In response to parliamentary questions dated 17th October 2012 in the houses of the Oireachtas in the Republic of Ireland, it is evident that theHealth Service Executive has again deliberately misled elected public representatives on information regarding Fluoride chemicals added to drinking water supplies in Ireland, providing false and misleading information in response to clear parliamentary questions..
The Minister for Health and Children directed the Health Service Executive to respond to specific technical questions by Deputy Luke Flanagan T.D on the supply and source of fluoridation chemicals added to drinking water supplies since commencement of this policy in Ireland inthe 1960′s.
Mr. Gavin Moore, Assistant National Director, Environmental Health and Emergency Management, responded on behalf of the HSE in writing providing clearly misleading information in an obvious attempt to hide specific information that would demonstrate once again the lack of appropriate risk management, due diligence and duty of care by the HSE in protecting public health, by exposing consumers to harmful toxins in their drinking water.
Toxins that are still required to be added to drinking water by parliamentary legalisation enacted by the Health Service Executive, before Ireland joined the EU. Ireland remains the only EU country of the 27 EU members states with a national legislative policy demanding the mandatory fluoridation of drinking water supplies. On behalf of the HSE, Mr. Moore stated that the contract for water fluoridation chemicals was awarded to Albatross Fertilisers in 1990 and that Albatross sourced powdered fluoride from North Africa.
Mr. Moore further noted in response to Deputy Flanagan, that the contract for fluoridation chemicals was awarded to Chemifloc for the period 1991-1995, noting that Chemifloc supplied the chemical product from a new source in Spain. Mr. Moore importantly goes on to state that the contract was awarded once more to Albatros Fertilisers for the period 1996 to 2005 noting specifically that Albatros Fertilizers continued to source the product from Spain.
This statement is factually incorrect. Mr. Moore continued by stating that in 2005, the contract was awarded to Chemifloc, who continue to supply the HSE and local authorities with water fluoridation chemicals. In October 2012 this contract was renewed for a period of two years at an approximate cost of €3.4million. What Mr. Moore neglected to mention is that on the 20th February 1997, Mr. Ed Storey, Managing Director of Chemifloc Ltd. wrote to former Deputy and Minister of State Trevor Sargent T.D outlining that Albatros Fertilizers sourced their product from Holland and Mr. Storey noted with some concern that it was product contaminated with high levels of arsenic from the fertilizer industry. The source of the product would have been a by product from industrial scrubbers where it was used as a method to remove atmospheric pollutants from industrial stack chimneys.
While Deputy Flanagan sought all information relating to the dates of contract, source and supply of water fluoridation chemicals, it is evident from the response provided by Mr. Moore of the HSE that this important information was deliberately withheld. In reality what occurred, as documented in Oireachtas parliamentary questions between Deputy Enda Kenny T.D (current Taoiseach) and former Minister for Health and Children, Michael Martin T.D. in 2001 (reference: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2001/11/20/00236.asp) was that, Albatross Fertilisers sourced their chemicals from Holland between 1997-1999, providing over one million gallons of fluoride chemicals that were highly contaminated with arsenic which was subsequently added to drinking water supplies in Ireland.
This information was clearly withheld from an elected public representative by the HSE in their letter dated 22nd October 2012. In 2000, a Spanish company took over the sourcing of the supply of the fluoride chemical from Albatros Fertilizers, in what could be construed as an attempt to hide from public view any information that would potentially provide evidence of harm to the Irish public, or negatively impact on the findings of the Forum for Fluoridation review which was undertaken in 2002.
The Forum for Fluoridation, in their clearly biased and flawed report never mentioned that Albatros Fertilisers sourced their product from Holland, nor that it was a by product of the fertilizer industry, one that was contaminated with dangerous heavy metals including arsenic, a listed carcinogenic substance even in trace amounts. Yet despite the change in source of fluoride chemicals in 2000 arsenic continues to remain a known and quantifiable contaminant in water fluoridation chemicals.
The U.S EPA, U.S Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry (ATSDR) and U.S Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that inorganic arsenic is known to be a human carcinogen. Oral exposure to low levels of inorganic arsenic has resulted in effects on the gastrointestinal tract (nausea, vomiting), central nervous system (CNS) (headaches, weakness, delirium), cardiovascular system (hypotension, shock), liver, kidney, and blood (anemia, leukopenia) skin cancer and also to bladder, liver cancer. All of these cancers are known to be more prevalent in the Republic of Ireland compared to non-fluoridated Northern Ireland. (National Cancer Registry Ireland data)
Why is this important? Because from a public health perspective we need to trust the people in charge of public health policy and the provision of services. When it comes to water fluoridation this trust has clearly been broken, by the HSE and the Irish Expert body who continually mislead the pubic, as well as public representatives, of the true dangers of exposure to silicofluorides and fluoride compounds in drinking water. Both bodies also fail to ensure adequate safety precautions to protect the most vulnerable in our society, including bottle fed babies, diabetics and others who are exposed to high levels of fluoride through consumption of fluoridated water.
It is scientifically known that not all fluoride compounds are the same and that silicofluoride are considerably more toxic than sodium fluoride, while sodium fluoride is more toxic than naturally occurring to calcium fluoride. As the products have changed over the years so too has the toxicity and the health dangers for consumers. Professor Masters a neurotoxicologist has previously warned the Government of Ireland of the dangers of silicofluorides in drinking water and while this warning has gone unheeded the incidence of neurological disorders in Ireland continues to rise dramatically especially in children.
In the period when the HSE switched from powered fluoride products to liquid silicofluoride products we have witnessed an alarming and somewhat overwhelming rise in childhood neurological disorders as well as diabetics, cancer and general medical ailments in the wider population to the level that today one in three adults suffers from a chronic disease. These facts has also has been ignored by the HSE who have yet to undertake a singe clinical medical study to investigate if exposure to fluoride chemicals is contributing to the rise in medical ailments experienced in Ireland in recent years.
This is deeply disturbing given that both the Journal of Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology (1997, 25:291-5) and the Journal of Dental Medicine (1961 Volume 16. No 4) both documented that exposure to fluoride resulted in increased incidence of medical ailments in the wider community including neurological, gastrointestinal and dermatological disorders. Of course the HSE and the Expert Body on Fluoride don’t want the public to know these scientifically documented facts, as they are ultimately the parties responsible for promoting and injecting known toxins into the drinking water supply of consumers in Ireland.
In addition to misleading public representatives on the scientific facts of water fluoridation the HSE also appear willing to mislead public representatives on the financial costs of this policy. In response to Deputy Flanagan’s parliamentary question (17th Oct 2012) the HSE estimated that the actual costs of purchasing fluoridation chemicals was€1.75million annually. Yet in response to a similar parliamentary question in 2010 Minister of State Deputy Roisin Shortall stated on parliamentary record that the annual cost was €4.75million.
That’s €3,000,000 of a difference presenting yet another example of financial irregularities and inaccurate accounting within public bodies. Of course this figure does not include the fixed costs for equipment, further management and supervision costs associated with fluoridation including auditing costs for the 250 fluoridation plants throughout the country (total cost for one audit alone was €4.1million), the cost of upkeep and maintenance of plant and machinery, the financial costs of environmental monitoring, regulatory assessment, insurance.
In response to Deputy Flanagan’s question seeking from the HSE the full cost of installation of water fluoridation infrastructure for the 250 water treatment plants, the HSE would only provide the costs for the last 3 years, deliberately excluding the bulk of costs that would have been accrued for the remaining 250 water fluoridation plants in operation.
The costs for the last three years for infrastructure was approximately€4,000,000. The overall infrastructure costs for all 250 water treatment plants are likely to be in the hundreds of millions of euros, but again this information was withheld. Finally, despite the World Health Organisation publishing a report on Oral Health in Europe this year, which conclusively proves that water fluoridation is ineffective in preventing dental caries as Ireland had the worst dental health of all western EU member states. This is astonishing given that the Irish Expert body and Dental Health Foundation Ireland both claim that water fluoridation is proven to be the most effective method to prevent such disease.
Considering that Ireland is the only EU member state to pursue such a policy while its citizens also have access to fluoridated toothpaste, there is no question but that we should not be on the bottom of the league table for dental health amongst our European partners. Remarkably the evidence documented by the WHO illustrates clearly that 20 years ago dental health was better in Ireland that our European partners, yet today they all outperform Ireland in improved dental health without the need for water fluoridation. These facts cannot be disputed.
Incredibly the findings of the WHO report also support similar findings from the largest public dental health surveys undertaken in the USA on 36,000 children in fluoridated and non fluoridated communities as well as in Japan which found that increased exposure to fluoride through fluoridation of drinking water resulted in a decline in dental health in children, possible due to dental fluorosis and overexposure to fluoride in their diet, for which we also now know from recent EU studies, Irish children are also top of the league in Europe.
Finally while local governments across the developed world, in the few countries that do still fluoridate their water supplies, are actually discontinuing the practice of water fluoridation due to heath, environmental and financial costs the HSE signed a new contract in October 2012 to extend the contract for water fluoridation in Ireland at a time when the Minister for Health is cutting funding to essential services and when more and more scientific evidence (including the scientific report by environmental scientist Declan Waugh) is coming to light on the negative health impacts of exposure of the population to fluoride.
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