Volcano cloud deposits dangerous fluoride levels, say campaigners

Posted May 25, 2010 by Andrew John
Anti-fluoride campaigners are concerned that volcanic ash drifting into Europe from Iceland could lead to dental problems.
“We’ve all heard the news and some of us may even have been affected by the eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland,” says the newsletter of “Yet, most people probably remain unaware that fluoride, from the volcanic ash, has been identified as posing a big risk to human and animal health.”
The threat, it says, comes from the fluoride in ash, which contaminates drinking water.
Also, animals such as cattle and sheep are consuming ash that has fallen on grass and soil. “With the volcano erupting a second time in a month there are fears that this risk may be bigger than first thought,” says the newsletter.
“Whilst health authorities in Thailand recognise the health risks posed by this toxin [fluoride], other countries have been slow to cotton on. It’s clear that our battle against fluoride is far from over, especially when medical and food authorities like the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA) are still intent on broadcasting their pro-fluoride message which is based on biased and outdated facts.”
The EFSA, it says, believes the risk of fluoride contamination from the volcano is negligible and should not be a concern for humans and animals in the European Union.
But it then goes on to quote Robert Pocock of the Voice of Irish Concern for the Environment. “EFSA’s previous risk assessment of fluoride, on which its views of the hazards of fluoride from the Icelandic volcano are based, are deeply flawed,” he says. “If accepted, it would put thousands more children in Ireland at risk of permanent damage to their teeth through ‘moderate’ dental fluorosis.”
Dental fluorosis is caused in children by their ingesting too much fluoride, and results in small white streaks of specks; but in its severe form it can cause black and brown stains, cracking and pitting.
The campaigners’ newsletter continues: “Ireland is the only country in Europe with a mandatory fluoridation policy – fluoride has been added to their water since 1963. At present approximately 73 per cent of Irish people are drinking water treated with industrial grade fluoride. One of the major side effects of fluoridation is fluorosis – an overexposure to fluoride which affects the enamel on our teeth.”
The newsletter cites the Oral Health Services Research Centre in Cork, Ireland, which says that, by the age of 15, about 1 per cent (or 400) children in Ireland have developed “moderate” dental fluorosis and 1 per cent of children have developed the “severe” form, with only 63 per cent of children in the country having “normal enamel”.
Established evidence
“The EFSA makes the totally irresponsible claim that for a 60Kg adult a lifetime daily intake of 7.2mg fluoride is safe. This ‘safe limit’ totally disregards established evidence that as little as 2 to 3mg of clinically administered fluoride per day reduces normal thyroid functioning in adults.”
But danger to dental health is not the only drawback of fluoride, says the newsletter. “A number of studies have shown that exposure to fluoride can cause behavioural changes. At a 1998 conference on fluoride in Washington, Professor Roger Masters reported a significant link between the blood lead levels of 280,000 children in Massachusetts and the use of silicofluorides (the fluoride added to our water supply – waste products of the fertiliser and glass industries).”
Fluoride, it says, increases the toxic effects and absorption of lead.
“Both in the UK and in the American state of Georgia, behavioural changes associated with lead toxicity, such as violent crimes, are more frequently reported in communities using silicofluorides than in fluoride-free areas,” the newsletter adds.