Many, if not most, tea drinkers are consuming a dose of fluoride likely to negatively affect their health, according to a study published last week in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Fluoride is also added to half of New Zealand’s water supplies, and it is present in high levels in some foods and drinks. Tea drinkers are at very high risk of fluoride overdose.
Overdosing on fluoride can result in a whole host of diseases including thyroid dysfunction and skeletal fluorosis. The symptoms of first stage skeletal fluorosis are identical to arthritis.
The study measured the amount of fluoride in 54 brands of tea bags sold in the Republic of Ireland and found that most tea drinkers would be exceeding the dose known to cause bone and thyroid problems. New Zealand has a similarly high rate of tea drinkers.
The study highlights the fact that the Ministry of Health and every other organisation that promote fluoridation have no idea what level of fluoride people are already exposed to. Fluoride was deliberately excluded from the recent ‘Total dietary survey’ conducted by the Ministry of Health.
The risk from tea (including the increasingly popular iced tea) is made even worse if you use fluoridated water to make it with – overdose on top of overdose.
Co-author, Dr Mike Godfrey from Tauranga says “As a medical physician one needs to know the nutritional and health status of individuals when considering fluoride exposure as the dose that can affect individuals depends on many factors. For example individuals with diabetes with reduced kidney function, as well as individuals with iodine, calcium or vitamin D deficiency have a much lower tolerance to fluoride. Furthermore, New Zealand and Ireland both have soft water that increases fluoride sensitivity. In Ireland, almost 10% of the general population have diabetes and we have the same problems. We also have high rates of arthritis, hypothyroidism and chronic respiratory diseases all associated with fluoride. Whilst we are not such prodigious tea drinkers three cups of tea could already exceed the MoH Upper Limit. Deliberately adding fluoride to water is therefore a significant health hazard.”
Beer drinking also increases people’s fluoride intake, and Maori and low SES (socioeconomic status) groups are at much greater risk of fluoride toxicity in NZ, particularly in areas which have water Fluoridation, according to the dentist group FIND.
Below is a letter sent to all politicians in Ireland by author and Environmental scientist Declan Waugh. These sentiments need to be applied equally in New Zealand as we have similar exposure to the Irish. In fact MoH recommends a higher level of fluoridation in New Zeland.
As the Ministry of Health seems incapable of assessing this issue objectively, politicians, who are ultimately responsible for fluoridation, need to take urgent action and stop fluoridation to protect the public from further harm
Excerpts from letter sent by Declan Waugh to politicians in the Republic of Ireland, Wednesday the 2nd of March 2016
The major known chronic health problems that have been found to be associated with fluoride toxicity include musculoskeletal disorders, chronic joint pain, arthritis, cardiac dysfunction, endocrine disorders, neuro-toxicity, liver and kidney toxicity.
It is important to be aware that no risk assessment establishing the dietary exposure of the population to fluoride was ever undertaken before commencement of water fluoridation began in Ireland in the 1960s. This is a basic precondition to implementing any such policy. In the intervening 50years no such study has also been conducted. If the State or Department of Health had conducted such a risk assessment, as that enclosed, it could NOT have implemented mandatory fluoridation as the population would already have been found to be at high risk of suffering from chronic fluoride intoxication.
The consequences of their inactions are incalculable, but it unquestionably has contributed to increased morbidity and mortality among the population. This is addressed in some detail in our study, however due to editorial restrictions on space we had to exclude numerous other health outcomes such as cancer, respiratory disease and genetic disorders; which may be included in a follow up study.
Our study includes a risk assessment of fluoride exposure for infants and children and addresses the main concerns, which include neurotoxicity/ renal and kidney damage.
Not mentioned in this current study (due to restrictions in text size), are the numerous published studies which have found a direct association between black tea drinking and breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer and risk of spina biffida when consumed during pregnancy. These issues may form part of a follow up study at a later date.