LAYTON — Scientists opposed to putting fluoride in public water supplies spoke to a packed house Friday night at the new Davis County Conference Center.
Proponents of fluoridating the county’s water, Utahns for Better Dental Health and the Davis County Health Department, declined to appear. The public forum was sponsored by Waterwatch of Utah, a group trying to get the fluorine chemicals out of the water through Proposition 3 on the Nov. 2 general ballot.
The group says toxic chemical wastes related to fluoride called fluosilicic acid or sodium silicofluoride that are byproducts of converting phosphates into fertilizer put children at risk, can actually damage their teeth and may adversely affect their brains.
Speakers were William Hirzy, a senior scientist and ranking chemist at the EPA in Washington, D.C. He is senior vice president of the EPA headquarters scientists’ union, which unanimously opposes water fluoridation; Phyllis Mullenix, a toxicologist and pharmacologist, who serves as a consultant in poisoning litigations; Hardy Limeback, head of the Department of Preventative Dentistry, University of Toronto; and Rogers D. Masters, president of the Foundation for Neuroscience and Society and a Fulbright Fellow who co-wrote a paper that reported elevated blood lead levels of 151,225 children in New York who drank fluoridated water; and Jeff Green, a lawyer who fights fluoride on a national level.
Four years ago, Davis County residents narrowly approved adding fluoride to public water systems. Since then, several groups have worked to get a measure on this year’s ballot asking the public if they want to continue with fluoridation.
Hirzy told a congressional committee investigating fluoride in June 2000 that two-thirds of all children in fluoridated communities display fluoride toxicity. He said a national dental study shows 66 percent of children in fluoridated communities show signs of fluoride over-exposure.
“That effect occurs when children ingest more fluoride than their bodies can handle with the metabolic processes we were born with, and their teeth are damaged as a result,” Hirzy said. In further testimony, he said that “since 1994, there have been six publications that link fluoride exposure to direct adverse effects on the brain.” His testimony can be found online at www.keepers-of-the-well.org/hearings-investigations.html .
Masters told the audience of close to 300 people that the fluoride in the county water supply is not the pure laboratory-grade sodium fluoride used in toothpaste. He said lead and manganese are dangerous chemicals in water supplies and fluosilicic acid contains lead.
The closer and deeper he gets into neuroscience, he sees more attention deficit disorder and other diseases plus an increase in crime associated with fluosilicic acid and high levels of lead in the water supply, he said. “If you count savings from using fluosilicic acid, then you should also count the costs of building more jail cells.”
Limeback, who publicly reversed his position on fluoride after studying the issue, presented some risk vs. cost-benefit analysis for Davis County, noting over the next 20 years residents will spend $16 million fluoridating the water, with only a $2.5 million to $5 million in cost savings in dental work for some 83,000 children. “So why do it?”