By Fionnuala Quinlan
THE Government has been urged to investigate the link between
bone cancer and fluoridated drinking water after a study found 40%
more people in the Republic contract the disease than in the
Research carried out at Boston University of School of Public
Health, using data from the Irish National Cancer Registry and its
northern equivalent, found 40% more people suffer from the rare
bone cancer osteosarcoma in the Republic than the North, where
water is not fluoridated.
Irish Dentists Opposing Fluoridation warn that the research is
consistent with existing studies which have linked osteosarcoma to
fluoridated drinking water.
Spokesman Dr Don MacCauley said that while the Irish study did
not conclusively link the cancer to fluoridation, it underscored
the need for urgent research into the health effects of adding
2,000 gallons of hydrofluosilic acid to drinking water in the
"The legislation, which permits fluoridation in this country
requires the Minister of Health to carry out health studies into
the effects of nearly 40 years of this mass-medication. This
research has never been done," Dr MacCauley said.
"Another fluoride health alert is screaming but when will the
Minister of Health start listening? When will the minister fulfil
his duty and carry out the health studies required by law?
"It is outrageous that there are still no plans for health
"Instead, Minister Martin has delegated his responsibilities to
a pro-fluoride sham of a forum, which cannot even get its act
together to report on time," Dr MacCauley said.
The report by the Government's Forum on Fluoridation was due
for publication at the end of October, but it has been postponed
until later this month.
Fluoride has also been linked to cancer, irritable bowel
syndrome, hip fractures and thyroid disorders, while an American
study found fluoride exposure could produce lower IQ levels in
Ireland is the only country in Europe to insist that drinking
water be fluoridated.
"In spite of all the evidence about the dangers of fluoride,
Ireland has never carried out a survey. That is illegal," Dr
Director of the National Cancer Registry Dr Harry Comber said
osteosarcoma was a relatively rare cancer of the bones which
usually affected children and teenagers up to age of 20.
However, he cautioned against drawing firm conclusions from the
osteosarcoma research in the Republic and the North because he
said the disease was relatively rare and the populations on both
sides of the Border were quite small.
A spokesman for the Department of Health was yesterday
unavailable for comment.