Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has delivered a 100-page report to the Environmental Justice Interagency Working Group entitled “Water Fluoridation and Environmental Justice” outlining the dangers posed by this practice to poor families and communities of color.
Since 1962 officials at the U.S. Public Health Service have known that Blacks are disproportionately harmed by fluoride with higher rates of dental fluorosis (permanent damage to the enamel) rates compared to Whites. But for over 40 years they hid this information from communities of color.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, FAN discovered that in 2005, 58% of Blacks had dental fluorosis compared to 32% of Whites.
The heart of the problem is that no Federal agency accepts responsibility for the safety of this program. Instead the Division of Oral Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has become a “rogue elephant” blindly promoting fluoridation, denying any harm and failing miserably to provide any warnings to communities of color of their vulnerabilities. This has prompted Civil Rights leaders to call for Congressional hearings.
According to FAN’s director, Paul Connett, PhD, “The situation has become much worse now that it is clear that fluoride is an endocrine disruptor and is neurotoxic. There are 45 studies that fluoride at modest levels lowers IQ in children (www.FluorideAction.net/issues/health/brain).”
In 2015 the Department of Health & Human Services announced a lowering of the fluoride level in fluoridation programs. However, even at the new level of 0.7 ppm, bottle-fed infants in fluoridated communities receive approximately 100 times more fluoride than a breast-fed infant.
FAN is seeking from the multi-agency group support for 5-step community-based plan (along the lines of programs from Scotland and Denmark), which not only protects teeth, but by emphasizing better nutrition –especially lowered sugar intake – fights obesity and improves the overall health and well-being of children from poor families and communities of color, without forcing them to drink fluoridated water.
As a first step FAN urged the multi-agency group to call upon the EPA’s Office of Water to determine a safe reference dose for fluoride that would protect all children –including the most vulnerable – from a lowered IQ. Such a determination would make adding fluoride to public water unthinkable.