Fluoride Action Network

Ralph Nader Joins Influential Leaders Questioning Fluoridation

Consumer Activist Ralph Nader has joined the chorus of influential leaders opposing mandatory water fluoridation. He joins civil rights leaders, state and local legislators, dentists, physicians, environmentalists and other professionals speaking out on fluoridation, focusing increased attention on the need for full disclosure of fluoridation risks.

Nader says, “There should be no mandatory fluoridation without the approval of people in a public referendum preceded by full and open public debate with disclosures. There is an old Roman law adage that says, ‘What touches all should be decided by all.'” (1)

Fluoridation is the addition of fluoride chemicals into public drinking water supplies with the goal of reducing tooth decay.

CBS-TV in Atlanta recently reported news about permanent fluoride staining of teeth called “dental fluorosis” and discussed concerns about fluoride impacts on internal organs. The National Research Council has designated kidney patients, diabetics, infants, seniors and those who drink above average quantities of water as “susceptible subpopulations” particularly vulnerable to harm from ingested fluorides. (2,3)

In November 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), released a report indicating that 41% of American children aged 12-15 had some form of dental fluorosis. (4)

Previously, the CDC also reported that a higher percentage of Black Americans and Mexican-Americans had significantly higher levels of the more severe forms of dental fluorosis compared to White Americans (see Table).

% with
% with
White/ Non-Hispanic
Black/ Non-Hispanic
CDC, 2005 (5)

Bernice King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter, writes on her Facebook Page, “Join me by calling for a halt to water fluoridation.” (6)

Andrew Young, former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador and Dr. Gerald Durley, Pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta expressed concerns about the fairness, safety, and full disclosure regarding fluoridation in letters to Georgia’s minority and majority legislative leaders. (7)

Andrew Young, in a personal letter, said:

“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…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.” (7)

Rev. William Owens, President of the Coalition of African American Pastors, has called for federal and state “Fluoridegate” investigations regarding new revelations about risks from drinking fluoridated water. Owens asks,

“Why wasn’t the black community told that blacks are disproportionately impacted by harm from fluorides and fluoridated water? Nobody told me until I learned about this a year ago. African Americans have more kidney disease and more diabetes, but nobody elected to tell us that kidney patients and diabetics are more susceptible to harm from ingested fluorides.” (8)

In a letter to Tennessee water districts asking fluoridation be stopped, Dr. Joey Hensley, a Tennessee State House Representative and medical doctor, wrote “…information is now coming out showing that the health risks associated with drinking fluoridated water significantly outweigh fluoride’s limited cavity fighting action.” (9)

Laura Seydel, well known Atlanta environmental activist and daughter of CNN founder Ted Turner says, “As a parent and citizen, I am outraged at what hasn’t been told to Americans about potential harm from fluorides to susceptible groups.” (10)

More than 3,700 professionals (including 315 dentists and nearly 400 physicians) urge that fluoridation be stopped citing scientific evidence that ingesting fluoride is ineffective at reducing tooth decay and has serious health risks. See Statement.

According to Professor Paul Connett, Executive Director, Fluoride Action Network, “What is distressing about all this is the way that state and federal bureaucrats are acting as lobbyists for this practice. For inexplicable reasons they are ignoring the 24 studies that have shown an association with a lowering of IQ in children at fluoride levels as low as 1.9 ppm (11, 12). That level allows no adequate margin of safety sufficient to protect all of America’s children drinking fluoridated water. I believe that the public has the right to expect that officials in agencies like the CDC should be providing objective information to decision makers and not outrageously one-sided propaganda. This kind of unscientific behavior should be investigated and the best place to do that is in Atlanta because this is where the CDC has its headquarters.”

A more detailed account of the issue of Environmental Justice and fluoridation can be viewed online in the June 5 newsletter of Dr. Joseph Mercola, The “Healthful” Drink that Can Damage Your Health.


Daniel G. Stockin, MPH
EMAIL: stockin2@yahoo.com
The Lillie Center, Inc.

Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director
EMAIL: pconnett@gmail.com
Fluoride Action Network


1. Ralph Nader on mandatory fluoridation. Press Release. June 3, 2011.

2. CBS-TV Atlanta. Dangers of Fluoride. Part 1.

3. CBS-TV Atlanta. Dangers of Fluoride. Part 2.

4. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 2010. Beltrán-Aguilar ED, Barker L, Dye B. 2010. Prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in the United States, 1999-2004. NCHS Data Brief No. 53. U.S. DHHS, CDC, National Center for Health Statistics.

5. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). 2005. Beltrán-Aguilar ED, Barker LK, Canto MT, et al. 2005. Surveillance for dental caries, dental sealants, tooth retention, endentulism, and enamel fluorosis—United States, 1988- 1994 and 1999-2002. CDC, MMWR, Surveillance Summaries, August 26, vol. 54, No SS-3, pp. 1-44.
See Table 23 – See Full article

6. Bernice King facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Be-A-King/222731605570

7. Fluoride Action Network. 2011. Civil Rights Leaders call for halt to water fluoridation. Press Release: April 14.

8. Black Pastors Speak Out Against Fluoride In Water, Minority News, June 3-5, 2011

9. Lillie Center. Respected Physician–Legislator Sends Letter to Hundreds of Tennessee Water Districts Advising an Immediate Halt to Water Fluoridation, Dec 6, 2006.

10. Fluoridegate: Fluoride Spots On Teeth The Tip Of The Iceberg, Medical News Today, Jan 13, 2011

11. Xiang Q, et al. 2003a. Effect of fluoride in drinking water on children’s intelligence. Fluoride 36(2):84-94.

12. Xiang Q, et al. 2003b. Blood lead of children in Wamiao-Xinhuai intelligence study. Fluoride 36(3):198-199.