Email sent to Clutha District Council 19th November 2019

Dear Mayor and Councillors

It has come to our attention that the Clutha Council has exceeded the Maximum Acceptable Level of 1.5ppm for fluoride three times this year. Fluoride levels for Tapanui show that in February and March this year levels reached 2ppm. In March the level 1.9 to 2ppm was maintained for four days at least. This is a serious breach of the NZ Drinking Water Standards. It is particularly worrisome for what effect this may have had on babies exposed in utero and those being bottle fed.

In the last few months there have been two really important studies on fluoride and the brain published, and another one has been accepted for publication which may be out any day now. All three are from Canada where about 40% of the population is supplied fluoridated water. Their level is set at a maximum of 0.7ppm whereas the MoH recommend councils fluoridate at a target of 0.85ppm. They are all Government funded studies.

1. In August, a ground-breaking study by Green et al published in JAMA Pediatrics found an association between Canadian boys exposed to fluoride in-utero and significantly lowered IQ (4.5 IQ points). Both girls and boys were affected by post natal exposure.

  1. Published three weeks ago, this study found a strong association and diagnoses of ADHD,  Adolescents living in fluoridated places had a 3-fold greater odds of being diagnosed with ADHD as those in non-fluoridated areas.  This finding suggests that fluoridated water may cause the majority of all ADHD cases.

    3. And another study has just been accepted for publication so will be out soon.  They found that for every 1 mg/L increase in tap water fluoride there was a 9 IQ point decrease in the formula-fed infants but almost no decrease in exclusively breastfed infants.  Breastmilk is highly protective against fluoride exposure to the baby because concentrations of fluoride in breastmilk are at least 100 times lower than in formula made from fluoridated water.

    Given the increase in good quality, robust studies that are finding an association between fluoride and neurological harm we suggest it is time the Clutha Council reassess its support for this costly, ineffective and potentially very harmful practice. We would like this issue brought to the Council table.

    Please advise what action will be taken.

Mary Byrne
National Coordinator
Fluoride Free New Zealand

JAMA Pediatatrics editor’s note

JAMA Pediatrics and JAMA Network Open Resourcing Journal editors’ Podcast and Transcript.

World-renowned neurotoxicity expert Dr. David Bellinger editorial

Interviews with lead author Christine Till on Canadian TV

Interview with another lead author, Rivka Green on Medpage Today.

Paul Connett’s rebuttal of unfounded criticisms

The Five Mother-Offspring Fluoride Studies

According to the Washington State Department of Health, there are NO peer reviewed studies that suggest that fluoride is safe during pregnancy.

Altmetrics provides details about the coverage a study is getting from all sources. As at 25th August 2019, this study had a metric of 1843 which put it in the top 5% of cited/mentioned studies published in JAMA Pediatrics.