Open letter to Lisa Hansen on NZ Fluoridation Review

Dear Lisa,

There are mistakes and misinterpretations of the scientific literature in your recent open letter to Sir Peter Gluckman and Sir David Skeggs. The letter also misrepresents the NZ Fluoridation Review (Eason et al., 2014) and the Fluoride Free NZ (FFNZ) report criticising that review. It gives the latter report more credibility and status than it deserves.

I am responding with an open letter of my own because I think the mistakes and misrepresentations need correction. I hope you receive my critique with the respect for the scientific openness,  criticism and healthy discussion you assert in the last paragraph of your letter. That certainly describes my approach and in that light I offer you a right of reply on my blog to this open letter.

First I consider some aspects of the way you present the NZ Fluoridation Review and the FFNZ report.

Citing the NZ Fluoridation Review

You generally cite Health Effect of water fluoridation: A review of the scientific evidence (Easton et al., 2014) as  the “Gluckman/Skegg report.” I realise you did this because your clients, and particularly the Fluoride Free NZ activist group, have adopted that terminology. It is however disrespectful to the real authors of the review. Such reports are not usually attributed to the heads of institutes or organisations.

Nature of the NZ Fluoridation Review

You unfairly compare Easton et al., (2014) to other major reviews in terms of cost, time taken, processes and the publication period reviewed. You are simply citing the activist FFNZ report which set out to discredit the NZ Fluoridation Review in any way possible.

The Fluoridation Review describes its approach in this way:

“Several previous rigorous systematic reviews were used as the basis for this analysis, and literature searches in Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane library database, Scopus, and Web of Science were undertaken to identify subsequent studies in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Alleged health effects from both the scientific and non-scientific literature were considered, and many original studies relating to these claims were re-analysed.” [My emphasis].

The Review’s purpose was not to duplicate the previous extensive reviews on this subject. It instead summarised them and reviewed later research. In other words the goals were simpler and less costly. (Costs were in any case determined by the local bodies which commissioned and, together with the Ministry of Health,  paid for the review.)

The FFNZ comparison is disingenuous.

The FFNZ Report.

You promote the inaccurate self-description of the FFNZ report (Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report) as “international peer reviewed.” That is the impression FFNZ attempts to convey  but it is dishonest – all the authors and “peer-reviewers” are connected with, or work for, Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network and similar activist organisations in the US or NZ. I illustrate some of the links in the figure below taken from the blog article The farce of a “sciency” anti-fluoride report.

I have provided an in-depth analysis and critique of the FFNZ report in a series of blog articles which are available in a single PDF document (Fluoridation is safe and effective: A critique of Fluoride Free NZ’s criticism of The NZ Fluoridation Review).

Now, the substantive issues you raise in your open letter.

Endemic fluorosis, community water fluoridation and IQ

Up front we must be clear about the situations behind the various scientific studies on the issue of fluoride and IQ.

So far, the only study  directly relevant to community water fluoridation (CWF) is that of Broadbent et al., (2014). This studied populations in the Dunedin region over a long time period. Notably you do not refer to this study, despite its extensive nature and relevance to the issue at hand. In  fact you seem unaware of the research as you claim in your letter that the “impact on IQ from water fluoridation at between 0.7 and 1 ppm” is “as yet unmeasured!”

The studies you do cite (mainly Choi et al., 2012) are from areas of higher fluoride consumption. Most of the studies were from areas of endemic fluorosis – mainly in China. This means that the findings cannot simply be transferred to areas like NZ.

Choi et al., (2012) are clear about the criteria used for choice of studies in their metareview. They say:

“We specifically targeted studies carried out in rural China that have not been widely disseminated, thus complementing the studies that have been included in previous reviews and risk assessment reports.”

And

“Opportunities for epidemiological studies depend on the existence of comparable population groups exposed to different levels of fluoride from drinking water. Such circumstances are difficult to find in many industrialized countries, because fluoride concentrations in community water are usually no higher than 1 mg/L, even when fluoride is added to water supplies as a public health measure to reduce tooth decay.”

This is why the Choi et al., (2012) meta review is not directly relevant to CWF.

Choi et al., (2012) not relevant to CWF.

I can illustrate the difference between that situations reviewed by Choi et al., (2012) and the New Zealand situation where CWF is common using dental fluorosis data from the recent paper of Choi et al., (2015),  Our Oral Health (2010) and Beltrán-aguilar & Barker (2010) (see Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths).

There is very little severe or moderate dental fluorosis in NZ and USA. But it is very common in the area studied by Choi et al., (2015) which is probably typical of the areas reviewed by Choi et al., (2012) and the Indian paper you cite (Saxena et al., 2012). Unfortunately most of the studies reviewed by Choi et al., (2012) are of poor quality (see below) and do not include data for many possibly confounding factors like severe dental fluorosis, pesticide use, etc.).

So – clearly different situations.

The metareview of Choi et al (2012) was a metareview of studies from higher fluoride areas – not a metareview of studies from all areas, or studies from areas where CWF is common. Their review is not directly applicable to situations where CWF is considered, like NZ and USA.

The authors have stated this themselves:

“These results do not allow us to make any judgment regarding possible levels of risk at levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation in the U.S. On the other hand, neither can it be concluded that no risk is present.”

Note: I have suggested (Perrott 2015) that the small cognitive deficits report by the Choi et al., (2012) could be caused by severe dental fluorosis, and not directly caused by chemical toxicity. (I discuss this further below.) This is consistent with the results of Choi et al., (2015) who observed a significant relationship of cognitive deficits to severe/medium dental fluorosis but did not find a significant relationship with the fluoride concentration of the drinking water.

I believe researchers studying IQ effects in areas of endemic fluorosis should consider this hypothesis.

The “error” in the NZ Fluoridation Review

Your open letter concentrates mainly on an “error” in the NZ Fluoridation Review. This “error” was little more than a “typo,” occurred only in the executive summary (the body of the review reported the science correctly), and was corrected by the authors when brought to their attention. They also corrected at least one other error at the same time. I have discussed this in Did the Royal Society get it wrong about fluoridation?

Any publishing author is well acquainted with the problems of typos and similar errors. Despite the best proof-reading of drafts one inevitably finds some errors only after publication. (An example of Murphy’s Law, I guess.) This error has only become an issue because of the intention of activist organisations who wish to discredit the review.

It is worth noting that the Harvard University press release reporting the research concerned made exactly the same error and acknowledged and corrected it when pointed out. The current version now says:

“The average loss in IQ was reported as a standardized weighted mean difference of 0.45, which would be approximately equivalent to seven IQ points for commonly used IQ scores with a standard deviation of 15.*

** This sentence was updated on September 5, 2012.”

Yet, you, FFNZ and their associates do not criticise Harvard University!

Your mistaken description of error.

First, I will stress again that discussion of this “error” refers to the work of Choi et al., (2012) and areas where fluorosis is most likely endemic. That research does not deal with CWF or the situations where drinking water fluoride concentrations are that low.

The slide below, from a presentation made by Xiang (2014) at Paul Connett’s last conference in Washington, gives an idea of the situation in areas where these studies were made. Xiang is the author of several of the papers reviewed by Choi et al (2012) and commonly used by anti-fluoride activists in arguing against CWF.

This is clearly a different situation to New Zealand.

What did Choi et al (2012) actually report?

They report in their abstract “The standardized weighted mean difference in IQ score between exposed and reference populations was –0.45.” This is a standard deviation resulting from their analysis of 27 studies with different methods and quality of data. It is not a difference in IQ score.

This approach was necessary because the different studies reviewed had different IQ scales, different measurement methods and different levels of variation in the data. They standardised the differences by expressing them as a fraction of the standard deviation for each study. A mean value over all studies was determined, weighting the contribution from each study according to the precision of the IQ measurements.

Mistakenly, Harvard University and the NZ Review summary originally described this as an IQ score difference instead of SD. (Note – this mistake was not in the body of the NZ Fluoridation Review). In fact many readers were confused as the statistical process used by a Choi et al (2012) was not sufficiently well explained from a lay person’s viewpoint and they had to publish an extra explanation later (Choi et al., 2013).

Going from a standardised weighted mean difference value to a difference in IQ points.

Standard deviation is a function if variation in data so it is wrong to assume a value for all situations. It will be different for different sets of data.

The standardised weighted mean difference value of 0.45 has meaning because we know it represents less than half of one standard deviation so it indicates how it compares with measurement error. Many people have equated the difference of 0.45 to 7 IQ points. However, Choi et al., (2012)  did not report a difference of 7 you claim. This value came out of the explanation in Choi et al., (2013) in their response to a letter to the editor. They provided an example for a commonly used IQ scale normalised against a theoretical bell curve:

“For commonly used IQ scores with a mean of 100 and an SD of 15, 0.45 SDs is equivalent to 6.75 points (rounded to 7 points).”

This cannot simply be translated to any other IQ scale. For example these values would be inappropriate for the IQ scale used in Saxena et al., (2012)  study you refer to later in your letter.

The significance of the 0.45 standard deviation decrease in IQ points.

It is easy to throw around values of 7 and 15, as you do, but what is the significance of the result (for areas of endemic fluorosis – let’s not forget this study is not directly relevant to CWF). Choi et al., (2012) themselves warn that a decrease of 0.45 standard deviation “may seem small and may be within the measurement error of IQ testing.”

All this says is that many data sets, especially those with high variability, may not show a difference between children from high and low fluoride areas because the difference measured by Choi et al., (2012) is relatively small. In saying that I am not trying to deny any significance at all to their results. However, it is provisional and, as they say, it needs further confirmation. I think two points must be made here:

  1. The metareview was purposely biased towards studies from China and high fluorosis areas – many of which show endemic fluorosis. It is not directly relevant to the issue of CWF;
  2. The articles reviewed were in themselves mostly of poor quality, did not consider confounding factors and were often very brief (see figure). Not the fault of Choi et al., (2012) and hardly a surprising situation for the regions of interest, but this does help put the value of 0.45 standard deviation into context. It is, as yet, really only provisional.

Histogram showing size of the reports reviewed by Choi et al., (2012) from 

Your claim the Fluoridation Review misrepresented Choi et al (2012) in a specific quote.

Choi et al., (2012) themselves say:

“The estimated decrease in average IQ associated with fluoride exposure based on our analysis may seem small and may be within the measurement error of IQ resting.”

This is a valid assessment because the mean difference they observed amounted to only 0.45 of a standard deviation which can be related to measurement error.

The Review refers to this text (and quotes as section of it) as follows:

The authors themselves note the difference is so small that “it may be within the measure tn error of IQ testing.”

I really don’t see any misrepresentation there. The authors did note that the difference was small compared with measurement error.

In summary I reject your criticisms on this issue for these reasons:

  1. You have relied for claims on a metareview of studies from areas of endemic fluorosis. A study reviewing reports of mainly poor quality and which the authors had described as not relevant to areas using CWF.
  2. You misrepresent correction of the small mistake as a change in recognition of the science or a “misreading of the available evidence.” There was no change as the science was correctly reported in the body of the review – the mistake occurred only in the summary. Others have made similar  mistakes – including Harvard University in their press release.
  3. You repeatedly refer to an IQ point differences of 7 without at any time considering how significant this value is compared with the measurement errors.
  4. You imply that this issue was not thoroughly addressed, which is wrong as it was discussed in the body of the review. Correction of the mistake in the summary is all that was required.

But, I stress again, whatever the significance of the small IQ differences reported for areas with endemic fluorosis in these studies they are not relevant to areas like NZ where no IQ deficits have been reported for CWF. In fact, quite the opposite (Broadbent et al., 2014).

Claims of neglected evidence

You  express concern “relevant evidence” was neglected by the authors of the review.

You refer to 2 papers:

1: Cheng and Lynn (2013) and a study “(referred to by Cheng and Lynn).” However, you do not attempt to explain what this paper contributes. The journal (it is in Mankind Quarterly) is not one normally considered for publishing scientific papers and is extremely difficult to access. My reading of the paper indicates nothing new – in fact it is a repetition of the data from the Choi et al., (2012) paper (which I find strange as it doesn’t even cite that paper).

Why do you wish Mankind Quarterly to be cited? Published by the Ulster Institute for Social Research (and not a scientific body), Wikipedia describes it this way:

“It has been called a “cornerstone of the scientific racism establishment” and a “white supremacist journal”, “scientific racism’s keepers of the flame”, a journal with a “racist orientation” and an “infamous racist journal”, and “journal of ‘scientific racism'”.

2: The cross-sectional study by Saxena et al., (2012). I agree this wasn’t included – but then again it is not relevant to CWF. The study considered situations where drinking water F concentration was greater than 1.5 ppm.

Unfortunately the images you reproduce could give a misleading impression. The linear plot in your figure was actually for the relationship between urine F concentration and drinking water concentration.

The plot for intelligence grade does not look so impressive (see figure).

Saxena

Saxena et al., (2012 ) do show an increase in mean intelligence grade (corresponding to a decrease in IQ) for the increasing concentration ranges. (You should perhaps note your reference to a standard deviation of 15 in such studies is clearly irrelevant to this study). They admit to several limitations in their study. We can agree with their assertion there is a “need for a more careful evaluation of the effect of fluoride on intelligence.” But given the endemic fluorosis in the area they studied, and in the areas of the studies reviewed by Choi et al., (2012) and studied by Choi et al., (2015) I suggest this is only relevant to such areas. I stress –  no such IQ differences were observed in areas where CWF is used (Broadbent et al., 2014).

I am aware of a number of other studies reporting cognitive deficits in areas of endemic fluorosis – suggesting IQ may well be a topical area of research in such areas. The NZ Fluoridation Review may not have cited these – precisely because they are not relevant to our situation.

However, I will reproduce some data from one of them (Sudhir et al., 2009) because it is directly relevant to the next topic. These authors did see increasing cognitive deficits with increasing concentration of F in drinking water. But they also saw a strong relationship between cognitive deficit and severe dental fluorosis (see figure below).

Sudhir

In this study IQ grade 5 is “intellectually impaired” and grade 3 is “intellectually average.”

Severe dental fluorosis and cognitive deficits

I stressed at the beginning of this letter that these IQ studies have all (except for Broadbent et al., 2014) concentrated on areas of endemic fluorosis. Children in these areas show high incidence of severe dental fluorosis and this is quite different to New Zealand (see the second figure in this letter). It is also noteworthy that Choi et al., (2015) chose to extend their work in an area of endemic fluorosis (in a Chinese village) and not an area of the USA where CWF is common. Maybe they recognise this is a problem for areas of endemic fluorosis and not for areas using CWF.

Unfortunately researchers like Choi et al., (2015) have limited their working hypothesis only to chemical toxicity. But, dental defects are known to cause decreased quality of life and this could be translated into learning difficulties and reduced IQ scores. In a recent article I suggested these researchers widen their considerations to including the hypothesis that severe dental fluorosis, in itself, could be a cause of cognitive deficits simply because of the effect of physical anomalies and appearance on IQ (see Perrott 2015).

This is, after all, consistent with their findings that cognitive deficits were significantly related to incidence of severe/medium dental fluorosis but not to the F concentration in the drinking water.

Other oral defects like bad dental decay are also known to cause a reduced quality of life and may lead to learning problems and cognitive deficits. While severe dental fluorosis is a problem in  areas of endemic fluorosis it is not here. I suggest you worry more about possible IQ effects of tooth decay than any due to fluoride in our drinking water.

You are just scaremongering with your flight of fancy suggesting that “institutionalizing the additional proportion of the population due to mental deficiency” should be considered as a cost against CWF. One could more sensibly say that in NZ the quality of life and possible cognitive deficits arising from dental decay should be considered as a cost against opposition to CWF.

Conclusion

Your letter is part of an ongoing campaign by New Zealand anti-fluoridation activists like FFNZ and New Health NZ to discredit the NZ Fluoridation Review. New Health NZ is part of the NZ Health Trust, a well-funded lobby group for the “natural”/alternative health industry in New Zealand. It campaigns on issues like fluoridation, vaccinations and “chemtrails” (see Who is funding anti-fluoridation High Court action? and Corporate backers of anti-fluoride movement lose in NZ High Court).

On the surface your complaint about the mistake in the summary of the NZ Fluoridation review is at least churlish. Especially as it was corrected when brought to the authors’ attention and there was no mistake in the body of the review. Despite the same mistake in the original version of Harvard University’s press release on the research neither you nor your colleagues in the NZ anti-fluoride movement have complained to Harvard University.

One would have though the correction of the mistake would have pulled the rug out from under the anti-fluoridation critics but you have unjustly tried to use the original mistake to argue that the authors of the NZ Fluoridation Review misunderstood or misrepresented the science. In fact, the misrepresentation comes from you and your anti-fluoridation colleagues as the study you seem to pin all your arguments on was made in areas of endemic fluorosis,  (mainly in China) and has no direct relevance to New Zealand CWF.

New Zealand health professionals and members of local bodies should see your complaint for what it is – part of the ongoing activist campaign against CWF. These decision makers are justified in the confidence they have in the NZ Fluoridation Review.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Ken Perrott

References

Beltrán-aguilar, E. D., & Barker, L. (2010). Prevalence and Severity of Dental Fluorosis in the United States , 1999 – 2004 (pp. 1999–2004).

Broadbent, J. M., Thomson, W. M., Ramrakha, S., Moffitt, T. E., Zeng, J., Foster Page, L. A., & Poulton, R. (2014). Community Water Fluoridation and Intelligence: Prospective Study in New Zealand. American Journal of Public Health, 105(1), 72–76.

Cheng, H., & Lynn, R. (2013). The adverse effect of fluoride on Children’s intelligence: A systematic review. Mankind Quarterly, 53, 306–347.

Choi, A. L., Sun, G., Zhang, Y., & Grandjean, P. (2012). Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Environmental Health Perspectives, 120(10), 1362–1368.

Choi, A. L., Grandjean, P., Sun, G., & Zhang, Y. (2013). Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: Choi et al. Respond. Environmental Health Perspectives, 121(3), A70.

Choi, A. L., Zhang, Y., Sun, G., Bellinger, D., Wang, K., Yang, X. J., … Grandjean, P. (2015). Association of lifetime exposure to fluoride and cognitive functions in Chinese children: A pilot study. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 47, 96–101.

Eason, C., & Elwood, JM. Seymour, Thomson, WM. Wilson, N. Prendergast, K. (2014). Health effects of water fluoridation : A review of the scientific evidence (p. 74).

Fluoride Free New Zealand. (2014). Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report

Hansen, L. (2015). An open letter to the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor and to the President of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Ministry of Health. (2010). Our Oral Health Key findings of the 2009 New Zealand Oral Health Survey. Wellington, Ministry of Health.

Perrott, K. W. (2015). Severe dental fluorosis and cognitive deficits. Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

Saxena, S., Sahay, A., & Goel, P. (2012). Effect of fluoride exposure on the intelligence of school children in Madhya Pradesh, India. Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice, 3(2), 144–9.

Sudhir, K. M., Chandu, G. N., Prashant, G. M., & Reddy, V. V. S. (2009). Effect of fluoride exposure on Intelligence Quotient ( IQ ) among 13-15 year old school children of known endemic area of fluorosis , Nalgonda District , Andhra Pradesh . JOURNAL OF THE INDIAN ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH DENTISTRY, 2009(13), 88–94.

Xiang, Q. (2014) Fluoride and IQ research in ChinaKeynote Address at FAN’s 5th Citizens’ Conference on Fluoride.

 

 

 

 

 

102 responses to “Open letter to Lisa Hansen on NZ Fluoridation Review

  1. Bill Osmunson

    The fundamental disagreement is “judgment.”

    The arguements on fluoridation remind me of the same disagreements made over tobacco use in the 1970’s. Tobacco companies kept saying, “until you (the user) prove tobacco is harmful, tobacco is safe.”

    Today proponents of fluoride exposure keep saying the same thing. “Until you “prove” ingestion of fluoride is harmful, it remains safe.” When research is published finding harm, proponents claim it is only an isolated study because they refuse to admit there are hundreds of other studies finding harm.

    More than every month a reasonable peer reviewed published study raises more red flags of over exposure for some individuals and harm. Just last week another study linking ADHD increases in fluoridated communities. http://www.ehjournal.net/content/pdf/s12940-015-0003-1.pdf

    And the data above just on dental fluorosis is alarming. If the only concern is for the “mean” “median” “average” “90th” or even 99th percentile, then lets talk about those being harmed. . . or at least admit there are some being harmed.

    In my judgment, giving people a chemical without their consent when even 1% will be harmed is wrong. Give the patient the opportunity to consent for treatment, then a much higher risk is acceptable.

    Fluoridationists seem to have the opinion that severe dental fluorosis for a small percentage of the population is acceptable. Not for me . . . without patient consent.

    In the USA, the EPA legal department has been very clear EPA does not have jurisdiction over artificial fluoridation. FDA CDER/HHS says they are relying on the EPA. So in effect, fluoridation is in a huge jurisdictional vacuum where no one accepts jurisdiction.

    Judgment and jurisdiction are the big problems with fluoridation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “It is worth noting that the Harvard University press release reporting the research concerned made exactly the same error and acknowledged and corrected it when pointed out.”

    That which you say was “Harvard Univeristy” written by Marge Dwyer, their Media Relations Manager. Such articles are not subject to peer review.

    If it were just a typo it would have happened at typing up stage, not affecting the logic which it did and which Lisa has commented on and you haven’t.

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  3. “So far, the only study directly relevant to community water fluoridation (CWF) is that of Broadbent et al., (2014). This studied populations in the Dunedin region over a long time period. Notably you do not refer to this study, despite its extensive nature and relevance to the issue at hand. In fact you seem unaware of the research as you claim in your letter that the “impact on IQ from water fluoridation at between 0.7 and 1 ppm” is “as yet unmeasured!””

    If she had commented she would have had to point out that is a study with about 100 control subjects, some living in areas possibly affected by former gold mining in their water sources. I have asked Broadbent about that and got no reply.

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  4. Whether or not the Choi 2102 study has direct relevance to NZ, Eason and his reviewers discredit themselves by talking wrongly about it.

    But I believe, allowing for the uncertainties of review studies and what is reviewed, that a no effect level normal for most toxicology studies is left as possibly contravened.

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  5. Soundhill, again you misrepresent me. I said it was “little more than a “typo,”not that it was “just a typo.” It was clearly a mistake because it differed from the body of the review.

    The “logic” you refer to is the mental gymnastics Lisa and you resort to to draw unjustified significance from a mistake – a mistake that others have also made but you refuse to criticise.

    As for “peer-review” any published author will tell you mistakes seem to get through any process and only become obvious in the final published version when it is too late to change anything. Hell, I spelt my own name wrong 5 items in one of my own papers and only realised once it was published.

    >

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  6. “But, dental defects are known to cause decreased quality of life and this could be translated into learning difficulties and reduced IQ scores.”

    Broken teeth or maybe jaw, over bite where they cannot bite on the food, missing teeth, pain I accept and is what the studies are talking about as your “dental defects,” Ken.

    The look of fluorosis affected teeth may disturb the parent which impinges on the child, or the parent’s reporting.

    Fluoride is not only involved in teeth and bones. They won’t be the only organs affected. I suggest you go for partial correlations to get an indication if that is a causal, or whether a spurious correlation where fluoride affects both the look of the teeth and the IQ through other factors.

    It has been found in rodents that removal of the pineal gland affects quality of sleep and bodily repair. It has also been said that fluoride may calcify the pineal gland. That link ought to be investigated.

    Then fluoride has been suggested to affect the thyroid. Poor thyroid function in the extreme is related to cretinism. How long a tail does the cretinism distribution have?

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  7. QSoudhill, you are desperate. Lisa claimed there had been no such study of IA and CWF – that is the key issue in my criticism. She was simply wrong.

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  8. Soundhill – you say “Whether or not the Choi 2102 study has direct relevance to NZ, Eason and his reviewers discredit themselves by talking wrongly about it.” and you jutify this by attackign a mistake that has already been corrected. Pathetic.

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  9. Soundhill – you clai “It has also been said that fluoride may calcify the pineal gland.” All sorts of stupid things are said.

    However calscification or the pienal gland were not discussed by Lisa so are irrelevant to my open letter.

    Byt the way, there is absolutely no evidence that fluroide causes calcification. Simple observation of concentration of F in calcified tissues is not evidence of a cause. And is well udnerstood chemically.

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  10. Ken where you say it was correct in the body of the report, it says, “, Choi et al. determined that the standardised weighted mean difference in IQ scores between “exposed” and reference populations was only -0.45. The authors themselves note that this difference is so small that it “may be within the measurement error of IQ testing.”

    That is not what Choi et al said. It is a discredit to the report writers, reviewers and the purchaser.

    It shows the RS people do not understand. -0.45 is a moderate effect. A small effect like paracetamol pain relief studies are dealing with is more like -0.1. -0.8 would be a large effect.

    Choi et al said -0.45 may SEEM small, and that would be in the knowledge that systematic review studies may have large errors. They were being cautious. They did not note the, “difference is so small.”

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  11. Bill, I think you are pathetic to bring up the tobacco bogey. it suggests you have no real issues to advance.

    As for dental fluorosis – I can only think this is pure dishonesty on your part as it is well known that CWF does not contribute to serious dental fluorosis.

    No, severe dental fluorosis is not accepted as acceptable (another dishonest distortion). I am sure that the research in areas of endemic fluorosis will help decsion-makers in their efforts to prevent these problems. As for countries like NZ the tiny amount of severe dental fluosis will not be eliminated by telling porkies about CWF. More attention to industrial pollution, obsessive dietary intake, and possible high natural levels is required.

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  12. Here is a link between the pineal gland and teeth. The pineal gland produces melatonin, responsible for summer winter changes in animal coat colours, and also an important part of night/day hormonal regulation.

    As you frequently do, Ken when I bring in material to explain a possible mechanism, you say it is off topic when you cannot deal with it.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jpi.12198/full

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  13. Perhaps, Soundhill, you can explain the relevance of this paper yoruself? I personally cannot see what the hell it has to do with my open letter, or the seperate issue of calcification you raised.

    I look forward to you explanation.

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  14. Ken,
    http://www.icnr.com/articles/fluoride-deposition.html

    Add that to my 2015 ref.

    We know antibiotics can mottle the teeth. Do we know the actual mechanism by which fluoride does?

    Fluoride is affecting the pineal which in turn affects tooth development is a possibility.

    Also fluoride and the blood brain barrier integrity need to be studied. We may need to correlate epilepsy.

    “Fluoride does not accumulate in brain. Of all tissues, brain has the lowest fluoride concentration [Jenkins, 1991; Whitford, 1996; Ekstrand, 1996]. It is generally agreed that the blood-brain barrier restricts the passage of fluoride into the central nervous system. The human pineal gland is outside the blood-brain barrier [Arendt, 1995]. It is one of a few unique regions in the brain (all midline structures bordering the third and fourth ventricles) where the blood-brain barrier is weak. Cells in these regions require direct and unimpeded contact with blood [Rapoport, 1976]. Therefore, pinealocytes have free access to fluoride in the bloodstream. This fact, coupled with the presence of HA, suggest that the pineal gland may sequester fluoride from the bloodstream.”

    “The extent of pineal calcification also varied between individuals: ranging from 4,600 to 37,250 mg Ca/kg wet weight. One of the aged pineals had very little precipitation. This supports the age independence of pineal calcification and agrees with previous studies [Cooper, 1932; Arieti, 1954; Tapp and Huxley, 197 1; Hasegawa et aL, 1987; Galliani et al., 1990]. The estimated fluoride concentration of pineal HA was 9,000 ± 7,800 mg/kg. The F/Ca ratio was higher in pineal HA than in corresponding bone (fig. 2). The extremely high level of substitution in the crystal structure of pineal HA by fluoride illustrates the readiness with which fluoride replaces the hydroxyl ion in the HA crystal. By old age, pineal HA has a higher fluoride content than other biological apatites. Unlike pineal concentrations of magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper, which, although very high, were generally within the limits found in bone and teeth [Michotte et al., 1977].”

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  15. Soundhill, this is old stuff. You have done absolutely nothing to support your claim that F causes calcification. It doesn’t. All Luke’s results show is the well understood attraction of F to calcified tissues.

    This is just another example of anti-fluoride activists naively twisting the literature to support a claim that is unsupported.

    >

    Like

  16. Ken I was thinking of: “A proper amount of fluoride not only prevents dental caries, but also promotes the use of calcium and phosphorus and the calcium sediment in the bone, stimulates bone growth and maintains bone health (Dean and Elvove, 1936;WHO, 1958).” – Choi et al 2015.

    If fluoride makes it harder for food acids to metabolise tooth enamel, then I presume it will be harder for the body to remove excess calcium from a fluoridated pineal.

    Like

  17. Steve Slott

    Bill

    1. What do little green men from Mars, and tobacco have in common? They are both of equal relevance to water fluoridation. Antifluoridationists constantly employ the cheap tactic of attempting to link fluoridation to tobacco. Give it a rest. It doesn’t work with intelligent people.

    2. Attempts to demand proof of a negative have no merit. In order for there to be credible demands that there is not a problem, there must first be valid evidence that a problem exists. Humans have been ingesting fluoride in water since the beginning of time. In the 70 year history of fluoridation, there have been no proven adverse effects. There is no valid evidence that any problem with safety exists. Therefore, there is nothing that warrants proof of safety. Given that fluoride ions, identical to those which have always existed in water, and trace contaminants in barely detectable amounts that fall far short of EPA mandated maximum levels of safety, are the only substances ingested as a result of fluoridation, the question remains…..what exactly do you wish tested for safety? Fluoride ions you’ve been consuming your entire life, or trace contaminants in amounts that have already been deemed safe by the United States Environmental Protection Agency?

    3. Because antifluoridationists deem studies to be valid, does not make them so. Your frustration is with the fact that respected science and healthcare will not accept every bit of flawed scientific study that antifluoridationists put forth. The problem is with the quality of the literature which antifluoridationists consider to be the “science” that supports their position, not with the scientific community which rejects it. The bottom line is always the fact that in spite of all the speculation and claims of antifluoridationists, there has been 70 years in which these speculations could have been borne out to be valid. Yet, they have not.

    4. What you failed to include in regard to the ADHD study is the fact that the researchers differentiate between “natural water fluoridation” and “artificial water fluoridation”:

    “Artificial water fluoridation prevalence was significantly positively associated with ADHD prevalence, while natural water fluoridation prevalence was either negatively or not significantly associated with it.”

    Given that there is no difference between “naturally occurring” fluoride ions, and fluoride ions released from HFA or other fluoridating substances, the suggestion that the fluoride ions from HFA may be associated with ADHD while the fluoride ions picked up in groundwater from rocks, is not…..is ridiculous.

    5. There is no “harm” from dental fluorosis in any manner attributable to optimally fluoridated water. The only such dental fluorosis is mild to very mild, a barely detectable effect which causes no adverse effect on cosmetics, form, function, or health of teeth. The 2006 NRC Committee did not consider mild to very mild dental fluoridation to be an adverse effect.

    6. No one is given anything “without their consent” in regard to water fluoridation. The apparent belief of antifluoridationists that because water flows from their faucets that they are somehow forced to consume it against their will, is a problem with their own cognition, not with fluoridation.

    7. Severe dental fluorosis does not occur resultant of optimally fluoridated water. For anyone within the teeth developing years who is exposed to the high level of fluoride required for severe dental fluorosis to occur, removal of 0.7 ppm fluoride from their water would not prevent this occurrence. The problem is the high level of fluoride to which they are exposed, not the minuscule amount in fluoridated water.

    8. All additives to public water supplies, including fluoride, fall under the jurisdiction of the United States EPA. In spite of your inexplicable confusion about this, it is an irrefutable fact.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  18. You are straw-clutching again, Soundhill.🙂

    >

    Like

  19. Ken wrote: ” “For commonly used IQ scores with a mean of 100 and an SD of 15, 0.45 SDs is equivalent to 6.75 points (rounded to 7 points).”

    This cannot simply be translated to any other IQ scale. For example these values would be inappropriate for the IQ scale used in Saxena et al., (2012) study you refer to later in your letter.”

    That is just confusion you are producing there, Ken.

    The USA gallon is smaller than the British. So when you are comparing mpg you standardise. Of course if you standardise into USA figures you will get seem to get a low mpg estimation for NZ thinkers. But the figures will correctly compare the cars.

    Or what is the comparison of price of butter in NZ Aussie and USA?
    You have to standardise the weight units and the dollars. The tells you relative cost per weight, but you have to convert back to units for each country you want to know about individually.

    With IQs they have standardised to SDs. They can convert that to IQ points or whatever you say Saxena uses if they wish. But IQ points based on 100 and 15 SD is the units most understand.

    What I would like to see is the shape of the distributions. The SD calculation recipe can be used for any figures but its outcome does not mean anything unless the distribution is “normal” or fairly close to “normal”

    Choi et al excluded studies which had a distribution too far from normal. They did give some inter-quartile ranges which give a measure of shape. Need to look at that more.

    Like

  20. Steve: “Given that there is no difference between “naturally occurring” fluoride ions, and fluoride ions released from HFA or other fluoridating substances, the suggestion that the fluoride ions from HFA may be associated with ADHD while the fluoride ions picked up in groundwater from rocks, is not…..is ridiculous.”

    Straw man.

    You are saying like all brands of paint that use the identical pigments are identical.

    In natural water the elements are in a different proportion.

    The Waikato river is low in calcium so the effect of its fluoride will be different to after fluoridation when a lot of calcium is also added.

    Like

  21. Ken “You are straw-clutching again, Soundhill”

    That’s Ken’s sort of reply when I present a plausible interesting hypothesis.

    I happen to think your fluorosis-appearance-IQ hypothesis avoiding partial correlation analysis analysis is just straw clutching trying to make something look plausible.

    An old cure for some arthritis with bony spurs is cider vinegar since the blood can then get acid enough to move calcium more easily. (Science based medicine won’t like that because they are not interested in real science.)

    Acid moves calcium off teeth but not so easily when fluroide is in their structure.

    Like

  22. OK, Soundhill, I get it. You are confused with all you gabble about gallons and butter.

    but I don’t think I caused your confusion. What I said was clear and obvious.

    Like

  23. Whatever the role of acid and fluoride after tissues have calcified the point is that F does not cause calcification. This is the lie that anti-fluoridationsist like you are promoting. Calcification is caused by calcium, phosphate and old age – not fluoride.

    Sure, F does get attracted to active regions involving Ca – basic chemistry – once they have formed. That is the basis of some PET diagnostice procedures (which have also been badly misrepresented by anti-fluoride propagandists).

    Subsequent changes in the calcified material involving F are of course interesting to speculate on. There is some evidence that slightly more ordered crystallisaiton occurs. This is an interesting study of that:

    Martín-Pardillos, A., Sosa, C., Millán, A., & Sorribas, V. (2014). Effect of water fluoridation on the development of medial vascular calcification in uremic rats. Toxicology, 318C, 40–50.

    The effect of this is of coruse sepeculative at this stage. It could retard further calcification or it could retard reversal of claification to the extent it occurs. I suspect both.

    And of course F plays this role in both fluoridated and unfluoridated areas.

    Like

  24. Thanks, Ken: “The effect of this is of coruse sepeculative at this stage. It could retard further calcification or it could retard reversal of claification to the extent it occurs. I suspect both.”

    From the study:
    “The main conclusion of our study is that CKD [chronic kidney disease] is aggravated even by low concentrations of fluoride, which in turn accelerates MVC [medial vascular calcification] thereby confirming and extending previous reports on fluorosis in CKD patients exposed to WHO-recommended fluoride concen-trations in drinking water. However, we have found the opposite finding under in vitro [in chemical experiment, not in the living being] conditions:”

    Not quite sure how the vivo/vitro opposites thing works in the following, and in the pineal: “These studies show that F− substitutes OH− within a surface layer that is a few nanometers thick, consequently inhibiting hydroxyapatite dissolution, especially at an acid pH.” The cider vinegar cure might not work so well with fluoride around.

    Why the difference between the living organism and the chemistry? Live creatures have vitamin D hormone from the skin and melatonin hormone from the pineal. Both relate to day night cycles. Fluoride from dietary sources will also pulse but from water it is more constant. Does life work at all like some NiCad batteries which do not work so well unless fully discharged before charge?

    Like

  25. The “living organism” we’re rats with 5/6 of their kidneys removed and fed a diet to cause calcification. The authors suggest their in vitro findings relate to normal healthy kidneys. Unfortunately they had no control animals so it is difficult to interpret their results. However, I was referring to the changes they observed in the degree of crystallisation of calcium phosphate material.

    As I said, the fluoride in solution may actually retard calcification by reducing the activity of the calcium. On the other hand anions are known to sometime deuce crystallisation. It could go either way or it could be a balancing act with no sum effect.

    >

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  26. Soundhill

    Go take a high school chemistry course. A fluoride ion is a fluoride ion regardlees the source compound. The only substances present at the tap as a result of fluoridation, are fluoride ions identical to the “naturally occurring” ones, and trace contaminants in barely detectable amounts which fall far short of EPA mandated maximum levels of safety.

    The amount of fluoride ions in fluoridated water are so minuscule that by the time runoff reaches the river, they are far too diluted to have any impact.

    Now, please explain the difference between “natural water” and whatever other types of water you believe exist.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  27. David Fierstien

    At the top of this thread, Bill Osmunson says, “In the USA, the EPA legal department has been very clear EPA does not have jurisdiction over artificial fluoridation. FDA CDER/HHS says they are relying on the EPA. So in effect, fluoridation is in a huge jurisdictional vacuum where no one accepts jurisdiction.” Steven Slott countered that statement with, “All additives to public water supplies, including fluoride, fall under the jurisdiction of the United States EPA. In spite of your inexplicable confusion about this, it is an irrefutable fact.” Dr. Slott was being polite. I would like to be more direct. Frankly, Mr. Osmunson, you are either intentionally lying or you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    Like

  28. Steve Slott

    David, in the case with Osmunson, it is the latter. He has no idea what he’s talking about. He’s been flogging that jurisdictional nonsense for years, having absolutely nothing which supports his opinion.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  29. Bill Osmunson

    Clearly David you have not read the SDWA.
    1. In FOIA responses the EPA has responded to me that Congress has prohibited the EPA from regulating fluoridation.

    2. Legal counsel for the EPA responded in writing that EPA does not have jurisdiction over artificial fluoridation, the addition of fluoride to water. A 2-14-13 letter from EPA to Gerald Steel states, EPA finds that the SDWA does not remove FDA jurisdiction “for regulating the addition of drugs to water supplies for health care purposes.”

    3. EPA regulates contaminants existing in water. NSF regulates the addition of substances to public water. And FDA has jurisdiction over substances formulated with public water with the intent to prevent, treat or mitigate disease.

    If you have documentation from the EPA otherwise, please provide me with the documentation.

    Thanks,

    bill@teachingsmiles.com

    Like

  30. Bill Osmunson

    Grandjean wrote an good letter to the JAPH in response to Broadbent’s article.
    “COMMUNITY WATER
    FLUORIDATION AND INTELLIGENCE
    The recent article on community water fluoridation
    (CWF) by Broadbent et al.1 states that
    our meta-analysis of fluoride exposure and IQ
    deficits2 was based on “selective readings.” We
    wish to emphasize that we, for the first time,
    reviewed 27 eligible studies, many of which
    shared the unique advantage of stable populations
    with fairly constant exposures throughout
    the children’s lifetimes. Because the water—
    fluoride concentrations in the groups with
    elevated exposure varied between levels similar
    to those achieved by CWF and up to10-fold
    that level, we refrained from attempting to link
    the average IQ loss of seven points to specific
    doses.
    Because our study was misinterpreted in the
    media, we released a press statement, which
    concluded:
    These results do not allow us to make any
    judgment regarding possible levels of risk at
    levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation
    in the US. On the other hand, neither can it be
    concluded that no risk is present. We therefore
    recommend further research to clarify what role
    fluoride exposure levels may play in possible
    adverse effects on brain development, so that
    future risk assessments can properly take into
    regard this possible hazard.3
    Further, to ascertain the validity of previous
    Chinese reports on fluoride neurotoxicity, we
    carried out a pilot study in Sichuan.4 Although
    we examined only 51 children, our results
    support the notion that cognitive deficits occur
    at elevated fluoride exposures.
    Broadbent et al.1 erroneously state that our
    press release “had to emphasize the fact that
    [our] research was irrelevant to CWF,”1(p72) and
    they give no reason why a threshold for developmental
    neurotoxicity would necessarily be
    higher than systemic doses associated with
    CWF. Also, although the authors1 emphasized
    potential biases in our meta-analysis,2 they
    downplayed the wide confidence intervals in
    their own study and the fact that the 10% who
    had not lived in fluoridated areas likely received
    fluoride supplements. Other dentistry
    colleagues5 claim that our work has been
    severely criticized and conclude that the
    Broadbent et al. study1 “found that fluoridation
    is not neurotoxic for either children or adults,
    and does not have a negative effect on IQ.” We
    are therefore concerned that the safety of
    elevated fluoride exposure is being exaggerated
    in ways similar to those employed by vested
    interests to misconstrue the scientific evidence
    of other neurotoxicants, such as lead, mercury,
    and certain pesticides.6 Firm dismissal of
    fluoride as a potential neurotoxic hazard
    would seem premature. j
    Philippe Grandjean, MD, PhD
    Anna L. Choi, ScD”

    Like

  31. Steve Slott

    Bill

    1. Please provide valid documentation of that which you claim the EPA has “responded” to you.

    2. Please provide valid documentation to support your personal opinion as to what you believe “legal counsel for the EPA responded in writing”.

    3. The regulation of “addition of drugs to water supplies” is irrelevant to water fluoridation. Fluoride at the optimal level at which it exists in fluoridated water, is not a drug.

    4. The NSF does not regulate anything. It is simply a a product testing and certification organization which the EPA has contracted to provide certification testing for water additives. The EPA regulates all drinking water additives utilizing certification results provided by the NSF. This includes optimal level fluoride.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  32. Bill, thanks for the text of Grandjeans letter. I understand this issue of the journal also contains a response from Broadbent so look forward to seeing that in the April issue (unless of course you can copy and paste that for us).

    Grandjean has a fixation in chemical toxicity, such that he appears not to see what is in front of him. Despite their recent paper reporting no significant relationship of cognitive deficit with drinking water F concentration he has maintained his story by interpreting severe dental fluorosis as merely an indicator of historical F intake.

    I have suggested (Perrott, 2015) that he and his colleagues remove their blinkers and consider other credible hypothesis – such as the known effects of severe dental fluorosis on quality of life and hence possibly also on learning difficulties and IQ. I believe this hypothesis is at least as deserving as chemical toxicity.

    Grandjean has yet to respond to my suggestion. At the moment, though, in the e absence of evidence for any credible chemical toxicity mechanism in their situation he is indulging in mere statistical hacking and trying to “prove” causation simply by correlation. This results in the sort of special pleading he reveals in his letter when others do not find the same correlation he does.

    >

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  33. Christopher Atkinson

    Hi Bill,

    In this article which you rate as good, it clearly states;

    ‘These results do not allow us to make any
    judgment regarding possible levels of risk at
    levels of exposure typical for water fluoridation
    in the US. On the other hand, neither can it be
    concluded that no risk is present.”

    And as Ken says, above “… in the e absence of evidence for any credible chemical toxicity mechanism in their situation he is indulging in mere statistical hacking and trying to “prove” causation simply by correlation”

    So, why do you make the judgments you do?

    Is simply evidence of your unshakeable bias?

    Like

  34. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson says, “Clearly David you have not read the SDWA.” Yes, Bill, I have read the Safe Drinking Water Act. My job lies within the jurisdiction of the USSDWA, so I am well aware of all provisions. This is your quote: “So in effect, fluoridation is in a huge jurisdictional vacuum where no one accepts jurisdiction.” You are saying that if a water system distribution operator overfed a community with an excess of fluoride, there would be no repercussions. That is complete hogwash. The EPA has primacy on the federal tier, and in Michigan, where I work and add fluoride to our community’s water, the MDEQ is the primary regulatory agency. I can assure you that CWF does not lie within a “jurisdictional vacuum.” When I assumed my job, my predecessor made a typo on his monthly operating report – to the MDEQ who in fact does have regulatory primacy over CWF where I live. His typo said that on one day (since fluoride in drinking water is checked from nine points on a daily basis) in one location, the fluoride level was 8 ppm (he misplaced a decimal point on the report. It should have read 0.8 ppm). Since I was the operator in charge I had to review his bench sheets and confirm that a misplaced decimal was the error. The MDEQ reviews all monthly operating reports (MORs) and is all over every community water distribution system since they are the primary regulatory agency. So, in conclusion, my conclusion is that Dr. Slott is correct. You are not intentionally lying. You are ignorant of the facts.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. And too, David, the problem is not so much that guys like Osmunson, Connett, Kennedy, etc. don’t know what they’re talking about….it takes about 5 minutes for intelligent people to discern that…..it’s when civic leaders buy into their hogwash, according them credence at the expense of facts and evidence. This is why their fallacies need to be exposed at every opportunity, exactly as you have very nicely done here and how Ken does so masterfully on his site here, and elsewhere. Proper education of the public is the way to put a stop to this worldwide campaign of misinformation and outright lies.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  36. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson says, “And FDA has jurisdiction over substances formulated with public water with the intent to prevent, treat or mitigate disease.” The reality is that the FDA has absolutely nothing to do with public water supplies. You are embarrassing yourself.

    Like

  37. @Steve,

    please refer me to where an antifluoridationist (which however I may not be, I am not sure) is saying that the fluoride ions in fluoridated water are different from the ones in natural water.

    Like

  38. Ken wrote: “OK, Soundhill, I get it. You are confused with all you gabble about gallons and butter.

    but I don’t think I caused your confusion. What I said was clear and obvious.”

    And previously: “This value came out of the explanation in Choi et al., (2013) in their response to a letter to the editor. They provided an example for a commonly used IQ scale normalised against a theoretical bell curve:

    “For commonly used IQ scores with a mean of 100 and an SD of 15, 0.45 SDs is equivalent to 6.75 points (rounded to 7 points).”

    This cannot simply be translated to any other IQ scale. For example these values would be inappropriate for the IQ scale used in Saxena et al., (2012) study you refer to later in your letter.”

    Ken you seem to be trying to imply that Lisa does not understand and to amplify that you try to imply not just simple conversion of scales involved but something much more abstruse.

    My “gallons and butter” was of course reminding you that this is only about scale conversion. I think to your annoyance it has made that plain.

    Like

  39. Soundhill, such comments are not hard to find. They usually fall into different groups like saying “natural” CaF2 is safe by synthetic NaF is not, fluorosilicic acid is different to fluoride, or that fluorosilicic acid survive dilution. Commonly they will claim that testing of NaF is not relevant to fluorosilicic acid..

    But here is a local example from FFNZz

    Ricky Mcmahon I like how they broadly use the term fluoride . It’s HYDROFLUOROSILICIC Acid that they put in the water not sodium fluoride . Still trying to hide the facts . And the dentists that advocate it should be shot . 10 · February 28 at 12:56am

    >

    Like

  40. Steve Slott

    Soundhill

    Before we go gish-galloping off in another direction, first things first. You have as yet to respond to my request to explain the difference between “natural water” and whatever other types of water you believe exist.

    Is there some sort of “unnatural” water, or “artificial” water which you believe exists? Is someone manufacturing artificial hydrogen and oxygen atoms? Please explain.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  41. “Is someone manufacturing artificial hydrogen and oxygen atoms?”

    They and fluoride atoms are not the only constituents of water.

    As I explained before, salmon can live in sea water at greater than 1ppm fluoride but not in fresh water at 0.2ppm. And that is not because there is too little in fresh water. When they are in fresh water toxicity occurs at a much lower level.

    The other constituents make a difference.

    I do not say all “natural” water is good. It may be high on arsenic &c, or too high on fluoride.

    I do not say all organic food is good. But I feel manipulated stuff has risks of being out of kilter.

    Bad teeth have happened to Maori who have been put on to grain foods and sugar. Before that they were 99% free of decay though may have had a bit of wear. And that is even if they were 60km from the coast so not getting sea food, demonstrated by a 20% goitre rate.

    “Natural” food and water was not stopping their goitre but it was good enough for their teeth.

    Lots of people are going off grain foods now for gluten intolerance and that may be a reason that teeth are improving.

    Grains my be higher in glycemic index than sucrose, and high blood sugar is not good for many organs in the body.

    High blood sugar can decrease salivary output and that will worsen teeth.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15362496

    Natural does not always work, and you have to go by what you can work out. Also use that with fluoride where the fact that it may blemish teeth ought to be a warning.

    Like

  42. Soundhill – please provide evidence for this claim:

    “salmon can live in sea water at greater than 1ppm fluoride but not in fresh water at 0.2ppm.”

    My understanding is that F contamination in river water does not kill the salmon, but (according to one paper anyway) reduces their navigation capacity hence interfering with the movement upstream to spawn.

    Yet you claim toxicity – what is the citation for this?.

    Like

  43. Soundhill, standard deviation is a measure of variability within a particular sample. If you take a different sample, measuring the same feature in the same population, you will more than likely get a different value for the mean and the standard deviation.

    By contrast, gallons, whether US or UK, are standardised, absolute measures (you can measure either, for instance, in cubic centimetres). They are known quantities, and do not vary according to a sample. Since these are known quantities, we can work out the conversion rate easily. 1 US gallon = 6.6614 UK gallons. Every. Single. Time.

    IQ is measured according to the mean and standard deviation of a normative sample. No doubt for good and valid reasons. Nevertheless, once you’ve calibrated the scale, IQ points are treated as an absolute measure. You can then concentrate on whether the IQ of a particular population or sub-population (say, people on a fluoridated water supply) is significantly different from others. By using such tools as mean, standard deviation and standard error.

    Like

  44. On the topic of salmon, Ken, I gather mortality is not directly due to the fluoride itself, but to the increased passage time caused by its interference with their migration instincts (presumably it interferes with their chemoreceptors).

    Pacific Salmon, after all, have a strictly limited lifespan once they start heading upstream to spawn. Any delays in their migration lead to increased mortality at different points along the way, and hence a reduced number of salmon surviving long enough to spawn.

    The paper in question, I believe: http://media.komonews.com/documents/John+Day+Dam+study.pdf

    Like

  45. Yes, Chris, that is the paper I was thinking of. Also, I remember that any deaths observed were attributed to the problems with migration, rather than any toxicity.

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  46. Steve Slott

    Too, Ken, Chris, the fluoride level under study at the John Day Dam was caused by direct discharge of fluoride into the Columbia River by an aluminum plant located very near the dam. It was not from runoff of fluoridated water.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  47. maybe I’m wrong about the salmon. They may just be worried that the fluoride will be toxic to the insects which their young feed on.

    But there’s many example in life and engineering where things have to be in balance.

    Plan to build a concrete house. Check up will there be sand available where you are going. Great. Get there with your needed amount of cement, but find there is no water. Can’t build house.

    Hamilton Water add calcium with the fluoride. They want the pH correct. Things will change, maybe germanium which somebody grumbled about when I mentioned it before.

    Adjustments may be made.

    I think Steve is trying to say a living organism is just the sum of its parts.

    Like

  48. “maybe I’m wrong about the salmon. They may just be worried that the fluoride will be toxic to the insects which their young feed on.”

    You know, Soundhill, this is why people find conversation with you so very frustrating. Even while admitting you might (just possibly) be wrong, you have followed up with still more ill-informed rampant speculation, then some kind of tangent involving an analogy about concrete, and then tried to put words into Steve’s mouth.

    I am quite sure that salmon do not have the cognitive capacity for the abstract thought required to work out whether or not fluoride is good for insect larvae.

    I am also quite sure you are not a good judge of what Steve means. I for one did not get anything like a sense that he was advocating reductionism (ie the idea that you can describe the behaviour of a living ecosystem or organism by breaking down and describing its component parts). Quite how you got that from him saying “fluoride levels were elevated because…” I have no idea.

    Like

  49. Technically, I suppose, you need not be able to work out whether something is good or bad in order to worry about it (witness all the things people worry about), but again, worrying about what is or is not good for insect larvae seems quite beyond the intellectual capabilities of salmon.

    Like

  50. Chris,

    Maybe I should’ve use the word, “knows,” which Webster says thinks is derived from. But Webster Online meaning number 1 (out of about 20 shades of meaning) : ” to form or have in the mind”?
    “Has in its instinctive mind”?

    If it could think like us it could conjecture that it might get through the barrier of greater fluoride to a suitable level further upstream.

    “I for one did not get anything like a sense that he was advocating reductionism ”

    No but I have a sharp mind.

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  51. “No but I have a sharp mind.”

    After careful consideration, I am going to confine myself to politely disagreeing with that assertion, as it conflicts with the way you present your arguments.

    Also, saying “I have a sharp mind” does not constitute support of your assertion about what Steve intended to say. I rather suspect Steve will disagree with your view of his intent.

    Like

  52. When we talk space exploration we often wonder could life live elsewhere than on earth. Gradually we moved from life could only be on earth to looking for water on Mars &c.

    Now as we explore oceans on earth we find “extremophile” organisms who can metabolise chemicals we didn’t formerly think possible.

    But most of the life we know lives in a fairly restricted sort of ecological niche. Change it much and corals &c die on mass.

    Is it possible that people who talk of natural water have a feeling for the sort of ecosystem it might support?

    We can make artificial blood for transfusions but it is hard to get it to do everything that natural blood does.

    I think some people feel natural water to be in a category that is hard to produce by engineering.

    If you have bled too much you may be given a saline drip to make up the fluid to keep your blood pressure OK and oxygen to some degree travelling around your body. If you lose too much blood a synthetic stuff is not going to be easy to make to carry oxygen, glycogen, and transport the necessary signaling hormones.

    I think some people think of water like a sort of blood. Sometimes I get pains if I drink much distilled water (Ultra Pure Dew from the supermarket). Water has a balance of minerals. It does not have everything, but helps.

    If we put in fluoride without totally knowing its interaction/balance with everything else then I think that that is what people mean by it not being “natural fluoride”.

    Some people have a feeling they do not want to use a second hand car or clothes. Can you jump that to a feeling some people might have for where a chemical came from? “I want “Fair Trade” bananas even though they are made with the same pesticides, and should be nutritionally the same for me, I feel better with the Fair Trade. Can you convince me to accept the ordinary ones? The feeling water natural water might be like that or it might be more fundamental, even.

    “(a) Mauri or life giving principle. Each river had its own mauri, and the mixing of water from two different sources such as two different rivers or water that contains or has contained human, animal, toxic or industrial waste is dangerous and could affect the productivity of the river. ”
    http://www.seakeepers-nz.com/RIVERS/rivermori.html

    So Maori thought different rivers have different ecologies adapted to them.

    You may be trying to override those sorts of feelings by your fluorine atoms talk and some people may be trying to override moneytheism sorts of feelings in you which they think has replaced beliefs they have.

    Like

  53. On the topic of salmon, using the word “knows” does not magically impart support to your assertions about salmon somehow being worried about what fluoride might or might not do to insect larvae. Rather, you are trying to convince us that “salmon (instinctively) know fluoride is bad.” You, of course, are firmly convinced that fluoride is bad, so why shouldn’t animals have instincts about it which back you up?

    You’re rather hazy about why instinct might tell salmon fluoride is bad, so you’ve thrown out random speculation about insect larvae. Completely devoid of either evidence or facts, presumably because you haven’t actually bothered to look into the question before throwing it out there.

    Were somebody able to point out evidence contradicting your belief about fluoride being toxic to insect larvae (as indeed I did for your assertion that fluoride was directly killing the salmon), you would no doubt shift to some fresh piece of random speculation.

    For the record, here is the first paper which popped up when I made a cursory search on fluoride and insect larvae. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15093316

    Please do not take this as an invitation to engage in further ill-informed speculation to try and sustain your ideas about the instincts of salmon.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Christopher Atkinson

    Soundhill,

    “Sometimes I get pains if I drink much distilled water (Ultra Pure Dew from the supermarket). Water has a balance of minerals. It does not have everything, but helps”

    Sometimes I get pains if I eat too many plums. Plums have a balance of nutrients. They don’t have everything, but they do help when I am hungry.

    “If we put in fluoride without totally knowing its interaction/balance with everything else then I think that that is what people mean by it not being “natural fluoride”.”

    fluoride occurs even in ‘unfluoridated’ water

    in many parts of the world ‘natural’ fluoride levels are higher than here in NZ?

    humans have lived with and evolved with fluoride in our diets since before we were human

    It makes more sense that we just don’t have enough fluoride in our diets.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. I’m not inclined to run through the entirety of your piece about “natural water” Soundhill, but I thought this bit was particularly bad, and I think it illustrates your muddled thinking.

    “I want “Fair Trade” bananas even though they are made with the same pesticides, and should be nutritionally the same for me, I feel better with the Fair Trade. Can you convince me to accept the ordinary ones?”

    You explicitly state that your desire for fair trade bananas has nothing to do with how “natural” they are, or with their nutritional content. Rather, I would imagine you favour fair trade bananas because the people who grow them, who are typically quite poor, get a better, more fair price for them than they would if they were selling their bananas through the regular supply chain.

    Now, why on Earth would I try and talk you out of supporting fair trade principles? I would actually encourage it. But please don’t try and convince us that people just “feel better” about fair trade bananas for no reason which they can articulate.

    Now, the part about fair trade bananas is just the egregious point which stood out to me. Believe me, I could identify numerous other points, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to go through them in detail.

    Like

  56. Steve Slott

    Soundhill, water is a chemical compound composed of molecules of two hydrogen atoms bonded to one oxygen atom. There is no such thing as “natural water”, there is simply water. You are confusing water with the substances found in water. Water can and usually does have a myriad of substances at myriad concentrations incorporated in it. However water is still simply H2O, regardless of the substances incorporated.

    Your misuse of the term “natural water” is evidently your method of implying that the addition of fluoride ions to water somehow defiles “natural water” rendering it “unnatural”, and therefore harmful.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Liked by 1 person

  57. @Chris Banks “For the record, here is the first paper which popped up when I made a cursory search on fluoride and insect larvae”

    Most of the studies seem to be about toxicity of fluoride to existing insects or larvae but do not comment on populations which may be reduced by avoidance of reproduction.

    Also there needs to be comment on those creatures which are constantly filtering water through.

    Like

  58. @Steve “Water can and usually does have a myriad of substances at myriad concentrations incorporated in it. However water is still simply H2O, regardless of the substances incorporated.”

    When “drinking water,” is spoken of, doesn’t it mean more than just H2O?

    Like

  59. @Chris Banks: “Now, why on Earth would I try and talk you out of supporting fair trade principles?”

    You might if you were a banana company who does not do fair trade.

    Like

  60. “You, of course, are firmly convinced that fluoride is bad, so why shouldn’t animals have instincts about it which back you up?”

    It’s a bit complex. It’s interesting know why rats might choose for example a low protein diet when they are short of protein. A lack of vitamin B1 (yeast) may reduce protein choice says a google book if you search scholar fluoride “the rats chose”

    Some may have better adaptive instincts than others. Some may change their choice after some weeks.

    Like

  61. Soundhill

    Water is H2O. Whatever semantics you wish to play with adjectives is entirely up to you. Intelligent people with whom I interact seem fine with terming water that has not been fluoridated as “non-fluoridated water”, however you are certainly free to call it whatever you choose. I am simply pointing out the fact that “natural water” is not a scientific term for a particular “form” of water. It is simply a term concocted and defined by you, in accordance with your own personal whims.

    By the same token, anyone who so desired could personally define “natural water” as water which has been fluoridated. I don’t choose to do so myself because I have no need to engage in cheap tactics. I have enough understanding of fluoridation to know that intelligent people do not need to be hoodwinked by misinformation and petty tactics in order to fully support this initiative. They simply need to be provided with honest, accurate information.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  62. @Steve “Your misuse of the term “natural water” is evidently your method of implying that the addition of fluoride ions to water somehow defiles “natural water” rendering it “unnatural”, and therefore harmful.”

    I would say a lot of people think that. I don’t know whether it’s like not wanting to consume food made by slave labour (actually AlJazeera program said Fair Trade is not much better), or whether it is a hangover from the past where people had many confusing choices to deal with and had to work by “hunches,” or knowledge passed down about poisonous plants or fish &c.

    But what I am saying is that it changes the balance of ions and maybe trace colloids in water that certain life had adapted to before that change.

    Inland life in NZ had adapted to low fluoride and iodine and probably other traces. Humans came along and did OK with low fluoride though not low iodide in many cases.

    Low fluoride was OK until grain flours were added to the diets. So a few countries now add fluoride to the water, especially USA where grain farmers get subsidies and vegetable farmers have trouble competing with the hamburger/bread industry because they do not get subsidies.

    Natural selection must be going on. That would be an interesting study. Whether epigenetic things are happening.

    At the moment the selective adaptation seems to involve this water fluoridation fight. Last year Dunedin dropped its level from 0.85 to 0.75 ppm. NZ has a recommended range from 0.7 to 1ppm. Presumably with Dunedin cooler than Hamilton they will drink less water so get less fluoride.

    People are left and right wing. Sometimes right wingers take pity on some people who are not doing so well, but generally the tendency is more every one for themselves. Left wingers tend to tend the poor a bit more. Fluoridation claims to be left wing. But sometimes some forms of left wing philosophy want to average out everybody.

    Gradually minorities are being acknowledged more. There may not be enough gluten intolerant people to get a political party into government for representation, but space is being made for their needs. People instinctively feel it is right to feel for minorities that way. And many are believing that water fluoridation is suspect.

    Like

  63. Soundhill, you are prattling on again.

    >

    Like

  64. Soundhill
    1. What you “say a lot of people think” is groundless and irrelevant.
    2. Water is H2O
    3. “Natural water” is not a scientific term. It is simply a term concocted and defined by you in accordance with your own, personal whims.
    4. If you have valid, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that you believe supports your claims, then present it, properly cited. I have no interest in your personal opinions or your personal philosophy.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  65. “if it could think like us…”
    The problem with your proposition is, as Chris pointed out to you, that salmon DON”T have that sort of cognitive ability, and that negates the rest of your statement. The term ‘flogging a dead horse’ comes to mind.

    Like

  66. “I think some people think of water like a sort of blood.”
    they are welcome to do so. Doesn’t make it so.

    Like

  67. Alison: ““if it could think like us…”
    The problem with your proposition is, as Chris pointed out to you, that salmon DON”T have that sort of cognitive ability, and that negates the rest of your statement.”

    If the fish could think like us it might wonder if there would be a more suitable fluoride level upstream beyond the city wastewater outflow. But since it cannot think like us it just may turn back.

    I see I had written, “They may just be worried that the fluoride will be toxic to the insects which their young feed on,” rather than “may just be thinking.”

    Rather should I have said, “Like many people they are programmed to turn away if the fluoride level is too great.”

    I am not sure if several of you set out to confuse, stress, and deprogram people, and then reprogram them how you want them. I set out to get them to see through that, the tiresome restricted word meanings &c, two-valued logic.

    Any inquiring scientists out there? While I have been searching for answers for Steve I have come across this: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/3/21
    If I read it correctly, harder water is better to avoid heart trouble, but it also increases the differential between systolic and diastolic blood pressure quite a lot. I thought hardened arteries increased that differential since a less flexible aorta cannot act so well as the reservoir to continue supplying the brain with blood while the heart is drawing in its next pulse. Puzzle. [Also note wrong minus sign in one correlation for women -274 should be 0.274 rank correlation of systolic blood pressure to water hardness.]

    So if Hamilton started adding calcium to the water at the same time they started fluoridating that would be a confounding factor.

    In Dunedin raw water hardness hovers around 12 and treated around 30. Got to check if that affects Broadbent’s results.

    Like

  68. Sorry averaged over last 2 years raw water about 27 and trreated 42 in hardness. Sorry giving out the figures before finding out properly about all the wells or reservoirs.

    Like

  69. soundhill,

    I’m late to this discussion due to work commitments, but…

    “We can make artificial blood for transfusions” Citation very much needed. I transfuse on a weekly basis and news that “artificial blood” has left the experimental stage would be world changing – so why isn’t it common knowledge?

    “I think some people think of water like a sort of blood.” Yes, you do, particularly if you think that saline can maintain oxygen levels around the body. That’s what you said in the paragraph immediately before this quote.

    Steve,

    I think soundhill is under the impression that tap water is a different substance depending on where it is sourced from – rivers, streams, springs, aquifers, bores, desalinated, distilled, etc. Which one of them s/he thinks is “natural water” is anybody’s guess.

    Like

  70. Stuartg
    please google water is the life blood

    Like

  71. @Stuartg

    You reinforce my point by saying we are nowhere near engineering blood.

    And you know you have to be careful mixing blood from different sources. Same as the Maori say about rivers. Don’t want to introduce competing ecology to a river.

    Like

  72. @Stuartg
    “natural” I suggest is what provides a niche for a particular “nature,”
    or ecology.

    I have shown how a paper says hard water is better for the human heart, and calcium from food is not correlated if I read correctly.

    Distilled water therefore might cause angina in some cases? (Which may be hard to distinguish from Christopher Atkinson’s pain on eating plums.)

    Like

  73. “I am not sure if several of you set out to confuse, stress, and deprogram people, and then reprogram them how you want them. I set out to get them to see through that, the tiresome restricted word meanings &c, two-valued logic.”

    Soundhill, I had considered explaining, yet again, why you had gotten your statements about salmon wrong. However, I think this latest outburst on your part illustrates that this is not a good-faith discussion on your part.

    It seems you regard people who disagree with you (about a range of topics) and provide structured, well-reasoned (and, yes, logical) arguments as to why, as engaged in some manner of elaborate conspiracy to brainwash people (specifically, presumably, you) into their way of thinking.

    Now, how exactly are we meant to have a good-faith discussion with somebody who regards any and all attempts to outline just where he’s gotten things wrong as some malevolent effort to brainwash him?

    This is not an attitude condusive to reasoned discussion, Soundhill, nor is it condusive to your personal growth or learning.

    Like

  74. @Chris Banks
    I make a comment on how it sometimes appears to me and you take that as a chance to try to shut of further discussion when you know the group is in trouble with my ideas of calcium/Broadbent &c.

    Like

  75. Through and through in “sceptic” groups is the two-valued approach, “I can accept nothing at all of what you say if you say one thing wrong.”

    Like

  76. “Soundhill, I had considered explaining, yet again, why you had gotten your statements about salmon wrong.”

    Salmon are in an ecosystem and responses are programmed into them by epigenetic and genetic adaption. If I say, “they expect,” something, isn’t it obvious I am talking about their programming?

    I understand, now my example about Salmon navigating OK in sea water but not in river water even though the fluoride level is lower, is not a good argument. Since in the river they may be trying to get away from the fluoride – i.e. away from the sea. If they come against a higher fluoride level, I do not dare say they, “think” they are coming towards sea, but rather they are programmed not to proceed that way.

    So I have been trying to introduce other examples of how the balance of constituents is important, to suggest that engineered water may not get it quite perfect for all tails of distributions.

    Like

  77. “It seems you regard people who disagree with you (about a range of topics) and provide structured, well-reasoned (and, yes, logical) arguments as to why, as engaged in some manner of elaborate conspiracy to brainwash people (specifically, presumably, you) into their way of thinking.”

    I once went on am assertiveness training course. It is quite common for people to do, I am not sure if philosophy students do it.

    I was very annoyed that they did not want me to use the word, “you,” as in, “you do it this way,” when explaining.
    To me that was trying to program out of people a very normal meaning of the word, “you,” as, “people in general.”

    I would much rather they had taught people the wider meanings of words, &c.

    They may have wanted to give a person a sense of their identity as apart from the next fellow, but I do not believe that is always appropriate. It may isolate a person and then give a more powerful force a better chance to rule them.

    So I grumble strongly when words are rejected on a basis of a lesser set of their meanings. I think it is part of trying to program people.

    What REALLY were you trying to achieve when you started to argue that salmon cannot think like us?

    Like

  78. I asked Chris, “What REALLY were you trying to achieve when you started to argue that salmon cannot think like us?”

    Because it seemed to me you were applying a technique to try to break down this discussion by making a fuss out of something rather obvious. Sorry if I were wrong.

    Like

  79. Soundhill, most of what you say is either wrong or unsubstantiated opinion which, whilst perhaps not wrong per se, is not going to convince anybody of anything. Where you get some fact right, the conclusions you draw from that fact are generally flawed.

    I have said, very clearly, that whilst I could address other points you have made, my time and inclination to do so is limited. You have a tendency to disjointedly ramble on about all manner of stuff, and I have a tendency to put time and effort into my replies. This is not a good match in terms of generating equal content. If you want somebody who will really get stuck in and utterly dismantle every single thing you say, I am not that person.

    I have been focusing on salmon because I have actually studied freshwater and marine ecology. This is an area of interest for me, and it pains me to see you mangling it so badly. Quite what criteria others are using to decide which of your statements they respond to, I have no idea.

    Perhaps if you were to take a step back and say “Hey, I think this specific question is really important to me, and I am going to stop all these digressions into unrelated topics so we can hash it out,” you might get a better response to what you want to talk about.

    Like

  80. “I asked Chris, “What REALLY were you trying to achieve when you started to argue that salmon cannot think like us?””

    No, Soundhill. No you did not. EVER.

    Read back up the page. You did not ask that question, or anything like it.

    What you did say was some rubbish about how you should have used the word “knows” instead.

    By all means, give me a quotation and a timestamp to look for if you think I’m wrong about this.

    Like

  81. ““I asked Chris, “What REALLY were you trying to achieve when you started to argue that salmon cannot think like us?””

    No, Soundhill. No you did not. EVER.”
    Timestamp 12:46pm

    I was just further going on with my reply, giving a bit of explanation of the intent behind my 12:46pm question.

    Like

  82. Steve Slott

    Soundhill

    “Engineered water”?

    I’m honestly looking forward to each new day to see what comical new names for fluoridated water you have fabricated.

    So far we have:

    1. “Natural water”
    2. “Engineered water”

    How will the mysterious [H2O + F- + countless other substances] be termed tomorrow? Only the Sounhill Semantics System knows for sure. Stay tuned………

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  83. @Chris: “What you did say was some rubbish about how you should have used the word “knows” instead.”

    Yes I realised that was not good.

    Not, “knows,” :”thinks,” or “expects,” but is genetically or epigenetically programmed, though look at the following:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fish_intelligence

    And seeking spawning ground, they have lived there before and “know?” its smell:

    “Salmon spend their early life in rivers, and then swim out to sea where they live their adult lives and gain most of their body mass. When they have matured, they return to the rivers to spawn. Usually they return with uncanny precision to the natal river where they were born, and even to the very spawning ground of their birth. It is thought that, when they are in the ocean, they use magnetoception to locate the general position of their natal river, and once close to the river, that they use their sense of smell to home in on the river entrance and even their natal spawning ground.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_run

    Perhaps the magnetoception is applying in the river, too, but the smell of fluoride overrides it.

    Do you concede there may be memory in their search for the spawning ground?

    Then remember that some salmon return each year and others may learn from seeing some of their behaviours as the first Wiki said.

    I still need to find if insects which have water-living larvae lay just as many eggs independent of fluoride level in the water.

    Like

  84. Oh, I see. You meant when you asked it literally in the very final line of your immediately preceding post. As opposed to, you know, back when the point was actually raised.

    Here’s a reminder of the actual conversation. You said:
    “maybe I’m wrong about the salmon. They may just be worried that the fluoride will be toxic to the insects which their young feed on.”

    I said:
    “I am quite sure that salmon do not have the cognitive capacity for the abstract thought required to work out whether or not fluoride is good for insect larvae.”

    Now, here’s the thing, Soundhill. It’s not the salmon which are worried about this. It’s you. And, yes, I think the word “you” is particularly appropriate in this case, given your effort to enlist non-sentient beings onto your side in order to make it sound as if you’ve got more support than you actually do.

    Instead of saying something a bit more intellectually honest, like “maybe salmon are averse to fluoride for good reasons. It may be an indicator for bad growing conditions for their offspring” (ideally, you would have checked to see if there was any evidence of adverse effects on insect larvae, or indeed anything else), you attempted to enlist the opinions of the salmon directly.

    “It’s not really me who’s concerned about this, it’s the salmon. Surely the salmon know better than you or I do.”

    Like

  85. Yes, Soundhill, well done. You have finally hit upon the correct answer. By following the ridiculously simple process of consulting wikipedia.

    It’s nothing to do with any impact of fluoride on suitable growing conditions. It’s all about fluoride interfering with their homing instincts. Whether by directly interfering with their chemoreceptors, or simply by altering the chemical signature of the water sufficiently that they no longer recognise it as leading to the lake in which they were born. I am unclear if that question was settled.

    Not that your post is entirely free of ill-informed speculation. Namely, “Maybe magnetoreception does guide them upriver and maybe the smell of fluoride interferes with that.”

    And then you finish with something completely wrong. “Then remember that some salmon return each year and others may learn from seeing some of their behaviours as the first Wiki said”

    It makes me despair, it really does. Remember, we are talking about Pacific Salmon here, specifically those on the north-west coast of North America. They do not return every year. They migrate upriver once, they spawn, and then they die. There is no scope for learning from the behaviour of other fish or from experience.

    Like

  86. “Now, here’s the thing, Soundhill. It’s not the salmon which are worried about this.”

    There’s tremendous extinction going on. Some animals suffer, perhaps try to get food differently. They may not be “worried,” like some humans are, they are just disappearing.

    Like

  87. Yes, Soundhill. Humans are worried. Humans have the capacity to think about these things, to work out why animals are having difficulties. We can identify problems and work out solutions to them. As indeed people did for the salmon at the John Day Dam.

    But in order to do so, we need to gather evidence. We need to understand how the world works, and figure out how and why our actions might impact different ecosystems.We can also observe negative effects and work out the cause.

    Historically, the scientific method has been very effective in understanding the world and devising responses to problems. Speculation is well and good, but it needs to be followed up with actual study, not treated as a cause for action (or indeed inaction) in itself.

    Like

  88. Speculation is well and good, but it needs to be followed up with actual study, not treated as a cause for action (or indeed inaction) in itself

    Ticht, ticht, Chris,
    Don’t you realise that you can back speculation up with more speculation? And that with even more?

    Like

  89. Steve Slott

    If one were to remove speculation from the equation the whole antifluoridationist house of cards would completely collapse. There would be nothing left.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  90. “Speculation is well and good, but it needs to be followed up with actual study, not treated as a cause for action (or indeed inaction) in itself.”
    So would you recommend I send Dunedin water hardness data to Choi et al and get them to include more of that from other countries with Ken’s fluorosis appearance suggestion?

    That calcium from water affects our metabolism is proven, but Ken’s idea is speculation, in that oral troubles means pain, difficulty chewing. broken or lost teeth, and appearance of fluorosis has not been partialled out.

    Why does Ken give pictures of adult fluorosis on this thread espepcially from people who may have been smokers when children were the subjects in the current study?

    Like

  91. Soundhill – as far as I can see nho one has oosted f=photos of “adult fluorosis on this thread” – smokers or not.

    The only images of fluorosis is the slide from Connett’s little get-together – it isn’t mine but I posted it in the open letter – not in any thread.

    Choi’s and Grandjean’s claim that their observed IQ deficits are cause dby chemical toxictiy is speculat5ion. My suggestion that a hypothesis uisng a cause od sevfere dental fluosis is worht considering is also based on speculation. However, boith ideas ar4e supoorted by evidence (water fluoride levels [except in the case of Choi et al (2015)] and occuirence of severe detnal fluorosis.)

    I have no idea what you idea of calcium in water and metabolism is about – but yes, if you think it credible, why not write a letter to the editor as I did and suggest it as a mechanism for Choi et al to consider in their future work?

    This is really not the place to float it – if you are at all serious. I seriously doubt Grandjean bothers to check out discussion here.

    Like

  92. On the topic of assertiveness training, I was going to say, “it certainly seems to have worked. You are a very assertive person. This is not necessarily a good thing.”

    But then, as is my way, I did some checking. It turns out that assertiveness, done properly at least, isn’t quite what I thought it was. The importance of the proper definitions of words at work, I suppose, and definitely something to look into further. So thank you, on that level, for raising the issue.

    However. As a result of my admittedly limited reading on the topic, my impression is that your behaviour does not fall into the category of assertiveness. Rather, it seems somewhat in line with passive-aggressiveness, in the sense that you seem more interested in disrupting discussion or annoying people than in constructive dialogue.

    I know I tend to get very annoyed as a consequence of our conversations.

    Like

  93. “So would you recommend I send Dunedin water hardness data to Choi et al and get them to include more of that from other countries with Ken’s fluorosis appearance suggestion?”

    No, Soundhill, I wouldn’t. I think you’d need evidence of something interesting going on before you could expect working scientists to go out and research a question on your behalf. My feeling is that Choi et al. would quite sensibly ignore you.

    This means that, rather than simply throwing random speculation at people (whether it be us or Choi et al.), you need to knuckle down, define your question properly, work out what information you need to investigate it, locate that information, and put in the work. Taking courses on science, statistics or the like may be helpful in this regard.

    Like

  94. T A Crosbie

    I suspect there is something fishy with the fluoridationists stance on salmon –
    Here’s a look at some of the scientific research:
    Salmon at risk?
    • 2006 report by the National Academy of Sciences, “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards,” (cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety/nas.htm.)
    A panel of independent scientists, reviewing research from the prior decade, raised concerns about three human health hazards from excess fluoride: severe dental fluorosis for children under the age of 8, the risk of bone fractures and several forms of skeletal fluorosis after lifetime exposure. In response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lowered the recommended dose of fluoride in drinking water to 0.7 milligrams per liter; down from a range of 0.7 milligrams to 1.2 milligrams. And the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would consider lowering the maximum amount of fluoride it permits in public waterways, currently 4 milligrams per liter.
    • 2012 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, “Developmental Fluoride Neurotoxicity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491930).
    Reviewing other studies, they concluded that children in areas with naturally high levels of fluoride have “significantly lower” IQs. “The results support the possibility of an adverse effect of high fluoride exposure on children’s neurodevelopment.”
    • 1989 study published in North American Journal of Fisheries Management; “Evidence for Fluoride Effects on Salmon Passage at John Day Dam, Columbia River, 1982—1986” )tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1577/1548-8675(1989)009%3C0154%3AEFFEOS%3E2.3.CO%3B2).
    National Marine Fisheries Service biologists David Dankaer and Douglas Dey found that fluoride emitted by an aluminum plant near the John Day Dam negatively affected the survival rate and passage time of salmon navigating the dam passage. They concluded that a safe level of fluoride in rivers for chinook and coho salmon is no more than 0.2 milligrams per liter.
    • 1994 study published in Fluoride, “The Impact of Artificial Fluoridation on Salmon Species in the Northwest USA and British Columbia, Canada” (sonic.net/kryptox/environ/salmon.htm.)
    Researchers found fluoridated water enters rivers at levels higher than 0.2 milligrams per liter. They cited a study that found effluent from the fluoridated water system of Minneapolis-St. Paul entered the Mississippi River at 1.21 milligrams per liter, and took 16 kilometers before the water was back down to the safe levels of 0.2 milligrams per liter.
    Obviously something happens when fluoride levels are raised, which for me calls into question the claim that when water is fluoridated with hydrofluorosilicic acid the only thing that remains in the water is the fluoride ion.

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  95. Trev, I suspect you haven’t even read this open letter because you don’t relate to it at all. Even though you refer to Choi et al (2012) you seem oblivious to my discussion of it.

    What about coming to grips with my article Perrott (2015) and the hypothesis am have suggested to Choi et al. It actually explains their data in their recent paper much better than the chemical toxicity hypothesis.

    Finally you talk about other things being in the water beside F-. Yet no discussion of evidence for this or what it may be!

    >

    Like

  96. Oh dear, Trevor. It turns out you have plagiarised the Portland Tribune and chopped out the bits of the article you didn’t like.

    http://portlandtribune.com/sl/128422-flouride-debate-what-does-scientific-research-say

    Copying and pasting a chunk of text which happens to include the very paper we have been talking about for some time now is not the kind of thing which impresses anyone.

    Like

  97. “Here’s a look at some of the scientific research:”

    No, Trevor. There is a look at some antifluoridationist’s skewed, misrepresentation of “some of the scientific research”.

    Steven D. Slott, DDS

    Like

  98. soundhill,

    “We can make artificial blood for transfusions,” “we are nowhere near engineering blood,” “water is the life blood.”

    All three are direct quotes from you. The first two cannot be reconciled because they are direct opposites. All they do is confirm to the world that you know nothing about the subject you are wittering on about.

    I take it that you don’t have the citation I asked for which would validate your first quote.

    As for “water is the life blood,” it’s nice poetic imagery, but nothing to do with science.

    Liked by 1 person

  99. @Stuartg is English you first language?

    We can make scones with very little baking powder but they may be rock hard.

    Like

  100. @Stuartg

    My parallel: engineered blood expander: engineered water

    You point out the blood expander is not much good. I agree. We are some distance from engineered haemoglobin. Same with engineered water.

    Maybe we could work out means to reduce fish trouble from fluoride: put alternative natural fluoride channels around the outflows same as can be done for hydro dams so othat physcial barrier no longer blocks the fish. May have to do it sooner rather than later while some fish still have the memory of the spawning/feeding areas. Unless fish are exploratory with scouts like ants.

    And when we fluoridate water in big plants we also put in some calcium compound if the natural water is low in. That will help with balance for humans but may not be correct for creatures adjusted to low calcium in the river with the waste water.

    I need to find other places to ask about why hard water is better for heart health than calcium in food, which showed in my ref. I noted smoking was greater in the hard water area and greater systolic/diastolic blood pressure differential. Is the smoking hardening the aorta or is the hard water hardening it?

    I will take hints from anywhere, like Michio Kuchi who says natural tobacco is not as great a cancer risk as a high calcium – milk diet. Possibly the high calcium diet is putting more demands on the store of vitamin D, so reducing the amount available for cell differentiation.

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  101. abusumayahlaughton

    According to the government nutrition guidelines I’m deficient in the so called nutrient fluoride because the water in Christchurch isn’t fluoridated. You can read more about this problem of mine here: https://morefatlesssugar.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/is-there-such-thing-as-a-fluoride-deficiency/

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