60 American Dental Association fluoridation, exist. It was additionally noted that the findings could be broadly relevant to other countries with similar populations and water fluoridation.128 In 2015, a study was published in which the authors claimed to have found a positive association between fluoride levels in drinking water and hypothyroidism. Drawing immediate criticism, the published critiques noted that a major weakness of this study was the failure to consider a number of potential confounding factors. The only confounders taken into consideration were age, sex and socioeconomic status. While acknowledging that iodine intake is associated with thyroid health, the authors failed to consider iodine as a factor along with the impacts of smoking and medications. The strong conclusion of the paper was not supported by the work of the authors or other published literature.130-133 In addition, two studies have explored the association between fluoridated water and cancer of the thyroid gland. Both studies found no association between optimal levels of fluoride in drinking water and thyroid cancer.106,110 36. Does water fluoridation affect the pineal gland causing the early onset of puberty? Answer. The best available scientific evidence indicates that water fluoridation does not cause the early onset of puberty. Fact. The pineal gland is an endocrine gland located in the brain which produces melatonin.133 Endocrine glands secrete their products into the bloodstream and body tissues and help regulate many kinds of body functions. The hormone, melatonin, plays a role in sleep, aging and reproduction.134 A single researcher has published one study in a peer-reviewed scientific journal regarding fluoride accumulation in the pineal gland. The purpose of the study was to discover whether fluoride accumulates in the pineal gland of older adults. This limited study, conducted on only 11 cadavers whose average age at death was 82 years, indicated that fluoride deposited in the pineal gland was significantly linked to the amount of calcium in the pineal gland.135 It would not be unexpected to see higher levels of calcium in the pineal gland of older individuals as this would be considered part of a normal aging process. As discussed in Question 25, approximately 99% of the fluoride present in the body is associated with hard or calcified tissues.52 The study concluded fluoride levels in the pineal gland were not indicators of long-term fluoride exposure.135 The same researcher had theorized in her 1997 dissertation, portions of which are posted on numerous internet sites opposed to fluoridation, that the accumulation of fluoride in children’s pineal glands leads to an earlier onset of puberty. However, the researcher notes in the dissertation that there is no verification that fluoride accumulates in children’s pineal glands. Moreover, a study conducted in Newburgh (fluoridated) and Kingston (nonfluoridated), New York found no statistically significant difference between the onset of menstruation for girls living in a fluoridated versus nonfluoridated area.136 The National Research Council’s 2006 report, Fluoride in Drinking Water: A Scientific Review of EPA’s Standards, stated that a connection between fluoride pineal function in humans remains to be demonstrated.”9 37. Can fluoride, at the levels found in drinking water that is fluoridated to the recommended levels, alter immune function or produce an allergic reaction (hypersensitivity)? Answer. There is no scientific evidence of any adverse effect from fluoridation on any specific immunity, nor have there been any medically confirmed reports of allergic reaction from drinking or being in contact with optimally fluoridated water. Fact. There is no scientific evidence linking health conditions related to immune function such as HIV or AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) with community water fluoridation.137 There are no confirmed cases of allergy to fluoride, or of any positive skin testing in human or animal models.138 A committee of the National Academy of Sciences evaluated clinical reports of possible allergic responses to fluoride in 1977 and stated, “The reservation in accepting (claims of allergic reaction) at face value is the lack of similar reports in much larger numbers of people who have been exposed to considerably more fluoride than was involved in the
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