Note - Please read this carefully as it relates to a controversial topic.
I monitor research on ASD, and am becoming concerned regarding recent research results from China which appear to provide evidence that fluoridation of water does have potential negative effects on brain functioning of people who are autistic, or who may have degenerative brain conditions. The research appears to support claims made repeatedly by some neuroscientists since the 1990's, but which until now have probably been dismissed through lack of funding for research, lack of interest, and the acceptance of pro-fluoride arguments and logic. My concern relates to pro-fluoride evidence-based public health decisions in UK and Australia that may have focussed upon effects on "normal" brain functioning, as opposed to sub-group populations which have different neurological functioning. The recent research from China is now presenting an alternate, and disturbing, view of potential effects of fluoride.
There are many opponents to fluoridation, for various reasons. However many have been ignored or discounted through continual reference to scientific evidence-based practice, despite the large amount of current evidence that counters claims of any real benefits of fluoridation. Fluoridation of water is regulated by State governments in Australia, and is seen by many to be an unethical application of policy that removes freedom of choice. There are potential human rights violations. Many families with ASD are too financially pressed to access reverse osmosis water filters or alternative water supplies. Similarly, there is a lack of resources to legally challenge this practice as has been done in several American states.
So the thing that troubles me most is this:- What national processes are in place, with regard to policy and awareness, that proactively monitors fluoride research? What processes and policy offer the ability to intervene in the increasingly likely event of future supporting data that replicates the Chinese study, or produces new supporting data? Does a bland acceptance of public health policy in Australia determine that action will be reactive? How much evidence is required? Who is supporting funding into research? How long will the ASD population be involuntarily exposed to this potential risk factor? Is this a numbers case? Does anyone really care? Would the government act if more people were affected, for example those with Alzhiemer's?
Can anyone give insight as to who or what, if anything, exists that offers those with ASD protection or advocacy on this? Does anyone critically examine all evidence and data on fluoride as it relates to ASD, as opposed to the "normal" population? This is not about panic and outrageous, or unscientific, claims. This is about logical and proactive precautionary measures to protect the wellbeing and rights of a marginalised and silent minority.