Wikipedia: Dumb and Dumber About Fluoridation
Richard Gale & Gary Null PhD
Progressive Radio Network, September 1, 2020
In the satirical black comedy film Dr. Strangelove there is the iconic scene when the rogue general Jack D Ripper, played by Sterling Hayden, tells Peter Sellers character, “Ever hear of the fluoridation of water? Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we ever had to face?”
From that day until now, the entire pharmaceutical industry, public health officials and the mainstream media have assumed that fluoride is absolutely safe, and anyone who dares to criticize water fluoridation and its dental use is a loon or conspiracy theorist who threatens national health. Yet, as with so many medical and health challenges we face, the dominant consensus is wrong. The large body of evidence to support anti-fluoridation advocacy is substantial and continues to grow. In fact, throughout the US and other nations, concerned citizens, consumer activists and whistleblowers are putting pressure on state and local governments and public utilities to cease and desist in spiking our drinking water with fluoride.
Recently, the pushback against decades of lies, misinformation and media propaganda to seduce into accepting corporate and government sponsored junk research supporting fluoridation is reaching a tipping point towards public safety. Earlier this year, an alliance of public health organizations and watch groups filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency in a federal court trial to bring an end to fluoridation once and for all. In a more recent ruling the judge has permitted the suit, represented by two distinguished attorneys – Robert F Kennedy Jr and Michel Connett -- to continue given “the merits in light of the substantial scientific evidence proffered at trial.” And earlier this past August, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine announced their findings that low-level chronic exposure to fluoride in drinking water induces adverse changes in kidney and liver function in young people. The evidence against fluoride continues to pile up.
The CDC’s and EPA’s farce has earned a powerful voice. Wikipedia is a staunch defender of water fluoridation and promoter of this toxic propaganda. Parroting the statements of arch-Skeptic Stephen Barrett, Wikipedia’s editors sacrifice reams of scientific data to push the scientifically-debunked theories of those who would put this proven neurotoxin into every reservoir and public water utility thereby exposing generation after generation to a drug whose harms are well established yet still vehemently suppressed.
Wikipedia’s quick summary description of sodium fluoride merely states that it is “used to prevent cavities” and that it is the 215th most prescribed medication in the US. This benevolent description is posted without any context and stated as a matter-of-fact commandment that orally-consumed fluoride has no proven effect on dental health aside from causing dental fluorosis, an unsightly mottling of the teeth. Studies that suggest this can be a sign of fluoride-induced brain damage are ignored. Also missing are the scientific warnings about fluoride’s detrimental effects on nearly every system of the human body, which have been repeatedly studied and confirmed.
Under the heading “Dental Caries,” Wikipedia repeats the faulty wisdom about how fluoride is supposed to work to enhance the formation of fluorapatite, a component of tooth enamel. It does not mention that studies have shown that this fluorapatite layer is just six nanometers thick, less than 1/10000th the width of a strand of hair and therefore unlikely to have much of an impact strengthening or re-mineralizing teeth.
To its credit, Wikipedia does admit – without explaining the implications – that sodium fluoride is rarely used in the US for fluoridating water. Instead, hexafluorosilicic acid and sodium hexafluorosilicate, toxic byproducts of phosphate fertilizer and aluminum manufacturing, are used. Wikipedia does not discuss the industrial origins of these compounds (called silicofluorides or SiFs) nor their toxicity – both are deemed industrial pollutants if released into the air via factory smokestacks or into the environment via drainpipes. Yet when deliberately added to drinking water they are classified as benevolent. Nor does Wikipedia mention that these fluoride compounds have never been approved or even tested by the FDA for safety. Nor are we informed that studies have shown that SiFs can double or even triple the rate of lead uptake into children’s bloodstreams by only citing a single study to discredit this “hypothesis.”
Adding SiFs to drinking water lowers its pH, rendering it more corrosive and thus more likely to leach lead and other contaminants as it flows through pipes. But even when a neutralizing agent is added, SiFs’ “unique affinity for lead” leach even tiny amounts of the metal from any lead-containing pipe or fixture through which treated water flows. Used in combination with chlorine and chloramine, common disinfectants added to drinking water, the rate of lead uptake from SiF-treated water is off the charts. SiFs and lead have a synergistic effect, meaning consuming both is significantly more damaging to brain tissue than consuming either alone, wreaking particular havoc in the hippocampus, the area responsible for learning and memory, and causing a marked decline in IQ.
Even Wikipedia can’t deny that lead exposure causes brain damage, although its entry for lead poisoning fails to mention the correlation between lead exposure in children and criminal behavior, lumping it under the vague rubric of “behavioral problems” instead. So how is it that Wikipedia gives SiFs a certificate of safety? Nowhere in the article on hexafluorosilicic acid are the safety risks even mentioned, aside from a single sentence about the dangers of inhaling its vapors. In fact, the article has more to say about hexafluorosilicic acid's effects on “glass and stoneware” than on the human body!
Wikipedia briefly notes the negative effects of fluoride overexposure, though it is careful not to suggest that such overexposure can occur merely by drinking tap water. It references “the higher doses used to treat osteoporosis” after acknowledging earlier in the article that fluoride is utterly ineffective at treating osteoporosis, mentioning “pain in the legs” and “incomplete stress fractures when the doses are too high” (no comment on why a substance that causes stress fractures would be used to treat a bone-weakening disease like osteoporosis), as well as stomach irritation.
According to Wikipedia, the only “clear adverse effect” of water fluoridation is dental fluorosis! Hundreds of scientific studies would beg to differ. In 2018 alone over a dozen studies pointing to this toxic substance’s detrimental effects have been published, only to be ignored by the mainstream media and barred from addition to Wikipedia. A Mexican study published in Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology concluded “Fluoride could be considered an environmental kidney toxicant” after studying populations exposed to both fluoride and arsenic in drinking water. At least Wikipedia admits arsenic is poisonous! But it is ironic that arsenic was found to have a less nephrotoxic effect than fluoride. A Kenyan study published in the American Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences reported that auditory working memory significantly declined as fluoride concentration in drinking water increased, confirming the results of an earlier systematic review showing lower IQ in children in high-fluoride areas. These effects were observed at concentrations as low as 0.5 mg/L – the low end of the scale recommended by the World Health Organization, which recommends fluoridation at concentrations as high as 1.5 mg/L. Another Mexican study found prenatal fluoride exposure positively correlated to ADHD symptoms in children as much as 12 years later, “consistent with the growing body of evidence suggesting neurotoxicity of early-life exposure to fluoride.” A pair of Polish studies published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences and the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health observed strong evidence for fluoride's role in triggering and progressing Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, given the substance’s role in oxidative stress and inflammation.
Fluoride’s toxicity extends from the skeletal system, through the endocrine system, reproductive system, and neurological system, but none of these myriad effects are discussed in Wikipedia. Decades of solid scientific research are memory-holed with the blanket statement that there is “no clear evidence”. Wikipedia even claims there have been only three reported cases of fluoride toxicity associated with toothpaste ingestion, when in fact there are over 23,000 reports of toothpaste-related fluoride poisoning annually. This represents hundreds of emergency rooms visits for fluoride poisoning at substantial and unnecessary medical cost.
There’s a sound reason why so few of these kinds of studies are conducted in the heavily-fluoridated US and find their way into Wikipedia. One study published in Medical Hypotheses touched on this discrepancy, finding organizational bias “can and does compromise the integrity of fluoride research.” The only logical explanation for how so many studies have found evidence of neurotoxicity and toxicity in other tissues – even sky-high rates of dental fluorosis, despite the prevailing wisdom that fluoridation is that it is “good for teeth.” Nevertheless this practice persists and the American Dental Association fully endorses this charade. The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service reported that the CDC’s public relations make the dubious claim that for every dollar invested in fluoridation, $38 are saved in dental costs. In fact, the actual analysis indicates that the best case scenario is a $3 savings, which is rapidly “eliminated by the estimated cost of treating dental fluorosis.”
Ever since Harvard University researcher Philippe Grandjean first added fluoride to a list of developmental neurotoxicants considered especially harmful to the developing brain in a 2014 paper published in The Lancet, our health officials have suffered from institutionalized cognitive dissonance by categorically denying fluoride-induced illness. As more papers identifying the adverse risks of environmental toxins, including fluoride, are added to the list of chemicals most damaging to human development, Dr. Grandjean and his colleagues have called for the formation of an international clearinghouse to coordinate research into the neurotoxicants and their role in the rising global prevalence of neurodevelopmental disabilities. Sadly, such an urgent endeavor would likely be completely ignored by the US's federal health and environmental authorities.
In the meantime, Wikipedia is firmly lodged in this carry-over of scientific-naivety that was the public rage in the 1950s, when fluoride was the magic ingredient for whiter teeth, DDT would keep the bugs away, and humanity would be saved by our friend the atomic bomb.