Health Warning – do not drink Irish Tap Water!

The Mandatory addition of the toxin Fluoride to the Irish people’s tap water supply has long been of concern to me, particularly as someone who has a history of Thyroid dis-ease. If you have any interest at all in your Health, you will be aware of the importance of hydration from good, clean water, let me underline that this does not include the addition of neuro-toxins like Fluoride! For this reason I invested in a reverse Osmosis water filter system that filters most toxins out of my tap water including Fluoride and I always choose bottled water when drinking outside of my own home. I recently visited Berlin for a few days and was delighted to learn that the tap water there is not Fluoridated or Chlorinated and as far as I am aware Berliners are not particularly high in tooth cavities! Ireland is one of the very few countries in the world to insist on Fluoridating the public water supply despite mounting evidence of it’s toxicity, why is this?

My concern for the toxic nature of Irish tap water led me to the work of Environmental Scientist Declan Waugh (www.enviro.ie).

Declan is an independent environmental scientist, strategic risk management consultant, chartered water manager, chartered environmentalist, chartered waste manager, renewable energy consultant and expert in the field of environmental acoustics. He has worked in the public, private and not for profit sector for over twenty years.

Declan Waugh was awarded the 2008 Cork Environmental Forum Award for outstanding individual contribution to the Environment.

Declan recently wrote an open letter challenging the findings of The Irish Food Safety Authority, when they claimed that “exposure to fluoride from the diet for all population groups in Ireland is not of concern”. As a scientist Declan found the report “incorrect, factually inaccurate, intentionally misleading and deliberately intended to deceive the Irish public”. His open letter explains very eloquently and scientifically why this is the case and I have copied his words for you to read below. It is so important for all Irish citizens to take note of his findings but particularly women of child bearing age and parents of bottle fed babies. It also references beer/stout drinkers, tea drinkers and even users of some supplements – I urge you to read on and start firstly protecting your selves by not drinking the tap water and secondly apply whatever pressure you can to get this totally unnecessary shit out of our water!

Declans Open letter, (nb the red hi-lighting is mine!) :-

Dear Editor,

Last week the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) published a report which evaluated the consumption of fluoride from the Irish diet. The report’s analysis estimated the level of exposure of different segments of the population to fluoride and from that result then examine if the levels were considered safe or posed any risk to health. According to Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, FSAI “this report serves to provide independent and impartial information on the exposure to fluoride through the Irish diet” and “this study reaffirms the FSAI’s and its Scientific Committee’s view that exposure to fluoride from the diet for all population groups in Ireland is not of concern,” she said.

This statement is false, inaccurate and misleading and I will tell you why. Firstly, the study omitted the most sensitive and overexposed subgroup of our population to fluoride and that is infants under 12 months of age. It is widely acknowledged that infants who are fed infant formula prepared with fluoridated drinking water exceed the ‘safe optimal intake’ of fluoride for a healthy adult. In fact, international studies have clearly found that bottle fed infants in communities with water fluoridation can exceed the ‘Tolerable Upper Intake’ regarded as safe for a healthy adult. However, the FSAI study somehow choose to exclude infants under 12 months of age in their risk assessment. As Ireland has the lowest prevalence of breast feeding in the world and the highest use of infant formula and mandatory water fluoridation, evidence suggests that chronic fluoride intoxication of this subgroup of the population is a serious cause of concern, but clearly not for the Irish authorities it would seem. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) the fluoride intake for babies fed formula milk constituted with fluoridated tap water may be 100-533-fold higher than breast fed babies. Thus, the omission of this subgroup from the dietary exposure and health-based risk assessment is significant.

Secondly, the FSAI estimated that the average fluoride intake for an Irish adult, including females of childbearing age, was 2.982 mg/day from all dietary sources. Notably, the FSAI study used a mean fluoride concentration of 5.4 mg/L for tea, taking into account fluoride level in tap water used to prepare infusions to estimate fluoride intake for the adult population. It is important to mention that the highest fluoride concentration found in tea products was 8.295 mg/L, when prepared with deionized water containing no fluoride at all. Fluoride intake from tea consumption was based on dietary intakes provided from the 2011 National Adult Nutrition Survey of 1500 adults. In this study, 81% of 18-64year olds and 94% of those aged 65 years were reported to drink tea. Of those who drank tea, the average daily intake was 519 mls (18-64 years) and 617 mls (65 years and over) respectively. Separately, the EFSA have reported that drinking just 2 cups of tea per day (with a fluoride content of 5 mg/L), combined with an average consumption of fluoridated drinking water and the use of fluoridated tap water in the preparation of food, but excluding all other sources (including solid foods, toothpaste and dental products), would provide a daily dietary intake of 6 mg fluoride per day; or more than twice that reported by the FSAI. Considering that the fluoride content in tea was higher than that reported by the EFSA, and that many people drink more than 2 cups of tea per day in Ireland, there is a high probability that majority of adults in the Republic of Ireland far exceed the level of exposure reported by the FSAI.

Thirdly, in healthy young and middle-aged adults approximately 50% of ingested fluoride is excreted via the kidney in urine [EFSA 2005]. According to the current FSAI study, the mean daily intake of fluoride from foods and beverages in Ireland for adults is 2.982 mg/day. Thus, one can estimate that the mean urinary fluoride levels in adults in the Republic of Ireland would be approximately 1.491 mg/L. Last year the largest longitudinal study ever conducted examining maternal exposure to fluoride found that prenatal exposure to fluoride was associated with significant cognitive impairment in offspring [Bashash et al, Environ Health Perspect 2017]. Importantly, this study provided a dose/response relationship between maternal exposure to fluoride and development toxicity in offspring. It is important to note that the mean urinary fluoride levels in all participants was 0.90 mg/L. To put this context, evidence suggests that healthy child bearing women in the Republic of Ireland may have urinary fluoride levels approximately 70 percent above that found to be associated with developmental toxicity in offspring.  Notable, again the health-based risk assessment conducted by the FSAI omitted this crucial study. In fact they excluded neurological disorders entirely as part of their health-based risk assessment. This even more shocking when published studies have also found a significant association between fluoridated water and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder prevalence among children and adolescents in the United States [Malin & Till, 2015 Environ Health. 2015; 14: 17]. While the precise prevalence of ADHD in the Republic of Ireland is not known, among children with intellectual disabilities the prevalence is reported to be 55.9% in Ireland [Buckley et al. J Intellect Disabil Res. 2008 Feb;52:156-62]. Among adults attending psychiatric outpatient clinics in Ireland 33.8% are reported to meet the criteria for childhood onset ADHD [Adamis et al. European Psychiatry. 2016 March,33:445-446]. It has also been recently reported that the rate of psycho-stimulant prescribing treatment among General Medical Services children and adolescents in Ireland for ADHD increased by a staggering 128% between 2002 and 2011 [Boland et al. BMC Pediatrics, 2015;15:118].

Fourthly, the study omitted to mention that iodine deficiency significantly increases the susceptibility of a population to fluoride intoxication, particularly to thyroid dysfunction. For individuals with insufficient iodine intake, the United States Scientific committee, which previously examined fluoride in drinking water, reported that thyroid function may be impaired at a total fluoride intake of between 0.7 and 2.1 mg per day for an adult. Importantly, this is significantly higher than the average intake reported by the FSAI. The most up to date current research in the island of Ireland has found that between 46% and 53 % of teenage girls in the RoI are deficient in iodine [Safefood 2018]. In 2017, it was reported that 77 % of women of childbearing age (18-50 years) in the Republic of Ireland did not meet the estimated average requirement recommendation set for pregnant women. Overall, 45.4% of adult males and 64.7% of adult females were found to be below the adequate intake (AI) established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) [McNulty et al, Br J Nutr. 2017 Feb;117(3):422-431]. Based on these facts, there is a high probability that fluoride intake in the Republic of Ireland is contributing to thyroid disorders among the general population. This is supported by the findings of a recent UK study which found an association between water fluoridation and increased incidence of hypothyroidism disorders in adults [Peckham et al. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2015 Jul;69(7):619-24]. Importantly, in February 2018, the most current epidemiological case-controlled study examining the effect of fluoride in drinking water and thyroid dysfunction found that even low levels of fluoride in drinking water ranging from 0.3- 0.5 mg/L were associated with greater impairment of thyroid function in subjects. Considering that the FSAI reported that the mean fluoride levels found in fluoridated water in Ireland are 0.65 mg/L, evidence would strongly suggest that water fluoridation in addition to fluoride intake from tea may be contributing to thyroid dysfunction among the Irish population. However, the FSAI again omitted to include the findings of this study, or indeed to include endocrine disorders in their health risk-based assessment of fluoride intake in Ireland.

Fifthly, the concentrations of fluoride in many products reported by the FSAI are are at significant variance to data in published literature on fluoride levels in Irish produced products. For example, the FSAI reported that the fluoride concentration in lager and stout in Ireland was 0.125pmg/L, 0.176mg/L respectively. However, a current study examining the fluoride concentration of beers available in Spain, which included five Irish products of different brand names, reported that four of the five products contained 0.47 mg/L, 0.76mg/L; 1.55mg/L and 1.66mg/L fluoride respectively. Overall, in this study, among all the products tested, the highest fluoride levels in beers were found in products originating from Ireland and the USA, both countries with artificial fluoridation of drinking water [Jaudenes et al. Biol Trace Elem Res 2018;181:178–183]. A previous study conducted in the UK, reported that the highest fluoride concentration in beer products available in the UK were also found in Irish products, with a F concentration of 1.12 mg/L [Warnakulasuriya et al. Clinica Chimica Acta 2002;320: 1–4]. Additional (unpublished) analysis of fluoride concentrations in Irish beer products that I have personally undertaken also demonstrate that the fluoride concentration in Irish beers is significantly higher than what the FSAI have reported. However, while the two studies noted above are the only studies in published scientific literature which measured the fluoride concentration in Irish beers, the FSAI omitted to mention either of these studies in their report.

Finally, there are many other examples which I could address which demonstrate that the FSAI report is both inaccurate and misleading, but none perhaps more so than what I will inform you of now. This week I noticed that Ireland largest supermarket group are promoting a multivitamin supplement which contains a staggering 3.5 mg of fluoride per tablet. In other words, taking just one of these multivitamins a day in addition to other dietary sources can result in the average adult exceeding the Tolerable Upper Intake recommended by the EFSA. This is utterly shocking and borders on criminal negligence and if taken by females in pregnancy is dangerous to the unborn child. However, the FSAI did not examine fluoride intake from supplements or medications.

Declan Waugh

Scientist, Fluoride Researcher and Risk Management Consultant,

EnviroManagement Services

11 Riverview, Doherty’s Rd, Bandon, Co. Cork, Republic of Ireland.

Tel: 023-8841933

Email: declan@enviro.ie

Web: www.enviro.ie