Fluoride Action Network

Atlanta Civil Rights Leaders Call for Halt to Water Fluoridation

Source: Media Release from The Lillie Center, Inc. | The Lillie Center, Inc., Ellijay, Georgia
Posted on April 13th, 2011
Location: United States, Georgia

Citing concern that fluoridated water disproportionately harms poor citizens and black families, influential Atlanta civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Gerald Durley are calling on top Georgia legislators to repeal Georgia’s mandatory water fluoridation law.

Young and Durley recently sent letters to legislators Chip Rogers, Robert Brown, Larry O’Neal, and Stacey Abrams, the majority and minority leaders in the Georgia Senate and House of Representatives.

Ambassador Young and Dr. Durley are both inductees in the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame in Atlanta. In their letters they expressed concerns about issues of fairness, safety, and disclosure related to fluoride chemicals in drinking water.

Increasing numbers of cities are examining the risks of adding fluorides to water to help prevent cavities after a 2006 National Research Council report documented volumes of research never conducted on the whole-body safety of fluorides and fluoridation.

Information in the report appeared in stark contrast to decades of assurances from fluoridation promoters that fluoridation has been extensively researched. The NRC report also described fluoride risks for babies, kidney patients, diabetics, and seniors, and set the stage for a little-publicized change of stance by the Centers for Disease Control on baby formula.

CDC now says that parents can use low-fluoride water when mixing milk formula to reduce the risk of permanent teeth staining caused by fluorides.

The Gerber company is selling an unfluoridated bottled water so parents and caregivers can avoid using fluoridated water in formula.

Bottled water may not be a feasible solution for many families, however.

In a personal letter sent to the Georgia legislators, Ambassador Young wrote, “I am most deeply concerned for poor families who have babies: if they cannot afford unfluoridated water for their babies’ milk formula, do their babies not count? Of course they do. This is an issue of fairness, civil rights, and compassion. We must find better ways to prevent cavities, such as helping those most at risk for cavities obtain access to the services of a dentist.”

He also stated, “My father was a dentist. I formerly was a strong believer in the benefits of water fluoridation for preventing cavities. But many things that we began to do 50 or more years ago we now no longer do, because we have learned further information that changes our practices and policies. So it is with fluoridation.”

Dr. Durley’s letter addressed disproportionate fluoride harm to black citizens’ teeth, and noted that with disproportionate amounts of kidney disease and diabetes in the black community, blacks are more impacted by fluorides.

He stated, “We also need to know why the full story about harm from fluorides is only just now coming out. I support the holding of Fluoridegate hearings at the state and national level so we can learn why we haven’t been openly told that fluorides build up in the body over time (and) why our government agencies haven’t told the black community openly that fluorides disproportionately harm black Americans…“

Others are also concerned about harm to minority citizens and sensitive populations.

In an April 6th letter to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden, the President of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology noted, “The recent Health & Human Services attempt to somewhat lower the amount of fluorides in drinking water still does not address the fact that poor and minority families will be ingesting more fluorides than others, and it does not address dose – merely concentration in water.”

IAOMT President Matt Young also stated, “We do not wish to shoulder the responsibility of people thinking that dentists could possibly know how much fluoride each person has ingested systemically…”

A recent article in an American Association for Justice newsletter for trial lawyers described potential upcoming fluoride legal actions based on personal injury, consumer fraud, and civil rights harm.

In February a group of Republican and Democrat Tennessee legislators sent a letter to the State’s Health Commissioner describing worries about the impacts of fluoridation on babies and other groups.

Daniel G. Stockin of The Lillie Center Inc., a Georgia-based firm working to end the practice of fluoridation, salutes the leaders now speaking out on the issue.

“Ambassador Young and Dr. Durley see the potential implications of fluorides building up over time in our bones and joints, that seniors should know about this. They see the common sense arguments against fluoridation, such as the fact that poor families should not be forced for financial reasons to use fluoridated water in their babies’ formula.”

Now that the liability and health risks are better understood, Stockin foresees even more community leaders speaking out against fluoridation.


Reference Links / Sources:

* Letter to CDC Director from IAOMT President Matt Young: http://iaomt.org/news/archive.asp?intReleaseID=367

* Letter from Dr. Gerald Durley: http://spotsonmyteeth.com/uploadsdurley-ltr-bw-PDF2.pdf

* Letter from Ambassador Young: http://spotsonmyteeth.com/uploads/Letter-to-Georgia-Legislators-from-Ambassador-Andrew-Young.pdf

* Fluoridation Litigation Article in American Association for Justice newsletter: http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/xchg/justice/hs.xsl/14815.htm

* Info on Gerber® unfluoridated water for mixing milk formula – note: click on “Product Features”: http://www.gerber.com/allstages/products/beverages/gerber_pure_water.aspx

* Photos of dental fluorosis: http://www.SpotsOnMyTeeth.com – note: see both pages of photos

* National Research Council info on kidney patients and others as fluoride-susceptible groups – see p. 350 ff at: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11571&page=351

* Fluoride health effects database and professionals petition to end fluoridation: http://www.fluoridealert.org

* Disproportionate harm to minorities -see Table 23: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/ss5403a1.htm