There is a lack of any government financed medical research on the adverse effects on health of fluoride and water fluoridation but countless medical experts, including many doctors, professors including Nobel Prize winners, have for many decades pointed out the adverse effects. Doris Grant, nutritionalist and broadcaster, in her 1976 35 page booklet, with copies to all UK MP’s, gives reference to around 100 internationally known experts and organizations who had, at that time, published information on the adverse effects of fluoride. The booklet includes a few references to the adverse effects of water fluoridation on the thyroid.


The fluoride added to water supplies in the UK is fluorosilicic acid which is referred to in “The Manufacture and Use of Fluorine and Its Compounds” by Oxford University Press 1962, written by A.J.Rudge Ph.D. The book notes that fluorosilicic acid is a waste product from the phosphate fertilizer industry which cannot be allowed to escape into the atmosphere because of the toxic hazard which would result. It also says that at that time the outlet for this toxic waste material was limited.


Fluoride is a halogen chemical and is toxic and the displacement law of halogens says that fluorine displaces iodine to a greater degree than the other halogens, chlorine and bromine. The same source reference, Chemistry in Action by Michael Freemantle 1989, also says that fluorine oxidizes all metals with ease. There may be implications here in fluorine leaching lead from soldered joints in water pipes and mercury and gold from teeth fillings. Mercury in addition to neurological effects destroys the bone marrow and immune system (Ref. Questions to Parliament on 11.1.1989 on agents causing aplastic anaemia) and gold, as in arthritic drugs like  sodium aurothimalate and auranofin have exactly the same effects on the bone marrow and immune system, the effects sometimes being sudden and fatal.


Looking at possible adverse effects on health of water fluoridation there has been much emphasis by those promoters of water fluoridation, Government and the medical profession, that at one part per million (1ppm) water fluoridation is both safe and effective in helping prevent tooth decay. A brief look at countries and areas abandoning water fluoridation because they found from experience that  it did not prevent tooth decay and had adverse effects on health should be enough for anyone to question the “safe and effective” assurances by those promoting water fluoridation. A few of these include Chile 1975, Holland in 1976, Canberra, Australia 1989, Thurmont, Maryland, USA in 1992, Finland 1992, and recently Switzerland and South Korea. By 1980 other countries rejecting water fluoridation include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt. France, Germany, Greece, Luxemburg, Norway, Spain and Sweden.  A few English speaking countries are now becoming isolated in continuing to fluoridate water supplies and promote water fluoridation. Hypothyroidism was mentioned in some of the media reports on countries abandoning water fluoridation.


Those promoting water fluoridation have said that there are “a vorciferous, ill informed, minority of the public” who oppose water fluoridation. This ignores the fact that 100’s of medical experts have opposed it and polls show overwhelming public opposition.  A few of many typical public opinion polls for and against water fluoridation are: a BBC poll in 2006 with 5% for and 95% against, Yorkshire Post 2006 11% for and 89% against, Huddersfield  Examiner 1996,  40 for and 613 against, Bradford Telegraph and Argus 142 for and 3745 against, Leicester Gazette 1989, 1566 for and 24,747 against. Even with these and many similar polls showing overwhelming public opposition to water fluoridation those promoting it say there is public support. Like the obvious dangers of asbestos were for decades it seems that the only people to not recognize the dangers of water fluoridation or that it does not help prevent tooth decay are Government and the medical establishment


It should be pointed out that the main original reason for water fluoridation was instigated in the USA after World War 2 to justify the huge amounts of toxic fluoride chemicals required in the making of atomic bombs. Dr. Harold Hodge, connected with the manufacture of the bombs was also responsible for the human guinea pig radiation experiments in the USA on it citizens which killed and injured many. He thought that if water fluoridation was promoted as a means to help prevent tooth decay it would allay the public fears about the production of toxic fluoride chemicals to manufacturer bombs and help dismiss the reports of ill effects on workers making the chemicals and those living in the vicinity of the chemical works.   A good book on this is “The Fluoride Deception” by Christopher Bryson 2004, ISBN 1-58322-526-9. This book has a good reference section and was checked over by lawyers for libel for a couple of years before publication. Water fluoridation was therefore conceived because of the need to manufacture fluoride chemicals for the production of atomic bombs and it is also a cheap means of disposing of a toxic industrial waste. Very similar to the recent proposals in Europe to dispose of nuclear waste by grinding it up and incorporating it in pots, pans, children’s toys etc.   


There are 100’s of references to fluoride affecting thyroid function, it was used by many countries for over 30 years in the past, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Argentina to treat over-active thyroid and Graves Disease. The use of fluoride for this purpose was discontinued, one reason being the number of cases of hypothyroidism as a side effect. No one disputes that fluoride at higher levels causes hypothyroidism and there are countless references in medical papers on fluoride being an iodine antagonist. The question is to what degree does fluoride added to tap water at 1ppm cause hypothyroidism by displacing iodine.


The Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA) on 10 February 1951 reported one of the many chronic symptoms of fluoride poisoning resulting from prolonged intake of small amounts was thyroid alterations. The July 7th 1969 issue of the Columbus Citizens-Journal, Ohio contained an article “The Costs of Fluoridating Water” in which a world review of literature on fluoridation completed in June 1969 found adverse effects on health included effects on thyroid function and disturbance of hormone balance.


In 1999 The US Centre for Disease Control noted adverse effects of fluoride including thyroid dysfunction. In 1994 The World Health Authority warned of taking note of total fluoride intake before any more water fluoridation was undertaken. No research into measuring total fluoride levels in the population before the promotion of more water fluoridation can be traced. There are so many sources of fluoride in toothpaste, tablets given to children, tea, cigarettes,  cola soft drinks, food, prescribed drugs, pesticides etc that it is possible than many people already have too high a level. We know from court cases and compensation paid, that very small levels of fluoride exposures to those who are allergic to it can injure and kill. Compensation have been paid for deaths of children caused by fluoride toothpaste, as few a 4 fluoride tablets accidentally killed one 3 year old boy in Australia and accidental swallowing of fluoride gel applied to teeth by a dentist in the USA killed another small boy with $750,000 compensation paid. The British National Formulary (BNF) drug book which doctors in the UK prescribe from warns that fluoride gel applied to children’s teeth must be done by a dentist and “extreme caution should be taken to ensure than none is swallowed”. Media reports have shown that some individuals are extremely allergic to fluoride in the water supply and the great lengths they have to go to obtain distilled and other fluoride free water. There have been several media reports over many years that the restaurants at Westminster supply MP’s  taxpayer subsidized bottled spring water. 


Fluoride intended to be added to the water supply at 1 ppm is no guarantee that it will actually be dosed or delivered at 1ppm. There are many reported incidences of faulty pumps delivering the wrong doses and cases of death and injury to the public resulting. In the UK the Government has indemnified the water industry from any claims for damage caused to the public by water fluoridation. Fluoride accumulates in pipe bends and valves etc and in the USA has been found in sediment at up to 6,000 ppm and in several instances over 3,000ppm.  A few references to these very high levels of fluoride found in sediment after being added at only 1ppm are from  Griffin  Laboratories, Los Angeles and 8 areas of Concord.  The laboratories noted that if some of the high accumulations were disturbed damage to humans might result. The Martindale Extra Pharmacopoeia 1982 has references to the adverse effects of fluoride at higher levels on the thyroid and endocrine system, Fluorides and Human Health No. 59 Geneva, The World Health Organisation 1970 pp 225-271. A report in the media in September 2003 shows how easy it is with fluoride added at 1ppm to consume it at a greatly increased concentration. Scottish M.P. Jimmy Wray told a Commons debate on compulsory fluoridation how to collect fluoride from a boiled kettle at a level sufficient to spike your wife’s drink. People with fluoridated water boiling a kettle for a long time before making a drink with it will be consuming fluoride above 1ppm. It has been pointed out because of high fluoride which can be found in sediment that extra care should be taken with anyone living in a cul-de-sac or other place with a water supply at the end of a pipeline. Whilst it is not suggested that levels of fluoride delivered to a house from disturbed sediment would be likely to be near the huge levels found  sometimes and quoted above it is possible that levels high enough to displace iodine in the thyroid, as used in the past to treat hyperthyroidism and often causing hypothyroidism, are possible.   


Water fluoridation was recently reported as having adverse effects on horses, including hypothyroidism, in Colorado, which started water fluoridation in 1985 with several 100 ppm found in the horse bones after some years of drinking the fluoridated water. Adverse symptoms in horses showed within two years of the start of water fluoridation. In humans, fluoride lymphocyte sensitivity tests can be carried out and have shown in someone, a confirmed hypothyroidism case following taking a fluoridated drug for several years, that sensitivity to fluoride was found nearly ten times normal indicating a cause and effect.

It should also be noted that for many years doctors and dentists have pointed to the very narrow margin for safety with water fluoridation. Geoffrey Smith, M.D. and Dental Surgeon in his letter “Fluoride and Health” in 1988 is one expert warning “the margin between a safe daily intake of fluoride and a potentially harmful one is very small” He finishes his letter with “We have been warned”. Dr. John McLaren-Howard of Biolab, who do fluoride lymphocyte sensitivity tests, notes in his paper on The Immune System, Bone Disease and Fluoride in 1993 that as low a concentration as 0.2ppm of fluoride can trigger off auto-immune disorders. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune hypothyroid disorder. Note this is one fifth of the level of fluoride said to be safe in the water supply.


There is considerable disagreement among experts and countries on what is a safe level of fluoride. The French add fluoride to several common brands of table salt not tap water at +/- 15% of 0.25ppm. The packets containing fluoride give a warning that fluoride should not be consumed in drinks at over 0.5ppm, half the level the UK and USA Governments say is a safe level.


When looking at who receives fluoridated water and who does not to compare results is fraught with difficulties in the UK as water fluoridated in one area is sometimes “borrowed” by another area which is not normally fluoridated. (Ref. letters from Yorkshire Water on parts of Halifax which was not fluoridated at the time borrowing fluoridated water from Huddersfield. How common this practice is we do not know but it highlights the difficulty of doing any accurate research into the effects of water fluoridation and assurances of safety if researchers are not always sure who is drinking fluoridated water.


Fluoride is accumulative and this was shown in the USA where soft organs from people before water fluoridation in 1939 were compared to those in 1960-65 after fluoridation.  (ref:  Dr. John Yiamouyiannis “ Fluoride the Aging Factor” 1993). These are from soft tissue organs from residents of San Francisco (fluoridated in 1952 and Denver (fluoridated in 1954). In the soft tissues the fluoride levels increased between 2 – to over 7 times after fluoridation and the thyroid was found to have the highest accumulation at 4 ppm.  It is certain that water fluoridation will result in some increase in accumulation of fluoride in the thyroid and will, adding to all the many other sources in countless other products containing fluoride, drugs, chemicals, toothpaste, soft drinks and radiation etc cause an increase in the numbers of those suffering hypothyroidism, especially in those who are already borderline cases.


Hypothyroidism is a poorly diagnosed condition so any research into cases which might be caused by water fluoridation will go largely unnoticed and undiagnosed. The laboratories tests for hypothyroidism can be altered and misleading due to none thyroid influences, exposure to prescribed drugs etc and there are medical papers written by endocrinologists about these problems. Ian Ramsay M.D., FRCP, FRCPE of the endocrinology department of Middlesex Hospital wrote one good paper on these problems in the Post Graduate Medical Journal 1985 entitled “Drug and Non-Thyroid Induced Changes in Thyroid Function Tests”. Dr. Lowe of the USA has recently written a book called “The Tyranny of TSH” and written on how and why TSH, T4 and T3 laboratory tests can be of no value in diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism. The antagonism between some doctors towards their patients with doctors saying they cannot have a thyroid problem if the laboratory tests show normal has prompted patients to write articles and even books about their wrong diagnosis and treatment. “Tears Behind Closed Doors” by Diana Holmes is by one such patient who was wrongly diagnosed and treated badly by doctors for 23 years before she was correctly diagnosed and recovered. Like countless others she was told her weight gain, fatigue, low temperature and other symptoms of hypothyroidism were “all in the mind, poor diet and lack of exercise” etc until she was correctly diagnosed.  “The Great Thyroid Scandal and How to Survive it” by Dr. Barry Durrant-Peatfield MB BS LRCP MRCS is another book on the subject of inadequate diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroid sufferers. Much of the shabby treatment of hypothyroid sufferers is no doubt due to the fact that so many prescribed drugs, chemicals like fluoride and radiation are the cause of most cases of hypothyroidism with the medical profession and Government trying to frantically cover this up. In all this antagonism between sufferers and doctors who do not follow the “good medical practice” advised by the Department of Health one endocrinologist remarked “pity the poor endocrinologist”.  “Go get a life” is one remark from some doctors to some wrongly diagnosed hypothyroid patients.


There are medical papers written on the adverse effects of fluoride in the water supply on the benign chronic constitutional liver disorder Gilbert’s Disease. Dr. John Lee of California presented a paper on this to the 12th International Society for Fluoride Research in May 1982. He detailed 6 of his patients with Gilbert’s Disease whose symptoms improved dramatically when they stopped drinking fluoridated water and their condition deteriorated again when they resumed drinking the fluoridated water. The writer has come across a similar case in the UK. The effects of fluoride on the liver might well have an adverse effect on the thyroid as thyroxine T4 is converted in the liver to T3 before it can be utilized. It is therefore possible that the toxic effect of fluoride on the liver also contributes to water fluoridation causing thyroid disorders and may also be another cause of altered thyroid function tests.


There is much recent publicity from Government and the media about increasing levels of obesity. Known symptoms of hypothyroidism which are not often picked up in the inadequate laboratory tests are low metabolic rate, fatigue and weight gain. Many sufferers of hypothyroidism, diagnosed or not, display suddenly weight gain on the same diet when they have had a stable weight for years.  It might not just be coincidence that some of the areas of the UK being identified as the worst for obesity are the areas which have fluoridated water supplies and it poses the question what % of all obese people are undiagnosed hypothyroid patients. Many patients undiagnosed are told that it is a poor diet and lack of exercise causing their weight gains, when correctly diagnosed and treated their weight returns to their previous levels. Sudden weight gains of as much as 20 kilogrammes in a few months, without any change of diet, and with a previous stable weight on the same diet are known and not rare.    


A Parliamentary Early Day Motion tabled by UK MP Mark Oaten and signed by over 160 MP’s in November, 2005 states “That this House calls on the Government to raise awareness of hypothyroidism and the dangers of misdiagnosing an under active thyroid and to promote the use of a range of treatments including thyroxine to address the current inadequacy of testing, diagnosis and treatment of the condition”.  A letter from the UK Department of Health dated 26th June, 2006 to one thyroid sufferer says “blood tests should not be taken in isolation and other factors such as absence or presence of symptoms should be taken into account and good clinical practice should includes a medical history, symptoms as well as laboratory tests”. Another letter dated 5th September, 2006 to a thyroid patient from the National Institute for Clinical Excellency (NICE) says they have at present not been asked to develop guidance on the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism.   


From my experience I find that the majority of those cases I have come across over many years, contacting thyroid support groups etc for help they cannot obtain from the medical profession, are undiagnosed hypothyroid sufferers. The “good clinical practice” of taking a medical history and observations of symptoms in diagnosis and treatment recommended by the Department of Health is not being followed by many doctors who are using only the often misleading laboratory tests. Until there are more satisfactory laboratory tests it will always be difficult to know how many people are hypothyroid or if water fluoridation contributes to their thyroid problems and to what extent.


Additional information.

The US health authorities have now issued warnings that baby foods should not be made with fluoridated water.

There has been a recent report of hypothyroidism in 100s of people in the USA through exposure to rocket fuel near launch sites due to it contaminating local water supplies. Rocket fuel contains fluoride.








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