Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective

A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is:

“The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence”

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. Councils currently implementing this measure can be confident about its public health benefits, while those not currently fluoridating water can consider it a safe and effective option.

The review, entitled Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence, was commissioned by Sir Peter Gluckman, the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and Sir David Skegg, President of the Royal Society of New Zealand at the request of Auckland City on behalf of several local Councils.

“The process for the review was rigorous,” said Sir David Skegg. “It included an extensive evaluation of the scientific literature by a panel of five experts, as well as one lay observer with local body experience. The resulting report was reviewed by three international experts and by the Director of the National Poisons Centre,” he said.

According to Skegg, the panel paid particularly close attention to the claims that fluoride contributes to the risks of cancer, musculoskeletal and hormonal disorders, as well as to claims that it has adverse effects on brain development – these being the major contentions about potential harms that have been made.

“The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence,” said Skegg.

According to the report, the only side effect of fluoridation at the levels used in New Zealand is mild dental fluorosis, which can cause opaque white areas in the tooth enamel that is usually of no cosmetic significance. This is found to be as common in non-fluoridated areas as it is in fluoridated areas, which is probably a reflection of behaviour such as swallowing of fluoridated toothpaste by young children.

“The review finds compelling evidence that fluoridation of the water at the established and recommended levels produces broad and continuing benefits for the dental health of New Zealanders,” said Sir Peter Gluckman. “The public can be reassured on the basis of robust scientific data, that the implementation of this public health measure poses no risk of adverse health effects,” he said.

“It is worth noting that dental health remains a major issue for much of the New Zealand population, particularly in communities of low socioeconomic status.”

From a scientific perspective, the report finds that community water fluoridation provides a cost-effective and equitable way of improving public health.  However, it should be noted that the review does not address the broader philosophical issues that have surrounded fluoridation.

Visit Health Effects of Water Fluoridation for full report, executive summary and a list of contributors.

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18 responses to “Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective

  1. Shame I can’t drink it because it makes me sick . . . I’m missing out on all those lovely benefits? NOT!


  2. Well that covers most of the arguments against fluoride, and the science proves it is harmless to humans in the right concentration, As far as I can see the only argument left is why there were no ‘Experts’ from the activists allowed on the panel, you know the ones, they spend 10 minutes on the FANNZ page


  3. Greenbuzzer provides an excellent example of that which antifluoridationists consider to be valid evidence against fluoridation…..”I can’t drink it because it makes me sick”.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  4. Greenbuzzer you ndo drink it ,it is in everything you eat and drink so if you are sick dont blame the fluoride


  5. Now, come on, Chris. They could have included the “Premier International Authority on Fluoridation”. After all, he has written a book that has been thoroughly reviewed and asserted to be accurate by none other than the “Premier International Authority on Fluoridation”. And he has read 27 Chinese studies. Who could be any more qualified than that?

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  6. sorry Steve I forgot about are esteemed expert They could have had him on the panel, telling them how bad the science is, Maybe he could tell them all about his friends Mercola,s information on chemtrails, and how we canprevent disease by banning vaccines


  7. designafuture

    Not surprised at the derogatory comments from you esteemed pros – one of Ken’s comments came to mind, ‘confirmation bias’. I believe the same process of confirmation was used in regard to lead in gasoline, agent orange and various other toxins that proved to be harmful despite glowing reports from highly qualified experts.
    “It should be noted that the review does not address the broader philosophical issues that have surrounded fluoridation.” Could be you guys may be missing the point?


  8. The bottom line is that Professor Connett has lost another debate .the kind that actually counts and are not a circus.


  9. maybe the panel looked at the actual research and not the emotive rubbish from the activists


  10. the same process of confirmation was used in regard to lead in gasoline, agent orange and various other toxins that proved to be harmful despite glowing reports from highly qualified experts



  11. Designafuture

    To answer your question……no.

    Philosophize to your heart’s content. The public health initiative of water fluoridation prevents decay with no adverse effects.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  12. designafuture

    The review of the scientific evidence for the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies is just another of a long line of such reviews designed to prop up a failing initiative. Recent Waikato University research showed the level of public knowledge on fluoridation was extremely poor and shouldn’t be relied on in the decision making process. Nor I might add should the machinations of the extremists who latch on to coat-tails of the genuine individuals and organisations who challenge the addition of a toxic and untested by-product of fertiliser manufacturing to our drinking water be an excuse for denigration of those who express genuine concern.
    I suggest the science needs revision when a Journal with an editorial board of well qualified experts and a fair and transparent process to rapidly publish important science writes:
    EMBO reports (ER)The mission of the National Institute of Environmental Health Services is investigating the health risks of environmental chemicals and pollutants. There’s a whole zoo of compounds such as DDT, lead, tobacco smoke and many other pollutants that have eventually been banned or regulated after research demonstrated their health hazards. What do you think is now the most important or the most controversial chemicals in terms of human and public health?
    We’re beginning to understand that even very low levels of chemicals may have adverse effects during vulnerable stages, such as development.
    Linda Birnbaum (LB) It’s unequivocal that air pollution from mobile and stationary sources is a major long‐term problem for human health. Much of the research of its effects was focused on the lungs and then included the cardiovascular system and it now expands into studying early‐life effects in utero or early childhood. We’re beginning to understand that even very low levels of chemicals may have adverse effects during vulnerable stages, such as development. A lot of compounds that do not have acute toxicity except at very high doses are also problematic at very low doses where they’re perturbing the endocrine system. Obviously there are windows of higher susceptibility, so in utero stages are extremely important but there are also childhood and puberty. Pregnancy is another potentially vulnerable period: any time your body is undergoing major changes, it will increase the likelihood that you could be affected.

    Finally, you may think the pro fluoride side is on a win with the latest outpouring but look at the growing list of rejections from around the world and ask yourself how so many can be wrong?
    7.9 MILLION August 26, 2014
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    70,000 July 31, 2014
    Montrose, Colorodo
    19,000 July 31, 2014
    Camden, Tennessee
    3,620 June 12, 2014
    Oberon, New South Wales, Australia
    2,500 May 26, 2014
    Boyne, Michigan
    3,800 May 19, 2014
    Buffalo, Missouri
    3,100 May 12, 2014
    Bolton, England
    276,790 May 6, 2014
    Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
    76,550 March 11, 2014
    Hernando County Florida
    # on municipal water unknown February 26, 2014
    Wellington, Florida
    58,679 January 28, 2014
    Amherst County, Virginia
    # on municipal water unknown January 2014
    Wood Village, Oregon
    4,000 January 20, 2014
    Atwood, Tennessee
    930 December 2013
    Hoopa Valley (Humboldt County), California
    2,633 November 21, 2013
    Byron Shire (NSW), Australia
    29,000 November 20, 2013
    Cotati (Sonoma County), California
    7,300 November 12, 2013
    Forsyth, Missouri
    2,280 October 21, 2013
    Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
    58,000 October 21, 2013
    Davis, California
    66,000 October 1, 2013
    Tottenham, Ontario, Canada
    4,800 September 30, 2013
    Columbia, Tennessee
    27,000 September 25, 2013
    Woodland, Washington state
    5,625 August 19, 2013
    Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia
    23,000 August 13, 2013
    Parkland, Washington
    35,800 June 2013
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    145,600 June 5, 2013


  13. Designafuture

    Your diatribe about environmental pollutants and unqualified opinion about the internationally peer-reviewed review of fluoride literature by the top level NZ panel……is meaningless and irrelevant. If you have any valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence of adverse effects of fluoride at the optimal level at which water is fluoridated, then present it, properly cited.

    In regard to the list of “rejections” you copy/pasted from “fluoridealert” obviously without your even bothering to read it, much less verify the information, the following sample of communities listed on this report as having “rejected fluoridation” is clear evidence of the fallacy of sole reliance on biased, antifluoridationist websites for “information”.

    Montrose, Colorado.:
    The decision to end fluoridation of treated drinking water was based solely on the inability to obtain dry fluoride from a reliable source and in no way challenges consumer opinions regarding dental health benefits related to fluoridation.”

    Boyne, MI:
    On july 30, 2014, a petition was submitted to the Boyne City Clerk, with the required number of signatures to mandate a public referendum to overturn the misguided decision of the city commissioners who by a 3-2 vote ceased fluoridation. The issue will be placed on either the November 2014, or the February 2015 ballot.

    Hernando County, Florida:
    In October of 2013, the Brooksville, Florida (Hernando County), City Council voted 4-1 to restore fluoridation to the public water supply.

    Amherst County, Va:
    The Amherst County Service Authority decided on April 1, 2014 to resume water fluoridation, reversing a decision to temporarily stop fluoridating the water in Amherst County due to equipment relocation three years ago.

    Atwood, TN:
    In May of 2914, Atwood was one of 103 communities in Tennessee which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention presented Water Fluoridation Quality Awards.

    Forsyth, MO: After fluoridation was approved by the city council, the city opted to survey the public via the city newsletter. At the City Council’s April meeting, it was reported that more than 1,000 city newsletters were sent out and 59 had been returned. Council members voted to send the issue to a popular vote in April 2015.

    Hamilton, NZ:
    On March 27, 2014, the Hamilton City Council made the decision to re-commence fluoridation of the City’s water supply. Fluoridation re-commenced on July 3, 2014.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  14. designafuture

    So out of 24 communities and 1 nation you could only find 5 that for various reasons, largely unrelated to the safety, efficacy and claimed benefits of fluoridation, recommenced the practice. Pathetic!
    The use of a biased panel to substantiate a hypothesis that stemmed from deliberately skewed science from the 1930s and 40s is in line with the methodology used by the Reynolds tobacco people to ‘prove’ the safety of their highly lucrative product.
    It’s about time you actually responded with reasonably intelligent answers to correspondents questions instead of the dogma you learned when training all those years ago. Catch up with what’s happening out here in the real world.
    Medication by fluoridation is on the way out – accept it and get on with your lives.


  15. Those 5 constitute nearly one fourth of the list you proclaim have “rejected” fluoridation. That this is okay with you, along with fact that you failed to verify the validity of this “information” before blindly posting it, clearly demonstrates the total lack of integrity of antifluoridationists, and the reason that nothing they say or post can be trusted.

    That said, the only ones I checked were those in the United States, with the exception of Hamilton. There is no telling how many of the others on your list are also falsely claimed to have “rejected” fluoridation

    Once again, Your unqualified opinion on the internationally peer-reviewed report of the top level NZ panel, is entirely meaningless and irrelevant. The same is true for your reference to Reynolds Tobacco. If you desire discussion on the public health initiative of water fluoridation then cease providing irrelevant ramblings and begin providing valid, properly cited, peer-reviewed scientific evidence to support your claims in regard to fluoride at the optimal level.

    Meanwhile, in regard to your list, which numbers a grand total of 24, worldwide……..for a 12 page list of communities in the US, alone, which have fluoridated:

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  16. Designafuture (replying in kind):

    Out of 168 countries in the world, you say 1 doesn’t fluoridate.

    Out of tens of thousands of municipal authorities worldwide you find (cut & paste) 24 that don’t fluoridate… And get nearly a quarter of those wrong.

    Pathetic…? (Pot, kettle…)


  17. It’s fascinating how antifluoridationists find such “fault” with an internationally peer-reviewed, review of the fluoride literature by a top level panel…yet are perfectly fine with the erroneous, non-verified, non-peer-reviewed, hogwash posted on “fluoridealert, and any other such biased, little antifluoridationist websites and blogs.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS


  18. I agree.

    It’s as though they find descriptions of flying carpets on the ‘net, then disregard all the scientific research that says aircraft can fly but flying carpets can’t.


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