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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 81 of 1,448

Ross, I don't know what your purpose in this discussion is.

The Green et al paper had been discussed extensively here and I have written about it in my article If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help.

I have also written extensively on the Bashash et al and similar studies - here are some articles.

Criticisms of these studies could be made related to methodology (eg you should know the inadequacies of spot urine tests used in these studies if you have truly read the WHO document you refer to. I covered these in my article Anti-fluoridation campaigner, Stan Litras, misrepresents WHO. However, this is hardly worth it because the reported relationships are so weak as to be meaningless. This is the point you should be engaging with - not citing studies without understanding their meaning.


As for calcified tissue adsorbing reactive ions like fluoride, phosphate, citrate, etc. Simple chemistry - not a cause of calcification.

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 82 of 1,448

Ross, you still seem to be saying that "reliance on a referendum or poll" to resolve a democratic issue is quaint. That is just silly. And you did use the word "forced."

You use it again saying "referendum forced over 11,000 citizens to receive unmonitored doses of a neurotoxin in their tap water against both their collective and individual consents."

That is absolute rubbish. I live in Hamilton and I have yet to see any evidence anyone being held down and administered with anything, let alone a toxicant. No one is forced.

The great thing about a democratic decision like this is that everyone gets a say. The decision is determined by the majority and the minority still get to do what they want. It's a win-win situation.

All the local anti-fluoride people I have talked to use alternatives - either the publicly supplied non-fluoridated water, a filter or another source. Absolutely no one has been forced to drink anything against their will. I think the people who make such outrageous claims are just upset that they are prevented from intervening in the health of others - paritcualry children who cannto defend themselves and who suffer the most from painful tooth decay.

No, of course, the best treatment is not determined by a vote - it's determined by science and logical thinking. That is why the sensible person voting in such referenda listens to what the real experts say rather than either flipping a coin or listening to the crazy next door neighbor.

You claim "Scotland’s Childsmile programme . . .functions successfully without a fluoridation" but seem oblivious to the fact that an essential component of the programme is regular fluoride varnish treatments for the young children

Elements of the Childsmile programme and similar programmes are also used in New Zealand. Sensible health experts use what works and is appropriate for their situation (Yes, CWF is just not suitable for some situations independently of whether the community desire it or not).

 

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 83 of 1,448

Ken , you say that my contribution to discussion here relies on activist ideology and unsupported attacks on science.
So if I quote Basic methods for assessment of renal fluoride excretion in community prevention programmes for oral health, World Health Organisation, 2014, where it is stated that ingested fluoride from all sources, whether deliberately or unintentionally ingested, is excreted primarily in the urine. Thus, studies of urinary fluoride levels are ideal for assessing the total intake of fluoride in populations and, more particularly, such studies also provide a basis for decisions on the use of fluoride for caries prevention and that the report also clearly states that public health administrators should assess the total fluoride exposure of a population before introducing any additional fluoridation or supplementation programmes for caries prevention - is that activist ideology and an unsupported attack on science?
And then if I refer to the major National Research Council report Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA's Standards (2006) which provides evidence that:
• Endocrine systems and thyroid functions are impaired at exposure levels to fluoride below the consumption levels expected from drinking what is described as optimally fluoridated water,
• kidney patients and diabetics are susceptible subpopulations that are particularly vulnerable to harm from ingested fluorides and that this is relevant to fluoridated water as low as 1ppm concentration, and
• as a calcifying tissue that is exposed to a high volume of blood flow, the pineal gland is a major target for fluoride accumulation in humans with the calcified parts of the pineal gland containing the highest fluoride concentrations in the human body - higher than either bone or teeth and that fluoride is likely to cause decreased melatonin production and to have other effects on normal pineal function, which in turn could contribute to a variety of effects in humans - is that activist ideology and an unsupported attack on science?
Both Bashash et al. Prenatal Fluoride Exposure and Cognitive Outcomes in Children at 4 and 6–12 Years of Age in Mexico and Green et al. Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada find an association between prenatal exposure to fluoride and cognitive development disorders in children and that these studies’ findings, combined with evidence from existing animal and human studies, reinforce the need for additional research on potential adverse effects of fluoride, particularly in pregnant women and children, and to ensure that the benefits of population-level fluoride supplementation outweigh any potential risks. So if I advocate application of the precautionary principle to public policy is that activist ideology and an unsupported attack on science?
If ever there was a need for the precautionary principle to apply it is now.
That principle states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public domain (affecting general health or the environment globally), the action should not be taken in the absence of scientific near-certainty about its safety.
Under these conditions, the burden of proof about absence of harm falls on those proposing an action (like CWF) not those opposing it.
The precautionary principle is intended to deal with uncertainty and risk in cases where the absence of evidence and the incompleteness of scientific knowledge carries potentially serious implications for society. (See: Taleb et al., The Precautionary Principle: Fragility and Black Swans from Policy Actions, University of East Anglia, 2014)

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 84 of 1,448

Ken, just to change your current tack a little, in an earlier posting I did not say that the democratic process is quaint. I was asserting that your reliance on a referendum or poll to resolve a CWF issue as quaint and I did not imply that democratic expressions must be "forced" from people such that you should apply the word ‘obscene’ to my comments.
The real obscenity in your city, Hamilton NZ, was that the outcome of a non-binding referendum forced over 11,000 citizens to receive unmonitored doses of a neurotoxin in their tap water against both their collective and individual consents.
Clear majorities of voters in a referendum should not determine that the rest are forced against their will to take a health-affecting toxin, at any concentration, in their drinking water.
I’m sure, Ken, that if you become ill and attend a medical centre, you don’t revert to asking assembled strangers in the centre’s reception area to vote on suggested treatments for your condition so why should fluoride in community water supplies be any different?
Those who believe in ingested fluoride treatment for dental health care can have it clinically prescribed by a physician so to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number fluoridation should be abandoned world-wide.
You asked me to present evidence that there are viable oral health alternatives to CWF which have been demonstrated in several countries, including New Zealand.
I know you are well aware of Scotland’s Childsmile programme which functions successfully without a fluoridation overlay. There are similar approaches to children’s oral health in parts of the UK and Denmark.
For a New Zealand model I refer to Ellen Clark’s June, 2017, thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Community Dentistry at the University of Otago, Dunedin, titled ‘Supervised tooth brushing in Northland’ (New Zealand). Northland is not fluoridated.
This thesis was supervised by Associate Professor Lyndie Foster Page and Professor W. Murray Thomson of the Otago dental school.
The results were far better than hoped with children who were brushing teeth at school having a mean number of 11.7 tooth surfaces that improved. In comparison, children not brushing had 8.6 tooth surfaces that deteriorated over the year which was regarded as quite profound.
The author said that the beauty of the study was that it removed the usual inequalities in oral health caused by poverty and that the results had prompted interest from overseas and from district health boards around New Zealand.
The author had expected it would be several years before such significant results were seen.
These results were achieved with brushes and toothpaste, children spitting into towels, rinsing brushes at a water fountain and the cost of a teacher aid for an hour daily.
This low-tech intervention could do the same for New Zealand as whole, at a relatively low cost, compared with the tens of millions of dollars that would be involved in installing infrastructure with legislatively imposed nation-wide CWF which on its own would have little , if any, effect on improving children’s dental health.

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 85 of 1,448

Bill, did you read my explanation of the statistical analysis in Green et al's paper? Did you understand it?

Do you agree the observed correlation is extremely flimsy?

Perhaps more could be said about the MUF analysis for boys. The residual plot suggests the assumptions inherent in a linear regression are suspect. The residuals are improved by a log transformation but I think this just adds to my point that this reported association is meaningless.

 

male residuals.jpg

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 86 of 1,448

Ken,

 

Do you know of any human studies on the toxicity of lead which you accept as quality and up to your standards?  Or do you consider lead to be safe to ingest?

 

Is there any study reporting harm to humans of any substance which meets your requirements?

 

And when are you going to respond to the total fluoride exposure excess?

 

Bill Osmunson DDS MPH

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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 87 of 1,448

Now that the difference betwen correlation and causation has been brought up, let's mention the real culprit in all this floridation nonsense. In the 1930's Dean looked at the correlation between fluoride content in drinking water and dental caries and claimed that the correlation was indeed a causation, that higher F levels actually caused lower caries incidence. That was a gross blunder and is the reason we still have water fluoridation today. What really happened is that higher F levels increased dental fluorosis incidence, which is unsightly and people who have it think they are not taking care of their teeth well so they tend to brush teeth more, so of course it is possible that F in water might be associated with caries going down.

However, the bottom line is that the entire data set (that Dean ignored in order to make the correlation and the causation claim) was published by Ziegelbecker and it reveals over a very broad concentration range that F in water does not affect caries in the slightest, even up to 6 ppm in drinking water.

But before the complete data set was examined, the boondoggle of water "fluoridation" was sold to the Public Health Service. Several of the dentists who proposed it later recanted and apologized, but a military government program, who can stop? We are still unable to stop it even 75 years later, especially when we have people claiming that there is no harm based on small differences in correlation studies over small F level range differences, where higher F levels demonstrate the neurotoxicity -- all while those same  people claim F in water decreases caries a little bit when even at 6 times higher levels there is no effect.

Talk about baseless self promotion of one's own idea while at the same time spewing baseless denunciation of others' truths -- wow. 

Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D.
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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 88 of 1,448

Oh please. Who doesn't understand the diffetence between correlation and causation? Of course the stats cannot distinguish whether higher F causes a lower IQ,  rather than kids who  will in the future have a lower IQ cause in the womb mothers to consume more F, or that an unknown variable causes both F consumption and IQ to change together.

If there is a correlation,  I know which choice I would surmise.

 

And as far as the accusation that the authors are being "dishonest", or used stats to claim there is an effect when there wasn't, what about the claim that was made by the accuser that fluoridation does not cause lowered IQ (even though the study had only small differences in F exposure) and then later denying that was said? Accusing people of maklng up data or interpretations is quite a claim, and for scientists is an insult on integrity that needs to be defended against..

Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D.
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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 89 of 1,448

rs5526 - how can you say they concluded differently when the data in my table is taken from their table 1?

As for their regression analysis (which explained only 1.2% of the IQ variance), you are completely wrong. They did not say:

"for every 1 mg per day increased intake of F in pregnant expecting mothers, there was a 3.2 IQ drop for both boys and girls."

What they actually said was:


“A 1-mg higher daily intake of fluoride among pregnant women was associated with a 3.66 lower IQ score (95% CI, −7.16 to −0.14) in boys and girls.”

I will reproduce below my lengthy explanation that I provided for Bill on my blog (he was having trouble understanding the statistics and I guess you are too).

1: I hope you are familiar with what the word “associated” mean. Particularly it should not be seen as some sort of proof of a cause.

2: Again, it does not say the coefficient (the slope of the best-fit line) was exactly 3.66. It quotes a 95% confidence interval – in this case –7.16 to -0.14. There is a 95% chance the coefficient will be in this range.

3: That is the coefficient – but what would be the associated IQ values be. [Please don’t forget the word “associated” – it is too easy to fall into sloppy thinking and assume we are talking about an actual loss caused by fluoride. That has not been shown at all.]

The figures relate only to the best-fit line and that range of coefficients indicate values for the best-fit l line at a MUF of 1.0 mg/l in the range of 103.13 to 110.15. (I am using a constant for the line of 110.29 estimated from the paper’s Figure 3).

4: Now here is the figure with the data points taken from the paper.

canada 2


5: Please note that the values from the quoted statement refer only to the line. 110.29 – 3.36 = 106.93 = the IQ value of the line at MUF of 1 mg/ml. The CIs indicate a 95% probability of values in the range 103.13 to 110.15. That range is indicated by the grey shade showing the place the best-fit line could occur.

6: Now note that at a MUF of about 1 mg/L ACTUAL values occur WELL OUTSIDE THAT RANGE. At least 74 to 140 or even wider.

In fact, only a few of the values are in the range given in the quote.

This tells you that the reported association [“3.66 lower IQ score (95% CI, −7.16 to −0.14)”] is an extremely poor predictor of what the actual values associated with the MUF will be.

7: The reason should be obvious. The data has a very wide scatter and the fitted line explains only a very small percentage of the true IQ variance. This can be calculated from a normal regression analysis – the authors would have the figures but did not report them. I think that is a major deficiency in this paper and similar papers from this group.

My estimate (using digitally extracted data from the figure) is that the reported association explain only 1.2% of the IQ variance. That is a very small value.

8: Finally, the author’s rely on p-values (in this case 0.04) and conventionally we say a relationship is “significant” if p is less than 0.05. By itself, p-values can be very misleading – and are often simply used to confirm a bias. Authors should provide all the information for their statistical analyses. In this case, an R-squared value of 0.012 (which they refused to report) would have told us that the reported association was meaningless. I do not think this is honest or objective reporting by these authors

On the other hand, I must compliment them for at least showing us some of the data – this enables us to come to our own conclusions about the significance of their results. Of course, anti-fluoride activists will only be discussing the p-value in their misrepresentations.






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Re: Fluoride - Demand AARP Take Action

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Message 90 of 1,448

But the authors who actually did the study concluded differently,  that for every 1 mg per day increased intake of F in pregnant expecting mothers, there was a 3.2 IQ drop for both boys and girls. One can twist data all they want and excuse fluoridation, but i dont give my innocent  grandkids drinks  made with fluoridated  water or foods made with the garbage.

Why cant everyone else in San Diego and elsewhere have that option in their public drinking water when they  want that?

Richard Sauerheber, Ph.D.
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