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I congratulate the Irish Examiner for the article of June 3 highlighting the dangers to human health of endocrine disruptive chemicals. However, it’s a pity that the researcher did not mention that fluoride is the one endocrine chemical that the Irish public are exposed to the most, and in far greater concentrations than any other European country.
A recent, comprehensive scientific review, published in Endocrine Reviews (2012), lists water fluoridation as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), with reported low-dose effects in animals or humans.
The report documented that fluoride inhibits insulin secretion, inhibits parathyroid hormone secretion, and reduces thyroid hormone output. Furthermore, a subsequent study, submitted by a group of international experts assessing EDCs for the World Health Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme, also listed fluoride as a low-dose EDC.
In 2006, the United States National Academy of Sciences and Medicines’ National Research Council also concluded that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor, in the broad sense of altering normal endocrine function or response. The National Academy observed that the effect would be most pronounced, at levels significantly below what the Irish public are exposed to, among individuals who are deficient in iodine, as low iodine intake increases fluoride toxicity.
These findings are not new: as far back as 1956, research found that girls in fluoridated communities in the USA reached sexual maturity earlier than those living in non-fluoridated communities. This finding was supported by additional research from Hungary, in 1983, which also reported that sexual maturity for girls presented at younger ages in areas where drinking water was naturally fluoridated, compared to non-fluoridated areas.
Animal studies on fluoride toxicity have also demonstrated that sexual maturity occurs earlier following fluoride exposure, and that fluoride exposure was seen to interfere with melatonin production, while male animals had reduced testicular weight.
It is not surprising, therefore, to read in the Examiner article that Ireland was not supportive of efforts by other European countries demanding that the European Commission take action on EDCs. This is yet another shocking indictment of the Irish State. The mind-set that believes that artificially medicating the entire Irish population, against their consent, is acceptable is the same one that has allowed every major State or Church scandal that has occurred in the last hundred or so years.
Environmental scientist and fluoride researcher
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