Rockhampton News Article
“Councillor Glenda Mather has been nominated for the not so sought after Bent Spoon Award bestowed by the Australian Skeptics group… for successfully getting fluoride removed from the local water supply, stating that ‘fluoride causes fluorosis and dementia.'”
Response to Australian Skeptics Inc.
“Fluorides also increase the production of free radicals in the brain through several different biological pathways. These changes have a bearing on the possibility that fluorides act to increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Today, the disruption of aerobic metabolism in the brain, a reduction of effectiveness of acetylcholine as a transmitter, and an increase in free radicals are thought to be causative factors for this disease. More research is needed to clarify fluoride’s biochemical effects on the brain. Studies of rats exposed to NaF or AlF3 have reported distortion in cells in the outer and inner layers of the neocortex. Neuronal deformations were also found in the hippocampus and to a smaller extent in the amygdala and the cerebellum. Aluminum was detected in neurons and glia, as well as in the lining and in the lumen of blood vessels in the brain and kidney. The substantial enhancement of reactive microglia, the presence of stained intracellular neurofilaments, and the presence of IgM observed in rodents are related to signs of dementia in humans. The magnitude of the changes was large and consistent among the studies. Given this, the committee concludes further research is warranted in this area, similar to that discussed at a February 2-3,1999, EPA workshop on aluminum complexes and neurotoxicity and that recommended for study by NTP (2002). On the basis of information largely derived from histological, chemical, and molecular studies, it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body by direct and indirect means. To determine the possible adverse effects of fluoride, additional data from both the experimental and the clinical sciences are needed… Studies of populations exposed to different concentrations of fluoride should be undertaken to evaluate neurochemical changes that may be associated with dementia. Consideration should be given to assessing effects from chronic exposure, effects that might be delayed or occur late-in-life, and individual susceptibility.”
– National Research Council, United States, 2006 (1)
“If skeletal fluorosis is occurring at all in Australians, it is likely to be slight, and it will most likely occur in those who drink large amounts of water, or whose renal function is impaired. Studies of bone fluoride collected at autopsy in selected individuals could provide needed reassurance that the current policy is not resulting in hazardous levels of accumulation in bone.”
– National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia, 1991 (2)
“The only indisputably proven harm of water ﬂuoridation is dental ﬂuorosis, for which there is no discernible threshold. However, the risk of dental ﬂuorosis increases as ﬂuoride concentration of water exceeds 0.3 parts per million.”
– Professor Niyi Awofeso, University of Western Australia, 2012 (3-4)
Summary & Verdict
Fluoride has been cited as a possible causative agent for the onset of Dementia, by the US National Academy of Sciences; as a possible causative agent for Skeletal Fluorosis amongst vulnerable Australian sub-populations, by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council; and as a definite risk factor for dental fluorosis. The nomination of Councillor Glenda Mather for the Bent Spoon Award 2013 is therefore based on false, unscientific pretenses.
We nominate Australian Skeptics Inc. for their own Bent Spoon Award, “for their willful ignorance, unscientific attitude and supreme arrogance, in relation to fluoride and water fluoridation.”