Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring

Anti-fluoride campaigners don’t agree. Image credit:Dental Care Tips for Mom and Baby” presentation

What’s the story about this new IQ-fluoride study? The one that claims fluoride intake by pregnant women could endanger their children’s IQ?

Whatever the truth, it has certainly got the anti-fluoride activists going. Mary O’Brien Byrne, leader of the local anti-fluoride group is even suggesting people check if their mothers lived in fluoridated areas. And they are busy promoting the newspaper articles on this. For example Fluoride exposure in utero linked to lower IQ in kids, study saysChildren’s IQ could be lowered by mothers drinking tap water while pregnant, and Higher levels of fluoride in urine linked to lower IQ scores in children.

Best not rely on those media reports, though – you know how unreliable they can be. The original paper is available – this is the citation:

Bashash, M., Thomas, D., Hu, H., Martinez-mier, E. A., Sanchez, B. N., Basu, N., … Hernández-avila, M. (2016). Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6 – 12 Years of Age in Mexico. Environmental Health Perspectives, 1, 1–12.

And here is a link to the full text. Download it and see what sense you make of it. I warn you it is a difficult paper to read.  A lot of information is lacking and the information that is included is hard to find. The statistical analysis is incomplete.

A new twist on the tired old fluoride/IQ story

Basically, it is the old drinking water fluoride causes lowering of IQ story. This time it relates to a supposed association of fluoride intake by pregnant mothers with cognitive deficits in their children. Interesting, only one other similar study (involving fluoride exposure while pregnant) has been reported – in January this year, and also in Mexico. I wrote about that study of Valdez Jiménez et al., (2017), In utero exposure to fluoride and cognitive development delay in infants,  in the article Premature births a factor in cognitive deficits observed in areas of endemic fluorosis?

Briefly, the Valdez Jiménez et al., (2017) study was from Mexican areas of endemic fluorosis with very high fluoride concentrations in drinking water so the results are not applicable to areas where community water fluoridation is used. However, the high incidence of premature births, and low birthweights for the children, for mothers with high urinary fluoride levels does suggest that problems of birth in areas of endemic fluorosis could provide a biological mechanism to explain the IQ deficits. Rather than a direct chemical toxicity mechanism.

What about the Bashash, et al. (2017) paper?

Generally, the paper concludes that “higher prenatal fluoride exposure . . . .was associated with lower scores on tests of cognitive function in the offspring.”

So here are some concerns I have about the paper

1: An association is not evidence of, or proof for, causation. Yes, that is the normal and obvious qualification for such studies and authors tend to repeat it – even if they might still attempt to argue the case that it is evidence. A lot of confirmation bias goes on with these sort of correlational studies.

2: The information about the mothers is scant. My first question, given it was Mexico, was did they come from areas of endemic fluorosis? The women were recruited from three hospitals in Mexico city but this says nothing about their current or former residential areas. No information on drinking water fluoride is presented nor any biological assessment, such as dental fluorosis, given which could help estimate the role of endemic fluorosis.

3: Assessment of fluoride exposure relied completely on urine fluoride concentration measurements. With between one and three samples for each mother-child pair! (Of the total sampled there was only one sample for 217, two for 224 and three for 71 mothers). I believe that is completely inadequate for estimating exposure – especially as fluoride levels in urine vary markedly during the day and with diet. Besides the extremely low sample numbers,  the World Health Organisation has warned that while urinary fluoride can be useful for monitoring populations “Urinary fluoride excretion is not suitable for predicting fluoride intake for individuals.”  (see Contemporary biological markers of exposure to fluoride). They further warn that 24 hr collection is preferred to the spot sampling used in this study.

4: The statistical information presented is confusing – and insufficient to estimate how relevant the reported statistically significant associations are. I believe the best idea of the data can be gleaned from the following figures presented in the paper.

Figure 2 displays the data and association of maternal urinary fluoride (MUFcr) with a general cognitive index (CGI) for the 4 yr old offspring.

Figure 3A displays the data and association of maternal urinary fluoride (MUFcr) with IQ of the offspring at age 6 -12.

While linear regression analysis showed statistically significant associations of the CGI and IQ of offspring’s with maternal urinary fluoride levels the large scatter indicates these associations will explain only a small part of the variations observed. In such situations, reliance on p values can be misleading. As a reader, I would be more interested in the R2 values which indicate the amount of variation explained by the association.

I estimate the reported relationships with maternal urinary fluoride could explain no more than a few percent of the variation in the data. In this case, I would expect that other risk-modifying factors that explain the variation more completely could be found. And if these were included in the multiple regressions there may not be any observable relationship with urinary fluoride.

I discussed this issue more fully in my article Fluoridation not associated with ADHD – a myth put to rest which showed that a published relationship of ADHD with fluoridation extent disappeared completely when altitude was included as a risk-modifying factor. And that relationship showed less scatter of the data points than in the figures above.

5: The absence of any association of child IQ to child urine fluoride was also reported in this paper. This conflicts with other researchers working in areas of endemic fluorosis who have reported such associations. It could be that the urine fluoride measurements used in the present study were not suitable. But I am picking that the anti-fluoride campaigners will be very silent about that information, given the importance they give to other studies showing a relationship in their propaganda.

Conclusions

it is a very unsatisfying paper. I couldn’t determine if areas of endemic fluorosis were implicated – as they were for the Valdez Jiménez et al., (2017) study. Urinary fluoride is an inadequate measure of fluoride exposure – especially for individuals and spot samples – and its variability does not allow comparison with other studies and other regions. I couldn’t evaluate if the reported results were relevant to New Zealand which does not have any endemic fluorosis.

Finally, I believe aspects of the statistical analysis were inadequate. But on the positive side, I am pleased the authors did display the actual data in their figures. The information in those figures forced me to conclude that maternal urinary fluoride may not have the influence the authors suggest. If it does have an influence its contribution can only be minor and other more important risk-modifying factors will be involved.

Mind you – I am sure anti-fluoride campaigners will see it differently. They are currently heavily promoting the study and anti-fluoride guru Paul Connett sees it as the best thing since sliced bread. He has gone on record to say this means the end of community water fluoridation!

Update

I think the anti-fluoride people are aware of weaknesses in this study. The local Fluyodie Free NZ has put out a press release including a figure which they have doctored to remove the data points which show how little variation is explained. Compare their figure with the Fiugure 2 above.

Fluoride Free NZ doctors figure from paper to hide the scatter in data points showing how little of the variability the relationship explains

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50 responses to “Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring

  1. As anyone who follows the anti fluoride lot, knows, they will dine out for years on any paper that even hints at a reason to stop C.W.F
    .It will be splashed across social media as if it came from the Mayo Clinic or some other quality source.
    What the peers say about it is irrelevant. This will be another paper that fits the bill to scaremonger

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ken: it appears that your email server has my emails blacklisted . .I’ll resend a bit later.

    Your message has encountered delivery problems
    to the following recipient(s):

    perrottk@clear.net.nz
    (Was addressed to perrottk@clear.net.nz)
    Delivery failed after 1 attempts within 0 minutes554 5.7.1 DNS Blacklisted by safe.dnsbl.sorbs.net

    No recipients were successfully delivered to.

    Chuck

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  3. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    FDA says “Do Not Swallow” fluoride toothpaste.
    FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.”
    EPA reports about a quarter of children ingesting too much fluoride and they omit the fetus and infants.
    NIEHS 2011 data shows more than 60% of adolescents have dental fluorosis.
    Most of the 300 studies on fluoride’s neurotoxic effects consistently report harm.
    Most developed countries and over 200 cities/water districts have rejected water fluoridation on ethical and/or scientific reasons.
    National Toxicology Program (NTP) review of animal studies reports moderate evidence of fluoride’s neurotoxic effects.

    With little or no benefit, mothers should not drink fluoridated water when pregnant or wanting to become pregnant.

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  4. Bill, despite your position as Director of the Fluoride Action Network and the responsibility you have for the misleading promotion of the study mentioned in my article and the next one – Maternal urinary fluoride/IQ study – an update – (and the unethical distortion of a figure from that study) you seem unable to actually engage with the subject of this article.

    Instead, you repeat the tired old arguments which have been discussed and refuted many times here and also by others.

    Perhaps the intentional isolation imposed by your group means that you are just not used to a good faith engagement on these scientific issues.

    Perhaps your widespread ban on people like me, prevention from commenting on any website or facebook page you control directly or indirectly, has prevented you from actually honing the skills of rational debate.

    So, here is a question for you. Why doesn’t your organisation stop this imposed ban on people like me and allow honest and open discussion of this issue?

    Like

  5. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson. Really.

    Your quote: “FDA says “Do Not Swallow” fluoride toothpaste.”

    Response: You are lying. It’s not the FDA that says “Do not swallow.” It’s the toothpaste manufacturers themselves. Please show me the FDA quote that says this.

    As any novice knows, toothpaste contains approximately 2000 times the concentration of fluoride as optimally fluoridated water. Why are you lying about this?

    Your next quote: “FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.””

    Response: You are lying. The FDA has approved optimally fluoridated Bottled Water, over which it has jurisdiction (since bottled water is considered a “food.”) Please see the following link.
    https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/labelingnutrition/ucm073602.htm

    These are your first two statements, Bill. You are lying in each case. Shall I go on?

    Please explain why you feel the need to lie to bolster your agenda.

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  6. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    David, Please be professional.
    In order to be FDA approved, fluoride toothpaste is, the FDA has to agree to the health claim based on efficacy, dosage, safety and label. In the case of fluoride toothpaste, the FDA permits variable wording, but requires the words, “Do Not Swallow.” Read the FDA Orange Book on Fluoride.

    Yes, toothpaste is more concentrated than fluoridated water. The FDA’s concern is over a “pea size” amount and in other documentation, the FDA based the warning on 0.25 mg of fluoride, about 12 oz of fluoridated water.

    Regarding fluoridated water, the FDA did not “approve” the fluoridated water. Congress passed a law which gives companies the right to “notify” the FDA of a health claim, based on the support of two (I believe it is more than one) other Federal agencies. The FDA was notified of the claim on bottled water, but there was no NDA review and approval process based on science.

    Please get professional or I will no longer respond.

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  7. David made the mistake of getting caught up with your diversions, Bill.

    But how professional is it for you to comment on my article here without relating any of your comments to the article itself? To, instead, attempt a diversion with your old tired arguments?

    As Director of FAN, you should be ethically obliged to respond to my point about the distortions you are propagating about the research. To produce a graphic which removes all the data points (the main information in the original figure) and is not the correct graph anyway. You presumably did not want to use the IQ graph becuase it implied no effect at lower concentrations.

    And you refuse completely to respond to the fact that the observed relationship is extremely weak, explaining only 3 – 4 % of the variation in IQ values. Such a weak relationship would most likely disappear completely when a genuine risk-modifying factor is included in a multiple regression. As I showed for the paper of Malin and Till (and their relationship initially explained 20 – 30% of the variation in ADHD prevalence). See Fluoridation and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – a critique of Malin and Till, British Dental Journal, In Press.

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  8. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson.

    Thank you for directing me the the FDA Orange Book. I did just as you suggested. The following paragraph is relevant to our discussion:

    “Subpart C — Labeling

    (ii) Gel or paste dosage form with a theoretical total fluorine concentration of 1,500 ppm identified in 355.10(b)(2). Adults and children 6 years of age and older: Brush teeth thoroughly, preferably after each meal or at least twice a day, or as directed by a dentist or doctor. Instruct children under 12 years of age in good brushing and rinsing habits (to minimize swallowing). Supervise children as necessary until capable of using without supervision. Children under 6 years of age: Do not use unless directed by a dentist or doctor.”

    Despite the fact that none of this has anything to do with the post under which we are commenting, I am surprised to now discover that you are the Director of the Fluoride Action Network. I would think someone in your position would be more careful about making blatantly incorrect statements.

    The FDA does not say “Do not swallow” toothpaste. It says, “minimize swallowing.” On that same page, and relevant to this, we see:

    “(2) For all fluoride rinse and preventive treatment gel products. “Keep out of reach of children. [highlighted in bold type] If more than used for” (select appropriate word: “brushing” or “rinsing”) “is accidentally swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.” These warnings shall be used in place of the general warning statements required by 330.1(g) of this chapter.”

    This is because, as you have explained earlier, toothpaste has a much higher concentration of fluoride than optimally fluoridated water. Toothpaste is not intended to be eaten.

    To illustrate the point, giving a child one chewable aspirin to swallow would be safe. Letting a child eat an entire bottle of chewable aspirins would be harmful. That is why chewable aspirins are labeled with the words, “Keep out of reach of children.”

    Nevertheless, nowhere does the FDA require the words “Do not swallow” to be printed on toothpaste. It would be impossible not to swallow some amount of toothpaste after brushing.

    MORE RELEVANT TO OPTIMALLY FLUORIDATED WATER (around which this discussion should center) . . . Nowhere an a bottle of FDA regulated Fluoridated Bottled Water will you see the statements, “Do not swallow,” or, “Keep out of reach of children.”

    Regarding FDA approval for ingested fluoride, this is your comment: “FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.””

    This is from the FDA webpage: ” . . the food eligible to bear the claim is bottled water meeting the standards of identity and quality set forth in 21 CFR 165.110, containing greater than 0.6 and up to 1.0 mg/L total fluoride, and meeting all general requirements for health claims . . ”

    And what are those “general requirements?” As explained earlier on the same page: ” . . a health claim based on an authoritative statement from an appropriate scientific body of the United States Government or the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) or any of its subdivisions.”

    The FDA considers an authoritative statement from one of these bodies “complete evidence of effectiveness.” Again, your statement was blatantly false. Be professional and admit it.

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  9. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Professional scientists attack the message, not the messenger.

    Attacking the messenger is a clear indication of a lack of factual evidence to support the theory, or simply an arrogant bully.

    I did not put out the graph, although I agree with the point.

    You suggested I made a diversion. No. I am creating a global view for judgment. A microscopic view needs to be taken along with a macroscopic and total view. (And your comment about ADHD could be considered a diversion.)

    As I understand your concept and math, I think Bashah and authors and peer reviewers would agree. Out of 100 IQ points, the evidence points to only about a 2.5 to 3 point or percentage reduction in IQ. Obviously, the weight of evidence is a judgment call. I am not a biostatistician. I rely first on the Food and Drug Administration for their approval of efficacy. FDA has denied approval for the ingestion of fluoride.

    However, risk is a difficult concept to test. . . ethically. We can’t do RCT on risk to determine how much fluoride is needed to cause harm. Therefore, supporters approach the practice wanting a high degree of proof of harm (which is not possible ethically) and others, such as myself, are more cautious. We advocate a precautionary principle for the mass medication of everyone in a population without their consent. If you want to prescribe fluoride for your patients, as a doctor, I think you should be able to. However, I do not think that a group of non-scientists should legislate an unapproved substance on non-consenting adults without clear evidence of both safety and efficacy. Fluoride ingestion has neither.

    The Bashah et al study is huge, but not definitive. All streams of evidence must be combined for judgment. The NTP reviewed animal studies and determined with a moderate degree of confidence that fluoride is a neurotoxicant. They are now reviewing human studies, and if the evidence from human studies reaches the level of “moderate,” then fluoride will be defined by the National Toxicology Program as a neurotoxicant (as have others such as Grandjean).

    This is really the first significant USA (funded) study to even evaluate the neurotoxicity of fluoride. For 70 years proponents have assured the public fluoride is safe. Now with 300 studies (not high quality) on neurotoxicity and the vast majority agreeing with harm, the weight of evidence is a serious concern.

    It is a judgment call, based on all streams of evidence.

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  10. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    David,

    I agree with the FDA and I think my statement is in keeping.

    The claim of effectiveness of fluoridated bottled water did not go through the FDA NDA process. The FDA did not scientifically approve the ingestion of fluoride.

    What is the NDA number for fluoridated bottled water? Please send that to me.

    The FDA was “notified” of intent to make the health claim. The FDA did not do a scientific review of efficacy and safety with label at that time because they had done it previously and application was rejected.

    “Keeping out of reach of children” is a different concept than “Do Not Swallow.”

    With the toothpaste label, the FDA does permit variable wording.

    Regarding the 0.25 mg, the a “pea” comes in various sizes. When I squeezed out 75 “pea size’ amounts of toothpaste from my small new tube of toothpaste, I calculated each had 0.5 mg of fluoride. When I testified to that effect to the Senators in the Oregon Legislation, one Senator asked Dr. Pollick (UCSF) how much of the toothpaste was a concern, how many milligrams was that. He testified it was 9.25 mg. In other words, my pea size of toothpaste was twice as large as it should have been. I then looked more, and the FDA document used (which I don’t have at my finger tips) said 025 mg is the amount of fluoride. Keep looking David, you are asking the right science questions.

    I agree, it would be impossible to not swallow some toothpaste when brushing or have the fluoride absorbed in the mouth to some degree. One reason fluorosis has dramatically increased to over 60%, 26% moderate and 2% severe in the USA.

    David, you said, ‘The FDA considers an authoritative statement from one of these bodies “complete evidence of effectiveness.” ‘

    Remember, the evidence is not the FDA’s but rather Congress changing the law to require the FDA to permit the health claim. The FDA did not do the review. What is the NDA for fluoridated bottled water?

    And, what about 0.25 mg fluoride supplements? The same 0.25 mg amount as 8 to 12 oz of fluoridated bottled water. The FDA has not approved the supplements at the same dosage.

    Like

  11. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson,

    First of all, we have agreed that there is no Warning Label of any kind required for FDA Regulated Fluoridated Bottled Water. Fluoridated Bottled Water is Optimally Fluoridated Water. Water with 0.6 – 1.0 ppm F is the subject at hand. The issue is not toothpaste. The FDA does not require any warning label for its optimally fluoridated water. Do we agree on this?

    That being said, you say, “I agree with the FDA and I think my statement is in keeping.”

    Ok, let’s take a look at what you said. You said, “FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.””

    How exactly did you arrive at the conclusion that the FDA considers evidence of effectiveness incomplete? Please answer that question.

    In fact, you put the word “incomplete” in quotation marks. You are telling us that the FDA has actually said this. Please show me any statement from any FDA webpage in which the FDA says the evidence of the effectiveness of fluoride is “incomplete.”

    I stand by my original accusation. You are not being honest.

    But to be clear, you are not saying that the FDA has never “approved swallowing fluoride.” You are simply saying that the FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride for the prevention of dental caries. Is that correct?

    KEN: I apologize to you for what must seem like a diversion from the subject of your post, but as Bill Osmunson has said, he is, “creating a global view for judgment.” I would like to take a very close look at his macroscopic, total view . . and let’s see if it holds water.

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  12. David Fierstien

    Bill O.,

    For the record, so anyone in the future can freely quote you on this, you said:

    “I agree, it would be impossible to not swallow some toothpaste when brushing or have the fluoride absorbed in the mouth to some degree. One reason fluorosis has dramatically increased to over 60%, 26% moderate and 2% severe in the USA.”

    A reason for the increase of dental fluorosis in the U.S. is the swallowing of toothpaste. I agree, especially when you consider marketing tactics that have made children’s toothpaste more appealing. In the 1950s – the 1990s, flavored toothpaste catering to children’s tastes didn’t exist. There was no Bubble-Gum flavored toothpaste, or anything like that.

    But you hadn’t considered that when you made your comment about the swallowing of toothpaste and dental fluorosis, did you.

    Do you have any evidence that optimally fluoridated water is responsible for harmful degrees of dental fluorosis? A simple No will suffice.

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  13. Bill, I think you should look at your comments on professional behaviour. It is surely unprofessional for you and your organisation to direct all your groups to prevent scientists from commenting on their pages. And let’s not get onto the personal attacks by these groups on people like me who are denied the right of reply. Is that not juvenile bullying?

    However, You agree that the graphic promoted by your organisation omitted the most important information – the data? Then do something about it. Withdraw the figure and, if you must, replace it with the correct figure (fig 3A) and include the data. Let people see what you are basing your claims on.

    No, I do not think you understand my point. The data simply doesn’t allow one to determine that there is a “2.5 to 3 point or percentage reduction in IQ” because the relationship presented explains so little of the variation – of the data. The correct “judgement call” is that this study cannot be used to make the claims you and your organisation make of it.

    But again you are diverting. The study is not huge – except in your mind and your organisation’s propaganda. Just over 200 subjects, a relationship explaining only 3.6% of the variance in child IQ, the fact that no relationship was found with the children in the first 3 years, etc.

    So your divert – despite the fact you come here to comment on an article related specifically to this study and its problems. Why comment here if you cannot come to grips with the study (admittedly the paper is very poorly written) and its critique? Why? Simply to attempt a diversion.

    I do not think, considering your ideological bias, you are the appropriate person to make these “judgement calls” you talk about. It is surely straw clutching to talk about studies showing biological harm to people living in areas of endemic fluorosis as if they are relevant to community water fluoridation. There is no credible study showing any harm from the use of optimum levels of fluoride used in such schemes – in fact, quite the opposite. So you must rely completely on inappropriate studies to support your political message.

    Biological harm to people living in areas of endemic fluorosis is a real concern as it affects millions of people. It is simply dishonest to use that concern and the research emanating from it in the political way you have.

    This image, used in one of your conferences, does show the problems of endemic fluorosis – but we certainly don’t see those problems in New Zealand. None at all. It is unethical to use such evidence in the way you do.
    xiang-Endemic fluorosisa>

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  14. David Fierstien

    Yes, Dr. Osmunson.

    First, did you actually use the image that Dr. Perrott has presented above in one of your conferences, whose sole intent was to argue against community water fluoridation?

    And secondly, am I still “asking the right science questions?”

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  15. That image was from a slide of Prof Xiang’s presentation to Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network conference in 2014.

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  16. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Fluoridated Bottled Water has never gone through the NDA approval process. So the label is not based on a review of the science by the FDA CDER.

    Ken. The image of severe skeletal and dental fluorosis is not mine. I think I’ve seen it before and it could have been at a FAN conference.

    I don’t use any image without data. I don’t control other people. This is not a kingdom like the ADA where everyone is supposed to stay in line. The decline in IQ is small regardless of the graph. But a small IQ difference, such as 1 mg/L F, halves the number of gifted and doubles the low IQ mentally challenged. Look at the graphs and compare the tales of the bell curve. More fluoride, fewer gifted, more mentally retarded.

    The EPA bases their MCLG on minimizing severe skeletal fluorosis. EPA maintains there is no harm or risk to anything except severe dental fluorosis. National Research Council 2006 disagreed. Some people can experience harm at lower concentrations before they have severe reactions.

    David, I appreciate you moving to a more professional tone. Thank you. Yes, you are asking good questions and there are many more. If I were to make a suggestion, it would be in regards to judgment. Carefully look at benefits, risks, total exposure and jurisdiction with the literature as a whole, not just one side.

    The research on benefit is not good and mixed. If one is willing to accept the poor research on benefit, then the same quality of research as it relates to risk should be accepted. We must not have bias with a double standard.

    At the last FAN conference, my only presentation, 15 minute minutes, was on some of the evidence from the FDA, JADA, EPA, NHANES 2000, 2011 and other publications which have found very little or no benefit. If there is little or no benefit, the cost and risks make fluoridation unacceptable.

    Took me several years of careful evaluation before I changed my mind on water fluoridation. It also took getting to know some people with adverse effects. Some are so very sensitive to small amounts of fluoride such as fluoridated water, mechanically deboned meat, etc.

    I have not denied anyone the right to comment in any place, even my office or home. And I do not control the people who are opposed or to or promote fluoridation. FAN is not a membership organization. Almost all are volunteers. We have two full time paid employees and I receive no compensation for anything from FAN. I pay my own transportation to meetings and pay my own lodging and food. FAN is a group of similarly minded people, several have been seriously harmed from fluoride, who find fluoridation is not ethical, too many are ingesting too much, the benefits are minimal if any, the risks have not been carefully studied and the literature is growing in opposition to fluoridation.

    Judgment for me, required a careful evaluation of all aspects, not just a few studies.

    When all put together, the best place to reduce excess exposure is to give people freedom to get fluoride from other sources and turn off the fluoride pumps.

    I will admit the ethics is hard for me to swallow. When asked, most dentists and government scientists I’ve talked to agree, freedom of choice is a huge factor. No new substance or drug will be added to public water. Fluoridation could not start now based simply on ethics. Several countries have stopped or never started because of ethics. Even when I supported fluoridation, I had no good answer for those who wanted freedom of choice.

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  17. Bill, the fact is your organisation FAN used the image without data – and the wrong image at that. You must take responsibility for what your organisation does – surely. Especially when it misrepresents both eh image and the conclusions.

    In this case, the graphic distributed by FAN is completely misleading.

    You seem to want to avoid this issue – which comes down to the scatter in the data. This relationship just cannot be used to estimate an effect – not because the effect is small but becuase the relationship is extremely poor as it explains only 3.6% of the variance. The only conclusion one can draw from the statistical analysis (and I showed that in Maternal urinary fluoride/IQ study – an update) is that one should look for a more credible risk-modifying factor. Maternal urinary F is not suitable – or at least, the poor sampling used in this study is not suitable.

    Can you not understand the significance of the small R-squared value in the regression analysis? Can you not look at the graphs and see the extreme scattering?

    It is disingenuous to claim that “National Research Council 2006 disagreed” with the conclusion that the main problem with fluoride is severe dental fluorosis. They, in fact, concluded that the contamination levels for fluoride should be reduced from 4 ppm to 2 ppm simply on the basis of the risk of severe dental fluorosis.

    Yes, they reviewed the literature on all sorts of other effects – but did not find them significant enough at low concentrations to change their conclusions. Just because they recommended continued research does not mean they included those findings from high concentration studies in their final conclusions.

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  18. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    My thoughts turn to other controversial issues such as CT in football, tobacco, global warming, statins, fluoride, etc. etc.

    None of those have absolute proof of harm and each needs further study.

    However, the evidence for each is predominantly going in one direction and thoughtful scientists not in the pocket of of vested interests feel the evidence is strong enough that more protection in football, less tobacco, cleaner air/water/fuel efficiency, alternatives to statins when possible, and reduce fluoride exposure, etc is the prudent direction to take.

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  19. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Wrong question.

    Total exposure is the concern and question.

    Fluoride in Foods, medications,pesticides, post-harvest fumigants, dental products water, and air must be included in dosage. No one lives in isolation with only one source.

    Water is only part of total exposure

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  20. Clearly, Bill, you do not want to discuss the Mexican urinary F paper, or at least do not understand it enough to discuss it. Which rather poses the question of why you should be commenting on this article of mine.

    Perhaps then you could deal with my question about the way your organisation prevents discussion on Facebook pages and websites it controls.

    Why should people like me be banned from input on scientific issues when they Are discussed. And what do you think of the childish bullying people like me are exposed to where your mates indulge in silly name calling, etc., without enabling any response.? Isn’t this cowardly and unprofessional?

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  21. David Fierstien

    Dr. Osmunson, you say:

    “If I were to make a suggestion, it would be in regards to judgment. Carefully look at benefits, risks, total exposure and jurisdiction with the literature as a whole, not just one side. . . . We must not have a bias or double standard.”

    I have an simpler litmus test than that. I look at who is telling the truth. You have not been honest in this thread alone (and I really want to use the L word).

    You said, ““FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.””

    That is not true. The FDA has never said “evidence of effectiveness” of the ingestion of fluoride is “incomplete.” If they did say that, prove me wrong and show me.

    You begin your most recent response to me with: “Fluoridated Bottled Water has never gone through the NDA approval process. So the label is not based on a review of the science by the FDA CDER.”

    Why would it? The FDA does not consider the fluoride (at that concentration) in its fluoridated bottled water to be a drug. This is a label from this FDA regulated product.
    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beverages/9231/2

    You will not see the word “drug,” or the phrase “drug facts.” In fact, the New Zealand High Court has gone out of its way to say this. “Justice Collins concluded that when HFA and SSF are added to domestic water supplies at the maximum acceptable level (ie 1.5mg/L) HFA and SSF are not medicines for the purpose of the Act.”

    In fact, no court of last resort in the United States has ever concluded that fluoride at the optimal level in water is not a drug or medicine. So the question stands . . Why would the FDA need to approve of anything as a drug, when the United States does not consider it a drug?

    So what does the FDA call the fluoride in it’s regulated bottled water? You will see fluoride listed as a Mineral Nutrient on the link that I have provided.

    On the bottle you will also see the health claim that optimally fluoridated water which says (paraphrased) ‘drinking optimally fluoridated water may help to reduce the incidence of dental caries.’

    You will NOT see the phrase that is often seen on supplements: “These claims have not been evaluated by the FDA,” because this claim WAS evaluated by the FDA and found to be valid by its own criteria.

    Now, you are trying to trivialize the importance of the FDA approved health claim on bottled water. You say: “Congress passed a law which gives companies the right to “notify” the FDA of a health claim, based on the support of two (I believe it is more than one) other Federal agencies.”

    Is this achievement the small task you are trying to imply? Hardly. If it was, you would not see this necessary disclaimer (These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.) on an expensive bottle of “snake-oil” Prevagen. In fact, every health supplement has to include this disclaimer as part of its labeling.

    But not so with optimally fluoridated water.

    And let’s be honest, shall we? The only reason you brought up the FDA in the first place, is because the FDA has no jurisdiction over Community Water Fluoridation — As You Well Know. The only reason I am talking about fluoridated bottled water, is because that is the exception.

    I look at who’s telling the truth. Since you brought up the FDA, I had a long discussion with a fellow named Sauerheber, (I’m sure you know him) who tried to argue that no governmental agency was in charge of Community Water Fluoridation. He argued that a 1979 Memorandum of Understanding between the EPA and the FDA had been dissolved in the 1980s. As proof of this alleged dissolution, he offered a document which was in reality the EPA outsourcing some of its responsibilities to NSF.

    Sauerheber was either not telling the truth, or he had never read his own document.

    Earlier in this thread, you said, “I don’t use any image without data.” And I assume you don’t say anything without real data either, right?

    This is what you said, “ It also took getting to know some people with adverse effects. Some are so very sensitive to small amounts of fluoride such as fluoridated water, . . “ Well, who are these people? You have a list of some of these “victims” on your webpage. Among them is one Karen Spencer who claims to have fluoride sensitivity. Her claims are extraordinary. She claims to need a water filter to save herself from a plethora of ailments.

    What I find extraordinary about Ms. Spencer is the fact that, until it was pointed out to her, her Facebook page showed her frolicking in the ocean at the shore. She seemed quite happy and healthy to me. The odd thing is that the ocean has twice the concentration of fluoride as optimally fluoridated water. She wasn’t drinking it, of course, she was breathing the ocean spray. Just as sea-spray has salt in it, it would also have fluoride in it. You must know that atmospheric fluoride, when breathed in, is one source of fluoride exposure. It would have been entering her bloodstream, simply by enjoying herself by the ocean.

    Even more extraordinary is the fact that Ms. Spencer claims her local municipality has poisoned her entire family, and intentionally made them sick. Where’s the lawsuit? The United States, the land of the class action lawsuit, is so full of lawsuits that McDonald’s was successfully sued because its coffee was too hot!! But nothing from Ms. Spencer. That is odd, isn’t it. — But of course you believe her because it fits your agenda.

    I pay attention to who is telling the truth.

    One of your most avid commenters, who hides behind a fake name, claimed that CWF killed salmon. As evidence he presented a video from a “local environmentalist” named Patterson. The truth? An industrial accident in which an aluminum plant dumped too much fluoride into a river . . . had nothing to do with CWF.

    This isn’t about shooting the messenger. Dr. Perrott will be the first one to tell you that I disagree with him on a wide variety of issues. It’s about the honesty of the messengers. And you people do not tell the truth.

    In a personal email to me, even your esteemed Dr. Connett admitted that he has a tendency to exaggerate the truth. I would be happy to produce the email upon request.

    And since you brought up the FDA, its approval is of such importance to you, isn’t it strange that one of your own donors, Mercola, which happens to sell anti-fluoride / natural health / water purification products (the sales of which could only increase from the generation of paranoia about safe tap water that your organization spews) has had its own ethics problems with the FDA. Isn’t that correct?

    It’s about who is lying. Your side, and even you yourself, has been caught in dishonest statements more times than I can count.

    Like

  22. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    David,

    I used to be a “believer” in other people. Now I look at the science rather than at the person. Message rather than messenger.

    If a person “believes” trusts and has faith in an organization, they will be let down.

    You again call me a liar, because the information I presented does not fit within your “box.”

    I’m not going to spend the time to look up the exact quote from the FDA, but they do say the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.”

    If the evidence of effectiveness were adequate, the FDA CDER would have approved the ingestion of fluoride with the intent to prevent caries. Why have they denied approval? David, you tell me why the FDA CDER has denied approval.

    You see, the FDA requires quality research on effectiveness at a dosage and then they determine whether the manufacturer’s research demonstrates safety at that dosage.

    Fluoride research fails in all counts.

    Like

  23. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    Ken, (David, your post is so long I will work on it later.)

    I have been discussing the paper by Bashah et a;. I presume what you call the Mexican paper, from a macro perspective. Remember, the authors are from Canada, USA and Mexico. We should call this a North American paper. The authors have a reasonably strong background in research from several Universities.

    1Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

    2University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

    3Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

    4Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    5Center for Human Growth and Development, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

    6Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

    7Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA

    8Instituto Nacional de Perinatología, Mexico City, Mexico

    9Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

    Like

  24. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    Ken,
    The list of authors and backgrounds with NIH funding, should be reasonably acceptable to you.

    Do we agree with the Authors when they state,

    : Few of the epidemiologic studies have been longitudinal, had individual measures of fluoride exposure, addressed the impact of prenatal exposures or involved more than 100 participants.”

    Would you agree an epidemiological longitudinal study of measured fluoride exposure is one of the highest quality types of human studies we can ethically do on risk?

    70 years of giving people fluoride without their consent and we have failed miserably to have reasonable studies on safety. Shame on our professions for not speaking up demanding quality studies on benefit and risk.

    The Broadbent et al study out of NZ recently is an example of very poor quality. Comparing water fluoridation with a control (most on fluoride supplements) and then claiming no evidence of lower IQ. The study actually compared fluoridated water with fluoride supplements and to no one’s surprise, found no adverse effect.
    Reminds me of the Harvard study comparing two cancers and fluoride bone concentration. No significant difference and the conclusion fluoride does not cause bone cancer. How lame can researchers be, when the bone fluoride cancer concentrations were about double the normal similar age population.

    More later.
    Bill

    Like

  25. Bill, you are wrong – you have not discussed this paper at all. In fact, in this comment, you are relying only on “standing” rather than the content of the paper – and even then you ignore the fact that Thomas’s work on IQ was not included or even referred to – yet she was part of the team. (The paper only refers to her work in measurement of urinary F and she is not included in the authors list – I wonder why). You seem to argue on the basis of politics (perhaps that is what impresses you) – not science.

    But it would be very nice if you did discuss the paper – it is after all the subject of my article where you are commenting.

    But the impression I get is you do not understand it. You seem completely unwilling to discuss it. (No providing a list of authors is not a discussion of the paper).

    So yet another diversion – you simply can not justify the way your organisation has dictated a ban on scientific people like me commenting on pages and websites you control in the US and New Zealand.

    Science is the last thing that interests you guys – you must distort it and suppress it wherever you can.

    And it does seem to put you personally in a rather undignified position – attempting to take advantage of, even divert, an honest good faith discussion here while preventing it wherever you can exert control.

    Like

  26. Bill, you are being political. My assessment of the science does not depend on the author’s political position in the science hierarchy. Jonathon Broadbent is a person of high standing and well-respected and funded. But my assessment of his work depends on that work – not his personal position. And in my assessment of Jonathan’s work I have made the inevitable comment on restrictions due to sample size -a restriction Jonathon would no doubt agree with seeing how agrees that the recent Swedish work involves much larger sample sizes but still produces the same result Broadbent found.

    Why is it that you can make a critique of Jonathon’s work (a misinformed critique by the way because it ignores the way that fluoride pills were included as one of the factors in the statistical analysis and found not to have an influence) but want to completely ignore the scientific faults in the Mexican work. I have actually referred to them here – in this article – which you are commenting on! Did you not read it? I have also discussed them further and applied my own statistical analysis in the next article – Maternal urinary fluoride/IQ study – an update.

    There are a number of faults in that work – what about discussing them – or do you agree with me about the flaws?

    You guys did the same with the Malin and Till ADHD paper – and look how that turned out.

    Try to get beyond the politics and names and look at the reported science.

    Things are very bad indeed when you must justify scientific work by using the political standing and self-aggrandising statements of the authours.

    Very bad.

    It starts to look like an acknowledgement that you agree the science is faulty.

    Like

  27. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunsun,

    You say, “If the evidence of effectiveness were adequate, the FDA CDER would have approved ingestion of fluoride with the intent to prevent caries. Why have they denied approval? David, you tell me why the FDA CDER has denied approval?”

    I already answered your question. They have not “denied approval.” You are once again being dishonest. I suggest you re-read my comment.

    Like

  28. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH Director, Fluoride Action Network

    Ken,
    Every research has limitations. I started out with some strengths and there are many more.
    You are so rabid against papers finding harm from fluoride and defensive of those not reporting harm. What is your connection with fluoride? Do you have a vested interest in the phosphate industry or fluoride?

    Regarding Broadbent. A simple reading shows over 100 kids on fluoride supplements and fewer than 100 (I believe it was 99) not on fluoridated water. Are you telling me that most of the kids on supplements were also on fluoridated water? I don’t believe it. Even if it was 50/50, the power of the study would have made it not significant.

    Ken, you think I control FAN. I’m a dentist, full time, clinical practice. FAN pays me nothing. I do not control FAN. But I question your objectivity and you go in circles and in tangents.

    I only drop a note or two on a few misconceptions between patients.
    More later.

    Like

  29. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH Director, Fluoride Action Network

    David,
    Semantics?

    If the FDA approves a substance to be marketed with a claim to prevent disease, the FDA gives it a NDA number.

    Question David, How do you know the FDA has not denied approval. I contacted them and FDA responded answering my questions.

    Question David, What is the NDA number for fluoride supplements or fluoride water or fluoride in any form marketed with the intent to prevent disease? Look it up in the Red Book.

    I have only received one FDA device approval. The process was educational and I felt the FDA was fair, strict, and reasonable. Have you worked through the FDA approval process for any drugs or devices?

    And cut the “honest vs dishonest” allegations.
    Are you God? In other words, you have a box of knowledge and if the concept isn’t in your box you say the person is lying, dishonest. Consider that possibly you don’t have all knowledge in all subjects. Some humility would be professional.

    I remember my mentor reminding me that 50% of what they taught me in dental school was wrong, they did not know which 50%. In other words, we must always question what we do, policy and practices. Humility is a virtue in science.

    Like

  30. Bill, you are director of FAN – that is why I considered you capable of discussing the distortions and misrepresentation in the image you organisation has promoted. I interpret your refusal to engage on this as an admission thta you know the distortions are wrong, are unprepared to defend them for ethical reasons, and just want to divert attention.

    But, enough of the ad hominem attacks. I am a scientist simply critiquing the science and statistics in the paper I discuss in this article. I have done similar critiques of ideas in evolution/creationism and in climate change discussions. I do not have an agenda except to oppose the distortions and misrepresentation of science. It’s a retirement hobby of mine.

    I could similarly ask you what your financial and ideological interests are in supporting such distortion and misrepresentation but prefer to actually challenge you on the science and to discuss the science.

    As I said, regarding Broadbent’s paper, the numbers do place a limitation on the power of the analysis – and that conclusion can be drawn from the statistical analysis. But nevertheless, the analysis did show no effect for fluoride, despite showing positive effects for breastfeeding. But, as I said, Broadbent acknowledges this (and it plagues almost all other studies on IQ and fluoride). The large Swedish study of Aggeborn & Öhman (2016) made the same criticism of these studies and my impression is Broadbent agrees with this. He has actually suggested that the Swedish study is a better one to use for showing the nil effect. See Large Swedish study finds no effect of fluoride on IQ. I also cover this in the draft of my article which your mate Bruce Spittle, the editor of Fluoride, refused to allow published in his journal (but is currently being reviewed elsewhere) – CRITIQUE OF A RISK ANALYSIS AIMED AT ESTABLISHING A SAFE DAILY DOSE OF FLUORIDE FOR CHILDREN. Another ethical transgression as it critiqued a paper published in his journal.

    But, I repeat, you are prepared to make a minor criticism of the science (you haven’t mentioned the statistics) in the Broadbent study but steer away completely from my critique of the science and statistics of the paper I discuss in this article.

    I am not going around in circles or off at a tangent. I am attempting to bring you back to discussing my article. Why else would you comment here but to engage in discussion over my article? or is it simply an attempt at a cynical diversion?

    I normally welcome discussions of my articles – it gives me a chance to assess if I have made mistakes. I can only conclude from your refusal to engage that you actually cannot find anything in my article to critique.

    Like

  31. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    See Ken. You just made a prime example of why you would be a problem participating in objective reasoning. Derogatory unprofessional comments create wars, not understanding.

    Back to the Bashah study. A small increase in urine fluoride concentration in mother’s urine was found to decrease IQ in the fetus. The urine concentrations are similar to urine concentrations reported by the NRC 2006 report.

    As with ALL studies, there are limitations and questions such as altitude. At a minimum, high altitude cities like Colorado Springs should be more cautious.

    There are many unknowns and like tobacco which took 50 years for society to agree with the science, 70 years agree with hand washing, and global warming, all are still controversial with many people.

    Freedom of choice is a critical issue. What about those people who have serious pain when exposed to even small amounts of fluoride? Should they not have our consideration?

    What about the studies showing lack of benefit from ingesting fluoride and the lack of quality studies reporting benefit? And lack of FDA approval? With little or no benefit, any risk is unreasonable.

    The hardest part of the fluoridation controversy for me to accept was lack of significant benefit from ingesting fluoride. I was so sure I could see the benefit.

    This website has really gotten slow. Can ‘t keep up with typing.

    Like

  32. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Ken, you are so frustratingly biased. Such a hostile communicator. You assume I agree with you when I have clearly said otherwise. You twist intent to fit your bias. No wonder people don’t want you on their web sites and discussion sites.

    If you want me to pick you apart, what good would that do? I mean, lets start out at the beginning. Get the date correct when you reference the study. You want me to pick you apart, what good would that do? I did not raise your error, because I want to understand what you are saying rather than fight. You are a bully. You want to fight rather than learn. Your bias is so powerful you can’t reasonably judge the evidence on both sides of the issue. You sound like you worked for the tobacco companies.

    In my dental school pathology course, 1975, almost every disease presented included the statement, “tobacco smoking increases this disease.” Yet it took years before the tobacco companies admitted their product caused harm. Global warming the same. 1970 my chemistry professor raised concerns with CO2 as a green house gas and we needed to reduce pollution.

    And many still do not think we have “proof.” Judgment needs to be made, weighing all streams of evidence on all sides. And evidence is usually mixed. Judgment is required. Judgment in a calm, open unbiased quiet of our own minds.

    Judgment and reason, like love, cannot be forced. They come from streams of evidence, not defensive hostility.

    Do you want to reason together or fight? I’m not interested in fighting.

    Like

  33. David Fierstien

    Dr. Osmunson,

    Let’s put your little con game to bed once and for all.

    Bill O.: “Question David, How do you know the FDA has not denied approval. I contacted them and FDA responded answering my questions.”

    Answer: 1.) I know that the FDA has not denied approval of optimally fluoridated water as it is distributed in Community Water Fluoridation because the FDA has nothing to do with CWF.

    2.) I know that the FDA has not denied approval of optimally fluoridated water as it is distributed in bottled water because optimally fluoridated bottled water is considered a “food” by the FDA which has received approval.

    I know that the FDA has not denied approval of the drug or medicine optimally fluoridated water because the FDA does not consider any component of optimally fluoridated water a drug or medicine. Therefore, since optimally fluoridated water is neither a drug nor a medicine, it can neither be denied nor approved as such.

    Feel free to prove me wrong. Please show me anything on any U.S. government website, whether it be the website of the CDC . . . the FDA . . . the USDPH . . . the EPA . . .anything . . Show me any place where any legitimate body of the U.S. government considers optimally fluoridated water a drug or a medicine.

    Bill O.: “Question David, What is the NDA number for fluoride supplements or fluoride water or fluoride in any form marketed with the intent to prevent disease?”

    Response: This question surrounding optimally fluoridated water has already been answered. Anything beyond the discussion of optimally fluoridated water, whether it be toothpaste . . . pills . . . or injections . . . is a diversion on your part.

    Bill O.: “And cut the “honest vs dishonest” allegations.
    Are you God? In other words, you have a box of knowledge and if the concept isn’t in your box you say the person is lying, dishonest.”

    Response: When caught making dishonest statements, you resort to hiding behind a cloud of relativism. That is what I would have expected. There is such a thing as telling the truth, and there is such a thing as not telling the truth.

    If somebody says CWF kills salmon, and then talks about an accident at an aluminum plant to prove it, that is dishonest. If somebody says drinking optimally fluoridated water, or fluoride in general, can cause cancer, and fluoride is not on the World Health Organization’s list of known and probable carcinogens, that is dishonest. The amount of dishonesty from the anti-fluoride side is staggering.

    You said, “ FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.”

    This is four times I am asking you for any evidence that the FDA has ever said the evidence of the effectiveness of the ingestion of fluoride is “incomplete.”

    Your first response was, “I’m not going to spend the time to look up the exact quote from the FDA, but they do say the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.”” . . . . . Now you say, “I contacted them and FDA responded answering my questions.” . . . And yet no evidence to support comment. That is odd isn’t it.

    There is such a thing as telling the truth. The discipline of science demands absolute adherence to the truth. Your side is lacking those values.

    “If I sometimes I have a tendency to overstate – then my co-authors did their level best to counteract that by understating everything.” — Paul Connett, 10/12/2014

    Like

  34. Bill, this is silly. I ask you why FAN and its associates, including in NZ, refuse to allow participation of scientists like me in their discussion forum, and you respond with:

    “You just made a prime example of why you would be a problem participating in objective reasoning. Derogatory unprofessional comments create wars, not understanding.”

    where the hell is the rationality in that?

    And yet you are able to participate in the discussion here and hypocritically take advantage of this knowing your organisation will not allow a similar discussion in your own fora!

    The fact is I specifically do not indulge in “Derogatory unprofessional comments” but try to deal with the evidence as I have in my article. In contrast, I actually get a lot of that silliness from your people who cowardly take advantage of a situation where I have no right of reply.

    You claim ” A small increase in urine fluoride concentration in mother’s urine was found to decrease IQ in the fetus.” But that is just not the case. They reported an ASSOCIATION (not a cause) of maternal urinary F with IQ in 6-12 year offspring and GCI in 4-year offspring. The did not find any association for children of ages 1-3 years (reported by their colleague Thomas in her thesis but ignored in the paper’s discussion. Similarly, they glossed over Thomas’s reported positive relationship for 6-15-year-old males and simply reported the lack of a relationship when genders were combined.

    This is one of the problems with the sort of misrepresentation and distortions your people indulge in. You confuse a reported ASSOCIATION with cause – ignoring the continued and necessary qualification of authors of these papers that correlation is not causation.

    You concede that all studies have limitations. Yet refuse to engage with the obvious limitation which your organisation hides in its misrepresentation of the figure – the high scatter of the data. You refuse to engage with the fact that comes out of the statistical analysis that the reported association can explain only 3-4% of the scatter and the obvious implication that if a genuine risk-modifying g=factor was included in the statistical analysis the association with urinary F would disappear completely.

    At best this study shows an extremely minor relationship which could be explored further (most probably by proper testing of the sort I did with the relationship reported by Malin and Till for ADHD). But no sensible professional in the field would respond the way that your mate Paul Connett has in claiming it means the end of fluoridation world wide. That is simply silly and just illustrates why he is not taken seriously by sensible authorities. It’s not the first time he has said things like this. People are starting to compare him to the religious nutters who regularly report the end of the world in a weeks time.

    Like

  35. No, Bill. I do not want to fight. I do not want you to “pick me apart.” I simply want you to engage with the evidence. To participate in a good faith scientific discussion of the sort that leads to improved knowledge. That is why I provide the opportunity for readers to comment on my articles.

    I learn from these discussions and I believe people who refuse to honestly participate in them, who divert or ban them, simply do not learn.

    So how do you respond to the fact coming out of the statistical analysis that the reported association can explain no more than 3 – 4% of the variance in cognitive measurements? Do you agree that is an output from the analysis? Do you agree that would be a simple eyeball conclusion from looking at the scatter in the figures? That, in fact, the scatter is vital information that should not have been deleted from the figures distributed by FAN?

    Like

  36. David Fierstien

    I would like to share a few thoughts / reflections about my recent discussion with Dr. Bill Osmunson, whom I discovered partway into the conversation, is the Director of the Fluoride Action Network.

    First of all, I’ve never met the man. I have respect for his abilities, and he seems like a genuinely nice guy. However, in my opinion, I found him to be deceptive. The question for me (and for anyone who may be interested) . . . Is he knowingly deceptive, or is he simply biased to the point that he believes everything he is saying? . . In the end, I accused his arguments of being nothing more than a con game. That was the conclusion I reached and I can explain why.

    He posted a comment under Dr. Ken Perrott’s post, “Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring” which had nothing to do with the subject of the post; consequently, Dr. Perrott accused him of diverting from the main issue.

    His defense was interesting, to say the least: “No. I am creating a global view for judgment. A microscopic view needs to be taken along with a macroscopic and total view.”

    Prior to this, I had already taken issue with the first two comments that he had presented in his global view:
    “FDA says “Do Not Swallow” fluoride toothpaste.
    FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.””

    Admittedly, I can be abrasive. (I consider it honesty.) I accused him of lying. He defended himself with, “the FDA permits variable wording, but requires the words, “Do Not Swallow.” Read the FDA Orange Book on Fluoride.”

    When I actually looked at the FDA Orange Book, found him to be incorrect and provided the actual paragraph, rather than acknowledging the error, he simply said, “With the toothpaste label, the FDA does permit variable wording.”

    Ok. . . . I would have accepted an acknowledgement of the error (if it was a simple mistake), after all, we are all only human. But Dr. Osmunson chose to bury / ignore the mistake and move on.

    I strongly felt that his second comment was a blatant lie. (Osmunson: “FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.””) I did not believe that the FDA had ever said ‘the evidence of the effectiveness of the ingestion of fluoride is incomplete. . . . And I asked him several times to produce something from the FDA which confirmed this. . . which he was never able to do.

    Since he had brought up the FDA, I raised the issue of “Fluoridated Bottled Water,” the only optimally fluoridated water over which the FDA has jurisdiction. (since the EPA oversees CWF).

    I believe Dr. Osmunson was trying to pull a “fast one,” . . a con job. This is why I believe he is knowingly dishonest. (Again, it’s only my opinion):

    Osmunson: “The claim of effectiveness of fluoridated bottled water did not go through the FDA NDA process. The FDA did not scientifically approve the ingestion of fluoride.” . . . and
    “If the evidence of effectiveness were adequate, the FDA CDER would have approved the ingestion of fluoride with the intent to prevent caries. Why have they denied approval? David, you tell me why the FDA CDER has denied approval.”

    The FDA never denied approval of its optimally fluoridated water. . . The problem with what he just said is that he is implying that bottlers of optimally fluoridated water tried, but failed, to get FDA approval of its bottled water, because there is something incomplete about the science.

    It’s a con. The FDA neither denied, nor approved it’s fluoridated bottled water because the FDA does not consider fluoridated bottled water a “drug.” It is considered a food. What Dr. Osmunson just did is he purposely called optimally fluoridated water a “drug,” (and he tip-toed around it) so that he could say that it has never been approved as a drug. Neither the FDA, nor the CDC, nor the USDPH, nor any agency calls water with 0.6 – 1.0 ppm F a “drug” or a “medicine.”

    How can something be approved as a drug or medicine, when it is not considered a drug or a medicine?

    And he is doing it in this comment under another post (timestamped Sept. 29, 4:24 am): “Why are we not seeing many studies out of the USA, NZ, AU, Canada where governments add fluoride to water without the patient’s consent?”

    What patients? Does he mean consumers of optimally fluoridated water? This is nonsense. A town near my home has a natural fluoride level of 1.0 ppm. Are the people who drink that water also “patients?” And if so . . I guess that would make either God, or Nature, the doctor. He is trying to con his followers by redefining something that has already been defined.

    Nevertheless, I still invite Dr. Osmunson to show me anything from the FDA which says the science behind the effectiveness of the ingestion of fluoride is incomplete.

    Like

  37. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    David,
    The old debate strategy, attack the messenger rather than the message.
    The amount of information is too vast to put into a single short post which your attention span seems to miss.
    I started you out with the Orange Book. You listened. Thank you and looked it up. Then I said go to the FDA Red Book. Which it does not appear you have.
    Then I would send you to the NDA application process and guidance documents. The FDA is clear on drug approval. All drugs require approval or they are considered “illegal.” Yes, the FDA says there are thousands of illegal drugs, substances marketed without FDA approval. All this can be found on the FDA web pages along with their letters and articles to the state Boards of Pharmacy.

    I would then send you directly to the FDA with specific questions for an FOIA request. One step at a time.

    We must start simple and slowly add to the information. It was easier to call me a liar than to look at the evidence.
    There is no NDA for the ingestion of fluoride with intent to prevent dental disease. Why? Applications have been made but no NDA has been approved.
    Let me once again repeat a quote from Drug Therapy 1975 when the FDA sent letters to many (I think it was 35) fluoride drug manufacturers,

    “. . .there is no substantial evidence of drug effectiveness as prescribed, recommended or suggested in its labeling. . . marketing is in violation of the new drug provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; they have, therefore, requested that marketing of these products be discontinued.” FDA Letter to 35 Companies DRUG THERAPY 1975

    Like

  38. Bill Osmunson DDS, MPH

    David,
    When a manufacturer (city/water district) combines chemicals together with a health claim, they are the final manufacturer of the drug (as defined by the FD&C Act). The people taking that drug are the intended patients being treated. The intent of adding is for health purposes.

    You suggest a town near you has natural fluoride at 1.0ppm. Yes, and water can have many times more, 15 ppm+. That is why much of the early research is on existing levels of fluoride, to attempt to answer your question and concern, how much fluoride in water is OK/safe.
    At what concentration of fluoride in water is it not safe? Of course that also depends on all sources of fluoride. WHO recommends first determining the total fluoride exposure.

    EPA says 4.0 ppm. We have many human studies, I have posted a few on the other blog, which showed harm below 4.0 ppm The NRC 2006 said 4.0 ppm is not protective. FAN went to court and won on all counts, EPA’s review of HF for post-harvest fumigants, their lack of safety studies, was not protective. Congress over road the court decision.

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  39. David Fierstien

    Well this is rich, Dr. Osmunson. I am glad to see that you have a sense of humor.

    1st: “The old debate strategy. Attack the messenger, rather than the message.” . . then . .

    2nd: “The amount of information is too vast to put into a single short post which your attention span seems to miss.”

    Thank you for providing a great example of your first comment.

    And thank you for proving my point that you are little more than a con artist: “The FDA is clear on drug approval. All drugs require approval or they are considered “illegal.”’

    AGAIN — Optimally fluoridated water is not a drug. I openly invite you to show me any statement from any U.S. Healthl Agency which says otherwise. Please . . . I am begging you . . . Prove me wrong.

    This seems very strange:
    “There is no NDA for the ingestion of fluoride to prevent dental disease. Why? Applications have been made but no NDA has been approved.”

    Really? Then please provide the NDA number of FDA regulated optimally fluoridated water. Please give me the NDA (New Drug Application) for fluoride drops. If the application was made for optimally fluoridated water – as you suggest – then what is the NDA number for that application?

    While you’re at it, could you please provide the NDA number for Aspirin or Tylenol, since these, like fluoride drops were grandfathered in prior to FDA rules mandating drug testing, just as were fluoride drops.

    I admit it, I was wrong. I have little respect for your abilities, which include the art of bullshit, and I do not genuinely believe you are a nice guy. I believe you are a shill for Mercola’s bottom line. How were their donations last year?

    Cheers.

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  40. David Fierstien

    Dr. Osmunson, you have said, ” But some are harmed with much lower concentrations and more sensitive adverse effects.” (“Endemic fluorosis and its health effects” Time-stamped September 29, 2017 3:13 am)

    Who? . . What harm? . . At what concentration? Since the subject is optimally fluoridated water, please cite one documented case in which any human being on the face of the Earth has ever been harmed in any way by drinking optimally fluoridated water . . even for as much as a lifetime.

    Like

  41. David Fierstien

    Bill Osmunson: “When a manufacturer (city/water district) combines chemicals together with a health claim, they are the final manufacturer of the drug (as defined by the FD&C Act). The people taking that drug are the intended patients being treated. The intent of adding is for health purposes.”

    Nevertheless, the FDA does not consider optimally fluoridated water a drug. If I am wrong, please provide anything from the FDA which disproves this. This is the second time I am asking this.

    This is the 5th time I am asking you for any evidence that the FDA has ever said the evidence of the effectiveness of the ingestion of fluoride is “incomplete,” as you have claimed.

    You’re not very good at defending your bogus claims, are you.

    How much did Mercola give you guys last year? (This is the second time I am asking this.) And, I guess I could look it up, but I’m sure you know . . how much does a tube of Mercola’s anti-fluoride toothpaste go for now?

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  42. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    David,

    It is not possible for me to do all your home work for you. You will understand the issues better if you do the digging. I will not respond in total in one post. It would be too long.

    You have failed to respond to the synopsis of 10 research articles I posted which found a decrease in IQ with fluoride exposure.

    Here is some on fluoride as a drug.

    The FDA testified to congress that fluoride is a drug.
    The definition of a drug is based on intent of use.

    “37-128.Sale of new drugs — Regulations and procedures. (a) No person shall sell, deliver, offer for sale, hold for sale or give away any new drug unless (1) an application with respect thereto has become effective under section 505 of the federal act,”

    “SEC. 505. [21 USC §355] New Drugs “(a)  Necessity of effective approval of application. No person shall introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any new drug, unless an approval of an application filed pursuant to subsection (b) or (j) is effective with respect to such drug.”

    Here is some of the Washington State laws and some comments:

    Fluoride, dispensed as sodium fluoride and hyrofluorosilicic acid, have similar toxicity to strychnine, cyanide, arsenic, lead and other highly toxic substances, lethal at less than 50 mg/Kg body weight. 5 mg/Kg of fluoride is considered lethal for humans and animals. As little as 15 mg is considered lethal for some children.

    “RCW 69.38.010 “Poison” defined. As used in this chapter “poison” means:
    (1) Arsenic and its preparations;
    (2) Cyanide and its preparations, including hydrocyanic acid;
    (3) Strychnine; and
    (4) Any other substance designated by the state board of pharmacy which, when introduced into the human body in quantities of sixty grains or less, causes violent sickness or death.” http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.38.010

    60 grains is 3,889 mg, far less than the 15 mg considered lethal for some children. Fluoride substances dispensed into community water systems are poisons as defined by RCW 69.38.010. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines a poison to be a substance when less than 50 mg/Kg of body weight is ingested and will cause death within two weeks. Containers of raw fluoridation products are consistent with laws, displaying skull, crossbones, and the word “poison”.

    Artificial fluoridation chemicals are classified as a hazardous waste by the US EPA and Environment Canada. As such they may not be put directly into the lakes, rivers, or oceans. The chemicals put into community water which goes into lakes, rivers, and oceans contain between 20 to 30% hydrofluorosilicic acid (inorganic fluoride), trace amounts of arsenic, lead, mercury, radionuclides and other heavy metals (AWWA B703-06) certainly not pharmaceutical grade, nor do they follow Best Manufacturing Practices (US Congressional Hearings 1999-2000.

    Artificial fluoridation chemicals are designated hazardous waste by the Basel Convention, the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes, signed by 170 countries. See Annex III Class 6.1 Code H6.1 and Annex I Y32.

    Natural occurring fluoride levels are frequently about 0.3 ppm. Assuming artificial fluoridation adds 0.7 ppm, about 1,000,000 pounds/million people/year of fluoridation chemicals are put into community water with virtually all returning to the streams, rivers and lakes.

    Toxic substances in artificial fluoridation products, such as arsenic, lead, beryllium, vanadium, cadmium, mercury, radium, radionuclides are toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative, anthropogenic. They are listed under the 1989 First Priority Substances lists in Canada and proposed for virtual elimination under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999, 2006 update), the 1997 Binational Toxic Strategy and the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

    RCW 69.38.010 has been in effect for over 20 years and the Washington State Board of Pharmacy (Board) has failed to designate even one substance as poison. Over the last 13 months the Board has repeatedly been petitioned and requested to designate at least one of the hundreds of known toxins and specifically fluoride as “poison” and the Board remains silent and has even refused to respond in writing to numerous requests for public information. With only verbal communication from individual Board members, it appears the Washington State Board of Pharmacy (for reasons unknown) has no intent in complying with RCW 69.38.010 or other applicable poison substance statutes. The public needs local referendums and initiatives when they see state agencies fail to provide public protection.

    Of significance is whether fluoride in diluted quantities, as in 1 ppm fluoridated water is still defined by statute as “poison”. When defining the term “poison”, RCW 69.38.010 appropriately does not specify the concentration or dosage of the substance, but simply defines the substance, regardless of concentration. Arsenic, strychnine, and cyanide are defined as poisons based on toxicity at full strength.

    “RCW 69.38.020 Exemptions from chapter. All substances regulated under chapters 15.58, 17.21, 69.04, 69.41, and 69.50 RCW, and chapter 69.45 RCW are exempt from the provisions of this chapter.” http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.38.020

    Chapter 15.58 RCW Washington pesticide control act
    Chapter 17.21 RCW Washington pesticide application act
    Chapter 69.04 RCW Intrastate commerce in food, drugs, and cosmetics
    Chapter 69.41 RCW Legend drugs — prescription drugs
    Chapter 69.50 RCW Uniform controlled substances act
    Chapter 69.45 RCW Drug samples

    F. If fluoridation substances are not exempt as legend drugs then they are poisons.
    RCW 69.40.030 Placing poison or other harmful object or substance in food, drinks, medicine, or water — Penalty.
    (1) . . . and every person who willfully poisons any spring, well, or reservoir of water, is guilty of a class B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than five years or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars.”

    G. Artificial fluoridation, by intent of use, is a legend drug.

    RCW 69.41.010 Definitions.
    9) “Drug” means: . . . 

          (b) Substances intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or animals; . . .

    Artificial fluoridation of community water systems is for the purpose of mitigating and/or preventing the disease dental decay and is thus defined as a drug.

    (12) “Legend drugs” means any drugs which are required by state law or regulation of the state board of pharmacy to be dispensed on prescription only or are restricted to use by practitioners only.

    Drugs can be divided into three groups and all should be FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved: narcotics under DEA control and legend drugs under state and BOP control, both requiring a licensed health care provider’s prescription, and drugs approved by the FDA for “over-the-counter” sales.

    Artificial fluoridation substances, based on intent of use, are defined by RCW 69.41.010 as drugs, not DEA controlled narcotics, not “over-the-counter” FDA approved and therefore, like fluoride for ingestion which is sold in pharmacies by prescription as legend drugs, artificial fluoridation substances are legend drugs. If the BOP or state determine artificial fluoridation substances are not legend drugs, then they simply would be poisons.
    The intent of adding fluoride substances to community water is to manufacture a legend (prescription) drug to prevent dental decay. The legislature’s intent to protect the public by reducing avoidable medical prescription drug errors is clear and fluoridated water is an example of avoidable medical prescription errors. “Findings — Intent — 2000 c 8: “. . . there are incidents of medication errors that are avoidable and serious mistakes that are preventable. Medical errors throughout the health care system constitute one of the nation’s leading causes of death and injury resulting in over seven thousand deaths a year, according to a recent report from the institute of medicine. The majority of medical errors do not result from individual recklessness, but from basic flaws in the way the health system is organized. There is a need for a comprehensive strategy for government, industry, consumers, and health providers to reduce medical errors. The legislature declares a need to bring about greater safety for patients in this state who depend on prescription drugs.” http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.41.010

    G. Artificial fluoridation substances are unapproved legend drugs.
    The US Supreme Court in Doe v Rumsfeld (re: anthrax) ruled even in time of war, a person cannot be medicated with an approved medicine for a purpose for which the medicine (drug) has not been approved. At least at the Federal level, police powers cannot force a person to ingest an unapproved legend drugs such as artifical fluoridation compounds.
    Artificial fluoridation substances are unapproved drugs for any purpose which includes for the prevention and mitigation of dental decay. Approval for both must be obtained by the manufacturer (city or water district) from the FDA before the city or water district could use police powers to medicate anyone, let alone everyone. To date, all attempts to gain approval from the FDA for the systemic use of fluoride to treat dental decay even by prescription has failed. Dispensing the fluoride drug in community water is an unapproved method of dispensing an unapproved drug.

    The FDA requires manufacturers to ensure proper warnings on legend drug labels; however, no such warning label is provided by cities or community water fluoride ingestion and has risen significantly in the last decade.

    The FDA and BOP August 2008 news letter call unapproved drugs “illegal” for manufacturers to market.

    The Washington State Department of Health (WSDH) assures manufacturers (community water districts) that fluoridation is safe and in effect encourages the use of fluoridation substances and guides the BOP. In effect, the WSDH has a dual conflicting role in both guiding and supervising the BOP and advising the community water system to market fluoridation.

    H. All legend drugs, approved or unapproved by the FDA must be manufactured, prescribed, dispensed and administered under the supervision of licensed health care personnel as provided for by the laws and regulations of the State of Washington.

    I. Environmental and International concerns add
    From 1957 to 1968 fluoride air pollution was responsible for more damage claims than all 20 other major air pollutants combined. (Groth. Pen Obs. Jan-Feb 1969.)

    The “solution to the air pollution” was to scrub the air and put the toxic fluoride in community water systems, saving corporations an estimated $7,000/ton in hazardous waste disposal fees plus revenue gained from the sale.

    Artificial fluoridation chemicals are designated hazardous waste by the Basel Convention, the most comprehensive global environmental agreement on hazardous and other wastes, signed by 170 countries. See Annex III Class 6.1 Code H6.1 and Annex I Y32.

    Toxic substances in artificial fluoridation products, such as arsenic, lead, beryllium, vanadium, cadmium, mercury, radium, radionuclides are toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative, and anthropogenic. They are listed under the 1989 First Priority Substances lists in Canada and proposed for virtual elimination under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA 1999, 2006 update), the 1997 Binational Toxic Strategy and the 1978 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

    Assuming artificial fluoridation concentrations of 0.7 ppm, about 400,000kg/million people/year of fluoridation chemicals are put into community water with virtually all returning to the streams, rivers and lakes. Simply having people swallow a pea size of fluoride toothpaste would be far better for the environment.

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  43. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    FOIA response from the FDA asking if fluoride is a drug. They responded, it is a drug and regulatory action is being deferred.

    Washington Board of Pharmacy agrees fluoride is a legend drug. Either fluoride is regulated as a drug, or it is a poison under poison laws. The Board of Pharmacy chose to call fluoride a legend drug.

    “This letter is in response to your request at the May 7,2009 meeting of the Washington Board of Pharmacy for a response to your question about designating fluoride as a poison under chapter 69.38 RCW. RCW 69.38.020 RCW 69.38.020 states that “[all1 substances regulated under chapters 15.58, 17.21, 69.04, and 69.50, and chapter 69.45RCWareexemptfromtheprovisions[ofchapter69.38RCW]. Fluoride is a legend drug regulated under chapter 69.41 RCW. RCW 69.41.010 defines a “legend drug” as drugs “which are required by state law or regulation of the state board of pharmacy to be dispensed on prescription only or are restricted to use by practitioners only.” RCW 69.38.020 states that “[all1 substances regulated under chapters 15.58, 17.21, 69.04, and 69.50, and chapter 69.45RCWareexemptfromtheprovisions[ofchapter69.38RCW].

    In WAC 246-883-020 (2), the Board specified that “legend drugs are drugs which have been designated as legend drugs under federal law and are listed as such in the 2002 edition of the Drug Topics Red Book. ” Enclosed are copies of pages 169,342, and 690 of the 2002 edition of the Drug TopicsRed Book. Page 169 is the key to the products requiring prescription (legend drugs) and page 342
    contains the fluoride products. Page 690 contains the listing of over-the-counter fluoride products, primarily toothpaste containing fluoride.”

    Have you looked at the Drug Topics Red Book as I requested you do? Fluoride is listed as the Washington Board of Pharmacy states.

    Please do your homework. I don’t have time to spoon feed the evidence.

    Like

  44. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Anyone harmed? I would say everyone with dental fluorosis has been harmed with fluoride. About 140,000,000 Americans. But that large a number is not personal.

    Speaking up against water fluoridation, I have become accounted with several people who have specific harm from contact with fluoridated water and worse reactions drinking the water. At first I was highly skeptical. However, with careful questioning and meeting Kyle, I am confident he is highly sensitive to many chemicals including fluoride.

    His mom writes:

    Kyle’s Story:

    What I didn’t know hurt him (part one)

    I have so much to be thankful for, in the holidays and year round, but today I’m talking about my Fluoride Action Network heroes, which include not just the core of FAN, but also those of you who support them and those who work in your own communities to get fluoride out of public water.

    I’m the mom of a delightful young man with autism, Kyle, age 30, who is severely hypersensitive to fluoride. Sadly, I didn’t know it for the first 14 years of his life and I didn’t even know of the countless other chemical sensitivities. We’ve traveled a very long and painful road together, his pain physical (and profound), my pain emotional.

    His speech is difficult, but he shows me his love and gratitude daily. He trusts me unconditionally because, in his mind, I fixed him. I got rid of the pain for Kyle, yes, but I could never have done it alone. Kyle doesn’t know of the countless FAN workers and advocates who, through their expertise, helped me to figure out how to protect my son. Most of them have never met me, never talked to me, but their work lives through the fantastic FAN website (www.FluorideACTION.net ), newsletters and videos.

    My eyes get wet and blurry just thinking about 1999, when Kyle was 13-14. He was in pain constantly, all over, but especially the back of his neck and his extremities (hands, feet, lips, tongue). The chronic pain had skyrocketed after what I’ll call a “toxicological event” at age 13 from a horrific reaction to a doctor prescribed “over the counter” (OTC) treatment that is completely benign to most people.

    He cried inconsolably when the pain in his fingers got so bad that he couldn’t play his beloved cello in the orchestra at school. He had to quit playing piano, too, and he could barely hold a fork to eat. There were mysterious pain “peaks”, especially in the middle of the night, but other times, too. He screamed and raced around the house as if pursued by killer bees. His school sent him home repeatedly with horrific headaches. At night the house shook wildly with the leg-pounding on the bed that was more like a 4-hour grand mal seizure than “restless leg”. His screaming was deafening. So little sleep….

    We went to 8 medical specialists and not one of them could diagnose the source of the pain, let alone help relieve it. Tylenol guaranteed a full-blown migraine the next day so was useless, as were other pain-relievers. He was completely intolerant of chemicals in the air and his food, so I changed his entire diet to organic, stopped using any cleaners or scented products and got the school to cooperate with a low-chemical environment. He only drank water—nothing else.

    With all of these changes, he improved, but still had pain every day, with screaming, racing, jumping, sweating, heart racing—gasping from the exertion…and crying, begging me to “Make it go away!”

    A mom from Beaverton, OR with two autistic teenagers was the angel we needed. She was the one who first told me in 2000 about toxic fluoride in tap water and instructed me to switch to reverse osmosis filtered water. There was a profound improvement in 3 days! Our lives changed dramatically for the better.

    No, he was not (is not) completely free of all pain—sadly, unexpected chemicals lurk everywhere. But by providing Kyle with fluoride-free water, chronic pain was no longer the 24/7 “norm”, so detecting the other chemical triggers was finally more achievable and allowed much greater success at avoidance. Fluoride remains the worst, and most difficult, to avoid. It took me many years to understand the many sources of fluoride (I will discuss these in part 2 of my letter tomorrow), and to fully realize the extent of Kyle’s sensitivity to it.

    Thank God for FAN’s information that has been there for me time and time again.

    It’s my hope that other children (and teens, and adults), who suffer as Kyle did, perhaps won’t suffer as long as he did. The problem is much greater for those with autism spectrum disorders. Please help FAN inform mothers across the world of the very real harm that fluoride does to some of our most vulnerable people.

    There is so much more to Kyle’s “Fluoride Story”, but you’re busy and I’m out of time. FAN will be sending out part 2 tomorrow. Meanwhile, Please help FAN put a stop to fluoridation with your generous donation. I’ve already sent mine.

    Audrey Adams

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  45. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    Here is more from Audrey,

    Kyle’s Story:

    Showers that hurt? Impossible! (part two)

    There are many who believe that fluoride cannot cross the skin and that acute transdermal fluoride poisoning by showering or bathing in fluoridated tap water is simply impossible. In 2008 I was one of them. If you read Part One of Kyle’s story, you already know that by the year 2000, I had finally discovered how hyper-sensitive my then 14 year old autistic son was to drinking fluoridated water, and that his pain had dramatically decreased after switching to reverse osmosis water. Lucky for me, FAN was founded that same year and as their outreach and website grew, my knowledge of fluoride grew.

    By 2006 I started talking to elected and governmental officials about fluoridation and met Bill Osmunson, DDS, at a public meeting. Bill cast the line, and I caught the bait and the bug, of anti-fluoridation activism. In 2008 Bill and I spoke with over 50 state legislators or their aides about fluoridation.

    Meanwhile, after 8 years of hauling thousands of gallons of reverse osmosis and spring water to my home and after 2 years of political activism in opposition to fluoridation, I was still a non-believer that a shower could harm Kyle. I used a carbon shower filter to protect him from chlorine fumes, and although I knew fluoride would not be filtered out, I naively thought it could not be absorbed through the skin.

    Compared to those insanely hard, painful years prior to our initial “fluoride discovery”, Kyle was doing decently in 2008 and I thought I was an expert at protecting him from chemicals by then. Oh, but I had a lot to learn—still do!

    His vastly improved quality of life had enabled him to work a part-time office job at Highline Community College. But I was stumped about morning headaches he’d been having for many months and had had multiple conversations with his doctor about it. We investigated various possible causes—was it mold? Or something in his completely organic, highly specialized breakfast? My detective skills failed me. Each morning he woke up without a headache, but before he left for work his head was throbbing.

    Another angel came to our rescue—another mother of an autistic teenager. This mom had read a Letter to the Editor I had written about fluoridation and my autistic son’s reactivity, looked me up and called me. During that first 3-hour conversation, she talked about her son’s fluoride hyper-sensitivity, and her own which was even much worse. She told me of a visit to Seattle, and one bath in fluoridated water here that resulted in nasty red, itchy welts at the bath water line and below, which then bled and peeled over the next 2 weeks. I began to wonder about my mysterious itchy rash (tiny red bumps) on my scalp, chest and back and began to wonder about Kyle’s morning headaches.

    The next day I had Kyle skip his morning shower. No morning headache. Then I had him shower before bed. Oh, Lordy—déjà vu! It had been many years since Kyle’s once-common, middle of the night bedroom “earth-shakes”—wildly pounding, so-called “restless legs” and many hours of screaming. (Now, seeing it again, I remembered that back in those old days I gave him Epsom Salt baths before bed for pain…in fluorinated, but de-chlorinated water.)

    Oooh-kaay…I stopped the showers entirely and heated bottled water on the stove for my 220 pound grown man to sponge bathe for the next week. No morning headaches. I conducted several more “shower trials”, still using the carbon shower filter, and all were followed by head pain around 5-15 minutes after showering (even before any food had been eaten). I tried the evening shower only once more, with the same screaming aftermath into the middle of the night. Clearly, the pain was much worse with the bedtime showers, but I had no idea why.

    Over the next 6 months or so, I tried many different shower filters, but none protected Kyle from fluoridation chemicals enough to avoid the after-shower headaches.

    When we’d go camping for a week or two, I’d call ahead about the fluoridation status. Campgrounds almost never have added fluoride, but do have chlorine. Kyle does not get headaches when showering at campgrounds or when we’d visit relatives near Portland with no fluoridation, but with chlorination. Same with motels—in fluoridated towns, headaches followed the shower. In non-fluoridated motels, even in the absence of a chlorine filter, he did not get headaches after showering.

    Now that I was connecting the fluoride dots, I also noticed that my itchy rash disappeared after 3-4 days of no fluoridated showers and returned about a week after resuming. Oddly, I’ve never seen a similar rash on Kyle, but I have since talked to several other women who also get tiny red itchy bumps on their scalp from fluoridated showers. Could we be reacting to a different fluoridation contaminant, I wonder?

    After all those months of bottled water sponge baths, I finally found a shower filter on http://www.mercola.com that, while it makes no claims to do so, removes enough of the fluoridation chemicals for Kyle to be able to shower IF we do all 4 of these things:

    Set a timer and limit the shower to 4 minutes;
    Use warm water, not hot;
    Keep water pressure at the lowest possible, about 1 gal/min, for maximum filtration contact;
    Change filter at 3 months, not 6 as the manufacturer suggests, which for our usage is about 700 minutes of total run-time on the filter. Kyle starts to get after-shower headaches between 3-4 months of use on this filter.
    There are other methods to remove fluoridation chemicals from bathing water, such as in-home reverse osmosis systems, but this was the simplest and cheapest for us. Seattle’s water is soft, but with harder water (higher mineral content), the effectiveness of filters may be less.

    I am eternally grateful to FAN and all of the “Friends of FAN” that I heavily rely on to educate me about fluoride and fluoridation. My holiday wish today is to see an end to the unnecessary curse of fluoridation so that I can help other families like mine focus on caring for their loved ones with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities, rather than spending valuable time and resources trying to provide safe, poison-free water for their children.

    I hope you’ll help FAN put a halt to water fluoridation by giving generously.

    Audrey Adams

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  46. Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

    And here is part 3

    Kyle’s Story:

    What’s wrong with that turkey?!…and other food troubles (part three)

    The trouble with food is that it is very inconsistent. Long ago I made the poor assumption that a food was safe if my favorite natural/organic store sold it. My trust was misplaced because unlabeled ingredients are the norm, and unless it’s a dental product, fluoride is one big secret. Buyer beware.

    Here I was, completely unprepared to safely feed my profoundly chemically sensitive—but hungry—teenage autistic son, Kyle. I learned as I went and, since I had stopped his chronic 24/7 pain by halting his fluoridated drinking water, I could finally see the results of my food mistakes…and rather quickly.

    I remember a particular trip—I was taking an intimidating stack of paperwork regarding Kyle’s disability to a state agency. As we drove, Kyle was calm and happy…that is, until he ate the “natural” protein bar I handed him. In barely more than a minute, Kyle’s 220 pound frame was madly butt-pounding the seat next to me (that’s what happens when you “jump” while still wearing a seat belt—he’s compliant with rules). My car was literally jumping down the road. It was hard to control the car, but impossible to control my son—screaming in pain, heart pounding, sweating profusely. It was a terrible day, but it did get the attention of the otherwise bored state worker as we arrived.

    I didn’t know then that the chocolate in the protein bar could contain high levels of fluoride due to pesticides, but it’s right here on this FAN website and also this one. Organic cocoa and chocolate is safe, but conventional can be quite risky.

    Another food event, this time Thanksgiving, when Kyle was in his early 20’s. There were 14 eager eaters and I had had the (not so) bright idea of cooking an “all natural” turkey breast instead of a whole bird. The very few ingredients on the label were all safe. Kyle adores family, but he cherishes food above nearly all things. He was the first one eagerly seated at the Thanksgiving table and, without waiting, helped himself to the turkey I had just put on the table. In approximately 5 bites’ time (for Kyle that’s about 60 seconds), he shot up out of his chair, instantly screaming, running, jumping, all over the house—heart pounding so hard it was literally visible through his shirt—cherry red ears and large red blotches on his face, neck and chest. He didn’t stop for about a half hour when he finally collapsed on the couch, panting and sweating, in pain. He finally slept, unable to eat. Everyone was traumatized. It was as if my guests had witnessed a terrible accident…and I guess it was. An “accident” I caused, just to save a little time. I hadn’t even spiced the meat. So what on earth was wrong with that turkey breast?!

    FAN’s website answered my question—there it was, clearly listed, avoid “mechanically deboned poultry”, due to high fluoride content. (Exactly how remains a mystery to me.) About 2 years later I bravely (or stupidly) tried organic chicken breast. Kyle had an identical reaction, but much less severe and not as long. The next day I called the 800 number on the chicken package and learned that the very same mechanical deboning method is used for organic poultry. Kyle can eat any poultry still on the bone without pain, organic or conventional, but he doesn’t prefer it thanks to bad memories.

    The good news is that I can describe certain events that were the result of acute fluoride exposures ONLY because Kyle is not suffering from chronic fluoride toxicity from fluoridated water anymore. FAN’s ongoing dedicated work will someday result in eliminating chronic fluoride poisoning from tap water for those children whose parents have no idea that it’s contributing to similar frightening behavior.

    And thanks to my awareness of fluoride due to Kyle’s hyper-sensitivity (and all the information at my fingertips through FAN), I made some very interesting discoveries about my own reactions to fluoride ingestion that I would not have understood otherwise. I do not get headaches (and I don’t scream and jump either!), but I do get mild to very severe pain in certain joints—specifically, the joint that was at the lowest point during sleep (whichever hip) or the joint most used during the day—about 4-5 hours after consuming certain non-organic chocolate products.

    I do not have arthritis, but I do love chocolate and I have experienced more than a dozen acute arthritic-like pain events (over several years’ time) for stupidly eating conventional chocolate. Sometimes even just tiny amounts of it, like last Friday. Unfortunately, it’s like Russian Roulette with chocolate because many conventionally grown cocoa products are okay while others can be very high in fluoride, depending on the (unlabeled) pesticide levels. But the only way I can determine with certainty that the pain was caused by a specific food item is to wait a month or more, and free of any pain, then re-test that same chocolate product on myself. Unfortunately for the testee (me!), I have positively confirmed the pain culprit every time I have done this, which really takes the fun out of chocolate.

    I wasn’t brave enough, however, to re-test myself when I had a horrible reaction to organic green tea. I knew both green and black tea can be very high in fluoride, but I had a momentary lack of judgment. (Organic tea can be better, but wasn’t this time.) I drank it in late morning and, according to my own special “fluoride clock” started feeling an uncomfortable right shoulder at 2-ish and crying pain by 5pm. What was I doing? Typing and “mousing” on the computer.

    Pain from fluoride is a very mysterious thing and I don’t pretend to understand it, but I do want to impress upon you that if you are chronically exposing yourself to fluoride, for example by drinking tea or a mocha latte every day, you cannot know for sure that the pains you have are not caused by it.

    FAN is an incredible resource for those of us who already know we are hyper-sensitive to fluorides, and for those of you who perhaps haven’t yet realized it, or those whose symptoms might take much longer to manifest. Let’s keep this good thing going strong! Please consider a donation to FAN today.

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  47. David Fierstien

    Bill, I’m afraid I don’t have time right now to respond to everything, but glancing through your comments I came across “Kyle’s story.”

    I am familiar with that amazing story. I’ve read it. I’ll comment more on it later, but for now . . You can’t be serious.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. David Fierstien

    Dr. Bill Osmunson.

    It really does not get any better than this!!! You truly are the gift that keeps on giving.

    Twice in this thread, just prior to your last series of comments, I accused you of being a Shill for Mercola (you know, because Mercola funds you, and it’s bottom line is improved by the paranoia that you try to push).

    This is the part of “Kyle’s story” that I enjoyed the most:

    “After all those months of bottled water sponge baths, I finally found a shower filter on http://www.mercola.com that, while it makes no claims to do so, removes enough of the fluoridation chemicals for Kyle to be able to shower IF we do all 4 of these things: . . . .

    “I hope you’ll help FAN put a halt to water fluoridation by giving generously.”

    You gave me an advertisement for Mercola’s amazing shower heads. (It might be a good idea to actually read through your copy/pastes before you post them 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

  49. David Fierstien

    Dr. Osmunson, to your other comments:

    “You have failed to respond to the synopsis of 10 research articles I posted which found a decrease in IQ with fluoride exposure.”

    Response: We are not discussing 10 research articles under another post.
    Right now, we are discussing this bogus claim from you:

    ” “ FDA has never approved swallowing fluoride with intent to prevent dental caries because the evidence of effectiveness is “incomplete.””

    For the 6th time now, please show me anything from the FDA that proves what you just said. (I don’t need 8 pages of irrelevant material. One paragraph on an FDA website with a link will be fine.)

    For the 3rd time now, the FDA does not consider optimally fluoridated water a drug. If I am wrong, please provide anything from the FDA which disproves this.

    Your copy-pastes about Legend drugs, and fluoride in particular, are irrelevant to this question.

    Let me try to illustrate what I mean.

    Did you know that the FDA considers Oxygen a “drug?” See: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/daf/index.cfm?event=overview.process&ApplNo=205889

    But the FDA does not consider optimally oxygenated air (you know, air) a drug. In the same way, while the FDA may consider some forms of fluoride in higher concentrations a “drug,” the FDA does not consider optimally fluoridated water to be a drug. Get it?

    So . . . let’s make it for the 4th time now — the FDA does not consider optimally fluoridated water a drug. Therefore, when you say that optimally fluoridated bottled water (which the FDA regulates) has not been approved by the FDA for ingestion as a drug, you are being deceitful.

    Something that is not considered a “drug” by the FDA can neither be denied, nor approved as such. If I am wrong, please provide anything from the FDA which disproves this by classifying optimally fluoridated water a drug or medicine.

    I eagerly await your next set of non-answers to these questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. David Fierstien

    Oh . . one more thing . . this comment from you —

    Bill Osmunson: Anyone harmed? I would say everyone with dental fluorosis has been harmed with fluoride. About 140,000,000 Americans. But that large a number is not personal.”

    Harm means quality of life is diminished. For example, if someone was suffering pain from dental decay, that would diminish quality of life.

    As you must know, very mild and mild dental fluorosis are characterized by healthier teeth which are more resistant to decay. Now, if any of these 140,000,000 Americans would care to sue their local governments because they are suffering from stronger teeth, and if they actually won the case, you might actually have an argument.

    By the way, In a country where lawsuits are practically a way of life — so much so that McDonald’s was actually successfully sued because it’s coffee was too hot — you would think lawyers would be lining up, foaming at the mouth, to get a piece of the action from Kyle & Audry and all the unbelievable suffering they have had to endure.

    You know some lawyers, don’t you? Isn’t Michael Connett, Paul Connett’s son, a lawyer? Why don’t you hand that case over to him?

    Liked by 1 person

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