The following letter (along with contact information that has been removed here) was submitted to the councils of Tecumseh and LaSalle by Canada’s leading authority on fluoride. Five years ago, Dr. Hardy Limeback provided expert advice to the former City of Windsor Council (that voted to end fluoridation). Windsor’s current council did not seek any input from fluoride experts.
Tecumseh and LaSalle Councils still have to make a decision. And it isn’t too late for Windsor Council to reverse their decision and take precaution.
I am concerned you might make the same mistake that the Windsor council did and approve the addition of fluoride into your drinking water.
In my opinion, the new Windsor council made a huge mistake and I will try to explain why.
My background as a fluoride expert: I have a PhD in Biochemistry (1979) and a dental degree (1983) from University of Toronto. As a professor-dental scientist, I received many national grants to do laboratory and clinical research, mostly on the effects of fluoride on teeth and bones. At the same time, I maintained my own part-time dental office. It was in both my dental practice and supervising the thousands of patients in the Faculty of Dentistry clinics in my program that I noticed that almost every second child had some form of dental fluorosis (see below).
I was one of 12 scientists in North America chosen to serve on the U.S. National Academy of Science’s committee that produced the 2006 report Fluoride in Drinking Water. Taking three years to complete, we reviewed over 1,000 studies. That report is still considered the most authoritative, comprehensive work ever done on the toxicity of fluoride.
I was trained in traditional dentistry, and for many years accepted the prevailing opinion of the establishment in Canada and the U.S. that water fluoridation is “safe and effective.”
I was mistaken.
As I intensively studied the literature and performed my own research, the evidence clearly demonstrated that fluoridation is more harmful than beneficial. In 1999, I publicly changed my position. In doing so, I joined the vast majority of nations, cities and medical organizations throughout the world that do not endorse fluoridation. Indeed, 95% of the world’s population drinks unfluoridated water.
Our NAS committee concluded unanimously that fluoride could harm the functions of several human organs in addition to developing teeth. These include the brain, the skeletal system (from which our immunity is derived), the thyroid and the kidney. We also determined that much more research needed to be done, especially regarding fluoride’s effects on the brain, kidney disease, diabetes, hypothyroidism and cancer.
Nearly 13 years later, much research has been done, including major neurotoxicity studies led by Canadian and American scientists. A 2017 petition to the U.S. EPA to end fluoridation documented that fluoride caused brain and/or central nervous system damage (mainly lowered IQ in children) in 57 out of 61 human studies, several at levels in fluoridated water, and 112 out of 115 animal studies. Moreover, our NAS review concluded unequivocally that fluoride lowers thyroid function. Hypothyroidism (low thyroid levels) in pregnant women is known to be linked to lower IQ’s in their children.
As I mentioned, I have been alarmed at the skyrocketing rates of dental fluorosis, an irreversible disease caused by an excess of fluoride ingestion in small children. It causes a staining of the teeth with white splotches at mild levels and structural damage with yellow and brown stains at the moderate and severe levels. In the U.S., which fluoridates far more than Canada, the latest study (Neurath, Limeback et al, JDR Clin Trans Res, 2019 in press) found it has reached epidemic proportions – it now afflicts 72% of all 12-15-year-olds, with 27.9% moderate and 2.8% severe. All sources of ingested fluoride contribute to this toxic load, but water is by far the largest contributor. Higher fluorosis levels in children have also been linked to lower IQ’s.
In this ongoing debate, this is what is perhaps the most disturbing to me: both before and after our 2006 report, fluoridation advocates have declared, with certainty, that fluoridation is safe for everyone. This assertion was, and is, contradicted by the science and is totally unjustified.
Why do so many dentists and others in Canada and the U.S. support this practice? Most people follow the pronouncements of authority figures like Health Canada, the U.S. CDC and dental associations.
I can’t speak for any individual, but I believe most people, inside and outside the government, haven’t reviewed the literature, especially on health risks. If they had, I think most would change their minds.
There’s another factor, especially for professionals, which should be noted. If you speak out against fluoridation, you risk being criticized by these authorities and shunned by your peers. I know many dentists and physicians who oppose it but fear taking a public stance based upon these legitimate concerns.
Please consider leaded gas, leaded paint, asbestos, DDT, DES, tobacco and many other substances. They were all accepted as safe by the medical establishment until the research on their harm became so compelling that authorities had no choice but to ban or restrict their use. It often took 50 years or more for government action to catch up to the scientific warnings. Fluoridation is following exactly the same path.
The evidence opposing this practice is already extensive. It was clear to me in 1999 that scientists had already compiled enough data to call for its cessation. In the two decades since, hundreds of studies have further validated my earlier conclusions.
For the health and safety of your residents, I strongly urge you to oppose fluoridation.
Thank you for your consideration, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Dr. Hardy Limeback, BSc, PhD (Biochem) DDS