Fluoride Action Network

My View: Stop poisoning Gloucester, by Karen Favazza Spencer

Source: Gloucester Daily Times | August 4th, 2022 | By Karen Favazza Spencer

Like others in several generations of my family, I have volunteered in several capacities on behalf of the city, serving in official and unofficial roles. Most recently, my service to the city has been in the role of an environmental health activist opposing fluoridation policy.

I am also a member representative on behalf of the Food and Water Watch (FWW) in an ongoing federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding its failure to follow the regulations in the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) specific to fluoride in drinking water and neurotoxicity. We had expected that trial to wrap up in 2020, but like many things in this age of COVID-19, it has been delayed.

Most specifically, the judge wants two things before making his ruling. First, he has told the EPA that he would like it to fulfill its mission under the TSCA regulations and act on the testimony given during the trial and written petition, but the EPA is recalcitrant. He also wants to see the final published National Toxicology Program (NTP) report on the developmental neurotoxicity of fluoride. The 2019 and 2020 drafts of that NTP hazard determination found fluoride concentrations in water that are regarded “safe” are actually harmful to the developing brains of fetuses and infants, resulting in more learning disabilities and lower IQs on a dose-response trend line.

However, it isn’t just the concentration in water that is the issue, it’s the amount of water consumed by the individual, the general health of the individual, and the tolerance for fluoride and for which many have a lower tolerance. This is why a growing number of organizations, scientists and medical professionals are on record advising fluoridation policy should be reconsidered by decision-making authorities.

Over a hundred studies have been published that validate that fluoride, even in low doses, is harmful to bodies, brains and bones of consumers from womb to tomb just since 2015 when the state Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommended the “optimal” concentration of fluoride in drinking water be lowered by 30%. It made this recommendation because of evidence of dental fluorosis affecting approximately half of all American teens. One of those studies validate that American teens consuming fluoridated water have blood markers suggesting they are at higher risk for liver and kidney disease as adults.

JAMA Pediatrics published one of the several high quality, government sponsored neurotoxicity studies in August 2019. The editors of that prestigious journal devoted a podcast to the study, revealing that they had subjected it to multiple peer reviews and statistical analyses and found that the findings were not only verifiable, but also that the impact of fluoridation policy on infant brains is the equivalent of lead tainted water. They recommended that pregnant women and mothers of bottle-fed infants avoid fluoridated water and foods prepared with that water.

A study published this month validates yet again that the impact is worse for boys, but also adds information about the role of iodine and thyroid function that results in the cognitive-behavioral deficits in fluoride poisoned children. Most thyroid patients already know that fluoridated water worsens their condition, as do many kidney patients. Sadly, most of those with type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis and inflammatory gastrointestinal illnesses do not know that fluoride can cause or worsen those conditions.

Many people prefer to believe the tooth-fairy tale about fluoride as a magic potion. Many people prefer to ridicule people who contradict their belief systems rather than consider medical science and actual evidence. As a former analyst and teacher, I’d hope we’d be more kind, more honest and more careful in our decision making than we are, but we aren’t.

So fluoridation policy is politicized and every year, and tons (literally tons) of fluoridation chemicals harvested from the pollution control systems of factories in Shanghai, China, are dumped into Gloucester water supplies. Less than 2% of it is consumed by people and pets, the rest goes directly into waste water, which is one of the reasons the Gloucester and Rockport Conservation Commissions are on record opposing fluoridation policy. The Gloucester Shellfish Advisory Commission also condemns fluoridation policy as a potential stressor for that industry. The Gloucester City Council is the only authority that can end fluoridation in this city under Massachusetts law.

Gloucester is both gloriously unique and mundanely typical of many communities, but Gloucester has always been my home and home is always special. However, in a few days I will be crossing the bridge for the last time as a resident as I can no longer afford to live in my Lanesville home as an aging single woman. If I can perform one last act of service on behalf of the city that I love so dearly, it would be to motivate its residents, City Council and mayor to stop poisoning it.

*Original article online at https://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/column-stop-poisoning-gloucester/article_0089c49c-1278-11ed-8a42-fb294218a4fe.html