Fluoride Action Network

Portsmouth: Fluoride opponent pleads his case for referendum article

Source: Foster | January 26th, 2011 | By Scott E. Kinney

PORTSMOUTH — City resident Rick Horowitz is concerned about his drinking water.

He is concerned for the well being of his 4-year-old daughter.

Horowitz presented to city residents the discoveries he has made during his research of fluoride in drinking water on Tuesday night at Portsmouth Public Library.

“There’s very strong evidence fluoridated water can cause IQ reductions in children,” he said.

Fluorosis is another issue, causing discoloration and degeneration of teeth from too much exposure to fluoride.

“Fluoride builds up in your body,” Horwitz said. “Getting rid of fluoride is very difficult.”

Horowitz presented his case to the City Council in November.

Now he is attempting to get signatures for a petition to have an article placed on the city referendum to remove fluoride from drinking water.

Portsmouth shares its water supply with Greenland, New Castle, Newington, Rye and Madbury.

Horowitz said he found in his research that the chemical is added to the water because of a referendum by city residents in 1973 and its removal would require a similar action.

The federal DHHS recently announced it will recommend the Environmental Protection Agency lower the amount of fluoride to .7 milligrams per liter of water.

In 1962, the government set a standard range for the distribution of fluoride into drinking water supplies, from .7 milligrams to 1.2 milligrams per liter, depending on the climate and water intake of the community using the drinking water. HHS has now proposed the range be done away with and a universal limit be set at .7 milligrams per liter of water.

But while the department has recommended the limit, nothing can be legally set as a standard unless it’s approved by the EPA. Representatives in some local communities, Portsmouth among them, have responded to the study’s findings by saying they will adhere to any standards once they are officially set.

Currently, the city distributes 1 milligram of fluoride per liter of drinking water.

The decision to lower fluoride amounts followed the federal DHHS’s review of a governmental study that showed two out of five adolescents have dental problems because of the intake of excessive levels of fluoride. Fluoride has been used in drinking water supplies across the country for decades as a way to prevent tooth decay.

The study pointed out problems can range from tooth spottiness and streaking to full tooth decay. The results also stated that intake of fluoride that is prolonged or excessive may increase the risk of bone abnormalities, brittleness and even fractures.

There are a growing number of critics against the use of high levels of fluoride in drinking water. Environmental unions and the National Academy of Sciences have strongly recommended the EPA lower the limit of fluoride for communities across the nation.

Some cities in the United States have even taken to outlawing the use of fluoride in drinking water, claiming the effects are more detrimental than beneficial.