A threat to your health and liberty




A Green Party 2003 elections briefing

Michelle Dixon



April 2003

Contact Green Party press office, 020 7561 0282, press@greenparty.org.uk




  1. Introduction p 2
  2. Fluoride is harmful to health p 2
  3. Fluoride doesn’t reduce tooth decay p 3
  4. Fluoridation contravenes human rights and medical ethics p 3
  5. The government’s scientific advisors aren't being very scientific p 4
  6. Fluoridation harms the environment p 4
  7. Most countries don’t fluoridate p 4

8. Conclusion: Don't fluoridate – educate p 5

1. Introduction


1.1 Green Party candidates in this year’s elections to the National Assembly for Wales and the English local authorities are campaigning to prevent the fluoridation of Britain’s drinking water – or where the local water supply is already fluoridated, to stop this. The party will take a prominent role in combating fluoridation wherever the issue might be raised.


1.2 The Green Party believes fluoridation is unsound scientifically, medically and ethically:

    1. There is considerable evidence that fluoride does not reduce tooth decay.
    2. There is considerable concern that fluoride is linked to a wide range of medical disorders.
    3. Fluoridation of water supplies is enforced mass medication. It is an infringement of human rights and medical ethics.

1.3 The government claims that fluoridation is a "safe and effective" way of reducing inequality in dental health despite a large body of evidence to the contrary. Fluoride is a highly toxic cumulative poison, a dangerous environmental pollutant and there is no evidence that it improves dental health.

1.4 Already, 10% of British people are involuntarily dosed with fluoride in their drinking water. Plans are to extend this initially to new regions and ultimately to the whole country.

1.5 This briefing sets out the reasons why fluoridation should be combated. Further information is provided in our report Truth Decay: Challenging New Labour's propaganda on water fluoridation, at http://www.greenparty.org.uk/reports/2003/TRUTH%20DECAY.htm .



2. Fluoride is harmful to health

2.1 ‘Fluoride’ in drinking water is hexafluorosilicic acid - a toxic and corrosive industrial waste by-product. Fluorides are medically categorised as protoplasmic poisons, which is why they are used in commercial rat poisons.

2.2 Hexafluorosilicic acid is a "hazardous waste". It is illegal to dump it at sea. The hexafluorosilicic acid used is also not a pure compound and is contaminated with other poisons such as arsenic and cancer-causing heavy metals like cadmium and even mercury.

2.3 Fluoride is more toxic than lead and only marginally less poisonous than arsenic. Scientific papers have argued that fluoride exposure disrupts the synthesis of collagen and leads to the breakdown of collagen in bone, tendon, muscle, skin, cartilage, lungs, kidney and trachea, inhibits antibody formation in the blood and confuses the immune system. It is known to promote Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

2.4 A recent study found that in the fluoridated Republic of Ireland, 40% more people contracted bone cancer than in non-fluoridated Northern Ireland. Fluoride also kills red blood cells and damages gastric mucosa. It is implicated in genetic disorders, low IQ levels in children, pre-senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, premature ageing and thyroid disorders and fluorides have been used to modify behaviour and moods of human beings.

2.5 Fluoride causes fluorosis. It has been found that there is more than double the rate of fluorosis is fluoridated communities than in those that are not fluoridated. Fluorosis affects teeth before they have erupted, so babies and young children are most at risk.

2.6 As fluoride consumption by human beings increases, so does the general cancer death rate. Calcium levels in the body decrease as fluoride levels rise. Fluoride increases the density of bones but changes their internal architecture. This makes bones more brittle and prone to fracture.

2.7 In Ireland, Europe's most heavily fluoridated country, The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Scientific Committee has confirmed that bottle-fed infants are receiving unsafe fluoride levels. The US Academy of General Dentistry has advised that in fluoridated areas parents use low-fluoride bottled distilled water or tap water with a reverse osmosis home water filtration system attached that removes most of the fluoride.




3. Fluoride doesn’t reduce tooth decay

3.1 It is now widely thought that the main action of fluoride on teeth is a topical one, ie at the surface of the teeth, and not a systemic one as previously thought. Large-scale studies of the official school dental data of tens of thousands of children in the USA, New Zealand and Canada have shown that there is no difference in the incidence of decayed, missing and filled teeth (DMFT) between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

3.2 The Republic of Ireland has been fluoridated for about 40 years. Its DMFT level is worse than four countries which have no fluoridation and one which has only 10% fluoridation. Ireland’s DMFT level is only very marginally better than non-fluoridated France and Switzerland, where only one city is fluoridated. Most countries have experienced major declines in DMFT without fluoridation. Several have achieved sharper reductions in tooth decay without fluoridation than Ireland has achieved with fluoridation.

3.3 In India, a 30-year study involving the examination of the teeth of over 400,000 children found that tooth decay increased as fluoride intake increased.

3.4 In Britain, the National Pure Water Association (NPWA) has repeatedly asked the UK Department of Health to cite one scientific or laboratory study from anywhere in the world which proves that fluoridation reduces tooth decay in humans. They have failed to do so.




4. Fluoridation contravenes human rights and

medical ethics

4.1 It is a standard medical ethic that no person should be forced to take medicine without their consent. However, the government’s Medicines Control Agency considers that fluoridated drinking water is not a medicine. But of course it is! – it’s a substance intended to promote bodily change supposedly to improve an aspect of health.

4.2 It is a matter of human rights that people should have control over their own bodies especially where harmful substances are concerned. It is possible that water fluoridation could be challenged under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 2000.

4.3 The Labour government has refused to sign the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine, signed by 29 other European countries. Statements made in Article 5 are entirely incompatible with water fluoridation.

5. The government’s scientific advisors

aren't being very scientific

5.1 The UK Department of Health insists that "Water fluoridation is safe and effective and no adverse effects have ever been found." In view of the wealth of evidence available from around the world, this is astonishing.

5.2 The NHS lacks a facility for testing fluoride levels in blood and urine and therefore has no way to identify the effects of fluoride.

5.3 In 1998 Dr Peter Mansfield, Director of the Templegarth Trust, tested over 200 volunteers from the fluoridated West Midlands. He found that 60% of them were ingesting up to four times the amount of fluoride considered by the government to be safe. He sent the results to the very highest levels at the Department of Health - and was ignored.

5.4 Artificial fluoridation chemicals and fluoridated toothpaste have never been scrutinised by the Medicines Control Agency, and attempts to get them to do so have been rebuffed. The government has rejected the call for a full public inquiry into the effects of fluoridation. Meanwhile the government uses taxpayers' money to fund the British Fluoridation Society Ltd. For many years this funding has been in excess of £100,000 a year.




6. Fluoridation harms the environment

6.1 Artificial water fluoridation is pollution. More than 99.5% of fluoride added to drinking water ends up going down the drain. Even in the case of a small country like Ireland, this amounts to 2000 gallons of hexafluorosilicic acid being released into the environment every day. One manufacturer has warned it should never be allowed to enter the environment.

6.2 To date, no environmental impact study of the effects of fluoride in the environment has been done. But the National Pure Water Association in Britain estimates that if Tony Blair were allowed to fluoridate 85% of UK water supplies, this would lead to 45-50,000 tonnes of hexafluorosilicic acid being poured into our environment every year. This would be a serious threat to plant and aquatic life.

6.3 Water fluoridation also threatens the organic food industry. Any crops irrigated with fluoridated water would be likely to fail the Soil Association's tests.




7. Most countries don’t fluoridate

7.1 Most European governments oppose fluoridation. Some, like France, have never allowed it. Many others have abandoned it after increasing health concerns. Japan, which began fluoridation in 1952, ceased it in 1972. Countries from China to the Netherlands have banned fluoridation.

7.2 In North America, the home of fluoridation, there is growing opposition to it. Between July 1990 and March 2000, 77 American and Canadian cities either rejected fluoridation or abandoned existing schemes, some after several decades of fluoridation. From August 2002 Belgium went as far as banning the sale of fluoride tablets and chewing gum which contain fluoride after fears that the chemical may cause brittle bones.

7.3 In 1997, more than 1,000 members of the union working at the Environmental Protection Agency HQ in Washington DC voted unanimously in favour of banning water fluoridation. Even the Irish Republic is having doubts on fluoridation.

7.4 Fluoridation in the UK is based on the 1985 Water Fluoridation Act. The act was passed with only a quarter of MPs voting in favour of allowing fluoridation, while the vast majority abstained. Now Tony Blair wants to introduce enforced fluoridation by "encouraging" local health authorities to request it. He wants to compel water companies to fluoridate when local authorities call for it. Labour doubtless hopes to target areas piecemeal in order to avoid a general national debate on the issue.



8. Conclusion: Don't fluoridate - educate

8.1 Tooth decay is caused by poor dental hygiene and excessive consumption of refined sugar products. Fluoridation doesn’t address this at all.


8.2 The Green Party wants:


  1. A programme of education of children and adults regarding proper dental hygiene and healthy diet.
  2. A ban on the fluoridation of drinking water.
  3. A health warning on all sources of fluoride intended for human consumption.

8.3 Green Party Assembly members and councillors will play a prominent role in opposing proposals to fluoridate water, or if their area is already fluoridated, will campaign for an end to fluoridation.

8.4 For further information see Truth Decay: Challenging New Labour's propaganda on water fluoridation, at http://www.greenparty.org.uk/reports/2003/TRUTH%20DECAY.htm .


Promoted and published by Spencer Fitz-Gibbon for The Green Party,

both at 1a Waterlow Road, London N19 5NJ.