A new addition to the discussion of the meta analysis written by Harvard Adjunct Professor (not very high up the tenure scheme) is a letter signed jointly by the Deans of the Harvard, Dental and Public Health schools.
"As Deans of Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health, we continue to support community water fluoridation as an effective and safe public health measure for people of all ages.
Numerous reputable studies over the years have consistently demonstrated that community water fluoridation is safe, effective, and practical. Fluoridation has made an enormous impact on improving the oral health of the American people.
Our country is fortunate to have over 204 million Americans living in fluoridated communities and having access to the health and economic benefits of this vital public health measure."
One's attention is drawn to the letterhead and Harvard's Latin motto: Veritas - Truth
This surely underscores the correctness of the Mercury's view of the IQ matter.
Well that added a new one to the fluorophobic list of ailments. . fluoride induced macular degeneration. Sure why not . .drank fluoridated water, got macular degeneration, start a campaign to get that poison out of the water.
The Rocha-Amador study did not include a low fluoride group.
Quoting from the paper abstract re the three locales studied:
"Three rural communities in Mexico with contrasting levels of F and As in drinking water were studied: Moctezuma (F 0.8+/-1.4 mg/L; As 5.8+/-1.3 microg/L); Salitral (F 5.3+/-0.9 mg/L; As 169+/-0.9 microg/L) and 5 de Febrero (F 9.4+/-0.9 mg/L; As 194+/-1.3 microg/L). "
So as was very common in all these papers the "reference" to which the IQ's were compared was the same as the optimized fluoridation level in the USA.
This Mexico study then is totally consistent with Qin in that the better IQ was associated with 0.8-1.4 ppm. As you well know the proposed target for PDX is 0.7 ppm.
To repeat the reality of the meta-analysis is that the individual studies were of poor quality, the difference found between the "reference" and high, often very high fluoride exposures was less than one IQ point.
The enormous exaggeration which those who oppose fluoridation attach to the Harvard is just beginning to come to the attention of the larger epidemiologic and public health community.
We will follow the judgement of other scientists with interest.
Mr. North . .
You didn't comment on the Qin study which showed the best IQ at optimized fluoride levels.
It was the only Chinese study to compare high, low & optimal fluoride levels. IQ was lower at both high & low fluoride drinking water
This finding is very analogous to that for bone fractures.
Hardy Limeback, the famous Toronto anti-fluoridationist, co-authored a paper which found that fluoridated water taken over 35 years does not affect either the mechanical properties or the architecture of the bone. They observed that for epidemiological studies of fractures "the results are generally inconclusive, with the exception of a study which found increased rates of fracture only for very low or very high exposure (Li et al., 2001).
Many of the Chinese studies included in the Harvard metanalysis evaluated fluoride exposures which are simply not allowed in the USA because water quality standards as well as laws prohibiting industrial air & water pollution. Readers should be reminded that the meta-analysis found LESS THAN HALF AN IQ difference between "exposed & reference" populations. That the reference populations included water fluoride considered optimal in the USA.
Because the difference in IQ is so small, much smaller than the variation in scores for a single person tested repeatedly, these results, like the fracture studies, are at the edge of what epidemiological science can discern.
The Qin's study finding the BEST IQ at water fluoridation fluoride is more likely to be valid that the larger group which found only 0.45 IQ difference.
Quoting the Harvard paper: "each of the articles reviewed had deficiencies, in some cases rather serious, which limit the conclusions that can be drawn." These studies certainly are no reason to change America's fluoridation policy.
2/3rds of the operations for terrible cavities in kids are avoided with community water fluoridation (CWF). In that Louisiana study 50% of the dental bills for the kids studied were avoided. If this were the only benefit 150% CWF returns in lower dental bills
Under anesthesia procedures include extractions root canals & stainless steel crowns & cost up to $15,000 & happen more often in Portland without CWF. Data presented to the Ore Legislature showed 75% prevention of these operations in The Dalles, fluoridated since 1956
Economic modeling of all the alternative public health intervention for this problem shows CWF far & away the most effective & cheapest.
Common oral health problems are significantly improved. No practical alternatives exist. The judgement of expert public health opinion is overwhelmingly supportive.
Fluoridation is just the right thing to do .
The meta analysis at the fore of the discussion about IQ was falsely promulgated as a news story on Reuters.
Evaluations of both the scientific and political aspects of this issue are available at the following sites:
Additionally, the only Chinese study to compare high, low & optimal fluoride levels found the BEST IQ associated with the optimal level. IQ was lower at both high & low fluoride drinking water
"By testing of the intellectual ability of 447 elementary school students ranging in age from 9 to 10 1/2, it was discovered that both high & low fluoride had an effect on child intelligence. Fluoride levels greater than 2.0 mg/L or less than 0.2 mg/L can disrupt intellectual development."
Qin LS et al The influence of drinking water fluoride on pupils IQ. Chinese J Control of Endemic Diseases 5:203-204,1990
The European Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (2011): SCHER agrees that there is not enough evidence to conclude that fluoride in drinking water at concentrations permitted in the EU may impair the IQ of children. SCHER also agrees that a biological plausibility for the link between fluoridated water and IQ has not been established.
More systematic reviews of the IQ concern can easily be given: Australian Government, the US National Review Council, the Bazian Independent Review of the NRC report and others.
No mainstream medical, dental or public health entities have called for and end of fluoridation because of these egregiously poor quality overseas studies.
CWF is safe, effective and inexpensive. The science which justifies this position is the reason organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics endorse CWF. Clearly their only goal is better health for children.
Oppose fluoridation: EPA Headquarters Union Scientists
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The most compelling data of community water fluoridation's effectiveness is the huge Louisiana study which found 2/3rds of the operations for terrible cavities in kids are avoided with community water fluoridation (CWF).
see: Water Fluoridation & Costs of Medicaid Treatment for Dental Decay. MMWR. CDC 09/03/1999
In the Louisiana study 50% of the dental bills for the kids studied were avoided. A subsequent Colorado study found that the beneficial effect on these young kids mouths alone returns 150% in lower dental bills.
see: Prev Chronic Dis. 2012 Mar;9: A simulation model for designing effective interventions in early childhood caries. Hirsch GB, et al
Done under anesthesia procedures include extractions root canals & stainless steel crowns & cost up to $15,000. These happen more often in Portland without CWF. Data presented to the Oregon Legislature in 2005 showed about 75% prevention of these operations in The Dalles, fluoridated since 1956
Portlanders should read the long list of prestigious organizations representing thousands of medical, dental & public experts & many health advocacy organizations like the Pew Charitable Trust whose only goal is to better the common good. It is quite obvious from both that list and the list of regional health advocates that physicians, dentists and public health workers are foursquare behind CWF.
Those who oppose CWF harm the community's oral health, especially the kids. Avoiding fluoridation keeps Oregon at the bottom for both oral health and fluoridation. Is is arguing for increased pain suffering & life-long disadvantages.
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