NTP Proposes Landmark Fluoride/Brain Study
(Information supplied by the FAN bulletin December 11, 2015)
Thanks to your support, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has been able to raise public awareness about the serious, permanent risks that fluoride poses to the developing brain. This was once a lonely battle — but, fortunately, that is starting to change.
In 2012, a team of Harvard scientists published a meta-review of available fluoride/IQ research (including many studies that FAN had translated into English) which concluded that elevated fluoride exposure is consistently associated with reductions in childhood intelligence.
In 2014, a study in the prestigious medical journal The Lancet concluded that fluoride is one of only 11 chemicals that can now be classified as a known developmental neurotoxin in humans.
And now, in what could be the most significant scientific development of them all, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) has announced that there is now sufficient evidence linking fluoride to impaired brain development to warrant an NTP investigation into fluoride’s detrimental effects on learning and memory.
What is the NTP?
The NTP was established in 1978 to develop cutting-edge scientific tools to investigate “concerns about the human health effects of chemical agents in our environment.” The NTP was created because “Many human diseases were thought to be directly or indirectly related to chemical exposures; therefore, it was thought that decreasing or eliminating human exposures to those chemicals would help prevent some human disease and disability.”
NTP Proposes Fluoride/Brain Study
On October 7, 2015, the NTP proposed using its cutting-edge scientific tools to study the “developmental neurotoxicity” of fluoride (i.e., the toxic effects that fluoride causes to the developing brain).
NTP’s proposal was made based on a nomination submitted earlier this year by FAN dental adviser Dr. Bill Osmunson. The purpose of NTP’s announcement was to solicit information on both (1) the current state of exposure to fluoride in the U.S., and (2) the current state of research (past, present, and future planned studies) on fluoride and the brain.
FAN Responds to NTP’s Proposal By Providing State-of-the-Art Knowledge on Fluoride Neurotoxicity
As we noted in our letter:
“FAN has identified 314 studies that have investigated fluoride’s effects on the brain and nervous system. This includes 181 animal studies, which can be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/pes5gq7; 112 human studies, which can be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/ndqyhtc; and 21 cell studies, which can be accessed at: http://tinyurl.com/osvqtjs. The majority of these studies were published subsequent to the NRC’s 2006 review, including 124 of the 181 animal studies, 63 of the 112 human studies, and 12 of the 21 cell studies.”
Since proponents of fluoridation like to claim that fluoride only reduces IQ at enormously high doses, we made sure to draw NTPs attention to 23 specific studies where IQ reductions were found at levels at, or below, EPA’s current “safe” drinking water level (4 ppm) for fluoride, with a few studies even finding IQ loss at the so-called “optimal” levels that are added to water for fluoridation.
FAN’s submission included a great deal of other information as well, and I encourage people with an interest in the latest fluoride science to read it in full.
NTP Holds Hearing on Proposed Fluoride/Brain Study
On December 2, NTP’s Board of Scientific Counselors held a hearing in which it considered the proposed fluoride/brain study. Thankfully, Doug Cragoe videotaped the entire hearing, which you can watch online here.
At the hearing, Dr. Kristina Thayer, of NTP’s Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT), outlined the studies that NTP seeks to conduct on fluoride. These studies include (1) a systematic review of the existing research on fluoride’s developmental neurotoxicity, including human, animal, and cellular studies, and (2) NTP’s own animal experiments that will be conducted to clarify fluoride’s effects on learning and memory and the doses that cause these effects.
After hearing Dr. Thayer’s presentation, the NTP’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) provided very positive feedback, with the consensus being that the study was of “medium-to-high priority” for the agency. The positive response from the BSC augurs very well for NTP formally approving the study — which we expect will happen within the next few months.
The NTP Study = A Crack in the Veneer of Fluoride’s “Safety”
Fluoridation proponents never tire of claiming that “thousands of studies” prove the safety of fluoridation, and that the “science is settled.” The NTP’s proposed study puts a lie to these claims as it confirms that (1) a substantial body of scientific research indicates that fluoride negatively impacts brain development, and (2) despite our widespread exposures to this neurotoxin, government health officials have little idea whether our current exposures are actually safe.
The NTP proposal thus puts in stark relief what has been known for 70 years: that fluoridation of water is a massive, uncontrolled human experiment that forces hundreds of millions of Americans to ingest a very dangerous chemical in every drop of tap water they drink, and the countless processed foods and beverages made with this (intentionally contaminated) water.
FAN Will Be Following the NTP Review Closely
FAN will be monitoring the NTP review very closely as it proceeds. As we did during the National Research Council’s fluoride review from 2003 to 2006, we will be providing NTP with the latest, most up-to-date and comprehensive information available. We are also mindful that entrenched political and industrial interests stand to be affected by NTP’s review, and we will be vigilant in monitoring NTP’s review for any hints of political interference, just as we did during Harvard’s NIH-funded study of fluoride/osteosarcoma. And, throughout it all, we will be keeping you apprised of the latest developments. If there comes a point when public action seems necessary to ensure a fair review, we will let you know. So stay tuned — this one could get very interesting.
Interesting Quote from the December 5, National Toxicology Program Committee Meeting
“I just want to make the comment that both John and I served on the HHS effort that revised what the recommendation was and brought it down. From a high as possibly 1.2 down to .7. And part of that had to do with the fact that when you looked at all of the literature there was evidence for effects occurring certainly as low as about 2.5, maybe lower than that and going from 1.2 to 2.5 is only a margin of exposure of about 2 fold. And we know nothing, as I said before about differential susceptibility and vulnerability that occurs within the population. And that was part of the justification for taking it down to .7 which actually was kind of the low end of what had been recommended in 1962 as the low end of the range for public health protection.” Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D. Director, NIEHS & NTP