March 30th, 2011
By: Melissa Keith
Last year Health Canada released Fluoride in Drinking Water, a document for public inspection and comment, prepared by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water.
A panel of six experts, four of them dentists, investigated fluoride exposure data with the intent of “revising the current drinking-water guideline” for Canada, while explicitly stating that their objective was not to dictate municipal fluoridation practices.
Fluoridated water is a tough mouthful to swallow for the increasing number of Canadians questioning its impact on their bodies and the environment. Critics have questioned the lengthy report on multiple fronts, including failure to rigorously assess the role of fluoride in a globally pervasive health condition—thyroid disease.
The Health Canada study did not seriously consider thyroid health when it put forward a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) level of 1.5 mg of fluoride per litre of tap water, according to a response from Carole Clinch, research coordinator with People for Safe Drinking Water.
Why focus on thyroid function?
For starters, the thyroid gland is a repository where fluoride accumulates throughout one’s lifetime.
Fluoride is a very small, chemically reactive particle that tends to displace other minerals in certain storage sites within the body. For this reason, it has been used in osteoporosis treatment—fluoride reinforces bone where calcium has been depleted—and dentistry to replace minerals lost from the teeth.
It should be remembered that the World Health Organization (WHO) treats fluoride more like a drug than an essential nutrient. Fluoridation of a municipal water supply is, in effect, administration of a substance that can create “chemical hazards with clearly defined health effects” for all users of that water, according to WHO.
Unless reverse osmosis, distillation, or activated alumina systems are used, you are not able to remove the fluoride. As Paul Connett, PhD, professor emeritus of environmental chemistry at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, declares in his critique of Health Canada’s proposed MAC level for fluoride, “Once fluoride has been added to the water it is no longer possible to control the dose that people get. There will be literally millions of people who will get a higher dose of fluoride drinking water at 0.8 ppm [parts per million] than people would get drinking water at 1.5 ppm.”
How fluoride affects the thyroid
Evidence that fluoride accumulates in the thyroid dates back to the early 1900s, where its presence in the glandular tissue first came to light because of obvious goitres (swollen, enlarged thyroid glands).
In the thyroid gland, fluoride can prevent iodine from playing its proper role in synthesizing two hormones critical for normal metabolic activity throughout the body—T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine).
The names of these hormones allude to the number of iodide particles the thyroid needs to build them. When fluoride—a more reactive substance from the same chemical family as iodine (the halides)—enters the picture, it can interfere with the T3 and T4 manufacture by blocking iodide receptors.
November 16, 2009
By Rod Chaytor
Little Lillie Sutcliffe faces a lifetime of hospital treatment to stop her body “turning to stone”.
Lillie, five, was born with a rare, incurable condition which affects less than one in three million people.
Cysitinosis leads to a build-up of amino acid in the form of crystals, causing problems in the kidney, thyroid gland, eyes and liver.
Mum Laura Milner, 29, said yesterday: “It means Lillie’s body is turning to crystal. They just load up inside her.
If it wasn’t treated she’d eventually turn to stone.”
The condition means the brave youngster has stunted growth and cannot walk far.
But to Laura and tiler dad Simon Sutcliffe, also 29, she is a gem who has battled against all odds.
Lillie, from Castleford, Yorks, was diagnosed with Cysitinosis in August 2006 at the age of 23 months. Laura said: “I had never heard of the condition so I was a bit shocked to find out what it did.”
The youngster goes to full-time school and academically she is unaffected. But she has the body of a two-year-old and every day she needs a cocktail of medication.
Laura added: “I am so proud of how she is fighting it, it is just a part of life now for her.
“But science is getting better and who knows what treatment might become available in the future?”