Fluoride and Genetic Damage

Closely connected to the cancer issue is the risk of genetic damage with low-dose fluoride exposure. In fact, twenty-two separate animal studies have already linked genetic damage to fluoride exposure. We know that DNA damage occurs constantly and that our survival is dependent on a system of healthily functioning DNA-repair enzymes whose job it is to fix injuries induced by a daily barrage of free radicals. We also know that impaired DNA repair mechanisms are associated with increased cancer risk.

In 1976 Dr. Wolfgang Klein and co-workers demonstrated that cells exposed to 1 ppm fluoride exhibit a 50 percent reduction in DNA-repair-enzyme activity.125 Not only does this increase cancer risk, it also encourages aggravation of degenerative diseases of the nervous system, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), as well as other degenerative diseases of aging. When unrepaired DNA damage occurs in reproductive cells, the damage is passed on to children as well.

Another study, by Dr. Aly Mohamed of the genetics department at the University of Missouri, demonstrated that as little as 1 ppm of fluoride could result in chromosomal damage in cells from the testes and bone marrow. Overall, the genetic damage increased with length of exposure and increasing dose. At 1 ppm, 25.7 percent of the bone marrow cells showed DNA damage at three weeks and 32.1 percent at six weeks. At 10 ppm, 35.5 percent of the marrow cells had DNA damage at three weeks and at six weeks, 46 percent were damaged. Remember that 1 ppm is the amount added to most municipal water systems. Because fluoride concentrations increase with time and by cooking, even 10 ppm can be attained in real life situations, especially in hot areas of the world.

Incredibly, even the studies done by Proctor & Gamble, makers of Crest toothpaste, found that 1 ppm of fluoride could cause genetic damage in Chinese hamsters' ovary cells.126 The lowest dose of fluoride inducing genetic damage in human cells was found to be 0.6 ppm.

More recent evidence, presented in peer-reviewed scientific journals, clearly shows that fluoride causes chromosomal damage. For example, Dr. Anuradha and co-workers in the journal, Archives of Toxicology, July 2000, demonstrated that fluoride activates a destructive reaction in human cells (activation of caspase-3) that results in severe DNA damage.127

In another study, researchers looked for chromosomal aberrations in the white blood cells of workers in a phosphate fertilizer factory, and reported a significant elevation of such DNA damage that was both dose- and time-dependent,128 meaning that the amount of damage depended on how long workers were exposed and how concentrated the fluoride was. Remember that fluoridating water means a lifetime of exposure, and the dose is accumulative, since 50 percent is retained in the tissues of the body with each dose. There is even evidence of a connection between total fluoride exposure—the sum from water, food, and other beverages, and airborne fluorides—and Down's syndrome.129

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