News Index for First Half of 1997

EPA Scientists Endorse California Safe Drinking Water Initiative

The EPA scientists, engineers and attorneys who assess the scientific data for Safe Drinking Water Act standards and other EPA regulations have gone on record against the practice of adding fluoride to public drinking water.

On Wednesday, July 2, 1997, National Federation of Federal Employees, Local 2050, which consists of professionals at EPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., voted unanimously to co-sponsor the California Safe Drinking Water Initiative that would reverse the State Legislature's 1995 law mandating fluoridation.

Both proponents of fluoridation and the sponsors of this initiative consider the result of the fluoridation battle in California to be crucial to the federal governments plan to fluoridate the entire United States by the year 2000. The complete press release is in the Environment directory.

Restraining Order Fails

July 3, 1997

We reported previously that a temporary restraining order to stop fluoridation in Hendersonville, North Carolina was granted in April, 1997. We are now informed that a permanent restraining order was not granted.

FDA Requires Additional Warning on Toothpaste Labels

June 24, 1997

As reported in the Washington Post, June 16, 1997; page C5, The Food and Drug Administration requires this new warning label on all fluoride toothpaste and dental care products shipped after April 7, 1997: "If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately." The new warning is a part of a trend that began in 1991 as it became recognized that small children have a tendency to swallow enough toothpaste to cause dental fluorosis or fluoride poisoning. Dental fluorosis is a widespread side effect of using fluoride toothpaste and fluoridated water. White spots, brown stains and pitting of enamel are signs of dental fluorosis. For a fluoride toothpaste to display the American Dental Association seal of approval, these warnings must be included: "Don't Swallow -- Use only a pea-sized amount for children under six," and "Children under 6 should be supervised while brushing with any toothpaste to prevent swallowing." The list of warnings now begins with, "Keep out of the reach of children under 6 years of age." The FDA has jurisdiction to make these rules because fluoride in toothpaste is classified as a drug. The new warning may seem confusing to some people who have been led to believe that fluorides are safe. A spokesman for a toothpaste company said, "I'm sure our 800 number is going to get more calls as products with the new warnings show up on store shelves."

Clifford Whall, director of product evaluations at the American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs, said, "There wasn't really a need for the cautionary statement about the danger of poisoning if you've ingested too much." He admits that there are reports of poisoning from fluoride toothpaste, but denies that poisoning resulted in "adverse effects." He laments that the new warning could "frighten" people into not using fluoride toothpaste.

California Safe Drinking Water Initiative Petition Drive Gets Under Way

June 15, 1997

The Safe Drinking Water Initiative would make fluoridation of public water systems unlawful in California. This is in response to the statewide mandatory fluoridation law that was passed by the California state legislature in 1995. To put the initiative on the ballot, 500,000 valid signatures of registered voters must be collected by early October, 1997. Information for volunteers for collecting signatures for the petition will be posted in the Political Action directory of Fluoride Issues.

The initiative is backed by California Citizens for Health, the Preventive Dental Health Association and the Safe Water Coalition. The estimated cost of the campaign is $500,000.

Programme to be Aired

June 14, 1997

Health Alert: Don't Swallow Your Toothpaste, produced by Bob Woffinden, will be shown on Channel 4 on Thursday, June 19 at 8pm in Manchester, England. For full details, see the article, "Clear and present danger", by Bob Woffinden, reprinted with permission from The Guardian Weekend, June 7, 1997. This is an excellent review of the current status of the fluoridation controversy in Great Britain. Dr. Mullenix is reported to have settled out of court. She was dismissed from her post at Forsythe Institute for publishing incontrovertible evidence of the neurotoxicity of sodium fluoride in Neurotoxicology and Teratology.

North American Dental Fluorosis Registry

June 11, 1997

Citizens for Safe Drinking Water and the Safe Water Association have agreed to assist the Preventive Dental Health Association in forming a Dental Fluorosis Registry for North America. This is similar to the Dental Fluorosis Registry in Great Britain which succeeded in filing a class action suit against purveyors of fluoridated toothpaste last year. Children or adults who have dental fluorosis should enroll immediately. Dental fluorosis is the first visible sign of fluoride toxicity in children. It is a discoloring of teeth and is a permanent damage caused by excessive exposure of small children to fluoride during tooth development. It ranges in color from mild fluorosis which is barely visible whitish spots on teeth to brown spots and even dark brown teeth in severe cases. For more information, Call (800)728-3833 or (800)SAVE TEEth. The American Academy of Pediatrics, in order to reduce the increasing incidence of dental fluorosis, recommends no fluoride exposure for infants (Pediatrics, Vol. 95, No. 5, May 1995).

New Research Finds Bones Are Damaged by Fluoridation

June 1, 1997

A review of recent scientific literature, by Mark Diesendorf, Ph.D. and others, published in the Australian & New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 21 (2): 187-190 (1997), reveals a consistent pattern of evidence that fluoride damages bones. There is negligible benefit from ingesting fluoride and any small benefit from fluoridation comes from the action of fluoride on the surface of the teeth before fluoridated water is swallowed. The authors report their first hand experiences of how evidence of the harmfulness and ineffectiveness of fluoridation has been ignored or presented in a misleading way in their countries.

Restraining Order Stops Fluoridation

May 13, 1997

A preliminary restraining order against fluoridation was won in Hendersonville, North Carolina on April 30, 1997. This could lead to an injunction to cease and desist fluoridating Hendersonville's water supply. The grounds for the legal action is that the water supplier has a "duty to warn" water consumers of potential harm from using fluoridated water. Fluoridation without adequate warnings is a reckless endangerment to "vulnerable subsets of the population." The vulnerable subsets of the population are listed on page 112 of Toxicological Profile for Fluorides, a compilation of generally accepted scientific evidence. If the court rules in favor of the plaintiffs, the city will be required to implement "adequate warnings and continue to issue warnings." The scope of such an endeavor would be complex and costly. The proponents of fluoridation do not want to tell the general public about potential adverse effects from exposure to fluorides. The "duty to warn" legal theory was one of the theories suggested by George Glasser in his 1996 booklet, Fluoride: A Toxic Tort Perspective.

Official Fluoridation Standards Change

May 7, 1997 On March 8, 1997, the National Parent Teacher Association revised its Fluoride in Water Position Statement. The "optimal" fluoride level in public water supplies used to be 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. Now, it's 0.6 to 1.0 parts per million. Avoidance of fluoride supplementation for infants aged 0 to 6 months is another addition to the PTA position statement. These changes are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Dental Association. The recommendations reflect new findings that there is now so much fluoride from combined sources that water fluoridation may be measurably harmful to an increasingly large proportion of the general population as noted in the following citations:

"Dental and public health administrators should be aware of the total fluoride exposure in the population before introducing any additional fluoride programme for caries prevention." (Fluoride and Oral Health, WHO,1994)

Health departments cannot know how much fluoride people are already getting from water,food,dental health products,medicines,insecticide,pesticide and fertilizer residues-even from the air they breathe.

A leading article in the Journal of the American Dental Association (Dec. 1995) stated: "More recently, concerns have been raised about the increased prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in the United States due to the widespread ingestion of fluoride from a variety of sources. Local and regional studies in the United States and Canada have found the prevalence of dental fluorosis to range from about 20 to 80 precent...The optimal level of fluoride intake has never been determined scientifically and has been used only in general terms."

As long ago as 1933, the Journal of Dental Research contained an article entitled "Mottled Enamel: A Preventable Endemic Lesion of the Teeth That Presents a New Problem in Civic Responsibility," with "no alternative except to discard fluorine-bearing water supplies, and substitute others that are fluorine-free."

Sierra Club Chapter Adopts Resolution on Anti-Fluoridation Policy

May 5, 1997 On January 11, 1997, the Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club passed a resolution to oppose fluoridation of public drinking water supplies throughout Pennsylvania. A statement of supporting facts is included in the resolution which is reprinted in the Environment directory of Fluoride Issues.

Paradise Islands Preserved

April 13 ,1997

An attempt to mandate artificial fluoridation of the water supplies in the Hawaiian Islands was unanimously blocked in Finance Committee on April 9. The defeat of the Resolution in Hawaii has been welcomed by opponents of fluoridation across the United States. "The Fluoridation of Drinking Water: a house of cards waiting to fall" states Dr.Paul Connett, Ph.D., Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Studies, St. Lawrence University. Growing public awareness of the lack of safety and effectiveness of fluoridation led to the practice being halted on Long Island, NY, in Worcester, MA and Erie, PA. "Mandates" have been rejected in Pennsylvania, Kansas, Washington states, and in several other communities within the last year.

EPA to Consider Tolerance Levels for Fluoride in Potatoes from Insecticide Residue

April 7, 1997

Cryolite (sodium aluminofluoride, sodium hexafluoroaluminate or sodium aluminum fluoride) is a fluorine-containing insecticide which is produced synthetically and is also found in naturally occurring mineral deposits. Cryolite is used almost exclusively as an agricultural crop protection insecticide.

The EPA has concluded that complete and acceptable crop residue data are available to support the proposed tolerance of 2 ppm in or on potatoes. Data previously reviewed by the EPA show background levels of fluoride in untreated potatoes ranging from 0.14 ppm to 0.31 ppm. Levels of fluoride found in treated potatoes ranged from 0.18 ppm to 0.94 ppm.

The EPA has concluded that an acceptable potato processing study supports the proposed tolerance of 22 ppm in or on processed potato waste. This study indicates that cryolite residues concentrated 11 times in potato peels/potato waste. The cryolite residue of toxicological concern is fluoride; and health effects identified for fluoride in humans and animals are skeletal and dental fluorosis. The EPA does not consider dental fluorosis (mottling of tooth enamel) to be an adverse effect. This calls to mind the poplar notion that potatoe peels are the most nutritious part of the potatoe. It has been proven for quite some years now that fluoride is not a nutrient.

For more detail, see the article, The Cryolite Task Force: Pesticide Tolerance Petition Filing.

Pennsylvania Mandatory Fluoridation Bill Dies

January 17, 1997

HB 2855, a bill that would have made fluoridation mandatory in Pennsylvania, died in the Consumer Affairs Committee on November 30, 1996. This bill was opposed by Pennsylvania Mandatory Fluoride Alert. Ellie Rudolph, a spokesperson for this grass roots organization said that the principal reasons for opposition to statewide fluoridation are protection of the eco-system from this form of industrial pollution by special interests, the freedom to choose what goes into our bodies, and the improper use of the legal doctrine of police power to push fluoridation as if it were a drug or medication.