Fluoride and its various compounds are toxic all by themselves, but their interaction with other toxic metals are of increasing concern. Research published in the December 2000 issue of the journal NeuroToxicology warns that public drinking water treated with sodium silicofluoride or fluosilicic acid, known silicofluorides (SiFs), is linked to higher uptake of lead in children.(165)165 Less than 10% of fluoridation systems in the US use sodium fluoride, the substance first used to fluoridate public drinking water in 1945. SiF's are now used to treat drinking water for 140 million Americans. Yet the safety of SiFs has never been tested, nor have they been approved by the FDA.
The research was conducted by a team led by Roger D. Masters, Dartmouth College Research Professor and Nelson A. Rockefeller Professor of Government Emeritus, and Myron J. Coplan, a consulting chemical engineer, formerly Vice President of Albany International Corporation. The team has now studied the blood lead levels in over 400,000 children in three different samples. In each case, they found a significant link between SiF-treated water and elevated blood lead levels. The researchers found that the greatest likelihood of children having elevated blood lead levels occurs when they are exposed both to known risk factors, such as old house paint and lead in soil or water, and to SiF-treated drinking water.(166)
"Our research needs further laboratory testing," said Masters. "This should have the highest priority because our preliminary findings show correlations between SiF use and more behavior problems due to known effects of lead on brain chemistry." Also requiring further examination is German research that shows SiFs inhibit cholinesterase, an enzyme that plays an important role in regulating neurotransmitters.(167)
"If SiFs are cholinesterase inhibitors, this means that SiFs have effects like the chemical agents linked to Gulf War Syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and other puzzling conditions that plague millions of Americans," said Masters. "We need a better understanding of how SiFs behave chemically and physiologically."(168)
"We should stop using silicofluorides in our public water supply until we know what they do," says Masters.(169)
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