Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter

Resolution on Anti-Fluoridation Policy

January 11, 1997

Whereas there is overwhelming evidence from scientific and governmental studies conducted in the U.S. and around the world that fluoridation of the public drinking water supply puts major segments of the population at risk for adverse health impacts, the PA Chapter of the Sierra Club hereby adopts the policy to oppose fluoridation of public drinking water supplies throughout Pennsylvania. This policy is based on the below facts about the real and potential health and liability risks of fluoridation and on documentation provided to the Supervisors of Lower Makefield Township on January 8, 1997.


A 1992 N.J. Dept. of Health study indicated a significant increase in osteosarcoma (bone cancer) in young men who drank fluoridated water. Papers published in the well-respected Journal of the American Medical Association in 1990, 1992, and 1995 indicated an increase in the risk of hip fractures in both older men and women exposed to artificial fluoridation at 1 part per million (the so-called "optimal dose"). Published 1995 research from the Forsythe Dental Center in Boston showed how fluorides accumulate in the brains of rats and cause "behavioral deficits." In 1995 and 1996, other studies showed lowered IQs in children living in areas with enhanced levels of fluoride in the environment and drinking water. The United States Public Health Service stated in 1993 that "subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These groups include the elderly, people with deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, and/or vitamin C, and people with cardiovascular and kidney problems."

Scientific concern over the adverse health effects of fluoride has been so strong, that in an unprecedented move, the Environmental Protection Agency's union of professional employees filed a lawsuit against the EPA itself in 1986. The 1,100 Washington area scientists, engineers and lawyers in the union charged that the EPA's "fluoride health effects document, which was written by an outside contractor, had been skewed to meet the political goals of requiring very few communities to remove fluoride from their drinking water and avoiding the suggestion that levels of fluoride found in the drinking water of some communities (between 2 and 4 ppm) might cause adverse health effects." The quote is from Chemical and Engineering News, August 1, 1988.

Industrial waste fluorides that are used in public water supplies have never undergone the rigorous testing required by the FDA of new drug applications. Nor, have manufacturers been required by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to comply with the Toxic Substances Control Act to determine what effects these fluorides will have on people and on the environment before they are made available for public use. Water fluoridation violates the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Drug and Cosmetic Act, as well as the Toxic Substances Control Act.

The burden of proof rests on proponents of fluoridation to provide definitive data that fluoridation causes no negative health impacts. They need to explain away all the studies indicating adverse health impacts. Also, they need to explain the fact that the well-informed citizens and socially-responsible governments of most developed countries in the world, including Sweden, France, Germany, and Japan, have decided to ban fluoridation within their borders. They also need to explain away recent studies that indicate that tooth decay has declined just as much in nonfluoridated communities as in ones that are fluoridated.

The unproven and questionable "benefits" to children's teeth do not outweigh the risks of dental fluorosis (discoloration and pitting of teeth), bone fractures, bone cancer, reduced IQs, and a host of other adverse health impacts that all residents of Pennsylvania would suffer by medicating their drinking water supply with industrial waste fluorides.