Dear Ministers White, Hogan, Reilly and Shatter,
The balance of scientific expert opinion on the safety of fluorides has shifted substantially since 2007, when you reduced the maximum levels permitted to be added to Irish water. However the new levels are still too high
and your government needs to address Ireland’s archaic, unfair and expensive water fluoridation policy urgently.
This year, Dr Kathleen Theissen, a senior member of the U.S National Research Council Scientific Committee, who examined the biological impacts of fluorides in water in 2006, examined the issue again after reading the 2012 Waugh Report on the effects of mandatory fluoridation in Ireland.
Dr Theissen stated that the environmental impact of fluoride in Ireland, as described in the 2012 report by Cork scientist Declan Waugh, is overwhelmingly negative.
Dr Theissen is urging your Government to change our out-of-date 1965 policy that requires water authorities here to add fluorides to public water.
She said: ” Declan Waugh is one of the latest in a string of independent professionals, over several decades, to review the scientific and medical literature on water fluoridation and conclude that there is no merit to the practice and substantial risk of harm to large numbers of people. Many of these professionals have spoken out against the practice, even risking livelihoods or professional reputations to do so. I hope that your government will take note of Mr. Waugh’s reports, and that his efforts will serve to help bring about an end to a demonstrably harmful practice.”
So, as a thyroid patient, who is a mother living here in your constituency in Dublin South, I would like to know what action you personally are going to take on the evidence presented by Dr Thiessen in the Waugh Report.
I attach here an up-to-date report on the scientific studies on the effects of water fluoridation by a third expert from Ulster, Professor Vyvyan Howard. I think these warning to you from three experts of such seniority are more than enough for you to act when our children’s lives, and their cognitive development are put at such serious risk from a discredited policy that is almost 50 years old.
Water fluoridation has been overwhelmingly abandoned by 98% of our EU neighbours because they judged it to be ethically and medically unsafe. We also cannot afford it. The health impacts of related illness run into about 1bn euro, but adding the chemical alone cost us 15M euro p.a.
More than 5000 people in Ireland want the legal requirement which forces local authorities to put fluoride compounds into public water here to be repealed.
Fine Gael’s Ivan Yates committed his party to end that requirement in 2001.
Why has Minister Reilly not acted to remove the need for mandatory fluoridation here, when the scientific evidence against it continues to mount and other communities in Australia, Canada and the US are voting it out? If you in Government thought the Irish Expert body on Fluorides was doing its job, then you have not paid close enough attention.
Why can’t Labour and Fine Gael agree to give communities here in Ireland the same human right to decide whether we want to risk the damaging health effects of fluoridated water, in return for the dubious promise of fewer tooth cavities? I have enclosed here evidence from a third expert which I urge you to read and act on.
The statement attached is from Professor Vyvyan Howard, a very senior toxicologist at the University of Ulster who is a DEFRA advisor and recently co-ordinated a 6 M grant application for nanotechnology research in Ireland. Prof Howard is an expert in child development and on the effects of tiny amounts of poison on children’s brain development. Please read his short, 11-point statement for yourself, if you care about what Ireland’s 48- year old forced fluoridation policy may be doing to young boys.
Prof Howard refers to the now- infamous Osteosarcoma research by Elise Bassin, which has not been disproved. Bassin’s PHd research shows a strong link between fluorides in water consumed by boys under the age of ten, to later deaths from painful bone cancers in early adulthood.
The Fianna Fail-appointed Fluorides body here has ignored all the evidence about such terrible health effects of fluorides on arthritis, thyroid, cancers and therefore,that body deserves to be disbanded. No public health body should ever make recommendations which ignore the precautionary principle.
Ending mandatory fluoridation here will save the country lots of money – around 15m euro. It will make your government and your party more popular. So why not do the right thing? Draft a bill which allows individual local water authorities to decide on whether they should add fluorides to local water, please.