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Experts Confirm Extremely Low Levels of Fluoride Causes IQ Loss in Children

By Stuart Cooper | The Defender

Story at-a-glance:

  • New studies find that fluoride levels four to five times lower than those found in pregnant women in fluoridated communities cause IQ loss for the child and that older women in fluoridated communities have a 50% higher risk of hip fractures.
  • Plaintiffs suing the EPA in federal court over fluoridation’s neurotoxicity have continued to win legal victories and have shared deposition videos exposing CDC and EPA negligence.
  • The former NTP director joined the chorus of scientific and public health experts raising alarms about neurotoxic risk, but the dental lobby responded by doubling their fluoridation expansion efforts.

A landmark study by Grandjean, et al., has been published confirming that very low levels of fluoride exposure during pregnancy impair the brain development of the child and at a population level may be causing more damage than lead, mercury, or arsenic.

The study found that a maternal urine fluoride concentration of 0.2 mg/L, which is exceeded four to five times in pregnant women living in fluoridated communities, was enough to lower IQ by one point. The authors stated that even this impact is likely underestimated and:

“These findings provide additional evidence that fluoride is a developmental neurotoxicant … and the benchmark results should inspire a revision of water-fluoride recommendations aimed at protecting pregnant women and young children.”

A urinary fluoride (UF) concentration of 0.2 mg/L is far below what a pregnant woman in a fluoridated community would have, as confirmed by two recent studies.

A study of pregnant women in fluoridated San Francisco, California, found a mean UF concentration of 0.74 mg/L, and one with participants in fluoridated communities across Canada found a mean UF concentration of 1.06 mg/L. Both levels were significantly higher than those found in women in non-fluoridated communities.

Grandjean, et al.’s study, published in Risk Analysis, was a benchmark dose (BMD) analysis of the pooled data from the National Institutes of Health-funded ELEMENT and MIREC birth cohorts in Mexico and Canada. These are the birth cohorts that were used in the studies that found exposure to low levels of fluoride during pregnancy is linked to cognitive impairment in children.

A benchmark dose is used to identify a dose or concentration that would likely cause a defined amount of harm, in this case, a loss of one IQ point.

What makes this paper so important is that BMD is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) risk assessment methodology, and the paper’s authors used a one IQ point drop as the adverse effect amount because the EPA has used this same level of IQ loss in their own risk assessments and has recommended the use of such a level.

It has been well established that a loss of one IQ point leads to a reduced lifetime earning ability of $18,000. Summed over the whole population we are talking about a loss of billions of dollars of earning ability each year.

It is estimated that more than 72% of public drinking water systems in America are fluoridated — thus, millions of pregnant women are currently being exposed to levels of fluoride that have the potential to lower their children’s IQ by at least four points and probably more.

Moreover, it’s important to point out that in risk assessments using BMD methodology, it’s standard practice to apply a safety factor on top of the calculated BMD in order to determine a safe reference dose to protect the whole population (including the most vulnerable) from harm.

If that safety factor used was the standard safety margin of 10, to account for the variables in population-wide sensitivity, then the EPA might conclude that any urine fluoride concentration above 0.02 mg/L would be unacceptable and “unsafe.” This is 35 times lower than what the American Dental Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend for fluoridated communities.

Study submitted to judge in federal fluoridation lawsuit

Michael Connett, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the EPA, has sent a copy of this BMD analysis to the judge presiding over the case currently in federal court. The Fluoride Action Network is involved in an ongoing federal lawsuit against the EPA seeking to prohibit the deliberate addition of fluoride to drinking water because of its neurotoxicity.

A trial was held in June 2020, which featured world-renowned experts testifying in court that fluoridation posed a danger on a par with lead. At the conclusion, the judge stated that we had presented “serious evidence” that presents “serious questions” about the safety of fluoridation, and said, “I don’t think anyone disputes that fluoride is a hazard.”

The judge also noted that the EPA had used an incorrect standard for assessing the available science and offered them a second chance to review it accurately, which they have declined repeatedly.

Since last summer, we have also won several legal victories, including rulings against EPA motions to dismiss the case and a recent ruling in April 2021 granting our motion to amend our original 2016 petition to include the latest studies and a more detailed listing of plaintiffs.

In the written order, the court dismantles the EPA’s arguments one by one, showing that the judge is committed to ensuring that all of the science is considered and remains the focus, which is a very good sign for our side.

The ruling also sets a precedent for future environmental cases under the Toxic Substances Control Act by allowing petitioners to update and amend complaints to include the most up-to-date science during the trial, rather than restart the multi-year petition process over as the EPA attorneys wanted.

The court will hold the trial in abeyance until the final National Toxicology Program monograph on fluoride’s neurotoxicity is published, possibly later this year. The judge was also awaiting the release of the benchmark dose analysis mentioned above and at least one additional study due out later in 2021.

Once all of this new research is available to the court, the judge could potentially hold a second phase of the trial, allowing additional discovery and testimony only on this new evidence. In fact, during the April 22 status hearing, the judge said this was his preference, and in the court order it is written, “As this Court has indicated, the evolving science warrants reopening of expert discovery and trial evidence.”

The court order indicated that once the judge has had the opportunity to see the new evidence and hear from both sides, the Fluoride Action Network will be able to resubmit our amended petition to the EPA for what will likely be one last opportunity for their reconsideration before a final ruling is made by the judge.

The next court hearing will be on August 26 at 10:30 a.m. (Pacific U.S.). To get additional updates and links to view the hearing, follow Fluoride Action Network (FAN) on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our weekly bulletin.

For those wanting to catch up on this precedent-setting trial, we have several resources available for you. First is a 16-minute video featuring our attorney, Michael Connett, providing detailed background on the case and trial. Second, we have a 30-minute interview of Connett by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Third, FAN has a comprehensive database of documents, timelines, media coverage, and materials about the lawsuit on our website.

Damning deposition videos

The talking point we probably hear the most from proponents at council hearings, and repeated by policymakers, is that government agencies like the CDC and EPA vouch for fluoridation’s safety and effectiveness, and regulate the practice responsibly, so therefore it must be true and we must be wrong.

Instead of verifying any of these claims, policymakers have put their blind trust in these agencies. The media outlets, on the other hand, which should be the nation’s watchdog, have suspended their professionalism by not only blindly trusting these agencies, but also by discrediting those opposed to fluoridation.

Under oath, representatives from these agencies proved that their mantra of “safe and effective” is only a baseless claim used to promote a failed policy. In this first video, Casey Hannan, the director of the CDC’s Oral Health Division, testifies that the CDC has no data establishing the safety of fluoride’s effect on the brain, despite decades of touting the safety of fluoridation for all citizens, including children.

In this second video, Hannan admits there is no prenatal or early-life benefit from fluoride despite its known neurotoxicity to this same sub-population. In the third video, Joyce Donohue, Ph.D., a scientist from the EPA’s Office of Water, admits that the EPA’s current fluoride risk assessment, and thus fluoridation regulations, are out of date and should be updated in response to the collection of studies showing neurotoxicity published over the past several years.

These three videos are just a small taste of what was admitted under oath by representatives of the government agencies responsible for protecting the health of Americans.

For example, during the trial we also watched a video of CDC’s Hannan agreeing with the finding that “fluorides also increase the production of free radicals in the brain … and increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” as well as agreeing with the National Research Council finding that “it is apparent that fluorides have the ability to interfere with the function of the brain and body by direct and indirect means.”

FAN will be able to share much more of this video content with you after a ruling is made in the trial, exposing the failure of these agencies to protect the public from overexposure to fluoride.

Former NTP director warns parents in an op-ed

Along with the avalanche of new peer-reviewed studies showing harm and the lawsuit exposing government negligence, there has been an ever-growing chorus of warnings to the public and opposition to fluoridation from researchers and public health experts. This includes the former director of both the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program of the National Institutes of Health.

Toxicologist and microbiologist Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., co-authored an op-ed appearing in Environmental Health News with Christine Till, Ph.D., an associate professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, Canada, and Dr. Bruce Lanphear, MPH, a physician, clinical scientist, and professor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada.

Till is a co-author of several significant fluoride studies including the JAMA Pediatrics fluoride neurotoxicity study and others finding lowered IQ, increased diagnosis of ADHD, and thyroid impairment. She received a leadership award from York University, in part, for this groundbreaking research.

Lanphear is also an award-winning researcher who has been a member of two National Academies of Science committees, is a member of the EPA’s Lead Review Panel, and is renowned for his research on low-level lead exposure and many other environmental neurotoxins.

The op-ed, titled “It Is Time to Protect Kids’ Developing Brains From Fluoride,” highlights the mounting evidence that fluoride is impairing brain development and compares the response from the public health community to its delayed response to the obvious harm caused by lead. The authors call for the U.S. “to rethink this exposure for pregnant women and children,” and state:

“Given the weight of evidence that fluoride is toxic to the developing brain, it is time for health organizations and regulatory bodies to review their recommendations and regulations to ensure they protect pregnant women and their children … We can act now by recommending that pregnant women and infants reduce their fluoride intake.”

The op-ed is accompanied by a powerful animated short video on the impact of fluoride on brain development produced by Little Things Matter, a nonprofit scientific organization composed of children’s environmental health professionals. Dr. Till was also recently filmed giving an hour-long “must watch” presentation and Q&A on her fluoride neurotoxicity research.

FAN has compiled quotes (and produced a video) from a variety of experts warning about fluoride’s neurotoxicity, as well as a list of opinion pieces and journal articles20 warning of harm.

From womb to tomb

An April 2021 study from Sweden found 50% higher rates of hip bone fractures in postmenopausal women in an area with up to about 1 mg/L fluoride in drinking water. It also found 10% to 20% higher rates of fractures for all types of bone fractures and for those types commonly associated with osteoporosis.

The high-quality cohort study used detailed information from more than 4,000 older Swedish women enrolled starting in 2004 and followed through 2017. Their largest source of exposure was from naturally occurring fluoride in drinking water, at concentrations at or below 1 mg/L. Their total exposures fell within the same range as women living in areas with artificial fluoridation.

Concern for fluoride’s effect on bone quality was raised 25 years ago based on animal studies: “[O]ne cannot help but be alarmed by the negative effects of fluoride on bone strength consistently demonstrated in animal models.” The animal findings prompted human studies. This new Swedish study builds on previous studies that found an increased risk of bone fractures in older people with long-term fluoride exposure.

It is also consistent with extensive experience from randomized controlled trials done in the 1990s that attempted to decrease fracture risk for those with osteoporosis by giving patients relatively high doses of fluoride.

Instead of decreasing fracture risk, those studies found an increased risk, especially for hip fractures, and the attempts to use fluoride as a medication against osteoporosis have been largely abandoned. Researchers concluded that although fluoride can increase bone mineral density, it simultaneously decreases the bone quality and bone strength, despite the greater density.

This ought to have serious implications for the practice of fluoridation. The study’s findings suggest that long-term consumption of fluoridated water may be responsible for 50% or more of the hip fractures experienced by older people. There are about 2 million osteoporotic fractures in the U.S. per year, of which about 300,000 are hip fractures. Hip fractures in the elderly are a leading cause of disability and death.

About 30% of people with a hip fracture will die in the following year.” “Of those who survive, many do not regain their pre-fracture level of function. About 50% of patients with hip fractures will never be able to ambulate without assistance and 25% will require long-term care.

Water fluoridation may literally be killing older people, taking years off their lives, or leaving them confined to wheelchairs. “Treating hip fractures is also very expensive. A typical patient with a hip fracture spends the US $40,000 in the first year following hip fracture for direct medical costs and almost $5,000 in subsequent years.”

Widespread fluoridation in the U.S. might help explain why “Hip fracture rates among the U.S. population are the highest in the world.” Just as with the fluoride neurotoxicity studies that are finally being taken seriously, and funded by government agencies, this new study could help spur more high-quality studies on bone effects of fluoride.

But there is already more than enough evidence of risk to the brain, and now to bone health, that there is no justification to continue intentionally adding fluoride to drinking water for the sole purpose of trying to reduce tooth decay.

The fluoridation lobby is doubling down

Unfortunately, in response to the abundance of new research, the landmark lawsuit, growing concern in the scientific community, and the sustained advocacy and education efforts of FAN, the promoters of fluoridation have doubled down on their efforts to expand the practice further in an effort to gaslight public officials into believing the practice isn’t on the brink of extinction.

The UK and New Zealand are both being threatened with nationwide fluoridation mandates. In the U.K., the fluoridation lobby alongside the health secretary, Matt Hancock, is urging the government to take the power over fluoridation from local councils so he can mandate it throughout the country.

While this threat is very real, the proposal doesn’t seem to have made much progress since March, but FAN is tracking it and working with U.K. residents to mount opposition.

In New Zealand, the government has revived and amended a bill that was introduced in 2016 but lacked enough support for passage. As introduced, the bill would have moved fluoridation decisions from local councils — where they reside presently – to district health boards.

However, the current government has amended the language to centralize fluoridation authority even further, by giving full control to the director-general of health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield. Using this process has defied the normal democratic process, with no select committee, community consultation, or public input.

Supporters of this proposal are trying to pass it into law by the end of the year, at which time local councils (and local taxpayers) will be responsible for all capital and operational costs. While a number of mayors have come out in opposition, as well as citizens and professionals led by Fluoride Free NZ, the proposal appears to be moving forward. Learn more in this new video from FAN.

The dental lobby is also targeting large cities in North America. This past summer, a coalition led by Delta Dental worked behind the scenes to pressure the city council in Spokane, Washington, to pass a resolution to fluoridate their drinking water, despite the public voting three times to reject fluoridation. Part of their sales pitch was that COVID was presenting an oral health emergency, to which this would be a solution.

It was eventually revealed that implementation would take at least five years, making their exploitation of the pandemic to sell their fluoridation chemicals apparent. A local citizens group assisted by FAN, Safe Water Spokane, has fought this effort, and as a result, the council has tabled their fluoridation resolution and will study the issue for the next year. Click here to learn more about Spokane.

Calgary, Alberta, is also being threatened with fluoridation despite voting numerous times to reject the practice. After hearing from the O’Brien Institute for Public Health that the practice causes cognitive impairment, the cowardly council decided to put the issue to a public vote this October, rather than make a decision. FAN is working with local campaigners Safe Water Calgary to ensure the public votes “no” on reintroducing fluoridation chemicals.

The CDC has even partnered with private industry, using your tax dollars to develop new fluoridation products for rural water systems and private wells to expand the practice to every corner of the country (and likely beyond).

We can’t count on the mainstream media or the public health authorities to tell the public or decision-makers about what is happening. It’s up to us to make this information go viral! It’s up to us to bring it to our elected leaders and demand action! We need your support more than ever. Please help us get to the finishing line of a world without fluoridation.

From June 28 to July 4, we launch Fluoride Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to ending the practice of fluoridation. There’s no doubt about it: Fluoride should not be ingested. Even scientists from the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory have classified fluoride as a “chemical having substantial evidence of developmental neurotoxicity.”

Furthermore, according to screenings conducted for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 65% of American adolescents now have dental fluorosis — unattractive discoloration and mottling of the teeth that indicate overexposure to fluoride — up from 41% a decade ago. Clearly, children are continuing to be overexposed, and their health and development put in jeopardy. Why?

The only real solution is to stop the archaic practice of artificial water fluoridation in the first place. Fortunately, the Fluoride Action Network has a game plan to END fluoridation worldwide.

Clean pure water is a prerequisite to optimal health. Industrial chemicals, drugs, and other toxic additives really have no place in our water supplies. So please, protect your drinking water and support the fluoride-free movement by making a tax-deductible donation to the Fluoride Action Network today.

Together, let’s help FAN get to the finish line

This is the week we can get FAN the funding it deserves. I have found very few NGOs as effective and efficient as FAN. Its team has led the charge to end fluoridation and will continue to do so with our help!

So, I am stepping up the challenge. We are turning the tide against fluoride, but the fight is not over. I’m proud to play my part in this crucial battle. For the tenth year in a row, a portion of sales from purchases made on the Mercola online store, up to $25,000, will be donated to Fluoride Action Network. Please make a donation today to help FAN end the absurdity of fluoridation.

Originally published by Mercola.




Fluorinated Chemicals Affecting More Americans Than Previously Estimated

By Environmental Working Group

A peer-reviewed study by scientists at the Environmental Working Group estimates that more than 200 million Americans could have toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS in their drinking water at a concentration of 1 part per trillion (ppt) or higher. Independent scientific studies have recommended a safe level for PFAS in drinking water of 1 ppt, a standard that is endorsed by EWG.

The study, published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters, analyzed publicly accessible drinking water testing results from the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey, as well as state testing by Colorado, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.

“We know drinking water is a major source of exposure of these toxic chemicals,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at EWG and a co-author of the new study. “This new paper shows that PFAS pollution is affecting even more Americans than we previously estimated. PFAS are likely detectable in all major water supplies in the U.S., almost certainly in all that use surface water.”

The analysis also included laboratory tests commissioned by EWG that found PFAS chemicals in the drinking water of dozens of U.S. cities. Some of the highest PFAS levels detected were in samples from major metropolitan areas, including Miami, Philadelphia, New Orleans, and the northern New Jersey suburbs of New York City.

There is no national requirement for ongoing testing and no national drinking water standard for any PFAS in drinking water. The EPA has issued an inadequate lifetime health advisory level of 70 ppt for the two most notorious fluorinated chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, and efforts to set an enforceable standard could take many years.

In the absence of a federal standard, states have started to pass their own legal limits for some PFAS. New Jersey was the first to issue a maximum contaminant limit for the compound PFNA, at 13 ppt, and has set standards of 13 ppt for PFOS and 14 ppt for PFOA. Many states have either set or proposed limits for PFOA and PFOS, including California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont.

“The first step in fighting any contamination crisis is to turn off the tap,” said Scott Faber, EWG senior vice president for government affairs. “The second step is to set a drinking water standard, and the third is to clean up legacy pollution. The PFAS Action Act passed by the House would address all three steps by setting deadlines for limiting industrial PFAS releases, setting a two-year deadline for a drinking water standard, and designating PFAS as ‘hazardous substances’ under the Superfund law. But Mitch McConnell’s Senate has refused to act to protect our communities from ‘forever chemicals.’”

PFAS are called forever chemicals because they are among the most persistent toxic compounds in existence, contaminating everything from drinking water to food, food packaging, and personal care products. They are found in the blood of virtually everyone on Earth, including newborn babies. They never break down in the environment.

Very low doses of PFAS chemicals in drinking water have been linked to suppression of the immune system and are associated with an elevated risk of cancer and reproductive and developmental harms, among other serious health concerns.

“When we look for PFAS contamination, we almost always find it,” said David Andrews, Ph.D., a senior scientist at EWG and one of the co-authors. “Americans should trust that their water is safe, but far too many communities have water supplies polluted by toxic PFAS chemicals. These are some of the most insidious chemicals ever produced, and they continue to be used. Our analysis was largely limited to PFOA and PFOS, but many more PFAS are found to contaminate drinking water and the entire class of PFAS chemicals is a concern.”

The EPA has identified over 600 PFAS in active use in the U.S. According to the most recent analysis of state and federal data by EWG, 2,230 locations in 49 states are known to have PFAS contamination, including more than 300 military installations.

PFAS contamination has raised alarms among a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress. The PFAS Action Act also includes a provision that would set a two-year deadline for the EPA to establish a national drinking water standard for the two most notorious PFAS chemicals – PFOA, formerly used to make DuPont’s Teflon, and PFOS, formerly an ingredient in 3M’s Scotchgard.

The House versions of the National Defense Authorization Act and EPA spending bill also include important PFAS reforms.

“It’s not too late for this Congress to protect us from the growing PFAS contamination crisis,” Faber said.

Published with permission by the Environmental Working Group. 

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The End of Fluoridation Is in Sight

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • A collection of some of the strongest fluoride studies in history have recently been published, showing that fluoridation poses an unreasonable risk and hazard to all, but to the fetus and infants in particular
  • After a four-year process, a landmark fluoridation trial was held in federal court, and fluoridation’s neurotoxic risk to vulnerable subpopulations was confirmed, along with the U.S. EPA’s failure to take action to protect citizens from these risks
  • The judge has urged the parties to discuss the possibility of an amended TSCA petition and assessment by the EPA, or start a new petition and have the EPA conduct a proper review, after which the judge will present his final ruling
  • While FAN is taking the lead in court, at the federal and state level, and helping campaigners at the local level to educate decision-makers and public health officials, we need your help to spread this educational campaign to every community, including yours
  • New educational and advocacy tools are available so you can take action to end fluoridation in your community or state, to immediately protect the most vulnerable

Water fluoridation is one of the biggest public health failures of the 20th century. Despite solid scientific evidence of harm, politics and public relations have kept the practice alive.

Proponents, including the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Oral Health Division of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have spent millions of dollars on promotion and public relations to sell fluoridation using half-truths, convincing talking points, and diversions.

But fluoridation is also one of the most widely rejected health interventions on Earth, with 95% of the world’s population consuming water from systems that are not fluoridated.

For the past decade, the trend has moved in the direction of communities ending the practice, not starting it. And now, due to an abundance of new research, a landmark lawsuit and the sustained advocacy and education efforts of the Fluoride Action Network and its supporters like you, the practice could be on the brink of extinction.

The Evidence of Harm Is Too Great To Be Ignored

All tissues are important, but the most important organ to protect during fetal and infant development is the brain. Damage occurring to this organ during these early stages of life is permanent and cannot be undone later in life.

The evidence of neurotoxic harm from water fluoridation has been mounting at an unprecedented rate in recent years, and has quickly become the most urgent reason to end the practice as soon as possible. A cavity can easily be filled, but damage to a child’s brain is permanent.

A large body of government-funded research now indicates that fluoride is neurotoxic and is associated with lowered IQ in children and a significant increase in ADHD diagnosis and related behaviors in children at doses experienced in fluoridated communities. Experts in the field have likened the size of the effect to that from lead.

This includes over 200 animal studies showing that prolonged exposure to varying levels of fluoride can damage the brain, 65 human studies linking moderately high fluoride exposures with reduced intelligence, three human studies linking fluoride exposure with impaired fetal brain development, and seven Mother-Offspring studies linking fluoride exposure during pregnancy to reduced IQ in offspring.

Over the past year, we’ve also seen unprecedented new science from Canada and the USA showing fluoride harms the developing brain from exposures due primarily to artificial water fluoridation at the “optimal level.” Several of these high-quality studies were funded by the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (formerly the National Institutes of Health).

Strongest Studies Published Over the Past Year

Seven studies published in 2019 and 2020 are among the strongest yet, and are obviously relevant to water fluoridation as they were conducted in communities with what the ADA considers the “optimal level” of fluoride in drinking water. These include:

  1. Green 2019 — published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s journal on Pediatrics. It reported substantial IQ loss in Canadian children from prenatal exposure to fluoride from water fluoridation.
  2. Riddell 2019 — published in Environment International. It found a shocking 284% increase in the prevalence of ADHD among children in fluoridated communities in Canada compared to nonfluoridated ones.
  3. Till 2020 — published in Environment International. It reported that children who were bottle-fed in Canadian fluoridated communities lost up to 9 IQ points compared to those in nonfluoridated communities.
  4. Uyghurturk 2020 — published in Environmental Health. It found that pregnant women in fluoridated communities in California had significantly higher levels of fluoride in their urine than those in nonfluoridated communities. The levels found in their urine were the same as those found to lower the IQ of the fetus in Green et al, 2019 and Bashash et al, 2017.
  5. Malin 2019 — published in Environmental Health. It linked a doubling of symptoms indicative of sleep apnea in adolescents in the U.S. to levels of fluoride in the drinking water. The link between fluoride and sleep disturbances may be through fluoride’s effect on the pineal gland.
  6. Malin 2019 — published in Environment International. It reported that exposure to fluoridated water led to a reduction in kidney and liver function among adolescents in the U.S., and suggested those with poorer kidney or liver function may absorb more fluoride bodies. The CDC funded this study.

The claims made by proponents of fluoridation that there is only “one or two studies” finding harm, or that they are only from areas with naturally high fluoride levels, are no longer relevant. The scientific evidence can now be considered overwhelming and undeniable. In fact, the level of evidence that fluoride is neurotoxic now far exceeds the evidence that was in place when lead was banned from gasoline.

recent review by Danish scientist, Harvard professor and neurotoxicity expert Philippe Grandjean, MD, DMSc, also concluded that:

“… there is little doubt that developmental neurotoxicity is a serious risk associated with elevated fluoride exposure, whether due to community water fluoridation, natural fluoride release from soil minerals, or tea consumption, especially when the exposure occurs during early development.”

It should come as no surprise then, that a draft systematic review published in 2020 by the National Toxicology Program of human studies of fluoride’s neurotoxicity concluded that fluoride was a “presumed” neurotoxin based on the large number, quality and consistency of brain studies.

The review identified 149 human studies and 339 animal studies, but did not include the three most recent neurotoxicity-related studies from the York University group (Till 2019; Riddell 2019), or the study showing that women in the U.S. had levels of fluoride in urine high enough to cause damage to the brain of the fetus (Uyghurturk 2020).

While the draft NTP review is equivocal about effects at low exposures, these newest high-quality mother-child studies support a conclusion that artificially fluoridated water causes substantial IQ reductions. This fact was recently echoed in a letter published in Pediatric Research by the co-authors of the JAMA Pediatrics fluoride/IQ study, which said:

“Over the past 75 years, health authorities have declared that community water fluoridation-a practice that reaches over 400 million worldwide-is safe. Yet, studies conducted in North America examining the safety of fluoride exposure in pregnancy were nonexistent.

When a Canadian study reported that higher fluoride exposure in pregnant women was associated with lower IQ scores in young children, critics attacked the methodology of the study and discounted the significance of the results.

Health authorities continued to conclude that fluoride is unequivocally safe, despite four well-conducted studies over the last 3 years consistently linking fluoride exposure in pregnancy with adverse neurodevelopmental effects in offspring …

The tendency to ignore new evidence that does not conform to widespread beliefs impedes the response to early warnings about fluoride as a potential developmental neurotoxin. Evolving evidence should inspire scientists and health authorities to re-evaluate claims about the safety of fluoride, especially for the fetus and infant for whom there is no benefit.” 

FAN Leads the Fight Against Neurotoxins

Since 2000, the Fluoride Action Network (FAN) has been committed to reducing exposure to fluoride, and even with all of the science firmly on our side, we couldn’t wait for legislators and public health officials to cast aside their entrenched dogma in favor of fluoridation and catch up on the science. Instead, we initiated the legal process to end the practice that today affects more than 200 million Americans.

A little-known provision of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) gave us our opportunity. It offers citizens a way to circumvent the corruption and force the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prohibit or limit the use of toxic substances.

Watchdog groups no longer have to convince the EPA of unreasonable risk; they can now have an objective judge decide based on an independent review of the evidence.

We are also laying the foundation for future TSCA challenges by citizens and environmental groups. For example, because of Judge Edward Chen’s ruling to deny the EPA’s motion to dismiss our case, TSCA law will now be interpreted to allow the EPA to be petitioned to regulate single uses of substances, rather all uses, which was the EPA’s position. This change will make it easier for activists to force the EPA to review the risks of specific chemicals used commercially.

While it has been four years since this effort began in November of 2016 — when the Fluoride Action Network, together with a coalition of nonprofits and individual citizens, presented a petition to the EPA to end the deliberate addition of fluoridation chemicals to the public’s drinking water — it has actually taken 20 years of effort by FAN to bring us to this point.

It took the development of our extensive website in the early days. It took the creation of our comprehensive health database (larger than any government had put together on fluoride’s toxicity).

It took countless submissions to government agencies and the translation of many Chinese neurotoxicity studies and much more. And, after much delay due to government shut downs and Covid-19, our day in court finally arrived.

Trial of the Century

The trial began with an opening statement from the attorney for the plaintiffs, Michael Connett. He made the succinct but powerful case that fluoride presents a hazard (threat to the brain); that this hazard is a risk at the doses experienced in fluoridated communities; and that it is an unreasonable risk.

The EPA, represented by lawyers from the Department of Justice, argued that establishing fluoride as a neurotoxic hazard requires a systematic review, which they claimed FAN’s experts didn’t perform.

They also argued that the evidence showing harm from fluoride at the levels found in communities that practice fluoridation wasn’t strong enough to yield action from the EPA. Both of these claims would be disproven by FAN’s experts and attorney during the trial.

This was followed by three days of testimony from FAN’s expert witnesses, all independent and leading scientists whose world-class expertise includes fluoride, neurotoxicity and risk assessments, and whose expertise the EPA has relied on in the past on other toxicants like lead and mercury. The witnesses included (click on links to see their declarations and resumes):

Their testimony was followed by the EPA’s witnesses, two of which were experts-for-hire from the corporate consulting firm Exponent, and one was a risk assessment expert from the EPA.

It was revealed that the EPA paid Exponent approximately $350,000 for their testimony, which was focused primarily on claiming that there was insufficient evidence of harm — something they’re known for doing in every trial, no matter who they’re representing or how strong the science is.

One of their witnesses, Dr. Ellen Chang, has a long history of defending and producing systematic reviews for corporate polluters, including for DOW Chemical’s Agent Orange, Monsanto’s glyphosate, 3M’s PFOAs, and pesticides from Syngenta and Croplife. She also worked for the American Chemistry Council, American Petroleum Institute, and the Manganese Interest Group.

Several paragraphs here couldn’t possibly do the in-depth proceedings of the trial justice, or highlight all of the shocking and incredible statements that were made. I would urge you to read our detailed summaries for each of the trial days.

I would also urge you to visit our TSCA trial overview page, where you can find the basic facts, a timeline of all actions and rulings, links to all of the submissions made by FAN, links to all of the media coverage, and links to the studies we relied upon to make our case. You can also visit our Twitter page, where we provided live tweet coverage of days 3 through 7.

The Judge’s Reaction

After seven days of trial and closing statements from both parties, the judge held off on making a final ruling, but he did make it fairly obvious that he was convinced that FAN fluoride was a neurotoxin and likely posed an unreasonable risk. He said that the EPA had failed to properly assess that risk, and illegitimately turned down FAN’s 2016 petition for TSCA action.

The judge urged the parties to spend the next few weeks discussing the possibility of an amended TSCA petition and assessment by the EPA, or start a new petition and have the EPA conduct a proper review, and leave his final ruling until that is complete. Both parties expressed doubt that such an arrangement would be fruitful, but ultimately agreed to move forward with it and update the court on their progress in the beginning of August.

We Expect the EPA Could Continue to Delay

We don’t expect the overzealous proponents of the fluoridation, including the EPA, CDC and ADA, to roll over without using every avenue possible to save their credibility by protecting fluoridation. They’ve already proven time and again, they have deep pockets and no shame.

Proponents don’t seem to realize that continued promotion will cause an ever-increasing loss of the public’s trust in the agencies that are meant to protect them. Continuing this practice in the absence of sound science — and investing millions of dollars in PR to cover up that fact — will further erode the public’s trust in public health programs.

Right now, the only thing being protected is a failed policy and the reputation of those who refuse to accept that this program has been a massive failure both ethically and scientifically.

Before the trial the EPA had already intimated that they could appeal a ruling in our favor, and that even if we win the appeal the rulemaking process to end fluoridation’s neurotoxic harm could take up to three years. This would mean tens of thousands more children permanently harmed by fluoridation.

This is why, regardless of the ultimate verdict, FAN will continue to need your support. We have forged this precedent-setting path together. Your support, contributions and sharing of our cause and legal case have played a critical role in making this happen, and we thank you. Whether we win or lose this trial, our important education efforts will have to continue.

Please consider investing in an end to fluoridation by making a tax-deductible donation to our work.

Also, please consider signing-up to receive FAN’s email bulletins and following us on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Instagram. We will keep you informed about the latest fluoride research and news, plus give you opportunities help influence fluoride policy in your area and throughout the world.

New Tools and Resources to Educate Leaders About Neurotoxicity

While FAN is taking the lead in court at the federal and state level, and helping campaigners at the local level to educate decision-makers and public health officials, we need your help to spread this educational campaign to every community, including yours. To make the task easier, we have created a number of new educational materials.

First, is our handout on neurotoxicity. We have both a color version along with a black and white version for cheaper bulk printing, as well as a list of the references for this handout that you can combine to make a nice double-sided handout if you so choose. You can also check out our other handouts here.

Second, FAN’s Research Director, Chris Neurath, filmed a Zoom webinar in which he presented detailed evidence that fluoride is a developmental neurotoxin.

He described the rapidly accumulating peer-reviewed science showing that fluoride lowers the IQ of children and increases their risk of neurobehavioral problems like ADHD. He put those studies into perspective in ways we can all understand.

This video a powerful tool for campaigners and parents looking to learn the science and to share it with decision-makers. Neurath’s presentation is about 50 minutes and includes a 30-minute question and answer session that took place at the end. Click here to access the PowerPoint slides used in this presentation.

Help educate your state-level decision makers about the neurotoxic harm caused by water fluoridation. Use our simple automated email system to send Neurath’s presentation to your state legislators and urge them to introduce a bill next session to end the practice throughout your state: Educate Your Legislators NOW.

FAN has also produced a new video series entitled, “Four Game-Changing Studies,” explaining the science behind fluoridation’s neurotoxicity in four short videos featuring Paul Connett, Ph.D. The shorter format makes the content easier to share on social media and easier for local authorities to digest incrementally.