EPA solicited advice from the National Academy of Sciences on the risks posed by fluoride in drinking water and in 2006 NAS prepared “Fluoride in Drinking Water”. EPA’s second six-year review identified the current fluoride MCL for potential revision in 2010. In 2011 the Agency updated its analysis of the portion of fluoride exposure attributable to drinking water. Subsequently in its notice for the third six-year review, EPA found that “revision of the fluoride NPDWR is a lower priority that would divert significant resources from the higher priority candidates for revision that the Agency has identified.”
On January 30, 2017 the CDC issued a Statement on the Evidence Supporting the Safety and Effectiveness of Community Water Fluoridation. On July 13, 2018 the CDC proposed guidance regarding the operational control range around optimal fluoride concentration. The CDC’s proposed operational range was 0.6 – 1.0 mg/L around an optimal target fluoride dose of 0.7 mg/L.
In August 2019 “Association Between Maternal Fluoride Exposure During Pregnancy and IQ Scores in Offspring in Canada” was published in JAMA Pediatrics. Rivka et al. found maternal exposure to higher levels of fluoride during pregnancy was associated with lower IQ scores in children aged 3 to 4 years. In October 2019 the National Toxicology Program released a draft monograph that also concluded that there may be an association between higher fluoride exposure and decreased IQ or other cognitive impairments in children. The National Academy of Sciences, however, released a peer review on March 5, 2020 finding that the monograph had insufficient basis for that finding and emphasized that further analysis or reanalysis is needed to support this finding. A revised draft monograph (Sept 16, 2020) states that “NTP concludes that fluoride is presumed to be a cognitive neurodevelopmental hazard to humans.” This finding is based on available human studies demonstrating effects at fluoride concentrations >1.5 mg/L.
In a parallel development, litigation of EPA’s negative response to a TSCA Section 21 Petition by the Fluoride Action Network requesting that EPA prohibit the addition of fluoridation chemicals to drinking water continues has resulted in the petitioner’s re-submitting their petition, in keeping with the direction of the Court.
CDC continues to recommend community fluoridation.
An August study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) surveyed water wells and found that only 0.9% of public drinking water supply wells studied contained fluoride above EPA’s 4.0 mg/L MCL in the untreated groundwater. Additionally, the study found that more than 85% of the public water supply wells studied had fluoride concentrations below the optimal concentration of 0.7 mg/L. Fluoride concentrations in untreated groundwater were generally higher in the western US in comparison with the eastern US.*
*Original article online at http://fluoridealert.org/wp-content/uploads/am-water-works.review-gov-activity.1-20-21.update.pdf