Environmental Scientist Declan Waugh has written a letter asking Irish Water to properly address concerns relating to the ingestion of fluoride in the Irish water supply. The letter – which also calls on the government to do more about this issue – is signed by dozens of artists, film-makers, writers, scientists and other notables.
Many Hot Press readers and members will be familiar with the campaign run by the magazine a few years ago in relation to the compulsory fluoridation of the water supply in Ireland. Among the chief sources for the extensive series of articles we wrote at the time was the Cork-based scientist, Declan Waugh.
Needless to say, the issue has not gone away. With that in mind, Declan Waugh has today submitted a comprehensive letter on the issue to both Irish Water – which did not exist at the time Hot Press ran its campaign – and to the Government.
Drawing on examples of how high water fluoridation levels have had negative health effects in countries like Mexico, and giving examples of countries where proper, thorough research has been carried out, the letter requests direct answers from Irish Water in relation to a number of key aspects of the new water authority's statutory remit.
As Hot Press did in the course of its investigation into fluoridation, the letter also considers the issue from the perspective of Ireland's large tea drinking population. The water used in making tea is boiled, thus intensifying the levels of fluoride in what is drunk. In reality, however, the water is often triple boiled, as people generally operate a "rolling kettle".
In addition, there is fluoride in commercially sold tea. Bearing this in mind, the letter asks why government-authorised research hasn't been done on whether tea drinkers run the risk of ingesting more than the tolerable amount of fluoride in Irish water.
The report reads: "Given that for almost a century Ireland has had the highest
consumption of tea in the world the need for studies that examine the fluoride content in
commercially available tea products and reporting of the findings of such studies is obvious.
"Despite an extensive body of literature from the 1930s highlighting that tea is a major source of dietary fluoride intake, the Irish State and its institutions in their enthusiasm to promote and protect the policy of mandatory water fluoridation have demonstrated an astonishing display of ignorance, incompetence and complacency in not addressing cumulative exposures to fluoride and dietary exposure to fluoride from tea consumption in Ireland."
The letter has received overwhelming backing from the Irish artistic community. Among the hundreds of people who have added their names to the letter are high profile Irish musicians, including Christy Moore (pictured), Glen Hansard, Declan Sinnott, Paul Brady, Mary Black, Sharon Shannon, Damien Dempsey, Paddy Casey, Liam Ó Maonlaí, Jim Corr, Steve Wall, Steve Wickham, as well as film-maker Jim Sheridan, author Patrick McCabe – and many more. Also among the signatories is Hot Press editor, Niall Stokes. In all, the letter is signed by dozens of artists, film-makers, poets, writers, historians, and food and drink entrepreneurs, as well as by academics, scientists, medical doctors, midwives, neurologists, psychologists, biochemists, molecular and cell biologists, toxicologists, nutritionists and experts in paediatric medicine.
Read the full letter and see list of signatories here.
The declarations sought in Declan Waugh's letter include the following:
-- A declaration that Irish Water have complied fully with the requirements of EC 1907/2006.
This declaration shall include evidence of specific hazard assessments, including chemical,
toxicological and metabolic studies, eco-toxicological studies, reproductive toxicity, medical
data including medical surveillance data, epidemiological studies on general population, skin
sensitivity studies and allergenicity studies, carcinogenicity studies, mutagenicity studies,
sub chronic toxicity studies and other measures taken by Irish Water to ensure the safety of
water fluoridation chemicals used in drinking water supplies.
➢ A declaration that Irish Water have complied fully with the requirements of EC 178/2002.
This shall include evidence that food products are properly labelled allowing consumers to
identify where fluoridated drinking water supplies have been used in the manufacture and
processing of food products or how the addition of fluoridated water to raw or unprocessed
food may alter its fluoride content.
➢ A declaration that Irish Water have determined the probable immediate and/or short-term
and/or long-term effects of foods that have been processed using fluoridated water including
the probable cumulative toxic effects. This must include details of any risk assessment
addressing chronic infant exposure due to reconstitution of powdered infant formula with
fluoridated tap water as well as adult cumulative exposure to other dietary sources of
fluoride including tea, beer, wine, marine fish, processed foods or fluoridated medications.
➢ A declaration that artificial fluoridation of drinking water does not pose any risk to
neurological health and wellbeing of infants.
➢ A declaration that artificial fluoridation of drinking water does not impair or disrupt
endocrine function in infant, adolescents or adults.
➢ A declaration that artificial fluoridation of drinking water does not contribute to abnormal
bone protein synthesis that may contribute to chronic disease in humans.
➢ A declaration that artificial fluoridation of drinking water does not contribute to cardiac
toxicity in humans.
➢ A declaration that artificial fluoridation of drinking water does not contribute to systemic or
chronic inflammation among infants, children, adolescents or adults.
➢ A declaration that Irish Water have evaluated the effects of combined toxicity of fluoridated
water and lead in drinking water for neurotoxicity, carcinogenicity, immunotoxicity,
endocrine dysfunction and bone health and that water fluoridation does not pose any health
risk for consumers that may have lead contamination in their water.
➢ A declaration that Irish Water have evaluated the effects of combined toxicity of fluoridated
water with aluminium exposure for neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity, carcinogenicity,
endocrine dysfunction and bone health and that water fluoridation does not pose any health
risk for consumers. This declaration shall include evidence of toxicological studies
addressing chronic infant fluoride exposure and the co-toxicity of fluoride with increased
aluminium exposure from vaccines and milk based powdered infant formula.
➢ A declaration that artificial fluoridation of drinking water will not contribute to potentially
harmful cumulative fluoride exposure or enhanced toxicity among consumers residing in
communities with artificially fluoridated drinking water who are also prescribed fluoridated
medications by a medical practitioner.
➢ A declaration that Irish Water have indemnity insurance to cover any liabilities should any
member of the public suffer any injury, illness or medical disorder because of the
contribution of artificial water fluoridation to cumulative exposures.
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