NTEU CHAPTER 280 - U.S.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS
Fluoridation: Recent History
A Partial, Annotated List of Recent Events, Articles, Hearings, Reports, and Research.
May 6, 2003 - EPA Science Forum session on fluoridation. For the first time since 1978, a government agency, the EPA, invited a discussion on the merits of fluoridation. However, no one from government agencies or non-governmental organizations that endorse and promote fluoridation, such as the CDC, U.S. PHS, or the ADA, would agree to the EPA' s invitation to speak for fluoridation. Second Look's Statement of Concern, with names gathered so far from organizations and individual professionals, was released in support of the EPA union of professionals' call for a Congressional investigation.
March, 2003 - Article in International Journal of Occupational & Environmental Health, Vol.9, No.1, Jan/Mar2003, by D.W. Cross and R. J. Carton, Ph.D., titled, "Fluoridation: A Violation of Medical Ethics and Human Rights"
April 25, 2002 - EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory states that the release of fluoride in drinking water from silicofluorides is "not well understood", expresses concern over fluoride's interactions with other chemicals, and asks for research.
September, 2001 - Sierra Club issues a position statement on fluoridation, citing "…valid concerns regarding the potential adverse impact of fluoridation on the environment, wildlife, and human health."
May, 2001 - Rachel's Environment & Health News. Comprehensive article on fluoridation by Dr. Paul Connett, Michael Connett, and Ellen Connett (http://www.rachel.org )
April, 2001 - Oregon Hearing on SB 99 (proposing mandatory fluoridation) with testimony by Paul Engelking, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry, U. of Oregon, on environmental effects of fluoridation including endangerment of salmon. SB 99 did not pass.
Feb. 16, 2001 - Nicholas Regush (ABC News, Second Opinion), brief overview, ending: "What is amazing, however, is that public health policy in this country has allowed water fluoridation to continue in the absence of solid scientific evidence that its benefit is greater than its risk. When you commit to putting a powerful chemical into the water supply, you'd better have the best of evidence that it is both safe and effective. The required level of evidence is just not there."
Jan. 17, 2001 - The Ottawa Citizen, Toronto, opens its article on a recent Canadian Government study on fluoridation thus: "Cities should think twice about putting fluoride in their water because the practice has minimal benefits and some risk, suggests a newly released government report."
Oct. 2000 - The York Review of fluoridation , (British Medical Journal, Oct. 5,.2000), was commissioned by the British Government's National Health Service. Two main findings were that fluoridation reduced cavities by 15% (not by the large percentages claimed by earlier studies) and that fluoridation increased dental fluorosis in children by 48 % with 12.5 % of children having severe or moderate fluorosis. Fluoridation proponents (often echoed by the media) claimed that the York Review gave fluoridation a clean bill of health. Professor Trevor Sheldon, Chair of the study committee, had no patience with the spin thus applied to the research findings. He wrote: "It is particularly worrying then that statements which mislead the public about the review's findings have been made in press releases and briefings by the British Dental Association, the National Alliance for Equity in Dental Health and the British Fluoridation Society. I should like to correct some of these errors:
1. Whilst there is evidence that water fluoridation is effective at reducing caries, the quality of the studies was generally moderate and the size of the estimated benefit, only of the order of 15%, is far from "massive".
2. The review found water fluoridation to be significantly associated with high levels of dental fluorosis, which was not characterised as "just a cosmetic issue".
3. The review did not show water fluoridation to be safe. The quality of the research was too poor to establish with confidence whether or not there are potentially important adverse effects in addition to the high levels of fluorosis. The report recommended that more research was needed.
4. There was little evidence to show that water fluoridation has reduced social inequalities in dental health"....
A highly respected British medical writer, Douglas Carnall, wrote in response to the York Review: "Previously neutral on the issue, I am now persuaded by the arguments that those who wish to take fluoride (like me) had better get it from toothpaste rather than the water supply"
Sept. 5, 2000 - In a letter, Charles Fox of the U.S. EPA answers questions from the U.S. House Committee on Science. Fox indicated fact sheets would be prepared warning susceptible population groups especially vulnerable to health effects from ingesting fluoride. The initial focus will be on the elderly, children, and pregnant women. (Full text of letter on www.citizens.org )
Fox's letter essentially confirms the earlier findings of the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services, Public Health Service. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, April 1993: Toxological Profile for Fluorides, Hydrogen Fluoride, and Fluorine. TP-91/17, 4/93. Pp. 155-156. We quote from this report: "Existing data indicate that subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These populations include the elderly, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, and/or vitamin C, and people with cardiovascular and kidney problems.... Impaired renal clearance of fluoride has also been found in people with diabetes mellitus and cardiac insufficiency.... People over the age of 50 often have decreased renal fluoride clearance."
July 2000 - Neurotoxology 21 (6): 1091-1100, 2000. "Association of Silicofluoride Treated Water with Elevated Blood Lead" by Masters, Coplan, Hone, and Dykes. (See IIc. in attached statement.)
July 2000 - Journal of the American Dental Association, Feature article by J.D.B. Featherstone, Ph.D., confirms that "Fluoridation in drinking water and in fluoride containing products reduces cavities via topical mechanisms" [Ed.: In other words, by direct contact, as opposed to ingestion]
June 29, 2000 - J. William Hirzy, Ph.D., Vice-President of the union of scientists and other professionals at EPA Headquarters, testifies on fluoridation before an Environment and Public Works subcommittee at a U.S. Senate Hearing on Safe Drinking Water Standards, reaffirming the union's call for a national moratorium on fluoridation. Click here for transcript.
May 2000 - A report by Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, titled "Toxic Threats To Child Development", states in its chapter on fluorides "Studies in animal and human populations suggest that fluoride exposure at levels that are experienced by a significant proportion of the population whose drinking water is fluoridated, may have adverse impacts on the developing brain."
April 2000 - Dr. Hardy Limeback, Head of Preventive Dentistry, University of Toronto, and Past-President of the Canadian Association of Dental Research, explains why he has reversed his position on fluoridation. (email@example.com ) Other dental professionals who reversed their position: Dr. John Colquhoun, former Principal Dental Officer, Dept. of Health, Auckland, New Zealand, and David Kennedy, DDS, Past President, International Academy `of Oral Medicine and Toxicology.
Oct. 1999 - Centers for Disease Control "Achievements in Public Health, 1900-1999: Fluoridation of Drinking Water to Prevent Dental Caries", Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Oct. 22, 1999. This report gives a clean bill of health to fluoridation and strongly promotes the practice, though admitting that fluoride's benefits are now seen as predominantly topical rather than systemic.
The CDC report is not a peer-reviewed article. Professionals who have had a life-long career of promoting fluoridation wrote it, and it can only be fairly evaluated by submitting it to scientific scrutiny. One example of such scrutiny is provided by Paul Connett, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Toxicology, St. Lawrence University, Canton, N.Y., in a 28 page report titled The Emperor Has No Clothes: A Critique of the CDC's Promotion of Fluoridation. (Waste Not # 468, September 2000. ( http://www.fluoridealert.org )
After analyzing each statement in the CDC report, Connett writes in his conclusion: "The CDC's report falls far short of the necessary critical distance on the issue that we should expect from a government institution so integral in protecting the public's health. The CDC, instead of playing the ever needed role of public watchdog, is playing the institutionally expedient role of zealous promoter."
May 1, 1999 - "White Paper" from the union of professionals at EPA Headquarters (NTEU, Ch. 280) titled "Why EPA Headquarters' Union of Scientists Opposes Fluoridation."
August, 1998 - Fluorides and the Environment, 16-page report from Earth Island Institute, covering environmental aspects of fluoridation, including its impact on salmon and plants. ( http://www.earthisland.org )
May 1998 - Pediatrics, May '98, Vol. 95. # 5: Fluoride Supplementation for Children: Interim Policy Recommendations (RE 9511) from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Agreeing with recent Amercian Dental Association's recommendations, AAP now advises NO fluoride for infants up to 6 months, even if their water is not fluoridated. (Logically, one would expect warnings not to use fluoridated water for formula for infants, but this warning is not to be found in this article.)
July 1997 - Journal of the American Dental Association. Researchers analyzed the fluoride concentration in 238 baby foods. Stephen Levy, DDS, wrote: "Our main concern is that these young children could be at increased risk for mild to moderate dental fluorosis by ingesting too much fluoride."
Aug. 1, 1988 - Chemical and Engineering News. A 17-page article by Bette Hileman analyzes the history of fluoridation and fluoridation science. Many examples are given of scientific articles critical of fluoridation that were published abroad after having been rejected for publication in the U.S. Hileman: "Voices of opposition have been suppressed since the early days of fluoridation…. From the beginning, the movement to fluoridate water was conducted more like a political campaign than a scientific enterprise."