22nd September

The little known dangers of fluoridation

Roger Masters*

When there are concerns regarding artificial water fluoridation, it's essential to know what chemical compound is used to fluoridate your water. If it is either hydrofluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6) (also known as hexafluorisilicic or fluoriosilicic acid) or sodium silicofluoride (Na2SiF6), then I am an internationally known scientist who can testify under oath on the toxic properties of these chemicals, their harmful effects on water users, and the total absence of independent testing of their safety.  

I am aware that Declan Waugh (Inshore Ireland 8.4) has published a comprehensive independent report on the human toxicity and environmental impacts of water fluoridation.

More recently he published a report on the manufacture and use of hexafluorosilicic/fluorosilicic acid used for water fluoridation in Ireland. I welcome and support his identification of hydrofluorosilicic acid (and the silicofluorides) as highly dangerous compounds now widely added in public water supplies both in the Republic of Ireland and the USA.

Scientifically irresponsible
To speak about ‘fluoride’ without specifying the compound used is scientifically irresponsible: arguments made for the benefits of fluoride for teeth (which come from use of sodium fluoride) ignore that,  

In the case of these silicofluoride (SiF) compounds (used for all of the treated water in Ireland and over 90% of water fluoridation in the U.S.), there isn't the ‘complete dissociation’ into separate elements  observed when sodium fluoride (familiar in toothpaste) is added to water  – and splits into sodium and fluoride.

It is important to note that sodium fluoride is not the same as silicofluorides; sodium fluoride in toothpaste has been tested for safety and is nowhere near as dangerous as fluorosilicic acid.  Evidence of this will be clearly provided in the so-called material safety data sheet (MSDS) for these compounds which are dangerous because they are strong acids.

The most important finding we have on SiF when added to water is that the biological effects of ingesting water treated with these compounds are that lead from ANY environmental source (industrial pollution, lead paint in old housing, lead in water, lead leached from brass water fixtures) is enchanced by the residues from SiFs.

Harmful effects
Unlike sodium fluoride, scientific data show that silicofluoride compounds are associated with a wide number of harmful effects, including:

  • higher children's blood lead levels (due to leaching lead from brass and

         increasing lead uptake from environmental exposures) lower grades on           standardised educational tests

  • higher rates of arrest for driving under influence of cocaine
  • higher rates of violent crime

One of the interesting facts that my research has documented is that a major factor in the biological response to the toxicity of silicofluoride is ethnicity.

For example, within the same communities drinking the same water and living in North America, African Americans are likely to absorb more lead (due to poverty and lactose intolerance).   Lead and calcium are both chemically similar (divalent cations is the technical word).   

With low calcium in the diet, any ingested lead is likely to be biological available and get into cells (especially brain cells) where it changes the way the cells work. This is a particular problem for communities where mains water pipes may be lead lined as is the case in certain geographic areas in Ireland.

Health risks
In such areas, if the drinking water is also treated with silicofluorides for water fluoridation, the health risks for vulnerable subgroups in particular children are increased, as lead is both a neurotoxin and a known carcinogen.

Importantly, silicofluorides are also known to reduce levels and function of dopamine and acetylcholinesterase – and increase activity of acetylcholine. Regulation of dopamine plays a crucial role in our mental, emotional and physical health; acetylcholinesterase on the other hand is one of the most important enzymes present in our central nervous system while acetylcholine plays a role in skeletal muscle movement as well as in the regulation of smooth muscle and cardiac muscle.

Dr Roger D. Masters is Research Professor at Dartmouth College and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire.  The central theme of his work is the philosophic and scientific exploration of the role of human nature in political and social behavior. Recently, his research has focused on cognitive neuroscience, the nonverbal behaviour of leaders, and the effects of toxic metals on human behaviour. 

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