Is water fluoridation a health risk?
Most mothers would be horrified at the thought of their daughters stripping for attention. But not Martha Fitzgibbon. She has encouraged her daughter Aisling to strip in public to highlight how the Irish Government’s forced fluoridation of water puts Ireland’s health at risk.
Aisling is a 26 year old nutritionist from Tralee who is taking the Irish government to court to make it end mandatory fluoridation of the public water supplies. In February, University of Ulster toxicologist Professor Vyvyan Howard warned that babies drinking bottles made with Irish tap water may be overdosing on fluorides. He pointed out that more than 32 scientific studies have linked fluorides in water with lower IQs in children. According to Prof Howard, a baby drinking formula made with fluoridated tap water at one part per million gallons will get 250 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby.
Martha, who is a teacher, suggested that Aisling’s campaign should include stripping in public a year ago, after previous attempts to highlight the dangers of fluoride were largely ignored by mainstream media. Aisling has encouraged her bravest supporters to join her in stripping and together they have produced a nude calendar which is being launched in Dublin next week by Hot Press editor Niall Stokes. The fluoride-free calendar will help to fund Aisling’s legal action against the Irish government. It will also be for sale on her web site http://www.thegirlagainstfluoride.com
By stripping publicly and documenting her activism through a well organised social media campaign , Aisling has spent the last year highlighting the injustice of the Irish Government’s continued refusal to allow her a constitutional right to drink fluoride-free water.
She now has more than 15,000 supporters, including former Presidential candidate Senator David Norris, the Labour Party Chief Whip Emmet Stagg and musicians Paddy Casey and Christy Moore. Casey and Moore are just two of a growing number of musicians who have also committed to appearing at a concert being planned to help her cause.
Aisling is working with activists from across Ireland and abroad, including the Fluoride Action Network and veteran Northern Ireland campaigner Walter Graham.
Veteran anti-fluoride campaigner Walter Graham was interviewed on RTE’s Prime Time recently. Graham is the man who united Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley against UK Government plans to fluoridate Northern Ireland water in the 1990s. Graham has been advising Sinn Féin Environment Spokesman Brian Stanley, who presented a bill to ban fluorides to the Dáil in May.
Walter Graham visited Dublin City Council in July to highlight the numerous studies that link fluorides in water with health problems. He urged Dublin City Councillors to tell the Irish Government that mandatory fluoridation is too risky to continue. So far this year, four local authorities in Kerry, Skibbereen, Carrickmacross and Portlaoise have all told the Government that it should end fluoridation.
Environmental Scientist Declan Waugh came to Leinster House with Aisling in July to explain the links he found between fluorides in water and a long list of health conditions. Waugh has spent more than two years comparing statistics on the different rates of illness in Ireland and non-fluoridated Northern Ireland. His 2012 report found that early onset dementia is 450 times more common in the Republic than in the North. Waugh also believes that Ireland’s very high rate of Down Syndrome may be related to fluorides. He claims that studies show that places that put fluoride in their water have higher rates of alzheimers, cancer, kidney disease, thyroid illness, arthritis, and eczema.
In July , the Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health claimed Mr Graham’s presentation lacked scientific rigour. “Some of the slides used by Mr Graham were selected from a large number of maps published by the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI). The NCRI has stated that neither existing internal research nor the information on these maps supports a link between water fluoridation and cancer. He has ignored the vast bulk of scientific research on this matter and has offered as evidence old material and other books which lack original research, misquote or misunderstand scientific articles and confuse opinion with fact.”, The Irish Expert Body on Fluorides and Health, which claims it has representation from areas such as dentistry, biochemistry, toxicology, environmental health and public health medicine, disagrees with Waugh’s findings. “The incidence of early onset of dementia is almost identical in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” a spokesman told NewsFour. “There is also no evidence that there is any link between Down Syndrome and water fluoridation. Mr Waugh alleges that Ireland has the highest levels of Down Syndrome in the world.
“The Irish rate is reported as one in 546 births, which Mr Waugh compares to one in 1,000 births in the UK. But over 50% of all Down Syndrome pregnancies in England and Wales result in an abortion. When this is taken into account, the UK rate rises to approximately 1 in 460 births – in other words, there appears to be a higher rate of Down Syndrome pregnancies in the UK.
“In evaluating on-going research, the Expert Body accepts the fundamental scientific tenet that any single piece of scientific evidence by itself remains hypothetical unless it can be repeated or confirmed by other scientists. Therefore, it considers scientific evidence that has been submitted to examination by other scientists, usually by publication in recognised peer reviewed scientific journals, after such publication has been approved by independent referees.
“While Mr Waugh’s report does not fulfill these criteria the Expert Body appraised his report at the request of the Minister for Health. The Expert Body found it to be unreliable. Its appraisal is available on the Expert Body’s website (www.fluoridesandhealth.ie/documents). The Expert Body’s only concern about this false claim is that some people may believe it,” an unnamed spokesperson claimed.
Professor Howard, a UK Government advisor to DEFRA (Dept of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and a nanotechnology expert, said: “Breast milk contains very low levels of fluoride (0.004 ppm, NRC, 2006, p.40), even when the lactating mother has been administered fluoride. Though the serum level of fluoride increased, the breast milk level remained very low (Ekstrand, 1981, 1984). It is my opinion that this is the result of a specific exclusion process that has evolved to protect the neonate from exposure to anything other than very low levels of fluoride during critical windows of development of a number of organs.”
The decision to fluoridate Irish water was made by Fianna Fáil Minister Sean McEntee in 1962 to improve the quality of children’s teeth. He was opposed by Dublin mother-of-five Gladys Ryan, who lost. Gladys died in February this year. Declan Waugh dedicated his 2012 and 2013 reports to her.
Pictured: Baby Charlie and his milk bottle.
By Shan Kelly
and NewsFour Reporters