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We are over-exposed to fluoride

I read the article by Dr Daniel McCarthy (Feelgood, Nov 8) with utter astonishment and alarm. While Dr McCarthy may be a lecturer in human nutrition, and in his opinion adding hexafluorosilicic acid to drinking water supplies in order to increase the fluoride concentration of water is safe, the scientific facts demonstrate otherwise.

A few months ago the Biological Sciences Research Group, University of Derby and the Centre for Radiation, Health Protection Agency, London, published a Human Exposure Assessment of Fluoride for the UK in the journal Food Research International. This study found that a significant percentage of the UK population greatly exceed the recommended dietary intake for fluoride and noted that excess fluoride can lead to detrimental health effects. What the researchers found was that chronic overexposure to fluoride was occurring purely from the consumption of tea and nothing else.

The United States National Academies stated in their comprehensive report, Fluoride in Drinking Water (2006), that in countries such as the UK, where tea consumption is common, that the daily fluoride intake for many consumers would be greater than 9mg per day, which is more than twice the recommended dietary intake of 4mg per day.

The consumption of tea is higher in Ireland than the UK and unfortunately we make our tea with artificially fluoridated water. This means that many individuals are exposed to a daily fluoride intake of greater than 10mg per day. This level of exposure will result in increased prevalence of chronic disease. Today in Ireland, according to HSE reports, one in 3 adults suffers from a chronic disease.

The European Food Safety Authority has stated that for individuals who live in fluoridated communities — and, remember that Ireland is the only EU country with a mandatory fluoridation of drinking water policy — that the additional fluoride intake for consumers from using fluoridated water to cook food and prepare beverages, will increase their exposure above non fluoridated communities by 3-5mg per day.

Dr McCarthy, as a specialist in nutrition and dietetics in DIT, must also be aware that the US National Academies of Medicine and Sciences stated that in humans, effects on thyroid function were associated with fluoride exposures of 0.05-0.13 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was adequate and 0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day when iodine intake was inadequate.

This equates to a total fluoride intake of 0.7-3.5mg per day where thyroid function may be impaired in some individuals. These amounts are greatly exceeded by a significant percentage of the population in Ireland due to the added ‘benefit’ of fluoridated water. Thyroid disorders in this country have reached epidemic proportions, and it has also been well documented that dietary intake of iodine by Irish women is significantly less than the level recommended by the World Health Organisation. The prevalence of diabetes in the Republic of Ireland is 60% higher than in non-fluoridated Northern Ireland.

The prevalence of hypertension is 30% higher in RoI compared to NI. The prevalence of coronary heart disease is 40% higher in RoI compared to NI. The HSE has reported that over 725,000 in the RoI suffer from a neurological condition.

Irish female colorectal cancer incidence is 15% higher than the EU average and in males is 11% higher.

Declan Waugh
Co Cork


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