While New Yorkers occupied themselves with digging out from a foot and a half of freshly fallen snow, City Council Member Peter Vallone, Jr. found time yesterday to hold a press conference to denounce the perils of water fluoridation. The Councilman, son of the late Council Speaker Peter Vallone, Sr., says that he will put forward legislation to end the city’s practice of fluoridating its tap water. New York City has fluoridated its drinking water since 1965.
Vallone claims that his proposed change will save New York $7 million per year and that fluoride-enriched toothpaste has made fluoridation of the water supply unnecessary and possibly even a health risk, specifically citing fluoride as a threat to childhood brain development.
Both his hysterical assertions and his proposed legislation leave ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan flabbergasted. “Fluoridating drinking water is one of the most safe and cost-effective public health measures ever introduced,” she says. “Vallone is calling for more dental caries and more dental morbidity. He ought to speak with some dentists. They’ll tell him how much fluoridation has reduced the incidence of these conditions.”
ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross acknowledges that excessive levels of fluoride might present some potential risks. But, as the city has just one part per million of fluoride in its water supply, he concludes that evidence of diminshed IQ may be best observed among certain city Council Members. “The CDC has stated that our levels of fluoridation do not present any health risk and that fluoridation of our nation’s drinking water has proven to be one of the most important public health measures of the past century. I wonder from where Mr. Vallone is getting his bizarre, unscientific information?”