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Fluoride-Cancer Link Surprises Finnish Health Officials

The National Public Health Institute is surprised by an American study which concludes that fluoride added to drinking water may actually increase the risk of cancer in children.

A study by Harvard University says that children who drink fluoride-fortified tap water may be five times more likely to develop bone cancer.

Hannu Komulainen, of the Public Health Institute's environmental health department, says that no similar research has been conducted in Finland. Although the finds are surprising, Komulainen notes that the link between fluoride and bone cancer is not unbelievable. After all, he says, fluoride strengthens bone structure, which is why it's added into drinking water to begin with. He says that it is possible that something with a beneficial effect may also have an unintended negative effect.

If Harvard's research holds up to more scientific scrutiny, says Komulainen, Finland should re-examine the quantity of fluoride it adds to public drinking water.