WASHINGTON D.C.–(BW HealthWire) On June 29, 2000, in what committee staff expect to be a long day of testimony on Maximum Contaminant Levels in water for Radon and Arsenic in the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, J. William Hirzy, Ph.D., Vice President of NTEU Chapter 280, will be seated on the witness panel to address scientific and ethical concerns for the positions and actions that various agencies have taken regarding fluoridation.
NTEU Chapter 280 is the union that represents the toxicologists, biologists, chemists, engineers, attorneys and other professional employees at Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters, Washington, D.C. The union was founded out of concern for protection of employees and ethical departures from professional standards.
Dr. Hirzy is appearing at the request of Senator Robert Smith of New Hampshire, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in response to New Hampshire Pure Water Association, Citizens for Safe Drinking Water and other groups and individuals that are concerned that fluoridation mandates are being imposed without unbiased review of scientific evidence.
The corresponding oversight committee in the House of Representatives, the Committee on Science, is awaiting answers to their second round of questions to the EPA, Food and Drug Administration, Center for Disease Control, National Academy of Science, and National Sanitation Foundation in their investigation of these agencies’ actions surrounding the fluoridation issue.
In the first round of questions concerning the substances that are used in 90% of the nation’s fluoridation programs, the EPA stated, “EPA was not able to identify chronic studies for these chemicals;” prompting Congressman James Sensenbrenner, Chair of the House Committee on Science to reply, “I am sorry to say that EPA’s answers were extremely insufficient, and as such, the investigation will continue.”
Dr. Hirzy’s discussion of the maximum contaminant level (MCL) for fluoride along with MCL’s being considered for arsenic, and already established for lead, will provide a visual contrast of how issues of fluoride are treated by EPA.
Fluoride is more toxic than lead and slightly less toxic than arsenic, yet the protective measures of maximum contaminant levels for lead is 15 parts per billion (ppb), arsenic currently 50 ppb and under discussion for lowering to 5 to 20 ppb, while the MCL for fluoride is 266 to 800 times less protective at 4000 ppb.
According to the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996, maximum contaminant levels are now to be established in order to protect the most susceptible populations >from any adverse health effects with an adequate margin of safety when ingesting that amount over an entire lifetime.
Dr. Hirzy is expected to point out that the largest study in the U.S., conducted in 1986-87, showed that 66% of the children living in fluoridated communities display the visible signs of fluoride overdose on at least one tooth in the form of dental fluorosis (opaque white spots, brown stains, striations, mottling of enamel, and fracture-prone teeth), with 30% displaying overdose on two teeth or more.
In a departure from all other established MCL’s, when fluoride concentrations rise above 1/2 of the 4 milligram per liter MCL, water districts are required to warn parents that infants and young children are at increased risk for dental fluorosis; essentially suggesting that parents limit the amounts of water their children ingest or abandon the public water source.
This will be the first scientific discussion of fluoride in a Congressional hearing in 23 years. After hearing testimony of a greater incidence of cancer deaths in fluoridated communities, the 1977 House subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations ordered the US Public Health Service to have an independent contractor conduct animal studies to determine if fluoride causes cancer. The final report of the two year study did not appear for 13 years.
Dr. Hirzy is expected to recommend that the tumor slide evidence from that study be reviewed by independent pathologists with the examiners properly blinded to assure accuracy, as the previous reviews of the data resulted in wholesale downgrading of tumor classifications that originally indicated “clear evidence of carcinogenicity.” That classification would halt the practice of adding fluoride to the public drinking water.
Dr. William Marcus, Chief Science Advisor for the Office of Drinking Water at that time, was fired for demanding such an independent review, and subsequently won his whistle-blower lawsuit, and compensatory damages, but the raw data has still not been reviewed by unbiased pathologists.
Other fluoride topics Dr. Hirzy will present to the subcommittee include: Excessive and uncontrolled exposure that indicates even non fluoridated communities are receiving equal to or more than the goal of fluoridation.
Findings by three different courts in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Texas, after more than 40 days of testimony in one case, that the evidence indicated adverse health effects, including increased cancer risk, with exposure levels found in “optimally” fluoridated water at 1 part per million.
Revisions in professional health associations’ recommendations for controlled-dose fluoride that now advise that an infant with no exposure to fluoride in the water be provided no further supplementation because of excessive exposure from all other sources; and children from 6 months to 3 years advised to receive prescriptions limited to the amount of fluoride found in one cup of fluoridated water.
Increased concern over studies published since 1995 indicating higher levels of lead concentration in the blood when the waste products from the fertilizer industry are used, kidney damage and brain lesions in laboratory animals at the same exposure concentrations as found in “optimally” fluoridated water, and double the amount of aluminum delivered to the brain at low concentrations of aluminum fluoride; especially taking into consideration the rising incidence of attention deficit disorder, autism and behavioral disorders such as crime and violence that have been associated with fluoride’s presence and interaction with other elements.
Other recommendations to the subcommittee by the union of EPA professionals:
Order that the two waste products of the fertilizer industry that are now used in 90% of fluoridation programs, for which EPA states they are not able to identify any chronic studies, be used in any future studies, rather than a substitute chemical; and that due to the fact that our protective agencies are actively promoting that each and every individual person drink, eat and bathe in these chemicals for the rest of our lives, that the silicofluorides be placed on the top of the list for establishing a MCL that complies with the Safe Drinking Water Act and is protective of the most sensitive of our population, including infants, with an appropriate margin of safety for ingestion for a lifetime.
Order epidemiology studies comparing children with dental fluorosis to those not displaying overdose during growth and development years, for behavioral and other disorders that are now linked to fluoride exposure.
Convene a joint Congressional committee to give the only substance that is being mandated for ingestion throughout this country the full hearing that it deserves.
Dr. Hirzy’s testimony will be accessible on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Web site by selecting Hearings of the 106 Congress at: www.senate.gov/~epw/>http://www.senate.gov/~epw/.
The union of EPA professionals’ position on fluoridation and ethics can be accessed on their Web site: http://www.nteu280.org.
Questions posed to EPA, CDC, FDA, NAS and NSF by the House Committee on Science concerning fluoride can be accessed at: www.citizens.org/Food_water_safety/Fluoridation/fluoridebackgr.htm.
Citizens for Safe Drinking Water
Jeff Green, 800/728-3833 firstname.lastname@example.org