From Chris Neurath:
The paper in question is:
Lamberg M, Hausen H, Vartiainen T. (1997). Symptoms experienced during periods of actual and supposed water fluoridation. Community Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology 25(4):291-5. http://www.fluoride-class-action.com/wp-content/uploads/symptoms-experienced-during-periods-of-actual-and-supposed-water-fluoridation-community-dental-oral-epidemiology-1997-25-291-295.pdf
Michael Connett and I reviewed this paper carefully (and perhaps Carol Kopf also reviewed it independently since she cites it. I could try to look up my notes on it, but my memory is that it seemed to show pretty clear evidence that there was a change in rate of skin complaints between the time that fluoridation was in place and when it wasn’t in place. Importantly, I believe the public was not accurately informed of the time of change in fluoridation status so this study amounted to an essentially blind examination of the symptoms. The subjects did not know whether their water was fluoridated (or had incorrect information). So this is not an example of psychosomatic “imagining” of symptoms in the case of skin symptoms.
The authors, however, draw attention to other adverse effects which turned out to not be correlated with the true status of fluoridation but were instead correlated with the time period when residents believed the fluoridation status was changed.
In essence, this was a version of the classic ploy which has been used since the very first days of fluoridation. The instigators of fluoridation in a city will claim that fluoridation actually started later (or sometimes earlier) than the publicly announced date. Usually the delay was for some technical reason. Then they will claim that complaints about health effects of bad taste came flooding into the government offices starting at the announced change in status. Clearly, these were imaginary since fluoridation did not change at the time the complaints were made.
This is used to dismiss claims of hypersensitivity and is quite common in the history of fluoridation. I have no idea whether many (or perhaps all) of these instances were fabrications on the part of the fluoridation promoters. They may well be, since there is not way to independently verifty that the complaints actually occurred and that the fluoridation status changed on the date specified later.
This Finish study appears to be more verifiable, as to the facts. Presumably the timing of changes in status is true, and the timing of the surveys to assess health complaints is also true. I’m not sure whether there were any anti-fluoridation activists in this Finnish city who tried to check these things. Certainly nobody but an activist would bother to investigate official claims.
But the bottom line is that even these very pro-fluoridation researchers found evidence that some complaints were real and coincided with the actual time of fluoridation status change that was unknown to the population.
AEHSP – American Environmental Health Studies Project
Of course there is both a psychological and physical aspect. There always is. The people were told fluoridation would end January 1. But it ended December 1. In this experiement complaints in November were compared with complaints in December, and they were found to be the same. From this fluoridationists argue that people are imagining the
Further, one month may not be long enough for symptoms to decline.