Fluoride Action Network

US EPA makes first change in 24-years to risk of fluoride in drinking water

Source: US Environmental Protection Agency | September 20th, 2010

From FLUORIDE Action Network:

On September 20, 2010, a new US Code of Federal Regulations for the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations was published.

For the last 24 years EPA recognized only crippling skeletal fluorosis as a adverse effect from fluoride in drinking water at levels over 4 parts per million (ppm).

On September 20, 2010, EPA changed its definition of “Adverse Effect” to ‘Potential Health Effects from Long-Term Exposure Above the MCL (unless specified as short-term).’

Under this definition EPA states fluoride’s effects as “Bone disease (pain and tenderness of the bones); Children may get mottled teeth“.

This change occurred without any new health risk assessment on fluoride in drinking water.

The National Research Council of the National Academies released a report on the toxicology of fluoride in March 2006 and stated that 4 ppm of fluoride in drinking water was not protective of health specifically for

• bone fractures

• the pre-clinical stage of crippling fluorosis: chronic joint pain, arthritic symptoms, slight calcification of ligaments, and osteosclerosis of cancellous bone

• and severe dental fluorosis

The NRC report requested EPA to perform a new health risk assessment to determine a “safe” level of fluoride in drinking water.

EPA has not yet performed this risk assessment and decided instead to make matters even worse by defining the risk, ‘Potential Health Effects from Long-Term Exposure Above the MCL’ [which is 4 ppm]. The NRC clearly stated that the current MCLG of 4 ppm is not protective of health.

This is what the NRC report stated:

“To develop an MCLG that is protective against severe enamel fluorosis, clinical stage II skeletal fluorosis, and bone fractures, EPA should update the risk assessment of fluoride to include new data on health risks and better estimates of total exposure (relative source contribution) for individuals..” see http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11571&page=10

A little background:

On March 29, 2010, EPA solicited comments on fluoride in the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations – http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-03-29/html/2010-6624.htm

In response, both Kathy Thiessen PhD and Fluoride Action Network submitted comments that stressed the need for EPA to perform a health risk assessment on fluoride to dervive a safe MCL and MCLG.

EPA ignored these submissions and published a new Code of Federal Regulations on September 20, 2010.
Also see the Code’s Special notice for exceedance of the SMCL for fluoride.