Under pressure to make a decision about safe levels of exposure to a fluoride-based pesticide, EPA and other agencies have taken action to address the risks of a mineral that has long been promoted as a necessity in good dental hygiene but which critics fear poses high risks of bone disease, neurological condition and lowered IQ’s. Late last year, lawyers for the Fluoride Action Network, Beyond Pesticides, and Environmental Working Group threatened legal action if the EPA did not lower its ceiling on fluoride levels in water and yesterday, after the six-year campaign by the health advocates, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed that water utilities sharply reduce the amount of fluoride added to community drinking water.
In a Nov. 15 letter, the organizations stated that they will sue if the EPA does not act within 30 days on their years-long request to stay a rule setting safety tolerances for residues of two fluorinated pesticides, sulfuryl fluoride and fluoride anion, on food. “Based on this unfortunate history, my clients’ patience has come to an end . . . EPA’s failure to make . . . a decision will result in our seeking relief in federal court,” the letter says. The EPA has responded to avoid the lawsuit and the department has taken action and announced it will be setting new guidelines to lower the cap on its standard for level of safe use citing scientific research on health risks associated with excess fluoride, among them dental fluorosis (mottling and pitting of tooth enamel), bone fractures and skeletal fluorosis, a painful and sometimes crippling condition.
Federal officials also acknowledged that, as EWG and its allied have long argued, millions of children are being overexposed to fluoride. According to a fact sheet posted on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website, new data assessing population-wide exposure to fluoride showed it was “likely that some children are exposed to too much fluoride at least occasionally.” Glad that their recognizing it publicly now, but the dangers are something the EPA has been aware of for a long time. http://www.healthfreedoms.org/2011/01/08/epa-scientists-oppose-fluoridation/
The new guidelines are slated to become final sometime in the spring and would advise local water utilities to reduce the amount of fluoride in tap water to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water, down from the current voluntary HHS guidance — 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams per liter. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency imposes a legally-binding cap on fluoride in tap water of 4 milligrams per liter – nearly six times the upper limit favored by HHS.
There are numerous independent studies point to a link between fluoride exposure and osteosarcoma (bone cancer), neurotoxicity and disruption of thyroid function. You have seen stories regarding the harmful effects of water fouoridation on our site in the past years that highlight the harmful effects and the purpose that is underlying the guise of fluoridation being the way to keep the teeth of the country cavity resistance.
“Scientific evidence over the past 50 plus years has shown that sodium fluoride shortens our life span, promotes various cancers and mental disturbances, and most importantly, makes humans stupid, docile, and subservient, all in one neat little package.” http://www.healthfreedoms.org/2010/10/29/fluoridated-water-the-ultimate-evil/
This movement by our government is certainly a step in a better direction and a triumph for those whose pressure on the EPA have finally brought about some change!
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a reduction in allowable fluoride levels in U.S. drinking water:
HHS’ proposed recommendation of 0.7 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water replaces the current recommended range of 0.7 to 1.2 milligrams. This updated recommendation is based on recent EPA and HHS scientific assessments to balance the benefits of preventing tooth decay while limiting any unwanted health effects.
As AP notes:
A scientific report five years ago said that people who consume a lifetime of too much fluoride — an amount over EPA’s limit of 4 milligrams — can lead to crippling bone abnormalities and brittleness.
That and other research issued Friday by the EPA about health effects of fluoride are sure to re-energize groups that still oppose adding it to water supplies.
In March, 2006, the National Academy of Sciences released a report recommending that the EPA lower its maximum standard for fluoride in drinking water to below 4 milligrams. The report warned severe fluorosis could occur at 2 milligrams. Also, a majority of the report’s authors said a lifetime of drinking water with fluoride at 4 milligrams or higher could raise the risk of broken bones.
Late last year, lawyers for the Fluoride Action Network, Beyond Pesticides, and Environmental Working Group threatened legal action if the EPA did not lower its ceiling on fluoride.
In Europe, fluoride is rarely added to water supplies. In Britain, only about 10 percent of the population has fluoridated water. It’s been a controversial issue there, with critics arguing people shouldn’t be forced to have “medical treatment” forced on them.
Some scientists also have found that fluoride can damage childrens’ liver and kidneys. The report reviews scientific studies which find that fluoride affects intelligence.
Since then, studies from around the world have continued to find that exposure to fluoride – especially in the very young – lowers IQ.
Dr. Vyvyan Howard – a PhD fetal pathologist, who is a professor of developmental toxico-pathology at the University of Liverpool and University of Ulster, president of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment and former president of the Royal Microscopical Society and the International Society for Stereology, and general editor of the Journal of Microscopy – said in a 2008 Canadian television interview (short, worthwhile video at the link) that studies done in several countries show that children’s IQ are likely to be lower in high natural water fluoride areas.
He said that these studies are plausible because fluoride is known to affect the thyroid hormone which affects intelligence and fluoride is also a known neurotoxicant. Such studies have not been conducted in countries that artificially fluoridate the water such as the US, UK and Canada, but should be, he said.
And as the International Business Times noted last month on the newest Chinese study on fluoride:
Exposure to fluoride may lower children’s intelligence, says a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, a publication of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Fluoride is added to 70 percent of U.S. public drinking water supplies.
About 28 percent of the children in the low-fluoride area scored as bright, normal or higher intelligence compared to only 8 percent in the “high” fluoride area of Wamaio.
In the high-fluoride city, 15 percent had scores indicating mental retardation and only 6 percent in the low-fluoride city. The authors of the study eliminated both lead exposure and iodine deficiency as possible causes for the lowered IQs.
One scientist alleges that fluoride accumulates in the brain (specifically, in the structure of the pineal gland) more than it accumulates in our bones. In other words, she claims that fluoride accumulates more in the brain than in the teeth, doing more harm than good. (She previously wrote about this extensively in her PhD dissertation.)
Indeed, the whole fluoride fad might have been started for reasons a tad different from concern about cavities. As I wrote last August:
The government allegedly ordered Manhattan Project scientists to whitewash the toxicity of flouride (flouride is a byproduct in the production of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium). As Project Censored noted in 1999:
Recently declassified government documents have shed new light on the decades-old debate over the fluoridation of drinking water, and have added to a growing body of scientific evidence concerning the health effects of fluoride. Much of the original evidence about fluoride, which suggested it was safe for human consumption in low doses, was actually generated by “Manhattan Project” scientists in the 1940s. As it turns out, these officials were ordered by government powers to provide information that would be “useful in litigation” and that would obfuscate its improper handling and disposal. The once top-secret documents, say the authors, reveal that vast quantities of fluoride, one of the most toxic substances known, were required for the production of weapons-grade plutonium and uranium. As a result, fluoride soon became the leading health hazard to bomb program workers and surrounding communities.
Studies commissioned after chemical mishaps by the medical division of the “Manhattan Project” document highly controversial findings. For instance, toxic accidents in the vicinity of fluoride-producing facilities like the one near Lower Penns Neck, New Jersey, left crops poisoned or blighted, and humans and livestock sick. Symptoms noted in the findings included extreme joint stiffness, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea, severe headaches, and death. These and other facts from the secret documents directly contradict the findings concurrently published in scientific journals which praised the positive effects of fluoride.
Regional environmental fluoride releases in the northeast United States also resulted in several legal suits against the government by farmers after the end of World War II, according to Griffiths and Bryson. Military and public health officials feared legal victories would snowball, opening the door to further suits which might have kept the bomb program from continuing to use fluoride. With the Cold War underway, the New Jersey lawsuits proved to be a roadblock to America’s already full-scale production of atomic weapons. Officials were subsequently ordered to protect the interests of the government.
After the war, … the dissemination of misinformation continued.