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Hospital rejects claims it buried fluoride report
[Posted: Fri 10/08/2001 www.irishhealth.com]
The Dublin Dental Hospital has rejected claims by a lobby organisation that it buried a report into water fluoridation and powdered baby milk. The organisation Fluoride Free Ireland had claimed to have received an unpublished report from the hospital that proved that tap water is unsuitable for making up baby formulas.
The three year old report concluded that many popular baby formulas should be made up with non-fluoridated water to avoid giving infants more than the recommended levels of fluoride in their bottle.
However, Irishhealth.com has confirmed that the report was in fact a project conducted by undergraduate students as part of their degree programme and was not a peer-reviewed scientific study.
The report into the fluoride content in baby formulas.
"This document was not produced by the hospital as such", explained Brian Murray, the Dublin Dental Hospital's Chief Executive. "It was never anyone's intention that it would be considered as a peer-reviewed scientific study. The students themselves recognised the limitations of their research. On a scientific basis, it is open to a number of queries, many of which they themselves raised".
Fluoride Free Ireland had claimed that the report had been kept secret by the hospital because of its controversial conclusions. However, it had in fact been on public display at the hospital in 1998 and was published as an abstract in the 'Journal of the Irish Dental Association' that same year.
Too much intake of fluoride has been linked with a condition called fluorosis, which causes mottling of the teeth. However, fluoride also protects teeth from caries and is commonly added to public water systems in Ireland.
The Forum on Water Fluoridation in Ireland, a body set up by the Department of Health to consider the benefits and detriments of continuing Ireland's fluoridation policy, is understood to be examining the issue of fluoride in baby formulas.
The minutes of meetings of the Forum can be viewed at http://www.fluoridationforum.ie/
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland and NUI Cork have been commissioned to conduct major scientific studies into the issue.
|Gerard(fluoridefree) Posted: 12/08/2001 18:44|
|Dear Sir, Your reporting "Hospital rejects claims it buried fluoride report" appears to absolve Dublin Dental Hospital of all responsibility in publicising a study that showed bottle-feeding infants should not use fluoridated tap water. Thus to avoid exposing their children to unsafe levels of fluoride. The fact is you did not even know of this study until Fluoride Free Water (www.fluoridefree.com) released it to the media. This study is three years old and despite being a years work by 8 fourth year students, under constant supervision, the results never saw the light of day to the people most at risk. Bottle-feeding parents do not trudge the corridors of Dublin Dental Hospital trying to educate themselves about the dangers of fluoride. Neither do they subscribe to the Irish Dental Journal. They do however visit websites like yours to learn about current issues in the medical field. A further point, in regards to the statements "Too much intake of fluoride has been linked with a condition called fluorosis, which causes mottling of the teeth." The most comprehensive review on fluoridation to date, "The York Review"(http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/crd/summary.pdf), states "the prevalence of fluorosis at a water fluoride level of 1ppm was estimated at 48%". This means that nearly half of a fluoridated population will have evidence of a new oral disease inflicted upon them against their will. This is a little more serious than "(t)oo much intake of fluoride has been linked with a condition called fluorosis." Therefore, we are requesting a more balanced and informative approach to reporting on the issue of water fluoridation in Ireland. After all, it is our youngest citizens who are most at risk from fluoride. We owe it to our children.|
|Anonymous Posted: 13/08/2001 12:17|
|It's interesting to hear both sides and yes, it does make a difference that the report was done by students; However, I'm disappointed that such a study (which seems common sense really) could not have been taken more seriously sooner. Also, I'm sorry, I don't believe "having the report "on display in a hospital" or published in a professional Journal for the Irish Dental Association (who reads these things?? except other professionals in the field?), constitute giving "the public" proper notice. Or giving the issue proper attention.... Our otherwise extremely beautiful and healthy daughter does indeed have mottled teeth and I do believe this is the result of over flouridation, which never ever even occurred to us as new parents 13 years ago...IF ONLY SOMEONE HAD TOLD US!!!!!....our daughter did love her bottle for a long long time and we always thought the water in Ireland was of a very good quality....i'm not sure it ever even occured to us that it was flouridated. (I have taken her to dentists both here and in America and they have indicated this is the result of over flouridation) Perhaps we are very ignorant...but I do wish someone (in grocery stores, or in the infant formula areas of supermarkets) had mentioned EVEN THE REMOTE POSSIBILITY.....to NOT use flouridated water for bottles, we would have done so. I am not necessarily against FLOURIDATIon, in fact, (a family member works abroad as a dentist. I just think there are certain precautions, conditions, we should be aware of...Give us more information, not less.|
|Anonymous Posted: 13/08/2001 15:26|
|The fact is that there are still no reputable studies into this area. The Food Safety Authority is researching it as we speak. If you weren't informed about any potential danger, it is because no one knew of one, and no one had even researched the issue. Student research projects are rarely if ever brought to the public's attention for the very simple fact that they aren't conducted for research purposes, but to teach students how to research.|
|Anonymous Posted: 13/08/2001 20:13|
|It is quite significant that irrespective of a mother's fluoride intake, the level of fluoride present in breast milk is 0.01ppm. For some reason nature appears to have established that 'toothless' babies are not in need of a fluoride injection, and filters it out of breast milk. Babies bottle-fed with tap water at 1ppm are therefore receiving 100 times more fluoride than breast fed babies. Fluoride is not a nutrient, and dental decay is not caused by a lack of fluoride. It is caused by a bad diet with high sugar consumption and poor oral health habits. Even proponents of water fluoridation acknowledge that the margin of safety for adults is small or non-existant. For example that World Health Organisation has stated in its 1997 Drinking Water Quality Standards that Fluorides' "essentiality has not been demonstrated unequivically, and no data indicating the minimum nutritional requirements are available. To produce signs of acute fluoride intoxication, minimun oral doses of at least 1mg of fluoride per kg of body weight were required." This narrow margin of safety is obviously more real for young children. There are no reasons why 'toothless' babies should be fed fluoride, and numerous reasons why they should be avoiding it. However proponents of water fluoridation cannot draw attention to this fact without highlighting the very real dangers and unsound ethics of dosing an entire population with a drug without any attention to individual requirements. Apart from the fact that this study was not peer reviewed, can the Dublin Dental Hospital offer any rationale why the results are not valid and worthy of wider publication? I would suggest not. Do not expect organisations such as Dental Hospitals, which have endorsed this mass-medication for decades to suddenly declare that mass-medication of a population may not suit all pockets of that population. If they did, then they'd have to stop this practice, and that would signal defeat!!! We should expect to see a continuing protection of public health 'policy' rather than public health...|
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