CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF
128 STUDIES FROM WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
David W. John, MD
June 6th, 2012
Dear Everett Mayor and City Council members,
Fluoridationists refer to 128 scientific studies from the World Health Organization (WHO) which support the idea that water fluoridation is safe and effective. I will analyze these after some preliminary comments.
Fluoridationists assure us that water fluoridation is safe and is also effective in reducing tooth decay. It is essential that you insist that they give you copies of peer reviewed research papers they are relying on that have been published in respected scientific journals. You will find that most, if not all of the so called research supporting fluoridation is deeply flawed. Here are some examples of seriously faulty research that was used to start and then to maintain fluoridation in the U.S. (after a brief bit of history):
Mellon family members were large shareholders in ALCOA, which was producing fluorides as byproducts of its aluminum producing operations. The fluorides were so toxic they were expensive to get rid of. At the end of the war in 1945 ALCOA needed a cheap way to dispose of its vast quantity of toxic fluoride waste. Here’s how they not only got rid of it at no cost to the Company, but actually managed to sell it and make money on it. (1)
In 1938 Public Health Service dentist and epidemiologist H. Trendley Dean reported that dental decay rates were lower in some cities with natural fluoride levels of 0.9 – 1.4 parts per million than in cities with less than 0.4 ppm fluoride.(2) Later, in two different court cases against fluoridation Dean had to admit, when under oath, that the studies were scientifically inadequate to draw any such conclusion.(3)
Also in 1938 Biochemist Gerald Cox and colleagues at the Mellon Institute, which had been founded by the ALCOA-owning Mellon family, did an experiment in which he gave some rats sodium fluoride waste from ALCOA. He felt he saw reduced cavities in these rats and jumped to several truly startling conclusions. With no adequate research studies, Cox pronounced fluoridation safe and effective for cavity reduction in humans. This led to a proposal to fluoridate the entire U.S. population! (4) This would have required hundreds of thousands of tons of fluoride annually, which would have included all of ALCOA’s problematic fluoride waste. How convenient is that for the very family that was paying to have the research done?
But the conflicts of interest get worse – much worse. At that time U.S. Public Health Service was under U.S. Treasury, so the Secretary of Treasury had to review the proposal to fluoridate the U.S. population. The Secretary of Treasury was Andrew Mellon, head of the Mellon family, so he, of course, strongly supported the idea of getting rid of ALCOA’s fluoride waste by selling it to communities to dump in their drinking water. Now over 70% of Americans are drinking fluoride industrial waste from aluminum, steel, brick and phosphate fertilizer plants in China, Mexico and the U.S.
The following is a careful analysis of the quality of these “studies”:
In 1984 the World Health Organization claimed in their promotion of fluoridation that 128 studies had shown the effectiveness of fluoridation in preventing cavities. (5,6,7) Apparently these references came from a poster displayed in a WHO meeting portraying references from a book Murray and Rugg-Gunn had published in 1982. (8)
In 1988 Phillip Sutton (9) investigated the 128 references. Here is a summary of his findings:
(A) There were no controls. This is very significant, because during the years the studies were done cavities were decreasing all over the world to similar low levels whether in fluoridated areas or not. (10,11) You have been provided with graphs of WHO data from many nations that illustrate this. Similar decreases in non-fluoridated countries meant that fluoridation had no effect.
(B) None of the studies allowed for the bias that existed because researchers knew which subjects were on fluoridated water.
(C) 34 studies didn’t even exist!
(D) 20 of the reports were about something else!
(E) 51 were of very poor scientific quality. Such as short reports in state dental newsletters or journals, state health department newsletters, progress reports, personal communications etc.
(F) 4 could not be verified.
(G) None of the last nineteen showed in a scientifically acceptable manner that fluoridation is effective.
These are the types of, so called, “research” that have apparently been relied on by endorsers of fluoridation such as the AMA and the ADA. As I have just explained, the scientific foundation for support for fluoridation is not solid, so such endorsements cannot be relied on.
High quality research has been done. For example,
a) A huge study to discover the effect of increasing levels of fluoride in drinking water on cavities was done in India on 400,000 college students over a span of 30 years by Drs. SPS Teotia and M Teotia (12). It showed not only no benefit from fluoride, but a 27% INCREASE in decay for each 1 part per million fluoride increase in drinking water.
b) The largest U.S. study shows no effect of fluoride in decreasing decay. (13)
Numerous solid research papers show the same and many also show no increase or
even a significant decrease in cavities when fluoridation is stopped. (14)
The main points I want to leave with you are that there seems to be no solid science that supports claims that public water fluoridation is safe and benefits teeth, no matter what governmental, United Nations or professional organizations say in support of the practice. On the other hand there are many high quality research papers indicating fluoridation is not safe and is not effective. I admire you for looking deeper into the water fluoridation issue and hope you will continue to study the research on fluoridation. I believe there is more than enough evidence for you to come to your own independently reached conclusion that it is neither safe enough nor effective enough to be continued.
Form more detail read 128 Studies Supporting Fluoridation.
David W. John, MD
(1) Health and Nutrition Secrets that can save your life by Russell L. Blaylock, MD, 2006, Health Press, Albuquerque, NM, pages 94 and 95
(2) Dean, H.T., Endemic Fluorosis and Its Relation to Dental Caries, Public Health Rep, 1938, 53 pages 1443-52
(3) Foulkes, R.G. Fluoridation of community water supplies 1992: Update. Townsend Letter for Doctors 1992, June: 450. See also City of Oroville v. Public Utilities, California, 1955, and Chicago Citizens v. City of Chicago, 1960
(4) Fluoride: Drinking Ourselves to Death?, 2001, Gill and Macmillan Ltd., Dublin, Ireland (Newleaf), page 179
(5) Fluoride-Drinking Ourselves to Death by Barry A. Groves. Gill and Macmillan Ltd. (Newleaf) Dublin, Ireland, 2001, pages 22-24.
(1) (6)World Health Organization. Environmental Health Criteria. 36 Fluorine and Fluorides, Geneva: WHO, 1984.
(2) (7)Murray, J.J., Rugg-Gunn, A.J.. Additional data on water fluoridation. Poster at XXVI ORCA Congress, 1979.
(3) (8)Murray, J.J., Rugg-Gunn, A.J. Fluorides in Caries Prevention. 2nd. edn. Wright, Bristol, Bristol, 1982.
(4) (9) Sutton, P.R.N., Fluoridation of Water. Chem. Eng. News 1989; 67: 3.
(5) (10)World Health Organization Data (2004) – Tooth Decay Trends (12 year olds) in Fluoridated vs. Unfluoridated Countries: Tooth Decay Trends: Fluoridated Vs. Unfluoridated Countries (Data from the World Health Organization http://.whocollab.od.mah.se/ compiled by ChrisNeurath, FAN)
(6) (11)WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme. WHO Headquarters Geneva, Oral Health Programme (NPH), WHO Collaborating Centre, Malmö University Sweden [homepage on the Internet]. Geneva and Malmö: WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme; [updated 2005 June; cited 2005 Nov]. Oral health profiles for countries listed according to WHO regions [about 7 screens]. Available from: http://www.whocollab.od.mah.se/expl/regions.html
(7) (12)Teotia, S.P.S. and Teotia, M. Dental Caries: A Disorder of High Fluoride and Low Dietary Calcium Interactions. (30 years of personal research). Fluoride 1994; 27:59-66
(13) Yiamouyiannis, J. Water Fluoridation and Tooth Decay; Results from the 1986-1987 National Survey of U.S. School Children. Fluoride 1990; 23: 55-67.
(14) Same as reference # 1 above. Pages 26-29.
Information about David W. John, MD:
Graduation with honors in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where my first published research paper used fluoride to kill bacteria
Three years active duty as an officer in the U.S. Navy
MD degree with honors from University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Nine years on the faculty of University of Rochester Medical School with many publications of original research in biological chemistry
Given membership in Sigma Xi (an honor society) for outstanding research
Completed psychiatric residency program at the University of Washington
Private practice of psychiatry in Seattle
29 year career as the Psychiatrist with the Boeing Medical Department and Employee Assistance Program (currently retired)