thumbnail Water fluoride levels do not increase risk of bone cancer

Share:
Fluoride levels in drinking water do not lead to a greater risk of primary bone cancer, a new study has found.

Researchers at Newcastle University found that higher levels of natural or artificial fluoride in drinking water in the UK had no impact on the incidence of either osteosarcoma or Ewing’s sarcoma in people aged 0-49.

The study, funded by charity Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT), analysed 2,566 osteosarcoma and 1,650 Ewing’s sarcoma cases during 1980 and 2005.

Artificial fluoridation of drinking water to improve dental health has long been a controversial topic, with opponents citing a possible link with increased risk of primary bone cancer.

Fluoride in drinking water 

Dr Richard McNally of the Institute of Health & Society at Newcastle University, who led the study, said: “This is the largest study that has ever been conducted examining the possible association between fluoride in drinking water and risk of osteosarcoma or Ewing sarcoma.

“Karen Blakey used sophisticated software to link together data on the geographical distributions of bone cancer incidence and fluoride levels. Statistical modelling of these data showed that there was no evidence of an association.”

Andy Hall, chairman of BCRT’s Independent Scientific Advisory Committee, welcomed the findings of the study.

“Bone cancer is diagnosed in about 550 patients every year in the UK and Ireland, many of whom are children. However, at present, very little is known of the factors which trigger the disease.

“The study funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust and reported by the team in Newcastle provides very important reassurance to patients and their relatives that fluoride is not involved in this process and shows that more research is needed to find out how this potentially devastating form of cancer can be prevented.”

Reference: Is fluoride a risk factor for bone cancer? Small area analysis of osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma diagnosed among 0–49-year-olds in Great Britain, 1980–2005 International Journal of Epidemiology

Press release courtesy of Bone Cancer Research Trust

 

published on: 22nd January 2014

Key Facts:

  • Newcastle University is a Russell Group University
  • Ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2014)
  • Ranked 16th in the UK for global research power (REF 2014)
  • Ranked 10th overall in the UK and 3rd for quality of staff/lecturers in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015
  • Winner: Outstanding Leadership and Management Team and Outstanding Procurement Team, Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2015
  • Amongst our peers Newcastle is:
    • Joint 6th in the UK for student satisfaction
    • Ranked 1st in the UK for Computing Science research impact, 3rd in the UK for Civil Engineering research power and 11th in the UK for Mathematical Sciences research (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 8th in the UK for Medical and Life Sciences research quality (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 3rd in the UK for English, and in the top 12 for Geography, Architecture and Planning, and Cultural and Media Studies research quality (REF 2014)
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) top 20 strategic partner
  • 94% of our students are in a job or further training within six months of graduating
  • We have a world-class reputation for research excellence and are spearheading three major societal challenges that have a significant impact on global society. These themes are: Ageing, Sustainability, and Social Renewal
  • Newcastle University is the first UK university to establish a fully owned international branch campus for medicine at its NUMed Campus in Malaysia which opened in 2011
  • 90% Satisfaction level from our international students (ISB 2014)
  • Newcastle University Business School is one of 20 Triple Accredited Business Schools in the UK