National Research Council (2006)

An overview of the NRC's groundbreaking report on fluoride toxicity, including excerpts of its key findings and recommendations, statements from the panelists, and a discussion of its relevance to water fluoridation and sulfuryl fluoride.

Statements from NRC Panelists

The following are quotes from 4 of the 12 scientists who wrote the NRC report, including the Panel Chair, Dr. John Doull:

“What the committee found is that we’ve gone with the status quo regarding fluoride for many years—for too long, really—and now we need to take a fresh look. In the scientific community, people tend to think this is settled. I mean, when the U.S. surgeon general comes out and says this is one of the 10 greatest achievements of the 20th century, that’s a hard hurdle to get over. But when we looked at the studies that have been done, we found that many of these questions are unsettled and we have much less information than we should, considering how long this [fluoridation] has been going on. I think that’s why fluoridation is still being challenged so many years after it began. In the face of ignorance, controversy is rampant.”
– Dr. John Doull, NRC Panel Chair

The report “should be a wake-up call.”
– Dr. Robert Isaacson, NRC Panel Member.

“The NRC report is relevant to many aspects of the water fluoridation debate… [T]he report discusses the wide range of drinking water intake among members of the population, which means that groups with different fluoride concentrations in their drinking water may still have overlapping distributions of individual fluoride exposure. ln other words, the range of individual fluoride exposures at 1 mg/L will overlap the range of individual exposures at 2 mg/L or even 4 mg/L. Thus, even without consideration of differences in individual susceptibility to various effects, the margin of safety between 1 and 4 mg/L is very low.”
– Dr. Kathleen Thiessen, NRC Panel Member.

“In my opinion, the evidence that fluoridation is more harmful than beneficial is now overwhelming.”
– Dr. Hardy Limeback, NRC Panel Member.