Published in the Kapiti News

January 2013

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    1. The fluoride chemical added to drinking water is approved for human ingestion by:
      1. the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
      2. the New Zealand Ministry of Health.
      3. no one.
    2. The NZ Ministry of Health promote the addition of fluoride to drinking water to:
      1. improve its quality.
      2. make it safe to drink.
      3. treat a disease (dental decay).
    3. The fluoride chemical added to drinking water is:
      1. manufactured in approved/licensed premises.
      2. a naturally occurring mineral.
      3. a toxic waste chemical from fertiliser factories.
    4. Drinking fluoridated water:
      1. damages teeth causing dental fluorosis (mottling of teeth).
      2. makes teeth much stronger.
      3. has no adverse effect on any bodily organ.
    5. Fluoride is:
      1. an acute poison worse than lead.
      2. an essential nutrient.
      3. not poisonous.
    6. Napier is unfluoridated and Hastings is fluoridated. Which town has less dental decay?
      1. Hastings
      2. Napier
      3. Both are similar
    7. What percentage of the world’s population drinks artificially fluoridated water?
      1. 5%
      2. 45%
      3. 95%
    8. International government studies into the long-term health effects of water fluoridation:
      1. have shown the practice has no adverse health effects.
      2. have been endorsed by the New Zealand Ministry of Health.
      3. are yet to be conducted.

  1. When used to treat a disease, the US Food and Drug Administration defines fluoride as a:
    1. nutrient.
    2. supplement.
    3. drug.
  2. Which one of the following is NOT an essential nutrient?
    1. Iodine
    2. Fluoride
    3. Vitamin D
  3. For babies, fluoridated water provides:
    1. no benefits.
    2. a lifelong resistance from dental decay.
    3. a supplement missing in mother’s milk.
  4. Which is the latest country to outlaw water fluoridation?
    1. Sweden
    2. China
    3. Israel
  5. Dental decay is primarily caused by a:
    1. fluoride deficiency.
    2. poor diet.
    3. trace element deficiency.
  6. Healthy kidneys excrete 50 – 60% of the fluoride ingested each day, the remainder:
    1. largely accumulates in bones and the pineal gland.
    2. has no adverse effect on the body.
    3. helps to strengthen tooth enamel.
  7. In fluoridated communities, who receives the highest dose of fluoride?
    1. The elderly
    2. Teenagers
    3. Bottle-fed babies
  8. Dental fluorosis (mottling of teeth):
    1. is purely cosmetic.
    2. is not caused by ingesting fluoride.
    3. is caused by ingesting fluoride.
  9. If you live in an unfluoridated area, the NZ Ministry of Health:
    1. recommend taking fluoride tablets.
    2. do not recommend taking fluoride tablets.
    3. recommend you move to a fluoridated area.
  10. When fluorides are administered to a child:
    1. by a dental practitioner, parental consent is required.
    2. via the community water supply, parental consent is not required.
    3. both the above are correct.
  11. How many studies have found that elevated fluoride exposure is associated with reduced IQ?
    1. None.
    2. 7.
    3. 37.
  12. The most cost effective way for industry to dispose of silicofluoride hazardous waste is to:
    1. dispose of it in a local landfill.
    2. dispose of it at a licensed hazardous waste facility.
    3. call it a product and sell it for dosing community water supplies.

Answers, discussion and references


    1. Answer: (c) The US FDA lists fluoride chemicals as “unapproved drugs”. The NZ Ministry of Health has never issued an approval for silicofluorides, although water fluoridation is Ministry policy.
    2. Answer: (c) Dental decay (caries) is classified as a disease by the Ministry of Health. Treatment or prevention of caries is considered medical treatment under the Medicines Act 1981
    3. Answer: (c) Silicofluorides do not occur in nature. Hydrofluorosilicic Acid is formed in the effluent scrubbers of superphosphate plants. Apart from filtering it is sold unrefined for water fluoridation. Alternatively it is converted into the sodium salt for “dry feeder” type fluoridation equipment, still unrefined. No licence is required to produce these chemicals as they are a waste product that has to be disposed of.
    4. Answer: (a). Dental fluorosis is caused by excessive fluoride during the early years of life. Although fluorapatite (fluoridated tooth enamel) is harder than hydroxyapatite (unfluoridated enamel) it is no more resistant to decay. (References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2001). “Recommendations for Using Fluoride to Prevent and Control Dental Caries in the United States” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 50(RR14): 1-42; Gaard B, Rolla G , Ruben J. Dejkman T , Arentjs J. “Microradiographic study of demineralization of shark enamel in a human caries mode” Scand J Dent Res 1988; 96: 209-211.) Many pieces of research show that fluoride has adverse effects on bodily organs (see elsewhere on this web site).
    5. Answer (a). Silicofluorides used in water fluoridation are classified as “acutely toxic” and in NZ as Schedule 7 Dangerous Poison. A lethal dose for an adult is between 2 teaspoons and 1 ½ tablespoons. On the international poisons listing scale, fluorine, lead and arsenic are between levels 4 (very toxic) and 5 (extremely toxic), with fluorine being slightly higher than lead (Clinical Toxicology of Commercial Products LD50 data – 1984)
    6. Answer: (c). From the time of the Hastings experiment in the 1950s until 2005 decay rates in both cities were essentially the same, taking into account minor annual fluctuations. Since 2005 there have been changes in the 12 year-old tooth decay figures in these cities, such that Hastings now has marginally less tooth decay than Napier. The Hawke’s Bay DHB cannot explain these fluctuations, but they are not related to fluoridation as any benefit to 12 year olds would have been realised by 1966 (Hastings was fluoridated in 1954).
    7. Answer: (a). A full list of countries and populations drinking fluoridated water can be found here.
    8. Answer: (c). The NZ Ministry of Health constantly repeats the propaganda that “60 years of research has shown fluoridation to be safe”. However, this was just a PR statement by the US Centers for Disease Control, which the CDC refuses to scientifically substantiate. WHO states in its 2006 report that fluoridating countries should monitor the population for adverse health effects including dental fluorosis. The only government research done is on dental fluorosis (2005 and 2008 in NZ), The NZ Ministry of Health claims that this is not an adverse health effect. The NZ research shows that water fluoridation doubles the rate of dental fluorosis. The only record of a government attempt to study adverse effects was from the Newburg-Kingston study in the 1940s, which showed some adverse effects. This was never completed or published. The only known study to be published is a privately funded study by Declan Waugh in 2013, comparing fluoridated Souther Ireland with unfluoridated Nortrhern Ireland. This showed that water fluoridation dramatically increased the incidence of all major diseases plaguing mankind.

    1. Answer (c). “Sodium fluoride used for therapeutic effect would be a drug, not a mineral nutrient. Fluoride has not been determined essential to human health. A minimum daily requirement for sodium fluoride has not been established.” US Food & Drug Administration, August 15, 1963.
    2. Answer (b). There is no known requirement for fluorine in any bodily process the requirement for classification as a nutrient.
      “These contradictory results do not justify a classification of fluorine as an essential element, according to accepted standards.” National Academy of Sciences. (1989); Recommended Dietary Allowances: 10th Edition. Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy Press. p. 235.
      “The United States Public Health Service does not say that sodium fluoride is an essential mineral nutrient.” U.S. Public Health Service, May 10, 1966.
      The Australia NZ Nutrient Reference Values document says that two (related) researchers believe fluorine should be considered a nutrient because it (allegedly) benefits teeth. This acknowledges that it is not currently considered a nutrient.
    3. Answer: (a). The only benefit from fluoride is by topical application to the tooth after it has erupted into the mouth – if you have no teeth you receive no benefit. (Featherstone J.D. “Prevention and reversal of dental caries: role of low level fluoride” Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, 1999; 27: 31 – 40) The benefit is only in assisting remineralisation of the enamel if it has begun to soften. Fluorine does not make healthy tooth enamel more resistant to decay in the future. (Gaard B, Rolla G , Ruben J. Dejkman T , Arentjs J. “Microradiographic study of demineralization of shark enamel in a human caries mode”. Scand J Dent Res 1988; 96: 209-211). The human body deliberately filters out fluorine when producing milk, even if the mother is fluoridated.
    4. Answer: (c). The Israeli Health Minister introduced legislation in 2013 that makes fluoridation illegal from April 2014. (The legislation was apparently initially intended to simply end mandatory fluoridation. However, the Israeli Court has ruled that it in fact makes fluoridation illegal entirely. We understand that the Minister’s move followed discussions with Declan Waugh over is research showing many-fold increases in al major health issues in fluoridated, as opposed to unfluoridated, countries. The Health Ministry, in private correspondence, cites ethical concerns,). Sweden made fluoridation illegal in 1972 by repealing a 1962 amendment to its water laws that allowed for a 10 year trial. China practices defluoridation in some areas due to adverse health effects.

  1. Answer: (b). Dentist and researcher Weston A Price demonstrated that NZ Maori, Polynesians, and other aboriginal races had essentially no tooth decay before adopting a European diet. Adopting this diet destroyed their health and teeth within one to two generations. (See Nutritional and Physical Degeneration, 1939). These groups drank water with typically less than 0.3 ppm fluoride. Tooth decay is caused by acid attack, produced primarily by the bacteria Strep Mutans, as a result of high sugar consumption.
  2. Answer: (a) it is universally accepted that fluoride accumulates in calcifying material, mainly the bones. Research also shows that it accumulates in the pineal gland which is a calcifying gland. (J Luke “Fluoride Deposition in the Aged Human Pineal Gland” (2001) 35 Caries Res 128.)
  3. Answer: (c). Dose is quoted as mg/kg body weight/ day. Water fluoridation is designed to deliver 1 mg of fluoride per day to children and adults. For an average 70kg adult this is 1/70= 0.014 mg/kg-bw/day. For a 50 kg teenager this is 0.02 mg/kg-bwt/day. Bottle fed infants consume much more liquid in relation to their body weight than adults. An infant of 3.5 kg consuming 600 mls formula per day at 0.8ppm fluoride (typical in NZ) receives 0.137 mg/kg-bw/day – about 10 times as much as an adult.
  4. Answer: (c). Dental fluorosis is only caused by swallowing fluoride. It arises through fluoride poisoning of other body cells, hence is not just cosmetic. It is a symptom of fluorine intoxication. The York Review stated that the higher stages of dental fluorosis could not be dismissed as “just cosmetic”. Dental fluorosis also causes significant levels of psychological self-consciousness in teenagers according to Australian research.
  5. Answer: (b) The Ministry of Health recognises that fluoride does not work by being swallowed. Taking fluoride tablets is therefore of no benefit to teeth.
  6. Answer: (c). When fluoride is applied by a health practitioner it is classified as medical treatment. Parental consent is therefore required in the case if a child. Strictly speaking, this would apply even if the dentist simply told the child to drink a glass of fluoridated water. When fluoride is administered to a child via the public water supply the Ministry of Health claims that it is no longer medical treatment, therefore no parental consent is required (New Health NZ v South Taranaki District Council High Court, New Plymouth registry, CIV-2013-443-107.)
  7. Answer: (c). Most of the 37 studies were conducted in China, where fluoride levels in water are naturally a little higher than the 0.7 to 1 ppm used in water fluoridation. This causes a number of health issues. These studies were translated from Chinese into English by Fluoride Action Network USA. They were the subject of a review by Harvard School of Public Health in 2012. The review concluded the studies collectively established a cause for concern about neuro-developmental toxicity of fluoride.
  8. Answer: (c). Fluoridation compounds are classified as Hazardous Waste. They cannot be disposed of by being dumped in a waste dump, in the sea, or waterways (unless diluted with large amounts of water until their pollutant effect is minimised). The gases that are scrubbed from the effluent stacks (Hydrogen Fluoride and Silicon tetrafluoride) are highly toxic pollutants that cannot be released into the air. That is why they are scrubbed out, then sold as fluoridation chemicals. At that point they are classified as a “by-product”. Rebecca Hamner, Deputy Assistant Administrator For Water U.S. EPA, said in 1983: “In regard to the use of fluosilicic acid … for fluoridation, this agency regards such use as an ideal solution to a long standing [industrial] problem… and water authorities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them.”