated water.

In 2010, Dr. Peter Mansfield published a study[xvii] based on epidemiological data from adults living in England, Scotland, which also included data from Republic of Ireland. The findings of this study, independently verified and accepted by the UK Food Safety Authority as accurate were published in a peer reviewed journal. The findings concluded that 73% of the adults tested living in the fluoridated region of Ireland exceeded the safe recommended maximum daily level of exposure to fluoride. The figure for adults living in non-fluoridated areas of England was 25%. 

The public statements by Dr. Grimes in support of mandatory fluoridation are not only scientifically inaccurate but constitute a grave risk to public safety in Ireland. They also discredit the scientific profession and academic institutions that are promoted by reference to his place of employment. The actions of Dr. Grimes and his public statements not only discredit the distinguished and learned institution that is Oxford University, but he has discredit the scientific profession with his ill-informed and scientifically inaccurate public statements.


[i] http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/anti-fluoride-lobby-can-t-get-its-teeth-into-the-truth-1.1520290
[ii] European Food Safety Authority, Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on a request from the Commission related to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Fluoride, EFSA Journal 2005 192,1-54
[iii] European Food Safety Authority, Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on a request from the Commission related to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Fluoride, EFSA Journal 2005 192,1-54, Page 9
[iv] EHC, 2002. Environmental Health Criteria 227. Fluorides. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[v] EHC, 2002. Environmental Health Criteria 227. Fluorides. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[vi] European Food Safety Authority, Scientific Opinion, Calcium fluoride as a source of fluoride added for nutritional purposes to food supplements. The EFSA Journal (2008) 882, 1-15
[vii] ATSDR, 2003. Toxicological profile for fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Division of Toxicology/Toxicology Information Branch. September 2003. Atlanta, Georgie.
[viii] EHC, 2002. Environmental Health Criteria 227. Fluorides. World Health Organization, Geneva.
[ix] ATSDR, 2003. Toxicological profile for fluorides, hydrogen fluoride, and fluorine. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Division of Toxicology/Toxicology Information Branch. September 2003. Atlanta, Georgie.
[x] EU Directorate General for Health and Consumers, Critical review of any new evidence on the hazard profile, health effects, and human exposure to fluoride and the fluoridating agents of drinking water, Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks, 2010
[xi] United States, National Research Council of the National Academies, Fluoride in Drinking Water, 2006
[xii] United States, National Research Council of the National Academies, Fluoride in Drinking Water, 2006, pages 263-264
[xiii] European Food Safety Authority, Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on a request from the Commission related to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Fluoride, EFSA Journal 2005 192,1-54, Page 9
[xiv] European Food Safety Authority, Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on a request from the Commission related to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Fluoride, EFSA Journal 2005 192,1-54, Page 9
[xv] European Food Safety Authority, Opinion of the Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies on a request from the Commission related to the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of Fluoride, EFSA Journal 2005 192,1-54, Page 14
[xvi] Chan et al. Human exposure assessment of fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis L.): A UK based issue? Food Research International 51 (2013) 564–570
[xvii] Mansfield, Fluoride consumption: The effect of water fluoridation, Fluoride 43(4)223-231 Oct-December 2010,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

FLUORIDE, FREE RADICALS AND CANCER INCIDENCE IN EUROPEAN REGION


The Republic of Ireland is the only European Country with a Mandatory policy of Artificial Fluoridation of Drinking Water. 

The U.S National Academies, National Research Council Scientific Committee stated in 2006 that Fluoride increases inflammatory responses in humans, causes cellular oxidative stress, increases the production of free radicals in the body and impairs immunity. 

It is an accepted scientific fact that excessive FREE RADICALS cause cellular mutations increasing the risk of developing cancer. 

It is also accepted that inflammation is a risk factor for many cancers. 

Fluoride is also an inhibitor of melatonin, an important free radical scavenger. Reduced melatonin production from fluoride exposure further increases the risk of developing cancer.  

According the World Health Organisation the Republic of Ireland has almost twice the cancer incidence of the European Region.




Monday, November 11, 2013

HOW WATER FLUORIDATION INCREASES THYROID DISORDERS, INCREASING RISK OF DIABETES, NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS, STROKE AND CANCER.


 



Ireland has a major health problem with thyroid disorders. Iodine deficiency is also a recognised public health problem in Ireland.

According to the UCD School of Medicine dietary intake of iodine by Irish women is significantly less than the level recommended by the World Health Organisation. [1]

The U.S National Academy of Sciences and Medicine noted in their 2006 report on fluoride in Drinking water that:

“In humans, effects on thyroid function were associated with fluoride exposures of 0.05-0.13 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was adequate and 0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was inadequate”

This equates to a total fluoride intake of 0.7 - 3.5mg per day where thyroid function may be impaired. These amounts are greatly exceeded in fluoridated communities and by a significant percentage of the population in Ireland due to consumption of tea made with fluoridated water.

According to data from the World Health Organisation, the US National Academies, the European Food Safety Authority and a recent publication in journal Food Research International, four cups of tea made with fluoridated water can contribute up to 9mg fluoride per day. [3]

Given these findings there is absolutely no doubt that drinking artificially fluoridated water greatly increases the health risks for individuals with thyroid disorders.

According to the U.S. National Research Council Scientific Committee “Secondary hyperparathyroidism in response to calcium deficiency may contribute to a number of diseases, including osteoporosis, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, degenerative neurological diseases, diabetes mellitus, some forms of muscullar dystrophy and colorectal cancer.” [4]


The Prevalence of diabetes in the Republic of Ireland is 60% higher than in non fluoridated Northern Ireland.
The Prevalence of hypertension is 30% higher in RoI compared to NI.
The Prevalence of coronary heart disease is 40% higher in RoI compared to NI.
The HSE has reported that over 725,000 in the RoI suffer from a neurological condition.
Irish female colorectal cancer incidence is 15% higher than the EU average and males 11% higher.[5]

[1] http://www.ucd.ie/news/aug06/080306_iodine.htm

[2] U.S National Research Council of the National Academies of Medicine and Science, Fluoride in Drinking Water, 2006, page 263

[3] Laura Chan et al. Human exposure assessment of fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis L.) Food Research International 51 (2013) 564–570

[4] U.S National Research Council of the National Academies of Medicine and Science, Fluoride in Drinking Water, 2006, page 251

[5] Cancer in Ireland 2011: Annual report of the National Cancer Registry

Fluoride and reduced Melatonin, Implications for Public health





The U.S National Academies of Medicine and Science in their 2006 report on Fluoride in Drinking water stated:
“Fluoride is likely to cause decreased melatonin production and to have other effects on normal pineal function, which in turn could contribute to a variety of effects in humans”. The National Academies also documented, that reduction in melatonin in humans can result in early sexual maturity in adolescents, increased physiological effects including anxiety disorders, psychiatric disease, sudden death syndrome and a reduction in the ability of the body to fight cancer; [Note: melatonin is a free radical scavenger which helps fight cancer.] [1]

According to the Journal of Psychiatry Ireland has the highest prevalence of depressive disorders in Europe. [2]

The cancer incidence in Ireland is 85% above the European Region [3]

The incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in the Republic of Ireland is 300% above that of non fluoridated Northern Ireland. [4]

[1] U.S National Research Council of the National Academies of Medicine and Science, Fluoride in Drinking Water, 2006, Pages 252-256
[2] Depressive disorders in Europe: prevalence figures from the ODIN study, The British Journal of Psychiatry (2001) 179: 308-316
[3]WHO European Region, Cancer Prevalence 2010.
[4] Kevin P Balanda and Jane Wilde, Inequalities in Mortality, A Report on All Ireland Mortality, 1989-99, Institute of Public Health, 2001.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Inaccurate statements by CEO of Food Safety Authority of Ireland on Fluoridation.


The Irish Examiner reported (Tuesday, October 15, 2013) that Professor Alan Reilly, chief executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), told Cork County Council that the agency did not believe there was any risk to the public from the fluoridation of water. This statement is not correct.

The safety of fluoride is based on a number factors, firstly the daily exposure of the population to fluoride from all sources including water, food and beverages, dental products as well as the fluoride concentration in medication, which may be high in fluoride. In addition the use of other substances such as Teflon coated pots and pans, which are made from fluoridated compounds, leach fluoride into food that is prepared using these products. 

Secondly, the safety is based on the solubility of the chemical compound used to artificially fluoridate our drinking water supplies. Hexafluorosuilicic Acid is the chemical used in Ireland to fluoridate our drinking water, unlike naturally occurring calcium fluoride it is almost 100% soluble in drinking water while calcium fluoride is largely insoluble. What this means for the layperson, is that the fluoride concentration in ones blood and urine is much higher when one consumes artificially fluoridated water.  

Thirdly, safety it is based on the total lifetime exposure of the individual to fluoride. When you ingest fluoride most of it remains in your body accumulating in your skeletal system as well as in your organs including your heart, kidneys, lungs, pineal gland, other soft tissues over your lifetime. It is also now well established that poor nutrition and deficiencies in vitamin D, Vitamin C and calcium increases the absorption of fluoride in humans.

Fourthly, the safety of a chemical is based on epidemiological and toxicological data on the chemicals used for fluoridation of drinking water as well as population based studies examining how fluoride may impact on the most vulnerable in our society with impaired immunity, kidney function, poor nutrition or compromised health. No studies exist providing data on the toxicological and epidemiological effects of Hexafluorosilicic Acid, it is for this very reason that the European Commission recently banned the use of Hexafluorosilicic Acid for use as a biocidal product in the EU. Furthermore in almost 50years of fluoridating the entire Irish population not a single study has been conducted to evaluate the wider health implications for public health, that is apart from dental decay. Yet, remarkably without any toxicological data to support its safe use the FSAI and the HSE continue to allow this chemical to be injected into our drinking water to be consumed by all our citizens. As for dental decay, every single country in western Europe that is non-fluoridated has better oral health and less dental decay than Ireland, without ever needing to fluoridate their drinking water supplies.


Finally, the opinion of Professor Reilly and the FSAI, is based on what is now known to be seriously flawed data based on an erroneous study conducted in Ireland by the FSAI measuring fluoride levels in foodstuffs. The Total diet Study published by the FSAI in 2011 underestimated the fluoride contend of important foodstuffs known to contain high levels of fluoride by over 1000%. This alarming finding has been confirmed by independent testing conducted by myself, as well as by recent scientific evidence on human dietary exposure to fluoride undertaken by the Biological Sciences Research Group at University of Derby and the Centre for Radiation, Health Protection Agency, UK, which was published recently in the peer reviewed journal Food Research International (Food Research International 51 (2013) 564–570). These scientific measurements on fluoride content in foodstuffs are supported by over thirty additional published scientific peer reviewed studies including data from the World Health Organization itself. 

What all of this data unequivocally shows is that a large percentage of the adult Irish population are exposed to excess levels of fluoride that can lead to detrimental health effects and that fluoridation of drinking water is significantly contributing to overexposure of this toxin.

Professor Reilly and the FSAI are aware of this, as I have personally provided the data to the FSAI. 

I have myself just returned from an International conference on Fluoride held in the prestigious Tehran Medical University, where I personally presented information to medical and scientific experts from throughout Europe and Asia demonstrating that the exposure of the Irish population to fluoride has resulted in unprecedented disease burdens among adults and children in our population, this has occurred to such an extent that today, 1 in 3 adults now suffer from a chronic disease, principally inflammatory diseases, and children in Ireland have the highest burdens of childhood inflammatory respiratory diseases in the world.

There is no question but that over exposure to fluoride is the main contributor to this disease burden. The United States National Research Council of the National Academies stated in 2006 in their major review of fluoride in drinking water, that "fluoride is a pro inflammatory agent that increases the inflammatory response in humans."

Inflammation is the main contributor to degenerative diseases in humans including cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many other neural disorders.  All of these diseases have higher prevalence in fluoridated Ireland than in non-fluoridated countries. In short, the burden of disease in our communities demonstrates the very safety of water fluoridation. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Populations Dietary exposure to Fluoride



Eighteen months ago I authored a comprehensive report which was submitted to the Irish Government and the EU highlighting concerns regarding the high level of dietary fluoride exposure of the Irish population from all sources, including fluoridated water, foods, beverages and medications, and its possibly association with chronic disease burdens prevalent in the Republic of Ireland.

The World Health Organization (WHO) have repeatedly stated that prior to commencement of water fluoridation programmes the total dietary intake of the population must be accurately determined for all sectors of society.[1]

As far back as 1994 the WHO also recommended that in countries where fluoridation of water was practised that the fluoride content of foodstuffs and beverages should be labelled on products so as to ensure that consumers were aware of their total dietary intake and avoid toxic overexposure to fluoride.[2]

Neither of these recommendations were ever implemented in Ireland; yet we are the only country within the European continent with a mandatory water fluoridation policy.

What is particularly alarming is that Irish people are the worlds largest consumers of tea and tea contains very high levels of fluoride. The WHO have reported it may contain up to 8.6mg/L.[3]  In Ireland we make our tea using fluoridated water further adding to out total dietary intake. 

 




The European Food Safety Authority (2006) have reported that for individuals who live in a fluoridated country, if they use fluoridated tap water to prepare food and beverages they would consume on average an additional 3.5-4mg of fluoride per day, compared to individuals living in a non-fluoridated country. This does not account for additional sources of fluorides such as from toothpaste, tobacco or medications all of which may contain high levels of fluoride.

The Minister for Health has stated; based on erroneous data from the Food Safety Authority, that the average fluoride intake for an adult in Ireland is approximately 1.65mg/day from all sources. Not only is this illogical but it is scientifically impossible. The data which the FSAI based their calculations on are out by a factor of ten (1000%) or more. 





For example the FSAI reported that the fluoride content of tea in Ireland was between 0.4 and 0.7mg/L, when made with deionised water. This data is clearly incorrect.  As a scientist I have independently tested black teas available on the market in Ireland and found high levels of fluoride in these products (2 - 5.6mg/l), I have verified this data with third party laboratory testing.

The measured levels I found are comparable with all published data worldwide over the past twenty years. Furthermore, the results I obtained are comparable to current data for the UK as recently published in the peer reviewed journal Food Research International (2013).[4] In this study researchers tested thirty eight tea products in order to assess human exposure to fluoride from the consumption of tea in the UK. What they determined is that basic black teas on their own contained between 75 and 120% of the recommended upper daily intake of fluoride. Certain popular brands of tea contained 6mg or more of fluoride, when prepared with deionised water.

A published study in 2004 evaluating the safety of fluoride content in black teas warned of the risk of chronic fluoride overexposure for heavy black tea drinkers in areas with water fluoridation.[5]  Published research in 2012 found a causal link between high consumption of tea and prostate cancer.[6]

There is no question but that large sectors of the Irish population are chronically overexposed to fluoride, a fact made worse by mandatory fluoridation of our water supplies. This concern was raised by WHO who noted that in countries with large water-fluoridation programmes, fluoridated water may be used in food processing, raising the fluoride content of the processed food above that of products for which unfluoridated water has been used.

What recent experience has taught us is that regulatory authorities in Ireland have failed to protect the public interest. The failures of the financial regulator in the recent past cost this country dearly, the failure of the health authorities to properly examine water fluoridation may have cost this nation its health.  The failure of our broadcasting and media organisations to report this with one exception being Hotpress magazine, has added to this travesty.

Before the financial crash the few independent voices raising concern were ignored and ridiculed. I have experienced the same regarding fluoride yet despite this more and more medical physicians, scientists, health and dental professionals are demanding an end to this practice in the few countries that still support such a blunt and dangerous public health policy.



[1] The 1971-2003 World Health Organization International Standards for Drinking-water.
[2] Fluorides And Oral Health, World Health Organization,Technical Report Series 846, 1994.
[3] Fluorides And Oral Health, World Health Organization,Technical Report Series 846, 1994.
[4] Laura Chan, Aradhana Mehra, Sohel Saikat, Paul Lynch, Human exposure assessment of fluoride from tea (Camellia sinensis L.): A UK based issue? Journal of Food Research International 51 (2013) 564–570.
[5] Cao et al. Safety evaluation on fluoride content in black tea, Food Chemistry 88 (2004) 233–236

[6] Kashif Shafiquea, Philip McLooneb, Khaver Qureshic, Hing Leungd, Carole Harta & David S. Morrisonb. Tea Consumption and the Risk of Overall and Grade Specific Prostate Cancer: A Large Prospective Cohort Study of Scottish Men. Nutrition and Cancer Volume 64, Issue 6, 2012. pp. 790–797

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Fluoride levels in Beers and Stouts sold in Ireland










Beer can contain significant levels of fluoride and can in themselves depending on consumption be a significant contribution to the dietary intake of fluoride. For many adults especially those with alcohol addictions or for individuals who consumer relatively large volumes of beers or stouts regularly, the dietary intake of fluorides from this source may significantly exceed that of consuming drinking water.

No accurate database is available providing comprehensive data on fluoride content of beverages, foodstuffs or medications in Ireland. Prior to 2011 no data was available from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) on fluoride levels in foods and beverages. This is despite the fact that the World Health Organisation recommend that prior to commencement of water fluoridation programmes the total dietary exposure of the population for all sectors must be accurately determined, so as to avoid over chronic exposure of the population to fluoride. The WHO Guidelines for Drinking Water recommend that “when setting national standards for fluoride that it is particularly important to consider volume of water intake and intake of fluoride from other sources.”[i] 

The WHO has consistently and correctly stated that "in the assessment of the safety of a water supply with respect to the fluoride concentration, the total daily fluoride intake by the individual must be considered." Similarly the WHO have advised  “that in countries with large water-fluoridation programmes, fluoridated water may be used in food processing, raising the fluoride content of the processed food above that of products for which unfluoridated water has been used. This is particularly important when baby foods are prepared and means that details of the nutrients, including fluoride, should be printed on the packages.”[ii]


It is deeply worrying that despite this recommendation from the WHO no proper dietary fluoride risk assessment has been undertaken in the ROI and that no database is readably available for the public to examine or calculate their fluoride exposure form foodstuffs and beverages.  As with any foodstuff or beverage such as tea, any product produced in Ireland that uses public water supplies will have elevated fluoridated levels. This includes soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and fruit drinks. Despite the warning of the WHO no data on the fluoride content is provided on any packaging in Ireland.

The first attempt to measure the fluoride exposure of the Irish population was undertaken by the  FSAI in 2011. The Total Diet Survey reported fluoride levels in beers sold in Ireland of less than 0.05mg per litre. No data was provided on the brands of beverages tested.
 
To check the accuracy of the data provided in the FSAI report independent scientific testing of forty two alcoholic beverages was undertaken following the American Society of Testing and Material (ASTM) and EPA standard methodologies for fluoride determination. The results conclusively demonstrated that the levels of fluoride reported by the FSAI were grossly inaccurate. A literature review of published data supported this observation.
In contrast to the data provided by the FSAI, Warnakulasuriya et al. (2002) reported mean fluoride concentrations of 0.08–0.71mg/L in beers available in Great Britain; with one Irish beer contained fluoride at 1.12mg/L.[iii] 

The authors of the latter study concluded that beers brewed in locations with high fluoride water levels may contribute significantly to the daily fluoride intake, particularly in alcohol misusing subjects and this may contribute to alcohol-associated bone disease. Marier and Rose (1996) reported that the fluoride content of beer varies according to the fluoride content of process water.[iv] At 0-0.2 ppm fluoride in drinking/process water the fluoride content of beer has been measured at 0.3mg/L. For 1ppm process water 0.7ppm was recorded. 

 The U.S Department of Agriculture (2005) similarly published measured fluoride levels in beers and wines; the mean  concentrations for beers was 0.45 mg/l, 1.05mg/l for red wine and 2.01mg/l for white wine respectively.[v] 

The NRC scientific committee (2006) reported that the typical fluoride levels in beers ranged from 0.08 - 1 mg/L and wine 0.2 – 3.0 mg/L.[vi]

Similarly the WHO reported that Dabeka and Mckenzie (1995)[vii] measured fluoride level of beers in Canada with a range from 0.2mg/l to 0.96mg/L. [viii]
Independent testing of alcoholic beverages undertaken for this study measured the fluoride content in approximately 40 beers and stouts available on the Irish market. The highest fluoride levels in beers produced were as expected from fluoridated countries (Ireland and New Zealand) or countries

FLUORIDE MEASUREMENT PROCEDURE

Fluoride content of all samples was determined by direct potentiometric methods using a fluoride ion selective electrode. The potentiometric technique is considered the simplest and most reliable for fluoride determination. This method utilizes a fluoride selective membrane (Europium doped lanthanum fluoride single crystal cell) immersed in the solutions after buffering with TISAB (Total Ionic Strength Adjustment Buffer) reagent. Readings on the ion analyzer (Extech EXFL700 fluoride meter) were recorded after 3 min of infusion. 

The EXFL700 allows the users to follow the American Society of Testing and Material (ASTM) and EPA standard methodology using TISAB reagents and certified standard solutions. The accuracy of the instrument is ± 3% of reading or ± 0.1ppm (whichever is greater). Calibration standards were prepared using fluoride standard solution (certified 100ppm Eutech fluoride standard) added to plastic labware and diluted with deionized water. All samples and standards used were at the same temperature for precise measurement.

RESULTS

 



The results conclusively demonstrate that the fluoride levels in beers and stouts produced in Ireland vary between 0.4 and 0.8mg/l. 

Similar levels were measured in New Zealand beers where fluoridated water was used in the production process.

This illustrates that the level of fluoride in beers reported by the FSAI was in the order of 16 times below the scientifically accurate measured level.



[i] The 1971-2003 World Health Organization International Standards for Drinking-water.
[ii] Fluorides And Oral Health, World Health Organization,  Technical Report Series 846, 1994.
[iii] Warnakulasuriya S, Harris C, Gelbier S, Keating J, Peters T. 2002. Fluoride content of alcoholic beverages. Clin Chim Acta 320:1–4.
[iv] Marier, J.R. & Rose, D.  (1966)  The fluoride content of some  foods and beverages - a brief survey using a modified  Zr-SPADNS method.   J. food Sci., 31: 941-946.
[v]USDA National Fluoride Database of Selected Beverages and Foods, Release 2, December 2005
[vi]] National Research Council of the National Academies, Fluoride in Drinking Water,2006, Page 40
[vii]Dabeka, R.W. and McKenzie, A.D. 1995 Survey of lead, cadmium, fluoride, nickel and cobalt in food composites and estimation of dietary intakes of these elements by Canadians in 1986–1988. J. Assoc. Off. Anal. Chem. Int., 78, 897–909.
[viii] J. Fawell et al. World Health Organisation Fluoride in Drinking Water, 2006