Sinn Fein motion to ask that fluoride removed from Ireland’s water supply upheld at council

Via I’ve no strong opinion on this one way or the other, except to say that the scientific evidence that fluoride is harmful may be, erm, incomplete. Oh, and Dublin has no more power to deliver this than Glasgow have getting rid of nuclear power in the 80s.

At high levels (and there are parts of the world where it naturally occurs in dangerously high levels) it can cause dental and skeletal fluorosis. The question only arises from the active decision to add it in.

Ah, but it’s a popular idea with the voters.


  • James Reeves

    The science of tobacco, DDT, lead in gasoline, and asbestos were wrong. The 70 year old “science” of fluoride is wrong as well. Recent studies tell the true story.

    There are many PubMed ( US National Library of Medicine®) scientific studies showing that fluoride in drinking water causes cancer. Here are a few. Go read them yourself.

    We were warned in a 2006 study by Dr. Elise Bassin, DDS, Harvard University, published in a cancer journal, “Cancer Causes Control.” May 2006. It shows a fivefold increase in bone cancer in young people who have consumed fluoride in their drinking water.

    Another PubMed scientific publication shows that fluoride concentration in drinking water correlates with uterine cancer.
    “A significant positive correlation was found between fluoride concentration in drinking water and uterine cancer mortality in 20 municipalities.”

    Cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx, colon and rectum, hepato-biliary and urinary organs were positively associated with water fluoridation. This was also the case for bone cancers in male, in line with results of rat experiments. Brain tumors and T-cell system Hodgkin’s disease, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, melanoma of the skin and monocytic leukaemia were also correlated with fluoridation. 

    Also a PubMed study that shows fluoride is ineffective for teeth.

  • mickfealty

    The issue though seems to be concentrations James. Much of the work around fluoride occurring in naturally high concentrations appears to be conducted around taking it out rather than putting it in.

    The WHO doc I lnked in the OP makes it clear that in high concentrations it has severe public health risks. That’s no help in figuring what the problem might be in the Irish Water system. Do we have reliable figures for that?

  • Mick

    “…the scientific evidence that fluoride is harmful may be, erm, incomplete.”

    That would appear to be the understatement of the day/week/year.

    The anti-fluoride campaigners conspiracy theorists have been around a long, long time.

    Anti-fluoride activists may keep on coming back like zombies, but their line of argument remains brain-dead.

    And here’s a recent dispatch from the science desk at the Guardian (April 2014).

    That humans can be irrational is hardly a revelation, but perhaps the ugliest facet of the Irish debate is how elected representatives have given such outlandish fringe assertions a sense of legitimacy. One Irish politician has claimed that fluoridation causes cancer and Down’s syndrome; others have demanded an end to the practice, parroting claims that would have taken all of three minutes on Wikipedia to expose as utter nonsense.

    The Irish government’s response is appeasement, and a waste of time and public money. Not only is there already an Irish body that routinely reviews the safety of fluoridation, this is a Sisyphean task because anti-fluoride groups have already reached their conclusion, and will trust no expert body unless it agrees with their assertions. Almost certainly fluoride will get yet another clean bill of health, campaigners will reject the findings and the same tedious cycle will repeat again, in much the same way parents who oppose vaccination are impervious to the scientific literature undermining their position.

    It is irresponsible for politicians to show such contempt for science that they’re willing to take the lead from pseudoscientists and conspiracy theorists rather than experts. Leadership should be about making the best decisions based on the data available, even on emotive issues such as fluoridation and vaccination.

    As the Irish debate lumbers on, and local authorities in the UK consider fluoridation, we should demand that our elected representatives base health policy on evidence. There will undoubtedly be opposition as there has been in the past but what is crucial is that decisions are based on scientific research, not misinformation and fear. The cost of such folly is clear to anyone who remembers the human suffering in the wake of the misinformed panic over the MMR vaccine just a decade ago.

    But for some light relief… “Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation…”

  • 1875

    Case histories and peer reviewed research shows that fluoride can cause harm even at low levels. People can experience toxicity symptoms from drinking fluoridated water or using fluoride tablets. Symptoms include neurological problems, headaches, skin irritation, gastrointestinal pain and symptoms, chronic fatigue, joint pains, and polydipsia (Waldbott 1956, 1958, Feltman 1956, Feltman and Kosel 1961, Grimbergen 1974, Petraborg 1977, Spittle 2008, reviewed by NRC 2006). Patients were often unaware that their drinking water contained fluoride. Symptoms improved with avoidance of fluoridated water and returned with consumption of fluoridated water or with experimental challenge with fluoride and confirmed by double blind testing. Doctors aren’t trained to suspect fluoride, so patients may be treated for side effects when all that is needed, is avoidance of fluoridated water.

    The Feltman and Kosel study was published in the Journal of Dental Medicine and
    received funding from the US Public Health Service, Department of Health
    Education and Welfare, Washington DC.

  • “The issue though seems to be concentrations James”

    Oh, it’s much worse than that, Mick.

    The 2006 paper he cites, “Cancer Causes Control”? It actually concluded that their “exploratory analysis” found “an association between fluoride exposure in drinking water during childhood and the incidence of osteosarcoma among males but not consistently among females”.

    However, they went on to say…

    Further research is required to confirm or refute this observation.

    Guess what? There was further research done. And here is the conclusion of that further research, from this 2012 paper

    CONCLUSION: Our ecological analysis suggests that the water fluoridation status in the continental U.S. has no influence on osteosarcoma incidence rates during childhood and adolescence.

  • Mister_Joe

    Well, SF are known for being full of it.

  • babyface finlayson

    Precious border fluids….is this something to do with red diesel?

  • James Reeves

    Medical professionals should be ashamed to support such a crude and unethical practice as the forced comsumption of fluoride which results in cancer, thyroid & pineal gland damage, lowered IQ, kidney disease, arthritis and other serious health problems.

    See “Dangerous Health Effects” at

    Google “Fluoride dangers” and read a few of the over 1,000,000 articles.

  • Bullshit.

    Anti-fluoride activists may keep on coming back like zombies, but their line of argument remains brain-dead.

    As previously noted

    In a nutshell, anti-fluoride campaigners believe different versions of a few basic memes. The first is that fluoride in drinking water is harmful because it alters your brain in some way. The genesis of the “fluoride is a mind-altering chemical” trope goes back to post-war Europe and the breakup of German chemical company IG Farben. The company was at one point the fourth largest company in the world, and manufactured the dyes and industrial chemicals which were fundamental to German industrial might. Due to its close involvement with the Hitler regime and its atrocities (the company provided Zyklon B for gas chambers), it was broken up after the war, and many of its executives were put on trial for war crimes.

    The tinfoil hat crowd makes the leap to believing that IG Farben had developed plans during the war to fluoridate occupied countries because they had found that fluoridation caused “slight damage to a specific part of the brain” (usually cited as the pineal gland), which would make the population either more docile or dumber, depending on your pet theory.

    Even if it’s true that IG Farben had those plans, they wouldn’t have worked. The pineal gland has nothing to do with obedience, or defending the organism’s freedom from governmental interference. There’s no credible science proving that the tiny deposits of calcium and fluoride which accumulate in the pineal gland would affect its function at all. Here is the entire PubMed literature on the subject – the texts which refer to it are almost entirely obscure rat studies. Nothing there about behavioural changes, or lowering of IQ.

  • James Reeves

    The forced-fluoridation experiment is medical malpractice on an industrial scale.

    Data from the World Health Organization shows that the tooth decay rate in Europe with 3% fluoridation is as good or better than any fluoridated country including the U.S., with over 70% fluoridation.

    The solution for the fluoridation issue is very simple.
    1. Take the toxic waste fluoride chemical out of the drinking water.

    2. It is still legal and available, so those who wish to take it can then put fluoride in their own glass of water (as much as they wish).

    3. Leave the rest of us out of it, giving everyone the freedom of choice.

  • Starviking

    What next? Banning vaccinations perhaps? Or how about homeopathy as the cornerstone of the health service in the South?

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I’m surprised to find myself in agreement with the chuckies. Fluoride is a poison as a quick search will show. You will also find that the FDA now has a poison warning on fluoride toothpaste. I also recently watched a good documentary on youtube which mentioned the damage it does to the human body. Much safer to have clean water and let people decide what poisons they want to put into their own body and that of their children.

  • PeterOHanrahanrahan

    You can lead a slugger commenter to a heap of peer-reviewed scientific journals, but you can’t just conjure up a PhD on the spot to make him think. The people commenting with I-have-found-this-paper are the most egregious examples of citizen-citationists who have zero scientific training and less academic credibility. Unless you have written a master’s thesis or equivalent, published a paper in a journal (not your moleskine), or added commentaries to a peer-reviewed paper, you’re doing nothing more than stroking your own ego and trying everybody else’s patience and credulity.

  • PeterOHanrahanrahan

    Also, it should be recognised that the practice of fluoridation is about the regulation of fluoride levels to within prescribed limits, and not solely the addition thereof.

  • Dec

    Fascinating as it is to read Professor Proton’s robust defence of 1940’s dental hygiene practices, we’ve still to hear the actual benefits of this process in, well you know, 21st century.

  • Caita

    Due to the prevalence of heart disease in Ireland, would it be acceptable to permanently add a small concentration of aspirin to the national water supply?

    How about other chemicals for other ailments?

    Do you not think it is even slightly unusual that a chemical is added to our water to prevent tooth decay, hardly the most serious medical condition affecting the nation?

    Perhaps it would be fairer to supply us with the water that we pay for, and leave it to the individual to decide what chemicals/medicines he or she consumes?

  • Caita

    The tinfoil hat crowd makes the leap to believing that IG Farben had developed plans during the war to fluoridate occupied countries because they had found that fluoridation caused “slight damage to a specific part of the brain” (usually cited as the pineal gland), which would make the population either more docile or dumber, depending on your pet theory.

    The “tinfoil hat” crowd makes no such leap.

    I simply don’t want any damage made to my pineal gland in return for a tenuous benefit to public dental health!

  • Mister_Joe

    Here’s the thing. My cardiologist recommended a certain pill for me (I have had 6 heart attacks). I told her that I had read bad things about that particular pill. She said that if I had read the information sheet for aspirin, I would not have it about the house. I’m taking that pill.

  • The following are some good sources of information on fluoride and artificial water fluoridation: the Fluoride Action Network, Declan Waugh’s work, the books The Case Against Fluoride and The Fluoride Deception, the 2006 US National Research Council report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards, and the peer-reviewed journal Fluoride.

    The forced-fluoridation experiment is medical malpractice on an industrial scale. Fluoridation chemicals are the only medications which are delivered via public water supplies. Medicating public water supplies with any chemical violates the human rights and medical ethics principle of informed consent to medical intervention, is entirely indiscriminate, results in the random dosing of residents since the fluoride dose received from water and other sources is uncontrolled, and is environmentally irresponsible because the vast majority of tap water is not ingested, so the environmental load is vastly greater than it needs to be. Medicating public water supplies means that politicians are subjecting everyone to treatment which no doctor can legally impose on anyone, and is surely the most ham-fisted method of drug delivery ever devised.

    Medicating public water supplies with fluoridation chemicals is especially egregious, because fluoride is a cumulative poison with a half life in the body of around 20 years, there was no good quality scientific research which indicated that forced-fluoridation was anything but harmful and useless in the 1940s and there still isn’t any, the best quality scientific research which has been conducted indicates that forced-fluoridation is in fact both harmful and useless, the fluoridation chemicals which are used are industrial grade rather than pharmaceutical grade, and fluoride is not biodegradable. The forced-fluoridation experiment is unethical, illegal, irrational, archaic, pseudoscientific, and all risk, no reward.

  • The problem is that the “further research” is of much poorer quality than the original research. For one thing, it ignored the critical 6 to 8 years of age period of exposure identified in the original research. Chester Douglass was funded by Colgate, by the way.

  • You are off with the fairies. A large majority of us do not believe what you have written, and to my knowledge none of the activists with scientific qualifications do. People like you play make-believe because when it comes to making a real argument and presenting some credible evidence, you do not have a leg to stand on.