Recent studies has found new associations between fluoridated water and increased cancer risks.
Prior studies have revealed links between boys who drink fluoridated water and increased risks for bone cancers; however, recent studies reveal that the risk is not just to boys and not just for bone cancers, wrote Food Consumer, citing emerging research published in the Journal of Epidemiology.
The research, led by K. Takahashi, of the University of Tokyo in Japan, reviewed International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) data from nine United States communities. The locales were comprised of 21.8 million, mostly Caucasian, residents. The researchers found that “optimally” fluoridated water was associated with significant increases in 23 types of cancer, according to Food Consumer. Communities in Connecticut; Iowa; Atlanta, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan; New Orleans, Louisiana; Seattle, Washington; and San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, were among those studied.
The research revealed significant increases in cancers of all sorts that were positively associated with fluoridated drinking water for both males and females, Food Consumer reported. The researchers concluded that compared to other well recognized cancer risks—for instance, smoking—fluoridated drinking water must be considered a risk factor for cancer and also suggested that fluoride may lead to some genetic issues that could, in turn, lead to cancer, according to Food Consumer.
The association, said the researchers, was not just observational, but backed by laboratory studies, Food Consumer reported.
Adding fluoride to water took place in America and Canada in 1945 as a measure to prevent dental caries (cavities) and, today, over 75 percent of drinking water has been fluoridated. The side effects of fluoridated water, specifically of increased risks of cancers, have long been reported, according to Food Consumer.
The study’s authors pointed out that the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) was researching this issue as far back as 1987 and did discover epidemiologic evidence of an increase of cancer associated with water fluoridation; however, the NCI never published that data, Food Consumer wrote. The findings did lead to the NCI, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Institute for Dental Research to nominate sodium fluoride for more research.
According to Food Consumer, fluoride, which is not involved in human physiology, is a known neurotoxin than can reduce IQ scores; damage the reproductive system; and cause skeletal fluorosis, cancer, and other diseases.
As far back as 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and EPA officials recommended that fluoride levels in U.S. drinking water be lowered due to links to dental problems. The move followed a government study in which it was revealed that two out of five teens have tooth streaking or spots—dental fluorosis—the result of too much fluoride and which can lead to pitting of the teeth.
Fluoride, while helping reduce tooth decay significantly, is now present in a wide variety of dental products, making it much more ubiquitous than when it was first introduced in the drinking water supply. Fluoride, in addition to being in toothpaste, dental products, and drinking water, is also found in mouth rinses, prescription fluoride treatments and similar treatments applied in dental offices, as well as in infant formulas and other drinks that are prepared with fluoridated water. The LA Times also previously reported that, based on two reviews released by the EPA, high fluoride intakes can increase risks for skeletal damage, including fractures, and significant bone abnormalities.