Without fanfare or public announcement, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) posted a new fluoride caution on their website – avoid mixing fluoridated water into concentrated infant formula to prevent discoloring babies’ new teeth. (1)
There is no dispute that too much fluoride causes dental fluorosis – white spotted, yellow or brown and sometimes pitted enamel. The CDC now admits that babies can ingest too much fluoride when fluoridated water is mixed into their concentrated infant formula and foods. Fluoride is added to 2/3 of public water supplies based on a disproved theory that fluoride ingestion prevents cavities.
“Where’s the media alert so that the parents, caregivers, healthcare workers and legislators know about this,” asks lawyer Paul Beeber, President, New York State Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.(NYSCOF).
A New Hampshire newspaper reports the federal Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program still encourages mothers to mix formula with fluoridated water. (2)
“The CDC leaves it up to groups like ours to share the bad fluoride news,” says Beeber, “And then they will probably criticize us for doing so as they have in the past.” (2a)
This is what the CDC’s website says (1):
“It now appears that the amount of the fluoride contained in the water used for mixing infant formula may influence a child’s risk for developing enamel fluorosis, particularly if the child’s sole source of nutrition is from reconstituted infant formula.”
“If tap water is fluoridated or has substantial natural fluoride (0.7 mg/L or higher), a parent may consider using a low-fluoride alternative water source. Bottled water known to be low in fluoride is labeled as purified, deionized, demineralized, distilled, or prepared by reverse osmosis.”
“Using only water with low fluoride levels to mix formula will not eliminate the risk of enamel fluorosis…Other factors that contribute to developing fluorosis include swallowing of toothpaste and use of dietary supplements that include fluoride (tablets or drops).”
The CDC reports that, “formula itself has low amounts of fluoride,”
What is recommended?
According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) (3), to avoid moderate fluorosis (yellow or brown teeth), the adequate daily intake of fluoride, from all sources, should not exceed:
— 0.01 mg/day for 0 – 6-month-olds
— 0.5 mg/day for 7 through 12 months
— 0.7 mg/day for 1 – 3-year-olds
Babies, under one year, consume over their adequate intake from the water supply alone at the so-called optimal concentrations (0.7 – 1.2 mg/L), according to the March 2006 NAS’ National Research Council (NRC) fluoride report (4).
The CDC reports, “one-third (33%) of children aged 12 to 15 years in the United States have very mild to mild forms of this condition.” However, the CDC omits that about 4% have moderate or severe fluorosis, according to the same reference. And up to ½ of all schoolchildren have fluorosis when the “questionable” category is included. (5)
The American Dental Association’s Fluoridation Facts describes questionable fluorosis as “A few white specks or white spots.” (6)
The CDC admits that “More cosmetically objectionable forms of this condition can occur when young children consume excess fluoride from all sources during critical periods of tooth development [up to age 8],”
Also alarming is that bottled water with added fluoride is now sold with the now-contraindicated instructions to mix into infant formula.(7)
Also little publicized is that the NRC report reveals that some people risk thyroid dysfunction and bone damage from drinking even low levels of fluoride; and studies linking fluoride to cancer and lowered IQ are plausible.
Few know that too much fluoride can actually decay teeth.(7a) And that the most widely used fluoridation chemicals, silicofluorides, are linked to higher rates of tooth decay.(7b)
“Parents also need to be taught the fluoride content of foods in easy-to-understand language, so it’s possible to tally daily fluoride intake and to be taught fluoride’s adverse health and dental effects,” says Beeber.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has compiled fluoride content of foods. (8)
NYSCOF warned the public about a research review published in 2000 showing infant formula mixed with fluoridated water leads to fluorosis.(2a) Many published studies link infant formula to fluorosis.(9)
A Tennessee legislator who is also a medical doctor asked all water departments in Tennessee to shut off the fluoride because of health concerns.(10) In Oregon, a fluoridation bill is stalled by a doctor and nurse in the legislature citing health concerns.(11)
(2) “Formula, fluoride mix may discolor infants’ teeth,” By Mark Hayward, Union Leader, Jan 11, 2007
(3) The National Academies of Science, “Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride,:1997
(4) The National Academies of Science, Committee on Fluoride in Drinking Water, National Research Council, “Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards,” March 2006
(5) US Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures/s403a1t23.gif
(6) http://www.ada.org/public/topics/fluoride/facts/fluoridation_facts.pdf (page 28)
(7a) “Dentistry, Dental Practice, and the Community,” 5th edition 1999 Burt/Eklund