China and almost all European countries have banned or restricted the use of fluoride in commercial drinking systems, but not so for the United States. As with other public health hazards, Americans are left to fight their own government’s regulatory agencies for the right to untainted, non-toxic drinking water. So it comes as no surprise when The Hill reported on February 17, 2017 that the EPA rejected a petition submitted by the Fluoride Action Network, Food & Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, and other individuals seeking to ban the purposeful addition of fluoridation chemicals to U.S. water supplies.
The petition, submitted under the Toxic Substances Control Act presented evidence that fluoride poses an unacceptable neurotoxic risk in light of the little to no benefits gained by adding it to drinking water. Numerous studies have shown that the primary benefit of fluoride comes from topical contact with teeth, not by swallowing fluoride in the water. And the risks of adding it to drinking water are enormous: lower IQ levels in children, cancer, and elevated blood lead levels.
Countries that have banned or restricted the use of fluoride include Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Hungary, Israel, and Japan. And according to the Fluoride Action Network, in Europe, only Ireland (73%), Poland (1%), Serbia (3%), Spain (11%), and the U.K. (11%) fluoridate their water supplies.
Some of the greatest cities around the globe do not fluoridate their water and include: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Basel, Berlin, Copenhagen, Florence, Frankfurt, Geneva, Glasgow, Helsinki, London, Montreal, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Stockholm, Tokyo, Vancouver, Venice, Vienna, and Zurich.
In the early 1970s, the EPA was tasked with regulating the amount of fluoride that can be legally present in drinking water supplies, and in 1975, it passed the Safe Drinking Water Act, setting the maximum contaminant level for fluoride at 1.4-2.4 ppm, twice the level of fluoride added to water in artificial fluoridation programs (0.7 to 1.2 ppm).
A decade or so later, the EPA undertook a review of the maximum level of fluoride in drinking water considered to be safe for human consumption. As part of this review, the EPA tapped a Surgeon General’s panel of scientists and doctors. The panel concluded that both moderate and severe dental fluorosis are adverse health effects and that the EPA should enact an enforceable drinking water standard no higher than 2.4 ppm. But what the panel didn’t know, however, was that their conclusions were later gutted by pro-fluoridation officials at the Surgeon General’s office and it was this corrupted version of the panel’s report that was then sent to the EPA. This corrupted version of recommendations classified dental fluorosis as only a “cosmetic” effect and increased the allowable level of fluoride in drinking water to 4 ppm.
Fast forward 30 years later and Americans are still fighting against a regulatory agency that is employing bad science and corrupt reporting. It is unconscionable that the health of U.S. citizens is almost always put at risk by the very regulatory agencies set up to protect them. The reality is that the EPA and other U.S. regulatory agencies have become no more than puppets of corporate interests and greed and that many credible, hard working scientists across a broad spectrum of research continue to lose their livelihoods by insisting on reporting the truth. In the case of fluoride, that would be the powerful chemical industry.
“The political pro-fluoridation stance has evolved into a dogmatic, authoritarian, essentially anti-scientific posture, one that discourages open debate of scientific issues.” – Dr. Edward Groth, Senior Scientist, Consumers Union
As one of the largest developed Western nations on the globe, Americans suffer more damage at the hand of the EPA, USDA, FDA, NIH, and other strong corporate and scientific interests than any other nation in the world. The fight for who will reign is crucial to the well-being of our nation and future generations. Will it be the corporate and government entities that collaborate together to achieve their own ends or will we be able to overcome these powerful entities by putting real science and information to work for our nation. Keep fighting and reign well.