Jan Sallstrom, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Experimental Pathology
University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
Letter from Sweden: Swedish Nobel prize-winner against water fluoridation (Supplement: Australian Fluoridation News, January 2001).
During the years 1977-81 a fluoridation committee under the Swedish National Institute of Health (Socialstyrelsen) investigated public water fluoridation as a health measure to be introduced into the whole country by law. Miljocentrum in Uppsala, an independent center for environment protection directed by Dr. Bjorn Gillberg, went into strong action against a possible political decision for public water fluoridation.
I worked unpaid with Dr. Gillberg (besides my regular work with molecular pathology at Uppsala University) as a scientific expert gathering and reviewing available research data and opinions on water fluoridation. Together with my wife Agnetha Sallstrom we documented the large number of fluorosis cases appearing in Uppsala, a city with about 1 ppm of fluoride naturally in the drinking water.
Professor Arvid Carlsson, neuropharmacologist at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, acted strongly officially against fluoridation, arguing both from physiological and pharmacological standpoints. We co-operated with him opposing fluoridation and can now be very pleased to tell that professor Arvid Carlsson on the 10th December 2000 received the Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of dopamine as an important neurotransmitter in the brain.
Carlsson has since the early 70's criticized Socialstyrelsen for its unscientific view on fluoridation and ignorance to consider the documented damage of teeth of individuals grown up in areas with high fluoride content in the drinking water. Carlsson's expertise and authority contributed very significantly to stop fluoridation in Sweden.
Other important debaters against fluoridation were Olof Lindahl, Professor of Orthopaedics, University of Linkoping, Gunnar Gustafsson, Professor of Oral Pathology, University of Umea, Peter Soderbaum, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Agriculture, Uppsala, all arguing from their respective area of expert knowledge.
Professor Gustafsson is a pioneer on research on the biochemical regulation of inflammatory disease. He studied signal transduction in cells and pointed out that very little was known about the physiological effects of fluoride on the fundamental cell signaling messengers cyclic AMP and calcium ions, with which fluoride is known to interfere.
Furthermore, the findings of the Danish odontologist Anders Thylstrup, Professor of Cariology at the University of Copenhagen had a great influence on the scientific discussion in the Nordic countries. His electron microscopic investigations of fluorotic enamel of various degrees, even the mildest, revealed unequivocally that all fluortic enamel is hypomineralised, which is due to poisoning of the ameloblasts during amelogenesis in the child. The hypomineralised enamel with its porous structure reflects light in a different way that than the intact enamel, thereby looking more white, and giving falsely the impression of being stronger.
The research group around Thylstrup has demonstrated that fluoride systematically administered during tooth development according to the fluoridation myth is an irrelevant preventive method.
On a hearing before the fluoride committee Dr Gillberg, I and Agnetha Sallstrom were successful in changing the politicians' opinion on the proposed safety of water fluoridation. Later, after having revealed that the experts of Socialstyrelsen were both ignorant concerning basic physiological knowledge and were bluffing with statistics on caries reduction and fluorosis, the decision process turned against water fluoridation in Sweden.
It is notable that Dr. Gillberg also has been rewarded for his enormous influence on the progress in environment protection in a large number of fields. For his pioneer work he has become honorary doctor at the University of Lund, appointed professor, and received a large number of awards, lately the prize of the Cancer and Allergy Foundation of 500,000SEK.