WATER FLUORIDATION AND HIP FRACTURE                home ¦contact us ¦

There are many international, scientific studies linking water fluoridation/fluoride and increased rates of hip fracture. One of the most recent studies involved 144,000 elderly rural Finnish people.1 The study published in October 1999 issue of The American Journal of Epidemiology showed fluoride in drinking water increased the risk of hip fractures in women. Gerard Quinn, spokesperson for Fluoride Free Water, states that, “Finland stopped fluoridation in 1992 yet are still interested in the bone effects of fluoride but Ireland continues to neglect the bone effects of thirty five years of fluoridation. Is the Minister of Health concerned with public health or is he indulging in post decision rationalisation? If so, he must accept responsibility for continued breaches of the Health (fluoridation of water supplies) Act 1960 and neglecting his duty to the Irish people”. The Finnish study found that women aged 50-64 exposed to water fluoride levels greater that 1.5mg/litre had significantly more hip fractures than similar women exposed to fluoride at 0.1mg/litre. The Environmental Protection Agency2, confirm that 9% of all water supplies exceed 1mg/litre. These levels of fluoride “are illegal and impermissible”.
In 1992, Danielson et al investigated the correlation in the elderly population of Utah, U.S.4 They concluded, “we found a small but significant increase in the risk of hip fracture in both men and women exposed to artificial fluoridation at 1ppm”. Since 1990, there are a further five recorded peer-reviewed studies linking fluoridation/fluoride and hip fracture.5-9

Dr. Andrew Thomas, consultant surgeon, Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, says “an excessive amount of fluoride in the bones is clearly harmful and it will affect the incidence of osteoporosis and vertical crush fractures. There is no doubt that any small change in the average strength of the bone in the population will have a significant effect. Because vertical crush fractures and hip fractures are so common that you’ve only got to have a small change and a great deal more people will suffer from it”.10

“The scientific evidence clearly shows that fluoride damages bone even at levels in drinking water”, reports Dr. John R. Lee, U.S. physician, and authority on fluoride and it’s bone effects.11  

There were 340,000 hospital admissions for hip fractures in the U.S.(55% fluoridated) in 1996, according to the Center for Disease Control. 72% of Ireland’s population is currently fluoridated. Harold Slavkin, Director of National Institute of Dental Research admits that, “about one-half of the people with hip fractures end up in nursing homes, and in the year following the fracture, 20 per cent of them die”.12

Ireland has one of the highest osteoporosis rates in Europe. Dr Cathy Casey, a consultant in obstetrics and gynaecology at St John's Hospital in Limerick, confirms that osteoporosis will affect 25% of all women over the age of 50 and nearly 50% of women over 70 years of age. Osteoporosis can give rise to continual fractures and bone breakages. It is usually identified when the patient breaks a hip, wrist, ankle or spine after a minor fall.14 Hedlund & Gallagher, 1989, studied hip fracture in osteoporotic women treated with sodium fluoride. Their findings suggested that, “fluoride treatment can increase the risk of hip fracture in osteoporotic women”.15 Rosemary Rowe, Information Officer for the National Osteoporosis Society Wales, added that, “there is no evidence that fluoride is required for bone health and we don’t recommend adding it to tap water. Although fluoride makes new bone, it makes weak new bone”.16 Dr. Lawrence Riggs of the Mayo Clinic published an article in the New England Journal of Medicine concluding that fluoride treatment of osteoporosis “increased skeletal fragility”.17

Based on the above observations and scientific studies, Fluoride Free Water demand the Minister of Health prove scientifically that water fluoridation is safe for public health. We demand an independent series of health studies, into the health effects, of thirty-five years of fluoridation. Gerard Quinn reads from the Health (fluoridation of water supplies) Act 1960 section 6, “It shall be the duty of the Minister to arrange from time to time for such surveys as appear to him to be desirable to be made as respects the health, or any particular aspects of the health, of persons” living in fluoridated areas.18 “There has never been a health study. Therefore, Minister Martin is in breach of the law that was meant to protect us. We are demanding documentary evidence of the minister’s consideration for the “hip fracture” study and his reasons for continuing to ignore an Act of government. Our population is “too small” but our bones become more brittle. Why?”

If you are interested in this issue, Sligo Action Against Fluoride are hosting a public debate on water fluoridation. Professor Paul Connett, Professor of Chemistry, St. Lawrence University, New York will highlight the dangers and medical side effects of fluoridation. Representatives of the Dept. of Health & Children, the Health Boards and Faculty of Public Health are also invited. The open public debate will be held on Sat. 11th March 2000 at 3pm, Yeat’s Building, Hyde Bridge (opp. Silver Swan Hotel), Sligo. Everyone is welcome.


1. Kurttio P, Gustavsson N, Vartiainen T, Pekkanen J, Exposure to natural fluoride in well water and hip fracture: a cohort analysis in Finland. American Journal of  Epidemiology, 1999 Oct 15;150(8):817-24 (National Public Health Institute, Unit of Environmental Epidemiology, Kuopio, Finland).

2. The Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland 1995-1997. Environmental Protection Agency report.  

3. The Quality of Drinking Water in Ireland 1995-1997. E.P.A. report. Parameter: Fluoride. Appendix A1 pg38.  

4. C. Danielson et al., “Hip fractures and fluoridation in Utah’s elderly population”, Journal of the American Medical Association. Volume 268, pp746-748 (1992).  

5. Sowers MFR et al.,  “A prospective study of mineral content and fracture in communities with differential fluoride exposure”. American Journal of Epidemiology 133, pp649-660 (1991).  

6. Jacobsen et al., “Regional variation in the incidence of hip fracture among white women aged 65 years and older”. Journal of the American Medical Association 26-4, pp500-502 (1990).  

7. Jacobsen et al., “ The association between water fluoridation and hip fracture among white men and women aged 65 years and older. A national ecologic study. Annals of Epidemiology 2, pp617-626 (1996).  

8. Cooper et al., “Water fluoridation and hip fracture. Journal of the American Medical Association 266, 513-614 (1991).  

9. Jacqmin-Gadda H. et al., “Fluorine concentrations in drinking water and fractures in the elderly”. Journal of the American Medical Association 273, pp775-776 (1995).  

10. Interview on Health Alert, Channel 4,  “Don’t swallow your toothpaste”. Broadcast 19/7/97.  

11. NYS Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Press Release, New York. 23/2/2000.  

12. Journal of American Dental Association, 1999.


14. Irish Times articles, search “osteoporosis” in archive search. 14/9/98 & 8/3/99.  

15. Hedlund LR and Gallagher JC, “Increased hip fractures in Osteoporotic women treated with sodium fluoride”. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, Vol. 4, pp223-228 (1989).

16. Brecon and Radnor Express, interview, 27/7/95.

17. Lawrence Riggs, “Effects of fluoride treatment on the fracture rates in post menopausal women with osteoporosis”, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 322, pp802-809 (1990).

18. Health (Fluoridation of Water Supplies) Act 1960. Number 46 of 1960.