Citing new scientific evidence suggesting ineffectiveness and serious health risks, more than 600 professionals are urging Congress to stop water fluoridation until congressional hearings are conducted.
The signers include physicians, dentists, scientists, and environmentalists.
Their statement released yesterday cites a 500-page review of fluoride‘s toxicology by a panel appointed by the National Research Council of the National Academies.
The panel looked at a large body of literature in which fluoride is said to have a statistically significant association with a wide range of adverse effects. They include an increased risk of bone fractures, decreased thyroid function, lowered IQ, arthritic-like conditions, dental fluorosis and, possibly, osteosarcoma.
The signers include a Nobel Prize winner, three members of the NRC panel, two officers in the union representing professionals at the Environmental Protection Agency headquarters and the president of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment.
“Fluoridation is against all principles of modern pharmacology. It’s really obsolete,” contends signer Dr. Arvid Carlsson, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it “continues to strongly support community water fluoridation as a safe and effective public health measure to prevent and control tooth decay and to improve overall health.”
The signers, nevertheless, say CDC data indicates dental fluorosis, caused by fluoride over-exposure, now impacts one- third of American children.
An online petition to Congress in support of the professionals’ statement will become available soon on the website of a group called the Fluoride Action Network, or FAN.
FAN director Paul Connett asserts government officials “who continue to promote fluoridation must testify under oath as to why they are ignoring the powerful evidence of harm in the NRC report.”
The statement to Congress notes the new American Dental Association policy recommending infant formula not be prepared with fluoridated water and the CDC’s concession that the predominant benefit of fluoride is topical not systemic.
The professionals also point to major research indicating little difference in decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated communities.
Additionally, they cite a Harvard study indicating a possible link between fluoridation and bone cancer, noting the silicofluoride chemicals used for fluoridation are contaminated industrial waste and have never been FDA-approved for human ingestion.
The CDC insists, however, that in spite of the studies, “the weight of the scientific evidence, as assessed by independent committees of experts, comprehensive systematic reviews, and review of the findings of individual studies does not support an association between water fluoridated at levels optimal for oral health and the risk for cancer, including osteosarcoma.”
The Environmental Working Group, a Washington, D.C.-watchdog, the professionals say, revealed a Harvard professor concealed the fluoridation/bone cancer connection for three years.
The president of the watchdog group, Ken Cook, says, “It is time for the U.S. to recognize that fluoridation has serious risks that far outweigh any minor benefits, and unlike many other environmental issues, it’s as easy to end as turning off a valve at the water plant.”