Advocates for ridding Hastings District water of fluoride, Angela hair and Ben Warren, will make their case to the community Wednesday night (the 24th), 7pm, at the Havelock North Community Centre.

Angela has written this guest article for BayBuzz, outlining their argument …

Is Lowering the Concentration Enough?
By Angela Hair

During the Hastings District Council’s 2010 Annual Plan deliberations, I submitted along with Ben Warren and Fluoride Action Network to ask the Council to remove Fluoride from Hastings water supply (including Havelock North, Clive, Flaxmere, Haumoana and Te Awanga).

A very close vote decided to retain the status quo of fluoridation but lowered the concentration from 0.9 to 0.7 mg/l. This decision was taken on the advice of the DHB who recognised possible health issue for babies fed formula which is mixed with fluoridated water and for small children who may be approaching the “upper safety limits” of fluoride exposure when water fluoridation + toothpaste use + other sources of fluoride (eg food and drinks) is taken into consideration.

Behind this decision a number of assumptions were made – including “one size fits all” ; the DHB knows best; systemic fluoridation is effective; diluting a poison is safe for people and environment.

I would like to challenge those assumptions because they are important.

Firstly ‘one size fits all’ is a complete nonsense when it comes to drug-dosing. Individual sensitivity varies hugely according to immune health, age, nutrition and underlying chronic conditions. It makes no sense to continue to pour fluoride into water, 99.5% of which ends up in the environment, without assessment and monitoring of its effects on the individual. Neither assessment nor monitoring of fluoride is carried out in Hawke’s Bay on any age group.

Secondly, does the DHB know best? I have found, through 13 years of taking in-depth client histories,  that the client is the most effective monitor of their health. They will be able to tell me if they have improved, had side effects or are getting worse. They may not be able to tell me why this is happening but they can decide for themselves if something is working or not. Fluoride rarely causes outright sensitivity problems but long term can contribute to a wide range of chronic problems including thyroid dysfunction, lowered mental function, arthritis and bone brittleness, due to the accumulation of this toxic substance in the hard and soft tissues of the body. With increased awareness about the health affects from fluoride people often choose to avoid it. Surely the right person to make a decision about fluoride exposure is the individual not the DHB.

Thirdly, the assumption that water fluoridation is effective has been internationally proven to be incorrect. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention conceded in 1999 that the predominant mechanism of fluoride action is topical, not systemic ie use toothpaste don’t drink it!.

Fourthly, the Hastings District Council and HB Regional Council make the assumption that the poisonous byproduct of the fertiliser industry, known as hydrofluorosilicic acid, is safe to pour down the drains into the environment, yet 25 years ago HB Regional Council banned Ravensdown in Napier from discharging the same substance into the river or ocean. Clearly a disconnect is happening here!

The only safe way to proceed with fluoridation is complete removal of fluoride from municipal water. The DHB has a range of other options it could use to reduce dental decay in the most vulnerable children in our communities. The most obvious and effective solution to help dental health and general health, is education about healthy food and essential nutrition.

Our Maori people, living in isolated communities and eating traditional diets, had outstanding teeth and bone structure according to 1930s dental researcher Dr Weston A. Price. We hope our Maori leaders will show the way toward a return to good food and our Councillors will wake up to the detrimental effects of long term dosing of fluoride and remove it.

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1 Comment

  1. The Hastings Fluoridation Experiment

    Five decades ago, two neighbouring towns, Hastings and Napier, were selected for the first fluoridation experiment in New Zealand: fluoridation was implemented in Hastings, with non-fluoridated Napier acting as the control. This arrangement has not changed. Data shows that even after 50 years, fluoridation has conferred no benefit to Hastings inhabitants, regardless of social status.

    The discovery revealed by Ludwig's initial dental surveys in the two towns – that younger children, the ones expected to show the greatest benefit from fluoride, had up to 58 per cent less decay in the un-fluoridated control town – caused considerable embarrassment. The explanation – a trace element in Napier soil causing below average decay there (Nature, vol. 186, p695) – was simply not believed by the opponents of fluoridation. The discovery of the decay difference was not made until well after fluoridation had commenced. It was alleged by opponents that fluoride must have damaged Hastings children 5 teeth. The subsequently published figures on the dental status of virtually the entire 5-year-old population of New Zealand show that Ludwig's published figures for Napier 5-year-olds' dental health at that time (Soil Science, vol. 92, p359) were not below the national average. But the decay prevalence of Hastings 5-year olds was well above average.

    The above finding resulting in Napier being dropped as a control; well, one couldn’t have facts getting in the way of a pre-determined result.

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